Whose Side Are You On?

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There are so many horrific things happening these days! If you turn on the news there doesn’t seem to be one good thing reported. Hate is so fierce. There seem to be sides that you have to choose to be on.

Mandisa has the perfect song for our trouble land. Take just a few  minutes and listen.

Whose side are you on? Left or right? Black or white?

Not the side to be on, we need to be on the side of Jesus!

His love calms all fear! Zephaniah 3:17

We are to love one another. John 13:34-35

As the song reminds us “we are the same inside, we all bleed the same.”

So which side are you on?

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They Did What?

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Aren’t you glad that all the things you do don’t show up on social media unless you want them to? Can you imagine one of your greatest sins being published in a best seller? How about that thing you hoped no one saw you do, being put out there for others to see .

Well, there is a best seller with all the gritty details of others lives just waiting to be read by you. You guessed it the Bible.

Can you imagine your name being linked with another woman’s name as “the two women who are fighting”, for all the world to read. Euodia and Synthyche were those two women that were in Paul’s letter to the Philippians. (Philippians 4:2) Everyone sees their names (as strange as they are) and brings up their disagreements.

What about a king with too much time on his hands.Taking another man’s wife, and kills the faithful warrior so he can have the man’s wife as his own? Thinking he got away free, (no hidden cameras) only to have someone tell him a story about a thief, that makes him angry enough to spit nails. When he says that man should pay with his life for what he has done, he is told “You are that man!” Not only has he been exposed, the world will read about the whole affair for centuries to come. (2 Samuel 12:7)

There is a woman that will always be called, “The Prostitute”, yikes! Now that is one moniker I wouldn’t want to carry around. Everyone seemed to know exactly who they were talking about, her real name was Rahab.(Joshua 2:1)

There are so many folks who failed in life miserably and named for the world to see in the Bible. The wonderful thing about them is that God didn’t put them on display and leave them in that predicament.

Nope, that wasn’t the end of their story. In fact it was more like a beginning. God got involved and lives were changed, People forgiven and made whole where once they were broken and empty.

God is still in the business of changing lives. Are you wishing you could be made new? Have you done things you definitely don’t want published in a book! Jesus is your answer. He loves you and wants you to live a life that is full and forgiven. You don’t have to be perfect to come to him. (just look at the people in the Bible) He is just waiting for you to come to him and tell  him you are messed up and want to change.

There is nothing you have done that can separate you from the love of God, nothing!

 

A Different Way

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I have taken the Challenge to Write for 31 Days. This will be my third year taking this challenge. It is a real challenge for me to right every day for the month of October. I was thinking of not writing this year but praying for the people that are trying to meet their goal.

However, this year they have added a new category to their list called Instagram-micro blogging! Ha! This one sounds right up my alley. I love to try to make an encouraging Instagram using scripture. So my blog for the month of October will be using my Instagram. to micro share God’s encouragement.

If you are interested in joining this wonderful, crazy group of people who are writing straight for 31 days go to Write 31 Days and check it out. See if this is something you would like to try. There are no penalties for not completing the challenge and there are no trophies for finishing. Only the feeling of accomplishment of giving the challenge your best effort. There are loads of folks to encourage you on, ask questions, and get great advice. There are so many topics, and new friends to meet along the way. Crystal Stine is our fearless leader.

Even if you don’t have a burning desire to Write for 31 Days go and check it out and see what its all about. If you have the time pray for those that have taken up the gauntlet.

Don’t Let Me Go!

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I can remember as a child of being afraid in the lake we used to go to in the summer. My mom would never come in higher than her shins, but my dad was a whole different story. He would swim out so far I thought he was headed home by water!

He would come back for me and my sister. He would coax us to let him hold us and take us into the deep. I remember clinging to his neck so tight and saying, “Hold on to me! Don’t let me go!” I am not sure if he heard the panic in my voice but his answer would always be the same, “I’ve got you.”

Flash forward to now, my dad has long ago gone home to be with his Father. I am now turning to my heavenly Father and holding tightly saying the very same words, “Hold on to me! Don’t let me go!”

Those days when life just overwhelms me with grief, “Hold on to me! Don’t let me go!”

When once again I do those things that I said I would never do again, “Hold on to me! Don’t let me go!”

People reject me or let me feel let down by their unthinking words, “Hold on to me! Don’t let me go!”

This song by King and Country talks about just this thing. Have a listen.

There are so many places where God reassures us that he is always with us and he will never let us go.

NO MATTER WHAT!

Deuteronomy 31:6 tells us, Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Hebrews 13:5 also reminds us, God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

There are many other places you can find in God’s Word, God is telling each of us, “I won’t let you go child, I’ve got you.”

When you are afraid, for whatever reason, be assured, God will never leave you.

Don’t believe me.

Check for yourself.

Read God’s love letter to you, The Bible.

TERRIFIED

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As I am going through this study called “Uninvited” by Lysa TerKeurst I am learning so very much. I just can’t keep it to myself. (if you can’t do the study now consider getting the book, you won’t regret it!)

I don’t know about you, but sometimes when I read a word I think I know the meaning of until someone gives you the meaning in Greek or Latin. Then the light bulb turns on.

The first word that Lysa clarified for me was “hardened heart”. Well, I knew that the Pharaoh had a hardened heart. In Exodus 4:21 it says that the LORD hardened the Pharaoh’s heart. Now that didn’t seem right, until Lysa explained the word HARDEN. It means unresponsive. Ah, not what I had thought that God made his heart hard, but the Pharaoh was unresponsive! Now it was making sense to my brain.

This wasn’t the only word that she gave us the meaning. The word terrified. Now I was under the impression that was scared. But the way she shared it makes a whole lot more sense than just being scared. Terrified means to set into motion things that need to remain still!

We have God’s truths. The Bible is filled with them. Isaiah 41:10 tells us to “do not fear, for I am with you.”  Or John 16:33, “But take heart! I have overcome the world.” So if we become terrified of being alone, we have set into motion something that needs to remain still. We are to know and remember that God is with us. He has overcome the world! We need to keep these truths in mind so that we don’t set into motion those things that need to be still.

Do you question God’s love for  you? Do you feel like you need to DO something so that he will love you? Maybe you think he couldn’t possibly love you with all you have done!

Here is God’s truth. Ephesians 1:4, “Even before he made the world God chose you and loved you” Don’t put into motion something that needs to remain still. Even before you were, God loved you, you hadn’t done a thing nor do you need to do something now.

He loves you!

Loving you gives him GREAT PLEASURE!

Its the truth. It’s in the Bible. Check it out, Ephesians 1:4-5.

Don’t harden your heart, be unresponsive, to what God’s truth is saying.

All you need do is accept that great love and grace.

He adores you!

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Raise Our White Flag

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White Flag. What do you think of when you hear these words? Surrender? I give up? No more? You win?

This new song by King & Country is so wonderful. Watch and listen to O God Forgive us.

As you hear the words of the song do they ring true? Do we want “drive through peace and instant hope”? Is our doubt so thick we couldn’t cut it with the sharpest knife. These words are too close to the truth.

As we look at this world and where we have ended up, fighting over statues, even names of streets for goodness sakes. Yet do we tell our children there is a better way? Do we share with them that there is a God that takes away sin? Do we come to this same God EVERY day or are we too busy and want that instant hope?

The words continue with “young and old, black or white, rich or poor,  there’s no divide”. Why can’t we see this? We are all the same in God’s eyes? He created each one. We are different in the way that our own children are different. But we are the same in the same way our children are the same, they are ours.

I don’t think I can say it better than the song writers:

Run wild. To risk everything. To hold nothing back.
To lay it all on the line: your reputation, your success, your comfort.
It’s that moment when fear is overcome by faith. Live free.
It’s not the liberty to do whatever you want whenever and wherever you want,
But rather it’s living in accordance with the author of humanity
And finding freedom by connecting with the creator who conceived you.
Let the light flood into your eyes for the first time.
Feeling the blood course through your veins, finding the truest version of yourself
By knowing the one who knows you even better than you know yourself.
Love strong. Because you were first loved. Because without love we all perish.
Because the earth and the stars can and will pass away, but love, love will always remain.

1 Corinthians 13:13

“And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.

UNINVITED!

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I am doing an online Bible study UNINVITED  

When a friend sent me the invitation the title intrigued me. So I went online and watched a short clip about this study by Lysa TerKeurst. She is so very open and she has a sense of humor I enjoyed,so I signed up and bought the book and study guide.

As I started to read I felt like she had peeked into my life. Yep, there were times others words or actions made me feel left out and unwanted-UNINVITED!

The part that has had such a profound affect on me so far (just the first week) was when she asked us to put Ephesians 1:4-5 in a personal context. Putting “Me” instead of “you”. So the passage would read:

Even before he made the world God loved ME  and chose ME in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt ME into his own family by bringing ME to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure!

The first time I read it that way it took my breath away. I had missed so many important parts when I read those two verses before. Like:

BEFORE he created the world

He LOVED me

He CHOSE me

To be WITHOUT FAULT in His eyes

God decided in ADVANCE

He WANTED to do this

it gave him GREAT PLEASURE

I don’t know if you got all that when you read Ephesians 1:4-5 but some how I had missed it. Perhaps I scurried to get to the next verse instead of letting God’s word soak in.

I can’t get over the BEFORE he made the world he loved me and chose me. Like the world and all its greatness was an after thought. I was on his mind before such beauty and splendor and complexity. Each time I read the verse, ( I put it on my phone with a reminder) I have to stop there, I don’t know that I have ever felt such love..

When I got to the part that says, “I am holy and WITHOUT FAULT”, I feel such freedom and acceptance from God. It restores the hope in me that can seemingly be snatched away with unkind words or actions. Just to know that in Christ, God sees me Holy and without fault puts things in a whole new perspective.

Then just the last two words made me pause for a long time. GREAT PLEASURE! It gives God great pleasure to see me holy, without fault, loved and chosen, and added to his family. Me? Me!!

This verse is not just for me, even though it seems so very personal. No, this verse is for you also!

Put it on your phone.

Tape it to your fridge.

Copy it to your journal.

Memorize it.

Whatever you need to do to have it deep in your heart-so you never feel left out or uninvited again.

YOU give God GREAT PLEASURE!