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!

 

Put On Your Helmet

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We are a family of motorcycle riders. No, we are not the tattooed rough looking dudes you think of when the word motorcycle comes up. (Though two of us do have those dreaded tattoos.) My husband has always had a motorcycle. He went to work on one every day, shirt, suit-coat and tie flying in the breeze.  Not your typical rider.

It was a cheaper way to get around than 5 cars. When the children were younger I had a scooter with a sidecar. The Silver Bullet we used to call it. Two children would ride in the “bullet” and one would ride behind me and off to school we would go. It was handy that we all went to the same place.

When our kids got older they didn’t get a car but did get a motorcycle to get back and forth to work and school. They first had to take a safety course and they had to have the appropriate clothing. No one was allowed to go riding without a helmet.

Then the unthinkable happened the state we lived in said it would be ok to not wear that helmet when riding a motorcycle, WHAT? Had they lost their minds? Had they seen what happens when you crash on a motorcycle? One of the first things to hit the pavement is your Head!

So many folks wanted to have the “freedom” of not wearing that protection. They were sure it would be fine.

When it comes to our spiritual well-being we have the same protective gear we need to wear every day. It’s called the Armor of God. In Ephesians 6:10-17 it talks about all the “gear” we need to put on each and every day to protect us from the schemes of the devil. There’s the belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, shoes of peace, shield of faith, HELMET OF SALVATION, and our sword of God’s word.

Now these may not be the “gear” you see, but it is armor just the same. This helmet is so much more than just protecting that head of yours. It is a life changer. Salvation is for eternity, not just the next ride. You need only confess that you have sinned and ask God for his forgiveness and with his help you are turning toward him and away from sin. That Helmet is yours for eternity and NO ONE can take it from you.

Isn’t it time you decided to put on some protection? Are you sure it’s going to be fine without it?

God has the perfect “Gear” just for you! Ask him to suit you up today!

 

 

 

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Alphabet Soup

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LOL

PTA

FFA

CREFF

BBB

ADHD

It seems each people group has alphabet soup to shorten the words that they use. There should be an alphabet soup dictionary out there.

The newest one that seems to be added to the list is OMG. Now this one has me upset. Does it mean Old Men Groan? How about Odd Moms Giggle!

No, this one seems to take the Lord’s name in vain. You hear it from little children, housewives, young teens. It seems to be an exclamation that flows right off the tongue with little thought to the meaning.

I guess you could say this is something I take to the soap box quite often. As I worked with elementary kids they would say these words like it was nothing. I would tell them that it hurt my feelings because God was so special to me.

They would try to stop but it was heard so often in their homes that it seemed impossible to quit.

Now people think nothing of saying Jesus Christ to swear with. What is happening?!!!

Don’t they know the power of just that name? Don’t they understand that he is God?

It tells us NOT to take the Lord’s name in vain. Along with it there is a consequence.

Exodus 20:7

“You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.”

This is one of the 10 Commandments.

Have we come so far from God that we think it is ok to use his name in a curse or a slang to make others laugh?  Have we forgotten the power in the name Jesus? People were healed, raised from the dead, transformed. Should we take that power and toss it into the waste-bin?

Listen to Lincoln Brewster remind us.

“One name

one name can save”

One name

breaks every chain”

“One name

one name remains”

JESUS there is Power in just that name!

Would you waste that power to just make a statement, or waste that power on a curse?

Please stop and think the next time you are tempted to use OMG or Jesus Christ in a way that dishonors God. Use his name in praise and thanksgiving instead.

Alright I am going to step of my soapbox now.

I Know What a Lug Wrench is!?

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So many times in life we are afraid of looking silly because we don’t know the correct answer. This commercial is just hysterical. Watch.

This just cracks me up every time I watch it. Two guys trying to act as if they know it all. Even when a parent wants to help from afar. Then, instead of admitting they don’t have a clue, the one turns to the other to ask if what he is thinking a lug wrench is,  is correct. The second guy is shaking his head one direction but the words that come out are different. Leaving them both without the ability to change that tire.(I am not endorsing the company)

So many times in life we are just like these two young men. Not sure of the correct answer so we ask another that is just as confuse as we are.

Do you know what your purpose is? Of course I do. (what is my purpose?) We don’t want to seem stupid. Or is this a trick question?

Who are you? I know who I am. (who am I really?)

Why do you believe the way you do? Because! (oh that really makes sense.)

Are you in the dark, like these two young men, about the important things of life? Can you tell someone who you are? Not Mr. Soandso. Not “his wife” or “their mother”. Not even the son of or the daughter of Mr. & Mrs. A or Z.

No, who are you? If you are not sure the Bible has the answer. Right in 1 John 3:1, “See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children and that is what we are!” You are a child of God, when you surrender your life to him. (and he is the King, so that makes you the son or daughter of the King. It just keeps getting better!) He is trying to help you know who you are by giving us His words, The Bible.

What about your purpose? Your purpose is not a banker, or baker,or even a tire changer. Your purpose is to make God known. Whether you are at home, or at work your real work or purpose is to make God known to those around you.

We need to check our Bibles, that help our Father has given us, for the real meaning and worth of exactly whose we are and why we are here.

WAIT

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That four letter word that causes such a negative reaction!

When I was a child and had to wait until next week for my birthday to finally arrive, it was pure agony. Maybe having to wait two more days to finally become man and wife, oh, how slow the hours tick by. Have you ever seen a man in the grocery store, NOT go to the lane that says, “20 or less items” no matter HOW many items are contained in his cart? WAIT, I don’t think so!

It used to be that microwaves were the fastest thing going, now they seem to move in slow motion.

People used to have a land line phones, but why wait until you get home to hear a salesman interrupt your day? We need to know who could be calling or texting or wants to video chat with us, now!

We don’t like to wait in line, its faster to order online. We don’t like to be put on hold, we want taken care of immediately for goodness sake.

We hate red lights, stop signs, whirling internet connections, and grocery lines. (have you watched the person go from line 1 all the way to 24 looking for the shortest line?)

God on the other had is not impressed by our impatience with waiting.  Look how long it was between the time David was anointed until he became king. (not even in the same week!)

What about those Israelites that could have made the journey in 10 days but they had to wait 40 years!

Have you had times in your life when you had to wait? Perhaps you are waiting for a family member to accept God. Maybe you are waiting for that test results. You could be waiting to hear about that job application. We all have times when we are made to wait.

How do you handle waiting? Do you have sleepless nights? Do you wring your hands? I have a suggestion, try prayer and praise.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust the Lord completely, and don’t depend on your own knowledge.  With every step you take, think about what he wants, and he will help you go the right way.

Instead of thinking that we have the best answer to all our problems, we need to turn things over to God. I will be the first one to tell you that waiting can be so difficult. I want to jump in and fix the problem, hurry things along, or make it happen. If I want the very best results I need to step back, take a deep breath, and thank God for what he is doing. Even when I don’t see instant results.

I have learned, through lots of trials, that the best way to WAIT on the Lord is to start to praise him for all that he has done. If it seems to stressful to think of anything, start with thanking him for your next breath. Then move on to the eyes that help you see, or the ears that you are able to hear with, you get the picture. Take your  mind off of you and your situation and place them on God who has this.

Maybe this scripture needs to be on your fridge, in your wallet, and perhaps in your memory to be able to have the truth right at your finger tips.

Philippians 4:6

Don’t worry about ANYTHING. No matter what happens,tell God about everything ASK, and PRAY, and GIVE THANKS to him.

This is the secret to that four letter word WAIT! Give it a try.

 

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