This mornings discussion with my husband combined with my time in the Word today left me pretty overwhelmed. I can't explain a God who commands His people to wipe out entire nations, man, woman and child from the face of the earth and who then punishes those who do not follow His instructions to the very last detail. How to I tell people what a loving God I have when they bring this up.... a God who says there is no one good left on the earth except for you Noah, so I am going to destroy them all. How do I justify that?
Well, I think that's it. God doesn't need me to justify Him, but to know Him more, to seek Him more, to trust Him more. He IS just and righteous. That is who He is! He created the world and everything in it. The world is His, the moon and the stars are His also. He loves the world!
As I read in Psalm 7 today, I see God more clearly through Davids heart and cry.
"O Lord my God, in you do I take refuge; save me from all my pursuers and deliver me, lest like a lion they tear my soul apart, rending it in pieces, with none to deliver.
David understood and loved this God of Justice to the extent that he would call out to God to take his life if he were found guilty.
"Arise, O Lord, in your anger; lift yourself up against the fury of my enemies;
David understood that sin and evil angered God. Does it anger and grieve me the way it angers and grieves God?
"The Lord judges the peoples; judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness and according to the integrity that is in me.
God is a righteous judge. He weighs our lives and actions according to our righteousness. Standing with Christ I am completely covered. God sees a covering of perfection when He looks at me and sees who I am with. Do I like David cry out for God to search my heart or would I rather stay hidden, those things which I know are unrighteous and filthy before the Lord? Integrity is important.
"If a man does not repent, God will whet his sword; he has bent and readied his bow; he has prepared for him his deadly weapons, making his arrows fiery shafts. Behold, the wicked man conceives evil and is pregnant with mischief and gives birth to lies.
Sin in no less serious now than it was in the times before Christ came and God wiped out evil through wars and the destruction of entire families, man women and child from the face of the earth. The only difference now is that Jesus bridges the gap. #Grace Is Essential. Same God today and forever....completely just, completely fair, so completely full of Grace and Mercy that He would send His son to be the remedy for our sinfulness and lack of righteousness. The sacrificial blood of Jesus is the righteous cover that we need to stand before a Holy God.
Once I start to understand, even a small bit, of what real holiness is, I can then begin to grasp how I myself would crumble in the presence of His holiness, a Holy God, Perfection, righteousness, God... and then understanding my unending desperate need for a savior, Christ. Without Him I crumble, without Him I can't even dare to stand and open my eyes in the presence of my God who created all.
So like David, this holy, just and righteous judge, who we stand before with fear and trembling, my God who made a way to bridge the gap so that I could stand before him with NO condemnation because I am in Christ Jesus....and because God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son that ANYONE who believes in Him will NOT perish, but have eternal life....Like David, it causes me to praise Him and thank Him.
My words can't express the deepness and gratitude that I have for living this life for him and looking forward and upward to being called home and spending eternity in His presence. My God made a way for ALL... So I say, like David did.....
"I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness,
This song and declaration is my heart today.
There is something so crippling beautiful at the moment when God is victorious in spite of our failing ..."My flesh may fail, but my God, He never will." The fact that he uses me still boggles my mind.
With the bread of tears turning to joy, I write this blog entry today. Each day I read through the Bible, the Word of God. It is life to me. I cry EVERY-DAY in His Word, because it is so powerful. It moves, it convicts, it redeems and it changes me....EVERYDAY! Yet, how quickly I get up and forget all that He has said, all that He had done. I am like one of those ridiculous Israelites who witness with their own eyes His miracles and then so easily forget.
Today I read through three chapters in Joshua as they prepare to take the Promised land, I read a Psalm that pierced my soul as I began to sing it out loud. I read 2 chapters in Luke when Jesus spoke of the narrow door, the wedding feast and healed the sick. He spoke truth to Pharisees and challenged ME to give it all up for His sake.
It was there in Luke 13:24 "Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able" that the study notes read "Jesus Christ is the ONLY way to salvation ALL other hopes are misplaced." I highlighted this study note, I circled it, I claimed it as the message I would share next time I am out on stage or at an event, which happens to be tonight. I said "God I will tell your people!!"
I was charged up. I sat at my piano as I often do and began to sing the Word of God. I sang Psalm 80:19 "Restore us, O Lord God of hosts! Let your face shine, that we may be saved!"
While I was singing, I heard a peculiar scratch at the door (my doorbell doesn't work) so I stopped and peeked through the glass and there were two ladies there (beautiful ladies) so I stepped outside to talk to them. They asked if that was me singing and said how beautiful it was. Then they invited me to their church event at the Kingdom Hall, to which I responded "No thank you, I am not a Jehovah Witness, but I am a follower of Jesus Christ" to which they said..So are we..etc. and then off they went. I went back in my house closed the door and instantly my shoulders drooped, I let out a sigh and my heart melted.
I had JUST told God moments before, I would give it all up that I would be strong and courageous, not only that, but I would be VERY strong and VERY courageous, tell those people he puts in front of me "Jesus Christ, the son of God the tribune God, is the ONLY way to salvation and that ALL other hopes are misplaced!!"
I stood their in awe of my epic #FAIL. I felt defeated, I said God why do you use me, I fail so much. I looked back out and they were down the block now under the supervision of some seasoned mentors. I hesitated as typically they do not take anything we hand to them. I held back. I screamed to to the Lord, "GOD BRING THEM BACK, BRING THEM BACK, LET ME SEE THEM WHEN THEY COME BACK AND I WILL TELL THEM!"
In perfect #EPIC God fashion, they looped back the other side of the block. There was a distance between them and their mentors, not a big distance, but I didn't care. I knew that God went before me.
I crossed the street and mentioned to them how they enjoyed my singing and that I wanted to give them a CD with my voice on it for them to listen to. They took it, they kept it, they received it and then I said it....."Ladies I want you to know that your hopes are misplaced. Jesus Christ, the son of God who rose from the dead, the Triune God is your only hope of salvation, ALL other hope is misplaced!"
And with that, I departed, with THAT, I rejoiced at how "My flesh may fail, but my God, He NEVER will. I may be weak, but His spirit is strong in me."
Here is what I learned:
1. I forget so quickly... I need the Word of God by my side at all times, written on my heart and on the tip of my tongue. If I am in the word everyday, how much more to do I need it every moment.
2. As a singer, my stage & platform is NOT my stage and platform.
I thought God was preparing a word for me to share tonight when I sing at an event. No, he was preparing it because He knew who was walking down the street at that moment.
3. I fail all the time...God forgives, God redeems and God gives me another chance.
4. I am reminded that this life is short, there is no time to hesitate. God goes before me, whom shall I fear?
5. My assumptions don't come into play when I roll with the King of Kings.....I thought they would not accept my CD or my word, but God knew they would. So now I pray for the truth to bloom!
Why do I share this with you, this failure of mine? I share it because God is victorious even when we fail. Don't beat yourself up, keep your eyes open. God has prepared, in advance, amazing things for us to be a part of. Be ready when the opportunity knocks (literally sometimes at your door.)
I share so that my past (even though it was a short time ago) is not your future. God redeems our failures because He is just that kind of a God. Mighty to save!
I am on a mini retreat vacation in Chicago staying with my brother and his family. I have no plans...I sleep, I wake up, I laugh with my nieces, watch my nephews play baseball...oh and have a personal massage therapist come to the house...all in a day's work!
This morning as I was sitting at the breakfast table with my brother and sister, we talked we laughed and then I opened my bible and the first verse I read was “No one whose testicles are crushed or whose male organ is cut off shall enter the assembly of the Lord." Deuteronomy 23:1. Well, that was a buzz kill to our laughter. Then I read on through Word and got to the place where Moses addresses nocturnal emissions. At this point I thought, how can it get any better? (insert sense of humor.) Not really fun to write about these verses (trust me, there is a reason and I will get to it before I share the verses about women eating their children and their afterbirth) but there was something that struck me deep in my heart through it.
If God addresses things like this, lays out rules, guidelines and how to handle THESE situations....HOW MUCH MORE will he address our daily concerns WHATEVER they are. We simply need to "Seek and read from the book of the Lord.." Isaiah 34:15
2 Timothy 3:16-17 "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work."
The Word that God has given us, His book, the Bible is life, truth and necessary. It will guide us, teach us, and comfort us in ANY situation. Open it.... you can't live without it LITERALLY.
I would love for you to share about an issue you struggled with and where you found God addressing it in His Word and how it helped you. I would also love to hear if you are struggling to find the answer. Let's search it out together, maybe someone else has struggled and found where God addresses your particular need. It's there!
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too." 2 Corinthians 1:3-5
I just finished speaking and singing at a Women's event in New York. It was amazing. The hospitality, the love and the whole day were so well thought out, prayed over and executed.
I was able to share my story, encourage others to tell theirs, sing, fellowship and pray with several women.
In response, I got to hear many stories of how God was working in their hearts and I love that. People often feel comfortable sharing with me at these events especially since I have just bared my soul in front of the masses and I honor that. I pray and as God directs me I speak truth.
It's a joy to walk along side women in that moment as God peels away layers of hurt, bitterness and shame. Today, because of the boldness the Spirit gave me and probably also a bit of jet lag and lack of filter, my response to someones sharing of all the things they were doing that were out of God's will was a simple....."STOP IT!" Every situation that was explained to me, the response was the same "STOP IT!"
As I think about it, it may seem harsh, but I know that the greatest gift my husband gave me when I was doing things that were clearly out of God's will was "Stop it!" From there, it's on me. I was told. So, I felt like sharing that same gift (along with other counsel...accountability partners, the Word of God, prayer) with my new neighbor.
Situations are different...addictions are tough, I know. BUT, sometimes, there are are situations where we just need to stop it and stop acting a fool!
*DISCLAIMER~ There is a good chance after I sleep for a few days, that I might re-think this post, but what's the fun in that. #SayItLikeYouMeanIt
"No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it." 1 Corinthians 10:13 #Truth
I'm not sure, but the fact that I was watching this video the other week, may have contributed to my new counseling tips. Enjoy, have a laugh! and if you are doing something you shouldn't.... #StopIt
I am reading through the Bible and have been in the book of Exodus this past week. After reading of the constant grumbling and complaining of the Isrealites when they were hungry, wandering and thirsty, even after all the miracles that God performed before their eyes, parting the sea and saving them from Pharaoh, I was mortified.
This is what I said to the Lord..."Lord, how do you deal (tolerate) with them....How do you deal with me....How do you deal with people...God, how do you deal with flesh?!?!"
To which He immediately replied "Through the flesh of my Son, Your Savior, Jesus Christ"
And I then sat in silence, humbly thinking "Oh, yeah, that's right"
Then I asked myself this question, "How do I deal with people that grumble, complain, don't appreciate?" I think my response to those same people that God deals and how He deals with me should be the same.......through the blood of Jesus Christ, with His forgiveness, mercy and grace.
"Lord, help me to view your people the way that you do. Help me to love and to forgive and to remember that you loved us first. You deal so patiently, firmly and steadfastly with us...with me. Help me to do the same. In Jesus name, Amen"
A collection of writings from a life based on the truth that about midnight anything can happen.
As an imperfect servant of the Lord, I often feel I am fumbling my way through life, looking upward for guidance and outward to love. So, I write about it, to break up the noise in my head.