and the One who walks with me on it.

Saturday, June 06, 2015


     Yesterday it rained; actually it poured. The skies were overcast much of the day. There’s been a lot of rain lately, in fact, record levels. It is dismal looking and depressing for many people. Today it is blue skies with big, white, puffy clouds scattered amidst the blue. The various greens of the trees and brown branches contrast outside of the window beckoning me to come and spend time outside. Perhaps I will…

     Our lives are not much different than the weather. Days with rain, seasons of rain that can bring us down if we focus to much on our dismal surroundings, contrasted with days of blue skies and warmth that for some of us seem to be very few and far between. It is difficult to continue on when we know the ‘weather’ will turn again. We pray for better weather, but sometimes it does not come and we get discouraged. We want to give up. Will sunshine ever return???

     One time I read a friend’s testimony which began by saying (something like) it had been smooth sailing most of her life up until a few years beforehand. Immediately, there was a flinch in my stomach (jealousy) and a part of me wanted to scream in frustration as the realization hit that my life seemed more like 35+ dismal years with just a few clear, happy days. Why me?

     Just as quickly I remembered the goodness of God through it all and how I loved my life with Him and wouldn’t change it for the world. See, it took all those gloomy days to bring me to this particular place in life- real and exciting life- with Him. (Why so long? Perhaps it is my stubbornness…) But I finally realize that whether we are Christians or not, some days it sprinkles, some days it pours, some days it’s too cold and others too hot; many days are simply boring or unremarkable; life continues at its own pace and I can’t stop it. The only thing I can do is change my response to it.

     I’d love to say I follow my own hard learned wisdom every time things go poorly, but the truth is that I still throw myself pity parties now and then. Wake up, body hurting, head pounding, friends call needing uplifting, husband cranky, nothing at the store you wanted, car breaks down, tow truck is late, house filthy, roof leaking, bathroom walls held together by duck tape and tarp, bills looming with not enough pay to cover it, being pulled in 20 directions, everyone looking to you for answers except your teens who think you know nothing, overwhelmed… Get the picture? I’ve been there, done that, and only by God’s grace, survived. Now it seems more often I remember…

     Facing pain, torment, possible death, disease, violence or abuse, job loss, or the innumerable awful things that can face you in life can seem impossible, and just may be IF a person is alone, but I am NOT alone for God is with me: every second, hour, day week, month, year, decade to forever. I don’t have to be alone again. I don’t have to walk alone again. I don’t have to face the storms of life alone ever again. And even on my pity party days, the Lord is awaiting me with open arms seeking to let me in. I choose to face dismal days with my Love, my Lord and Savior!

     And as for those times I forget, mire in the muck or get disappointed with Your decision to allow these trials in my life, I ask that You remind me of all the good You do, all I have learned and all that has come from the bad so that my stay in misery would be shorter each time until I face every new storm arm in arm with You in strength and victory. Let me stand with You, facing the storm yelling, ‘Here I am! You can’t take me down ‘cause I am NOT alone!’

Jesus said,
...lo, I am with you always*, even unto the end* of the world*.
Mt. 28:20

*G3956, G2250- each, every, whole: day, time period
*G4930- completion, consummation, end
*G165- for ever, an unbroken age, eternity

Friday, June 05, 2015

Jesus Loves Me

32 years later, this is the thing that still astounds me the most.

Jesus loves me.

I don’t deserve it.*

I haven’t been faithful, true, honest, pure, or even always loving Him back…

but He loves me.

I know it. I shake my head in awe because of it. I even question it some days.

Still, He loves me.*

I think about all my sins being splattered like tar on His hanging body and imagine His pure, sinless* innocence taking on* my filth, depravity and shame, and it makes me sick. How would that have felt to Him? In my head it would be like taking an innocent, newborn baby and throwing my poop, blood, mud and rotting meat all over it. Disgusting to think about…  but that’s what I imagine our sin would have felt like to His sinlessness…

but He did it out of love for us.

Innocent, He died a criminal’s death for us.

Because He loves us.

Every one of us.

So how can we treat any other God created person as unworthy of love* when He proved His love for us, beyond a doubt, by allowing His reputation, His earthly future, His purity and His body to be crucified for us?

Jesus loves me

Jesus loves you!

Does He not deserve our love in return?*

Applicable Scriptures

*Due to our sin we don’t deserve love, though He gives it.
Is. 64:6  But we are all as the unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as a menstruation cloth.
Ec. 7:20  For there is not a just man on earth who does good and does not sin.
1Jn. 1:8  If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
Jm. 1:15b And sin, when it is fully formed, brings forth death.
Ps. 103:10  He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
Ps. 103:11,12  For as the heavens are high above the earth, so is His mercy toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.

*God/ Jesus loves us.
Rm. 8:38,39  For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Rm. 5:8  But God commends His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.

*Jesus is sinless.
2Cr. 5:21  For He has made Him who knew no sin, to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
1Jn. 3:5  And you know that He was revealed that He might take away our sins, and in Him is no sin.
1Pt. 1:18,19  knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, silver or gold, from your vain manner of life handed down from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot;

*He bore our sins.
1Pt. 2:24  He Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that dying to sins, we might live to righteousness; by whose stripes you were healed.
Is. 53:4-6  Surely He has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was on Him; and with His stripes we ourselves are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, each one to his own way; and Jehovah has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

*We ought to love…
1Jn. 4:7,8  Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God, and everyone who loves has been born of God, and knows God. The one who does not love has not known God. For God is love.
1Jn. 4:11  Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

*Dt. 6:5  And you shall love Jehovah your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. 
Lk. 10:27  And answering, he said, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Words from the Word

You decide what they mean…

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. 1Pt. 5:6-9 (all KJV today)

Humble yourself (under God’s hand)
Cast ALL your cares on Him
Be sober (calm in spirit, temperate), vigilant (watchful, attentive)
Steadfastly (firm, immovable) in faith resist (withstand, oppose) the devil

After following these commands, by God’s grace we have this promise:

But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered* a while, make you perfect*, stablish*, strengthen*, settle* you.

*G3958- to be affected or have been affected, to feel, have a sensible experience, to undergo (good or bad sense) including sickness
*G2675- to render, i.e. to fit, sound, complete; repair what is broken or rent, to complete
   to fit out, equip, put in order, arrange adjust, prepare
   ethically: to strengthen, perfect, complete, make one what he ought to be
*G4741- to make stable, place firmly, set fast, fix
   to strengthen, make firm, render constant, confirm one’s mind
*G4599- to make strong, strengthen (of one’s soul)
*G2311- to lay the foundation, to found, make stable, establish

I would like very much to be more mature in the Lord, constant in faith, strong against the enemy and stable on a strong foundation of Jesus Christ.  How about you?  I am convinced that all is possible if we diligently seek after Him!

To him be glory and dominion
for ever and ever.

1Pt. 5:10,11

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Faith in Following

     Have you ever followed someone whose eyes are covered when your eyes are also covered?  It’s kind of scary.  You know if they could see they would lead you carefully through all obstacles and dangers, but since they are blind too, it could mean BIG trouble.  The thing is, neither one of you can see what lies ahead, so how can you trust that all will be fine…

     I actually think I’ve been treating God with the same lack of trust that I would a blind guide- even though I know better. God has always been (Jn. 2:2) and sees all (Hb. 4:13) from the beginning from the end (Is. 46:9,10). He knew my first breath even before my conception and He knows my last (in this flesh); and as He watched Adam in the garden of Eden and Jesus on the cross, so He already sees Jesus coming again. His ways, His knowledge is far beyond our comprehension (Jb. 36:26; Is. 55:8,9). So, why do I not trust Him the way I should?  Because I can’t see what lies ahead…  Silly me!

And when Jesus passed on from there, two blind ones followed Him, crying and saying, Son of David, have mercy on us. And when He had come into the house, the blind men came to Him. And Jesus said to them, Do you believe that I am able to do this? They said to Him, Yes, Lord. Then He touched their eyes, saying, According to your faith let it be to you. And their eyes were opened. And Jesus strictly charged them, saying, See, let no one know. But going out, they made Him known in all that land. Mt. 9:27-31

     These two men followed Jesus- literally blindly. They knew Jesus could take care of them. They cried out to Him for mercy. They followed Him into somebody’s house. That’s boldness ‘cause I don’t know if I’d walk into someone’s house without being invited… They believed He could help them, and so they weren’t letting Him out of their reach. They came to Him. Jesus opened their eyes, and they went out proclaiming His deeds.

     My life (condensed) so far:

Okay Jesus, I believe so I’ll follow. Wait, I want to sin for a while. Gosh, I'm sorry and I'm back. Wait again, it looks better on the other side. ... I’m back again- this time for good. Oh, you didn’t do what I expected so I’m mad at You. … I’m sorry. I was wrong and I’m back again. Why do You hate me so much that You allow all these crappy things to happen. … I was wrong; I’m back again … I don’t understand, still I’ll follow. I don’t fully trust, but I want to. … Help. I’m tired of messing up. Will I ever be faithful? God help me- for I cannot do life without You!

     Okay, so it’s not comfortable here, but it will be okay now because You are with me. Thank You. I don’t need to see or know as long as I remember that You see and know and You will do as You see fit in my life and in other’s.

And since I know I am unable to maintain this walk with You in my own strength, please give me the faith I need to follow You wherever You lead.

And the strength to actually follow.    

I love You Lord,