Me Vs. God

When I first came back to Canada, I had a pretty good idea of the things I needed and wanted to do. I was organized and focused on reestablishing my life. It would be a cinch. After being overseas for the greater part of a decade, I would secure employment, find a church and volunteer somewhere. As I already had a place to live, in my mind it was done, in a couple of months I would have my life under control. I have written before that what I think, what I want, what I need and how I will do it is all to often a far cry from what God has planned and what He knows that I need.

I see myself a bit like the apostle Peter. Without much of a plan or much thought we both would just dive in head first and accomplish the task. Peter was like, “Oh, I’ll never deny you lord”  and  “Hey, I’m going to walk on water, too.” Me, I’m like, “Move, job, church, volunteer, live.”

Just as Christ shook his head in bewilderment at Peter, he shook his head at me. We both needed maturity and guidance.

First, Jesus placed me in near isolation for 5 months. I didn’t plan this, I certainly didn’t want this, I needed a job. But no, Jesus sat me down to study, think and plan which was a totally new concept for me. During this time, I started this website to share my thoughts and new found knowledge.

Second, someone planted in my mind the big idea to clear out my stash of groceries and give them away. What! So, what am I going to eat? Hello, these groceries cost money and I don’t have a job yet! You can be sure this was not from me.

Third, Jesus sent me on a church shopping spree and after two strikes I found my new church home and family. Still no job and money is getting tight but Jesus thought church was more important.

Fourth, well of course, I need to be in a small group in addition to church. Now, why didn’t I think of that? Oh, I know, maybe I am seeing a real urgent need to find a job so that I could maybe say, EAT! Well God, You, know best and I do have all that I need and even more.

Fifth, I have absolutely no idea why I am volunteering, serving others and working for free when I really need a source of income. Once again, apparently, my priorities are not the same as God’s.

Sixth, finally step one of my plans was addressed. I have been hired and I scoop it up fast. I agree without thinking, it’s what immature young Christians do, right Peter?  I’m just so happy that I finally have employment. Why the heavy heart? Why the doubt? Where is this coming from? I quit my job the day before I was to start. Jesus said, “it’s not the one I have planned for you.”

Seventh, after a few weeks, more carefully this time, less eager about the money, I am called for an interview. Another two weeks pass and I accept an offer to work casual/part time, at minimum wage. Say what? Jesus said, “yes, this is the one.”

I work at a religious charity. I never worked as a casual employee but worked full time hours from the very first day. Within two months I was hired full time, after three months I was eligible for the societies health benefits package and received a raise in pay. I traveled for three weeks back overseas but most importantly I work with some really amazing employees, volunteers and board members, many of which I am now friends. Jesus brought about everything on my plan and so much more than I could have imagined but also in the perfect way. Money, which was my main concern cannot buy the blessings that God has given me.

Two Loves

I used to think I was Dr. Love. No one could love like me. Who could resist me, my money, my security, my guilty pleasures always satisfied? I had it all figured out and I bathed in it. I feasted on it and drank it until I became drunk, daily. I slept comfortably, soundly and secure in my lovely self. My obsession with self-love at quite a young age became an addiction for the better part of my life. I would never have stopped except this is where Jesus found me.

Why should I feel guilty, I mean you have to love yourself, right? The world loves themselves and I’m just another part of the world! How was my love different than others? How did it come about that I began to feel guilty for loving myself? Why was I picked out from the rest of the crowd? Jesus said, you did not choose me, but I chose you… (John 15:16 ESV {in part})

My inward love became draining, it was sucking the life out of me. It became too hard to hang on to. What I kept, just died, rotted and withered inside of me. Love was the poison I drank everyday of my life. Love within myself turned to greed and selfishness. I enjoyed taking but hated to give. When I gave, I always kept the best for myself and gave away the scraps. I would give just enough to the poor to satisfy any guilt I might have. When I became sick or suffered a loss of any type, it was the worst. Whatever others suffered; it was nothing compared to my sufferings. Self-pity reigned in my life. Love made me proud and my favorite topic was, me. A puffed up me beyond who I was. Everyone else was suppressed by my greatness. There was no chance to be as great as thou. My ideas were better, my achievements greater. What an enviable, stellar citizen I had become.      

Jesus stepped into my life suggesting that the gift of love was made, not to hoard but to be given away. He has shown me how the love I diverted into myself was love that I robbed from those around me. Love that was needed and desired by others to thrive and exist. All my selfish love ever did was create misery and suffering everywhere I went.

Every person who has ever suffered, been humiliated, grieved or hated has been deprived of love. Every person who is bitter, been dealt an injustice or is in despair has been the victim of a self-loving but outwardly loveless person of the world.

How often have we, the people of the world full of self-love known of an abused man, woman or child and stood by in silence? How many of us are so in love with our careers that we don’t have time or even try to make the time for a parent, a grandparent, great aunt or other past loved one, who sits alone loveless at home or in an old age home. How many of us self-loving fine and upstanding people know of someone who has committed suicide? How many of us proud individuals know of a family in need of food, clothing or simply some friendship, reassurance, or an invitation? How many beauty queens and self-proclaimed models loathe the fat woman, the disfigured man or the misbehaved child? How many times have you stood by as someone was reprimanded unfairly? Do you know the husband or wife who is cheating on their marriage? Do you know of someone in prison? What have you done about it?  How about the unemployed person? Have you thought how you could help by hiring him for a day, or referring her to an employer? Have you ever considered supporting the starving family overseas?

There are so many ways to feed our hunger for self-love and in every case, we support and contribute to pain, suffering, inequality, injustice, discrimination, grief, and hatred. The way I see it, self-love is the leading disease supporting the broken world we live in. And yet, we dare to blame God for allowing it all to happen. We say, why doesn’t He fix it?

We were made with love, by love and to love. We know it too, but we pretend not to.  1 John 4:7-12 NIV

Earth is our classroom and it’s here where we must learn to love, not ourselves but God and each other. If we learn well, train ourselves in the subject and carry out God’s plan, then our final examination upon death will be easy. There are two loves and I have discovered that to choose between them is to really live. 1 John 2:10-11 NIV Will you choose to love yourself or to love God and one another? Matthew 6:24 NIV

Personal Improvement

There’s a real gem of a book that I discovered a couple of years ago, a real treasure chest of true to life situations that I easily related to. It’s as though it were written specifically for me and I’m willing to bet that anyone who reads it will have the same life changing experiences that I have had and continue to have. 

 Truthfully, I’ve known about this book ever since I was a child. My Great Grandma Ribey poured over the pages of this exceptional guide book. It’s actually a series of books. I suppose she found it particularly helpful in her frail condition. When I knew her, she couldn’t have weighed more than 90 pounds except for the heavy iron leg braces she wore to keep her polio crippled legs from twisting in all directions. Passed down to my Grandma Dorothy, once again every page of this collection was turned, re-read and referenced over and over. I’m guessing she needed the self-help advice and guidance contained within its chapters to help her through her tough times. Her alcoholic, womanizing husband left her with four children and her crippled mother to care for throughout the, “Great Depression”. My mother took up this book next. She benefited from the information presented in it and even consulted copycat versions of it. However, they were not nearly as helpful as the originals. She co-raised a family of three after spending a day caring for the mentally ill in a provincial hospital.  As for me, well I’ve never needed to pick it up. I have always had my life all together and done just fine on my own. I didn’t need any advice telling me what to do, how to live or to behave.

My perfect self-guided life began to crumble when I began and stumbled through a long and miserable divorce and custody battle. This was followed by the unexpected loss of my secure, high paying job that moved out of the country. I entered into several adulterous relationships. By the way open relationships do not work. World travel with a, “I don’t give a rats bottom end”, what it cost attitude, depletes your savings accounts pretty quickly. I was taken advantage of financially, again, and after having my life’s goal and my only dream crushed before my eyes with no chance of recovery, it was time to crack the cover on this collection of personal improvement books that my family has used time and time again.

This book has changed my life forever and I am convinced it will change yours too. Not just your life but anyone’s, who reads it word for word, cover to cover. If you’re anything at all like me you’ve already denied that you need any help managing your life. You will most likely continue to deny yourself the information you need in this collection until you fall flat on your face and then remember reading this blog.  

I understand your fear of giving in and picking up copies of this self-help series. We’re greedy self-centered people by nature. The world tells us on every front, it’s all about me. Get all you can, get as much as you can, get it now and get it free. Have it your way, (Burger King) You deserve a break today (McDonalds)  I deserve the best, I deserve to have whatever I want, when I want it, how I want it and who I want it with. Why should I waste my time reading books that I am convinced will advise me that I can’t have what I want and that I must give up the joys and pleasures I get from my selfish desires.

By now you have probably figured out that I am referring to “The Living Word of God” (“The Holy Bible”) Look, if you’re sick and tired of the empty wisdom of society, if you’re going down in a spiraling ball of flames, if you’ve just recently survived a face plant at the bottom of the barrel, get into the word until the word gets into you. Get your hands on a Bible.  

It’s taken me the better portion of my life to wise up and that was only after I crashed and burned. Don’t follow my life of misguided pride, and my mister know-it-all world wisdom attitude.  Don’t wait to be thrown off your horse. You can avoid a lot of pain, anguish, embarrassment, and suffering if you will just take my advice and begin reading the owner’s manual of life. You’ll save hundreds on self-help books, or thousands on a psychologist. All the answers you need are recorded in God’s word.             

I’ve learned after reading through the Bible a couple times now, that I have had to give up very little. What has happened though is my values have changed. I experience a peace I never had before and I sleep soundly all night, every night. I hardly ever worry about anything. I agree and support the teachings and at the end of the day I am a much happier, joyful, content, gracious, truthful, loving and understanding person than I ever was before. The choices I make are so much better and I don’t have to retreat and eat my words any longer.    

The most interesting way I have found to read through the Bible has been this past year as I have read it in chronological order. You can find the order here. https://www.blueletterbible.org/dailyreading/PDF/1Yr_ChronologicalPlan.pdf

Get started today!

Number Eight of the Big Ten

God made a set of laws for us to follow. Ten straight forward, easily understood rules. All we have to do is obey ten simple commandments and we’re in God’s good books. Easy peasy, I mean how hard can it be to obey 10 rules? Well I don’t know about you, but I’ve failed at each and every one of them uncountable times throughout my life.

I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and savior and he paid the most expensive fine ever levied for my breaking these rules. The only acceptable payment would be the blood sacrifice of a perfect lamb. Jesus was the only perfect man to ever have walked on this planet, and he dirtied himself with my sins. He took all the blame for what I committed and paid my fines in full with his life, setting me free.

 Do you know how I repaid Jesus for this blessing of all blessings, for his suffering and his death? I went right ahead and broke every one of the ten commandments again, and again, and again. Have you done the exact same thing as I have? Thank goodness for us, that Jesus paid for “ALL” of our sins. That’s every broken rule from our past, every sin we committed today and every commandment dishonored in the future. “ALL” sins.

Today, I want to address commandment number eight. “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” Plain and simple, I am not to lie. Do I ever lie?  No, not ever! That was a lie about not lying. God is truth and we are to honor Him by not lying.

I have another skeleton in my closet and it was born from a lie. A lie that needs to be brought out into the open so that I can be more at ease with myself. A lie that I am tired of carrying around. A lie that threatens to be discovered. A lie that will surely tear down my integrity.

This particular lie started off as a way to avoid recurring suffering and pain when individuals innocently stirred up the single most painful unforgiven catastrophe of my life. The one I tried to ignore, bury and hide. My divorce. I did the complete opposite of what the apostle Paul advised in Ephesians 4:31 NIV

All it took was a few inquisitive words to set me off, like; Are you married? Where’s your wife? Did your wife come with you? Is she here? Why didn’t you bring your wife? I’d really like to meet your wife someday! To which I would reply, “I am divorced, I don’t have a wife”. Now that should’ve been the end of it, but no. Then the inevitable questions would come, the looks of disappointment, the prying, and sometimes I swear people just like to dwell on the misery of others so they can feel better about their own messed up lives.

These questions would expose the hatred I had stored up inside which provided fuel for the questioner to pour back onto the fire they just fanned into full flame. Oh dear! I’m so sorry! Oh my, what happened? Whose fault was it? How long has it been? You must be so lonely! Do you have children? How are they taking it? Is there anything I can do? What advice do you have about divorce? So now that you’re available, I have this friend…. Will you marry again?

These thoughtless replies and digs would bring back to memory all the greed, deceit, accusations, cheating lawyers, unfair statements, concocted self-purposing lies and financial loss. They would cost me weeks of sleepless nights, again, as I battled with my fury. One day after about four years of this malarkey I came up with the reply, “I’m a widower, my wife was killed in a car accident.” The inquisitive person is usually too shocked and too embarrassed to ask any further questions. An apology is usually offered, a little sympathy poured out and then they shuffled off on their way. This was brilliant. Why didn’t I think of this sooner? Thus a lie was born.

Over time, questions concerning the death of my wife surfaced here and there and I unthinkingly provided quick answers to satisfy whoever was asking and to protect my claim. The lie was expanding and becoming more and more detailed, morphing into a hybrid. I repeated the hybrid lie so many times that it became a reality in my mind. Psalm 119:29 NLT I could still hate her, despise her, slander her in my heart and deny that she ever hurt me as deeply as she did. She was where she belonged, murdered, dead to me, out of my life. The hybrid lie also replaced disappointment and shame with the sympathy I desired. No one ever upset me again and I was at peace. Or, so I thought.  

This hybrid lie has retarded my life and my ability to move forward. Thirty eight years later I still had not forgiven my estranged wife as I never needed to. With the help of the Holy Spirit I realized the weight I was carrying and the need to offload it. All this time I have tried to hurt her by not forgiving her, but she doesn’t even care or know. I have only been hurting myself.  

Exposing myself, to rid my soul of this heavy burden would be a lot easier if I could be guaranteed that no one that I knew, would ever read this blog. All of my very nearest and dearest friends, many of my acquaintances and even my pastor have given me their sympathy which I accepted wrongfully. I have abused their love and care for me. Now I risk losing their friendship and their trust. I am trying to establish myself as a man of integrity and this certainly does not lend itself to my efforts.     

I never intended to hurt anyone but have succeeded in hurting everyone. Now it’s out in the open. I can start to breathe once again. Satin will not be able to derail me by exposing this secrete. I have exposed it myself.

It all started with one tiny little lie. I’m a widower!       

Exhumation of a BIG Skeleton

There’s a skeleton in my closet that has to leave. Excess baggage that’s weighing me down and I’ve slugged it around for 30+years. The skeleton is the bitterness, shame, hatred and unforgiveness  from a very, very toxic and painful divorce.

If you are leaning toward a divorce, listen up. Think twice and consider any alternatives. Do your research and know in advance what you’re getting yourself into. Especially if you have children. Consider what the Bible has to say about divorce. Mark 10: 6-9 NASB, Matthew 19:6 ESV, Ephesians 5:21-33 ESV. I encourage you to seek out faith based marriage counseling. Talk to your pastor or any pastor. Your marriage can be rebuilt and restored. I strongly recommend prayer and asking for spiritual help. James 1:5 NLT, 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 NLT.

If you choose to divorce let me give you a heads up and express what I went through. I suffered stress, emotional anguish and trauma, financial stress, bankruptcy, mental exhaustion, unwarranted damage to my integrity. I watched my children being used as pawns and bargaining chips without any regard for their feelings. Resentment, bitterness, being treated unfairly, badly damaged and broken friendships and family relationships. I was constantly on the defense. Anger, exclusion, isolation, depression, sleep deprivation, disappointment, false accusations, suicidal thoughts and attempted suicide. Greed and selfishness, mental and physical abuse, loss of identity, low self-esteem and shame.

Your divorce will have long lasting effects not only on yourself but on innocent loved ones. Your divorce will be far reaching and affect others that you cannot even imagine. Other people in your community, at your place of work and anyone you are in contact with, directly or indirectly. When you get into it you will not be able to think rationally or clearly. Your future will be so blurred by the smoke that reaching tomorrow will be your future goal. One day at a time will be your new reality for a long, long time.

After all this, the resentment I felt turned me into an unrecognizable me. I became a miserable, angry person. I hated all women to point of even questioning my own mother’s treatment of my father. No one wanted to be around me. I didn’t want to be around me. After unsuccessfully attempting to commit suicide for the third time I again sought professional help and that is when the bitterness set in. To think that I came so close to exiting this life in order to escape the cruelty I was suffering and then that led to the inability to ever forgive.

Sadly, I now see that my unforgiveness had absolutely no effect on the perpetrators. But it has held me back, bogged me down, held me prisoner and cost me 30+ years of my life. Only through much prayer have I finally reached the point where I am now able to let go of this skeleton.

With the love and guidance of the Holy Spirit who lives within me; To my ex-wife, I forgive you. To my ex-wife’s lawyer, I forgive you. To the one particular judge who was obviously a friend of my ex-wife’s lawyer, I forgive you for your ridiculous judgment that by the way never happened because of its absolute absurdity.  To the multitude of friends, family, co-workers, and acquaintances that were coerced to join in on the feeding frenzy against me, I forgive all of you.

Although I was not a follower of Christ at the time, God witnessed all that was said and done. I hand over this incredible burden, once and for all. I’m not carrying it any longer. It is now in God’s hands for Him to judge and deal with as He sees fit.

With God’s guidance, I am so ready to start planning the rest of my life.

Are you up to going through a divorce? Will you be able break the chains that imprison you afterward?  

A Limited Time to Live

Well here we go again. What a month of revelation it has been. Never before, have I had so many dreams, thoughts, and circumstances open up before me. All of these, I’m sure are God’s way of confirming what I have learned by reading His word, studying daily devotionals, attending Bible studies and church services.

Once again, and I believe it was just prior to my waking, I had another experience. I don’t know anything about dreams and dreaming or when they occur but I suppose it’s always just before waking up because that’s when all of mine seem to have happened. Well anyway, this time my encounter wasn’t a dream but more of a suggestion and recommendations. I wasn’t being addressed by anyone specific but by an invisible voice that just came out of nowhere.  Like you would expect might come from a spirit. Holy smokes, just as I finished writing that last sentence, I realized my first dream was with, The Son, Jesus, my last dream was with The Father, God, and now this one is from, The Holy Spirit. The Holy Trinity, all three have now spoken to me at three different times. Not exactly in the order we are used to hearing them presented, The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit. A while ago I did have a dream from The Father which would place these occurrences in the order of how we address the Holy Trinity. I haven’t written about the first because I am still struggling to share and how to share the content of that one.

This time, I heard, “what if I told you that you only have a limited time to live?” I was speechless. I believe God has a sense of humor but I don’t believe He would joke about death. It was dead quiet (no pun intended). I was a little panicky and a hurricane of thoughts was quickly accelerating in my mind.  Why? What is it? What’s wrong? When? The reply was, “It doesn’t matter why and there’s nothing wrong. It’s time, and it will be today.  Zowza! “I strongly suggest, you get your thoughts in order and carefully plan your time.” I don’t remember being afraid but in a panic, I just couldn’t seem to set any priorities. As quick as I thought of one thing I thought of another that was more important. Many were of no importance at all. Needless to say I woke up a little disturbed. The thought followed me all day long.                                                                                                                                                     

If today were the last day of your life and you just found out about it, what priorities come to your mind?  Okay, here, let’s make this real. An out of control car, comes speeding around the corner, hits you and sends you flying. You’re lying on the pavement, a small crowd of people are gathering around and you hear someone call out, “call 911.” You don’t really notice any searing pain but you know you’re really messed up. Instinctively, deep down inside, you know, this is it. What would be your priorities?   How exactly would you prepare for eternity?                                   

Now is the time to get your house in order. It’s time to get all your ducks in a row. We have absolutely no idea when our number will come up. Jesus can return at any moment, nothing has to be wrong. How long do you have? A year, a month, a week, days. In this scenario a day at the most, possibly only an hour or just minutes.                                                                                            

We’ve got to make this good and it has to be right. Are you going to be thinking about all the material things you’ve accumulated? All that money you’ve invested, in your stocks, mutual funds, bank accounts and in your pension plan. Guess what? You’re not taking it with you. How about your car? You’re not taking that either.  Not your home; your shoes, clothing or jewelry. I think we can throw out any ideas of making material items a priority. How about your career, you know the job you put before your family. How about your gym membership, the “Golf Club,” your baseball team or your booked vacation? Sorry! You won’t be going anymore; your friends and acquaintances will figure it out on their own. So, we can throw out your social life. What’s left?

I’ve given this some pretty serious thought. Without a moments delay I want to be sure that I am right with my savor, Jesus Christ.  Dear Lord Jesus, come down from heaven and please take my hand. I’m sorry for any sins I may have or have committed today. Thank you for giving up your life for the likes of me and thank you for paying the penalties for my sins. Thank you, that my sins have been forgiven. I forgive everyone who has ever sinned against me. I’m yours Jesus and I look forward to following you to my new home up above. Please stay with me until this life ends. In your name, A Men                   

If I still had some time left I would then want to make sure my family and friends were sure of their day of reckoning. If I had the time to go to them or assuming they would come to me, I would ask them to join me in prayer. I would pray that each of them would place their trust in Jesus and on the spot confess their sins, promising to try their utmost to continue sin free. I would pray that each one would offer up their own lives and ask Jesus to become their shepherd, their life coach or manager. I would not want anyone to be sad for me but to be happy and know in their hearts I will soon be in heaven. Goodbyes would be appropriate while there was time.

Spiritually, are you ready? Are you sure of your destination? Will your family and friends be joining you in the future? There’s time.

House Cleaning with, “The Holy Spirit”

Before seeking Jesus, confessing my sins, asking for forgiveness and asking him to take over my messed up life, it was not uncommon for me to wake up for several hours in the middle of the night. I would awake enraged with anger over some issue that occurred the previous day, week or even months and sometimes years earlier. I would be so upset that it would take me hours to get back to sleep. I could never solve the angering problem and most often I would watch television or read a book until I could be distracted enough or calmed down enough to return to bed and finish what was left of the night.

Sometime soon after seeking and asking Jesus to take charge in my life, I had my first encounter with The Holy Spirit. I didn’t know it at the time but hindsight is 20/20. Now I understand some of the gifts of The Holy Spirit that Jesus gave to me when I reached out to him and accepted him as my Lord and Savior.

The encounter was right after I woke up in a fit of anger. At first I dove right into the problem, swinging and kicking, thinking of what I should have said and should have done at the time, muttering profanities under my breath. Then, when I realized I was losing the battle yet again, I got this idea to ask Jesus for his help. I explained what was going on and that I was the victim and needed his help. What happened next was pretty amazing. That problem dissipated and in no time at all I was lying back down and dozing off to sleep.

What a great idea I had. Why didn’t I think of it a long time ago. I had heard talk about The Holy Spirit but I had no idea where he fit into the grand scheme of things. The only things I understood was God is the creator and Jesus is our Savior. I figured that I had discovered all on my own that the way to beat these Satin antagonized bouts of anger was for me to remember to ask Jesus to help me. I’m not sure who tipped me off that it was not me that thought to go to Christ for help, but that it was actually The Holy Spirit that gave me the idea and prompted me to stop fighting and leave it for Jesus to battle it out. He is my shepherd and protector.

It must have been the better part of the first two years of my becoming a Christian before I stopped trying to deal with my sleep time anger problems on my own. Then realizing that to avoid defeat all I had to do was run to Jesus and let him settle the score. No one has ever accused me of having a thin cranium. There’s some pretty dense bone and matter up there that makes it pretty difficult for knowledge and experience, to break through and take up residency.

At about the two and half year mark as a Christian I had finally learned that The Holy Spirit was a gift from Jesus and that he actually lived right inside of me. I had begun to communicate with him one on one, and prayed, and gave thanks to him right along with Abba and Jesus. The Holy Spirit has taught me to recognize when I am under attack and when Satin has begun throwing old wounds at me. When I fail to react right away The Holy Spirit gives me a nudge. I’ve learned to not even try to resist, but to run straight to Jesus immediately.

Psalms 139: 23-24 NLT : Search me, Oh God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

Up to a point I was always on the defense, reacting to Satin’s ploys. At some point the Holy Spirit turned the tables and we became the offense. I would pray to The Holy Spirit to dig out a piece of garbage that was lingering around inside me. He lived in me and who would know better the gunk that was in there than he. I would ask that he bring to my attention the pieces of baggage that he knew I would be able to handle. Those old unforgiven hurts were dragged out of the closets and presented to me, often in the middle of the night or early pre waking hours. I would wake up, realize what they were and take them to Jesus. I would pray with Jesus that I forgive this person for doing that to me, pray for healing in that person and then mentally with Jesus we would fold up that hurt, tie it up secure and we would throw it in the furnace and watch it burn until there was nothing left but ashes.

One day I tried to remember the hurts that had been tossed out. I planned to count them up and see how many we had gotten rid of. I could not for the life of me remember what the hurts were that we had tossed away. When Jesus takes on a sin it is washed away forever, once and for all.  It is hard to imagine that I had carried all that excess baggage, some of it for decades. Some of it was so old and so insignificant now that I had to laugh at the immaturity of it. How much needless stress did I put myself through by not forgiving these hurts at the time? How much energy and how much of my life have I wasted carrying all this unnecessary waste?

The Holy Spirit has done some serious housecleaning in me. He did not just dig out my hurt feelings but also grudges, jealousy and wrongs that I did to others and never apologized for (OUCH!) This housecleaning exercise is still underway to this day. I hate to admit it but there are still sins so embedded inside that it may be a while yet before they’re dislodged. Wounds and sins so painful that I have made up lies to cover them and to deal with them. Lies that I’ve convinced myself are true. Lies that I have convinced some of my nearest and dearest friends are true. For me, it is very important that I am able to present myself new to my friends and as clean as possible and new to the Lord.

I know Jesus washed the slate clean with his precious blood some two thousand years ago and I am not trying to buy my way into heaven because we cannot. With the help of The Holy Spirit and Jesus I can take a load of heavy weights off and live a much freer life that I am sure pleases our Father in heaven.  

Romans 6:13 NLT : Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourself completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God.

March 6th, 2019

 This morning I’m rolling over in my mind how many times I have placed my life in Jesus’ hands and then stepped out on my own to do things my way, regretted it and then jumped right back into Jesus’ hands again. I keep expressing to him that I trust him and I have the faith that he will lead me, continue to feed me and provide all of my needs. Jesus is my shepherd, my savior and provider. My faith is in him.

Then in the next moment I began to worry about where I’ll live, will I find a job, where will I find a job, will I have enough money to get me through until I do secure a job.

In the next moment I realize that, I don’t have faith in Jesus because if I did I would not be worrying. I ask Jesus to take away my worries and I ask that he will help me to build my faith in him.

I relapse and again begin to think about all the many things that I do not have and will need to start out on my own. I don’t have a mattress, sheets or a blanket, no table and a chair. What if there is no fridge or stove? I don’t have a pot or a pan to cook in or cutlery to eat with. I fret more and more while building the list so large that I have no sense of importance or priority on all of the items.

There I go again; destroying the faith I claim to have in Jesus.  Worrying my heart out and stripping my proclaimed faith right out from under him. I’m ashamed of myself and I say out loud, despite what you just heard, Jesus, I do have faith in you. I know in my heart that you love me and you will take care of everything, just as you always have. I apologize for flip flopping back and forth. Please remove my concerns and help me to trust you fully and have total faith in you.

What a week I’m experiencing! Everyday my daily verse has confirmed my prayers and conversations with the Lord. Every day I mull over the answers I have received and I tell Jesus that I want to trust him one day at a time. I want my faith in him to be strengthened issue by issue, one day at a time.

Why is it such a struggle for me to keep my faith in Christ? He has proven himself to me repeatedly. As if he ever had to prove himself to me in the first place. Who am I that Jesus should have to ever prove himself to me?

God brought me back to Canada to help my daughter and now there’s a reason for everything that is happening. I’m not ready for it but whether I like it or not, something’s up, I can’t stop it and it’s going to happen, whatever it is.

I switch my focus to Abba. I acknowledge He has a plan for me and I pray for His will, to be done in me. I tell Abba that I want to do what He wants for me, no matter what it is. Whatever He has planned it will be perfect in every way, how could I not want that? I can feel that I’m being moved forward and all I can really do is just hang on and enjoy the ride. Let’s see where I am let off this time.

February 7th, 2019

4:30 am    I wake up with all these evil thoughts going through my mind and after what seemed to be several minutes, I remembered who my savior is. I call on the entire Holy Trinity and plead to have these thoughts taken away from me. I ask for help to suit up and to be strengthened to ward off these attacks that are obviously from Satin. Almost immediately my mind is cleared and redirected. I begin thinking about all the good things God has given me and before I know it I have dozed off.

The next time I wake it is 5:30am. My mind is filled with ideas of how I can use Ginger my dog to reach out to children and others, introducing them to God as seen through Ginger’s mind and eyes. Quickly I get up so I can jot down as many of these ideas as I can remember. I have learned that these bits and pieces of inspiration can dissipate pretty quickly. Sometimes no matter how hard I try, I just cannot recall them. Even though the ideas I had would have been fantastic to share and possibly help strengthen God’s kingdom. They just slip away so fast and are lost. It’s like when you have a very detailed dream and then the next day you try to tell someone about it and all those details are jumbled up or are no longer there. The dream doesn’t make any sense and your friend is looking at you like a deer looking into the headlights of a fast approaching car.   

So, now I am wide awake and I prepare a grapefruit and some oatmeal for my breakfast. My beloved morning cup of java is brewed and that aroma, I swear just somehow adds to its flavor. After expressing my thanks for the many blessings I’ve already received, I’m now ready to settle down and start my morning quite time with Jesus.

Today’s, “Verse of the day” is Psalm 97:10 (NLT) You who love the Lord, hate evil! He protects the lives of His godly people and rescues them from the power of the wicked.

I don’t want to sound proud or smug but I am really not surprised that once again I can relate todays verse to my 4:30 AM wake up. I have come to expect some sort of a correlation between the events carrying on in my life and these daily verses. 

As soon as I finished reading the verse of the day I thought out load. If I can place my trust and faith in the Trinity when I’m dozy and half asleep and be immediately comforted, I can most certainly place my trust and faith in Jesus Christ all day long while I am awake and alert.

How do you not start a day like this without a wide, ear to ear smile on your face? When God speaks to me I can’t restrain myself from smiling and chuckling out load.

Today is going to be a great day!   


For, When You Have;

SINNED: Romans 6:23 (TLB) 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Psalm 51:5 (TLB) 5 But I was born a sinner, yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.

Do you have a scripture that you have memorized or turn to for a particular concern? Will you share it? Make this index of go to scriptures, your own.    E-mail me. I would love to add your favorite scripture here.    the2yochristian@finchwisdom.com    Subject Line:   Scriptures