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Tuesday, June 11, 2013


Do you know your purpose?  Why you were created?  Some of us are fortunate enough to figure it out as early as 5 years of age.  Others have to wait a little longer to discover their purpose.  Furthermore, some of us leave this earth without ever realizing our purpose. 

Do we all realize what it is we're supposed to do by the time we reach 5 years old?  Is it that some of us are just wired to focus on that purpose and more willing to move toward it, while others are too afraid to go there?  Is the decision ours or is it out of our control?

What does God say about purpose? 

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Proverbs 16:4 The Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble.

Romans 8:28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

Psalm 138:8 The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.

Colossians 1:16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.

Romans 11:36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

God seems to have a lot to say about purpose, which leads me to believe it is important.  The challenge is figuring out your true purpose.  What with all the distractions in this world, it's hard not to see why it takes some so long to figure it out. 

What do you do when you feel like you have no purpose? 

Ephesians 2:10 clearly states, "For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."

So whether we feel it or not, we all were created with a purpose.  Now to discover it...that is the challenge.  Our journeys are all different.  We are not all purposed for the same thing.  But one thing we can know is that we do have a purpose.  Even when it does not feel that way, it is important for us to remember that our feelings are fickle. No matter how we feel, it is up to us if we want to let them keep us chained down, or if we will let them go and move forward.  Trust in Him and what He says, not what you feel.

It is also important to remember that God said to ask, and it shall be given.  If we're not sure, we can go to God and ask.  We may have to wait on Him, but we must be confident that He hears us, and that He will respond.  Most importantly, we must remain confident that He can do all things but lie. 


Friday, March 22, 2013

How to Love

I confess.  I am flawed.  Sometimes I remember.  But usually I forget.  I've been saved now for almost 4 years.  It is hard to believe I've had a relationship with Christ for that long.  In some ways, it seems like it has been ages.  In other ways, it seems like it was just yesterday when I was convicted of my sins.
To this day, it still amazes me that with that incredible decision my life completely transformed, yet I continue to struggle with many of my old ways.
As I walk past someone I know is doing "wrong" this I mean, when I walk by someone I know is using illegal substances, or terrorizing people (they smile in my face, but I know what they're up to)...I feel my nose going up as the judgment oozes. 
Jesus said, "'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" Matthew 22:39.  This has been on my mind lately.  He first said to love God with all of our heart, soul and mind (Matthew 22:37).  Then He told us to love our neighbor as we love our self.  This one, He said is just as important to the first commandment.    
If I am loving others as Jesus said to, as I love myself, why am I turning my nose up at them and passing judgment?  When did I become so perfect???  And when did all of my flaws go away?  
Is that me being a reflection of Jesus?  No way...That's me being a reflection of a religious person.  This is what happens when I forget that I too am flawed.
1 John 4:20 takes it a step further stating, that if I say I love God, but I hate my brother, I am a liar.  Because how can I love God, who I have not seen, and hate my brother who I have seen. 
Now I'm more convicted.  Am I a liar?  Do I really not love God?  And how can I possibly love everyone all the time?  Especially those people that get on my nerves????
It all seems so hopeless when I think of it, and measure my own abilities.  But alas, here's the hope: Jesus.  Philippians 4:13 spells it out for me.  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. 
Jesus gives us hope, "With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God." Mark 10:27.  He is our hope.  When He gave us this commandment, He didn't do it to trick us.  He meant for us to follow it.  But He also knew that this was impossible for us to do on our own.  If we could do it on our own, why would we need Him?  If we don't feel like we need Him, why on earth would we bother having a relationship with Him?
But He wants a relationship with us.  He desires that more than anything.  And He gives a way out.  Because He knows we cannot love as we're called to in our own strength, He offers His.  All we need to do is ask. 
So now when I see some of those individuals I know that when I ask God to examine my heart and give me His eyes to see them, I am able to see something amazing.  God's creation that He loves more than I'm able to comprehend.  So much so that He sent His one and only son to die for. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Stumbling Toward Jesus

It has been a very long time since I've been back to this place.  I have often thought about coming back.  But something has kept me away for all this time.  It wasn't just one thing that kept me from coming here.  I had several excuses.  But here I am, once again.

After my Dad passed away, I felt this very intense ache in my heart to sit down and write.  I resisted this urge telling myself it would be too painful or that it would waste my time.  After Marcus and I spent 7 nights sleeping in our car, I knew I needed to do this.  It was more than a thought.  It was a calling.  So one day, while in the library waiting on Marcus to get off of work, I sat down and began writing. 

In order to keep my nerves in check for what I was about to do, I prayed first.  Then I began to write.  I was amazed how the words poured from my pen like a river overflowing.  Each day, I wrote.  Determined to get it all out. 

When I reentered the workforce, my writing slowed down.  Never far from my mind, my need to finish the book pressed on my insides like a dull, nagging ache.  So a year later, I made myself sit and write again.  I prayed, I wrote.  I looked over what I'd already written.  I made changes, I wrote more.  I took things out, and added other things.  I prayed more.  And I finished it.  The work is called, Stumbling Toward Jesus.  It is my testimony about the truly amazing work God has done in my life thus far.  It is my song of worship to Him. 

I wondered if I wrote it for myself.  As a way to heal.  Then I realized that was just the fear I had of sharing some of my deepest and and darkest moments with others.  I believe I was given an amazing gift in my writing.  Gifts are not meant to be hidden, but shared with others.  So without fear, I share my gift with you.

I always wanted to write a book.  I never thought it would be something like this.  Through this book, I'm reminded of God's promise from Romans 8:28, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called  according to his purpose."

I give God the glory and the praise for what He's done. 

Stumbling Toward Jesus!

I have been guilty of holding on to anger and bitterness longer than I should.  What was my purpose?  I am convinced that holding on to it made me feel like I had some sense of control in a situation where I had none.  Holding on to the anger gave me something in a situation where I felt I had nothing.  But what did it do?  Absolutely nothing.  Well...that's not entirely true.  It did do something.  But not exactly what I wanted it to do.  It wasted my energy.  It wasted my time.  It robbed me of my peace.  It hardened my heart.  It made me more like the opposite of who I want to represent: Jesus. 
I began asking God to fix the situation.  I asked God to give me peace about it.  Yet, I continued holding onto it when it seemed like nothing was occurring.  Or rather, when the situation seemed to go from bad to WORSE.  Have you ever been so consumed by anger that you feel you cannot breathe?  I have.  I have been so angry to the point that I feel I cannot think straight.  All I want is for the pain of that anger to go away.  Did you catch that?  Pain. Deeply rooted in anger is pain...sometimes the pain is hidden so deep we never recognize it for what it is. 
We feel someone has wronged us.  We feel we've been dealt a crummy hand in life.  We feel that after all of our mistakes we just can't seem to make things right.  It all hurts.  Regret, rejection, all leads to pain.  Left untreated, it can lead to anger.
Pain is uncomfortable.  So is anger.  When I feel these things, I don't want to deal with it.  I just want them to go away.  I want instant gratification.
If I ask for God's help, I need to trust Him.  The bible says, "...all things are possible to him that believes." Mark 9:23.  If I ask, yet I take matters into my own hands when I see something related to the issue that stirs up anger within, am I really trusting God?  Or am I, by my actions, telling Him that I know better than He does?
Trusting God is an act of surrender.  I hear God's still small voice telling me to let it go, yet I do not.  This holding on creates anxiety within me.  It stresses me out.  The bible also say, "Do not be anxious for anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7. 
So by giving God my requests, I have trusted Him with the issue.  I give Him thanks because I know He is in control.  Since my trust is in Him, I have no reason to experience anxiety or stress.  Because I know that He's got it, His peace guards my heart and my mind.  It guards my my mind from thinking ugly thoughts about those I'd otherwise be angry towards.  It guards my heart from allowing the pain to make me lash out at those same people. 
Furthermore, God's grace is sufficient.  "But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me."' 2 Corinthians 12:9.  God's grace can cover anything.  It is more than any amount of anger or bitterness we think we can harbor towards others.  Whether I believe it or not, it is a promise from God.  God is not a man that he should lie. Numbers 23:19.  He speaks the truth.  If I'm choosing to trust God, I have to know this and walk in it.
I also need to remember that I have a formidable foe, the devil.  He is a liar.  He prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour, 1 Peter 5:8.  He comes to kill, steal, and destroy, John 10:10.  So I have to be careful.  He will do whatever it takes to steal my peace.  He wants to destroy my hope and faith in Jesus.  He wants me to buy into his lies so that I can continue being a slave to the anger and bitterness.
I may not be able to defend myself on my own against that foe.  But I don't have to; because through Jesus, I am victorious.  Jesus defeated the enemy, and because of this I am free from sin.  Therefore, in those moments of holding on to the anger and bitterness, I must remember that my hope is in Jesus, and the freedom He's promised me through His blood shed.  I need only trust Him and!!!!