So, today is a monumental day. For many reasons.

I am going to take a little different writing approach, as I share today. 

Broken into Beautiful. 
From Mourning and Sadness into JOY. 

 

Just two weeks ago, we celebrated Easter; 

Our biggest celebration of LIFE – everlasting life because of what Jesus did for us. 
(if you are unaware of those details, PM me, and I’d be glad to share, otherwise, I do believe most know what Salvation is, and what Christ came to do for the WORLD). 

In my studying this morning, I was reading about Saul / Paul. A Jew that persecuted those who followed Jesus, was blinded for a few days. The Lord sent Ananias (who very well may have been afraid to confront Saul because of his distaste for the Lord and his followers, and was willingly ready to kill them). But God in his amazing and most wonderful might, power and knowledge, knew Saul would turn from his wicked ways and serve Christ with ZEAL as he was filled with the Holy Spirit. 

Paul suffered much; the scourging and persecution once he became vocal as he shared who Jesus was. 
God showed him what to do, what would happen, all for the sake of sharing HIS story with US today, through the Bible. Paul was a great example for us. 

The shadow of life bring darkness, but behind it all, there is LIGHT. Be the Light in a dark world

Imagine, scales fell off of Paul’s eyes after being blinded. A representation of the old turned to new. Scales like a fish skin, is what I imagine it to be like. maybe even similar to an eye that the cataract has gone bad. Take the old lens off, to put a new lens on. (Acts 9). 

Saul’s(Paul’s) conversion was huge when he left his worldly view point to serve the Living Christ. HUGE. The terrible things he did – murder, aggression, he was educated to the max, too smart for school, if you will.  
He was a fool. He admits to being a fool. He was simply bad to the bone. 

Yet, let’s take a moment to define foolish thinking in the worlds view, vs. being a fool for the Lord. (Yes, the Bible talks about bein’ a fool – quite a few times). Paul talks about his own life in Philippians 3:1-9, and 1 Tim. 1:12-17. When we place our trust and faith in our education to get us through life, or our spouse, family members, friends, or our job, type of home we live in, the brand of car and clothing we utilize – we loose. 

——> We are lost. The stuff we accomplished becomes prideful and boastful to ourselves to say ‘LOOK WHAT I HAVE DONE. look what I HAVE ACCOMPLISHED’… me me me mememememmemeemmemememememmemeME!!!!!! (insert shaking head). 

When we (and yes, it is OK to get a degree, have a nice house and things, as long as they are not our PURPOSE to define us, it is a fine line!); loosen those ‘things’ from your soul, and simply use them as a tool, too trust God with ALL our being, it is THEN faith grows. 

When we LIVE in God, his direction, are guided by HIS word, His love, and allow the Holy Spirit to guide us, then we GAIN the world. Because it does NOT have a hold on us. 
Because when we can loose our stuff to not hold us down, we become vulnerable. 

Let’s be honest, WHO LIKES being vulnerable? N.o.b.o.d.y.!!!!!!!

Paul began to BOAST in his weaknesses; guys and girls, WE ALLLLLLL HAVE WEAKNESSES!!!!!!!!!!! Yes we do.  
But, God! He tells us in the Scriptures, that through suffering, through trials, through the junk we live through, IF WE LET God HELP IS, we can boast of what HE DID IN us and through us. 
When we live through tough stuff, and we run into the wisdom and care of our Father, through Jesus and being guided by the Holy Spirit, we win. We become fools for Christ because the WORLD lives in an economy of achievement and goals. In spite of the shipwreck, stoning etc, Paul’s faith did not waiver. 
Get that —— HE DID NOT WAIVER – he boasted with ZEAL of all God did for him. It is not what we do, but what God does in and through us, God GETS THE GLORY for OTHERS TO SEE! 

In spite of the bad God turns the junk to GOOD! 

Praise God!!!!!!!!!!!

Folks, I come to you today, on this 23rd anniversary of the sudden death of my husband who was only 38 when he died from the affects of a drunk driver. 

The month of April is still a solemn one, yet a joyful one. yes, it can be both. It is both. 

It’s a time of reflection. Hope. Tears. Smiles. Happiness and remembrances of how God in his mercy did the same for me, as he did for SAUL-PAUL. 

Just like LIFE. 

Life has GOOD AND BAD. Ups and downs. Joy and sorrow. Difficulties and easiness. 

We are living in this time of Coronna virus. A new thing that happened – supposedly quickly to our whole world. 

Lots of speculations and weariness happening to people.

I see tons of anger, denial, frustration, despair, worry, depression, confusion etc, as we live in a lock down which has been forced upon the healthy so as not to get sick. 

The world economy has stopped by maybe, 75% ish. People want to work. People want to be with family and do their thing. 

But it is an awakening. A shifting if you will.

The why questions are many. One big question I hear often is why would a good God let this happen to us? 

Why? 

Why did Jesus get scourged, beat, spit on, screamed at, accused, etc – HE WAS THE INNOCENT LAMB !!!!!! Why did HE HAVE TO feel the pain he did for YOU ?????? WHY? 

What did I do that He would love ME so much he would die for me? 
#perspective

I say all of this to come to these points: 

This situation we are in today, is a time to pull away, take the free time you have and pray. Seek God. Ask forgiveness so you have salvation, and the opportunity to become whole. A time to learn the Bible and what it says for your life. 
Change is needed. 

let me say that again. C.h.a.n.g.e is NEEDED within each of us. Including me. Yes, in you too! We all are weak, but by God’s grace, we can live like Paul with zeal for Christ. 

Guys and Gals: here is the bottom line: 

As I “celebrate” my husbands HOME GOING anniversary, I miss him, as I do my Liz, and others who have left this earth. I do NOT want them to come back to earth. This earth has NOTHING for us. they enjoy heaven and ALL it’s glory vs the ugliness in this world. 

This life, guess what: It is TEMPORARY.

Put it in your mind, one day we ALL die. 

Whether it be from a virus, disease, drunk driver, cancer or __________. 

You and I will die one day. 

Grief is real. 
When you love much you grieve much. 

Grief never goes away, it just simply shifts your life as you (hopefully) will appreciate and rejoice in the good things you shared with the loved ones. You can reflect and talk about memories, and even shed tears. It’s all OK! 

So, wherever you are today, in your pride, accomplishment’s or in your humble spirit, every day, I, you, all of us, have to wake up, as God to forgive us of our yesterday’s junk in the trunk. May the bad be washed and cleansed as we begin today, whole, forgiven, living in peace with NO fear of any virus, government, lack or any other thing. God is with us, whom shall we fear? No one. 

Let the zeal of the Lord live in each of us, even on days like today, where we think of loved ones who have gone before us. 

#AuntGeri #Brian #Liz #Loren #Doris #Cindy #Mom #Dad and all others ….. they rest in His care. Praise you Jesus. 

May we live strong, wise and bold for Christ. Amen!

What a great visit to LW Christian Church in New Lenox today. The sermon started with this song by Ray Charles….(you don’t know me), a good song, but kinda sad… right? Which is a thought provoking topic to really think about as we ponder such a topic. I’m going to indulge and share even more of my thoughts with what the pastor shared today. It’s kinda important stuff this relationship thing!!!!

The crowd – does anyone really know me?

Ponder it. Do you know me? Do you know your “friends”, “acquaintances”, “family/relatives”, “neighbors”, etc? Probably not as much as you think. We usually just know the surface things. Stay with me here… I’ll dig a bit deeper……..

Most of us who have been around for awhile get it. We know that there’s no perfect relationship. We misunderstand, love, like, mistreat, take for granted, get snarky and so on. (We won’t dive into the real ugly ~ for the sake of not going down a negative bunny trail!). What I will add here, is that we must keep in mind, that once sin came into the world, we needed a Redeemer. Adam and Eve broke the perfect plan by eating the apple. So…. we know all people are fallen, sinful and live in the flesh. With that said, we know that some are just nicer folks than others. This brings to a head, grace, mercy and honesty to all. Communication (appropriately executed) is key to keeping relationships running as smooth as possible. We “soulfully join our spirit with others”.

Relationships are work. This is something we really need to emphasis to our children when they are young and formative. It’ll save a lot of hurt and pain later down the road, learning how to build relationships.

If at best, we might have one or two super close people in our life. But we can work on improving such associations and live as peacefully as we can, because we need each other more than we need technology. God made us for relationships. (I will add, there are some times that we need to remove ourselves from volatile people who refuse to work at communications and developing themselves and with others. Another topic for another day).

We usually show most of our colors of the rainbow as we spend time with people. Those we work with, the family we live with; they know our idiosyncrasies, the outline of our lives, what we eat, our families etc. That’s a pretty close relationship over all. But even closer is that of our spouse, children and parents. BUT, sometimes those closest to us don’t see or like when we stretch out into new waters. New goals, new things we do to improve and grow, make others nervous, jealous and so forth. So, communication is key, being open and honest).

I tell the story in my new book “Forever Hope”, how God brought me to this little podunk town back in 1970, as a young girl, to meet my best friend. We became soul sisters. I never imagined the depth of care, concern, love, fun, and joy in having someone that never condemned, no jealousy, and never had an argument. We had fun together, we laughed, we cried, and grew in each season of life together. In all my relationships in life, no one matched the level she and I had. We could sit quietly with no words for long periods of time. We could talk, fix people, fix each other ( or try to at least, lol). We often talked how rare it was to have a long lasting relationship with no boats rocked – never! We loved each other for who we were. And we were opposite in many ways.

But the bigger point in this story, is twofold. Without God, we cannot love others.

Matthew 22:36-40 
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. … then to love others as you love yourself.

We cannot love others when we struggle with our own issues. We need to be whole and not the master of our own destiny. God planned our lives out before we were born! The only way to work that out in this world is to break the cycles. Be honest with yourself and the shortcomings. It is a work in progress for our WHOLE life. Cuz once we conquer one issue, we gotta get to and through the next. Take care of you by running to the Father. Asking for forgiveness through the blood of Jesus.

This chapter explains it perfectly. Stop and reflect as you read it. Know that the power of God is in you, on you and with you. Reach into HIS heart and let him enter into your heart……

Psalm 139

You know me Lord

You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.

If only you, God, would slay the wicked!
Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.
Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord,
and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.
Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 139:17 Or How amazing are your thoughts concerning me

God is with us each moment of each day. He is ever present, and knows everything in our mind and heart before we even act on it. Reaching for eternity is key. The promise is the most important relationship we have. God first, others then ourselves. But we need to be sure to wake up each day, seeking forgiveness when we fall short, make mistakes, say things we should not have, loose the temper etc etc etc. God loves us. He loves YOU. He is personal and generational. he loves the young, and the old and the in-between! His promises are for all of us. No matter where you go, no matter what you do. No matter the struggle. Seek God. Talk to him like you’d talk to your soul mate. If you don’t have a soul mate, you know how to imagine that relationship. God is that and a bag of chips! 🙂

May we be kind to ourselves, which in turn will turn into kindness to others. May our lives be a double fold blessing to everyone we meet. Even if they don’t want to accept the gift of joy, love and happiness.. those are the ones who are lacking love most. Pray for them.

People need to know you care. People need the Lord. You are showing HIS love in a tangible way when taking the time to say a hello, get to know someone on a deeper level. Spend time together. Make a difference today! Don’t let people be faceless and alone. Let’s promise to dig deep with the help of our Savior, who will show us how to build each relationship in its unique way. God is faithful to help us.

Catch the truth of God and ALL he has for you in this day and time. Be sure to read the Bible every day. Pray every day… even if it’s on the way to work. you can speak outloud or quietly in your mind. God hears your heart.

Prayer: Lord God, I need you, every hour every day. You know me well. And I admit I need you more than breath itself. Help me today within my own life. Heal my body, my mind and my heart. I need to release some things so I can be whole. you are the one who can do that. Forgive me for being short tempered, judgmental, and hurtful in words and actions. Help me to do better each day. Quicken in my soul when I am about to go to a dark bunny hole of sin. I repent. My heart wants to be joyful, live in peace, love and have mercy and grace that abounds from your heart, through mine. Thank you Jesus for all you’ve done for me. The Great I Am. God of all creation. I love you. Amen

If you are in the Lincoln Way area in Illinois, please check out LW Christian Church. they have two services each Sunday at 9 and 10:30. They have a wonderful children program, and it’s very family oriented. There’s lots of space, they are community minded and love Jesus.

Also, if you have lost hope and need some encouragement, whether it’s a prodigal family member, struggles with parents, unsaved loved ones, or you are grieving the death of a child or spouse, or friend, please grab my book on Amazon. Forever Hope, it offers encouragement and hope in spite of the struggles we have in life.

In the brokenness, loss, confusion, worn out spirit within me, I know with the confirming Word from the Lord a few weeks ago, spoke to me that the enemy wants to  kill, steal and destroy my life, my dreams,  & wreak havoc in my relationships. 

But with the Spirit of the Lord, there is freedom to #moveforward.
Going to Trust Him more ~ 
        ~ even with faith the size of a mustard seed 

 I am the head and not the tail, I am above and not beneath.

No harm can come against me,

because I am the light in a dark world, bringing the Truth of Jesus to those I meet. I can move mountains, the dreams that He planted within me will come to fruition, not by my might but by His purpose that lay within me.

 I will not die, I will live.

No doubt, no fear will rest within me, because Jesus came to give life in abundance.

Therefore, I will speak faith, life, wisdom, love, peace, joy  no matter where I go.
In brokenness, despair, is where  I  learn the most,  I will grow deeper in the Word. And ultimately can be used even the more to encourage those  I know, as I will be a living  example of God’s faithfulness, so those who know me will  see though  I  may walk through the valley of death, I have no reason to fear…ever! 
So, I hope that as you read this, you will never ever give up hope. Even in the worst, most difficult place you may be at….. Because, within each test of life, is an opportunity to take God at his Word, in His promises, he WILL bring HIS desire and plan to completion.

 He never leaves us nor forsakes us.

He is faithful, his love endures for a lifetime.
Press in – take him at his word. He loves you and I with such deep love, he gave his only Son to die for our salvation and to have us live eternally in Heaven, and live this life to fulfill a destiny that is unique and designed by God, so no enemy can ever take that hope or plan from us! Be encouraged today!!!!!!!!!   ♥♥ 
Receive is grace and mercy today – you will never regret it!
Let’s pray:  Lord thank you for your mercy and love each day. It is new and refreshing and lasts a lifetime. Thank you for hardships and challenges in this life, for they help me with becoming stronger in you and guides me/ us to live in the fruits of the spirit, which comes from you. You are so full of love for me, that you never let go. Be with each person who reads this, that they be encouraged to lean into you more and more – trusting you to guide our lives as we pray for wisdom. Love you so much Jesus! ♥ 
2 Corinthians 3: 16-18 but whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.
John 3: 16-  20  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not  perish but have eternal life.  ForGod did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.   Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.  And this is the judgment:  the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”
Psalm 129:2
“they have greatly oppressed me from my youth, but they have not gained the victory over me.
Deuteronomy 31:8  It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
2 Corinthians 4:8 NLT
We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair.
Psalm 23   The Lord is my shepherd, I  lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, and he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Isaiah 40:31
but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.


Isaiah 61:1
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,
Psalm 107:1   Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!

2 Corinthians 6:1-10 NIV   As God’s co-workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.3We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited.  Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love;  in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors;  known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.

Hebrew 4:16 ESV   Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

John 10:10 ESV  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.