Would You Like To Change?

Now that I have had some time to rest and get myself back together I have been on a real journey or should I say adventure. I have followed the Holy Spirit’s leading and I have been learning so much!

I joined a prayer group on face book which then led me to reading a book called Abiding in Christ by Andrew Murray. This book was written long ago which was so interesting to me how some one from the 1600’s could still minister to some one today. I highly recommend this book if you are ready to surrender your life to Jesus and want to experience real change in your life.  I learned that abiding in Christ is the only way the Holy Spirit can do His work. It’s not up to us to make ourselves change. We only have to surrender and He will do the work. I have been practicing this for a few weeks and I have been so happy with my progress!

It just so happened I watched a movie called Before I Fall. This girl has to relive her last day until she gets it right. Getting it right meant loving people as they are. Noticing every detail of what is around you. Savoring what is right in front of you. Telling people you love them and giving people what they need in that moment. If you were living your last day wouldn’t you want the people that you had contact with that day to remember you in a good way? We should treat everyone in the day as if it is the last time we see them. You never really know when your last day will be. I realized while watching the movie that if I’m abiding in Christ I will make these right choices. I loved it when she realized what she finally had to do to get it right. That morning she said for the first time she wasn’t afraid, she knew exactly what she had to do. She knew how to live this day well. We should all be getting up with this attitude. An attitude of excitement! An attitude of love. She says something in the movie while she is going through a lot of days over and over, she says no matter what I do it doesn’t change anything or what happens. But the last day when she gets it right, when she knows how to live the day, it does change. When we allow ourselves to be used by the Holy Spirit and we are walking in the Spirit then we are a catalyst for change. We change things to make them better. I want to live each day as if it’s my last and do good, walk in the Spirit, change things around me for the better and I will leave a mark of goodness.

I saw another movie yesterday called The Last Words. It’s about a lady wanting her obituary written before she dies. She finds out she wasn’t liked very much. She spends her last days changing herself because she wants her obituary to be true to how she lived in a good way. The girl who became her friend in the movie spoke at her funeral and she said  some stuff but she ended it with, all we really want is to not be forgotten.

I feel the same way. I want to live in communion with Jesus, make a lasting mark for Him and know I did my best. I also want God to change me. I want to be more like Jesus.

I have been meditating on that also. Jesus desires us to change after salvation. That is the essence of this article I guess. I want you to want to change. I want to change. Because when we do we win against evil! We have to choose the spirit life instead of the flesh life. The spirit life is the lasting life. It’s the only way to change and the only way to stay changed!

Pray The Psalms With Me, Psalm 4

This Psalm was written by David and has 8 verses. I believe it is about prayer, spending time with God and choices.

Prayer and choices have been very significant in my life lately. Following Jesus is not easy because it’s all about choosing Him. Our first choice in choosing Him is in our salvation moment. When Jesus is presented to us as Savior it is a choice to receive and believe Him. So, first I choose to believe Jesus is my sacrifice for my sin. I trust Him for this. I am then considered godly in God’s eyes because of my faith in Jesus. I have to choose to believe I am godly through my faith in Jesus. When I believe this I then will have faith that God hears and heeds my call. I will choose to spend quiet time with God to listen to the Holy Spirit’s leading and correction. This is the way to live a Spirit life and not the fleshly one. When I have thoughts in my head I will choose Truth over lies. Satan tries to get us to believe his lies over God’s Truth. We have to know and believe God’s Word and His promises over Satan’s lies. I will choose to give God the glory and honor and not seek my own. Vanity is evil, stay away from it. Choose to be searching for God’s goodness in my life and look for His shining face. Choose to make myself aware of God’s presence in my life and I will be joyful and rejoice over the abundance of goodness that He gives. I can rest and sleep in His peace when I really choose to trust Him with my life.

Prayer

Thank you for free will to choose. Help me stay aware of this fact so that I can always choose You. I only want a life that includes You and I only want the life that You have planned for me. Help me to live it out. Thank you for Your abundant goodness in my life and I value Your peace, I can’t live without it. You are my life! I will listen to You in quiet moments to be able to follow You. Amen.

Walking In The Light

I was put in an unexpected situation a little over a month ago. My mother in law was leaving rehab and my husband and I found ourselves having to be the ones to bring her into our home. He has other siblings but no one else would volunteer so since we follow the Lord, I felt God’s presence in this decision. I was happy to feel like I was doing something for God especially cause I knew I wanted to talk to her about Jesus. We said we would do this task for 10 days and then evaluate the situation from there.

We lasted 18 days taking care of her. Something I learned from her being in my house and having guests periodically was that I realized I was living in the light. The scripture came to mind, Live in the light as He is in the light. I explained to my husband that I wondered about that scripture in the past about what it really means to live in the light. I told him that it meant to me in that situation that I don’t have anything to hide.

I felt empowered by the Holy Spirit while she was here but during her stay I saw my husband slowly going down hill. When this happened I began losing it too. When I confronted his family and said we couldn’t do this anymore that my husband was dying we were laughed at and called names. I felt us drowning and they just pushed us deeper down. I had been praying for God to remove her because we couldn’t do it another day. In just a few days we had something happen with my son’s glass desk. It shattered! This happened when my mother in law was being brought back from an appointment. She wouldn’t allow my husband to see what happened. From all the stress that had already been building my husband lost it and called his brother to come get her. So her leaving was an abrupt occasion that we didn’t intend on happening.

When she left we were relieved but we got a lot of backlash from his family. We have been made to feel like hypocrites. They threw our walk with Jesus in our face. We have talked and we both have been feeling confused about the whole thing. We both have had to question our salvation and walk with Jesus. Through this past month I have lost my intimacy with God. I talked to my mom about it and explained that I know what I have to do to get back there but I can’t make myself do it. I thought getting back there was through writing, making my Bible Art Journals, reading the Bible, etc… But over the past couple days the Holy Spirit has revealed to me whats wrong.

It isn’t that we stopped taking care of her. I read in my Beth Moore book that if you pray for the cup to be removed and God does it then your in His will. If He doesn’t your in His will. I prayed for it to be removed and it was. Beth Moore emphasized that what is important is that we obey. I believe God gave us the grace for 10 days. I believe that was all we were meant to do. I couldn’t believe the ridicule we received for not being able to go longer. I dealt with feeling inadequate and not being Christ like. Although I gave her my all while she was here and loved her with God’s love, prayed with her and talked about her salvation and walking with Jesus.

So the distance I have been feeling is being caused by unforgiveness. I have been angry  at my brother in law for what he said to us and called us. I wouldn’t forgive him.

During her stay here I had found a book called The Daniel Prayer at Hobby Lobby and I bought it in hopes of helping myself pray for her. I read it some then quit. Well, prayer has been brought to my attention real big the past several months. Day before yesterday I was in my e mail and saw a message from Gateway but I was going to delete it but the Holy Spirit clicked it. It was something about a men’s Bible Study. I decided to click on it anyway. When I did, I looked in the margin and I saw the book I had bought The Daniel Prayer. It was offering a summer Bible Study with the book. I couldn’t believe it so I joined the face book group and began the study. Yesterday I was watching the videos and looking at the scripture they said to study. The scripture was The Lord’s Prayer. God showed me The Lord’s Prayer in a new light.

We address God for who He is, our Father and then we acknowledge He is holy. Then we agree with His will being done on earth as it is in heaven. I also agree with His will being done in my own life as well. When we pray “give us this day our daily bread”, we are asking for provision but also we are asking for a fresh word from Him for that day. Then when I got to the part about forgive me for my sins as I forgive those who sinned against me, I realized I had unforgiveness. I prayed and also told my husband that I’m not angry anymore and that I forgive his brother. I asked him if he was still angry. He said that he didn’t know. I explained to him that being in the state of unforgiveness blocks us from God’s blessings and we are only hurting ourselves. This is why we feel lost and we feel like God can’t hear us. I also said what it says in the Bible that we are forgiven by God and we don’t deserve it so we should forgive people even if they don’t deserve it. He told me he would pray. We both feel so much better now. I’m finding myself coming closer to God again.

My mom was telling me how she practices the presence of God the other day and I brought up Brother Lawrence to her and how I read his book Practicing The Presence. Yesterday I got an e mail from a woman whose blog I follow and she talked about this very thing and mentioned Brother Lawrence which I thought was so strange. I loved what she said. She said,” Seeing God is a choice. Brother Lawrence chose to see God in washing the dishes. Others just see dishes.” My mom told me you have to slow down and be aware of the choices your making because we are always making choices whether we know it or not. Make your self aware if your choosing God or not in everything you do. This keeps the enemy away. She told me all those feelings and thoughts I was having were from the enemy. So at the end of The Lord’s Prayer we are asking God to keep temptation away from us and protect us from evil. All we have to do is ask. We forget that a lot.

In this Bible Study Ann Graham Lotz said something so good. She said we should pray in the morning because the day hasn’t begun yet. She said you wouldn’t tune your violin after a symphony. So, tune yourself to God before the day. Be aware of His presence. Ask for Him to lead you, guide you. And also trust and believe.

This is what I have learned from the past month. I needed to share it and I hope maybe someone out there may need to hear it.

 

 

 

We Are The Grand Band

Recently we were at a band concert at the high school where my son plays the trumpet. As we were waiting for the concert to start an interesting thought came to my mind. The band was on stage before the conductor came out and they were all playing their own tune, doing their own thing. But when the conductor came out they were all at attention and quiet waiting for their instruction . When the conductor conveyed what song to play they were all in unison playing the song and it was magnificent!

Here is what I thought: God is the conductor of our lives. We need to sit at attention quietly each day and wait for His instruction on what we are to do for that day. When we start going our own way and we don’t listen to God we begin playing out of tune. When God, the conductor of our lives comes, we stand at attention and listen to His lead. We then begin to play out our life in unison with others who are following His lead and when we do this it produces for Him a marvelous song of praise that is music to His ears!

Life Song by Casting Crowns

Empty hands held high
Such small sacrifice
If not joined with my life
I sing in vain tonightMay the words I say
And the things I do
Make my lifesong sing
Bring a smile to YouLet my lifesong sing to You
Let my lifesong sing to You
I want to sign Your name to the end of this day
Knowing that my heart was true
Let my lifesong sing to YouLord I give my life
A living sacrifice
To reach a world in need
To be Your hands and feet

So may the words I say
And the things I do
Make my lifesong sing
Bring a smile to You

Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Let my lifesong sing to You

Pray The Psalms With Me, Psalm 3

This Psalm is addressing hopelessness. Hopelessness is a state of mind. We have to choose to have hope. Psalm 3 helps remind us what we should be doing to have hope and remain in hope when we are in trouble or are feeling fearful. We must remember our salvation. God saved us! If we meditate on how God saved us we are hopeful that He will save us from whatever trouble we are in now. How awesome it is that we have a God who saves us! Fear is the opposite of love. When we are in fear we are out of love. We aren’t remembering God’s love for us. Remember God loves you, so have faith and trust in Him. God hears our prayers and He answers in His way and in His timing. He will not leave us or forsake us. We can rest in peace knowing God is with us and protects us. People can’t scare us because we know who we belong to. We declare victory over our enemies and Satan. He has no power over us unless we give it to him. Being hopeless is a way he can get in. Close the door on hopelessness and open the door to Jesus, the one who never leaves us, He is our hope! Choose to focus on Jesus!

Prayer

Thank you for the promise that You will never leave us alone! Thank you for hearing our prayers and answering us when we call on Your name. You are a great loving Father to us, Your children. One day we will be with You in heaven and we will know You fully. I can’t wait for that day! Until then thank you for Your Holy Spirit leading us and guiding us and for the hope we have in Jesus! Amen.

Pray The Psalms With Me, Psalm 2

Psalm 2 has 12 verses. It’s all about what I should do as a follower. I made confession statements that say I WILL do these things. This isn’t going to be in exact order of the verses 1-12 but it’s an interpretation of them as a whole. I feel that they spoke to me from God and this is my response back to Him.

I belong to Jesus first of all. Anyone who is a believer belongs to Him because God gave Jesus the earth and everything in it. I know I’m His. And knowing that I’m His there are certain things that I should want to do for Him because I love Him. What I’m writing is for anyone not just me but I will write it as for myself. You know that this applies to you as well. First I will serve Jesus with all my heart and make Him King of my heart. That means He comes first. There is no thing, person or activity that gives me more pleasure than being in His presence. He fills me up with His Holy Spirit and then I can do life so much better. As I make Jesus first in my heart I will remember Him in all my circumstances so that I can make wise decisions and wise choices. He keeps me on track. I will be pleasing to God. We should want to be God pleasers and not people pleasers. When we are following what the Holy Spirit has directed us to do we are pleasing God. I have an example of what it means to follow the Holy Spirit. I was walking in the parking lot of Target one day. I passed a young mom who just buckled in her baby but still had her buggy to put away. As I passed her I heard the Holy Spirit say, go back and ask to take her buggy so she can just get in the car with her baby. Remember what it was like when you were there? So, I turned around and asked if she would like me to take her buggy and she said yes, thank you! I felt good inside for helping her and I knew I was doing what God wanted me to do. This leads into the next thing we should be doing and that is surrendering our lives to God on a daily basis.I will surrender my life to God so He can be glorified. As witnesses for Jesus we should also be declaring Jesus is the Son of God and stand up for Him! When I find myself in situations where Jesus is brought up I will speak up for Him and not be silent! But we do so in a way that keeps the peace. I will  be a peacemaker. As I continually focus on Jesus, this practice actually keeps evil away.  When our minds are absorbed with what the Bible says about us and about our lives, evil has no way of gaining a foothold in our minds. That’s where evil starts messing with us, in our minds. If evil can get in our thinking then you give him permission to set up camp there and he will destroy your life, eventually, if he is allowed to stay there. You are the only one who has control over what your meditating on. I will choose Jesus! As believers we should have reverential fear and awe of God. When we have this heart attitude we will rejoice and be high in spirits! We will be high on life, on Jesus! This enables us to want to seek and trust Him more!

Prayer

Thank you Father for this insight! Thank you that in Your Word are the answers to the questions we seek! I praise You, honor You and glorify Your name on this earth so others who don’t know You will want to know You. You are good and I’m thankful I live under Your wing. Amen.

 

Pray The Psalms With Me

I had another dream and it  has to do with prayer. I was in a room with people and there was a pastor and he was pointing at us saying prayer, prayer, prayer. I looked at my left shoulder and saw steam rising up and I knew it was the Holy Spirit. I asked him to pray for me to be willing to pray and he put his hand on my head and I woke up.

I didn’t remember the dream until I saw the word prayer the next day. So, I followed the Holy Spirit and found that reading the Psalms is praying to God. My mom said the Psalms are about our relationship with God. I began reading Psalm 1  and I use the SOAP method to get deeper meaning. As I read each chapter I’m going to document what I get from it. So, this entry is about Psalm 1 and it has 6 verses. I am writing this because I feel God speaking to me through the verses.

Psalm 1:1 emphasizes how a person who follows God’s ways will be happy, prosperous and I will add peaceful and whole. I know this because I have experienced it. This person doesn’t listen to ungodly counsel and doesn’t hang out with people who are not living according to God’s laws. They set themselves apart from worldy ways and only follow God’s way. Psalm 1:2 says this type of person delights and desires God’s Word so much so that he will meditate on it day and night. Psalm 1:3 says this person will be like the tree planted by streams of water which means they will be strong in spirit. They will produce what God planted in them in God’s timing. They will come to full maturity in whatever they do. I take this as who ever spends time with God is not doing it in vain. They will see the fruits of it in God’s timing. He will stay strong and not grow weary. By staying in the Word of God I will stay strong. Psalm 1:4 warns us that those who are disobedient to God’s Word will get blown away like the wind blowing chaff. If we aren’t rooted and grounded in the Word of God we can be swept away by worldy ways. Psalm 1:5 says people who aren’t living in God’s will are considered wicked and will not be justified on judgement. They haven’t accepted Jesus as Lord and savior. There are also people in the congregation who believe they are saved but they aren’t. We need to make sure we aren’t hypocrites! It does matter to be praying and talking to God daily. As Psalm 1:6 points out that Jesus knows the righteous because they have spent their time with Him. Those who haven’t lived in God’s will, will perish.  Matthew 7:21 Jesus says, “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter.

Prayer

Father, forgive me for going astray. Thank you for pulling me back on track. Help me continue the right path and God’s will for my life. Help me to be a God pleaser. Holy Spirit continue to do Your work in me. Amen.

Run This One Race Marvelously

I have been going through some internal struggles lately, how about you? I think when we set out on this path and walk with Jesus we are going to have bumps in the road. These bumps are there to learn from I’m gathering. I overwhelmed myself with reading too much, wanting to know more about Jesus. I wasn’t remembering anything I was reading so I stopped altogether and took a break.

I realized the past 4 weeks from taking myself away from the things of God that made me feel connected to Him, that these things are really what I need. I expressed to my mom how when I got saved I felt driven to read the Bible, sing songs, watch movies about Jesus and anything else that would present itself to make me feel closer to God. And of course writing this blog. I never could understand why other people who say they are saved don’t feel like I do. Why they don’t pursue God the way I have. Then again no one really knows what other people do in private, right? Only God knows. Only God knows the heart.  I thought  I could stop what I do and be like everyone else. I convinced myself that it really didn’t matter. But without it I feel like I’m wasting my days. I know that doing something without the Holy Spirit doesn’t amount to much in the heavenly realm. When it’s all said and done what we did for Jesus is what counts.

I had a dream where I wanted to be known as a woman of faith. I woke up crying about it. I figured out this is a real desire of my heart, to be known as a woman of faith, or woman of God. I pursued this topic after I had the dream to see if I am a woman of God and come to find out, I already am, but other people don’t really know I am. Maybe my immediate family but that’s it. Then I realized from watching a movie called 1 Mile To You that I’m not in competition with anyone. This is my one race. This is my test, no one else’s. If I can focus on Jesus, run my race with my heart and convince my body, mind and soul of who I am I will do something marvelous. My love for Jesus has to be enough. He is enough.

In this movie, the coach said most people die with their music still in them. I believe I have an orchestra inside of me and I will let it out. I will let it out for Jesus and no one else. I do this because it’s me and it’s what I do. Just like Kevin said in the movie about running. Well, I feel this way about everything I do to be closer to God. My mom told me it isn’t for God’s benefit, it’s for my own. To keep me in line, to keep me on track, to keep me in my one race I have to run. I want to run it strong and end strong. I want my life to reflect God’s marvelous glory some how.

Kevin, in the movie, ran to be able to see his girlfriend who just died. He felt connected to her while he was running because they did this together. I realized that the things I do that have to do with God are what connects me to Him. I can see Jesus, I feel the presence of God. This should be the only reason that I do them.

1Corinthians 9:24, 24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.

2 Timothy 4:7, I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

Are You Following Jesus Or Church?

When we are faced with questions as a christian and we don’t know how to answer them we need the Holy Spirit for insight, revelation, wisdom and understanding. I have been looking into the sin of judging and gossip lately and the Holy Spirit has shown me something I want to share. You know how churches are known for condemning people who are gay? And it is a hard thing, until the other day I understand how to respond to that. We are not the judge. We have been instructed by Jesus to love God with all our heart, mind, soul and to love others. He didn’t say to judge or condemn anyone. It isn’t our place to figure out anyone’s life. It’s between them and God. Only God knows everything about that person and knows their heart. God is the only one who knows sin and how it came to be. He only knows why each person has the problems they have. We can never begin to know everything. We are only called to love people. We aren’t suppose to sit around and try to figure it all out. We are only suppose to speak well of others, love them and lead them to Jesus. The Holy Spirit does the rest. We can’t save anyone. We just lead and the Holy Spirit does the work. I have learned that trying to be God was what Satan did and when we try to be God we are doing the same thing. It’s wrong and God doesn’t like it.

I am learning that there is a difference in following Jesus and following church. The church is people, not a place or building. Jesus’ Spirit is inside of us. We carry the light. Satan works where he has an opening, even in churches. This is why people are turned off to going to church. Since they see and feel corruption, they turn away and get even further fom God. These man made denomnations are not what Jesus wanted for church. He wants us to fellowship and worship together and spread the good news. Who cares how big or how many satellite churches you have. When Jesus threw the moneychangers out of the synagogue it was because they were tainting something holy with something common. He didn’t like money being a part of the spiritual.

I will confess something here. I was saved in my kitchen in August 2010 with the Gospel Of John on the computer. Jesus came to me and revealed Himself to me all by myself. I have allowed the Holy Spirit to teach me and guide me. He has manifested Himself to me because I ask Him to. He is experienced by me because I want to. This experiencing God is what makes a relationship with Him, not going to church. I am a true worshiper but I don’t fit in with church people and now I don’t fit in with the world. I guess this is how Jesus was. You see, there is the world that belongs to Satan and the so called church. Jesus even said of the church in His day that they were white washed tombs. Meaning they looked good on the outside but empty on the inside. I’m not saying all churches are this way, I’m just saying be careful about where you go.

True And False Worship

There are 2 interpretations of fasting in today’s reading. I like the second one which was written by Ole Hallesby ( 1879-1961) because I think he more closely explains what it really means. The other one by Donald Whitney comes from more of a now-a-days interpretation, I know this because it says (USA Contemporary) beside his name. Could it be possible that our interpretation of fasting could be all wrong? Considering what it says in Isaiah 58:1-14 the church and people have made it into something about themselves. In the Mosaic Bible before chapter 58, it is titled: True and False Worship. I learned worship is how your heart is toward God. Worship is a state of being, not singing. Praise and song come from worship. So to be a true worshiper my heart has to be pure and sincere toward God. In this scripture God is talking about their fasting, which is what we see today as false worship. Here is Isaiah 58:1-14, NLT version from Bible Gateway,

True and False Worship

58 “Shout with the voice of a trumpet blast.
    Shout aloud! Don’t be timid.
Tell my people Israel[a] of their sins!
    Yet they act so pious!
They come to the Temple every day
    and seem delighted to learn all about me.
They act like a righteous nation
    that would never abandon the laws of its God.
They ask me to take action on their behalf,
    pretending they want to be near me.
‘We have fasted before you!’ they say.
    ‘Why aren’t you impressed?
We have been very hard on ourselves,
    and you don’t even notice it!’

“I will tell you why!” I respond.
    “It’s because you are fasting to please yourselves.
Even while you fast,
    you keep oppressing your workers.
What good is fasting
    when you keep on fighting and quarreling?
This kind of fasting
    will never get you anywhere with me.
You humble yourselves
    by going through the motions of penance,
bowing your heads
    like reeds bending in the wind.
You dress in burlap
    and cover yourselves with ashes.
Is this what you call fasting?
    Do you really think this will please the Lord?

“No, this is the kind of fasting I want:
Free those who are wrongly imprisoned;
    lighten the burden of those who work for you.
Let the oppressed go free,
    and remove the chains that bind people.
Share your food with the hungry,
    and give shelter to the homeless.
Give clothes to those who need them,
    and do not hide from relatives who need your help.

“Then your salvation will come like the dawn,
    and your wounds will quickly heal.
Your godliness will lead you forward,
    and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind.
Then when you call, the Lord will answer.
    ‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply.

“Remove the heavy yoke of oppression.
    Stop pointing your finger and spreading vicious rumors!
10 Feed the hungry,
    and help those in trouble.
Then your light will shine out from the darkness,
    and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.
11 The Lord will guide you continually,
    giving you water when you are dry
    and restoring your strength.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
    like an ever-flowing spring.
12 Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities.
    Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls
    and a restorer of homes.

13 “Keep the Sabbath day holy.
    Don’t pursue your own interests on that day,
but enjoy the Sabbath
    and speak of it with delight as the Lord’s holy day.
Honor the Sabbath in everything you do on that day,
    and don’t follow your own desires or talk idly.
14 Then the Lord will be your delight.
    I will give you great honor
and satisfy you with the inheritance I promised to your ancestor Jacob.
    I, the Lord, have spoken!”

 We should take great notice of what God considers fasting.