I Choose You, I Choose Us

This is a line from the movie Family Man. It stuck out to me and it is something I say everyday now to Jesus. I am learning in my Bible Study that to walk in the light everyday we have to choose to. Walking in the light means choosing Jesus and the example He gave on how to live. Darkness is immorality, anger, lust of any kind.

I read yesterday on Pinterest that whatever we are spending our time doing from day to day is what we are worshiping and that is our idol. I have thought a lot about that. It matters what we give our time to. Then on a movie yesterday the narrator said that most days of a person go unnoticed to never be remembered again. That was sad to me.

In the last 3 weeks I have had a wake up call. Thank God nothing bad had to happen for me to wake up. But something amazing has come over me and all I can think of is that it’s God’s power. I have prayed it doesn’t go away because it has been  the  most fulfilling 3 weeks! Jesus doesn’t ask us to spend a dull lifeless life with Him, like people who aren’t doing it believe. He says He will give us life to the full and I’m here to witness to the fact that when you really hand your life over to Him it is full!

It has been over the course of 4 years that God has been revealing things to me. They have come to a head now, this morning it has come to me what a full life in Jesus means.  When I embarked on the 1000 gifts challenge with Ann Voskamp I stopped. But for February I am doing the challenge again and I want to keep going for the rest of the year. Being thankful is the first thing we should be doing. I look at what she says to be thankful for in the morning and I spend my day like a treasure hunt looking for those gifts but I also am being mindful to thank God for other things as well. Then God’s dunamis power has been brought up from my church and from Rick Renner. Dunamis is Greek for dynamite. I learned that we need to ask for this type of power so that the armor of God appears. Without His power the armor doesn’t come. The thing that keeps your armor on is the belt of truth, which is the Bible and now I’m learning prayer is another one. I got a book called Fervent and it is so awesome! Prayer has been on my mind since May 2017 when I had a dream about it. God has been trying to show me all this time how important prayer is. I know we can tend to think of it as boring but this book I got has stirred up a fire in me and it helps you to write strategic prayers. The other point God has been making with me is love. This has been over the course of about 2 years. It has been summed up for me in this study I’m doing about how to love people. To love people we have to honor and respect them. Encourage and build them up. Never judge or criticize.  All of what I’m saying is not appealing to our natural mind but that’s just it, these are spiritual things that only our spirit understands but I’m telling you that if you do these things your life will change. Mine started 3 weeks ago and I’m still there, thank God!

Choosing to be thankful, praising God, doing Bible Art, doing Bible studies, praying, walking in the light with armor, going to church, memorizing scripture, loving people the way the Bible says, this is what the full life with Jesus is. You won’t have time to be idolizing anything, you will be worshiping the One True Living God, what we were created to do in the first place. I pray you choose to join me!

Advertisements

Advent 2017

As Ann Voskamp says: “Advent, it’s made of the moments.”  Here are my thoughts after my first day of Advent with The Greatest Gift book by Ann.

Be aware, be awake, be whole, be still, be in His presence. This is the gift of Christmas, being open enough to receive the gift of His presence. Stay tender, stay in love with everyone and everything.This is how we experience Him in this realm, this world. What is Christmas without Him, nothing but stress. He makes it what it is meant to be, beautiful. He is coming for us because He loves us. Feel His love, this is the ultimate gift. Meet with Jesus in the realm of silence, your own mind and heart. You have to be willing to choose to take time to go there and visit Him. He’s waiting for you there.

I have been sort of love sick lately for Jesus. Every so often He does reveal Himself to me personally, like it says in the Bible. Some people may argue that faith isn’t feeling but without faith you won’t have feeling. Since the Bible speaks of experiencing God then that’s what I want. The Bible speaks of being flooded with God’s presence, if I can’t make myself aware of His presence then what’s the use? God intends for us to feel Him, feel His love and I will always search for Him. In Ann’s book she asks this question: When we’re blind to grace, is the miracle we get that we get homesick for Him? I’m here to say YES! I have felt this way lately! Here is my answer to overcoming the feeling, recognize His grace towards me. This leads me to counting all the ways He loves me. This is what makes me aware of His presence with me.

Ann Voskamp quote,” Jesus invites us into the Real Story if we’re willing to let Perfect Love kick a poisoning fear to the curb. ”

Choose to live in the God Story, not what we hear on the news, see on the streets or what we hear people say that is negative. Be present in God’s Word, what He says is the Story to read, to live, to stay in. All the rest is counterfeit, untrue living, dead life. No Life. There is only life in Jesus! Perfect love, perfect peace.

The Sound Of Silence

During the week of my wilderness I came across an old song called The Sound Of Silence. It’s actually a remake and it’s really good. The band Disturbed remade the song, here it is on You Tube

I liked it because I felt it.  As it starts out saying, hello darkness my old friend, I sank into the song. I was so moved by this video, also I looked up the meaning to the song and was amazed at what I found. I am going to insert what I found on songmeanings.com.

My Verse by verse interpretation:

Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence
—–
~
Hello Enlightened people,
To me, this song also represents the improper communication with our mind.
Our mind is The sound of silence.
It is ON when you close ur eyes.
It has to be listened, respected to believe and followed.
As the writer did, and we get this ultimate song.
—–

In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
Beneath the halo of a street lamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence
—–
~
Now we open our eyes.
We look everywhere around us.
We switch on our TV.
We get majority of our thoughts from Screens(TV/Movies) i.e. Neon god.
We fill ourself with thoughts of People, Lifestyle, War, Fashion, Money, Cars,etc.
This makes our mind ponder to a thought.
—–

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one deared
Disturb the sound of silence
—–
~
When we watch TV, we find that we try to follow it in our life to completeness.
We follow it even though its fake and manipulated
to fulfill some person’s financial needs.
In screens, Actors just speak lines.
In screens, Actors just hear lines.
In screens, Actors dont express their actual thoughts.
Everyone is afraid to touch what one’s mind feels like speaking.
They are mere spectators, powerless and hollow from inside.
As they dont touch their own mind(sound of silence).
So we follow them too by being spectators and powerless in our life too.
We dont touch our what our mind(sound of silence) say.
——
“Fools,” said I, “you do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you”
But my words like silent raindrops fell
And echoed
In the wells of silence
—–
~
The writer here ask us to act(Hear my words,take my arms).
Because if we keep only following screens
and dont listen to our own mind(sound of silence)
Then we will run after things dictated by screens our whole life.
We have no idea why we are doing that way and complain till end.
Because we have no idea what we really want and where our happiness lies.
Thats why everyday, we feel so hollow inside.
This hollowness(cancer) grows bigger and bigger.

But still nobody wants to touch that sound of silence(mind)
We look out for solution even though every solution is inside us.
We dont listen, we just hear it.
and its accumulated in the sound of silence(mind) which we never listen.

—–
And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the signs said the words of the prophets
Are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls
And whispered in the sounds of silence
—–
~
But still we go on with our screens(Neon god).
Neon god laughs here and says to the writer
“Throughtout ages, all the prophets of all the religions have been saying the same things. Earlier it was kings then society, now its screens.
Their have found their place in outside world only (on walls and books)
not inside (the mind).
If they werent successful, where do you stand?
You will also find yourself at the same place i.e. outside the mind”

Thats why millions may have listened to the songs.
Thousands have sung.
Hundreds have interpreted it.
But very few will follow it even then.
We will still follow our neon gods,
And not listen to our sound of silence.
Thus this song will hold significance till mankind remains,
and we will just laugh at this paradox.

shiningdeadon November 15, 2009   Link
So, after all this I decided to start Advent with my Ann Voskamp book The Greatest Gift. The very first entry  stood out to me. She quoted Frederick Buechner, ” In the silence of a midwinter dusk, there is far off in the deeps of it somewhere a sound so faint that for all you can tell it may be only the sound of silence itself. You hold your breath to listen. You walk up the steps to the front door. The empty windows at either side of it tell you nothing, or almost nothing. For a second you catch a whiff in the air of some fragrance that reminds you of a place you’ve never been and a time you have no words for. You are aware of the beating of your heart. The extraordinary thing that is about to happen is matched only by the extraordinary moment just before it happens. Advent is the name of that moment.”
I couldn’t believe I saw the sound of silence again! I feel this is God speaking to me to go inward, inside myself to meet with Him. I read somewhere yesterday that there is a place in your heart that remains pure, untouched, this is where Jesus lives. We have to find that place and go there often. We have to share what we know of the unseen world with others so they know that it does exist! Let’s wake up to what is happening to our souls, what the world is trying to do to our souls. Stay connected to yourself and God and then connect with other people! This is essential for the growth of humanity! Our spirits need connection and to feel love, God’s love. We ache for it and don’t even know it. I’m here to tell you this, ” UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” From The Lorax movie.

A Tribute

I spoke about my mother-in-law recently and I have an update. She passed August 8,2017. This is one reason I haven’t written. I wrote a tribute to her and spoke it at her funeral and wanted to share it on my blog for safe keeping. This way I can read it and it won’t be lost. I hope you enjoy it. It was inspired by the Holy Spirit.

Virginia Gibson was my mother-in-law. I knew her for 30 years. I wanted to say a little bit about who she was as a person. I admired her goodness. Her desire to do good and be good. She didn’t see life any other way. She told me once that her whole life she didn’t understand why anyone would want to be bad. She was drawn to the Light even when she was a child. She told me how she loved going to revival with her mom. I like to imagine her right now with her family in the biggest revival she has ever see and heard. She is experiencing the full love of Christ right now. I have had tastes of His love already and I know for sure she is full of joy beyond what we can imagine. She wanted her children to love one another, to help one another. She told me when I was taking care of her, how much she loves her children. Every night she thanked God for each of you, imagining your heads on your pillow. I found myself the past few nights that she has been gone, taking up her prayer. I have prayed for each one of you just as she did. I know you are broken and sad but we have each other. Your mom and dad lives in each one of you. We can continue their legacy with our own families. Take what they have taught us and pass it on. This is paying it forward. Give! Give yourself away. Give your time away. Give whatever you have for whoever needs it in that moment. Let’s make them proud! Don’t let all their hard work building a family be all for naught. Get up, run your race well, the way we saw them do. Love well. She expressed to me her hope for us all to be saved and go to heaven. She wants us all to be together again.

I remember a time long ago when I wanted to get up at Christmas and tell each one of you what you mean to me. I didn’t do it out of fear of talking. Just as I am afraid now, but God has given me strength to do this. I just want to say I love you all and there’s no place like home!

 

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.

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.

The Lent That Sticks

Ever since I got saved in August 2010, I have done something to acknowledge the Lent season. I was raised Catholic but that doesn’t have anything to do with it. When I got saved for real, you know when this happens, I had a strong desire to follow Jesus and His teachings. Practicing Lent is not a teaching, it’s something that certain denominational churches have come up with. It’s about observing the 40 days before Easter, representing the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert.

I feel that most people are turned off to observing Lent because they think it’s for the church. I have to say that I am turned off to denominational churches, they are the Pharisees of our day. I am learning more and more about Jesus and how the church of His day hated Him. I know most people don’t know this but it was the church who crucified Jesus. Now I know it was the plan of God but Jesus confronted them on many occasions about how they followed rules but they didn’t know God.

This is what is happening today. People are in church doing church things and they think they have to observe Lent. I choose to observe Lent because of my obedient heart towards God. If you are just going through the motions with an empty heart you are wasting your time and energy. God knows. He sees your heart. That is all He sees for that matter. The things you do or don’t do, doesn’t matter to Him, it’s the state of your heart that counts.

My husband teases me about my Lent devotion. He will say there is Lent all over the table or something funny like that. Today he made another comment like that and something was said to me in my spirit. Whatever it is your doing for Lent season keep doing it. Lent sticks to stuff right? Well, how about letting this Lent stick to your heart and soul? The only Lent that sticks is one done out of love. We love because He first loved us. Out of love we want to please God. Don’t do anything out of obligation, God doesn’t see it or feel it. He wants our love, fellowship, relationship.

I have been reading lately about soaking in His presence and intimacy with God. I found out that I do these things without realizing it just by following the Holy Spirit. I learned from Kim Walker Smith that stopping and talking to God, asking Him questions, this is intimacy with Him. Waiting for His answer, soaking in His presence. The problem we have is we are so rushed all the time and we forget. I have written about this before that forgetting God is the real sin. We have to fight to keep an awareness of His presence. This is what I am aiming for now, to stop and ask the Holy Spirit for direction, what choice to choose, what to say. I want Him in my every moment. This is the Lent that sticks. The Holy Spirit is stuck to you, inside of you, if your a believer, welcome Him, talk to Him, commune with Him. This is what He is waiting for. I read the other day that God is waiting for you to wait on Him! I loved that!

Jesus just wants us. Our belief, faith, love, trust. Following church rules doesn’t bring you closer to Him. Loving Him does.

The Be-Attitudes

Wikipedia – The beatitudes are nine blessings recounted in the Sermon on the Mount in the Gospel of Matthew. The term beatitude comes from the Latin noun beatitudo which means “happiness.” Here they are:

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven. (5:3)
Blessed are those who mourn: for they will be comforted. (5:4)
Blessed are the meek: for they will inherit the earth. (5:5)
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness: for they will be filled. (5:6)
Blessed are the merciful: for they will be shown mercy. (5:7)
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they will see God. (5:8)
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they will be called children of God. (5:9)
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (5:10)
Blessed are those when men shall revile you and persecute you and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for my name sake
The Be- Attitudes the way I understand them:
1. Be humble/ do not have spiritual pride
2. Be mournful over my sin
3. Be gentle and quiet
4. Be hungering and thirsting for right standing with God
5. Be merciful, have mercy toward others
6. Be pure in heart, have right motives and do things from the right motives
7. Be a peacemaker, making peace instead of chaos where ever I go
8. Be persecuted for Jesus’ name sake, because you have right standing with God
9. Be ready to accept persecution and all manner of evil against you falsely because of your relationship with Jesus
What I am getting from this is that Jesus was telling us a path to blessings and happiness. Ann calls it upside down because it’s the opposite of what the world teaches. God’s kingdom is not of this world and if we want to enter it and be a part of it we have to be the opposite of this world. True happiness and joy lie in the boundaries that God and Jesus have set. The ten commandments give us boundaries and a code to live by. These beatitudes from Jesus give us further instruction about the way to get to God’s Kingdom.

A Broken Heart Lets God’s Love In

In my reading today “Lean On Me”, she says something really profound. “There is freedom in dependence. It enables us to accept our vulnerability.” This is something very hard to do but when we reach this realization that we need to be vulnerable to feel the hand of God then we invite it in our lives. I know this because I have experienced this recently.

The suggested reading is Psalm 70. This was talked about on Day 8. We have to be aware continuously of God’s presence and His love for us to stay vulnerable, humble and this pleases God.

Trail to the Tree

The scripture reading is about when Jesus took the bread and fish and multiplied it for 5000 people.

Ann says: We ask to be broken for others, as You were broken for us. Today, take the little that you are, pray that God may bless you, then break yourself for others. As He has fed us, let us feed others.

I am learning about what being broken really means. This has come up several times lately. I used to think being broken meant to be in despair, to be immovable, to not be able to function. But what God means when He says to be “broken” He means to let yourself be vulnerable. Keep your heart soft. The only way I have found to do this is by what Ann talks about in her book 1000 Gifts. Through eucharisteo I can keep a soft  repented heart, vulnerable. This “broken” heart is what God uses to heal others. Through my vulnerability He can use me to reach other hurting people. So having a broken heart isn’t a bad thing and it doesn’t hurt. What hurts is having a hard heart that God’s love can’t get into. But with the power of the Holy Spirit God can melt a hard heart into a pool of love! I know this because I have experienced it. You have to be willing and allow God to work. Surrender to Him and He will do the work on the inside of you. Living with a hard heart hurts you and the people around you. A broken heart lets God’s love inside and overflows to other people through you. The freedom in dependence is being vulnerable because you can let go and let God.

 

 

 

8006984_f520

Made With Love

Have you ever seen the SpongeBob episode where his grandma makes cookies for him and says they were made with love? I always thought it was cute but there is truth to this. I experienced God yesterday in an unusual way and wanted to share it with you.

Lately we have been eating out more. My family has commented on how the food just isn’t as good as at home when I make it. I never gave it much thought until yesterday. My husband and I decided to go see the movie, The Shack, which by the way is really good. I might write something about the movie later on. But anyway we got hotdogs to eat in the movie. When we finished I said that the bun was kinda stale and my husband agreed and said that eating out isn’t what it’s cracked up to be and it’s expensive!

Well, the movie began and we were sitting there watching and a scene came up where Mac, the main character is in heaven at the dinner table with Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit. God prepared the meal. Mac took a bite from the food and said how really good the food was! God responded by saying , “that’s because I made it.” I started crying during this scene, the only one, because God was showing me that the food I make at home is made by the Holy Spirit through me. It’s so good because it’s made with love. I realized in that moment that cooking is special to my family. It’s my way of showing them love. God showed me that it matters!

When we were driving home I told my husband that a part of the movie that made me cry wasn’t even about the movie itself. I began telling him the part and began crying and I couldn’t talk and he said, “Oh, I see, I get it!” When we came inside we were in the kitchen and my son came downstairs. He said,” Mom, can you make that salsa, I want some and Mollie(his girlfriend) asked if you could make it, she’s been craving it all day.” I had tears in my eyes and gladly said,”Yes.” He said,”I love you.” I couldn’t hold the tears back and I said,”I love you too.” My son said, “What was that movie about anyway?” It’s mine and my husband’s secret.

So the next time you think what you do doesn’t matter think about it. At the end of the movie they said everything we do matters and everything done with love, every kindness changes the universe. Don’t think you are insignificant, God made you, God put you here, you can make a difference in the world with just by simply cooking a meal with love.