Friday, December 29, 2017


I am an a thinker-sometimes, an over-thinker.  Thinkers are people who consider all sides to a story. The inner workings of this mind is constantly analyzing everything-exhaustively examining everything.  A word or tidbit will get under my skin and I will dissect it and not let it go until my mind has found some sort of solution or reconciliation.

When I was younger, it was all very egocentric.  I would replay conversations in my head and get my feelings hurt over some perceived mistreatment.  I made mountains out of molehills and constantly held my friends and family to levels of loyalty and perfection that they could never live up to. Finally, God saw fit to give me temperance.  Praise God!!  Now, I have the comfort of knowing that most people's reactions and actions are also egocentric.  We are all the center of our own worlds and our views definitely represent our own baggage.  I've lain a bit of my baggage down, little by little through the years.  Still have more of it I need to relinquish-but all in good time.

The bottom line is that people don't typically mean to hurt other people.  Hurting and wounded people hurt others out of their own brokenness-but not very many folks actively seek to hurt others out of meanness...unless they have never known anything except mean, which is another matter all together.   It is important not to take our hurts to heart, but to take them to God.  This is why I believe God tells us in Matthew 5:44 and again in Luke 6:27 to love our enemies and bless those who persecute us.  It changes our perspective.  We begin to view the world through other eyes that aren't ours.  To walk a mile in their shoes, so to speak.  It's hard to hate someone you are praying for.  Not impossible...some people are really challenging in every way.

The state of the world today is reminding me, daily and sometimes hourly, that I am thankful for a God who can redeem this fallen world.  However, I don't believe I get to stand by and wait for that day.  The latest events are a call to action.  It isn't enough to simply pray and trust God, we must battle in big and small ways for our neighbors.  The enemy is the same enemy it has always been: EVIL.  Fear is so prevalent that it is giving evil a foothold that is tearing our country apart.  "Fear not" is found all through the Bible because God knows the power that fear has.  We are powerless, but not without power.  We each have the power of goodness within us.  We have to step up and use it.

Half of our country has made black people the enemy, the other half has named the police the enemy. Neither is true.  EVIL is alive and well and seizing the hearts of our people.  PLEASE do not allow fear to grip you in such a way that you begin to see 'all black people' or 'all police' in a certain way.  We are all individuals-with individual hearts and thoughts.  People are NEVER the enemy.  Don't allow unwholesome talk to come out of your mouth.  Stand up when wrong is done, no matter who was the wrongdoer.  In addition, we must also admit that this nation is lashing out against it's black citizens in a way that is very unfair.  The SYSTEM has prejudicial flaws that need to be fixed,  We must also admit that the backlash against the police is very unfair.  They are in the trenches, being put in dangerous situations every time they go to work.  We have created two target groups of good people, it is beyond unfair.  Promote love and unity every way you possibly can.  Be intentional, show kindness to everyone wherever you go.  We are called to be CHRISTLIKE in a hurting world.  We have to actually have to engage the world to do that.  Go out of your way to show love and kindness to black people and policemen-and well, everyone.  Wounded and persecuted people they need our love and support.  Fight the fear with love and kindness.  BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD!!

The Gift of God

I was a substitute teacher.  I loved it so much.  There are so many diverse and wonderful teenagers in the world.  I was just the right mix of thoughtful and sarcastic for this job to be a good fit.  The kids often asked me questions.  They asked about parenting.  I said, "Don't do it, it's all a big trick.  You pour your heart and soul into them and they reject everything you teach them and hate you for it.  They never express love or gratitude and they don't even like you."  Then, I said I was just kidding and they should have a whole bunch of kids in order to offset all the idiots having kids or we will only have idiot kids running the world.

Mostly, I am totally joking.  But, it is a little bit of laughter through tears.  Why, because I love God with my whole heart.  I owe everything about me to the blood of Christ.  He gets the credit for everything good in me.  I turned away from God and nearly killed my soul.  I was broken and I did not think I would ever be anything that resembled whole again.  But in HIS mercy, I am a whole with a lot of healing broken places.  It defines me.  It gives me hope, peace, compassion and self worth.  

My husband and I were raised in church.  We raised our children in church.  Now all three of them are questioning God, religion, and the meaning of church.  I mourn the thought of kids without faith, and not just my own.  To me, it is as though they have cancer and I have medicine-but they won't take it.  Life is cancer, God is the cure.  I want everyone I love to know Him.  HIM, not the image of Christians, the image of Christ.  It is so unfair to judge GOD by the actions of people!  We are so flawed, collectively and individually.  We present a flawed vision of God to the world. However, perfection is not our goal, progress in relationship with Christ is the goal; getting better each day.  This is a marathon, not a sprint.

Romans 3:23-24For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.  

My friend offered me the encouragement of Proverbs 22:6  Train up a child in the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.  Well, of course, I've heard that before.  I've quoted it before.  However, sometimes you just need to hear things over and over again.  She reminded me, my kids aren't old.  They are young and inquisitive.  They aren't DONE yet.  I'm not even done yet and I'm certainly not old!  Life is an effective teacher.  Parenting is hard, but it has brought me to a whole new level of faith.  I know that God loves them more than I do and HE is in control.  His ways are not subject to my rules.  I can do this.  AND, from what I understand, sometimes parents get grandkids and I've heard they heal all of the battle wounds of parenting.

Now, I give you a review:
Adored; 365 Devotions for Young Women
We all need reminders that we are adored.  Here is a year's worth.  A daily dose of how much God loves us.  Perhaps you have a young lady in your life that needs to know she is fearfully and wonderfully made.  This world constantly tell us we are never enough.  Don't believe these lies.  God has a plan for each of us.  We can only truly love when we can fully embrace HIS love for us.  Then, there is no stopping us from being salt and light in a hurting worldEach devo is a quick read with an easy life application.  We need to always remember that our love becomes complete with God's help...he makes us whole again and that is truly the best gift of all.