Freedom!

I didn’t set out intentionally looking for a nugget today but found one none the less!

Grace does not supersede the Law. Grace encourages us to love our neighbor as we love ourself. (James 2:8). All commands are summed up and the Law is fulfilled by the command, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” (Romans 13:8-10)

Freedom in Christ does not mean indulging or continuing in sin. (Galatians 5:13-14) It is by the power of the Holy Spirit that we are free and He empowers and enables us to continue in freedom.

heart-of-heartsWhen we love our neighbor as we love ourself we see the Law and Grace walking side by side!

For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 2 Corinthians 3:17

Advertisements

Horses and Gifts

GiftHorse2Have you ever heard the phrase, “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth?” It’s a peculiar saying to say the least. What does a horse’s mouth and gifts have to do with one another?

As a horse ages its gums recede causing the teeth to look elongated. It appears the saying came about back in the 1500’s. Back then people actually gave horses as gifts. Some recipients of a horse gift would look at the horses gums to see if the horse was old and undesirable, (determined by the receding gums), or young and desirable. This practice of inspecting the horses mouth was considered ungrateful, thus the saying, “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.”

Sometimes we do that with God’s blessings don’t we? We cry out to God for a need only he can fill and when he answers that prayer we might disregard or completely miss the blessing, because it doesn’t look like the picture in our mind.

Abba, Father, Papa, may we always have your eyes to see your blessings for what they really are….your lovely gifts to us because you love us. May we see them through your eyes and not our own and may we always be grateful for what you provide. Amen.

The Dream Of A Twenty-Something

I am an avid reader and I love everything about a book. The front cover, the feel of a new book in my hands, the turning of crisp pages. Needless to say I haven’t quite gotten into the e-reader craze. In fact we still own bookshelves, two of them. You know, those tall towers with shelves placed just far enough apart from one another to hold all those magnificently bound books. Most of them read but some sitting there, waiting patiently, hoping to be the next one chosen to be read, to be held and to be enjoyed.

In my younger years my genre of choice was romance novels; predictable, I know. I would devour books as if they were my last meal. Reading during breaks and after work, staying up late to finish that one last chapter only to finish the entire book. The tiredness I would feel the next day was worth it, hey, I was twenty-something! Sometimes I would even devote entire weekends to reading. Not that I would intentionally begin a weekend this way, but if you love to read, you know how it is when you’re reading a really good book and feel as if you are best friends with all the characters. You simply cannot put that book down. I once worked with a lady who read more than me. When she was done with her books she would bring them to me, in bags, grocery bags full, all at one time. Talk about being an avid reader, she had me beat.

IMAG1020_1One day, in my mid-twenties, I had a spectacular idea; I was going to write a novel! I knew the premise of the story, even had the title picked out. Then life happened; I met a wonderful man, we married and started a family and now we have begun our empty nest. That novel has remained on the back burner for all these years. I wish here is where I could tell you that I have begun that novel, but it isn’t. However, I would like to share with you…………..I Am Published!

It happened quite unexpectedly. I received an email from the editor of our church’s Women’s newsletter. She wanted to know if she could use my current post at the time in the upcoming newsletter and any past or future post. I am humbled but who would I be kidding if I didn’t say I am also thrilled!

Dreams, even long ago dreams, do come true, especially when God’s hand is all over it.

Link

girls-are-like-apples-on-treesI have been seeing this tree on various social websites. At first glance the statement seems harmless, at the same time there is something about it that breaks my heart.

Surely, as parents we want our daughters to be the apples at the top of the tree; the one’s worth waiting for; the one’s who respect themselves knowing they are worth waiting for. By the same token we want our sons to respect all the young ladies and women in their life, even when those same young ladies or women don’t know how to respect themselves. We want our sons to recognize that the girls and women who reside at the top of the tree are worth working for. When our son was younger we use to tell him AND all his friends that one of their main jobs as young men is to respect the young women in their life, not only because it is the right thing to do but because they may be the only example of what respect looks like.

But, what about the so-called rotten apples on the ground and the boys who go after them? Perhaps the apples on the ground don’t have a positive male voice in their life. Encouraging them, telling them how beautiful they are and that they are the apple of their eye. Maybe the young boys don’t have a positive male influence teaching them to respect ANY young girl or woman regardless of how she see’s herself. This is why my heart breaks while reading the tree.  And, what if your son or daughter were friends with the apples on the ground and the boys who go after them? What would your response be? Would you demand that your son or daughter stop being friends with them? Or, would you trust God that he has chosen your child for such a time as this to be a positive role model in the life of one who seems so desperately to need a friend who resides at the top of the tree?

I heard a song today with these words:

“He cries in the corner where nobody sees
He’s the kid with the story no one would believe
He prays every night, “Dear God won’t you please…
Could you send someone here who will love me?”

“Who will love me for me
Not for what I have done or what I will become
Who will love me for me
‘Cause nobody has shown me what love
What love really means.”

You see, everyone just wants to feel loved, even the apples on the ground and the boys who go after them.

You can listen to “Love Me” in its entirety here

Photo credit -richgrad.com. Song credit JJ Heller “Love Me”.

How’s Your Heart?

_ml_p2p_pc_carousel_badgeWhen my son was a young boy, he use to pretend he had on a cape and held a huge sword. He would run from one to point to the next yelling, “Leviticus charge!” It use to make me laugh deeply. Even now, as I remember those times I smile and my heart soars. I don’t have to wonder at the prophetic meaning; I know in my heart God is creating within my son a very powerful warrior. And, that is why, I believe, the enemy’s attacks against him have been hard and consistent. Being one who perceives visually, I am so thankful that God continues to give me hope through that one tangible scene.

It came as no surp…., okay, maybe I was caught off guard a tiny bit when I found this nugget of treasure today. I’ve been working on a cross-reference study on healing……for a long time. My point Scripture is 1 Samuel 6:3. One of the cross references is Leviticus 5:15; “When anyone is unfaithful to the LORD by sinning unintentionally in regard to any of the LORD’s holy things, they are to bring to the LORD as a penalty a ram from the flock, one without defect and of the proper value in silver, according to the sanctuary shekel. It is a guilt offering.”

This verse is from the Old Testament and during that period of time the instructions in Leviticus 5:15 were some of the things the Israelites had to do to become right with God. Today, we no longer have to follow these rules because Jesus died on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins ONCE and for ALL. The only thing needed today is to choose Jesus as your Lord and Savior and commit to a life of following Him.

I asked the Holy Spirit what he wanted me to know about this verse and how it relates to healing. Immediately I began to understand that even though we no longer have to make guilt offerings we still need to make amends to those we’ve hurt and ask for forgiveness and to forgive those who we feel have hurt us.

Here’s the nugget; many times an issue of unforgiveness in our heart leads to spiritual unhealthiness, and sometimes I believe spiritual unhealthiness can also manifest as a physical ailment.

My dear friends, I encourage you to look deep within your heart and ask God to show you any area(s) where unforgiveness lives. Choose to allow Him to begin the healing process, no matter how hard it hurts and even if it’s a small chunk a day. The freedom will amaze you and I know your joy will increase.

And, soon, you to will be saying, “Leviticus charge!” Sorry, you’ll have to get your own cape and sword.

photo credit-Party City costume website.

That’s Just Crazy!

Not long ago, a friend and I were talking about how we are crazy…..crazy with the Holy Spirit! This beloved friend of mine and I try to meet at least once a month to share a meal and share what God has been doing in our lives. We are always laughing and experiencing a joint connection with the Holy Spirit. I can picture Jesus sitting at the table with us enjoying a good laugh himself. And, as I think about this I realize that we are fulfilling our ambassadorship to the kingdom by displaying our love for one another and the joy we feel by being in each other’s presence, proving to those around us that we are disciples of Christ.

One day after such a time together, I was at a particular grocery store. The man in line in front of me was playfully giving the checker a hard time. He looked at me and said something to the effect of, “Don’t mind me I’m just crazy!” I laughed and replied back, “Me too, crazy with the Holy Spirit!” He turned serious and asked me, “You’re a believer?” I replied, “Yes, and you?” “Yes, ma’am”, he replied.

Well, praise the Lord! Two earthly strangers but heavenly family proving to others we are followers of Christ with that brief encounter!

While others around us may indeed wonder if we are crazy, we know the truth about such things; If we are “out of our mind,” as some say, it is for God. 2 Corinthians 5:13a.