Purposeful Faith

Category - attack

When Others Make you Uneasy

Others Make you Uneasy

When I was with her, like a mind-reader, I could sense her emotions.
I could feel her temperatures rising – to the heights of Pluto.
I could sense all was not well with her soul.
Her words were shorter, her breathing tighter and her laughter less.

And all I could think was – what can I do to make her feel better?

Do you ever feel like me? Responsible to make others happy?

It wasn’t that life was crashing in. She was just handling groceries, dishes and daily clean up.

Yet, still, no matter how I talked, or what I did, her feelings didn’t seem to clean up. They didn’t. Despite my underlying words of: “Pull it together, so we can have fun together,” she didn’t budge.

And, then, what I did made it ten times worse, I’ll tell ya’ll, because I literally walked over, picked up her feelings and placed them inside me. I attached them to my heart like a fungus that even armies can’t beat. I wore anxiety just the same as her.

If you can’t beat ’em, join em,
unless you’re trying to minister to ’em,
and then you have probably just wrecked ’em.

Stepping back has given me the chance to see some things:

  1. The wounded can’t easily be rescued by the wounded.
  2. The wounded often need the Master Physician not the master fixer.
  3. The wounded are hurting and sometimes space is the place where their heart finds peace.
  4. If you want to minister and not manipulate, you have to terminate your need to placate.
  5. If you want to stay at peace, you have to let others own their own feelings.

I am not the peace-maker, the joy-jester or the emotion-keeper, I am just as much a sinful soul that could fall down right next to that person if I am not careful.

I could fall down with the thoughts:
I did something wrong.
It is all my fault.
She will not return to happiness today.
I will have a horrible day.
I don’t know what is about to happen.

Knowing this, there is only one place to land oneself in a moment like this –
at the melting-point of God’s Word:

The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me? Ps. 118:6

Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 1 Pet. 5:7

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. Prov. 3:5

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear… 1 Jo. 4:18

If God is in charge, I don’t have to be.

If I can leave him with my anxieties, I don’t need them.

If I trust him, I can trust he will work out that persons issue.

If I let him work, he will accomplish change in atmospheres better than I ever could.

If I let go of worrying about others, I can find peace.

If I step back, I can see his power at work between the space of me and them.

If I lean on God in the turbulence of fear, I can find strength in the face of hope.

Where might God be calling you to lean in?

Get all Purposeful Faith blog posts by email – click here.

5 Ways Your Faith is Tricking You

Your Faith is Tricking You

There is under-the-table game you cannot see.
Its aim is to trick you, to train you and to teach you in ways other than Christ’s.

You think you are doing good,
because good you try to do,
but the only good you really do is for you. TRICKED.

You are too busy with life,
to find life in the Word. TRICKED.

You let people consume your time,
then you find no time with God. TRICKED.

You believe the more you control your world,
the more your world won’t batter you. TRICKED.

You believe your yesterday is at work to invalidate
the love God is showering on you today. TRICKED.

You believe that you can’t be forgiven,
for forgiveness could never cover the vast sea of your wrongs. TRICKED.

You believe that all joy, riches and happy days should follow Christians. TRICKED.

You seek knowing and loving the blessings over the blesser. TRICKED.

You are so much better than that other sinful man. TRICKED.

You cling, like a mother with a delinquent child, to avoidance and denial rather than crying out to your maker. TRICKED.

When we seek after rainbow, puppy dog and flower Christianity,
we end up loaded with cute things, but far from Jesus.

As a result, our heart holds bitterness and anger at the one who failed us. We see God as a failed Santa, rather than a gracious father. We see God as a punisher rather than a lover. We see God as an acquaintance, rather than a trusted confidante.

There are some hard lines to Christianity – and rather than tiptoe around them as if they don’t exist, sometimes, just sometimes, it is valuable to take a deep and hard look at them to say, “This is what I am called to and, heart, please follow through. God help me.”

5 Ways We Need to Get Real with Faith

– 1. As Jesus called the disciples to leave treasure behind, we must leave behind treasure that stands above the riches we find in Christ.  

“Do not get any gold or silver or copper to take with you in your belts—  no bag for the journey or extra shirt or sandals or a staff, for the worker is worth his keep. Mt. 10:9-10

– 2. Expect to find unexpected persecution.  

You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.” Mt. 10:22

– 3. If you can’t stand or speak in the face of pain, the Spirit will give you the words.

At that time you will be given what to say,  for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” Mt. 10:19-20

– 4. People will hate you.

You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.” Mt. 10:22

– 5. Standing firm in faith, means standing in joy in heaven. 

“Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.” Mt. 10:33

Dying to self, means coming alive to Christ.

“To live is Christ and to die is gain.” Phil. 1:21

When we keep our eyes, not on the sleight of hand, but on the hand of God – we see that we can endure to the end with his help. We see that there are tricks, traps and talks set to deter us. We see we must “be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves,” (Mt. 10:16) so that we can be sure that no one deceives us. (Mt. 24:4)

We get real about faith and we are equipped to really stand to the end.

Easy Subscribe! Get all Purposeful Faith blog posts by email – click here.

 

 

Do We Really Know Who God Is?

Blog Post by Abby McDonald

“If you are the Son of God…” (Matthew 4:3)

Ah, the tactics of the enemy.

Isn’t this the same question the he’s asked since the beginning? These manipulative words attack Jesus’ identity when he is in the middle of the desert, hungry and exhausted. Matthew aptly refers to Satan in this passage as “the tempter.”

Although his angle varies, the father of lies loves to question. He makes us doubt what we believe and second-guess what we heard from the One who is the source of all things good and true.

Did God really say…” (Genesis 3:1)

If the foundation of our trust becomes shaky, then everything else will shake along with it. And no one knows this better than the one who’s been telling lies from the beginning.

As much as I would like to have a trumpet blast or an alarm to announce when the enemy of my soul is on the prowl, this isn’t how he works. His strongholds start in the mind, and once he builds his fortress there, actions follow suit.

Then calamity hits and I question the goodness of God. Just like the battle between good and evil in the wilderness all those years ago, God’s identity is in question.

Would a good God allow this? If God was really all-powerful, wouldn’t he do something about this?

Friends, this is exactly where darkness starts. And it only becomes darker and more hopeless once we question who God is.

I wish the struggle was different, but this is what we face day and day out, as we’re bombarded with news of people starving and terrorists performing unthinkable acts of evil. When we’re in the thick of health crisis and heartache with those closest to us, we fight to keep our thoughts from going to that place of doubt.

So what do we do? When the world, as the popular song puts it, is “going to hell in a hand-basket,” how do we keep our minds from going there too?

When I go back to the passage in Matthew where Jesus is being tempted, I love how he responds to Satan. Jesus knows this world contains nothing which will sustain us, not even food and water.

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:4 NIV

We are a creation made not only of body, soul and mind, but spirit.

And that which is spiritual can’t be sustained by the material.

So today, as you’re gathering around the table and spending time with loved ones, I want you to remember that as good as that turkey tastes, there is a life source far greater. It can’t be neglected or shoved to the back burner.

His words aren’t just black and white on page or an item to check off our to-do list, but a never-ending spring of truth. When we come to him with humility and minds open to receive, he transforms our doubtful thinking and heavy-laden hearts into hearts filled with peace and hope.

There is a reason why scripture refers to Jesus as “the Word.” (John 1:1) The Word brings life and Jesus is life. It is a mystery interwoven into the fabric of our beings, and through it the Father speaks and reveals pieces of his greater plan.

The more time we spend in his presence, the more our questions become affirmations. The more we fill ourselves up with the Living Water which never runs dry, the more we can discern what is eternal and true.

Get all Purposeful Faith blog posts by email – click here.

View More: http://kimdeloachphoto.pass.us/allume2015Abby McDonald is a writer who can’t contain the lavish love of a God who relentlessly pursues her, even during her darkest times. When she’s not chasing her two little boys around, she loves hiking, photography, and consuming copious amounts of coffee with friends.

Abby would love to connect with you on her blog, Twitter, and Facebook.

How to Fly Above Daily Problems

Fly Above Daily Problems

Kids fight back my words of instruction. I get anxious.
The car won’t start. I get anxious.
Relational conflict brews. I get anxious.
The day looks difficult ahead. I get anxious.
It looks like I am going to be late. I get anxious.
The schedule appears too much to manage. I get anxious.
Traffic sits. I get anxious.
Temper tantrums of toddlers ensue. I get anxious.
An unexpected bill arrives. I get anxious.
Home issues pop up. I get anxious.

Do you ever feel like me? So busy preparing for tsunami problems that your heart is unprepared for the small ruptures?

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. (Ps. 139:23) 

God is testing me to know my anxious thoughts.

I can’t help but wonder, when he does, if he likes –
not my biblical, spiritual and theological heart –
but my moment-by-moment heart?  

And why such a clean one want to see such anxious filth?

After much time treading through the waters of wonder, I arrived at these points:

God tests us, because he wants to bless us. 

He wants to know us, because he loves us.

He still thinks of us, in precious terms, even if he knows our most ugly terms (Ps. 139:17).

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. Ja. 1:2-4

He gives us baby tests, to applaud our baby steps of trust.
He sends us exams, in hopes that we walk across his graduation stage of peace.
He prepares us, because he truly is preparing us.
He is not trying to wear us, because he doesn’t care for us.
But loving us, because he wants love – in us.

Don’t doubt that your trials are building triumph!

Trials are higher education learning opportunities that build the brain power of perseverance and endurance that deliver us to the grade of “complete” in Christ Jesus.

Why would I run from these opportunities? Why would I fear the establishment that is meant to establish me?

Shouldn’t I be looking at trials not as crying grounds, but as blessing grounds? Not as fearing rooms, but as giving rooms? Not in doubt, but in faith – of the mighty work that God is about to do in me?

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. Ja. 1:12

So, may we descend on “scary” like falcons,
driving into them at speeds of 200 miles per hour,
not tremoring, but trusting,
not resisting, but persisting,
not fighting, but flying.
Soaring high above the worldly,
beyond the grime of life,
on the horizon of God’s great opportunity.
To see the glory of his test,
giving permission for him to be our rest.
And suddenly, a great shift persists,
for on our plains we must see a new way,
from spiritual eyes – and not earthly,
from godly plains and not normal.
And we do.
We go with God.
We go to beauty, peace and power –
to heights unseen
and places unknown,
and lands untraversed,
in the completion of his will,
in the fullness of his grace,
in the lightness of his wind.
We find ourselves powerful not our powerless,
trusting the sacred – in the sticks of the mess –
for here, it’s the place, the power place – and the resting place – all the same,
the place where God weaves holiness into the very fabric of our being.
​We rest down and continue to fly on his triumphant ways.

Easy Subscribe! Get all Purposeful Faith blog posts by email – click here.

Bloggers,

  1. I am extending the guest post submissions deadline until today. Copy and paste your post on to my web form. Last chance!
  2. Join the Cheerleaders for Christ Facebook page!
  3. Remember that Monday, 12/7 is our Twitter party of encouragement. We encourage other bloggers using #RaRalinkup.
 Loading InLinkz ...

How to Fight to Win

Fight to Win

It is that thing that pretty much all of us hate.

It’s what we would rather run from than run straight into.

It’s what makes us speak accusations
instead of affirmations.

It’s what drives us bat crazy,
feeling like we are chasing a shifting shadows of ever changing goals and needs.

It’s what sends us to mindsets of sin rather than pastures of holiness.

It is called conflict.

It is that thing that we don’t know why, we as Christians have to deal with – yet, we do. Somehow and sometimes, we just hit it. And as ugly as it is, we often stand, right in the midst of it, wondering how something so icky, so yucky and so unsavory, could exist in one who is trying to pursue God so wholly? 

How a God seeker could turn into more of a raging lunatic than a calming saint?

How this very growth of mold could threaten to swallow God’s very light shining on it?

But, yet, if we stop and think, sometimes our heart actually lands at the truth, doesn’t it?

God’s light is still shining – even when our heart isn’t.

There is no amount of disgrace, shame and darkness that can remove the ray of light shining on you. Like the rays that follow your tin can of transport, so does God go. Like the light that reflect off the tiny pieces of dirt on the side of the road, so does God go. Like the moon that shines even in the darkness, so does God go.  You can’t stop the places his light shine.

God’s light shines hope into every endless pit of death and decay –
it can’t help but make things grow.

The glow of repair is always available – and the glow is a He and he waits for our call, so that he can run to our rescue, operating tools and all, to reshape us into glory, faster than one can mutter “Thank you.”

God didn’t save his glow for the perfect, he shines it on the sinners.

The only hindrance for us receiving it, is us believing dirty rotten scoundrels can really handle it without ruining everything.

It is moving in, rather than running away.
It is waiting, rather than hiding.
It is believing grace rather than fear.
It is relaxing into his work, rather than resisting it.

Conflict is the great body shop of God’s repair,
for it is here that he points out the greatest defects of our hearts.

The amazing part is – when those who are defected,
continually run to him who is resurrected,
we can’t help but find ourselves more and more perfected. 

So, be not discouraged, he is helping us.
Be not dismayed, he is with us in the heat of the moment, despite the coldness of our heart.
Be not disgraced, he calls us to see, not our bad moves, but his great ones.
Be not downright angry, he leads us to listen, so then we can understand.
Be not debased, he calls us to set our ways down, so we can come alive to his.
Be not defeated, he calls us to victory in Christ, so then we may be free.
Be not dejected, he calls us to new ways of thinking, so we don’t live furious.
Be not defamed, you are always loved in his eyes.
Be not defensive, his correction spoken might be your ticket to fullness.
Be not down and out, you are permanently Christ’s new creation.
Be not disqualified, nothing can remove you from the hand of God.
Be not denied, Christ already died to fully accept you.

The key is to pray so we don’t fall prey, but so we find God’s way. His way is the greatest cease and desist order to the devil and the most potent concoction of peace there is.

Suddenly, what we find is – it’s not so much about winning, but much more about letting Christ win our hearts over in love – so everything flows according to HIS plan.

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Col. 3:12

Get all Purposeful Faith blog posts by email – click here.

 

I Lied To You. Getting Serious About Sin.

Serious About Sin

I lied to you all.

Last week, I said I wouldn’t look…I made a pledge, a promise and an oath that I was going to breakaway from a specific sin – and move to breakthrough. Remember? I made a commitment to each of you. I said, I wasn’t going to look at my blog numbers. I said, I would avoid them, so as not to set my heart on them. That is all fine and dandy, except for one thing – I didn’t.

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. Ro. 7:15

Because I hate what I do, I tend to:

1. Blame – “Every time I opened my page to post the numbers were right there on the right hand side and I couldn’t help but take a gander.”
2. Excuse – “It’s no big deal I looked, more than once.”
3. Deny – “Friends, I have been doing great. No issues over here.”
4. Give up – “Ahh..oh well God, guess this one isn’t going to work.”
5. Get guilty – “I can’t believe I couldn’t follow through on this one small thing.”

And yes, absolutely, my friends, there is a grace for a poor soul like me, for a woman who falls down far more often than she stands up. Thank you Jesus for that! But we don’t just chalk up an image of amazing grace and turn our backs, we chalk repentance on the dashboard of our will so we don’t slam into that dang dashboard yet again, bruising and battering our face.

Where do you find your face ends up
bruised and battered from a repeated sin?

Are you walking in spirit and truth,
or are you walking in flesh and failure?

My friends, don’t be like I am, often afraid to consider #1-5 above (and therefore landing in #3). There is no condemnation. There is no shame. That was simply ruled out when Christ ruled on the cross. But, what is not ruled out is the fact that Jesus is not okay with grey areas of sin. 

Be angry, and yet, do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity. (Eph. 4:27)

Sin is serious; Jesus said if our hand causes us to sin we gotta get the machete and cut that thing off (well, not literally, but you get the idea). (Mt. 5:30) His point is this process may hurt. It may hurt our insides to change, it may hurt as others deny or reject us and it may hurt normalcy. Jesus never said it wouldn’t hurt, but he boldly said we must get proactive to cut it off.

Failure to do so, is like putting a kid in a candy shop and telling him that he can smell but not bite. It is not happening, fellow sinners! That kid is going to jump in to devour disobedience faster than a gooey gummy bear can slide down his small throat.

What sin we sit around looking at, we will eventually grab, unwrap, salivate over and then eat – hook line full of guilt, sinking us to shame.

You can’t hang around lurking sin and think it won’t attack you. It will.

But, it’s likelihood of entry is far lower if you have set
the alarm system of wisdom to protect you.

Wisdom is foresight that considers what is about to trip.
Wisdom is the intellect that looks at weaknesses, so it can stand strong.
Wisdom is the smarts that stockpiles truth so, when evil arrives, it is prepared.
Wisdom is the brain that sets boundaries and lines around what is most sacred.
Wisdom is the fortitude that seeks to pressure wash it’s temple through prayer.
Wisdom is the mindset that gets active about what it has set its mind on.
Wisdom is the one that knows small things will become big sins in not too long.
Wisdom is the verses that are written all over (whatever) to keep steadfast.
Wisdom is the friend that is a phone call away to help one stay strong.
Wisdom is the stillness established in a day to keep going the right way.
Wisdom is the reliance on the Word that keeps one focused like a champion ping pong player.
Wisdom is the will to have no other will than the will of God.

Wisdom is one who makes a change before sin makes a fool out of them.

It is one who knows that change without pre-set barriers, or safeguards,
is like a bird without wings.

A bird that simply can’t fly towards real spiritual growth.

What boundary do you need to define
so that you don’t end up defined by failure?

I removed my statistics plug-in on my blog. The only way to not look at what you shouldn’t look at, whether alcohol, porn, or online shopping, is to simply cut it off, cut the cord, cut the plug-in or cut whatever – so you don’t get cut. And that is what I decided to do.

You can’t sin if you don’t leave yourself any room to.

Since getting proactive, I haven’t seemingly deactivated my faith by my failure. So, I guess we can consider this a win for Jesus and move on.

What does God want you to move on to as you let go of what holds you back? Consider #1-5 and take flight to new heights of spiritual growth.

Easy Subscribe! Get all Purposeful Faith blog posts by email – click here.

3 Updates for Bloggers.

  1. Thursday, I am announcing a new Purposeful Faith Contributor. Stay tuned here and on Facebook.
  2. Submit your guest post to Purposeful Faith by Nov. 16. Details here.
  3. Join the blogger, encourager and women’s ministry Cheerleaders for Christ Facebook page!
 Loading InLinkz ...

10 Verses to Comfort Sad Day Feelings

Verses to Comfort Sad Days

Sometimes I feel that I have a personal obligation to those around me.

A smile must go on, a fake cheer must resound and my words must say,
“I’m fine” and really mean it.

I can’t let others go south based on overly exposed emotions.

Ever feel that way?
Like you couldn’t feel the way you wanted to feel?

That you were the helper extraordinaire,
unable to step down from your lofty position to ask for help?

That you were a burden bringer not a blessing keeper
if you opened the floodgates?

That people would hustle you to the nearest cave,
verses rush to your rescue?

Usually when we hide our burdens away, we hide them away from God too.

We shove them into the attic of our mind, bundled, tied and bound so that we don’t have to acknowledge the burden of actually living too near to them.  They aren’t pretty.

We don’t want others to hate us for bringing them into this thing called – mess.

Sometimes, we would rather avoid the “feel” part in this thing called “heal.”

But, what we are so often quick to forget is that:
God hears the one who calls – and the one who calls – he is prone to take their call to answer it.

  • Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved. Ps. 55:22
  • The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. Ps. 34:17
  • Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 1 Pet. 5:7

God doesn’t tell us to take our feelings and run far, he takes us to take our feelings and cast them far. To see them for what they are, hold them and to throw them – up.

Feelings are not bad, they just need to be tended for by the master shepherd of care.

Let them live – but, let God live near them.

  • The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Ps. 34:18
  • The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refugemy shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Ps. 18:2
  • But you are a shield around me, O LORD; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head. Ps. 3:3

Even when those around us don’t respond well, when we cast what exists up to God, he keeps us behind the power of his shield.  God, every time, stands ready to deflect the bullets of advice, repair and condemnation by others.

Safety for our heart is found in the safe refuge of our God.

  • Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. Jo. 15:4

A product, a result, a fruit results when we keep the flow of our feelings attached the source of our life-flow. He gives us what we need to repair in a way that we can give to others what they really want – not just a fake version of our best self.

And he promises us:

  • “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Jo. 14:18
  • And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 1 Pet. 5:10

In God’s arms, and maybe not today or tomorrow, but some day, we become untroubled as we remove our stuff from the attic and we bring it to the master carpenter who faithfully works to reshape what feels broken.

  • Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. John 14:1

Get all blog posts by Purposeful Faith via email – click here.

It Is Not My Fault

Not my Fault

This was kind of a thing in my house. If something went missing into the great abyss and you were at that point (you know, the one where your ready to pull out every last hair), the accusations would start flying.

Suddenly, all people in the house became, not family members, but culprits.  Bad guys, not common blood. Offenders, not friends – who should be charged, judged and accused. Suspicions would run high. Who misplaced that item?

Why is it so easy to point the finger?
To blame?
To say something like, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

I at because of him!
It wasn’t me!
You see that bite in the apple? Not may fault!
Him! That one! Look over there.
Blame him.

We hunt for relief from our shame, a shelter from the burden, a hope that we don’t have to carry its load. Can I offload on you?

God’s big lesson is less in Eve’s response and more in his question, “What is this you have done?” Gen. 3:13

He knew what she did, but wanted her to know too.

Hitting a hard realization, often pushes us away from immediate rationalizations.

Knowing he sees us, is knowing we can’t pull a fast one on the great one.

The beginning of recommission, often starts at admission.

In fact, just hearing his voice – and answering it – makes us immediately aware of where we stand – naked and hiding in a bush deathly afraid. 

We push away our sin on to someone else because we don’t want it to land on us. It would wreck our good girl image, our seemingly great place and space in God’s garden, our joy in being free as a child of God, or so we think.

So, we scramble and pick up the gameboard of God’s players and try to scramble the board, we mess up progress in a way where no one knows who did what – hoping that chaos will realign the whole mat.

But, we forget who the master player is, don’t we? The one who stands it all the whole time. Just like a kid getting ready to cheat, our moves are made from the same place – we want to win in the end.

I do. I don’t want to disappoint him. I don’t want to let him down. I want to stay child – numero uno. I want to be in good graces. I want to still be loved.

And, that, right there, is the greatest lie of the devil isn’t it? That if we bite into the apple that we will never be loved again. He gets us on that one.

It’s our biggest fear, it’s what makes us rip off our clothes in shame, hide in a bush and beat our knees together out of a pulsating heart of fear.

But, here, we listen to the wrong voice. The other voice, the voice of God says, “You can’t do something that will ever make me stop being something, doing something or giving something for you.” 

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Ro. 8:38-39

When we stand on God’s ground, we stand on loved ground.

When we find Christ, we are branded as his.

When we find love, we can’t be thrusted outside of its confines, no matter how bad we act.

With these anchors as our holders, we can be okay with God’s instruction that “each one should carry their own load.” Gal. 6:5  

We can carry our own load, because Christ carried his all the way to the point that complete forgiveness was poured out.

In the end, we will be okay. We will be pulled in tighter than a mom with a loved child. We will be held close as our mouths force out the words, “I am sorry.” We will find the lesson under the mat of the gameboard and it will bring us closer to God.

We will look at ourselves and see – we were wrong.

Get all Purposeful Faith blog posts by email – click here.

Getting Past Bad Memories

bad memories

I can’t stop remembering.
I want to, but I can’t.
Already processed words, feelings and hurts remain pressed up in me – concentrated.
Like cars at a landfill, I have squeezed in so much; these memories tower high.

Sure, I want to wave goodbye,
but my mind holds on as if I am losing a long lost friend.

Sure, I want to finally turn my back on the, tears, embarrassment, shame and pain –
but it seems I would negate or excuse all that happened. 

So, I hold on, like one carrying a stinky diaper.
I hold on like one dealing with month-old trash.
I hold on like a 2-year old looking around at who may hit them next.

I keep my stink near, out of fear.

Why?  Yes, I raise my hand, to acknowledge what I am about to tell you is a lie. But it lures me every time.

The Lie:
Tying myself up in yesterday,
will keep my heart from being tied up today.

So, I keep my antennae’s up and out;
threats are analyzed.

My warning bells are working and tested;
safety walls can fly up.

On-demand memories are readily available;
they are the boot camp to my feet, helping me to run as needed.

But, does my strategy even work? Because it seems I spend a lot of time in the landfill – walking over bad waste, smelly pieces and unloved emotions.

I can’t help but ask, does being around the stinky
somehow generate the sacred?

I don’t think so. So, why do I keep doing it?

My delay in demolishing only seems to work in demolishing my heart yet again.

That is what happens to wastelands of bad memories, they only hang out to make things more disgusting.  I don’t want to allow flies to buzz, mold to grow and my heart to grow cold to others because of the garbage that I can’t seem to unload.

The reality is, when I take a hard and fast look:

Reserving these pains doesn’t revive my worth.

Remembering the frustration doesn’t relieve my agony.

Reliving these pinpricks doesn’t reject future hurts.

It just doesn’t. And, God knows it too.

Simply said, he tells us, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.” Is. 48:13

I love what comes next even more:

Behold, I am doing a new thing;
    now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
    and rivers in the desert.
The wild beasts will honor me,
    the jackals and the ostriches,
for I give water in the wilderness,
    rivers in the desert,
to give drink to my chosen people,
    the people whom I formed for myself. 
that they might declare my praise.
Is. 48:19-21

Notice this: Here, God doesn’t care much about fixing an old thing;
he cares about doing a new thing!

He cares about:

Generating life out of now-dead things.
Making the wild-ones obey and honor him.
Giving water to the souls with holes.
Providing for his chosen people.

When we see past the days of old,
we see the abundance of God.

When we keep our heart in today,
we suddenly step up above the fray.

God wants to give us the essential and the substantial
to fill us with his potential.

Notice the result? It is powerful. God in his wisdom protects our skittish mind from doing what it loves to do best. He prevents us from acting like a pig in a trough – returning to his old stink.

How?
He replaces our precautionary stance with a praised-filled one.

Suddenly our arms move from crossed to open.
Our eyes look from side-to-side, to straight up.
Our heart is laid down at his feet, just trying to inch closer to his goodness, rather than closed up in safety walls.

Our eyes are open to see goodness rather than pain. 
Restoration rather than hardship.
Glory rather than trash.

And, it is beautiful, budding beautiful, sunrise beautiful, springtime beautiful. It captures our eyes with new hopes, new dreams and new what-ifs. It opens up a whole new world – a fresh, exciting and adventurous world.

I guess the choice is mine, it’s ours…
We can choose to sit in the pain of yesterday
or we can choose to sit in the glory of today.

I know which one I am going to pursue.

Get all Purposeful Faith blog posts by email – click here.

2 Notes for Bloggers:
1. Join the Cheerleaders for Christ #RaRalinkup Facebook page.
2. Guest submissions are open through the end of the month.

 Loading InLinkz ...

 

Protecting What God Loves Most in You

God Loves Most

There are voices that speak devastation, demolition and destruction to the temple of God.

Can you hear them?

Ordinary words that travel extraordinary distances to injure.
Words that cut deeper than a machete and further than a scalpel.
Ones that appear to rip the seams of God right out, if you let them.

They are ready steal your passion for bended knees, raised hands, and uplifted eyes. They charge into your face, yelling, “You little, …(fill in the blank.) You always…. You never…. You can’t….”

Maybe the voice isn’t even so loud, but the injury is.

Words a mile a minute – the pressure can seem inescapable. These declarations of powerlessness became my anthem song, they defined my ins and outs, my worth and value, and my hope and future.

Yet, God moves technology, just as he does our hearts and these old cassette songs became just that old – it was time for something that doesn’t take up so much space and without the weight. God gave me a new song.

If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple. 1 Cor. 3:17

My temple is sacred.

Am I protecting it? Am I keeping it strong guarded?

Sometimes you have to. People seem to come at you.

But I will encamp at my temple to guard it against marauding forces. Never again will an oppressor overrun my people, for now I am keeping watch. Zech. 9:8

The temple of God always was and always will be a monument God calls us to enforce.

As temple carriers, we must strong-guard it from foreign objects, set up to desecrate and devastate it’s beauty.

Remember Jesus in the temple? He flipped false goods, on their heads. Just the same today, he doesn’t want us accepting falsities or hyperboles about our self – in his house.

What have you let dwell in the temple of the most high God?

What labels, libels and litanies from years past still hang out?

What humiliation, intonations and accusations from today won’t leave?

What doesn’t start and end with God, usually starts and ends with shame. What stands outside his holy grounds, usually tries to force a way in to ransack his house.

God is a fan of forged walls, when they are ones that protect his sonship covenant with us – a covenant that always says: I love you. I am for you. I will not hold you – against you. I will rush back every time you call on my name.

When we let God’s promises become do what they were intended to do – protect, we no longer:

Push out godliness to usher in helplessness.
Wash out purity to welcome in fragility.
Remove honest humility to greet a faith disability.

God’s temple always waits to be our refuge, our safety, our barrier, our new confine, our hope, our insight, our wisdom, our future. We don’t need a magic ball, because we have the majesty of Christ’s Spirit in us.

The walls of God’s temple wrap us in love and fortify our hearts in truth. They continually confess our hope of glory. 

When atomic warfare is thrown at God’s temple, the temple that bears his name, we can take refuge under the bomb shelter of his love.

The name of the LORD is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. Prov. 18:10