LIGHTS, ACTION, CAMERA

You have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior. By His sacrifice and the His blood you have been adopted into a royal family. Now you are under the microscope like the royal family of England or any actor or musician. Everything you say or do will be judged by others who do not even know who you are. Even how you say something can be misinterpreted. The enemy will work through anyone or anything to kill, steal or destroy your life, your credibility. So how do handle this? Do we run and hide? Do we pretend that we are not who we are, and put on a mask? Do wear camouflage so others do not see us?

As brothers and sisters in Christ we are held to a higher standard, like it or not. Scripture tells us that in this world but we are not to be like the world. We are a peculiar people, we are made to stand out. This means we will be scrutinized, every action and word we speak will be judged. This should not keep us from hiding our relationship with God. Put on your armor, and stand firm. You don’t have to defend God, Jesus is our defender, our advocate, and our victory. Be faithful to Him.

His light is shining favorably upon you, your faith is in action, and the world is looking at you. Be the light in the darkness and show others how to get to where you are. We are to do more than hear His Word but put It into action, and not be afraid of what others think. Care only what God thinks of you, and he thinks you are special. He loves you. His love is perfect.

John 15:19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.

John 12:31 The time for judging this world has come, when Satan, the ruler of this world, will be cast out.

1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

Acts 13:47 For this is what the Lord has commanded us: ‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, to bring salvation to the ends of the earth.'”

Ephesian 6:13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

1 John 2:1-2 “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous”

James 1:22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

More Than Words

This may be a secular love song but listening to the words I was inspired and was able to hear God telling me that He wants more than our words. We may talk the talk but are we walking the walk. Our works do not create faith but if we have faith and truly love God our actions prove this. If you speak a foreign language does that make you that language’s nationality? I took French in high school but that did not make me French, it just meant that I learned how to read and speak the language.

Thanks to Jesus we have been adopted into God’s family. His sacrifice redeemed us. He did more than say I love you and you are forgiven. He proved it by laying down His own life to pay the price for sins He was not guilty of. He walked this earth not to condemn us but to show us love.

How we live are lives says more about us and our relationship with Him, than the words that come out of our mouths. We say I love you, as easily as we say I love chocolate or pizza. We have watered down our relationship with worldly attitudes and do not even realize it. How we live each day matters, and what we value tells others where our hearts desires are. Scripture tells us that if we love the Lord that He will give us the desires of our heart, but what we do not read is that if you love the Lord the desires of your heart will change to what He desires us to have. Even Jesus when speaking to our Father said, “not will but Thine be done”. When you give you life to God, you are to submitt to His will, to do as He instructs. Our ways are not His, and His ways are not ours. Neither are our thoughts His. Frank Sinatra said he did it his way, but a life with Jesus means we give up our own way. We give Him more than lip service. We give Him our entire lives. We live, eat and breathe His Word. Every action speaks louder than even screaming at the top of our lungs. More than words should be how we live everyday for Him.

Matthew 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Luke 6:46 “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?

Colassions 3:17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

1John 3:18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.

James 1:22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

James 2:17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

James 2:26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.

James 3:13 Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom.

1 Peter 2:21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.

It’s Not Fair! / I never promised you a rose garden

Life is not fair. It is filled with pain and sorrow. You can do everything right and everything can still go wrong. You obey the rules and laws and still be the one to be persecuted while those who break the law get away with it and even prosper. None of this is fair. You believe in God and Jesus is your Lord and Savior but you still suffer. It is not fair. It is not right.

We live in a broken world and there are many who call good evil, and what is evil good. So how do we hold onto faith, and how do we continue to believe in our loving God? You would think that coming into a relationship with Him that our lives would improve, right? Right now your life may be in rubble and you are wondering how could this happen. You have been faithful and obedient yet everything that could go wrong has. A relationship with Christ does not mean a life without trouble. He did not promise you a rose garden in this fallen world. he did tell us in this world we would face various trials and tribulations, and that there would be those would not only hate us but seek to destroy us. So you might be thinking then why bother having a right relationship with Jesus. I will tell you why, we choose this relationship not to escape the troubles in this world but to have the only One who will faithfully stand beside you no matter what you are going through. He will never abandon or reject you, even when fall He will be there to pick you up. He will not condemn you for the wrongs you have committed but love and forgive you, accepting you as you are. He will give you the strength to make it through this life with the promise that this world we live in is temporary and He has gone to prepare a place for us and that He will come back for us.

He did not promise us a trouble free life, but that He will always be there for you no matter your circumstance. He also promised you eternal life for those who believe in Him. Life in this world is temporary, no matter how long your story in this world will be, it will not end with this world but continue through out eternity with Him.

Life in this world will not be fair and like a rose garden life has its’ beauty but it also has thorns. When your faith is tested and you can barely hold on to hope remember that Jesus did not live a trouble free life on this earth. He was rejected, mocked, abused, hated and suffered the cross. He did not have to do this but because he loved us He chose to, so that we are forgiven and have the promise of eternal life with Him. He overcame the grave to give us the keys to life. Hold on and don’t give up, he will see you through this life.

John 7:7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me, because I testify that its works are evil.

John 15:18-19 “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

James 1:2-4 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Isaiah 41:13 For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.”

Hebrews 13:5 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid or terrified of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Deuteronomy 31:8 The LORD Himself goes before you; He will be with you. He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid or discouraged.”

Prayers of a Nobody/Thank You!

My book, ‘Prayers Of A Nobody’ has had 24 downloads on Amazon in its first week’s release. I know it does not seem like much but it is to me. I am thankful to all of your support. This project means a lot to me. Praying it helps many with their struggles with prayer. I know that even mature believers struggle from time to time and for those who have little to no knowledge of our Savior Jesus and the love of God that prayer can be difficult to approach. I am thinking about Esther and the boldness it took her to approach her husband the king. The difference is we do not have to fear our King. Jesus made the way so that nothing can separate us from His love. Before Christ only the priest could enter into the Holy of Holies. Thanks to Jesus we are granted full access(Hebrews 10:19).

Emotions, circumstances, and our backgrounds can make us feel like we can’t do it, but the great news is that we can both approach that Holy Throne Room and He is waiting and wanting us to. I know there are days that even I struggle to pray and can only get ‘Help!’ out. Even that one word prayer reaches Him and He answers every time. It may not always be what I want to hear but He answers every prayer.

So thank you for reading and hopefully sharing this book. If you would please leave your review on Amazon.

Suicide Prevention – Information everyone should know

Sue's Pen 2 Paper Blog

WHY IT MATTERS?

  • One person dies by suicide every 15 minutes.
  • A suicide attempt occurs every 40 seconds.
  • Over 40,000 deaths by suicide each year, and the rate continues to increase.*

What are the warning signs?

  • Depression/feeling down, appetite loss, increased sleeping, loss of interest in life activities.
  • Feelings of helplessness, hopelessness or feeling unworthy
  • Talking about hurting or killing him/her self.
  • Substance misuse (cocaine, crack cocaine, alcohol, marijuana, etc.)
  • New/old mental health diagnosis, hearing voices, loss of touch with reality.
  • Chronic, debilitating or severe pain.
  • Severe anxiety that will not go away.
  • Severe overreaction to good or bad circumstances.
  • Feelings of rage, hostility or revenge.
  • Repression of angry feelings.
  • Severe internal conflicts, such as overwhelming guilt or anbivalence.

What are the risk factors?

  • History of abuse (sexual, physical or emotional.
  • Access to weapons
  • Previous suicide attempts or threats.
  • Family problems.
  • Any type of significant loss
  • Relationship difficulties (loss or…

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Prayers Of A Nobody

It has been a few weeks since I last posted here and a lot has happened. Most of you who have been reading my posts know that I have not been able to work since last September because of an injury that happened at work. So I had decided to try and use my down time to do something productive. I began writing ‘Prayers Of A Nobody’. Over the past month I have faced many obstacles due to what I was told a computer error that had terminated both my employment and workers comp claim. Which also interfered with my writing time since my pain level limits my computer and writing time. I am happy to say that with God’s help I endured and not only was reinstated and my medical care has begun again, I was also able to finish writing this short book on prayer.

Now it is not your conventional prayer book and will probably not be accepted by those in the religious field. It is a book for those who feel that they cannot pray. Some feel that they are not good enough and that God wants nothing to do with them. Others may look at the what happens in this world and think if there was a God why is He letting all these terrible things happen. Others are too angry or depressed to pray. The list goes on. This book is for them and for those of us who want to reach out and let them know that God does love them, and He is listening.

This book is raw and filled with emotions that most do understand. The prayers included are not religious but they are real, and from the point of view of people who struggle with pain and suffering. People who feel rejected, unloved, and unwanted. You can find it on Amazon kindle books. Until this Friday June 18th you can get it for free. I hope that many of you will take some time and read it. I am sure there is someone you know who this book may help. Please feel free to share. Thank you and God bless.

Free for until June 18.

Fire and trials

Thanks to all of you who have read my posts, kept me in your prayers and offered words of encouragement and comfort. A couple of the recent comments had reminded me of a word God had given to me some years ago.

A sword when formed the materials chosen are put through the fire, stretched, folded, and hammered. This is done over and over until the blade is formed. The more the blade is folded the stronger it becomes. The part I am focused on today is the fire which inspired by both a recent painting I had posted, ‘Going through the fire’, and a current one that I have been working on for a client, ‘Risen’. Risen is not ye finished and neither are the rest of us. I like to say we are a work in progress and God is not done with us yet. Both paintings represent fire.

Risen unfinished by Julie Sheppard
Through the Fire by Julie Sheppard

First thought of fire you think of destruction. Homes and forests burned to the ground. Getting burned. Yet fire is not just destructive. You cook with fire. Create with it. Fire can be scary but look at Daniel’s friends Shadrach, Meshach and Abed Nego. They refused to bow down to and idol and were thrown into a fiery furnace. They did not burn and they came out not even smelling of smoke. Then think of the Holy Spirit Fire. We grow when we go through the fire. We are refined. We are made stronger. In the painting immediately above I had explained in a previous post. The current painting which is unfinished I will tell it’s story when it is finished. Clay pots are put into kilns and baked. God is referred to as The Potter and we are His clay, to be molded and shaped into vessel He can use. This also means to be made solid we too must go through the fire. I am not sure how long it is going to take for me to finish my current painting but I will post it when it is finished.

Remember His fire will not harm you but make you stronger!

Waiting 5/23/2021

Well I am still in a waiting period. My procedure has been rescheduled for the second time. So I have another two weeks of waiting. I had joked with the woman handling my case that I could have given birth to a baby in the time I have been laid up, and off work.

For a person who is not patient this is frustrating. I am the type who wants to figure out the solution to the problem then get it done. Now my body has been in the care of others and I am not happy that the original doctor kept telling me the problem I was having with the swelling and discoloration in my arm was normal, to find out that it wasn’t and now I have these multiple procedures that need to be done. I would have liked these things to have been found out sooner and dealt with earlier. Unfortunately when others are in control of deciding what care you get things can go wrong and things can be delayed.

Yet through it all God has been with me. He has never left my side and He understands my frustration and He knows I don’t blame Him. Once upon a time I would have. I would have asked Him ‘What have I done wrong?’ or a long list of other things that would either blame myself or Him. Thankfully through life and a relationship with Jesus I have learned neither are true.

Waiting is not always pleasant and times are difficult. Life is not easy and even a bed of roses has it’s thorns, and needs to be fertilized. I plant seeds and there buried beneath the soil some grow and some don’t. They also don’t grow at the same time. Some you plant in fall to see bloom in the spring, and others just after winter to see them grow in the fall. They all have the waiting period. During our times of waiting we too grow and eventually bloom and produce fruit. I don’t know what will grow in me during through this time. I guess I just have to wait in see. Trust that God will see me through, and He will get me to the other side.

Numbers 9:8

Moses therefore said to them, “Wait, and I will listen to what the Lord will command concerning you.”

Rape as a Weapon

ANNA WALDHERR A Voice Reclaimed, Surviving Child Abuse

Femicides in Mexico: Impunity and Protests | Center for Strategic and International Studies

Protester holding sign which reads:  “Don’t Kill Us!”
Photo: ROCIO VAZQUEZ/AFP via Getty Image
WARNING:  Graphic Images

Rape is being used as a weapon in Mexico against women and girls protesting femicide and other gender violence [1].  Women who dress in black or cover their faces – even as a hygiene measure against COVID-19 infection – are viewed as suspect.

Femicide in Mexico

The World Health Organization defines femicide as the intentional murder of women because they are women.

Nearly 3500 femicides were committed in Mexico in 2019 alone [2].  Approximately 10 women are killed everyday by strangulation, suffocation, stabbing, and drowning.  Some 93% of crimes are either not reported or not investigated.

The inaction of Mexico toward this situation has drawn criticism from around the world.

Media Demonization

Women taking part in protests have been demonized by the media.  In this way, authorities have undermined the legitimacy of protest. …

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Through The Fire

I used to have this nightmare that terrified me years ago, where I was surrounded by fire, covered in blood, and being attacked by something I could not see. Recently God revealed to me that it was not a nightmare, which I would argue until He gave me understanding. He told me that even though I was surrounded by fire I was not being burned. The blood that covered me was not my own, but His Son’s blood which was protecting me. Even though I was being attacked, that I did not die, but stood firm. That the fire kept the enemy from destroying me, and that it was His Spirit that surrounded me. This inspired this painting.

Through The Fire by Julie Sheppard

Which I hope inspires hope for those who are going through their own fiery trials, or nightmares.