Love your enemies

Matthew 5:43-48, and again in Luke 6:27-36, Jesus is teaching us to love our enemies. We can say the words ‘I love you’, without meaning what we say. We can say it as easily as saying “Hello”, or ‘Goodbye’. We are being polite, but we are not truly caring about the other person. Now this is where it is going to get harder, ‘Love your enemy, bless those who persecute and you’. I have tried over and over again in this area and failed miserably, so what I am writing is for myself and anyone else who struggles with this.
I have been thinking a lot about Jonah lately. He was a man God used to save the people of Nineveh. Yet he did so unwillingly. He tried to run from His purpose of giving the message of repentance to the people of Nineveh. To say that he did not like them is being kind. He wanted them to be condemned for how they lived. He had passed judgment on them and thought they deserved what was coming to them. So he ran in the other direction, and ended up in the belly of a whale, that spit him up on the shore of Nineveh. He told the people to repent for God’s judgment was at hand, and they did. This did not make Jonah happy though. He sat outside the city angry and wanting to die. Even though the people had repented and God showed mercy, Jonah had no love or mercy for the peopl of Nineveh.
How many times have we turned and gone another direction because we did not like what a person or group was living without taken the time to give the message of God’s love, and the price Jesus paid to show us how much He loves us? Yes there are those who we have shared God’s Word and love with who rejected what we had to say and even turned against us. Yet how many people do we reject? We don’t like how they dress, talk, live or their beliefs’. Is this a spirit of humility? Are we so much better than we can turn our backs on them?
There are people in my life currently that I have a hard time dealing with, from their behavior and vulgar language to their hateful attitude and I must admit that even though I have been polite, I have wanted to take a gallon of Dawn dish soap and a toilet brush to their mouth. this is not a loving attitude and I know it. I also have had people in my life that I have shared the Word of God with and His love who are members of a church who have not only rejected me but cursed me and slandered my name while living in adultery. Do I forgive the one who is attacking me personally and yet judge the other because they do not attend church? Or should I love them as Jesus loves them. It is not up to me or you to change how they live, but to introduce them to the only true love that can transform their lives as He is continuing to mold us into His image.


Do You Listen? / June 18, 2019

(In this post I have included the original post, but as I read it again I heard God speak to me and tell me that it was unfinished. So The bold print is from the original.)
When your children do not listen to you and disobey you do you get upset? Of course you do. I do not know of any parents that does not care when their child does something wrong. As a parent you have rules you expect your children to follow those rules. There are the things you want them to do, and the things you do not want them to do. When they break your rules you discipline them. So why is it that when God tells us to do something or not do something we like to argue with Him, or we go ahead and do the thing He has told us not to do? He is our Heavenly Father, and we are His children. As we want our children to listen to us we need to listen to God our Father and not argue with Him and do what we know pleases Him. We are not to talk back or tell Him what to do. We do not tolerate this with our own children, so why is it that we think we can do this with God? 

Growing up, talking back to any adult was not allowed, and you definitely did not talk back to my father, unless you wanted a beating. Yet are there times when we do this with God, our Heavenly Father? Do we make demands and tell Him what to do? I think we have become spoiled children at times. We have used prayer as a one-way street, with a list of demands and wants. A combination of a shopping list and a to do list.

When Jesus was asked by His disciples how to pray, He had included, ‘Thy will be done’ in His example of how to pray, and what we today call the ‘Lord’s prayer’ (Matthew 3:9-13). Later while praying in Gethsemane, He again said in prayer, ‘Not my will but Thine be done’. In both instances, Jesus the Son of God does not make demands but prayed for the will of God to be done.

It is not our own will that we should be seeking but His. How can we know His will? Let us not only hear what He tells us, but listen. Remember that prayer is communicating with God. He is not your personal genie granting you what ever you wish, He is our Heavenly Father. He wants to hear from you, but He also wants for you to listen to what He has to say. He is not your ATM machine where you put your membership card in so you can take something out. Stop for a moment and give Him your time and attention. Listen to His voice.

1 John 5:14 This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.
John 10:27-28 ESV My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.
Mark 4:24 ESV And he said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear: with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you.

Proverbs 1:8-9 ESV Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching, (9) for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck.

Proverbs 7:1-3 ESV My son, keep my words and treasure up my commandments with you; (2) keep my commandments and live; keep my teaching as the apple of your eye; (3) bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.

Right Relations / Relationship Status

Now this is still a rough draft continuing my work on ‘Right Relations’ a lesson on learning who we are and the relationships we have. Would love your thoughts and feedback if you have any. Well here is the next installment. I hope you find something you can use in your own relationships.

Relationship Status

When filling out forms, how often do you come across your relationship status? You have to check the box next to-: Single-Married-Divorced or Widowed. On some of the social media you will even find the status of-Complicated. This one I find interesting, because to me it is a big flashing sign you are not in a right relationship. Regarding the original choices on my relationship status, tells me that I am partially defined by what type of relationship I am in. If you are a woman who is married you take on your husband’s name and are identified as his wife. There is nothing wrong with this. It is something I am in agreement with. Today you have women who keep their maiden name or hyphenate their last name with their husband’s name. Both of these I have a problem with, because to me this is telling the world you are only partially committed to your marriage. I am divorced and could have gone back to my maiden name, but I chose to keep my married name when my ex-husband divorced me even when he had petitioned the courts demanding that I changed my name. I did not keep his name as a way to hold on to our marriage. It was over and that is actually a blessing because it had been an abusive relationship. We had a daughter together and I wanted her to grow up knowing that even though I was no longer married to her father, that we shared a name. That I was not going to deny how she came into my life and that I would not abandon her.
Now back to the status check list there have been times I have wanted to create a new box and label it Bride of Christ. In Isaiah there is a verse that talks about God taking me in like a wife who had been forsaken. This as well as many other scriptures have and continue to encourage me. I am a bride of Christ, I belong to my Heavenly Father and I am proud to say this. It is a major part of who I am. It is my identity. Taking on the name ‘Christian’ tells the world I belong to Him, and that He loves and accepts me for who I am. I do not claim to be the same person I was before I entered into this relationship, but whom of us in any of our relationships, stay who we were in the beginning. As my relationship with Jesus has grown, I have grown. I am still me, but I am much better than who I was before. So this is part of the reason for me diving in deeper on learning about relationships. As I am learning more of what relationships are and who I am in these relations, I am learning and growing in each relationship I have. My relationship with God, my Heavenly Father, with Jesus, and His Holy Spirit. Also my relationships with my family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, etc…

This is not a complete work and I am continuing to dive in deeper, hope you enjoy my process.

Right Relations / Outline

This is a new way I am tackling a writing project. I usually want to edit and polish a finished work before I share what I am writing. So here I am sharing my process and how i am being inspired. I have so much work to do. This subject can take me in so many different directions it is going to be fun staying on track. Considering the break from writing that I had taken it feels like I am being flooded with new ideas and thoughts and they just keep pouring out onto this screen. Well my next addition to ‘Right Relations’ is a rough draft of an outline. I hope it gives you an idea of the direction I am being lead.

Right Relations

Introduction / we relate to people every day. There are the people we relate to on a personal level. Others through daily activities, such as work, shopping, dining and ways we find entertainment, to name a few.


Define relations/relationships –List of relationships
How do we relate to one another?
Communication-Key to building relationships
Relationship status
Family relations / Relationships Restored / Cain and Abel (when those closest to you seek to take your life)

How does our earthly relationships effect our relationship with Jesus and how we view God?
What impact does our faith make in our relationships?
You have to work at making a relationship work/A work in progress
Healthy relationships
Intimate relationships /difference between intimate and sexual
Codependent relations
Damaged and broken relationships
Abusive relationships – not all abusive relationship are physical, and some are not even intimate.
Healing relations
Restored and reconciled
Testimonies on relationships that have been healed and restored
The most important relationship
How do Christians change how we relate with each other and with the world? Can we change and make a difference?

Right Relations / The Relationship List

Well I am at work on my ‘Right Relations’ project. So I have compiled a list of some of the different types of relationships we all have. Please feel free to add to the list ones that I did not mention and tell me are these good or bad relations.

Relationship list
1. Immediate family – Parent/child – mother child – father /child father/son – father/daughter – mother/son –mother daughter – brothers/sisters – Grandparents – grandmother/grandfather – aunts/uncles – cousins etc…

2. Faith based relationships-Church/Ministry Relationships Preachers, pastors, ministers, teachers, nursery workers, prayer partners, other church members, visitors etc…
3. Community –  Babysitters, neighbors, teachers, coach, business owners/employers, managers, supervisors, coworkers, doctors, nurses, police, firefighters, cashiers, waiters/waitress, store clerks, etc…
Wrong Relationships
Abusive, controlling, codependent, neglected, etc…
This is not a complete list, but it gives us something to think about. Even if you are single, live alone and have no living relatives, you still have relationships. Some are personal and intimate. Then there are the casual acquaintance and even the strangers you may meet only once but you interacted even if you never spoke a word, and then we have business relationships. I hope your relationship with those you go to church with falls into the personal relationship list.
Now think about what impact has your walk with Christ made on any of these relationships? Is Jesus a part of how you relate to all who are listed here? Can you add to this list?

Right Relations / March 10, 2018

I have not been writing much here lately. I have not wanted to write just to write. Waiting for inspiration and direction from God, because He always gives me the best stuff to share, and to learn from as He speaks to me. So I have taken my break and gotten busy doing a few other things and working on some older projects and working on illustrating a story for a friend. Well I guess break time is over because He has given me my next writing project and lesson which I will be sharing here as I make progress in writing what He is teaching me. So here is my first installment. Be kind because this is a rough draft and is only the introduction, but please leave your comments and share your thoughts with me.

Right Relationships

What is a relation? It is how we relate to one another. We all have relationships. The first relationship we have is with our parents. This begins before we are born. Nice and safe, in our mothers’ womb, we grow hearing her heartbeat. Then the day comes when we enter into the world and can then be held by her. Most of us had both a mother and a father, but there are some of us who only had our mother to welcome us into this world. We then have our grandparents, and then there are brothers and sisters, and aunts and uncles, and cousins. The list of people goes on to include friends, and neighbors. The list of relationships we have continued to grow as we grow. There are those we form in our neighborhoods, our schools, work and church. Then the most important relationship we have is with God, our Heavenly Father, His Son Jesus and His Holy Spirit.
So what is a right relation? Are there wrong relationships? Does not God love us all? I will answer the last question, and that is yes God loves each and every one of us. He loves us so much, He sent His Son to die for us, so that we could have a relationship with Him.
Recently I felt Him prompting me to write about relationships. So here I am beginning my own personal journey on getting to the true heart of relationships. You see God did not create us for religion. He created us to have a relationship with Him. Then sin entered the picture and came between us. Sin divides us, not only from Him but from our Creator. He did not give up on wanting a relationship with us. He made a way for us to have a relationship with Him. He was not going to let sin steal us from Him. He could have given up on us, and started over once Adam and Eve committed the first sin, but He didn’t. He spoke to them both and told them how their lives were going to be and that they had to leave His garden. Thankfully He didn’t stop there; He also told them that through a woman He would redeem man. Then He let the serpent know that his days were numbered and that the one He was going to send would crush his head.(Read Genesis and the fall of man and John 3:16.)
Father and Jesus knew what was going to happen to Him before He came to our world. He knew He would be rejected, ridiculed, beaten and finally crucified, but this did not stop God’s master plan to redeem His creation. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son to die so that we would not perish but have everlasting life if we will believe that Jesus is the Son of God. Seems like an easy choice for us all to do, right? Then how is it that so many people refuse to do this, or only say the words but then continue living as we always have? Never really knowing the love of Christ, or what it means to truly receive Him into our hearts.
In scripture we will find that we cannot love the world and Jesus at the same time. It tells us we cannot serve two masters. You will love one and hate the other. So how do we learn how to have a real relationship with Him?
One thing I am going to be discussing is how all of our relationships effect how we relate to God our Heavenly Father.
I hope you will be patient with me as I share my journey and what jesus has to teach me about relationships.

Is it time for a change of your name?

As you read through your Bible you find that names were changed by God. In Genesis 17:5 You read that God change Abram to Abraham and in verse 15 Sarai becomes Sarah. Jacob becomes Israel, Simon becomes Peter, and Saul becomes Paul are just a few names that were changed by God.

So why the name change? When a woman marries a man she then takes on his family name which identifies her as his wife. Think about that we are called the bride of Christ. Who we were before we came into the knowledge and relationship with Jesus is now a part of our past. That is who we used to be, but now we are made new by Jesus.                 2 Corinthians 5:17  (NKJV) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.                                       Isaiah 43:18 “Do not call to mind the former things, Or ponder things of the past.
Ezekiel 36:26″Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

Most of us still identify with the person we were and still hold onto the traits of the person we were before we received Christ Jesus as our Savior and repented of our sins. When we repented, we turned from our sinful way of living and turned to Jesus, who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one can come to the Father but through Him.

I can try to change my behavior on my own, but this is nothing more than what is called behavior modification. My actions have changed but the desire to do the things I once did is still there. There are two things that I need, but not limited to, and they are (1) The heart of Christ Jesus.  James 4:8  – Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse [your] hands, [ye] sinners; and purify [your] hearts, [ye] double minded. 1 Samuel 16:7  – But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for [the LORD seeth] not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. (2) I need the mind of Christ. For how I think and see things are not how God sees or thinks. Isaiah 55:8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

I have to make the decision to submit to God and allow Him to transform me into the creation He wants me to be so that I can better share the love of Jesus and testify what God has done for me through His Son Jesus. How He changed my life in ways that I never could on my own.


If God changed your name today, what do you think He would change it to?

What part of the old you are you holding onto? (like an old pair of jeans that do not fit anymore but you hold onto because one day they might fit again)




Would you die for your enemy? Lessons of love /January 8, 2018

It is written, ‘No one has greater love than this—that one lays down his life for his friends.’ John 15:13.

Now think about this; ‘Would you die to save the life of your enemy?’

Many would easily give up their life to save their child, their spouse, family members,  friends, and some would do so for a stranger they see in danger. To give up your life for someone who hates you, who despises you, who wants you to you to feel pain, have your life destroyed and even wants you dead, could you sacrifice your life for these people? Would you want to? If we were to be honest our first response is a big fat ‘NO!’.

Yet as I have meditated on the sacrifice our Heavenly Father gave, when He sent His Son to pay the price for our sins and the fact that Jesus did not have to do this but that He loves us as much as our Father does, He surrendered His life. Before He was crucified, He was mocked, ridiculed,attacked, falsely accused beaten and spit upon.then crucified still being mocked, and what were His words? “Father forgive them, they know not what they do.’ How much mercy and love He had not only for those who loved and followed Him, but He loved those who were His enemy. He died for to save the lives of those who were and are His enemy. We have all sinned. Those of us who have not only acknowledged our sins and repented, we have also received Christ Jesus as our Savior and Lord. Through His sacrifice we have been adopted into His family and have become children of God, but before this we too were His enemy.

Can we love others as He loves us, or do we continue to only those who love us, and that we feel are worthy of our love?

Is there anything you can do today to show love to someone who has made it clear that they hate you?

Love for Enemies

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor’ and ‘hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be like your Father in heaven, since he causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Even the tax collectors do the same, don’t they? 47 And if you only greet your brothers, what more do you do? Even the Gentiles do the same, don’t they? 48 So then, be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:43-48 (NET Bible)

December 20, 2017 / What is my purpose?

Tonight I was able to study with some women at church and the study was Rick Warrens ‘The Purpose Driven life’. I have enjoyed reading this book in the past and the Bible studies I had previously done with others. Some may say if you have done this before, why are you doing this again? For me the answer is simple, going back is like hitting the refresh button. It is a good way to remind ourselves of things we have learned and how important those lessons are still today.

I enjoyed going through day one of this book with these wonderful women, and being reminded that the purpose of my life is not for my own self but to serve the One who created me with His purpose. He has already taken care of my needs, and given me more love than I will ever deserve. If I can do anything to show Him my love in return that is a good purpose for my life and that is to serve Him in whatever way He asks. To share His love with anyone I meet, not just friends and family, but my neighbors and the strangers who I meet everyday.

I am thankful for all that the Lord has done for me and for the love Jesus gave to me when He died on the cross to pay for my sins, saving me from myself. I am to lean not on my own understanding but trust God with my entire being.

I am alive so I do have a purpose, thank You God that You have chosen me.

A Rose From My Mother

my mothers rose

Photography by Julie Sheppard

I took this picture after the memorial for my mother in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. She had planted this rose bush in her yard. After the service this beautiful rose stood out against the desert that surrounded it. At that time my heart was broken and my grief was overwhelming. I saw only a rose and knew that she had planted. Today this picture spoke to me. Her life had many harsh times and she survived and even bloomed.

Mom Acton Ca

She was an amazing woman and she made sacrifices that cost her more than I had ever known for most of her life so that I could live and still be here today. Now as I look at this rose I see more than a rose. I am learning a lesson. Life can be harsh and cruel for many of us. Yet no matter where you are or what cruelty may surround you, love and life can still prevail.

I still miss my mom and always will but my thoughts of her bring me joy and she is still in my heart. She was a loving mother and a beautiful and hard working lady.