January 19, 2019 Starting off the year right.

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Art by Julie Sheppard

Hello Everyone!

I am sorry that I have not written anything for a while now. This last year has definitely been busy and a lot has happened. I have also learned a lot. I started working on’Right Relations’, last year and it does not feel like I have gotten very much accomplished on this project, but it has given me time to reflect on the relationships I have had and the testimonies of how each of the relationships had effected me and my relationship with Jesus, and even my current relationships(none that are romantic). I am praying to share my insights through out this year and possibly help or give hope to at least one person.

This year has started off well. I was able to share my testimony on my last suicide attempt which I have shared here, ‘Testimony, I gave up on life and survived’. Even though I had posted this a few years back I had not publicly shared it, with those who knew me or went to church with. I am grateful I did though because since I gave shared that part of my testimony, I have had people talk to me and share about themselves and how my testimony did help them. I have many chapters in my life and many testimonies of the things God has done for me through some very dark periods of my life, and I have written some down and shared them here. I guess it is coming to the time to share them in person.

All of you reading this have testimonies. You are alive and lived through so many different things, some good, some bad, and some tragic. You have a story to share. I encourage you to so so. Share your testimony, break it down into chapters so you do not become overwhelmed. In Revelation 12, you will read …10 And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of His Christ. For the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down—he who accuses them day and night before our God. 11 They have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; and they did not love their lives so as to shy away from death. 12 Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea; with great fury the devil has come down to you, knowing he has only a short time.”…

Life shared is life given, and that is what you give when you give your testimony. I know how afraid you can be when thinking of sharing yourself with another, and how even writing your testimony can be a draining experience. Pouring yourself out, exposing yourself, and knowing that once it is out there you can’t take it back. Then fear of judgement and rejection begin to work on our thoughts. Afraid that if they learn who we truly are and what we had done in the past they would no longer love or want us in their life. One word of encouragement is, ‘god knows you, and He knows everything you have ever done and He still loves you!’ Proof is in that He loved you so very much that He sent Jesus, His Son to die for you. So that you can live. Yes some may criticize or even condemn us when we open up and let His light into the dark areas of our lives, but His light overcomes the darkness. His love never fails, and He will never abandon you.

So it is now your turn, speak up and share what He has done in your life, and reach out to someone you do not even know that is hurting and give them hope.

P.S. I have not stopped working on Right Relations and I am still looking for testimonies on relationships, both good and bad, that I may include in this work. If you feel led to share with me please leave me a comment and I will give you my contact information. I also would like to tell you anything you share with me if used can be kept anonymous.

Thank you and God bless

Right Relations / Rough Draft Continues / Adultery

We have looked at adultery through the eyes of one who was cheated on, now let us look at adultery through someone committing the act. The best example found in the Bible is the story of David and Bathsheba. You can read about this in the Bible 2 Samuel chapters 11 and 12. David who had fought in many battles before did not go with his army. Then one night while his soldiers were gone to battle David was home and woke up in the night. He went to his roof top and saw a woman bathing. He didn’t just watch her bathe, he inquired about who she was. Finding out that she was the wife of Uriah one of David’s soldiers. He still sent for her and slept with her. Then when she told him she was pregnant, David tried to cover up the affair, by first bringing Uriah back from battle. Yet Uriah did not go home and sleep with his wife. So David sent him to a place he was sure Uriah would die in battle. So not only did David commit adultery and betray one of his soldiers, he had the man killed and took Bathsheba for his own wife.  The story does not end there. The Lord sends Nathan to David to reprove him. Nathan confronts David about what he has done letting David know that God knows his sin and has removed it but one of the consequences of his sin is that the child will die and that the sword will never leave his house.

So David does finally acknowledge his affair but he had to be confronted first. How different the outcome might have been if he had owned up to his sin before trying to cover it up to only make it worse. They say it is better to tell the truth because when you lie you have to keep lying until you forget what you have said and eventually the lie is exposed. When we lie and cheat we hurt others and ourselves. These unseen wounds will not heal overnight. You broke the other’s trust in you and it will never be the same again.

What if it is you that has committed adultery? Are you still having the affair, or have you ended the relationship? Do you feel like there is no hope, and that you cannot be forgiven? Read John chapter 8. You will read about a woman caught in adultery and how Jesus forgives her of her sin and tells her go and sin no more. Acknowledge your sin and repent.  People may never trust you again and this might be the consequence of your sin. There is forgiveness in God’s love. As Jesus said, ‘Go and sin no more’.

Right Relations / Rough Draft / Adultery

(This is a rough draft and will be in parts)

How many of you have experienced the sting of betrayal that was caused by someone cheating on you? You were dating or married, and they had an affair. Even if the affair was not sexual it was intimate, taking the affection they once had for you and giving it to another. Jesus told us if we even look at another who is not our wife or husband with lust in our eye we have already committed the sin of ADULTERY. It not only breaks your heart but it can devastate your life. It breaks up families and causes a chain reaction of divisions. Divorce doesn’t just hurt you, but your children, family, church, and friends are hurt too.

You did not accidentally have an affair. You chose to act on a selfish desire and did not care about those who would be hurt by your actions. You may not ever plan on leaving your wife/husband, and believe your affair is secret and that your spouse will never find out. They may even be pretending nothing is happening because the pain is too much for them to bare and they do not want to loose you. Denial and pretending is only deceiving one’s self, and the wound only deepens. I still remember the day when I opened my front door and saw my husband kissing another woman. I didn’t run up to the car and bang on the window. I quietly shut the door and lied to myself and said I did not see that. I was mistaken and that he must have been reaching into the backseat for something. Our marriage was already bad from the abuse but confirmation that he was having an affair was too much for me to handle. This woman had even wanted to throw me a baby shower.  Oh, did I forget to mention I was pregnant? This was a woman who knew of my existence and our marriage did not stop their affair, both were willing parties to their illicit relationship. So not only was I being beaten, I was being cheated on. Now this was not the only time someone had cheated on me, I have had other relationships where not only my heart was broken but so was my trust.

Adultery is found in the Bible a number of times.

Short list

COMMANDMENT: Do not commit adultery.

David and Bathsheba had an affair that lead to the murder of her husband and their baby died.

Hosea, a prophet commanded by God to marry Gomer, who was a prostitute. Time after time Hosea had to go after Gomer who constantly was unfaithful.

Mary the mother of Jesus was thought that she had an affair and Joseph was going to send her off quietly(We all know she did not and Joseph learned the truth as well)

John the Baptist was beheaded because he spoke out against the adultery of the king with his brothers wife and at the request of her daughter at her mothers’ instruction. Mark 6:14-29

Even Abraham had almost caused his wife to commit the sin of adultery out of fear for his own life twice.Thankfully God intervened and spoke to the king and kept this from happening.

I have been discussing adultery between a man and his wife. Both men and women have been guilty since before the time of Moses. There is another kind of adultery most never think about. Spiritual adultery. When we are unfaithful to God. We have not one but two commandments that tell us God is the only One. First commandment no other gods. Second no idols. He needs to be first in all areas of our lives. These man made gods and idols do not love us. They only take from us. We might find momentary pleasure from them but it never truly satisfies. They take away our love and attention to the One who has given us everything to seek after things that do not last. We are called an unfaithful people, and we are. We seek after our own selfish desires and we break His heart. The One who loves us so much that Jesus died for our sins.

You may go to church and know your scripture but if you are still seeking after your own selfish desires you may know His Name but you are not living for Him. You might as well spit in His face. He is not looking for you to be perfect, but He does love you perfectly. Forgiveness and grace do not give us license to continue to live sinful lives.

Please remember this is not a completed work, but I guess you can say there is no relationship that does not need work

Right Relations / The Friends found in the Bible List

This section of Right Relations is taking a lot of thought and work and though I am not ready to share what I have so far I did want to share this and hear from you.

Right Relations / The Friends list

Friends in the Bible list

When I think of some of the friendships in the Bible the one that comes immediately to my mind is the relationship between Jonathan and David. Jonathan was the son of King Saul, and David was a shepherd boy and the youngest of his father’s sons. So how they became friends is one God had chosen. So how many friendships can you think of found in the Bible? Here is a short list of ones that I can think of. I would love to hear from you about ones that are not listed here or of ones that inspire you.

  1. David and Jonathan / 1 Samuel 18-20
  2. Elijah and Elisha
  3. Ruth and Naomi
  4. Jesus and His disciples
  5. Paul and Timothy
  6. Job and his friends
  7. Jesus and Judas (not all friends are friends, some will betray you the second it profits them)

 

I know there are other friends found in the Bible and that we all have those friends who have had an impact on our relationship with Jesus. I am looking forward to hearing from you. Please share your friendship testimonies and your favorite friends in the Bible.

God bless.

Right Relations / Thoughts on friendships

Jesus is referred to as the friend who sticks closer to you than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24) As I have been looking at which relationships to write about, friendships keep jumping to the top of the list. I was planning to write more on the parent child relationship, but this project is not about me me or what I plan to write. It is about drawing closer to God, learning from the relationships we have and those found in scripture. His Word and our testimony.

I have had many friends come and go in my life, and others who are life long friends. The friendship that matters most is the one with Jesus. The friend who laid down His life to save mine.

One friendship found in the Bible is the one between David and Jonathan. 1 Samuel 18:1. Question;

What friendship in the Bible speaks to you?

Do you have a friendship testimony that you would like to share?

I will be taking some time from writing to look deeper into friendships and their influence on our relationship with Christ. I look forward to which friendships have special meaning to you.

God bless.

Right Relations / Thoughts May 28 2018

As I dive deeper into the subject of relationships and see the effort it takes to build good and healthy relationships, and then see how easy it is to allow toxic relationships harm the the healthy ones you have is exhausting me. Yet it is worth the effort if I want to have a better relationship with Jesus my Lord and Savior and with my Heavenly Father. Of course I cannot forget His Holy Spirit. Learning how I relate to others and how that effects my relationship with God is really opening my eyes to the areas in my life that still need so much work. Also seeing the parallels between my life and the lives of those recorded in the Bible is giving me a new perspective on how I view my own life and how much I need the help of the Holy Spirit to overcome my past and even some of my current relationships. The book of Genesis has so many different relationships recorded I wonder how long it will take me to move on to others further down the line, like the book of both 1&2 Samuel, Judges, Job, Esther and Ruth to name a few, and there is still the New testament. All of the relationships recorded from Genesis to Revelation still reflect the relationships we have today. If you have the time you can read from my collection, ‘Letters from God’ fictional letters based on those found in the Bible. The list of both good and wrong relationships can be found through the Bible. Even the relationships found in the parables Jesus taught can we relate to today.

Well It is time for me to dive back into His Word and find my next inspiration for which relationship to write about. I am still looking for testimonies about relationships, both the right and worn and how God worked in your life through them. If you would like to share your testimony leave me a comment and I will give you my email. I will keep your name private if that is what you would like. I understand anonymity with some testimonies is important to the one sharing their story. In sharing how God has worked in your life can be what one may need to find hope for their life. Looking forward to hearing from you.

Thank you and God bless and keep you always.

Right Relations/ Sibling Rivalry/ The Cain and Abel Story

I love the people you find in the Bible. Even the not so good ones, because you can relate to so many of them. I am continuing on my project of ‘Right Relations’ how are earthly relations affect our relationship with Jesus and our Heavenly Father, and how we can learn from our relationships and make them better. Allowing His Holy Spirit to be a part of these relationships.

Back to the beginning / Sibling Rivalry/ The Cain and Abel Story

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   How many of you have brothers or sisters? Next question; How many of you have a relationship that can be compared to Cain and Abel? Do you wonder how others that are close and loving to their siblings do it? I know of many brothers and sister who say their sibling is their best friend. Do you envy these relationships? I know I have wanted since a young child to have a family that is close and loving. I wanted to be accepted and loved and I thought why doesn’t my own family love me? It has been a battle just to survive in my family, and I even had to fight my own brother. My stepmother had said that there was a devil and an angel in our house, referring to me and my brother. Our fights got pretty bad. When we were young and he would come at me I was big enough to get him off me and hold him down until he calmed down enough that I was not afraid he would try to hurt me again. Unfortunately more times than not, one of my parents would walk in and see me on top of him, and even I was only trying to restrain him from hurting me, I was the one who got in trouble. No surprise there, no matter who did what, I was always to blame, and took the punishment (another excuse to be abused.) Eventually my brother got bigger than me and protecting myself became more difficult. Our last fight back when I was in my early 20’s, he had me pinned and was trying to choke me and was yelling things in my face that I will not repeat here. I got him to stop by responding to something he called me, by saying, ‘Yeah, just like Mom!’ He got off me and went to another room. The first time my brother had told me he loved me,  he was 21, and had first started drinking and I came home to find him sitting on my bed drunk. He told me he knew he was an _____ and he would always be one to me, but he loved me. I was in shock, but grateful he could say he loved me. No need to repeat the rest of that conversation but over ten years later we would have a similar conversation. My brother did not call me things I was not already being called by other family members. I could not go out to eat with him and my father without feeling degraded in public. I would be so humiliated as they verbally tore me apart in front of others, and was too afraid to speak up for myself. I always found it strange how easy t was for me to stand up for others but that I could not defend myself against my own abusers.

Okay time to get back to my relationship with my brother. Even as young children we had been at odds with each other. I have one memory though where we weren’t fighting. I was only five years old and what was about to me I had no idea. We were living in Pacoima and a relative of my father had taken me into our (my brother and mines) bedroom. I remember looking from my bed and seeing my brother cry as the door was being shut on him by this relative. What happened is another subject. I just remember him crying outside our bedroom as I was being molested. After this we were never close. We have fought and been distant from each other. We have not spoken to each other in years now. I still pray for him and his son. Who knows one day this relationship will fall into the reconciled relationship file.

Now look at Cain and Abel. They are the first brothers recorded in Genesis. They were the son’s of Adam and Eve. Abel’s story is short lived because his brother murdered him. Cain’s jealousy turned to anger. It was not Abel’s fault that Cain had not obeyed God in his offering. Abel pleased God, and Cain wanted the labor of his own work to be pleasing. When his offering was rejected, instead of doing what was pleasing and acceptable by God, he took his brother’s life. God still loved Cain and showed it in that when He came to Cain after he had murdered his brother, God did not take Cain’s life. Instead He marked Cain so that no other could take his life. Cain had taken a life so God would have been justified but once again God shows mercy. That is our Heavenly Fathers love. What is sad in this story is two brothers seeking approval of Father, could have been so different if Cain had looked at what his brother offered as a lesson in learning to do what is right, instead of demanding with his actions for things to be done his way. Then he got angry when he didn’t get things his way. Now the sadder part of this story is they not got a chance to reconcile and their parents lost both of their sons.

Is there any of you who can relate to their story? I am not saying your brother or sister has tried to take your life, but that there is such strife in your relationship, that you have no relationship with them other than by name? Or do you have one that you are a part of each other’s life, but every time you are in the same room the battle breaks out and damage continues to be done? Do you pray for them and want to have a peaceful and loving relationship with the, or do you want nothing to do with them, as if they do not exist? What if God had the same attitude a lot of us have? What would our lives be like? Can you imagine God saying, ‘I am done with them. I am tired of how they treat me.’
I am not saying allow a person to do harm to you just because they are your relative. Sometimes we have to be separated from our family. Not just live peacefully but to live safely, because if we stay the damage that is done can cost not just your physical life but your can cause a spiritual death. You get so wrapped in the fighting, the hater and bitterness there is no room for love and forgiveness and with each fight your spirit slowly dies. We must guard our hearts. We can love and forgive and walk away from a relationship that is toxic to you. God can still reach their heart while He heals you of the would the relationship caused you.. Pray for yourself and pray for them. Focus on what you can do that is pleasing to God and let God be the one to deal with the other person. Love and forgive them through prayer. Then if the opportunity comes where you can show them the love God has given you and that He has for them, you might find a “Right Relation’ with them.

Now who are some other siblings we can find in the Bible who we can relate to in our own sibling relationships? I have a few in mind but would love to hear from you. I am still looking for testimonies relating to both right and wrong relationships and what God has done for you in these relationships. Please leave me a comment if you are willing to share your testimony and I will give you my email to contact me privately. There is no judgement or condemnation in Christ, only healing and His love. You do not know you may help by sharing your story. I also will not reveal your name if you would like to keep it  private but still have a story to share. Thank you and God Bless you.