Thought for the day March 30, 2019

Not sure why the wedding at Cana (John 2:1-11 ) keeps coming to me and the various insights I get each time. My thought today is on what the guest had to say about the wine. That normally wine at other weddings at this point in the celebrations would have not have been the best. Meaning it would either be of lesser quality or you could say watered down.  Today as I look upon this passage, I am thinking that how many of us have watered down our faith. We are called Christians, read our Bibles, and go to church. We even serve and take part of various ministries. We believe in the name of Jesus and that He is the Son of God, our Savior and Redeemer, but have our hearts grown weak? Are we merely going through the motions, watering down the Word of God. We dismiss one part or another saying that it is not for today. Yet I can’t stop thinking about the fact that Jesus is the Word of God, and that He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. God is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. So why is it so easy to fall into believing we can dismiss any part of His Word, because we don’t like or agree with it? We compromise, or turn a blind eye because we hide behind not wanting to judge. I understand this because there is much written about judgment. Like in the same way you judge, you will be judged ( Matthew 7:2). Jesus also said ‘How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while there is still a beam in your own eye?’ (Matthew 7:5) We cannot ignore His instruction about our behaviors just because of fear of judging others or being judged. Jesus made it clear that if we love Him we will keep His commands Adding one, that we are to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Jesus did not do away with God’s commands. Which are found in Exodus and Deuteronomy. The fact they are written in two books of the Bible tells me their importance. Jesus even told us to look with lust in our eye is equal to adultery, and that hatred is equal to murder. Yet, many of us our guilty of one or more of these things, and instead of receiving God’s correction we make excuses, and claim His grace while continuing doing the things we know we need to stop. Read His commandments and we can find in one are or another we have compromised. Yes I have been called a legalist, yet I know that I am guilty of what I am talking about and that if I continue doing the things I know are wrong are agree with others saying it is okay to overlook a sin then I am not being faithful to Him. We live in this world but we are not to conform to it, but be transformed by His Word. Submit to God and resist the devil. To me this means turn from my own ways of doing things or what others say that I am to do and do as His Word tells me. If I don’t understand something He says then dig deeper into His Word and pray for understanding, He will give it to me. His ways are not ours and His thoughts are not ours. So if I want the full strength of His promises and provisions I cannot water down and compromise His Word in my life, even if others disagree with me.

It is only in your mind

It is only in your mind

1.It is only in your mind.
2.You are just seeing things.
3. Hearing voices?

The list above all happen in your head, Like get your head on straight, meaning straighten out your way of thinking. The land of imagination is found in your mind. Creativity comes from your mind not your hands. Even scripture tells us to take every thought captive, and put on the helmet of salvation. So much power is in your mind.  I think that without imagination it is difficult for a person to believe in a God who loves us. Loves us so much He sent His Son to die for us. Think about it. If you are a parent, you would sacrifice your life for your child. You however would not sacrifice your child for any reason, and definitely not for people who hate you. But that is what God has done for us. Hard to believe isn’t it.
John 3:16-17 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
It is only in your mind – you must believe. Sin starts as a thought before it becomes an act and belief is a thought that can lead you to salvation. Believe in Jesus and you will have eternal life. Isaiah 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.”
You are seeing things – He will open your eyes to see more clearly. Ephesians 1:18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, Psalm 119:18 Open my eyes, that I may behold Wonderful things from Your law.
Hearing voices? – Do you hear Him calling you? John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: Josh 2:11 Hearing this has melted our heart, neither has there remained any more spirit in any man because of you, for the LORD your God is God above in the heavens and in the earth beneath.
If you have not already done this, I pray that you open your eyes to see the true love of The Father, an open your ears to hear Him calling you. Then open your mind to believe Jesus is the Son of God and receive Him as Lord and Savior.
Matthew 13:16 “But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear.

Growing but not learning

It is sad you can grow up in a house and learn nothing of your own heritage. I know that this is how I was raised. I know little of my mothers family history other that I am descendant of Samurai and from Okinawa. My mother while growing up refused to take the Japanese classes. So she was not able to teach me to read or write Japanese as I growing up. Even though my father got custody of me and my brother, I learned little to nothing of his side of my family. I was 20 years old before I knew that grandfather I grew up with was my step grandfather. As looked at a picture of my real grandfather I was asked if I knew who this man was.  There is a list of other things I grew up not knowing. So why I am I discussing these things? We can be raised in our family home and still not learn one thing about our heritage. Now those of us who have been adopted into God’s family, how many of us really know our heritage?

baby-me-n-mom

1 Corinthians 3:6  I planted the seed in your hearts and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow.

2 Peter 3:18  but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

Ephesians 3:17-19  so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

1 Peter 2:2  like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation,

Ephesians 4:15  but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,

Testimony/ God restores / February 5, 2019

I do not know how many of you have read any other parts of my testimony. The dark and what could look like hopeless periods of my life. I have shared how I was falsely accused and criminally charged with felony assault. This had been done after I had been cleared by CPS three times, when they found the charges were not true. My stepmother had turned my daughter against me, and with the help of my father I was arrested and dragged through the criminal courts. In the end I lost my daughter and was banned from her life up to not having any contact up to 3rd party. It was a difficult defeat. My world had ended as I knew it. Especially when my mother died of a sudden stroke within a month of the courts ruling.  All of this is included in another testimony “I gave up on life and survived”. Well after 7 years my daughter did come back into my life almost a year and a half ago. I was so happy to have her back in my life that I trusted God that He would protect me and not let go to prison for having contact with my daughter, and the grandson you gave birth to while I was banned from her life. I had asked her to go to the courts last year so I could have permission to see her without fear of legal repercussion, because since it was a criminal charge she did not have to be used at this point to have me arrested again. Anyone with a grudge against me could tell the courts I was in violation of the court ruling. Mainly the people I feared was my own family. Since I was afraid of their actions but did not want to reject my daughter and wanted to get to know my grandson I tolerated any negative behavior on their part out of fear. Fear of going to prison and fear of losing my daughter and now my grandson.

Some may wonder how did I go on with my life after all that I had lived through. There is a scripture that I held on to, and shared with other parents and it is Jeremiah 31:16-17 But I, the Lord, say to dry your tears. Someday your children will come home from the enemy’s land. Then all you have done for them will be greatly rewarded. 17 So don’t lose hope.  I, the Lord, have spoken.(CEV)

Here is the news I have to share today. My daughter went to the courts yesterday and the good news is I am no longer banned from her life. I am angry to learn that the judge and attorneys had lied to me at my final hearing, and that the banning from my daughters life ended in April 2017, but the the judge, the prosecutor and the papers I received gave no end date, stating that I was permanently banned. I have lived with the fear of what they could do to me since my daughter had chosen to come back into my life. I tolerated their negative behavior and bit my tongue more times than I can count, afraid if I spoke up for myself all hell would break out again and I did not know if I could go through the trials again. So lived in fear and took whatever they gave with a smile, but the risk of what they could do to me was outweighed by the joy of having my daughter and getting to know my grandson made was worth the risk. I also had to trust God would not me to suffer the same pain again. Now that dark cloud is gone and the anger will go with it. I am so relieved to be free of that fear and I can say without doubt when He gave me that scripture, He gave me a lifeline.

I thank God my daughter is back in my life and now I have a wonderful grandson, He doubled my blessing.

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

Who do you serve? Who do you live for?

Joshua 24:15 New King James Version (NKJV)

15 And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

How many of us profess with our lips ‘Jesus is Lord’, but continue to live willfully against His commands? We say, ‘Sorry God, forgive me.’, but we do not even try to turn away from the sins we are committing. We rebel against His commands and continue to live selfish unrepentant lives.

Matthew 7:21-23

21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

His grace is not a license for us to continue to live in sin.

Romans 6:1-4

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

When we repent and receive Jesus as Lord and Savior, who we were is not who we are to be. we are new creations in Christ.

2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

None of us are without sin. We repent and turn from the sins we commit and we hold fast to His Word and show Him we love Him by keeping His commands. No excuses can erase any wrong we continue to commit.

Romans 6:15-18

What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! 16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? 17 But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. 18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.

He will not force you to obey Him. It is your choice. He has given freewill to each of us to choose for ourselves how we live and who we live for.

So I ask, ‘Who do you serve, and who do you live for?

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Thankful February 22, 2018

Yesterday was an interesting day here in the little town of Bridgeport, Texas. First we had an ice storm move in, so I had to leave work after only working 2 hours and as desperately as I need every penny and cannot afford to miss work, I knew if I did not leave when I did I could end up missing a lot more work than a day or two. So I warm up my car and scrape off the ice that was already covering my windshield and head home. I didn’t make it out of the driveway of the apartment complex where my client lives before my windows were icing up, so I stopped and scraped the ice off again. I didn’t make it a block before the ice on my windows would not be moved by my windshield wipers, and unfortunately the road I was on there was no where I could safely pull over and since there were cars behind me I had to slowly trudge along using the lights on the car ahead of me to make sure I was on my side of the roan. A five minute drive turned into a 20 minute one, but thankfully I made it home safely without any incident. Thankful to be home safe and warm a power surge hit. Electricity went out. I was told ice on the power lines were to blame. Thankful to own thermals and sweats I layered up. Reports of accidents and hearing sirens from ambulances I was thankful to be home safe. Hours later still no electricity I was thankful for my little French press. I had decided to see if any work was being done to fix the electric for the apartments I live in and to see how other neighbors were doing. One neighbor said they were dealing without having power but they sure wanted some coffee. I told them I had a French press and could make them coffee. All I needed to do was boil some water and thankfully our stoves are gas. So they brought over some coffee and their coffee pot. So thanks to my little press we had coffee and they could take some home. Just as I finished pouring the coffee into their pot the lights came on. They took their coffee home and I went to blowing out candles. The second I blew out the last candle there was a loud bang. The transformer blew. Once again we were in the dark. It was hours later before it finally got fixed and the electricity came back on.

There are many lessons that can be learned from this day.

1 The true source of power comes from God alone. Jesus told His disciples He had to return home but that He would send us His Helper. This being his Holy Spirit.

John 14:26  (NKJV) But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

2 That even in the darkest hours of our lives when there is little light or none can be seen at all He is with us.

John 8:12  (ESV) Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

There are many more I could share with you but today the one that is important to me is this. Be thankful always. Not only when the sun is shining and you are happy and do not have any worries. James tells us to count it all joy when we face trials and tribulations.

Ephesians 5:20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.