Seeds, Trees, and Growth /January 3, 2017

This small grapefruit tree was grown from a seed that came from a grapefruit given to me from a person who had a tree in their garden in Florida. The the original tree was in Florida this new tree is here in Bridgeport Texas. The fruit did not make it here own its own. A person took the fruit from the tree in their garden and brought it here a few years back. They then shared the fruit from their tree and that is how I received the fruit. I ate the fruit and took the seed and then planted it. I did not know that it would grow but God blessed the seed and it did grow and it continues to grow. It has not grown large enough to produce fruit yet but it is still growing. Now think about the seeds and fruits written in the Bible. For a seed to to grow it must be planted and then cared for. You do not just toss it on the ground and expect it to do anything. You first take the seed from the fruit, then you prepare the soil it will be planted in. You then make sure it is watered and that it gets the sunlight it needs so that it may grow. Then as it grows you prune off any dead leaves or branches. It does not grow over night and will need for you to continue to care for it so that it may continue to grow. Now think of the seeds that have been planted in you, the scriptures you have taken in, and the ones you have planted. You have to care for these seeds to see them grow in you and in the ones you have planted. If you neglect these seed they will not grow and if you do not care for them once they have begun to grow they will wither and die.
So what are you doing with the seeds God has given to you?
Food to grow on.
God bless.IMG_0004

Get Knocked Down, Get back Up Again / January 2, 2018

Who has never been knocked down? We all have. We do our best and still get knocked down from time to time. Do we stay down? Some of us do spend sometime wallowing in the pit we fell in, but we don’t stay down. Sometimes to get back up we need the help of another. Yet we get up wipe the dirt or mud off and keep pressing forward. Yet it is so easy when you get knocked off track to go back or to get lost. We forget we are not alone, and that God will never leave or forsake us. This I am grateful for today. I took a good hit this morning when my work hours took a serious cut without any notice. I went to work and in less than an hour I am notified that I have lost a client and no new client is lined up for me. Anger and fear took over me. Panicking about bills that would not be paid, I lost sight that God is my provider, He is Jehovah Jireh the Lord who supplies all of my needs. My attitude went downhill, but thankfully as I began to vent His Word gave me the encouragement that I so needed. ‘Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding’ , came to me. I had to be reminded that no matter what the world may throw at me, God has me. ‘No weapon formed against me will prosper’.

I was disappointed in myself because God had blessed me the week before and the money I was short on rent was given to me anonymously. I was so grateful that God knew my needs and had blessed me through a person who did not want to claim any credit. I ended one year and began a new one with such hope and praise, and now only two days into the new year I stumble. my emotions began to take control and the negative feelings and thoughts came pouring in like a flood. I am so grateful that I did not wallow for long because His Words started filling my mind, but I was still upset that I had complained and spoke negatively. Thankfully the Lord is merciful and forgiving. He picked me up and reminded me I am His and that this was an attack meant to make me fall and stay down. That the enemy wanted me to forget that the Lord is always watching over me. God however did not have to yell to get my attention. He was right beside me and gave me His Helper, and Comforter, the Holy Spirit. His Word spoke softly and clearly. I am not happy that I let myself even for a moment forget this, but He thankfully is not holding it against me. So here I confess that I stumbled and give thanks that He kept me from being harmed.

If you fall of your bike get back up and get back on it and ride. The same goes for falling off a horse, and if your way of traveling is on just your feet, then get back up and walk on.

Philippians 3:13-14(ESV)  Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Proverbs 3:6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

Proverbs 24:16 for though a righteous man falls seven times, he will rise again, but the wicked stumble into calamity.

Psalm 37:23-24 The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the LORD holds them by the hand.

Psalm 145:14-16 The LORD helps the fallen and lifts those bent beneath their loads. The eyes of all look to you in hope; you give them their food as they need it. When you open your hand, you satisfy the hunger and thirst of every living thing.

Psalm 63:7-8 for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.

Isaiah 41:13 For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.

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 thought and a question continues 9/15/17

It does not take much to open the door without realizing that you have let the enemy in, and once he is in he is difficult to evict. I however have made the decision to kick him out and guard that door window and any other way he could come in. I remember living in a mobile home in the country and my daughter told me we had a rat in the kitchen. I told her it was probably a mouse but when I turned to look it was a possum! It was difficult to chase him out but when we finally got him out I yelled “I am not Ellie May and animals are not allowed in”. Later I found that it had eaten a hole in the wall behind my refrigerator and had a nest with its’ babies living there. Once we rid ourselves of these creatures I found the hole in which they had made to move in. I not only covered it up but bought steel wool and placed in in any place I thought they might try to make their way back in. I kept a watch out to make sure they did not return and thankfully they did not, but then a wood pecker decided to make its’ home in my bedroom wall. How I found this out was every morning I would be woken up by a knocking on what I thought was my door. I would get up open the door and no one was there. This went on for a number of days. Now I lived in the country and neighbors were not close. I never heard or saw a car drive away and I knew if it was a child playing ding dong ditch I would still see them. So every morning I became more and more annoyed. One morning I saw things going by my bedroom window making me believe that someone was on my roof throwing things down. So I storm out run around to the back of my home in time to see a woodpeckers head sticking out of the outside wall of my bedroom tossing out pink insulation. Once again I felt like Ellie May, but unlike her these were not welcome guests. Until I was able to have new siding put up, I would go to bed at night and bang on the wall and yell at the bird, “How do you like being woken up?” So why am I bringing up this old story? Well with this continued journey to get my thoughts right with God I was reminded of this time in my life. If I did not work at riding myself of these unwanted guests they would have made my home theirs and they would outnumber me and I would never had gotten them out and I would have been the one who would have to leave. It took effort and in order for me to train my brain to think on what is right I will have to put in the work and keep putting in the work. Every time I slack off  and let my guard down and even welcome these unwanted guests in it will be harder for me to get rid of them. If I catch them early it will be easier for me to deal with and rid myself of this poisonous way of thinking. I am thankful for those of you who have already left encouraging comments yesterday, including scripture on my first post regarding this topic. So I will fight the good fight and even if I stumble I will get back up.

Todays Question; What are some things that we do that allow the enemy to come into our thoughts?

Scripture to meditate on

1 Peter 5:8-9 (ESV)  Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.

Matthew 12:29 (NKJV)  Or how can one enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house.

Matthew 12:43-45 (NKJV) “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. 44 Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. 45 Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation.”

Psalm 94:19 When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations delight my soul.

2 Corinthians 10:5 We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ

Prayer;

Father, 

I submit myself to your will. Asking for your help in taking every thought captive and riding myself of that which is offensive to you. I am choosing to focus on Your goodness and mercy. Thinking of ways that I can please and honor You. Thank you for loving  and forging me. Alone I could do nothing but with Jesus all things are possible. Thank You Lord Jesus I need you this and everyday of my life. Amen

Being Broken

When you think of the term broken what is the first thing that comes to your mind?

Here are some things that came to my mind.

  1. Ruined
  2. Trash
  3. Destroyed
  4. Unusable
  5. Worthless

I could easily list many more things and you might have some of the same things on your list. Yet these are only the negative thought about being broken. Do you like nuts? I love them. To get to the nut you have to break the shell. Some shells are easier to break open than others like sunflower seeds or peanuts. Walnuts or pecans are are not so easy to break open. You need a nutcracker to get to the good part of these nuts, and if you don’t have a nutcracker a hammer works as long as you don’t hit the too hard. It takes effort to break their outer shells to get to the good part that you can eat and enjoy.

So being broken even though painful can lead to something good for you. The process hurts and is not fun. Imagine you are the nut and you can see the nutcracker coming for you. Then you feel trapped in its grip till you crack and break open. Scary thought. Most of us would run from pain if we knew it was going to happen was going to hurt. Yet if we all ran away from the possibility of pain we would cease to exist. Women would not have babies because labor is pain! Life is going to have some very painful moments. Just as a woman who goes from the pain of labor to the joy of holding her newborn baby, life can take your pain and turn it into joy.

Look at the life of Joseph. his brothers hate him and throw him into a pit, and want to kill him. Thankfully one brother suggest they sell him to travelers passing by. Then he is bought as a slave and goes from slave to prisoner. He lived a life under pressure of attack and rejection. Yet in the end he was lifted above his circumstance and placed in a position where he was able to save not only the people in Egypt but his own people. (Look up his story in Genesis.)

Sometimes we have to be broken to get to the good part of ourselves that is hidden deep within.

Psalm 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.
Psalm 34:18 The LORD is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Psalm 51:8 Make me to hear joy and gladness, Let the bones which You have broken rejoice.

 

 

What is haunting you?

It has been months since October and Halloween is over. Yet the things that truly frighten us and cause us to run or hide are still here. They hide inside each of us. Things that were done to us or things that we have done. The skeletons we try to keep hid in our closet. Unfortunately the door to that closet eventually is opened and a skeleton or two pops out. You can try to put them back. Hide even from yourself and pretend nothing was ever wrong. Being an ostrich with your head in the sand only leaves your rear exposed.

We can pretend and put on masks but the truth is always there even if it is hidden and buried. We may be deceiving the world with our masks and costumes, but the one we are truly trying to deceive is ourself.

If guilt is what haunts you have you done something or felt that you have done something wrong? You may hide behind the mask of justifying your actions. You had good reasons what ever they may have been. Yet something inside of you is screaming you have hurt someone, even if you did not intend to do so.

You can fear judgment and condemnation. We live in a world that loves to point fingers. Everyday you will hear about the wrongs someone has done. Even if the person is innocent they are found guilty by the majority and their lives are harmed.

Shame can hinder you from being the person you truly are. God made you a new creation when you received Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Yet because we lived a shame filled past we do not feel worthy. We do not realize that there is nothing we could do to win God’s love. He loves us because He is merciful and gracious.

This list can easily go on and fill volumes of books if I wanted to continue all the fears in this world but I am going to stop here. What ever fears may be haunting you and those fears are real. I know I have my own fears that I battle on a regular basis. What I want to do now is remember that I have a mighty God, and that He is my shield and strong tower. That no matter how many weapons are formed against me they will not prosper. Does this mean that I will never get hurt? Sorry the answer to that is no. I will get hurt again but nothing will separate me from the love of God. Nothing can take my life because I have eternal life through Jesus. Fear not is written 365 times in the Bible. I think God new we would face fear on a daily basis. It is in Jesus that we have hope and a future. Things will happen that may scare you and cause you to be afraid. Use these things as warnings to be on guard. Run to the Father and He will protect you. He loves you.

Here are a few verses on fear not;

Bible Verses About Fear Not (KJV) 

Isaiah 41:10 – Fear thou not; for I [am] with thee: be not dismayed; for I [am] thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

Psalms 34:4 – I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.

1 John 4:4 – Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

Romans 15:13 – Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.

Numbers 23:19 – God [is] not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do [it]? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?

Exodus 20:20 – And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.

Habakkuk 3:2 – O LORD, I have heard thy speech, [and] was afraid: O LORD, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.

find daily verses here on this website;

http://365fearnots.com/index.php/votd/

 365 Fear Nots: Verse Of The Day

  • Psalm 066:16

    Come and hear, all you who fear God, And I will declare what He has done for my soul.

    Psalm 66:16 (NKJV)

    Biblical Truth: The psalmist was given a heart for prayer, worship the Lord and encourage others by declaring the spiritual blessings God has provided to you.

    The post Psalm 066:16 appeared first on 365 Fear Nots.

 

Self Examination / How honest can you be?

If you are a woman you have more than like seen one of these breast self exam cards. A woman will examine herself to check for cancer but how many of us examine ourselves for the cancer of sin that slowly eats way the life of its’ host. We are quick to point out others flaws and report the wrong doings of others but how often do we confess our own sins? Publicly admit any wrong doings on our parts. Yet we publicly point out the wrongs others may be doing. Thanks to the Internet and social media opinions outweigh facts. People write what they want and though each of us can have our own opinion it is just that an opinion not fact. The best lies have a grain of truth. We can ‘t even believe what we see in the news any more. Yet criticism, and judgments are made and the ones doing this believe they are right and just.  The bible tells us that none are without sin.

Romans 3:10 (KJV)  As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

1 John 1:7-9 (KJV) But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

One of the Bible studies called Self portraits discusses how we see ourselves.

https://emotionalpeace.wordpress.com/2015/08/30/self-portraits-bible-lesson/

I have gone back to this lesson to dig a little deeper. To examine myself once again.

IMG_0007

So here is a self portrait that does not show my best side but it is honest look in the mirror. Each picture in this collage depicts a small part of me. It may be incomplete but as I made this and chose each picture as it reflected what I saw in my mirror. In the top row there is a picture of a woman who has a cap pulled down over her face with boss written on it. When I looked at it I saw how pride had blinded me. That I have been stubborn and let resentment and unforgiveness had bound me up like the straight jacket she is wearing. The pink boxing gloves represents the fighter inside of me. Yet why was I fighting and who was I fighting? The picture of a hunter with his bow drawn represents being constantly under attack. The train was my feeling of hopelessness. The ladder in the middle of the painting represents feeling like I am going nowhere. The shadow represents the darkness inside of me. The wolf howling represents like I am being hunted. The whitewater  canoe is me being tossed around by my own emotions. How turbulent they are.  The doll with the key in its back is feeling empty and like a puppet. The winding road is me getting off track. The picture of the woman drinking water is the unquenchable thirst. Looking to have my needs met by that which will never satisfy me truly. The man standing in front of the painting represents the mess my life is in. The scarecrow represents the empty fears I have. The woman hanging off the ledge is me barely hanging on. The black pig is the demons I wrestle with. Miss Piggy is that no matter what I do my past will always be my past no matter how I want to dress it up. The piggy banks in the soil being watered is all that I have wasted. A life of turmoil and under attack. Walking on the wrong road blind. Wasting my life, confused and hopeless. Bitter and filled with hateful emotions. Fighting the wrong fights. This is one part of me in a nutshell. Exposing my underbelly. Being honest with myself and the world.

IMG_2707

Sketch by Julie Sheppard

I don’t want to be a hypocrite anymore. Passing judgments on others while ignoring my own sins. So it is time to take the log out of my own eye.A self examination is not something to be done once, but like the breast self exam card says to do monthly, we need to do a self check on a regular basis.   Can you examine yourself honestly and then will you share your results?