I recently had a word given to me to give to someone I knew who had asked me to pray for their situation. They have since told me that I should share this word. They believed that this word could help another, as it at helped them. So I will share it but not the persons name or situation.
This is the word that I had received;
‘You have had someone hurt you. This pain was not caused by their actions but because of what they did not do. You feel hurt and are disappointed. Their actions did not live up to the words the spoke to you. They made a commitment and they failed you. I know exactly how this feels. You cannot count the numerous times per day people who have committed their lives to Me, that have turned back to the world the second they have a problem. Instead of turning to Me, they return to doing things as the rest of the world does.
The second troubles come you want to turn and walk away and say that it is no big deal. I want you think about what would happen if I gave up on you that easy. If I turned from you every time you disappointed Me, hurt Me, or even cheated on Me, etc…. Every time you have been hurt, I have been hurt. Every time you were rejected or abused, so was I. Now multiply your pain by an infinite amount. What you go through with others, I go through too. I don’t give up on you. I will never leave you or forsake you.
Yes you have been hurt by these people, but can you see now how I feel? Can you see how much I love those who have hurt and wronged Me? You may be the only one who is bringing my Light into these peoples dark world. Don’t give up on them. They have never met anyone to show them my love before and they do not know how to react. The spirits operating in their lives are don’t want to let go. Yet My Light can drive away the darkness in their life. You carry this Light within you, like a lantern in a dark world. Let them learn of my Love through you. Another might now show them this love. Remember Love is patient, and love is kind and it also long suffering. ‘
To put it in other words. God puts up a lot with the mistakes we make, the pain we cause and He does not give up on us. There are bad relationships that we have to escape, because they can and will cost us our life if we don’t leave. This message is for those of us who have been slighted in any way that hurts us, we need to remember the pain of a Father who sent His Son to pay the price for those pains. How much pain Jesus suffered for our sins. We sometimes will have to let go of people who we cannot help and will only continue to hurt us and themselves. Yet our first reaction to pull away at the first sign of trouble we should rethink. Sometimes God will use these people to teach us, smooth out our rough spots like sandpaper.
Please take a moment and read 1 Corinthians 13.
This grapefruit tree, which is still a sapling, was grown from a seed from a grapefruit given to me a few years back. It had come from a tree that was growing in a friends yard back in Florida. I kept a few of the seeds after I had eaten the fruit and thought I would see if the seed would grow. To my surprise a few weeks after I had planted it in a pot did I see a sprout. To my amazement it continued to grow over the past few years. This spring I thought it was time for it to be planted in the ground. Living in an apartment I had not planned on planting it in my little yard, but when I had seen that the bush outside my door had died over the winter I thought it was good as time as ever.
I have grown many plants from cuttings and had even been able to grow an avocado tree from a seed but this is my first attempt of growing any kind of citrus.
This is an orange tree that was also grown from a seed that I planted.
I love watching things grow. It lets me know there is still life no matter how dark things may be at times. They also let me see growth. For one to truly live we need to grow, not just physically but spiritually. Jesus gave us the parable of the sower and the seed.(Matthew 13:1-23/Luke 8:1-15) I have grown plants and trees from either cuttings or seeds, they have both needed to be planted in order to grow. They have also needed to be cared for, if I wanted them to grow.
There are things in our lives that grow that are not plant life. I gave birth to a beautiful daughter, who then had her own child. What God had blessed me with has been fruitful and had given birth to a child who will grow up and some day give her a grandchild. Now there are other things we grow, relationships are one of those things. How we grow in these relationships depends on the care and nurturing we give to them. We do this not only by the words we speak but by are actions as well.
We are not judged by our words alone but how we live. If we live in love we grow in love. Others see how we live, if only for a brief moment a stranger can be effected by how we act and speak. These are the seeds we plant without thinking about. Yet these seeds are just as important as the close relationships we have with family and friends. Simple acts of kindness can impact people in ways we may not see or realize. These are seeds we may not nurture or see the fruits of but they can grow and the next person may be the one to nurture and cultivate what we have planted.(1 Corinthians 3:6 Contemporary English Version / I planted the seeds, Apollos watered them, but God made them sprout and grow.)
I look forward to seeing this tree grow, and possibly produce some fruit. This will take time and over that time I look to learn even more and do some growing myself.
Today I have been thinking about the Dead Sea. Many tourists travel to it because of the high mineral content and the buoyancy caused by the salt volume. This is supposed to have healing qualities, but it is the name that is stuck in my mind today. Water flows in but it goes no where and this is to be the reason why for the high salt and mineral content. This sea is called dead because it cannot support life. Water continues to flow in but then it under the sun it evaporates. I wonder how many of us are like the Dead Sea? His spirit and blessings are flowing into us, but what are we doing with what He is giving to us? Works do not produce faith but faith should produce works.
For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.(Read James 2:14-24)
Think about the parable of ‘the servants and the talents. Matthew 25:14-30. In this parable three servants are each given talents. The amounts varied, but it was what each servant did with what was given to them. The first two increased their talents, but the third one buried his talent and it produced him nothing. It is with this servant that the master was not pleased. This servant lost his talent and it was given to the first servant. This parable too, reminds of the Dead Sea. I want to be like the first two servants and do something with what God has entrusted to me.
Even though I have faced many trials and abuse in my life, I know He has been with me through it all. He kept me going when I there was nothing I could do. When I felt hopeless He gave me hope. He did not create me for the pain I have lived through but that pain inspires me to help others who are in pain. I don’t want to wallow in my self pity, but share that even when everything in the world is coming against you, He never leaves you and His love is limitless. For all that He has done for me I want to do whatever I can to be there for others. I want to be a vessel that He uses, not one that sits on a shelf collecting dust, and I don’t want to be a dead sea. Receiving but doing nothing with what He has given to me. I want to be more than a hearer of the Word, but a doer as well.
What about you? Are you using what has been given to you to further His Kingdom, or are you sitting their collecting dust?
In 1664 John Bunyan was in prison for holding services outside of the Church of England. while in prison he began writing, ‘The Pilgrim’s Progress’. This book is one of my favorite christian books that I have read. I have also enjoyed the movies made based on this book. A book written over 400 years ago is still speaking to us today. It has withstood the test of time. In short it is the story of a man named Christian, who goes on a journey. This journey is one we are all on, whether we realize it or not. I can relate to the trials he faces on this journey. I don’t want to go into too much detail because if you have not read it or seen any movie based on it, I do not want to spoil it for you.
Revelation Media has produced the most recent version of the movie and it is also animated so your children will enjoy watching it with you, as I have watched it many times with my grandson and highly recommend it. I have enjoyed every production I have had an opportunity to see.
Here is a link if you would like to purchase a copy. https://www.revelationmedia.com/donate/thepilgrimsprogress/
You can currently watch it on youtube as well as this version with Liam Neeson who plays Christian.
I hope you will take time to check the book out or watch anyone of the movies based on it. There are many things you can learn from it.
John 16:32-33 “Look, an hour is coming and has already come when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and you will leave Me all alone. Yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. (33) I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take courage; I have overcome the world!”
With all this social distancing we are supposed to be practicing, there are many who are feeling isolated and alone. I work as a home care attendant taking care of those who are home-bound to begin with. Now they are limited to only myself and nurses who come to take care of them. My own contact with people outside of those who I care for has been restricted because I cannot risk exposure with my clients already compromised health. It almost feel like we have been grounded. Isolation can make one feel cut off from the world, even with modern technology, and all the social media, it is not the same as fellowship. Gathering together, and sharing each others company. Man was not made to be alone, we need each other. Yet while there are many who are alone in their homes, there is One who is with each and everyone of us. He never leaves us or forsakes us. He is always with us. I hope this brings comfort to at least one person who is feeling lonely because of this isolation many have to practice. Art by Julie Sheppard
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.
When I was 5 years old, my parents divorced. My father got custody of me and my brother. I grew up thinking that my mother had left me behind. It was an abusive marriage, and I was left with her abuser to be abused myself. I felt abandoned. I was lied to for most of my life about my mother and how my father got custody. I was made to believe that she left me by her own choice. That she was selfish and only cared about partying and sex. She was in my life, and I saw her often but I still felt abandoned. As I got older and started living a very self destructive life. I loved and hated her. I loved her because she was my mother. I hated her because I thought she had abandoned me to be raised by her abuser. It was not until the year before she died that I learned the truth. She had not abandoned me, but had to make a choice that no mother should ever had to make. I have shared my testimony on my arrest and trials, so I will not go into all those details. Yet that was what it took for her to share what had been done to her. It was one of the most painful conversations that I have had. Yet it brought us both healing, and understanding. I learned that she had not abandoned me, but had done what she had to, so that she could be in my life, even though she knew what kind of man my father was.
I have had a problem with relationships, for many reasons. Growing up thinking that I had been abandoned, had also caused me to feel rejected. I still struggle with feeling unwanted. I don’t feel like I fit in. So how can I feel close to an unseen God? My Heavenly Father. Being lied to and feeling abandoned and rejected, how can I trust Him?
First I have to realize that He is not a man. He is God. In other religions the god requires sacrifice from their subjects. With God, my Heavenly Father, He sacrificed His own Son, to forgive us, and to adopt us, making us His children and not just mere worshippers. Yet even being called His child, with my history with my own parents is still having an affect on how I am able to relate to others. Including my Heavenly Father. How can I trust that He wants me and that He has chosen me. I know I don’t deserve His love, that I have committed many sins. Yet in spite of all that I have done wrong, His love is perfect and He loves me perfectly. He will never leave or forsake me or you.
Read Deuteronomy 31:6&8
Psalm 27:10, 38:21, 71:9
I still remember the first time I watched the movie Star Wars. I was a child dressed in my pajamas with my parents at the Winnetka Drive-In theater in Chatsworth, California, in 1977. It has been quite a long time, and that old drive-in is now Pacific Winnetka 21 multiplex. I was only 8 years old then and now I am 49 and the making of Star Wars movies is still happening. The line, ‘Luke I am your father’, has not been forgotten. Even those who had not yet been born when the first movie came out know this line. The battle between good and evil, light and darkness. Darth Vader, and evil menacing character, who had once been good and was also Luke’s father.
I know these are not faith-based movies, but you can see some parallels. Darth Vader had once been good, but turned to the dark side. Lucifer had been and angel who turned against God and turned a third of the angels against god as well. Lucifer became Satan. The battle between good and evil had begun and God cast Lucifer and his angels out of heaven.
Now we must choose on which side we will fight. There is no Switzerland in this war, no neutral territory. When God wrote to the church of Laodecia, He told them they were neither hot or cold but luke warm and He would spit them out. Elijah said choose you this day who you will serve, God or Baal.
Ephesians tells us our battle is not one of flesh and blood, but is spiritual and we are to put on our armor daily. Why daily? The war is a daily one. From taking our thoughts captive and submitting God. Resisting the Devil and submitting to God. These are our choices. Not making a choice is still making a choice. We are to fight the good fight. This fight is not going out and getting into some fist fight, but fighting for the sake of righteousness. So on whose side will you be fighting?
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.