The New Highway

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victim1Have you ever been bold enough to verbalize by way of forcing air out of your lungs and over your vocal chords and forming your mouth just the right way to declare the word “HATE” at another human being?  I am guilty as charged.  That harsh word was spoken over me recently and I instantly wanted to crawl back into my victim suit which had been hanging in the back of my skeleton closet for moments just like that.  I pulled it out, adorned it with the broach of self-pity, the choker necklace of paranoia, the belt of doubt, the earrings of insecurity, and hung it outside my closet to be put on the next day because THAT night I was too tired and overwhelmed to even pull out the iron and get out the wrinkles.  So I slept, and not peacefully.  I tossed and turned, constantly waking up to look at my not so beautiful suit hanging there…mocking me.

As the glorious sun rose in the sky on a new day, I took a journey down a road never before traveled, still decked out in my PJ’s and barefoot, the victim suit hanging in its proper place.  Here is what was revealed to me as I traveled alone with God in quiet seclusion.

Isaiah 35:3-10 – Strengthen the feeble hands,
steady the knees that give way;
4 say to those with fearful hearts,
“Be strong, do not fear;
your God will come,
he will come with vengeance;
with divine retribution
he will come to save you.”

5 Then will the eyes of the blind be opened
and the ears of the deaf unstopped.
6 Then will the lame leap like a deer,
and the mute tongue shout for joy.
Water will gush forth in the wilderness
and streams in the desert.
7 The burning sand will become a pool,
the thirsty ground bubbling springs.
In the haunts where jackals once lay,
grass and reeds and papyrus will grow.

8 And a highway will be there;
it will be called the Way of Holiness;
it will be for those who walk on that Way.
The unclean will not journey on it;
wicked fools will not go about on it.
9 No lion will be there,
nor any ravenous beast;
they will not be found there.
But only the redeemed will walk there,
10     and those the Lord has rescued will return.
They will enter Zion with singing;
everlasting joy will crown their heads.
Gladness and joy will overtake them,
and sorrow and sighing will flee away.

victim3Christian love is not a feeling but a choice.  It’s our OWN attitude that causes us to ignore or despise others, to treat them as competitors and enemies and out comes the infamous blame-thrower meant solely for aiding in deflection.  Since when did taking personal responsibility become such a chore?

Susan Brogan always says, “When you have hate in your heart, everything that is beautiful is now ugly, and everything ugly is seen as beautiful.”  “How backwards is that, God?” was the question posed as I strolled in the Spirit with the Lord that early morning.  Of course, more questions came, “Is it me?  What else should I have done?”  Then the anger followed suit, “How DARE that person say that about me!  Talk about ungrateful!!”  All of the questions and comments to Gad had my mind wandering back to the suit that had now been meticulously draped ever so carefully across my bed and took me further away from the quiet white peace I walked in.

victim2We MUST be willing to accept discipline and correction and learn from the wisdom of others that God has strategically placed in our lives so we don’t hate the helping hand reaching out for us.  Take the Highway of Holiness and BURN the victim suit once and for all!

You can read Isaiah 32-35 about Isaiah’s prophecies at www.biblegateway.com. What a testimony to God’s favor and mercy upon us all! Join in the discussion by posting comments or questions below and let’s do this together!! #ReadtheBible #bgbg2 #BibleGateway #newbeginnings #Isaiah

To further your reading, consider this from:

1 John 2:9-11 (NIV) – Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. 10 Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. 11 But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.

Which journey are you on? Which road do you frequent? Are you REALLY walking the path of the redeemed, protected from wicked travelers? God is preparing a way for His people (the ones who walk in His ways) and He walks with us! Live in the light and take the new journey away from discord, distrust, and hate! Walk in FREEDOM!

Related Scriptures: Proverbs 12:1; Proverbs 6:16-19; Psalm 97:10

A Letter from a Friend

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crossroad1From one friend to another…

You are at a crossroads. Just dirt roads at a cross. There is a road directly ahead, one to your right, one to your left, and the one behind from which you just came. As you ponder the direction that you intend to take, I want you to hear this:

Isaiah 30:21 (NIV) – Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”

Now is not the time to sit down, shell shocked and confused. The enemy crept into your heart long ago as you wandered back and forth, always contemplating the crossroad while you briefly stopped to look back to the past and peer into the other direction which was quite unfamiliar toward a future that you couldn’t even imagine or fathom.

crossroad2You picked up hitchhikers along the way, lonely other souls that pulled you in the direction they wanted you to go.  You stopped at rest stops on your journey, only to head back out with more baggage than you could carry.  You ate at roadside diners, eating more than your fill of the wrong kind of food.  Yet, you always stopped to ponder the crossroad, and here you stand again.

You paved the way for countless others to follow in your footsteps and you did so with grace. You took one blow after another but that is what pioneers are called to do as they choose the road ahead instead of looking back at what the world says they should be and the direction they should go.

crossroad3Jesus lives in you. You shine His Light so bright that some people need shades just to look in your direction. Let God show you who you are IN HIM and what you are capable of and what your purpose is. It blesses me so much to see you see yourself. You are light before men, a city upon a hill. As you stand at this crossroad, please know that I have your back, regardless of the decision made at this road. Continue to inspire others to look past their past and see what could be. I am so proud of you. Speak truths into the lies that were meant to kill you. Believe in the hope for a new generation, for determination, for peace. You are my friend, and I am forever grateful for your presence in my life.

You can read Isaiah 28-31 about Isaiah’s prophecies at www.biblegateway.com. What a testimony to God’s favor and mercy upon us all! Join in the discussion by posting comments or questions below and let’s do this together!! #ReadtheBible #bgbg2 #BibleGateway #newbeginnings #Isaiah

To further your reading, consider this from:

John 14:15-20 (MSG) – 15-17 “If you love me, show it by doing what I’ve told you. I will talk to the Father, and he’ll provide you another Friend so that you will always have someone with you. This Friend is the Spirit of Truth. The godless world can’t take him in because it doesn’t have eyes to see him, doesn’t know what to look for. But you know him already because he has been staying with you, and will even be in you! 18-20 “I will not leave you orphaned. I’m coming back. In just a little while the world will no longer see me, but you’re going to see me because I am alive and you’re about to come alive. At that moment you will know absolutely that I’m in my Father, and you’re in me, and I’m in you.

Jesus is coming back, so as you ponder the crossroad, take the path that leads you closer to Him, not the one that threatens your very existence. The easy road is not always the right road. Allow your heart to be convicted and know the truth, for it will set you free. We are never alone, even as we stand empty-handed at the road of decision. We have a friend in Jesus!

Related Scriptures: Numbers 20:17; Deuteronomy 5:32; Joshua 1:7

The Workout

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workoutNow, don’t get me wrong…I don’t go to the gym. I talk about it a lot, I ponder it daily, but I am lazy and I have no other excuse. I do remember, though, when I used to darken the doorways of warehouses turned into dens of metal torture machines (lol). I would turn my music up high in my ears and dance and move and run to the thrumming beats of up-tempo tunes. I would not leave until I was soaking wet from the excursion and I would feel disgusting until hopping into a beautiful shower of cleansing water.

Think about this. The shower after a strenuous workout. The washing away of salty sweat and grime. The feeling of your skin as it squeaks clean under your finger.

Isaiah 25:1-9 – Lord, you are my God;
I will exalt you and praise your name,
for in perfect faithfulness
you have done wonderful things,
things planned long ago.
2 You have made the city a heap of rubble,
the fortified town a ruin,
the foreigners’ stronghold a city no more;
it will never be rebuilt.
3 Therefore strong peoples will honor you;
cities of ruthless nations will revere you.
4 You have been a refuge for the poor,
a refuge for the needy in their distress,
a shelter from the storm
and a shade from the heat.
For the breath of the ruthless
is like a storm driving against a wall
5     and like the heat of the desert.
You silence the uproar of foreigners;
as heat is reduced by the shadow of a cloud,
so the song of the ruthless is stilled.

6 On this mountain the Lord Almighty will prepare
a feast of rich food for all peoples,
a banquet of aged wine—
the best of meats and the finest of wines.
7 On this mountain he will destroy
the shroud that enfolds all peoples,
the sheet that covers all nations;

8     he will swallow up death forever.
The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears
from all faces;
he will remove his people’s disgrace
from all the earth.
The Lord has spoken.

9 In that day they will say,

Surely this is our God;
we trusted in him, and he saved us.
This is the Lord, we trusted in him;
let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.”

workout2Spiritual workouts are the same. It’s work, that is for sure, to be turned into rubble, spiritual muscles shaking, everything torn down just to be rebuilt. Sin being washed clean by the blood of Jesus as we stand in the shower of our salvation and the gift of His grace. We are DIRTY, stinky, a sweaty mess! We need purification! We need to be made new! God has removed all the disgrace, all the unworthiness, all the despair! Are you working out your spiritual muscles? Do you need to be washed again in the fountain of living water?

You can read Isaiah 23-27 about Isaiah’s prophecies at www.biblegateway.com. What a testimony to God’s favor and mercy upon us all! Join in the discussion by posting comments or questions below and let’s do this together!! #ReadtheBible #bgbg2 #BibleGateway #newbeginnings #Isaiah

To further your reading, consider this from:

workout3Hebrews 10:19-22 – Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.

Washed with pure water, sanctified, made new, cleansed completely, able to approach our loving Father boldly. WoW! Stretching and working out the muscles of our salvation is not an easy task. He never said it would be, He only said it would be WORTH IT!

Related Scriptures: Ezekial 36:25; Ephesians 2:18

Convictions

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What is the condition of your heart? Have you lost all hope, given up completely? When the barrage of endless attacks come (mainly the ones between your ears), do you take heed and are you convicted, or do you choose to laugh it off and feast on your flesh instead?

truth6How are you responding when the tug on your heart is something that cannot be ignored, when there is sin in your life that just continues without thought, when the thoughts of your mind are questionable inside of themselves, when your motives are less than pure? Do you know what conviction is? What are your values, commitments, and motivations that determine your conduct? As self-proclaimed Christians carrying the light and love of Christ, you should be acutely aware that your decisions have ETERNAL implications.

Isaiah 22:12-13 – The Lord, the Lord Almighty,
called you on that day
to weep and to wail,
to tear out your hair and put on sackcloth.
13 But see, there is joy and revelry,
slaughtering of cattle and killing of sheep,
eating of meat and drinking of wine!
“Let us eat and drink,” you say,
“for tomorrow we die!”

truth7These verses hit me upside the head like a two-by-four. These people should have been repentant, not throwing a party and putting on a plastic smile for the world. They lost trust in God and His promises, gave up hope, and feasted on the things of the world. They were in despair so they chose self-indulgence. What is your response when shown the error of your ways? Do you throw it off and pretend it isn’t there, get defensive, find excuses? Do you compare your little sin to the sin of others? Or do you admit when you are wrong and try to correct the problem? Nothing was more powerful for me than being able to look into the mirror and take responsibility. No one else was my problem when I wasted away in a dry and arrid land. I WAS THE PROBLEM. I’ve said it a hundred times and I will say it again…Personal Responsibility = Freedom

TRUST is the answer. LOVE is the answer. TRUTH is the answer. And all those things point to JESUS and Him crucified for YOU.

truth5You can read Isaiah 19-22 about Isaiah’s prophecies at www.biblegateway.com. What a testimony to God’s favor and mercy upon us all! Join in the discussion by posting comments or questions below and let’s do this together!! #ReadtheBible #bgbg2 #BibleGateway #newbeginnings #Isaiah

To further your reading, consider this from:

John 8:32 – Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.

The truth hurts, especially when it’s something we are trying to avoid or don’t want to hear. What is the truth you are running from that has the power to set you free through conviction and repentance?

Related Scriptures: James 2:12; 1 Corinthians 15:32; Joel 1:13

No Weapon Shall Prosper

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weapon1I try not to watch the news, the calamity, the warfare being waged in our own back yards. There are so many cries reaching toward heaven of a remnant that seems forgotten. The army is advancing and it is evident. It seems as if the angry weapon weilding people are being allowed by God to do as they wish and innocent people are dying because of it. Isn’t this what happens in other countries? This isn’t supposed to happen in America, the land of the free. The news from Baton Rouge was yet another stab in the heart of an already bleeding nation.

Isaiah 18:1-6 – Woe to the land of whirring wings
along the rivers of Cush,
2 which sends envoys by sea
in papyrus boats over the water.

Go, swift messengers,
to a people tall and smooth-skinned,
to a people feared far and wide,
an aggressive nation of strange speech,
whose land is divided by rivers.

3 All you people of the world,
you who live on the earth,
when a banner is raised on the mountains,
you will see it,
and when a trumpet sounds,
you will hear it.
4 This is what the Lord says to me:
“I will remain quiet and will look on from my dwelling place,
like shimmering heat in the sunshine,
like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest.”
5 For, before the harvest, when the blossom is gone
and the flower becomes a ripening grape,
he will cut off the shoots with pruning knives,
and cut down and take away the spreading branches.
6 They will all be left to the mountain birds of prey
and to the wild animals;
the birds will feed on them all summer,
the wild animals all winter.

weapon3What a beautifully tragic picture Isaiah paints. The Lord is watching and the enemy will be defeated. God’s silence in these days does not usher in His acceptance or consent. He WILL arise as the the wicked are on the verge of success and overcome the enemy! Why do we question our loving God when He has shown us time and again that His intercession is never when we expect it , but always comes at a time when there are no more option and all seems lost so He, in turn, gets ALL the glory?

Perfect timing for PERFECT effectiveness!

God sees everything, from our days of hurt when we feel so alone that we can’t even speak of our anguish, our victory is NEAR! In the meantime, we must practice daily habits to remind us of His presence. We have choices to make TODAY…succumb to the bitterness, or rise above the noise.

weapon2You can read Isaiah 15-18 about Isaiah’s prophecies at www.biblegateway.com. What a testimony to God’s favor and mercy upon us all! Join in the discussion by posting comments or questions below and let’s do this together!! #ReadtheBible #bgbg2 #BibleGateway #newbeginnings #Isaiah

To further your reading, consider this from:

Isaiah 54:16-17“See, it is I who created the blacksmith
who fans the coals into flame
and forges a weapon fit for its work.
And it is I who have created the destroyer to wreak havoc;
17     no weapon forged against you will prevail,
and you will refute every tongue that accuses you.
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,
and this is their vindication from me,”
declares the Lord.

God is in control of EVERYTHING, even the disasters we see and face. It hurts so bad when we lose people to the fight, but there is a purpose in all our pain. Please! LOOK UP to the heavens and know that no weapon formed against us shall prosper!

Related Scriptures: John 15:5; Hosea 5:15; Ezekial 17:6

Peace in Uncertainty

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peace7These days in the world are filled with uncertainty. It is as if we, as Christians, are hanging on by a rope from a dying tree in a world of turmoil. WHY are we merely hanging on by a thread? Because we are not united. My gosh, I want to rip my eyeballs out with some of the things I see happening in our world. I want to “un-remember” certain posts on social media, news clips that leave me baffled, and carnage. Please, tell me what the Christ followers are doing in all of this? There are MANY who are pulling together and can see the big picture of LOVE, but the majority of those who are supposed to be loving, compassionate, caring, and forgiving are, in fact, none of the above. The fruit on the tree from which we hang precariously has dried up. People are just fine sitting in dead churches, going to church each Sunday and nearly killing each other on the way home, refusing to go to the altar for prayer for fear of what the person next to them will think. They are sitting on thrones of judgment, looking down on other Christians who are just trying to walk out this thing called life, and we wonder why the world is black and grey instead of light and life.

Our new “normal”, the life we are now accustomed to living, is now fed off our need to just COPE. We don’t recognize peace when we see it, it has become so foreign, so we create chaos just to survive.

Isaiah came onto the scene LONG before Christ. He came with a message of salvation and hope to another land with other people who had been robbed of peace by the stresses and turmoil of life, another group of people much like ourselves, who were also hanging from a fruitless, dead tree by a rope. But Isaiah had a message, much like our message of hope for today. The MESSIAH is coming! Peace is on the way! A new tree will be planted!

peace8Isaiah 11:1-10 – A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
2 The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of might,
the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord—
3 and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.

He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,
or decide by what he hears with his ears;
4 but with righteousness he will judge the needy,
with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.
He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth;
with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.
5 Righteousness will be his belt
and faithfulness the sash around his waist.

6 The wolf will live with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling[
a] together;
and a little child will lead them.
7 The cow will feed with the bear,
their young will lie down together,
and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
8 The infant will play near the cobra’s den,
and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest.
9 They will neither harm nor destroy
on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.

10 In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his resting place will be glorious.

PeaceofChristWe can’t “wish away” the terror of the world we live in, but we CAN CHOOSE to live differently from the world, to bear fruit on the dead tree from which we hang, to live in peace with not only ourselves, but with other Christians (other HUMAN BEINGS who fail life daily, too), and also with the lost who need our life sustaining light in order to bear their own fruit. Jesus saves, but He also transforms. When He came to earth as a new and improved Tree of Life, fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah and countless others, He wanted to TRANSFORM us. When WE pick and choose our words, our actions, our discord, our bitterness, our unforgiveness; we are then choosing to let peace leave us. We NEED Christ in order to sustain our lives in this world of chaos.

You can read Isaiah 6-10 about Isaiah’s commission and prophecies at www.biblegateway.com. What a testimony to God’s favor and mercy upon us all! Join in the discussion by posting comments or questions below and let’s do this together!! #ReadtheBible #bgbg2 #BibleGateway #newbeginnings #Isaiah

To further your reading, consider this from:

2 Timothy 1:7 – For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power,love and self-discipline.

We don’t get peace by just doing as we please and living our lives any old way to suit ourselves. It is when we come into right standing with God and seek to follow His ways that peace will be there. Peace comes with repentance–by turning around and going a different way. Peace comes with turning towards God –not away from Him.

Related Scriptures: John 7:24; Psalm 72:2; Ephesians 6:14

The Mask

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mask5It’s a ball. Women are dressed up in beautiful gowns adorned with jewels as they sashay up the castle steps whispering and giggling to one another. As everyone enters the lavish ballroom, there is an inviting air of excitement. Each person is shrouded in mystery. The dance in the great room begins with just one pluck of an instrument and at once everyone begins to move in sequence to the well known tune. The sound of swooshing dresses, clapping hands, and a cadence of perfectly timed feet fill the air and seem to keep tempo themselves until they, too, become instruments of the dance. As each dance partner is passed to another, eyes and souls meet and the game begins. Who is behind the eyes at this masquerade ball? Who in the room will I take the mask off in order to reveal my true identity? Who will be happy to see me once I pull away from hiding place? Who wills till accept me when my true face is revealed?

Isaiah 9:2 – The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
a light has dawned.

mask1The masquerade is a game people play everyday. It is a dance I attended for as long as I can remember. I had different masks for different days and different situations. I always seemed to take my mask off for the wrong people so I stopped taking it off altogether. I wanted so desperately to believe I wasn’t the person behind it, so I kept it on and danced to the old tune until my feet ached and all the guests had gone.

Satan reminded me every time I became successful at anything who was really behind the facade and I would, time after time, find myself in a corner alone waiting for a new song to play.

mask4Today I feel stronger, uplifted, and more like myself than I have in years. When I took the mask off and completely exposed myself in the middle of the ballroom with everyone looking, Christ stood with me, He danced with me, and His Light illuminated even the darkest of corners.

You can read Isaiah 6-10 about Isaiah’s commission and prophecies at www.biblegateway.com. What a testimony to God’s favor and mercy upon us all! Join in the discussion by posting comments or questions below and let’s do this together!! #ReadtheBible #bgbg2 #BibleGateway #newbeginnings #Isaiah

To further your reading, consider this from:

Ephesians 5:8-14 (NASB) – 8 for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light 9 (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), 10 trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; 12 for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light. 14 For this reason it says,

Awake, sleeper,
And arise from the dead,
And Christ will shine on you.”

With the Light of Christ in you, are you truly reflecting God’s goodness towards others? Are you still wearing a mask and walking around in darkness? Silence is acceptance, so expose the darkness so the Light can reign free!

Related Scriptures: Luke 16:8; Galatians 5:22; Romans 13:11

The Commission

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I know the calling on my life and sometimes it is scary. Finding your way in ministry is an unknown road less traveled. I feel some days as if I am groping around in the dark with my hands out in front of me looking for a light switch to turn on so at least I can see which direction to go.

ministry6 Isaiah 1:16-20 – Wash and make yourselves clean.
Take your evil deeds out of my sight;
stop doing wrong.
17 Learn to do right; seek justice.
Defend the oppressed.
Take up the cause of the fatherless;
plead the case of the widow.

18 “Come now, let us settle the matter,”
says the Lord.
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
they shall be like wool.
19 If you are willing and obedient,
you will eat the good things of the land;
20 but if you resist and rebel,
you will be devoured by the sword.”
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.


ministry7I can’t be in ministry if I can’t have compassion for the ones being ministered to. God’s Word is so clear. Stop doing the wrong you were doing, defend the oppressed, and be willing and obedient. Sometimes we have to step off the throne of judgment and walk among the weak. Pride is crippling….trust me…I know. God alone is to be exalted and no one else. Putting the needs of others before our own is what He is calling us to do. From now until eternity.

Isaiah 5:20-21 – Woe to those who call evil good
and good evil,
who put darkness for light
and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet
and sweet for bitter.

21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes
and clever in their own sight.

ministry5Those who are in pain see beautiful things as ugly and ugly things as beautiful. We have to learn to love people where they are. My prayer daily is for compassion, to be able to grow and move and have my being in Him, to be of service to those in need for the rest of my earthly life. I learned a long time ago….though NONE go with me….I will still follow Jesus.

You can read Isaiah 1-5 and the sins of Israel and Judah at www.biblegateway.com. What a testimony to God’s favor and mercy upon us all! Join in the discussion by posting comments or questions below and let’s do this together!! #ReadtheBible #bgbg2 #BibleGateway #newbeginnings #Isaiah

To further your reading, consider this from:

Deuteronomy 30:15-16 – See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction.16 For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.

We all have a choice to make. In order to follow Christ in His ministry, we must first choose life for ourselves and become obedient no matter the cost. The stain of our sin cannot keep us from helping others, we should not walk around with shame. The BLOOD of Jesus makes us clean and new! Walk in purpose today!

Related Scriptures: Micah 4:4; Revelation 7:14; Romans 12:16

Life Goes On! by: Susan Haynes Brogan

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image1 (2)I will never forget the day sitting in my lawyer’s office going over the last remaining items in order to finalize my divorce. As we sat there, she continued to ask me all the “standard” questions. I can still remember everything about that day, that hour, that minute, even that very moment. My heart was in so much pain BUT the pain of staying the same was actually greater than the fear of change itself.

image2 (2)As she looked at me and asked her last question I became paralyzed. Tara asked, “Susan, what would you like your name to be?” I can remember staring at her for a very long time as my mind went in circles as if I was on a fast moving merry-go-round. She continued, “Do you want to keep your last name as it is, or would you like to go back to your maiden name?”

As she kept talking, ALL I could think of was that I went from being someone’s daughter at 17 to someone’s wife to someone’s mother. I had NEVER before been just ME. What does that even look like? Who am I?

image4One thing I have always known is there is POWER in a name. I always knew that Susan meant, “Lily”, but I just assumed it meant a “Peace Lily”, like the ones you would send to a funeral. As I researched further, I found that my name actually was birthed from a “Forever Lily”, which is a pink flower with blonde roots. When I saw it, I realized that HE KNOWS ME…just like the promise of Jeremiah 1:5 that says, “I knew you before I formed you, I set you apart!”

image3 (1)As I looked up at Tara, my eyes filled with tears and I asked, “Can I be JUST SUSAN?”

That day, I knew that I knew that I had just spent a lifetime accepting every label that was ever placed on me and ONLY the love that I BELIEVED I was worthy of.

Song of Solomon 2:2 – As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters.

You are like a lily among thorns, my darling!”

You see, LOVE takes off the masks that we fear we cannot live without, and KNOW we cannot live within. Life is about breaking our personal limits and outgrowing ourselves to live our BEST life. Realizing that it’s not what the world calls me that matters, BUT what I call me that does! CHOOSING not just any life, but an abundant life…knowing one thing for sure and that is LIFE goes on!!

Penned by the one and only Susan Haynes Brogan, my friend for life, my mentor, the spiritual giant that offers me sound advice and a shoulder to cry on without judgment, a loyal and trustworthy servant of the King!

Thank you, Susan, for being obedient to the call, for loving unconditionally, for being a light before men, a city upon a hill!

You can read Song of Solomon 5-8 and the poetic love story that speaks so much of the love Christ has for each of us at www.biblegateway.com. What a testimony to God’s favor and mercy upon us all! Join in the discussion by posting comments or questions below and let’s do this together!! #ReadtheBible #bgbg2 #BibleGateway #newbeginnings #Songs

Let It Go! by: Susan Haynes Brogan

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image2 (1)We ALL, whether we like to admit it or not, have THAT THING that brings us to our knees. It is a place where we find ourselves ARGUING with reality…trying to push against what IS, hoping that it really isn’t. One thing I know for sure is that when we argue against reality, WE WILL SUFFER! A lot of times we are looking at the circumstances of the moment and it seems overwhelming. We begin looking for quick fix or a door to be able to escape from, and if we are not careful, we will make lifetime decisions based on a moment of problems.

image3Sometimes, just sometimes, God will create a problem that we cannot fix. God will wreck your plans when He see’s that your plans are about to wreck you. He will then put you in a position where it looks like DEFEAT is the ONLY option, so HE can the Hero, to come in and save the day. He wants to woo us, protect us, and to love us, to hold us, and to cup our faces. It is a picture painted so beautifully in the Song of Solomon:

Song of Solomon 2:6

His left hand is under my head, and his right hand doth embrace me.

image1 (1)Can you imagine the sound of His heart as He pulls us closer to Him and further away from the things of this world? Listen…as long as you are holding onto THAT THING God will not touch it! So take a deep breath…and LET IT GO!

Penned by the one and only Susan Haynes Brogan, my friend for life, my mentor, the spiritual giant that offers me sound advice and a shoulder to cry on without judgment, a loyal and trustworthy servant of the King!

You can read Song of Solomon 1-4 and the poetic love story that speaks so much of the love Christ has for each of us at www.biblegateway.com. What a testimony to God’s favor and mercy upon us all! Join in the discussion by posting comments or questions below and let’s do this together!! #ReadtheBible #bgbg2 #BibleGateway #newbeginnings #Songs

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