Jealous Discord

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Oh Jealousy…In the words of author, Margaret Atwood: “You can only be jealous of someone who has something you think you ought to have yourself.”

jealousy4Jealousy is a misconception of the truth. It makes me lose my perspective of the truth and love of God. I then in turn lose trust in His ability to do what is best in any circumstance I find myself in. I would love to say that I’m not a jealous person. I used to be jealous of everyone and everything, always trying to “live up to the Jones’”. Today, not so much, but I AM suffering in silence at this very moment. I’m just going to get honest here because when I speak the lies of the enemy out loud, the coward loses his power over me. I’m going to shatter this stronghold right here and right now because I don’t want to feel this way and quite frankly it makes me sick.

I am jealous of other women that have also graduated Jacob’s Well that are already in the process of getting their children back. I’m also angry at those who choose not to be around their children full time because I would give anything to be in a position to even see mine on a regular basis (or just once for that matter). So now, not only am I jealous, but I am judging. Whew…there it is…out there for the world to see.

jealous3Now it’s time to replace the lie with God’s TRUTH and get this up off me. I first want to say that being jealous and judgmental is not in my heart and I am over the moon happy for these beautiful, strong, courageous women of God. God is moving in their lives and what a blessing! All the more reason to stomp this lie back into hell where it belongs.

James 4:2 – You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God.

That truth HURTS. I do ask God for what my desires are with my children and for some reason I keep taking back His power over my situation and I try to figure out ways to make it happen in my own strength. Then begins the quarrel within myself and I begin to start looking at everyone else and not myself. I forget about all the things that are going great in my life and all the blessings God is bestowing on me at breakneck speeds. I take back what I originally surrendered. And it is EXHAUSTING. My motives are not completely pure. Plain and simple. That is a hard truth.

jealousy5Colossians 1:9-14 – For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious mights so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

And there it is. I am in a holding pattern so that God can continue to work on my character and I can continue to grow in Him so that I know that every good work comes from HIM ALONE and not in my own strength. Susan Brogan from Jacob’s Well said it so clearly yesterday that I nearly fell off my bed reading it. She said, “Logic never undresses in front of pain. Sometimes God digs ditches in our valleys, so bad has got to get worse because bad was just not deep enough and it was not anything you did wrong. Sometimes things need to look utterly impossible so that God can say, ‘I couldn’t do it until I knew that you saw no way on earth it could be done.’ I trust the promise but I have to survive the process.” My process is not the same as Suzie Q or Janey L. I am Julie K and God is in CONTROL of MY PAIN and MY PROCESS just like He is in control of THEIR PAIN and THEIR PROCESS. I do not want my identity as a Christian woman to be put in jeopardy because I am in the mindset of wanting what others have. Jesus gave me LIFE and FREEDOM!!! He wakes me up every morning with new mercies! When I desire something more than my relationship with God, I am saying that “it” is more important that HIM. OUCH…

Colossians 3:12-15 – Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. 15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

I don’t want to unpack and live in these feelings because it is poisoning my life. How do I find forgiveness in all of this? How do I look at my situation through the eyes of God and see past the hurt? If I don’t put on the behavior marked by mercy, then I won’t get mercy. If I don’t forgive, then I won’t be forgiven. If I lose patience, all hell will break loose.

You can read Colossians 1-4 about the Paul’s message to the church at Colossae 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 #Colossians

To further your reading, and to dive a bit deeper, consider this from

Romans 13:9 – The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Guess what? I am stealing joy when I covet, I am murdering someone’s character when I judge them, and I am SINNING.

My new attitude??…

1 Corinthians 1:4 – I always thank my God for you and for the gracious gifts He has given you.

Overthinking…

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

overthinking2I can think things to DEATH. I have a mind that likes to send me into confusion real quick because I analyze everything to the point where I can’t even recognize it anymore. I am getting better. Some days if I don’t reign it in, my mind will go berserk trying to make sense of things that are…well…common sense. Pastor Tilghman at Jacob’s Well used to call me his favorite nerd because of the comments and questions I would bring up that always had everyone else shaking their head and rolling their eyes! Overthinking is OK (sometimes) but can be exhausting the rest of the time. It isn’t really normal, but I am not normal, so I still overthink. It’s a battle everyday. For me, the first thing it does is create paranoia and I can’t afford to have that spirit back in my life….NO WAY. At Jacob’s Well, I began to use my brain for good. I started looking up verses that had the words “thought, think, thinking” in them and then I wrote down the verse, took out a dictionary, and proceeded to define every single last word in each verse. I used my thinking to learn about what the Word of God says about our thoughts! It was eye opening to say the least and the words changed with each definition and I was able to see things and THINK things completely differently!

overthinking4The very first verse I ever memorized was one given to me by Mandy and then Pastor T gave me the same one several weeks later.

Philippians 4:8 – Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.

It says “whatever”. For me that meant ALL. All inclusive. All the things that are listed above. Not some, not a few, ALL OF THEM. When I replace my negative thinking with the positives in this verse, I can’t help but think positive thoughts! I must take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ Jesus! As Mandy says, “Put them on a platter and send them to heaven.” They don’t belong to me anyway.

overthinking3Romans 12:3 – Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.

EACH OF US. He has given us EACH faith. Again, ALL INCLUSIVE. He didn’t leave anyone out, so why should I walk around all haughty? Shame, shame on me….

Psalm 63:6 – On my bed, I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night.

This verse speaks volumes to me! How many times have I laid awake at night, worrying and contemplating and freaking out because of my bad dreams? Too many to count. This verse tells me that I need to think and reflect on God’s goodness and grace because HE is watching out for ME. He doesn’t rest, because He wants me to!

You can read Philippians 1-4 about the Paul’s message to the people of Philippi 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 #Philippians

To further your reading, and to dive a bit deeper, consider this from

overthinking1 Corinthians 14:20 – Brothers and sisters, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults.

This one screams….GROW UP!! Don’t be too grown up to not recognize evil when it is at your step, but grow up. This is to everyone who is a believer or a child of God (brothers and sisters). LOVE IT!!

Those are just a few that really touched my soul! Taking the time to write them out and see how they affected me changed my whole way of thinking. Now I try to look at the bright side of life!! I will overthink the positive all day long and that keeps me hopeful!!!

Battle For Deliverance

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I had a pretty intense moment at Jacob’s Well. It was my 46th day there. It was a Thursday. I will never forget it as long as I live. Chains that had held me bound for nearly 20 years fell off. I experienced God in a way I never had before and I finally felt free. The night before had been horrific for me. Satan is such a deceiver that he tries to get to me when I am unconscious and asleep. And that night it worked. When I woke up the next morning, I had so much fear, anxiety, worry, paranoia, and confusion on me that I couldn’t even breathe. I was ready to walk out of Jacob’s Well. I couldn’t stop shaking, and I couldn’t stop crying. It was so painful. And then I found out why. My deliverance was coming and Satan wanted me on the plank and out the before that could happen.

battleEphesians 6:12 – For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

I had the amazing opportunity to sit with Pastor and Mrs. Tilghman that day for intense counseling and prayer. I was in prayer with them for over 2 hours and it felt like minutes. God spoke to me. ALL I HAD TO DO WAS LISTEN. Listen to His voice, slow down my thinking, and pay attention to who He was telling me I was. I came to the realization that it isn’t all about me. I learned in that session that God knows what He is doing and sometimes it’s none of my business. Even if it is horrible at the time, like losing a parent to prison or to suicide, He works all things out for His good. I look at my life when my 1st dad was around. deliverance3It was chaotic, it was stressful, I hardly ever saw him. I wonder what my life would have been like had he lived. Not just for me, but for the rest of my family. I was 15 years old when he died. I took his death, victimized myself, and CHOSE to walk a different path. I didn’t see the big picture. My mom is so happy today. I have an amazing dad who loves me very much and would do anything for me and my sister and his two daughters. He is a provider. He isn’t selfish. He loves the Lord with all his heart. And he adores my mom. The reason I fell apart from my family was MY choice. From my family, from my ex-husband, from my own children, all because I was the victim and I was stuck in Satan’s lies. THE LORD ALLOWED THINGS TO TAKE PLACE SO THAT IN THE END I WOULD GLORIFY HIM THROUGH IT.

Genesis 50:20 – You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.

deliverance2The test hurts, and I was in a test for a long time. But it is now my TESTIMONY!!! Jesus will never forsake me in my weakness. He will never leave me. Even when I was making bad choices and near death, He was with me. It was the things I was holding onto that were keeping me sick.

It says FULL armor, not a piece, not just one thing, but ALL of it. As Susan says all the time, “What’s in ALL? Everything! What’s left out of ALL? Nothing!” The only way I can stand up against this terrible enemy that wants me dead is to stand my ground, armed and ready for battle. I must depend on God’s strength and use every single piece He has given me. These enemies will try everything to turn me away from Jesus and back to sin. But God will not allow that to happen. Especially if I do my part and hit the floor ready for the onslaught. battle3I will stand FIRM in truth, righteousness, readiness, peace, faith, and salvation!! The belt of Truth will combat the lies. The breastplate of Righteousness will guard my heart since everything flows from it. My feet will be ready, not to run, but to STAND firm in what I believe! The shield of Faith will protect me from the flaming arrows that are being shot at me with all my past mistakes and my insecurities. Faith is believing in things unseen and I do believe! The helmet of salvation will protect my mind from the inner voice that plagues me. I have been saved through Christ Jesus. That is TRUTH. And I pray everyday that the word of God is a sword coming from my mouth! I pray that He uses me in a way that I can speak to others clearly and without confusion as to the saving power of Jesus Christ.

You can read Ephesians 4-6 about the Paul’s message to the people of Ephesus 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 #Ephesians

To further your reading, and to dive a bit deeper, consider this from

deliverance5Romans 8:28-38 – And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died – more than that, who was raised to life – is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” NO, IN ALL THESE THINGS WE ARE MORE THAN CONQUERORS THROUGH HIM WHO LOVED US. FOR I AM CONVINCED THAT NEITHER DEATH NOR LIFE, NEITHER ANGELS NOR DEMONS, NEITHER THE PRESENT NOR THE FUTURE, NOR ANY POWERS, NEITHER HEIGHT NOR DEPTH, NOR ANYTHING ELSE IN ALL CREATION, WILL BE ABLE TO SEPARATE US FROM THE LOVE OF GOD THAT IS IN CHRIST JESUS OUR LORD.

battle2For me, on that day of deliverance, I was set free. I saw the truth. I heard the Lord tell me that I had a purpose. That He was turning every bad circumstance in my life around for His good. He knew me before I was born and even knitted me in my mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13). He knew every bad thing that would happen to me and every bad choice I would make. I have a new mind-set and a new perspective, now. I learned to accept, not resent, pain and persecution. He has always known me and His love has never failed. It is IMPOSSIBLE to be separated from Christ!! That day I was called out of my pit of shame, guilt and remorse, and I was called into the loving arms of my Savior! I still miss my dad very much, and today I can say that I am GRATEFUL for ALL of it, the good, the bad, and the ugly!! I finally chose to put the past where it belongs and stop fighting a battle that was never mine to fight.

East to West

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

eastwest2I used to wrack my brain by trying to think about silly things that couldn’t be figured out by my little mind. How big is the universe? How many stars are there? What can you catch, but not throw? What is the speed of darkness? How is it that we put man on the moon before we figured out it would be a good idea to put wheels on luggage? Where do East and West meet? You get the point. I got the answer to one of these questions….East and West can never meet. It’s like God’s forgiveness. Once He forgives, he forgets. So WHY in the world do I hold onto to my past and ponder it the way I ponder these questions above? It’s forgiven and forgotten.

eastwest3I am sometimes tempted to remind others and myself of past mistakes. Unfortunately, that happens a lot behind closed doors. Hurting people hurt people…Plain and Simple. I am a human and I make human mistakes, but this reminds me that God forgives me and I need to forgive…and FORGET.

Ephesians 2:4-5 – But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved.

Jesus has every reason to kick me to the curb because of the way I used to be. But He doesn’t!! I am the blood bought precious child of a King and He forgot the second I asked for forgiveness. It’s not my stuff to hold onto anymore.

eastwest6You can read Ephesians 1-3 about the Paul’s message to the people of Ephesus 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 #Ephesians

To further your reading, and to dive a bit deeper, consider this from

Psalm 103:11-12 – For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; 12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

He remembers our sin NO MORE! So why do we hold ourselves hostage to it? STOP IT already! Move on and move up and get on out of that valley and start heading for the mountaintop!

Related Scriptures: Isaiah 43:25; 2 Samuel 12:13; Acts 15:11

Are You a Duck?

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I was having a conversation the other night with my dear friend and out of seemingly nowhere came into my spirit a memory from YEARS ago, before Christ reigned my life. I was having some issues, as always, and placing blame on everyone else around me. I had a sense of entitlement that would send me spinning into outer space if anyone had anything to say about what I was doing and how I was doing it. People letting me in on my very own secrets that were keeping me sick made me hot, and I wanted no part of it. This woman said to me, “Julie, if one person says that you look like a duck, walk like a duck, quack like a duck, and that you are a duck, you probably aren’t a duck. However, if two or more people tell you that you look like a duck, walk like a duck, quack like a duck, and that you are a duck, you probably ARE, in fact, a duck.” I walked away from that woman and vowed never to speak to her again. How dare she?!?! That memory had my friend and I splitting our pants from laughter this past evening and I pondered why the Lord had allowed it into my spirit when it really had nothing to do with our conversation.

duck1The very next day, I was given a piece to a puzzle that I didn’t look for, didn’t search for, didn’t pray for, didn’t seek. It was handed to me and I saw, up close and personal, my old self in other people. I saw jealousy, discord, anger, blame, and strife seep out of two people that I know and love who have CHOSEN their own way.

Proverbs 16:25 (NASB) – There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.

I saw justification from each of them toward one another about how they were feeling, not only toward me, but toward people I love. I saw their refusal to see the truth and all of it saddened me. For a few days I have been questioning my calling because of these two people. I have been seeing and hearing what they have been saying and the enemy used it to attack my mind. I would take my thoughts captive to Christ only to have them come back again. In my attempts to block it all out, it was handed back to me, thankfully this time for revelation. A chain of events took place that kick started this whole new mentality, and it all happened in the course of a few hours. duck2First, Brother Asa said, “We cannot change the seasons in life, we can not pick when winter will come; however, we can change ourselves and our reactions to how we handle the winters until spring comes. Will it make you stronger, better, and wiser?” This is mere hours after the strange memory. Then comes the piece to the puzzle which landed directly in my lap, followed by the revelation that came to my as I drove down the road toward work. I realized that I chose to allow these two people in my life, because of their own choices and their unwillingness to see the truth, to push me into a spiritual corner where I began to question myself. THEN, God spoke, “Julie, two people, directly and indirectly, are telling you that you look like a duck, walk like a duck, quack like a duck, and that you are a duck. Do you believe them?” I thought long and hard about it and then God spoke again. He said, “I didn’t call you to be liked, I called you to be like me. I called you to be different for MY glory and MY service, not yours. Julie, you ARE a duck, now fly south for the winter because I made you to fly because you are free in spirit. You are no longer bound by this winter. Wait patiently for spring and let everything roll like water off your back.”

duck3Galatians 5:1-8 (NASB) – It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. 2 Behold I, Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no benefit to you. 3 And I testify again to every man who receives circumcision, that he is under obligation to keep the whole Law. 4 You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. 5 For we through the Spirit, by faith, are waiting for the hope of righteousness. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love. 7 You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth? 8 This persuasion did not come from Him who calls you.

For the first time in my life, I KNOW that I am walking in truth and spirit. I know that things I am doing are not of me. I know that I am in the center of God’s will for my life. I know that I stand for something today. The enemy is sneaky, but I see that it’s my choice to change myself and make winter more bearable. It’s time to move on. It’s time to fly free. And it’s time to let people be people and let God be God. I always cut in on my own race, but not this time. No more blame games, pity parties, justifiable anger, or discord. I’m ready for spring! I’m a duck!

You can read Galatians 5-6 about the Paul’s message to the Galatians 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 #Galatians

To further your reading, and to dive a bit deeper, consider this from

Matthew 5:10 (NASB) – Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Everyone wants the nice pretty picture of what it is like to walk with Christ. But as far as I can see and know, it isn’t all rainbows and cupcakes. In order to reign with Him, we must suffer like Him. Do not be surprised when people criticize, misunderstand, or try to hurt you for what you are doing for the Lord, what you believe, and how you should live. COUNT IT ALL JOY! God is the only one you need to please!

Related Scriptures: 2 Timothy 3:12; Isaiah 52:12-13

FAITH, WORKS, and REST

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

What does “rest” look like to you? How do you relax? What helps you to recover your strength? Rest for me is hard. I struggle against being still on a daily basis. My thoughts are constantly in a quest for answers. The “To-Do” List is astronomical. 

rest3Please. God, SHOW ME! Please, HELP ME SEE! Please, make me understand what is to come! PLEASE, don’t leave me! I just want ONE glimpse of the promise, even though I know the promise I still can’t see it. PLEASE!”

Does that sound familiar? Where is the faith in that? Faith is the evidence of things not seen, a confident assurance of what we know to be true in our hearts. Can we see when the bird lays it’s egg in a nest high in a tree on a beautiful spring morning as the dew peaks on the blades of grass before being sucked into the atmosphere by the rising sun? Can we see into the air as rays of that morning sun travel through space and warm our planet with light? Do we know what that looks like? Can we see the formation of stars in our own galaxy as God speaks them forth? Can we hear the songs of the planets as they move through time and space at one command from their Creator? Can we hear their tune in praise? But we believe! Why is it so hard to know and believe in those things even though we can’t tangibly see them taking place but we cannot believe in the promises God has for our very own lives?

Rest…a state of calm rising from a beautiful heart that is deeply rooted in God.

rest4Rest can be man-made while sitting on the beach, drinking a cup of coffee from the front porch, lying by a waterfall, closing your eyes when they are weak, or just being still, but where is your HEART? What is your mind doing during your fabricated moments of rest? Are you at peace with the promise? Do you believe you are who God says you are? Well, you SHOULD! Why wouldn’t you? We have proof and assurance of God’s presence with us always and it RESTS in the Book you hold and turn to daily…the BIBLE. Jesus promises to show Himself to those who believe. Don’t rest in unbelief. Rest is His goodness!

Galatians 3:1-14 – You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. 2 I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law,or by believing what you heard? 3 Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh? 4 Have you experienced so much in vain—if it really was in vain? 5 So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard? 6 So also Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”

faith87 Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham.8 Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.” 9 So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.

10 For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” 11 Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.” 12 The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, “The person who does these things will live by them.” 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.” 14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.

rest1Are you the man, once full of joy and a delight to be around, now riddled with judgment and guilt? Is your once infectious attitude gone and friends are drawing away from you, not feeling worthy of being in your presence? Are the the woman, your whole life being told that you would never amount to anything, never hearing a word of encouragement from friends and family? In your desperate attempt to feel loved, you made one bad decision after another which only made the condemnation worse. You aren’t even crying out to Jesus anymore because of your feelings of loneliness and despair. There is GOOD NEWS! You don’t get to heaven by works of the flesh. Your performance does not make God love you more or less. He loves you IN SPITE of you! REST EASY my friend!

You can read Galatians 1-3 about the Paul’s message to the Galatians 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 #Galatians

To further your reading, and to dive a bit deeper, consider this from

faith5Hebrews 11:1-10 – Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for. 3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. 4 By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead. 5 By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.” For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. 6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. 7 By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith. 8 By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. 9 By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.

God IS who He says He is, and God DOES what He says He will do! His Word has AWESOME power! He did it for all of them! Why can’t He do it for you?

Related Scriptures: Mark 9:24; John 20:24-31; John 10:14-15; 2 Timothy 2:19; Psalm 25:4; Psalm 119:33

Sick and Tired

Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,

I have been just sick (in my head) the past few weeks and at home alone with just my thoughts. Prime playing ground for satan and his minions to come in and start talking smack…ABOUT EVERYTHING. I am listening to words whispered in my ear saying, “Who do you think you are? You aren’t good enough to even be sitting here. What is your purpose anyway? You can’t even remember to do the simple things. You are no good to anyone. Why aren’t you writing? Or reading? Because you are WEAK.”

sick2Terrible, right?!?!? MY GOD!! Sick, sick, SICK. The battle begins in my mind and I am on a course for self-destruction if I don’t start looking to His word for HEALING, in my body and my mind.

2 Corinthians 10:4-5 – The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

Every thought, even ones I don’t even realize I am having, need to be taken captive and given to Jesus. Deceiver get up under MY FEET! You have no place here.

sick1Jeremiah 1:19 – “They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.

God is with me and He will see me through. I am going to give THANKS today! THANK YOU LORD! God knows what I need and when I need it and I was moving pretty fast so maybe it was time for me to stand still.

sick32 Corinthians 12:9-10 – But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Ouch – The Truth Hurts

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

The truth. Who am I? What do I stand for? How do others perceive me? Hearing the truth to these questions is sometimes very difficult. I was so messed up and treated people with no respect, so the answers to the questions were not always what I wanted to hear. I had a real hard time dealing with the truth. But it helped me heal. I am so grateful for honest, caring, uplifting individuals that God placed in my life that told it to me straight. Did I take offense? Sure. But God dealt with me regarding offenses and I was able to see past that into their loving eyes to see they were only trying to help me, not hurt me. I can promise you, that if I don’t see the truth and try to work through things, God will deal with me. He always does.

truth-hurtsJohn 8:31-32 – To the Jews who had believed him Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

Ephesians 4:15 – Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.

truth-hurts2I want to be mature and I want to be FREE! I feel like I have been stuck in my 16 year old mind for way too long. No wonder I couldn’t get it together. I can’t grow without the truth. I will still be stuck in my own fantasy world if it weren’t for the truth and I would not be moving to a new level in my walk with Christ. He says to speak truth in love. That is what others did for me, and it is what I hope to do with others. I no longer want to stumble on confrontation and getting all bent out of shape because I don’t want to hear what is being said to me, out of love and care. God wants me to get rid of the bad so that I can have what He wants me to have! I am my own stumbling block!!

John 16:13 – But when he, the Spirit of Truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

truth-hurts3If I don’t submit myself to the Lord, then my life will not get any better and I will be stuck with a huge problem, being alone again….not a friend in the world who wants anything to do with my rebellious, stubborn, disobedient, rude, easily offended self. It’s time to get real and put on my big girl panties. Time to face the truth!!

2 Corinthians 7:8 – Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it. Though I did regret it – I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while – 9 yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us.

Love and Legalism

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

I had the awesome opportunity to witness firsthand a conversation where love reigned completely. The conversation started with a “Hello”, as most do, and as it moved into deeper meaning, the reality of what was taking place brought me to my knees. I overheard a broken woman who began the conversation with manipulative crying, a sort of begging for someone to listen through her tears. As she spoke, she realized that the old ways were not working for her in this moment, so the truth was revealed. Out of her own mouth came her intentions of what her plans were, how she was going to see to it that they came to fruition, and it was so brutally honest that it took my breath away. The person on the other end did nothing more than listen with an open heart without speaking or asking questions that would send the brokenhearted person on the other end of the line deeper into paranoia and distrust. As I listened, I was completely caught off guard. How dare this woman, who knows the right way to go, continue to live her life as if she were dying? How dare she ask for the things she was asking for instead of asking for the right kind of help? How dare she speak such hurtful things to the only person on the planet who is still fighting on her behalf? Who does this girl think she is? Why can’t she just see? What in the world is she THINKING? And then I saw it…the truest love I have ever seen was radiated through the phone toward this beat down individual who had originally called for tangible things to be handed to her so she could continue her spiral to self-destruction. The love of Christ poured forth and covered her ever so gently. Her questions were not answered the way she desired, but she hung up the phone and chose to make right decisions for her life, THAT day anyway. As Susan Brogan always says, “Love covers a multitude of sins.” Never before had I really looked at myself long enough to see that I don’t love enough. I am stuck between love and legalism. What a hard pill to swallow.

legalism1Let me give you the definition of legalism. “Legalism is strict adherence, or the principle of strict adherence, to law or prescription, especially to the letter rather than the spirit. the doctrine that salvation is gained through good works. the judging of conduct in terms of adherence to precise laws.”  That right there knocked me in the head. I didn’t follow the laws for a very long time in my life. I didn’t adhere to the laws of man or the spirit. I know what that feels like to live a life where every excuse in the book and every manipulative word that oozed from my mouth sounded better than the letter of the law. I was miserable. I see that misery on others, sad women who walk across the threshold of Jacob’s Well, and I desperately want them to get out of their old ways of thinking so that they can see clearly the Light of Truth. But that isn’t MY job. I become a Pharisee when I expect others who are still trying to figure out how they got to where they are, if they are going to try this thing, and who to trust, to follow the letter of the law with precision. There is no script to this. The law is there, written in black and white for us all to see and be convicted by and turn from our ways.

legalism32 Corinthians 3:4-6 – Such confidence we have through Christ before God. 5 Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. 6 He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

Here is the thing. Some people were NOT taught how to live in Christ and have been living as just walking, breathing shells of people in this crazy messed up world their entire existence. However, I HAVE been taught, with regard to my former way of life. It’s my responsibility to love people where they are, not to place judgment on them when they just don’t know any better. Jesus is the means by which we are convicted and brought to repentance. Not through Julie. Does it hurt me to see people completely stuck in deception and living lies? Yes. Does it hurt knowing that they are exactly where I used to be? Yes. Does it hurt seeing them slowly kill themselves in their mind, body, soul, and spirit? Yes. Can I do anything about it? Yes. I can love them.

legalism4Never before have I opened my spiritual eyes long enough to see what real Christ-like love looks like before I was afforded this front row seat to an amazing encounter that blew my mind into the stratosphere. As I sat there and listened intently to the conversation, I was immediately torn. Who am I really? What do I stand for, really? My desire is to be like Christ, not like a pharisee who is following every letter of the law. I want to reach the broken, not push them away by my insistence on how they should behave. I want to love unconditionally, not judge. I still get it wrong, sometimes daily, but for the first time in my life, I see the truth. The truth hurts, but it will set you free.

The good people of Jacob’s Well loved me back to life when I was a dead woman walking in my own sins and transgressions. So who am I but a willing servant of the Most High God and I am called to LOVE.

You can read 2 Corinthians 1-4 about the Paul’s message to Corinth 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 #1Corinthians

To further your reading, consider this from:

Ephesians 4:22-24 (NIV) – You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

All of our accomplishments are not our own. So many boast of their own prestige, but we must express our humility before God and man. Faithfulness to our tasks is the basis of a valid ministry, not worldly standards of excellence. We may sometimes suffer for the sake of the Gospel, but our power and strength comes from God and not ourselves. The written law demands perfect obedience with no power to obey. Our new life in Christ is characteristic of our new covenant with Him! LOVE like HIM!!

Related Scriptures: Romans 9:30-32; 1 Corinthians 15:56-57; 1 Corinthians 13:4-13

LOVE

Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,

Love…it’s the greatest gift from our perfect Creator. It set in motion our entire planet. It is WHY we were created and it is THE ONLY reason we were formed from dust to walk around in unity. Nothing matters without love.

love51 Corinthians 13:1-3 – If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

I am so grateful for the gifts that God bestowed on me, but what good are they if I don’t use them in LOVE? Love should be the center of my being. Do I get confused at times when God asks me to make major adjustments in my life? Sure. But God is not the author of confusion. Do I get angry some days? Absolutely, but God is not the author of anger either. Do I get tired of running a race that some days seems to have no finish line in sight? More times than I can count, but that too is from the enemy. Exhaustion is a tool used to make me ineffective. I have to put selfishness, pride, and childish ways behind me in order to move forward in grace.

love4Faith, the foundation, and hope which is the attitude, must align perfectly for LOVE to be set in motion. People in my life choose to go from friend to enemy overnight. Does it hurt? YES. Without FAITH (knowing and believing God’s promises for my life) and HOPE (confident expectation), I would not be able to love regardless of my feelings or their feelings. I would slip easily into selfish behaviors because of the reflection I see in the mirror of their eyes when I see them face to face.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 – Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails.

love7Without LOVE, I would shrink away and take on the insecurities of another without thought. We have to be able to look PAST the mirror and into the promise, which is eternal life where all our gifts and talents will pass away and all that will be left is LOVE.

Thank you, Heavenly Father, for making us all unique yet all still in Your Image. Thank you for allowing us to see that we can use our differences to give You glory!

1 Corinthians 13:8-13 – But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

love10You can read 1 Corinthians 13-16 about the Paul’s message to Corinth 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 #1Corinthians

To further your reading, consider this from:

Leviticus 19:18 –  “‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.

Love transends time and space. Love is what makes our hearts beat, what brings us joy. Love someone today!

Related Scriptures: Deuteronomy 11:12; Matthew 5:44; James 2:8