Sunday, March 31, 2013

Three Nails

It's Sunday. Three days after Jesus was crucified. While many were mourning His loss....others were discovering quite the contrary....The Victory!

On Friday, everything seemed to be in the enemy's favor. But Sunday was coming. While the world had thought it was all over, Jesus was stepping into hell to claim the keys to death, hell, and the grave! Claiming victory.

By Jesus going to the cross, taking on and dying for our sins, He became our payment. Those three nails are all it took to pave the way for us. Because when the blood of Jesus was spilled, it was done as a sacrifice once and for all. One time...for ALL.

For God's will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time. ~Hebrews 10:10 (NLT) emphasis mine

Three nails. Defeating death...hell...and the grave. Why? So you didn't have to. Not only that, but those sins He promises to forget! He won't remember them ever again. Whether past, present, or future, once you trust Jesus as Lord and Savior of your life, you are covered. It's already been paid for.

Then he said, "I will never again remember their sins and lawless deeds." ~Hebrews 10:17 (NLT)

Three nails is all it took to save the entire world, from generation to generation. This year, my family celebrates another victory in what Jesus did for us. Our 6-year-old grandson, Radley, prayed to receive Jesus. Another addition to God's house! Another generation paving the way for the next.

My prayer for you is that you share in the joy, the peace, and the victory that Jesus paid for. If not, you are one simple prayer away from claiming the Gift that those three nails held for you.

*Picture ©; Text ©

Friday, March 29, 2013

What's So Good About Good Friday?

It's Good Friday! What's so good about it though? Seriously. This is the day that Jesus was arrested, taken before this court, that court, flogged, beaten, spat upon (repeatedly), made fun of (mocked), beaten some more, lied about, but then called a liar. Then, nailed to a cross. This metal piercing his hands and feet. How painful could that possibly be? But to be hung with all your weight pulling on those three nails. How excruciating. But not as painful as the breaking of His heart when God turned away from Him. 

"But I wasn't even thought of then," you might be saying. Yes you were. You were most definitely thought of. You were thought about! Because when Jesus prayed, He prayed not only for His disciples, the men who followed Him, the ones who would take over after He defeated death, hell, and the grave... He prayed for you and me.

I am praying  not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. ~John 17:20 (NLT) emphasis mine

In less than eighteen hours, Jesus went through six different trials. It's almost ridiculous what He went through. So many illegalities, so many underhanded, devious things laid on Jesus. And He took it. Then the ultimate shame...when the sins of the entire world came upon Him, when He actually became sin Himself, even though He had done no wrong, and God turned His back. How heartbreaking.

For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. ~2 Corinthians 5:21

How humbling. Yet, even in His agony, He still forgave. He still had compassion. He still had love. He forgave the thief on the cross next to Him. He looked down at the people there and asked God to forgive them. And when we cry out to Him, He forgives us even today.

 He personally carried our sins in His body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By His wounds you are healed. ~1 Peter 2:24 (NLT)

Good Friday. When you think about it in terms of what Jesus did for you and me, then it turns into something quite good indeed. 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Sock It To Me!

It's getting deep in here! The socks! Crimanetly (is that a word??)! Ever since posting about wearing mismatched socks, it began to hit me that hey, this is more prominent than I had originally thought. I've been told that teenagers wear mismatched socks all the time. It's a fashion trend. Well, okie dokie! But that's not why I do it. I mean c'mon, I'm forty-seven-years-old, a grandmother for Pete's sake, so what purpose would it serve me to wear mismatched socks...or even give them away for that matter? Just one word: Jesus.

My #2 daughter, Katie. Helping me mismatch & fold socks.
Mismatched socks, for me, are a ministry tool. They have become a ministry all by their own little mismatched selves, bless them. Oh I joke about it, but the fact of the matter is, they are a conversation starter. And some women don't understand the concept of the socks. Many more don't even want to be given a pair of them. But here's where it gets interesting; the ones who do receive a pair are elated to get them! Why? Because they have a story, because they took a leap of faith and shared that story, and because some out-of-the-box lady wearing mismatched socks came up to them, loved them, and listened to their story...then gave them a pair of mismatched socks. Ultimately, the giving of the socks was a confirmation and an entry for them into the unofficial Mismatched Sock Club.

Is there really a Mismatched Sock Club? I don't know! It could be that I just invented it. But then again, we are ALL mismatched socks. Not one of us is exactly alike. Why? Because God made us all individuals, all different, all with different gifts and talents. We are all unique, just like the mismatched socks. Trust me. And while my story is different from yours, you still have a story. My story may help you, but your story may help someone else, and their story may help someone else! It's a snowball effect, or it should be. 

In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well... ~Romans 12:6(a) NLT

We should all be helping one another instead of knocking each other down, or encouraging each other to stay down once we're there. I don't want to get down again. I spent too many years in that black hole, that pit of despair. I got out for good in May 2012, and I'm doing my best to help others out of the pit, too. Won't you join me in helping other mismatched socks get out of the pit?

You don't have to wear mismatched socks to encourage someone else. In fact, it's not even about the socks! I just use them to remind myself that God plucked me out of the Laundry Basket of Life, shook me out, and said, "I can use this one!" Then I give them to others to encourage them, too.

My tote of mismatched socks...not even close to being done!
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up... ~1 Thessalonians 4:18(a) HCSB

God loves you SO much! He wants to use you to do great things. You have something special that He has instilled in you, and you are longing to use that. But maybe someone is telling you that you can't. Well, maybe it's time to listen to the One who gave you that gift. Listen to the Spirit of the Lord and see what HE says for you to do. Then step out in faith. I promise that you'll be glad that you did.

Monday, March 25, 2013

You Are On Purpose

You are chosen... You are anointed... You are gifted... You have what it takes... You have been appointed...

As I listened to these words it began to occur to me that these words were not only for the people around me, but they were actually for ME. I am chosen... I am anointed... I am gifted... I have what it takes... and I have been appointed! Me! Appointed! 

The night God healed me of all the mental and emotional garbage I carried around for years, He also supplied me with a key Bible verse to go with it. When I read it, it encourages me and reminds me of the very fact that I have indeed been chosen, anointed, and gifted to do what I do. It is mentioned in two separate places, and it also applies to Jesus. However, when I read it, I truly felt the Lord saying, "I'm giving this to you, too. Now go out and do what you've been chosen to do." What an honor!

Old Testament:
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the Lord's favor has come, and with it, the day of God's anger against their enemies. ~ Isaiah 61:1-2 (NLT) emphasis mine

New Testament:
The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim freedom to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor. ~Luke 4:18-19 (HCSB) emphasis mine

When Jesus came, these Scriptures were fulfilled. When He healed my mind and emotions, He placed this in me and set me out to tell my story of healing so that I in turn, could help someone else who is going through the turmoil of mental and emotional intimidation by others.

The Lord does not want you to live in distress. He also doesn't want you to live under the hand of oppression or intimidation. When He heals you, He sets you apart, anoints you, and gives you your purpose. He had plans for you the day you were conceived. You are not an accident. You are on purpose! You are most definitely the masterpiece that God has chosen to do what it is that He has placed in you to do.

What has the Lord placed in your heart to do? What is it that burns within you to be released? Take it to the Lord and give Him everything in you...then watch and see where He takes you, because you are not a mistake. You are ON PURPOSE!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Rising Waters

We have had a lot of rain lately. Of course, it’s March and I guess that is to be expected. But I thought “April showers bring May flowers?” Oh well. The fact remains… we had a lot of rain! The rain came down and the floods came up in the south end of our field and in the bottoms north of where we live.

As I was driving through there I began to wonder about the rising waters. It reminded me of the times when depression would overtake me. It felt like a flood that I couldn't stop. When engulfed in the black hole of it, I felt as if I were drowning. Or at least as if I was going to drown.

That is probably how the Disciples felt when they were in a boat in the middle of a storm. The winds came up and the waters began churning and sloshing over the sides. Where was Jesus? Asleep! How could He possibly sleep in the middle of a storm on the sea, with the waves crashing all around and over the sides of the boat? Yet, He was. He wasn't worried at all. But the Disciples were.

Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with waves. But He was asleep. Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” ~Matthew 8:23-25 (emphasis mine)

Isn’t that just like children? You are sound asleep, a storm comes up in the night and with the crashing of the thunder and lightning, you hear little feet, then a small voice saying, “Mommy, I’m scared!” Your reply? “There’s nothing to be afraid of.” Just as we comfort our children during the rising waters of the storms, Jesus comforts His children. His reply to the disciples?

But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.” ~Matthew 8:26 (emphasis mine)

When storms of life come crashing down and the waters of depression, intimidation, oppression, anxiety, fear, or whatever it is that gets to you begin to rise, call out to Jesus. Declare your victory over the rising waters. They may swirl and crash all around you, but they won’t overtake you. Why? Because you have Jesus as your Life Saver. Even if He doesn't calm the waters, He will calm you, His child.

The waters will eventually go back down and things will get back to “normal.” (Whatever that is around my place!) Whatever waters you’re riding in will also go back down eventually. So when you see them rising, smile and look up! Jesus knows exactly where you are, and He has everything under control. No need to worry!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

My Chains Are Gone!

“I just feel like someone needs to hear this. If God has healed you of something, your chains are broken. You need to know that they truly are broken and you truly are free. So shake off your chains and move forward!”

The man who spoke these words one night at church did not know why he was supposed to say them… but I did. I’m sure there were others who needed them as well, but at that moment, it was just God and me.

Have you ever had a moment when you thought all your hard work was for naught? I have prayed for something before only to have the situation get worse before it gets better. Why is that? Because the enemy knows that when we go boldly to the throne room of grace, amazing things happen!

So if the Son liberates you [makes you free men], then you are really and unquestionably free.  ~John 8:36 (Amplified Version)
Pic © Text ©

My healing came and my life changed. My chains were broken. My chains were gone. Things started to get better. They got so much better that they began to get worse. Why? Because I was finally able to stand for what I believe in and not back down because of intimidation. I was finally able to talk about the things that kept me hiding in the pit of depression. I was beginning to tell others about the hope I have, and that they can have in trusting Jesus... And the enemy got threatened by it. So he began to throw darts at me.

At first the darts just bounced off. And don’t you know that if an enemy attacks and doesn’t succeed, they are going to come back with bigger and better fighting power. This last round of fighting power caused me to stumble. But hang on just a minute. I may stumble, but even if I fall, I still come out the winner! So do you!

We often get sidetracked by enemy attack. Oh it may not seem like an enemy attack at first. At first it may seem like a friend has turned her back on you for no reason. It may seem like family has shunned you. You may feel like everyone around you is running you into the ground. Yes, it’s hurtful, but remember that Jesus went through the same things. He understands. And He has provided for you a safe tower to run to. Him.

The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the [consistently] righteous man [upright and in right standing with God] runs into it and is safe, high [above evil] and strong. ~Proverbs 18:10 (Amplified Version) (emphasis mine)
For You have been a shelter and a refuge for me, a strong tower against the adversary. ~Psalm 61:3 (Amplified Version) (emphasis mine)

Yes things are changing. Is that really so awful bad? If you think about it these things are just temporary. And the changes that are happening could just prove to be God rearranging your life so that He can do something wonderfully amazing. Your chains have been broken. Sweep the pieces up and throw them in the trash where they belong.  Then watch and listen because I believe God is getting ready to do something powerful. You don’t want to miss it!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Faith Steps

In the movie, “What About Bob?,” Bob’s psychiatric phobia treatment was all about taking baby steps. Baby steps to the door, baby steps to the stairs, baby steps outside, etc. It became quite ridiculous, especially when Bob baby-stepped himself right out to New Hampshire to his arrogant, Dr. Leo Marvin’s Lake Winnipesaukee home and insinuated himself right into the middle of the doctor’s family!

But aren’t we all a bit like Bob? We become afraid to do something. We let fear take over our lives and before we know it, we can no longer function without chanting our mantra, “Baby steps…” However if we’re honest with ourselves, it isn’t about fear at all. It’s all about FAITH. When Jesus is the center of our lives, fear can’t be in the picture because Jesus is not about fear at all! Jesus is all about love.

Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. ~1 Corinthians 16:13 NLT (emphasis mine)

Pic © / Text ©
God has such big plans for you, and those plans do not include fear. Nor do they include baby steps. Because in order to walk in faith, we have to take BIG STEPS! Have you ever heard the saying, “Take a leap of faith?” It’s like when your kids were small and you wanted them to jump to you off the edge of the swimming pool, promising to catch them. They were scared, but ultimately they jumped, trusting that you would be there to catch them… and you were.

Faith is the confidence that what he hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. ~Hebrews 11:1 NLT

There is something that God wants you to do, but right now you are uncertain. The enemy has planted fear inside you, keeping you from accomplishing your goal. I know this because I too, have suffered through it. But here’s a little advice from a high stepper, a jumper: Walk into it! Jump if you have to. Take that first step! It’s a doozy, but you’ll make it. Faith takes huge steps. And I promise, your Heavenly Daddy won’t let you fall. Because when you take that step, He will be right there to catch you and keep you going. You can’t fail! Why? Because if you step into what God has planned for you, it is His will for you so there is no failure. The only failure you can have is if you don’t step out.

We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith… Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up. ~Hebrews 12:2a, 3a  NLT

Don’t be like Bob. Don’t be like Dr. Leo Marvin, either. Be like YOU. Be who God wants you to be. Don’t take baby steps to anything God sets out for you. Take Faith Steps. Then watch and see what happens!

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