Deserving of His perfect love

“We accept the love we think we deserve” Stephen Chbosky from The Perks of Being a Wallflower

For a long time I felt undeserving of love and this quote expresses, in general, what my default way of thinking and loving myself looked like.

I made poor decisions on love based on my poor self image.

Since I saw myself according to how the world, friends and family labeled me I assumed I was worth very little, however when your identity is in Christ you feel fulfilled because God formed you in your mother’s womb and expended great care for you to be here. Jesus died for you.

Jesus’ love is enough and it is something that as believers grows with and in you ( the holy spirit) as time progresses. I accept His love for me and His personal sacrificial death and resurrection for my benefit.

I was fortunate enough to be publicly adult baptized and spoke a few words to this affect.

Do not reject Him. Most people (including my former self) think they are unworthy of love but this is very hurtful and destructive to God, Jesus and ourselves.

Even if we weren’t raised in a Christian home or saw love demonstrated in a healthy manner growing up, our ability to accept love need not be limited by what we can see or have experienced because God’s love (which is experienced on a soul level) is , contrary to any self limiting beliefs, real and perfect.

When I struggle to see myself the way God sees me I find reassurance from the Bible, talking/praying with God, listening to worship music, my friends and boyfriend that God loves me despite what I sometimes consider my glaring weaknesses.

I know that God loves you in this space too.

Be responsible in accepting the love of Jesus.

From personal experience I loved someone very much for years but I left him one day because I just couldn’t accept the love he was giving me. Was I young and petty? Definitely! Am I happy God is saving me for something even better? Yes but I realize that I can’t keep doing things the way that I was in the past. Rejecting love comes at a great price to ourselves and to others.

I pray that you would accept the wild, crazy, sacrificial, satisfying , dependable and enduring love that Jesus offers us everyday and in every moment. I pray that His grace and mercy would permeate every level of your soul and that you would not accept anything less than His passionate love in Jesus name amen.

Humble Pie

pie

Photo by Oleg Magni on Pexels.com

As a Christ follower I never stop learning more about how l can be more like Jesus.

Thankfully God gives us the Bible to help us uncover more about how He wants us to love Him and accept His Son.

The expression “humble pie” means having to admit fault/becoming aware of doing something wrong usually involving a lesson/ learning curve. I am not in the least bit impervious to being humbled by God. After all, we are all sinners (Romans 3:23)

One of my pastors used to pray something like: “Lord use me as an example whether by me or in spite of me “… And I love that prayer because he is admitting that we don’t always display the best examples of what it means to follow Christ.

And I think that’s OK because of such a thing as grace that God gives us to admit that we are sinners and it is by Jesus’ saving grace only that we are fully forgiven, redeemed, loved and saved for eternity.

Now I am not for a moment saying that we should stay steeped in sin. But instead we should humbly confess and repent of our sins to our loving and just Father who has the power to forgive us.

Hebrews 4:15-16 ESV For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weakness, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace in time of need.

Last Sunday it was hard for me to rest and unwind and my attitude frankly sucked.

I realized I was experiencing burnout from letting my to-do list run me ragged and was missing out on the true rest and joy that comes from letting Jesus lead my life.

When I reflect on God’s Sovereignty, I find great reassurance that God existed before the creation of the world (before I ever came on the scene) and that He continues to work in and through all things today.

Also, Jesus died for us and rose from the grave giving us access to heaven knowing we are still sinners (Romans 5:8).

This reminds me of the parable of the builder in Matthew 7:24-27 where Jesus says that a wise man hears and builds his house on the solid rock foundation of Jesus and His teachings, yet the foolish man listens to Jesus’ teachings and does not apply them. The foolish builder is building his house on sand which easily collapses in on itself when trouble comes.

Prayer: Lord help us to rest in you and your mercy today. Help us be a blessing to you, ourselves and others, and help us to put your teachings into practice with the help of the Holy Spirit and trust you so that we may live an abundant life as Jesus promises. I also give thanks for Jesus’ saving work on the cross in Jesus’ Name Amen.

Rejoice in the Lord for you are greatly loved!

How God helped me Worship in Public

group of people raising hands silhouette photography

Photo by Chad Kirchoff on Pexels.com

I am a very candid and timid person.

However God has always replaced my doubt with faith when I turn to Him.

Faith is the confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1

As silly as it is one of the coolest moments of breakthrough for me was participating in worship services. I was terrified of dancing and singing in public. My friend can attest that no matter how hard we tried – even though we loved every moment of the concerts we went to -we just couldn’t dance in public. Our eyes would shift awkwardly from each other, starting to blush, secretly hoping the other one would start dancing first or that everyone else in the crowd would suddenly appear blind folded so we could privately dance and belt out a tune away from disapproving eyes. What held us back was a fear of criticism and for a while I couldn’t worship in church due to the same fear.

I was able to confide this to someone close to me. She was able to speak truth into my life that I was being as an introvert too self focused in this area. If I was really walking in faith, worship is about my relationship with God and that’s what really matters.

God changed this CAN’T into a CAN. He changed what seemed impossible for me to do into something that is possible and brings me great joy.

I am content to sing and sway for the sake of my soul, for the sake of worshiping my God and not being afraid to do so because it is Him I serve and my heart longs to worship. He is irresistible. He draws me closer to himself and I love to worship Him.

Where is God calling you to be vulnerable so He can meet you and exceed your expectations in that place?

Jesus died and rose from the grave to prove that He can conquer all things and loves us beyond measure. Since God is all powerful he can break any addiction, lie or hindrance  that stands in the way of being close to Him.

 

The Supernatural

Have you ever had a moment where you did or said something completely out of character that was motivated from a place of strength you didn’t know you had?

Maybe you faced down a fear or spoke supernatural wisdom to a broken heart…

We hear stories on the news all the time of people acting courageously in seemingly impossible situations.

A man risks his life rescuing children from a burning building. 

A young woman lifts a car off her father that he is pinned under. 

Society tends to gloss over these stories as a minor occurrence and we tend to forget them just as quickly as we hear them resuming the course of our normal life….

…Or maybe you do take particular interest in miraculous stories for the “feel-good” factor.

TV and immediate access to entertainment has allowed us to become:

1. complacent with the supernatural

2. watchful but not participatory

I am challenging you as a Christian to further examine and ponder these real world everyday events as miraculous acts of God. 

That means giving Him thanks for His care, kindness, generosity, mercy, protection and provision but most of all for His love and leadership in our lives in the midst of crises.

Lord I could never thank you enough for Jesus, the friend and Lord and Savior of mine that took on all my shame and guilt, all my misdeeds and follies on the cross and gave me eternal life in return. His body was killed but His soul is alive. Help me and those of this generation have a faith and passion for you Lord that is burning and active In Jesus Name Amen.

Just as God made a literal land pathway for the Israelites to cross the Red Sea to escape from their former slave masters (the Egyptians), God is alive, well and active today.

Jesus died and rose from the grave for our salvation.

I pray that these things would still cause your heart to swell and marvel at God’s character and awesomeness.  Dont allow yourself to grow ungrateful or unimpressed with the greatness of God – If you lean in close to Him He will receive you and envelope you in His arms time and time again. We can trust in His faithfulness.

What little miracles is God working in your life right now?!

 

Invite the Lord into every area of your life!

Nothing is impossible with Him.

To God Be the Glory Forever and Ever Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

What Happens When You Remind Yourself The Lord is Near?

When I remind myself that the Lord is near everything changes.

I usually have worship songs reverberating in my mind — the one that comes to mind now is “Keeper of my heart” by Kari Jobe.

It is such an amazing worship song meditating on God’s splendor in the universe and the fact that He is forever good and faithful to us personally.

I receive eternal hope when I meditate on the Lord and all He does for me. This includes waking me up every morning and putting me to bed at night. It is the blessing of good relationships and learning. Eating and drinking. Coffee dates and good books.

It is  for receiving me back when I’ve foolishly let my feet and mind wander off on their own only to find myself back where God wants me and back where He is always waiting for me to humbly ask Him for the things I need or want.

I am just reminded how much I and the world need Him. God is everything I’ve ever wanted and He can turn even the crummiest day around. We must constantly make the effort to …

“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” James 4:8 NKJV.

Recently I asked the Lord to come near me and it quieted my soul in joy. If you are feeling far from Him ask Him to be with you. If you are close, keep enjoying the Good Lord. Praise Jesus.

If you need help with this, please feel free to reach out, much blessings!

New Year, Same Jesus

Happy 2018!

Welcome to those looking beyond themselves this year for something more. I hope you will choose to learn about putting your faith and hope in Jesus and His saving work on the cross!

And a big Hello to those walking with the Lord already!

This year, as I’ve been busy making my own plans and scrolling on my phone I realized I really need to “plug” into God.

Just like plugging a cellphone into a socket (we do it because we know it will power up our phones), we can come to God the same way needing to spiritually re-charge – trusting in His power, mercy and grace to restore us.

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. Proverbs 16:9 NIV

If God is not your source of strength, read about how God protects King David in 1 Samuel and 2 Samuel from many enemies. Additionally David’s psalms are strikingly beautiful as they show his total dependence on God. He talks to God about everything, including when he is afraid and things look impossible which is why I imagine he is a man after God’s heart.  David seeks and prays and sings to God in the psalms even when he feels desperately defeated.

“My help and glory are in God —granite-strength and safe-harbor-God— So trust him absolutely, people; lay your lives on the line for him. God is a safe place to be.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭62:7-8‬ ‭MSG‬‬

In order to be closer to God and His plans we have to seek Him. God is readily accessible and available to us in all seasons through faith and we can go to Him in prayer being confident that He hears us. If you need help with this or are unsure of how to seek God questions/comments are welcome!

This year let’s put His kingdom first and practice trusting Him with all our hearts.

God’s plan will look different for everyone. What is it God has asked for you to Trust Him in this year?

 

man in green shirt and black pants sitting on top of rock cliff under white clouds

Photo by Darwis Alwan on Pexels.com

Merry Christmas! God bless!

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas celebrating the birth of Jesus the Savior of the World!

————————————

I am a wanderer and stubborn, the Lord knows this, but I can tell you that God can work with anyone, yes ANYONE that will give Him a chance. Anyone that can look at their life and say you know what I need some help, God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit will you lead me?

For a long time I wasn’t in touch with my emotions; I just kept trudging along thinking “I’m strong, I can handle my life all I need to do is move on from {insert person, place or thing here}”. “I’ve got everything together”. I actually convinced myself that the things that bothered me would just disappear if I chose not to think about them. Ultimately running from the problems didn’t work out though because the emotions were still there under the surface and it eventually came to a point where I knew something needed to change.

I enrolled in a Christian class looking for God’s healing and in it God chose to help me deal with reality and start pursuing Him most of all.

I was lucky enough to study under two Christian pastors who helped point me in the right direction towards my new “born again” self instead of my old ways of relating to the world.

Hence I started this blog. To help those and others like me continue on the path to becoming more like Jesus and our “true self” in a less than ideal world.

Trusting the Lord is much like trusting a person. To begin with, He respects our decision whether to invite His love in. Once we have a relationship with Him, He wants us to be open and honest before Him. And finally, trusting Him takes practice and constant choice.

Accepting or receiving love is hard for some people but the Lord is willing and able to make you a strong believer at whatever point you’re at.

A question that kept nagging me was: Was God really interested in me?

Have you ever asked this question to yourself or God?

I studied Scripture diligently and my boyfriend uttered the kind and gentle words I needed to hear that God indeed loves me.

And guess what: The Good News is that He loves you too!

Yes, if you are unsure and don’t have people God has brought into your life yet to convince you of your worth I tell you and encourage you now that you belong to God who loves you. You are His beloved creation!

I know this because God created us with His breath (Gen 2:7). He gave us His breath of life and created us in His Image (Gen 1:27). He wasn’t content to leave us but kept bringing His people out of trials — out of slavery in Egypt and out of death through the death and resurrection of His Son  Jesus.

Jesus’ death on the cross was also God’s climactic action in canceling out any guilt or shame that may keep us from approaching a relationship with Him so we can be fully forgiven from any negative guilt that can ail us.

He also still wants to be with us in the end which is why believing in Jesus gives us access to heaven (John 14:6).

God has given us the greatest gift of all which is Himself incarnate in Jesus the Son of God. And we can feel the love of God in our own lives should we stop to feel and even ask God to feel His presence.

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭19:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬

I praise the Lord for being able to open my heart up again to love again after heartbreak and let my ears and heart re-adjust to accept the love that surrounds me.

I hope you are surrounded by those you love this holiday season. Both those that are here on earth now and those that have passed. And may you revel in the greatest gift of all: Jesus who will come again in all His glory and bring us to heaven to meet our God.

May your wanderings lead you to surrender to God.

“But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭2:10-11‬ ‭NIV‬‬

 

You do not have to be perfect

“Perfect is the enemy of good” Voltaire

In a culture where people are celebrated for looking or being perfect (in physical fitness, outer appearance or by outperforming others in roles such as a student, mom, wife, friend or business professional) we have to fight the urge to fit in just because it’s easy.

For a long time I’ve struggled with the fear of making a mistake/saying or doing the wrong thing/displeasing people but especially God – believing the enemy’s lie that I have to be perfect. In other words I was afraid to stand out by being myself. This perfection led me to procrastinate, not try, and bow out of challenges. It also led to a lot of shame and hiding from making decisions in my life.

A bible story that reminds me that God looks after all people even those who are outcasts is God’s relationship with Hagar.

I love that God spoke to Hagar in the Bible when she felt lonely and desperate in the forest. Hagar was pregnant with Abraham’s illegitimate son and she was running away due to her growing fears of others’ persecution towards her lowly social status. “She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.””
‭‭Genesis‬ ‭16:13‬ ‭NIV‬.

I imagine this encounter with God was truly life transforming for Hagar as she names the place after meeting God and He tells her gently where to go, about the birth of her son and acknowledges her situation.

We can take courage that God sees us too and that in His eyes we can gain confidence and accept Jesus’ love and compassion enough for ourselves to step out in faith.

Another scripture that stands out to me is  “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners Christ died for us” Romans 5:8.

We are flawed yet wildly loved by Jesus.

In the spirit of new adventures: I say cheers to the blog starters and blog posters, the timid and creative, the entrepreneur and the artist and cheers to the ones who have the courage to be themselves: stumbling and bumbling forth into new waters for the glory of Jesus Christ.

Kruger, Barbara. Belief+Doubt. 2012, Hirshhorn Museum, Lower Level.

Suicide, depression and the Hope of Jesus

Godly hope in the midst of celebrity suicide

I was scrolling through a Facebook feed when I noticed that Linkin Park was trending. Next I saw an article about a tribute to Chester Bennington –a tribute? This isn’t good… come to find out the singer of the rock band Linkin Park had taken his own life – suicide.

I cried. I could scarcely believe someone who I had connected to so well during my lifetime through his music had just taken his own life. It’s shocking and terribly sad.

I received the Meteora CD for my 14th birthday as a present from a friend. I listened to it in my CD player over and over again. It was easily my favorite album.

Even when I went camping I still brought Linkin Park with me – letting the older generation have a listen because I wanted them to experience it too.

At times, as an adolescent, it felt like Chester was going through some of the same things I was experiencing — pain, disappointment, skepticism, bitterness and anger.

From the foreword introduction with the sound of breaking glass that segways perfectly into the first loud rock song to Chester’s singing and growling and Mike Shinoda’s rap rhymes the whole album is so raw and palpable. I found this kind of emotional honesty breathtakingly refreshing. Chester was able to express his emotions  in a way I wish I could at the time. I admired him speaking so openly about the not-so-niceties of the human condition. Chester references in one of his songs looking for “somewhere I belong”; maybe you too are looking for somewhere you belong.

If so, keep reading!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I want to let you know about a place with an open invitation where we can choose to belong. This place is not a location you would find on a map but it’s a faith journey instead into an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ as Lord.

What do I mean by this?

I’m inviting you into (if you don’t already have) a real relationship with Jesus, the living and loving Son of God.

His testimony is given to us in the Bible.

Jesus was born of a virgin and lived a holy life preaching of His Father in heaven and how God wants us to live: loving God and loving one another. Jesus then died on the cross as a blood sacrifice for all people in order to reconcile our broken relationship with God and offer us afterlife. Jesus chose to die because there are profound consequences for the ways in which we act. Jesus chose to pay that price for us.

From the beginning of creation people have rebelliously discarded God’s ways in favor of pursuing our own desires. The reason living out of our own desires is hazardous is because it leads us in circles of pain and disappointment in a selfishly stagnant loop unable to contribute good to anyone: God, ourselves or others. Every action has an eternal consequence whether it is immediately seen or not.

….Maybe you’ve cheated your way in business

….Maybe you’ve lied in a relationship,

….Maybe you have an addiction

…. Or you have hurt someone’s reputation by gossip.

God says that we must adhere to Jesus and stay connected and rooted in Him to be productive in any area of our lives.

““I am the Real Vine and my Father is the Farmer. He cuts off every branch of me that doesn’t bear grapes. And every branch that is grape-bearing he prunes back so it will bear even more. You are already pruned back by the message I have spoken.

“Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with me.”
‭‭John‬ ‭15:1-4‬ ‭MSG‬‬

————————————–

In this world where dark spiritual forces want to keep us stuck and living in a place of anguish, there is hope, forgiveness and a blossoming fruit bearing life found in the healing grace, love and mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

We don’t have to stay in the middle of Satan’s lies about our identity, meaning, purpose or worth. 

Suicide and depression touches everyone in the community in some way, whether you’ve experienced it first hand or know people that have, do not choose to endure it alone. Please seek professional help and the support of your local church/friends and family.

Even not knowing Chester personally, loosing him so tragically still resonates with me. 

You are a valuable creation of God’s. God loves you and has your best interests at heart. Stay safe and God Bless you.