Die With Me Today Part 1

15266497352291700411330.jpgI wake to what sounds like roaring waters and thunder muffled together. I ask myself, “What is that I hear?” Voices, many voices blending into one noise. I can also hear clanging of heavy metal on metal. A rythmic beating. Clang, clang, clang…”Liar, where is your God now? King of Jews, what slander you call yourself!” Clang, clang, clang…I hear a man’s scream rip through the voices and I realize it’s me. I look to my left, my hand has been nailed to wood. I look to my right, someone is nailing a long, rusty nail into my hand. And then the memories come flooding back.

I am a murderer and a liar. I remember the two I murdered, the torture I put them through. I remember the lies I told to protect myself and my family. I cannot forgive myself. I have been tried and convicted; now I am being nailed to a cross. There are 4 of us men being crucified. Two theives and the man who doesn’t speak; the one who they are calling a liar, the innocent man.

Finally, the nailing is done. But now what? We hang. We hang until our shoulders give out and the blood of our bodies drains to our feet. But there is one small shred of hope. They have given us a footplate and each time we push on it with our feet, it causes the pooling blood to go back up to the tops of bodies, giving us a small relief of being able to take another breath under the crushing weight of our chests. That relief is soon taken away as the soldiers come and break my legs. What pain. I deserve it, I think to myself.

I see the man next to me as he’s speaking to his family. I wonder why isn’t my famy here? But then I realize that I’ve hurt them. Oh, have I hurt them. My chances of making it up to them is gone for good. “Woman, this is now your son.” I hear the man say to what must be his weeping mother. Then He turns to me and looks into the depths of my pain and my soul. We don’t need to speak, we communicate with our hearts. He tells me forgiveness is mine if I choose to take it. I look at him, he’s hanging, dripping sweat, blood, and tears; his eyes are clear, though, like spring waters after the rain. I am jolted, I know the truth! I see the Truth right before me. With no words, he answers the question in my heart. How do I become forgiven?…He says, “Ask for forgiveness and die with me today.” I say with my mouth, “I know you are the One, true God. Forgive me, Lord.” He looks up, He says something to the heavens and we take our last breath. To be continued….

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Addiction: Loving The Addict

1526521363334727932334.jpgGrowing up with a mom who was, and still is an alcoholic/addict, gives me some insight into addiction and it’s affects on the addict and those who love them. Being an addict for about 12 years of my life gives me even more insight. It’s something that is important to me. The horrible affects of it, is what brought me to a victorious life in Jesus. I wish I could say the same for my mom, but not yet.

Anyone can become an addict. Think about it. In all of your families, each one of you has at least one person who has become locked down by this curse. The cousin that over-eats to the point of needing assistance walking; who looks for comfort in food. The friend who shops and shops that has no money to do so; who sits underneath a mound of “things” and credit card bills. The brother who secretly watches X-rated movies behind closed doors; who slumps in his chair under shame. Everytime he closes his eyes, the images are etched into his mind. How does a person get away from such powerful things? Things that shape us and turn us into someone else. Not the “me” I once knew.

Anyone can become an addict.

I said I have some insight, but by no means am I close to being an expert. But I have some questions for us to ask ourselves. Why am I free and not my neighbor? Why does it take some a couple of years to get out from underneath and others a lifetime, like my mother?

Have you heard of the friend, (or maybe this was you once) that quit smoking for 5 or 10 years and then just picked it up again? We all think to ourselves, “I can’t understand that.”

Those I write about are the ones who can’t love themselves. How can they love themselves  and harm themselves at the same time? Many think that the addicted are lovers of themselves because they are only thinking of their desires. But maybe it’s because they simply don’t the know how to love themselves, that they harm themselves and those who do love them. The unloved, the lost and the lonely…they need our love. And more importantly they need to hear about God’s love.

As I was writing this, I responded to a like on my blog. So I went to that blog Heavensreef and ran smack dab into this article. Tap here.  to read about God’s will for the unloved, the ones who can’t but want to, love themselves.

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Light Of The World Award!!

Screenshot_2018-05-16-23-41-05-1.png I’ve been nominated for the Light of the World Award! Thank you Linda at Amazing God Stories

Here are the rules:

  1. Save and add the award image (pictured above) on your blog.
  2. Create a page/post to mention the award nomination and thank the person/blog that nominated you. Make sure you provide a link to their site.
  3. Give credit to the creator of the award (Lighthouse Devotions) and provide a link to the site as well.
  4. List the rules.
  5. Answer the next four questions on the same post:
  6. What three words would you use to describe your blog?
  7. In what way(s) can a Christian shine for Christ?
  8. What bible verse (quote it) talks about being a light in a dark and lost world?
  9. What Christian song do you know that has the word “light” in it? Provide a link if available.
  10. Nominate 7 or more people/blogs to receive the award. Briefly explain why you think they should receive it and provide a link to their sites.
  11. Contact them and let them know that you nominated them.
  12. Proved them with a link to the Rules page.
  13. Say a prayer thanking God for His light and ask that He continue to shine it through you and your blog.
  14. Keep shining the light of Christ wherever you go and in whatever you do!

My Answers:

  1. 1) My blog is Honest, Encouraging and Fun
  2. 2) A Christian can shine for Christ by being kind, considerate and real. Having integrity(doing the right thing even when no one is looking)
  3. But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 1 Peter 2:9 KJV
  4. I chose this song because we should all try to be more like Craig!

I nominate:

Maria at Pilgrim’s Progress because she’s comitted to seeing the lost brought Christ one blog at a time

Tracy at Be Still my sister-in-law because even though it’s dark right now her testimony still shines.

Lynnabbottstudios because Lynn, I have a feeling you’re alot like your mom…a light!

Bruce at Reasoned Cases for Christ because to be a light you need to be knowledgeable and passionate like Bruce.

Robert at MyGod,MyMusic,MyLife because he can use music to speak to the lost.

Pat at Beholding Him Ministries because she’s faithful, never misses a moment to encourage others to salvation

Heavensreef because she’s determined to see lives changed, to see all things work together for the good.

Karina Lam because is set on being a light, staying a light and shinning her light onto others

3 Day Quote Challenge…Day 3

Thank you Linda at Amazing God Stories  for nominating me for this challenge, I have enjoyed it. Linda has a great blog filled with stories of God’s love and redemption that she makes come to life with her drawings.

The rules of this challenge state you are to:

Name and thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to their blog

Present a quote and what it means to you

Name another blogger and provide a link to their blog 

1526430443860-825629019.jpgMy last quote is one that a dear friend told me when I was first saved…“The devil is a roaring lion…but he’s toothless” So often we give the devil, our adversary more credit than he deserves. Sometimes our troubles are just life and consequences of our actions, decisions made.

Yet, the Bible does warn us in 1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. I like to imagine him, as my friend showed me, without any teeth! Yes, he can sneak up on us all. But if you look closely, Peter shows us to be vigilant. This places power in our hands by being one step ahead, ready for what he tries to throw our way.

Luke 10:19 says, Look, I have given you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. 

This verse takes the teeth right out of that lion’s mouth!

I would like to nominate Marques Jeffries at Overcoming The Times Marques has a blog filled with good, godly knowledge, packed full of scripture. He touches on everything from spiritual warfare to describing the Proverbs 31 woman to a T. At the end of almost every post he faithfully addresses the lost and gives them opportunity to find the Lord. Isn’t that what we all should be about?

3 Day Quote Challange…Day #2

1526349486553-473286428.jpgI was nominated by Linda at Amazing God Stories for the 3 Day Quote challenge. She has a wonderful blog filled with talented stories that hit home everytime. I will give you a quote, tell you something about it, and then I will nominate a fellow blogger to carry the torch.

My quote today is “If God brought you to it, He’ll bring you through it.” This is a very popular quote. I have had the pleasure of reading it tattooed on people’s bodies, as I was trying to find an image to go with this post. I have a little parable for you to go with this one.

The man struck the match and lit the fire. He made sure he had enough wood to keep the fire burning hot. The job he had to do needed heat, at very high temps. He took a couldron down, off the shelf and placed it in the fire.

Next, the gold. He took the large, hardened, lump of gold and held it up to examine it closer. He could see the elements and impurities that kept it hard, that kept it from being softened, pure gold.  He could see the copper and the nickel that kept the gold rigid and coarse. These metals had been adhered to this potentially pure gold for many years, hidden away under the earth, in the dark. “The only way I can get these metals to seperate themselves away from the gold is to get them hot, very hot. 1,000 degrees hot.”

He placed the gold into the couldron, watching as the lump became a shiny liquid, so smooth looking. As he looked down onto it, he saw what he was waiting for. The heat had caused swirls of silvery color to come to the surface; it coiled itself throughout the gold color. He grabbed his skimming spoon, put it into the couldron and lightly skimmed off the silver color. Scooping it up and out of the gold, he cast it to the side.

He kept vigil on the gold, not leaving it’s side throughout the whole process. He watched the intensity of the fire, making sure to keep it at just the right temperature. Adding wood when needed. He would repeat the process of skimming and scooping out the dross, the impurities, until….he leaned over the couldron, gazed into the gold and saw his own image in the reflection of the gold. “The gold has been tried. It is pure of impurities and dross. It’s ready to come out of the fire,” The Refiner proclaimed!

1526349798292431504224.jpgToday I would like to nominate Ruth  at Planted By Living Water to continue on this fun challenge. She is a kind woman, whose words inspire. Her blog is well kept, with different aspects to offer. I enjoy her poems and her “Worship With Me” series is uplifting. Her posts are informative and helpful, as she never leaves you searching for an answer.

3 Day Quote Challenge…Day 1

1526269564877683573943.jpgI have been nominated by Linda at Amazing God Stories for the 3 Day Quote Challange! Linda has a great blog filled with animated artwork of her own to go with that day’s story. She’s talented and compassionate. She has overcome fear to be used by God. Check her out and follow her today.

I’m super excited. Over the course of 3 days I will post a quote and write about what it means to me. At the end of each day’s quote, I will pay it forward by nominating a fellow blogger.

My first quote is….drumroll please! “Dragging Chains Can Spark A Wildfire” Last year on our family roadtrip, which consisted of a 7 yr old and a 4 yr old in the backseat trying to behave but it’s just so hard on a 7hr drive. I saw a roadsign that said Dragging chains can spark a wildfire. I just loved it and put it on my phone. See, I’m the one that puts up the witty sayings on our church sign; I’ve spent hours scouring the internet for the latest, funniest quotes. I had never come across that one. It was up on our sign within days of our return from vacation.

Folks, do you realize that it was a roadsign? A real warning. That you can actually cause a fire by dragging chains behind your car? Well I never saw it that way.  I thought it was something encouraging that someone simply put on a billboard. When I read that, I imagined myself pulling chains: doubt, fear, regret, remorse, grief etc. behind me. And as I dragged this stuff around, there was sure to be a wildfire. A catastrophic event in my life. A meltdown, if you will. Or even losing what ground I had scraped by to gain in my walk with God. Over the past year since that, God has done a mighty work in me delivering me from shame. I no longer have to scrape by to feel God’s love and care for me. The shame was causing me to see a God sitting up there shaking his head and pointing His finger at me. I now see and know Him as my God who loves and accepts me.

I feel like a rose that has finally bloomed! And I’ll make sure my chains aren’t dragging behind my car down hot California highways either 🙂

1526269609175-969815568.jpgI would like to nominate Matt at Jesus Loves All. He is teaches refugees and immigrants English, as a profession. He also teaches them in his church. I believe he may be teaching them more than just our language but the language of God’s love as well. His blog is filled with stories and examples of how God places him in diverse cultures daily.

Addiction: A poem

1526246932152533666605.jpgThe chains I drag are a heavy burden.

From day to day, to week to week

A never ending cycle of pain and joy

Pain from the want, the strong desire

Joy from the getting, fulfilling

Or do I have pain when I get what I want?

And joy when I’m denied what I want?

 

The never ending cycle of looking and finding

Looking for what I need, I have to have

Finding the peace it brings to my mind and soul

Or do I look for peace and find the Peace Maker and find what I need, what I have to have?

Chainbreaker, Peace Maker, Heart-mender, Healer, Freer of Souls, Savior, Defender, Redeemer, Light in the Darkness…Restorer!