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The Mess and the Masterpiece

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There are times when the church and those within its walls are considered to be hypocrites, which turns many off to the church experience. The reality is that every human being in existence is a hypocrite, whether they acknowledge it or not (only Christ walked the line of pure truth and never came close to being hypocritical).  There is one standard we tend to set for ourselves, while we often hold a higher standard for others. There have been moments where someone has promised something that went undelivered. There have been times where a parent has told a child not to something they consider inappropriate, only to turn around and do the very same thing they just told their child not to do. There are times where people lie, whether a little white lie or bold-faced lie, it is still a lie and not a true representation of what we think or feel. There are moments where we all lose our temper, saying things that can be hurtful out of anger or pain when we know better. I think you get my drift. People screw up. We make messes in our life, and at times the lives of others, whether on purpose or accident. We all make mistakes and we all walk the line of being a hypocrite each day that we have life and breath in our bodies. I have been labeled a hypocrite at times for a variety of reasons, some good and accurate, others out of anger or frustration when someone does not like what I have to say.

The purpose of church is not to create perfect people, it is to help broken people find healing and hope in their Creator! The purpose of church is not to point out faults, but to meet you where you are, and bring forgiveness and love! The purpose of church is not to clean up life’s messes for you and make it all better, but to point you in the direction of the One True God who can come alongside of you and lead you out of them, creating a stronger, more faithful, loving, and compassionate person!

Today’s sermon, titled “The Mess and the Masterpiece” speak to this beautifully, so I figured I would share it with you. May it bless you as it did me.

All my love ❤

Never Underestimate the Power within ME!

If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.
Never take your own revenge, beloved,
but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written,
“Vengeance is mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.
“But if your enemy is hungry, feed him,
And if he is thirsty, give him a drink;
For in so doing you will reap burning coals on his head.
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
~ Romans 12:18-21 ~

Roaring lion

Though I am a Christian, that does mean I am perfect
Though I am naive at times, that does not mean I am weak
Though I am a peacekeeper, that does not mean I cannot make war
Though I am forgiving, that does not mean I will let you hurt me
Though I live in this world, that does not mean I am of it
Do not underestimate the POWER of GOD that holds me up!!

For those who have been persecuted
For those who have been accused without proof
For those who have been crushed
For those who have been struck down
For those who have been trodden upon

I stand with you now
Reminding you that YOU have strength beyond measure
YOU have legions of  GOD’s angels to fight the evil that comes against you
YOU CAN do ALL things through CHRIST who gives YOU strength
YOU CAN be ALL that HE calls YOU to be in HIS NAME.

Do not fear
Do not give lead to the lies of Satan
Do not lose hope
For the GOD of the UNIVERSE holds YOU
He will NEVER leave YOU nor FORSAKE you
Stand still under the shadow of HIS wings
Let HIM seek the VENGEANCE of those who hurt you
Let HIM fight the WAR for you knowing HE WILL WIN it every time.

In the end
Every knee will bow
Every tongue confess
Every eye will see
Every heart revealed
Every action judged

Rise above
Rest in the HOPE of the CROSS
Rest in the PEACE that surpasses all UNDERSTANDING
Rest in the ASSURANCE that GOD has your back

All my love and may you know how strong you truly are and how beautiful are the characteristics GOD has graced YOU with despite how the world views them and seeks to devour.  YOU are a child of the ONE TRUE GOD!  YOU are holy, mighty, and righteous in JESUS name ❤

Fear or Not to Fear….that is a Choice!

For God has not given us the spirit of fear and timidity,
but of power, love and of self-discipline.
2 Timothy 1:7

fear

Fear Controls

Seduction of the Spirit
Shattering of the Soul
Fear controls

Wreaking havoc on hope
Mutilation of peace
Fear controls

Plagued by anxiety
Prisoner of doubt
Fear controls

Severed connections
Surrounded by worry
Fear controls

Yes or No?!?

But above all, my brothers, do not swear,
either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath,
but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no,
so that you may not fall under condemnation.
~ James 5:12 ~

yes-no-signs

I have been attempting to get my prayer and study life back in order after the chaos of last year. You know, there are just times when I struggle with both, feeling that I am wandering in the desert, but none the less, God beckons me to his side time and time again!!

In the Bible study I am attending on Wednesday evenings, I am reading Danny Silk’s book titled “Keep Your Love Light On”.  I have just finished the first chapter and am already convicted! Thus far we are discussing the difference between powerless and powerful people–not as the world defines power, but as scripture defines power–and how both dynamics impact relationships we are in.

We were discussing the attributes of both types of people, but the powerful one resonated with me. The powerful person is one who chooses to manage and take responsibility for his or her life. A powerful person does not blame others, or play a victim role, in life. A powerful person chooses to love unconditionally, for his or her love does not hinge on that love being returned, or on what the other person says or does. The powerful person creates a safe place to know others and for others to know him or her. The final thought that struck home with me tonight was that powerful people choose yes or no.  There is no I’ll try, I have to, or I can’t.  There is either YES or NO. Simple right?!? Aha, but there must be a balance, therefore it is not always so simple–or so I thought until tonight (had one of those aha moments!)

yes no

I tend to be a “YES” person in life for a variety of reasons, one of which being that I like to help people. I like to be around others, lifting them up, encouraging them, and helping them in a myriad of ways, from moving to playing to counseling to just listening. However, saying yes all the time is not always internally felt. There are times I am tired, have other obligations, or just don’t feel like being there, but somehow, I still say YES. In James 5:12, we are told “…let your ‘yes’ be yes and your ‘no’ be no…” If I say YES, but my heart or mind or body is screaming NO, then I am not in sync with what God is calling me to do. I become a walking contradiction!

So the epiphany for me tonight (and please don’t laugh)! I actually have to say NO sometimes. A powerful person is able to choose to say no because he or she needs time to rest, meditate, and enjoy life. When I say YES to everyone, I find myself stretched thin and of little help to anyone…including myself! When I say YES to everything, I don’t have the much-needed time to spend with God, learning and growing in my knowledge, understanding, and relationship with Him and His Word. When I say YES to everybody, I have to admit, I become bitter or resentful because sometimes I just want to say NO, but I don’t. When I say YES to everyone, I end up drained and empty.

no

I am just now really learning to say NO because I cannot be everywhere, with everyone, at every moment. It just isn’t possible. So, as I practice becoming and building the skills necessary to be a powerful person as scripture defines, I have some choices to make:

1. Quality time over quantity of time!!
2. Meaningful and deep relations with others over empty and shallow ones!
3. Lingering, intimate time with God over rushed moments here and there!

Ah, so much to learn and so far to go on this journey to becoming Christ like, and so very excited to see where God leads me!

Praying that you too will be true to your heart, to the calling of God, and to building a deeper, more intimate, stronger relationship with God. Take time each day to devote to Him, saying NO to the things that interfere. As the Psalmist says in Psalm 139:23-24:

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.

Let the Lord reveal the things in life you need to let go of, the things you need to say NO to, and let Him lead you to the things you need to say YES to.  All my love and may your week be blessed to overflowing ❤

Strength of My Heart

If then you were raised with Christ,
seek those things which are above
where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God.
Set your mind on things above,
not on things on earth.
~ Colossians 3:1-2

Strength of My Heart

The nightmares continue
Streams of attacks from Satan to deter
Seeking to destroy
To take my eyes off the prize
Trying to overwhelm me with the here and now
Stealing hope and joy
Opening illusions before me that I will fail
Persecution comes like a crushing wave
Yet tied to God I remain
I refuse to let go
To give up the peace for which I have fought so hard
Lord, focus my mind and heart on things to come
Looking forward to what God has in store
Satan has no power or control here
Earth has nothing I desire besides You oh Lord
My flesh and my heart may fail
But God is the strength of my heart
My portion forever

Broken Heart

The moon will shine like the sun,
and the sunlight will be seven times brighter,
like the light of seven full days,
when the LORD binds up the bruises of his people
and heals the wounds he inflicted.
~ Isaiah 30:26

Broken Heart

Intense pain of a haunting past
Anguish consumes the heart
Bleeding under God’s crushing hand
Torturous to mind and soul
Struggling simply to exist
Lord, You cut the heart deeper each time
Endless lies once festering pour out freely
Creating wounds that reveal your truth
This affliction is so harsh, so devastating
Why does it have to be so hard?
You slice and rip the flesh apart
Bringing brokenness once again
To embrace Your truth means letting go
Releasing deceptions harbored in the dark
Lovingly this pain flows forth
Leaving room for a God filled heart

Refined

https://dwellingintheword.wordpress.com/2013/02/

https://dwellingintheword.wordpress.com/2013/02/

Refined

Slicing
Cutting
Ripped apart

Torn
Broken
Shattered heart

Lies
Darkness
Sinful stains

Wounded
Crippled
Breathing strained

Bruised
Bleeding
Healing begins

Filling
Shining
Covering sins

Grace
Mercy
Love heals

Scarred
Whole
Heart feels

Here for a Reason ~ Ashes Remain

The last few weeks have been so overwhelming and emotional, with heartbreak and disappointment prevalent each day, not to mention confusion and anger. With so many emotions running rampant through the corridors of my mind, it has been easy to forget who I am and why I am here.  As I was listening to the radio, I heard the song, “Here for a Reason” by Ashes Remain. God is so good, that even amidst this devastating storm, he has reminded me I am here for HIM.  I am here to spread his word and his love to all who will receive it, to bring light into hearts that are broken and in the dark, to enjoy the blessings he has planned for me and those around me, and to be a witness to all he has done in my life.

I want to remind you that no matter the battle you are facing, no matter the demons that haunt, there is purpose for your life. Don’t give up, don’t give into the lies, don’t let satan deter you from God’s plan for your life. Live with reckless abandon for God, worship with your heart and soul, for he is with you and will bring beauty from the pain you are facing in this moment.

May you be blessed beyond measure, filled with peace beyond understanding, and surrounded with hope beyond this earthly realm. All my love ❤

Wandering

Wow! How life can sometimes chew you up and spit you out! When we wander the field of our minds, we can often get stuck there, feeling as if hope is a fairytale spun by those with the “perfect” life. But in reality, there is no perfect life. Life is filled with ups and downs, chaos and peace, beauty and ugliness, joy and sorrow. Life has unexpected storms that can knock us down and keep us down for the count. But we are so richly blessed that we have a God who, despite the feelings and emotions, reminds us He is with us!! We have a God that holds us tight in our wanderings and for that I am ever so thankful….for even when I don’t feel it, I know He is there, somewhere!

“I will seek what was lost and bring back what was driven away,
bind up the broken and strengthen what was sick;
but I will destroy the fat and the strong,
and feed them in judgment.”
~ Ezekiel 34:16

Wandering

Anger erodes my thoughts
Directed aimlessly in the dark
There’s nowhere to turn
I am lost in uncertainty
Deception is everywhere
Victim to my emotions
My heart is broken
My soul lays shattered and torn
A vault sealed against further hurt
Yet it surrounds me
Making me face its fury
I am weak
I am tired
Faith and hope are fading
Peace is nonexistent
Lord bless me amidst the wandering

Demons that Haunt

Everyone has demons that haunt, past issues that Satan likes to use to destroy and draw us away from God, temptations that bring out our weaknesses, but praise be to the LORD that no matter the beckoning of Satan, no matter the lies you believe about you and your past, no matter how hard Satan attacks and seeks to devour you…….GOD holds you tightly, covering, protecting, sheltering and pulling you away from the clutches of Satan’s deception.  Only God can set you free!!  Only the truth can set you free!!  There is truth in God’s word for He is loving, faithful, merciful and full of grace, forgiveness, and hope.  God is for you always, no matter what, at all times good or bad.  Hold tight, seek Him, and fall into his open arms when life throws you down and when Satan chases.

Blessing and grace be with you all always! In Christ’s love!