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Sometimes the prayers go unanswered and that hurts

We all have a testimony. Where we were, what God has done and where we are now. But sometimes God doesn’t do the miraculous healing. Sometimes He doesn’t stop you from falling. What then? If He hasn’t done what you have prayed for does your testimony still count?
I have a testimony. With all the ‘God delivered me from drugs’ and ‘God healed me from cancer’ I have heard and seen I wasn’t sure if what I had was a testimony or a survival hand book. Then today, I finally heard a woman speak her testimony and guess what? She was still a broken mess and she admitted it. But she had found that God’s powerful love was moving her to help other people with messes because she understood them.
My best friend who is also my mother (and I say that with pride) has had a disease my whole life. She has always pushed herself and given it her all no matter what, but she does struggle. She has to take medication to fill her body with cells that you and I have naturally. Doctors told her she wouldn’t see my 12th birthday. But she did. Then they said she wouldn’t see me graduate. But she did. Then they said she wouldn’t see me turn 25. I’m 26. They don’t understand how she is still as strong, though she feels weak, she isn’t in a wheelchair and that is amazing.
She works harder and cares for more people than anyone else I know. She’s my miracle. Everyday I pray for a miracle healing. But God’s sustaining power is sometimes more amazing than the sudden transformations we see. It hurts. I never know when my next day will be my last. I’m scared some days, broken other days and I know that doesn’t sound very faith filled but God never said it wasn’t going to be hard. I’m not saying that I’m amazing for never denying God because I don’t see my answers. I have fallen down and yelled and cried at Him many times. But God is more than knowledge and Faith, He’s the Holy Spirit living in you, He’s your safe harbor when it all burns down around you. I know through His strong love and strange peace that He is still good and that He still loves her and me, because even when I find myself sitting in a ball on the floor saying ‘God, why?’ I have a peace that passes past the pain. Living with joy in the moments that God has given us. It’s so hard and so vital.
Why does He heal others and not the one who I love? I don’t know. But I know Him, so I know there is a reason. One of my favorite singers said that He started writing music in a time of shifting, when the tables had turned over and he was trying to find where he stood, instead of taking the pain and running and going, ‘this hurts and makes no sense so there is no god’ he chose to reach out to God and seek Him more and in doing so, found more of Him. That’s the big choice we all have when the shifting happens and things hurt, do we say ‘forget it I’m better off on my own’, or do we reach up and say, ‘whatever you’re doing God, it feels awful, but I know that you are God and I am not and you have a purpose’?
It’s easy to give up when life gets hard, it’s hard to hold on.
Have you ever been knocked off a surfboard? You feel like of you just took the strap off your ankle you would be fine and could swim to the surface. But so many times in the delirium of the waves and the rock and the lack of air, the only thing that shows you which way is up is that strap. I have almost drown a few times boarding and everytime it was following the safety strap on my ankle that brought me back to the surface. God is your safety strap. You feel you could swim better without Him, but then you lose focus of which way is right.
Sometimes your prayers go unanswered. Sometimes the pain is confusing.
But God still loves you. And your testimony of His sustaining power and grace without the sudden life transformation  is something someone needs to hear.
I’m not down playing the times that God does grant a gift in His miracle, those times are important too and need to be told, but sometimes the day to day step forward is the miracle, don’t down play that or forget how important it is.

Can we pray a moment and just say ‘thank you Jesus’?
Thank you Jesus for your power even when I don’t understand. Thank for your love even when it hurts. Thank you for who you are even when I feel like I can’t find you, you are always there and you always love me. Thank you for who I am because of you. You are so good God. I know I will fall and I know it will hurt, but also know that as your word says, I will not be thrown headlong because you hold my hand. Thank you Jesus.
Thank you.
Amen.

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Am I alone?

Sometimes when it feels like the world is coming at you from all sides and you see fellow Christians- people you may have even respected- fall to the taunts and the lies of the devil and his world workers you might start tp doubt, you might even want to run and hide or give up, but remember: what God has said is always true. If He said it was wrong 2000 years ago it is still wrong today. If He promised something 2000 years ago, the promise still remains. If 2000 years ago He claimed to love you, then He still loves you today.
Sometimes it feels like the devil is winning and you are all alone in loving Jesus with your whole heart and following His word. It feels like the hate has never been worse, and that all beliefs are considered acceptable exept ours. But you are not alone. Even if every other Christian falls and you still remain you are not alone, because Jesus is with you. He is proud of you for not compromising your faith and your values. Don’t be afraid. No matter how hard it is. Keep fighting. Your soul is your own, what you do that effects that soul is up to you, don’t let anyone take your treasure from you. Because in the end, the things you missed out on and the people who abandoned you because they didn’t accept your beliefs won’t matter. The only one who matters is Jesus, and His opinion is the only one that counts. It will be hard. It will hurt. Somedays it will make you sick as you watch the devil take ground, but God has a reason. Even before the beggining He knew the ending and He knew that you would struggle and He knew that you find a deeper connection to Him as you struggled. Evil is not suddenly good just because everyone is doing it or accepting it, and that can be so hard to understand. But if you go back to the basics. Back to what you learned when you still had faith like a child what do remember. In this world you will have trouble, but take heart I have overcome the world.
And Jesus loves me. This I know. For the Bible tells me so. Little ones to Him belong. They are weak but He is strong.
And the He patient not wanting anyone to perish. 2Peter 3:9
He is patient with you because He wants you to change and to find Him, the real Him, the one that takes sacrifice. He wants you in Heaven with Him, so He waits, until you come to Him.

Christianity · Devotional · encouragement · free · guidance · Jesus · Love · True Joy

Never too dirty

You are never too dirty to come to the front door of God’s home. He tore the Veil through His son Jesus so that you could show up no matter what you had done. He doesn’t expect you to be perfect, He expects you to simply come.
I love how the pure love our dogs feel for us is such a beautiful show of God’s love. People beat and starve their dogs (which is beyone horrible) and yet those dogs still love them. We can call God names and hate Him and He still loves us. The love is unconditional. And that is so rare in people.
My first dog came from a neglectful home. When we rescued him we were told by the vets that he wouldn’t live a week. But they didn’t realize the power of prayer, and he lived till he was eight years old. Some may say that science saved him, and yes science saves a lot of people. But the science didn’t know what to do this time, he had no surgeries or Special Operations. All he had was love and prayer and lived a happy, loved life. All that to say- neglected to the point of death, yet no one was more compassionate or kind then my dog. He had a special love for seniors and those with mental illness and would go out of his way to be near them and to sit on their knees and comfort them, because of that unconditional love.
We neglect God too. We turn our backs on Him, we give Him only enough of ourselves to try to squeeze into Heaven but not enough to actually know Him. And guess what? He still loves us with His whole heart and wants us to come to Him in our filthy rags so He can cover us in beauty. Unconditional love.

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Trampled down but still growing

Have you ever seen a flower trying to grow up on a pathway?
Of course you have.
Some people see it growing and skirt around it so they don’t interfere with it’s progress, but most people just walk on top of it and keep going. Why would it’s progress matter to them? Why would it’s success make a difference to them?
Broken and head bent with sap seeping out of the stem the little flower looks like it will die there, never to reach it’s final goal.
But if I kind person sees it and tries to help it by binding it’s stem and tying it to a small ground stake, the little flower might grow a little longer. But eventually the old wounds will kill it, because even the simple kindness of a stranger can’t heal the torn tendrils inside. However, if the guardener sees it, broken and dying as more and more people crush it under their feet He would have the power and knowledge to save it. He could dig up the flower and transplant it in a safer spot, then He could go to work, feeding and watering and the perfect amount of sunlight, adding nutrients and stapling back together the broken stalk until it is able to stand. With the help of the Master the little flower can grow, and grow and grow and keep growing until it’s too strong to be crushed by the world again.
As Christians we are trying to grow. Some people see that and let us keep growing but others try to stomp on us and crush us and seems like no one cares. We may find support in a small group or in our friends and even in our pastor, but until the broken vines search for Jesus we will never be truly fixed. People can help but they can’t heal. Until we reach out to Jesus we will continue to fade. But once we reach for Him He knows how to cure us and love us and help us. He is our God and He is our friend and He is good.
Turn to Him when the world is crushing you, only He can truly help you.

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Shaking the walls

Shake the walls

We have seen a lot of fall away from the church over the years and that can be discouraging. But we have also seen a lot of people deemed hopeless by the secular world come to Jesus and turn their lives around. What I have been loving is the courage I’ve been seing in the remnant. I’m not that old and yet in my growing up years we were in a place where we didn’t do a lot of work for God. The street crusaders and tent evangalists were no longer a thing. The churches were full and we all ‘knew’ Jesus, and that was enough. I was blessed with parents who taught me how to truly know Jesus and encouraged me to spend time with Him beyond Church- not required, just encouraged- so I knew how to grab for His hand when the big shake happened. You know. The times that came where God seemed like a dictator because TV said He was and following Jesus was too much work and boy did the parties and the dating and the raves look like fun. Then there were the times when bad things happened, really bad things and we couldn’t figure out why God permitted it to happen. And then there was the shake of people who felt that because some churches and Christians were bad than all were bad and we were openly attacked for our faith. Times when everyone should be permitted to be who and what they want to be…just so long as that isn’t a Christian. I watched so many fall away. Even I hit a point where being a ‘good little Christian’ (as the popular TV shows jeered at us) seemed like a drag, and we were shown as crazy or evil even though we aren’t so it was painful and hard and confusing. But having known the bliss of His freedom the junk the world fed me was never enough to make up for the lack of Jesus. I fought my way home, leaving so many friends behind that I wish I could have brought with me, but the devil had their ear, he still does, some day I pray they look to see that Jesus is still reaching for them and that they grab Him and don’t let go.
The whole world has been shaking over the past three years, and many have fallen because the drop looked less painful than holding on, but I have seen a new hope, a new generation that doesn’t want to just ‘know’ Jesus, they want to be enveloped by Him. They’ve seen hell taking over this world to an extreme I never thought we would see in my generation, and they have decided to fight back. They have escaped the prison and are turning back and shaking the walls till they fall down and all trapped inside can run away and run to the freedom of Jesus. Kids. Ten year olds and fifteen year olds. People who never had parents or teachers encourage more of Jesus in their lives then ‘just enough’ are standing up as warriors. People want to claim that kids like this are brainwashed by being forced into it, but the kids that I have seen chose on their own to seek after God. Some of them have parents who oppose their choice to love Jesus, but they know in their souls that He is the answer. We can’t let them beat us guys. Come on adults, let’s stand beside these kids and fight too. Pray more often. Fast with faith. Use whatever gift God has given you to fight back. Let’s shake the walls. The devil will fight back and it will get hard, but we are not fighting alone. Jesus fights with us. Angels fight with us. The Holy Spirit fights within us. Our fellow soldiers fight with us. Whatever front line, whatever fort to hold, whatever ground to take back God has put in front of you fight for it. Don’t give up because it’s scary and hard. Keep fighting. Jesus has got you covered, and you are not alone.

Christianity · encouragement · free · guidance · Jesus

You can let go

To someone today God is saying to stop. Stop trying to fix everything. Stop trying to carry everything. Life gets hard and the world is falling apart, but it is my job to take care if it and I know what needs to happen. Trust me and let go.
I don’t know, maybe I’m who God wanted to hear that, but I’m sure I wasn’t alone. We want to fix it all but we can’t. We wonder what God’s doing. But He knows best. It’s up to us to trust in Him. It’s up to Him to take care of us.

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Don’t get too much religion?

It was 1962. Kay had the night off after she had worked all day. No big plans but she longed for the rest. The night nurse working the graveyard shift caught her on her way out of the hospital.
“Please Kay. We’re short handed tonight. One of the girls called in sick, can you stay?”
A lump caught in Kay’s throat as her mind said a resounding, “No.” She smiled softly at the woman, “If you need me, I will stay.”
Her feet throbbed like they were on fire after a full day’s work, her back began to give up on her as she cleared bed pans, checked paitents, fetched cloths and so on. She was working the first floor but was on call for the girl on the second floor; short handed had meant it would only be the two of them working that night.
She had a tray of pills she was bringing up to the second floor from the dispensary- next she had to take each prescription to each paitent. She entered the room of a man known to be grumpy and picky, she sighed as she went in, this was the life of a nurse after all. The man looked at her and barked, “I know you’ve got religion. You’re one of those Christians.”
Kay eyed him gently, “that’s right, what does that mean to you?”
He sniffed, amused by her response, “I don’t mind religion. It’s fine. Just long as you don’t get too much of it.”
Kay laughed softy, “sir,” she responded, “I can never get too much of Jesus.”

You never know who you will speak to, when or where, but God might show you why.
Kay never found out if her words impacted the man in a positive way, but 94 years later and demention seeping in, she still recalls in clear detail the night she said yes to an extra shift at work and was led to tell a grumpy man in a second floor hospital room that, “you can never get too much of Jesus.”
God will use you even if you are not ready and waiting.

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I’m in trouble

She held the note in her hand and rubbed her toe in the carpet, the note began to cut into her palm as she scrunched it, hoping it would dissapear. The knock was almost inaudible as she tapped on the door to her father’s study. “Come in” came the deep voice and she timidly pushed the door inward. He sat at his desk, his Bible open as he prepared for Sunday, he glanced over the brim of his glasses and, seeing his daughter, smiled and took the spectacles off his face. “What brings you here sweetheart?” He inquired while gesturing her to come closer. She inched her way toward the big desk, the note was a wad in her palm as she continued to crunch it; lip trembling she handed it to her father, “My teacher sent this for you,” she choked out as he took the ball from her palm and flattened it back into a recognizable shape. Her father replaced his glasses and red the letter which stated in detail his daughter’s misbehavior in class that day. She stood with her hands behind her back and stared at the floor. “So,” he stated, “do you admit to what was described here?” He shook the paper softly, “Is it true?”
She nodded as the tears took over and her face became saturated, “I’m so sorry daddy, I won’t do it again.” Her shoulders shook from the sobs, she knew she was in trouble, but worse than that she had dissapointed her father.
He nodded his head, then wadded up the paper and tossed in the bin before pulling her onto his knee, “it’s alright, it’s over now. I forgive you.”
“But I messed up,” she coughed as more tears came.
He hugged her close, “Yep, you sure did. But, you came and told me about it and appologized, that’s enough. You won’t always not be punished when you do things wrong, but this time I feel you have learned your lesson enough without a penalty. Would you like some hotchocolate?”
She nodded and whispered a please.
Then he took two cups out of his desk and poured the hot liquid drink out of a thermos he had under his desk. She sat up straight and looked at him, “you knew?”
He nodded, “of course I knew, your teacher called me. The note was simply a test to see if you would admit your wrong doing or simply throw the letter away and pretend like nothing happened.”
“But the drink! How did you know I would come to you?”
He handed her a cup and smiled, “because your my little girl and I know you better than anyone else does. I’m proud of you sweety.”

He already knows. He knew you would do it before you did it. Now He’s waiting for you to come to Him and tell Him what you did and to ask for forgiveness. You won’t always get away without being punished, but you will always have His love, because He is the best daddy there is. Don’t be afraid to go into His chambers and tell Him what you’ve done wrong, because He already knows and is waiting for you with a heart full of love.
My dad said today that things would be hard for us at the end when we reach the judgment seat because it is where all we did and did not do in our lifetime would come forward and be judged. But he also said how wonderful it would be when the judgement was over and Jesus would crumple up the lists of our wrong doings and throw into the fire, never again to be recalled, then He will take us in His arms and say, “it’s okay, it’s all over now, come on, let’s go home.”
Go to Him, ask for forgiveness, He’s waiting for you; He will wait forever if that’s how long you take, but He will never give up on you.

If you have never accepted Jesus, or have but feel you need a renewal, pray with me:
Dear Jesus, you know that I am a sinner. Please forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Send you Holy Spirit to guide me and help me to learn more about you. Thank you for dying for me. Even when you already knew all I would do wrong in my life you chose to love me. Thank you. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer for the first time and are wondering what to do next, I recomend getting a Bible, you can even download one on your phone, and read it. Maybe start in Matthew and go through the New Testament first as you search to more about Jesus. Also, find a Church that speaks to you heart, it’s easier to follow Jesus when you have a support group who also follows Him.
And know that you are very loved.

Blog · Christianity · Devotional · dreams do come true · encouragement · free · guidance · Jesus · searching · The Bible · True Joy

What do you have in that box you’re carrying?

Don’t fall into the lie that you can change God to fit into your box, trust me, any box we humans create will be too small for our Great Big God to fit into.
Changing our ways to be Christ like is something the devil tries to keep us from doing, he wants us to stay in his clutches and makes it look like freedom when in truth it is a deep pit with a heavy lid. Only through Jesus can we find true freedom, only in trying to follow God’s commands and keeping our eyes on the savior do we stand a chance of being out of the devil’s reach. Don’t back away hissing when I say we need to try to follow God’s commands, I know it’s hard and that we don’t always want to, sometimes it even hurts – but it’s the only way to be a Christian. You will fail from time to time, there is no doubt of that, I fail daily too, but you keep trying to do better, that’s what God wants- not perfection, but effort, He sees that you are trying, and He helps you back up when you fail so you can try again. We don’t like being told what to do because the devil is rebellious and he wants us all to be the same, but you will be happier if you learn to do as the Bible commands, I know we all cringe at that word and hiss ‘don’t tell me how to live my life,’ okay, God won’t tell you what to do if you choose not to follow Him, that’s your choice, but if you claim the title ‘Christian’ you must also follow the God you claim to serve, there is no gray area.
And if you do decide to discard the box and see God for who He is and follow His path to see what He wants for life- be prepared to be amazed, because Jesus, who cannot fit into your idea of Him, is greater and more amazing then we could imagine, and He has a greater and more amazing plan for you then anything you could have thought up on your own.

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Pentecost

Penticost

But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, who was honored by all the people, stood up in the Sanhedrin and ordered that the men be put outside for a little while. Then he addressed the Sanhedrin: “Men of Israel, consider carefully what you intend to do to these men. Some time ago Theudas appeared, claiming to be somebody, and about four hundred men rallied to him. He was killed, all his followers were dispersed, and it all came to nothing. After him, Judas the Galilean appeared in the days of the census and led a band of people in revolt. He too was killed, and all his followers were scattered. Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail.
But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.”
Acts 5:34-39 NIV
The Christian person has been attacked by many opressors and many enemies over the years since Jesus was here in flesh, even to the point of people on TV and in movies denouncing our God as someone made up out of weakness. Why bring this up on a day we should be celebrating the coming of the Holy Spirit? Because we need to be reminded and encouraged. It is easy to begin to doubt the existance of someone we can’t see or touch, and I don’t know how anyone who doesn’t believe in the Holy Spirit can hope to retain any Faith in Jesus because He is the living Spirit of God in us, but that’s what we believe and I know some Christians don’t -and we love you still even if we can’t see eye to eye on this. But as someone who has felt the power of the Holy Spirit and seen what He can do I have full Faith that He is still active and moving amung Jesus freaks today. Wait. What did she just say? Yes, I said Jesus freaks. I like that title. It shows that we are truly seaking God because those who don’t get it and don’t know Him think we’re crazy, which you might think if you had never known the presence of Jesus that we do. That’s why the Holy Spirit is so important. He is the one who touches souls and fills them and cleanses them, it’s the Spirit of God who takes the murderer and advocate of wrongdoing and makes him a man of God, ( I mean Paul as an example when I say this,) (The Spirit does full turn around healing of the soul in women too- believe me, I should know)
We need the Spirit of God!
Many have tried to dissuade us, torture us and kill us. Governments have tried to turn the people against our Faith or make us so afraid that we abandon Jesus forever out of panic. Paul was beaten daily until his execution. The devil has worked hard to kill us off or make us look like we are the bad guys, in some countries the Governments have warned the people that Christian Missionaries are soul snatchers….ya, that one hit me as odd too… or have marked Jesus speak as pornographic content…. again…odd. What does all this mean? What does it prove? Well. Either it proves that Christas are the most stubborn and unmoveable people you will ever meet, or it means that we put our Faith in a true God who gives you no room for sliding to the left or right because it is obvious to us He is real. What makes it so obvious in a world where signs and wonders no longer simply walk down the street? The Holy Spirit. He makes it obvious that there is no life without Jesus.
As the Pharisee said, “if this is of human origin it will fail, but if this is of God then it can’t be stopped.”
We still believe. Even People who have never been witnessed to by other people discover Jesus, and they believe. how? You can answer that by this point, I’m sure of it. Even if I fell away from my Faith today and my whole family did the same, there would be more who rise up to take our places, and God would fight to bring us back because He loves us. He doesn’t need us, but He wants us because we matter to Him. God is still moving His Spirit through the world, you just have to be open to Him and He will come. If this is of God no one can stop it. God is on our side, don’t ever give up, you are special and chosen and loved, and the Holy Spirit lives in you and fights for you daily.
Thank you God for sending your Spirit to fill us with power. Amen