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.

Blog · Christianity · Devotional · encouragement · free · Jesus

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.

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

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.

Blog · Christianity · Devotional · encouragement · free · guidance · Jesus · Love · Prayer · searching · The Bible · True Joy

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

Christianity · Devotional · encouragement · free · guidance · Jesus · Love · searching

Strong love and strange peace

We’re all so trapped, we need release, we need your strong love and strange peace- Larry Norman

We are all so trapped. Trapped in sin, trapped in slavery to our circumstances, trapped in fear, illness, sorrow, war… everyone has something that traps them and our only release comes from God’s strong love and strange peace. I want to break that into two parts, because though they go together they are also very different.
God’s love is strong. Strong enough to fight our battles, strong enough to hold us when we fall and strong enough to take the hits when we blame Him and yell at Him and claim He is at fault for where we are now, it hurts Him, but that’s why His love being strong is so important, because when we break His heart He still loves us. Moment by moment sustaining grace is God’s love language. Never giving up on us is God’s banner. Look at Nineveh, they were corrupt to the place of God’s destruction, but He sent Jonah to try and persuade them to change. God didn’t want to destroy them, but they fell back into deeper corruption and wouldn’t repent later on and God had to break His own heart to end the evil that was there. But He gave them every chance to change, He refused to give up on them until it was obvious that there was nothing more to do. His love is so strong that He fought for those people despite their evil. Some say that God hates people because of their corruption, but what He hates is the corruption, not the people. He gives every chance for us to change because He wants everyone of us. But something broke in this world when the devil was hurrled out of Heaven and it has never been put back together. Someday, after God has given us a lifetime to change from our evil ways and come back to Him, He will fix this world, but He is going to have to destroy it first. Better to come back when His hand is offered then to realize the truth after it’s too late.
His love is strong, it takes every broken piece of us and holds it until we stick back together, this time with Him stuck in us too.
His peace is so strange.
Why is it that when we are drowning all we have to do is call His name and we are free again? Safe again? Healed again?
We know we should be screaming and crying and dying on the inside but His peace keeps us sane. How does He do that? It’s so amazing.
He sets us free from all that traps us everytime we fall back into it. He loves us that much. And He puts us back into a place of peace that makes no sense at all, because that is just simply who He is.
God doesn’t make sense, but as my Grandfather says, ” I would rather have a God that is beyond my understanding then a god who I comprehend fully. If I can understand him then how is he greater then I am? But I don’t understand Him because He is greater and beyond my understanding.”
His love is strong enough to bear all our sin and pain, His peace is strange enough to hold us together when we should fall apart, and He is good at all times, even when our moments aren’t, but He will sustain us if we fall into Him, because God’s love language is a broken heart.

Blog · Christianity · Devotional · encouragement · free · guidance · Jesus · searching

I wish we’d all been ready

Life was filled with guns and war
And everyone got trampled on the floor
I wish we’d all been ready

Children died the days grew cold
A piece of bread could buy a bag of gold
I wish we’d all been ready

There’s no time to change your mind
How could you have been so blind
The father spoke the demons dined
The son has come and you’ve been left behind

You’ve been left behind
You’ve been left behind

Source: Musixmatch

Songwriters: Larry Norman
I Wish We’d All Been Ready lyrics © Ordure Blanc Music

As a kid I loved this song. It was sort of dark and moody and I liked that. As I grew older and the tune gave way to the words I still liked it for it’s powerful meaning, but now as 2022 has been in full swing for five months and we see how much worse things are getting this song breaks my heart, because I see it. I’m not saying Jesus is coming tomorrow or trying to prophesy end times, I am just saying we need to have eyes that are open. You might sound crazy if you mention the word apocalypse, until you are proven right. This might not be it. Jesus might not be returning for another two thousand years for all we know, but I wish we were all ready. I have heard the people call us Christians fanatics and Jesus freaks and other things I can’t say. I get it. We look crazy to some people, we talk about an all powerful God who takes away sin and makes us clean, a God who loves us as we are and is willing to help us be better. We talk about a paradise and a second coming and Heavenly beings. We sound a little crazy. But if you have met Him. Heart to heart, and found a true connection. If you have seen Him do amazing things, if you have been in darkness and then met His perfect light, you know that you aren’t crazy, you know that He is real and what He says is true.
Don’t get discouraged by the bribes and threats of the fallen world around us. Stay strong and continue to follow.
My Poppa who has been an evengelical minister for seventy some years said something really good the other day.
‘Those in the stands will always find criticism in those running the race, but those who have crossed the finish line will cheer you on.’
Those who aren’t aiming for Heaven will always find fault in those who are, but that doesn’t mean that those who are striving toward God are wrong, it means that the people in the stands aren’t running, they don’t understand the race and have nothing better to do then yell at the people who are down on the track sweating it out. But the people who have run the race and are watching from Heaven, they know what it’s like, they understand and are cheering you on. Don’t give up because the guy buying peanuts in row three seat A5 thinks that you should do something differently, is he running? No. So how does he know what you should do?
Look closer at that guy who is challenging you to give up, do you see the sneer and…is his toungue forked? Never doubt that the one telling you to stop being a Jesus Freak is the devil. It doesn’t matter whose voice he uses to dissuade you, it’s the deciver trying to make you give up. So keep going. And when you can’t run, walk, and when you can’t walk, kneel. Jesus is there beside you cheering you on too. I wish we’d all been ready, but just as much I pray that those who are ready don’t give up before the race is won.

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

He cares

He cares.

I shouldn’t be as surprised as I am at how amazing God is. There are so many moments when I don’t ask God for help because I don’t even know that the thing that could have been disastrous without God’s intervention happened. There are small things, like coming home and realizing the hair straightener was left on all day but did not burn the house down. Then there are big things, like me letting my dog out and having him chase the six big deer in our yard, yet by some miracle they didn’t kill him. Or having a driver who is high on who knows what, swerve into my lane, I hit my breaks and head for the ditch and the person swerves back into their lane seconds before I am killed annnnnnd the guy behind me doesn’t hit me as I try to avoid a head on.
These things you didn’t know you needed to pray for so you didn’t, yet God stopped you from being hurt. The words lucky and coincidence come up so often when these things happen, but if you know God, then you know it was Him who saved you. They have an old saying about magic, if you don’t look for it you will never see it. The same could be said about God, if you don’t look for him you will never see him. It is too easy to throw aside God’s goodness and try to explain away his truth, but he is there just open your eyes. And. One more thing we forget. God cares more about us and more about the people, the animals, and the things we care about then we ever possibly could, they’re his creation after all. We forget that he cares because we can explain away his goodness, but if we give the credit where credit is due we will realize that God is always watching over us and that He truly cares about us. As my Poppa sings, “Jesus loves even me.” Don’t forget that.

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

Carried in His arms

I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.
Isaiah 46:4


Isn’t it wonderful? He even carries us. He doesn’t have to. He could simply show us where to go and wait paitently through our weak moments until we get there ourselves, but instead He carries us.
You might say, “um, I have never noticed God lift me into His arms and carry me.”
That’s because you thinking of a physical sensation of being picked up. He doesn’t carry us like we would carry eachother, He carries us in spirit. When our spirit has fallen and is weak God picks up and carries us in spirit. When we are tired in body, He helps us in our spirit. Even if you are exhausted and injured an unbroken spirit will keep you moving forward. God binds up and strengthens our powerhouse, our soul, our mind. When your mind claims it can’t go on and can’t do it, then you really do have a struggle. But when your body says ‘I can’t do it’ and your soul and mind says ‘oh yes we can!’ Then you have a fighting chance.
God carries our spirit. God. The creater of the universe. Carries us.
Don’t ever forget that.

Christianity · Devotional · encouragement · free · Jesus · lent · The Bible · True Joy

Death accepted, death defeated- Jesus is RISEN!

All this lent time, all our lives, all of Jesus’ ministry comes down to these words of Paul:

And if Christ has not been raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless. And we apostles would all be lying about God—for we have said that God raised Christ from the grave. But that can’t be true if there is no resurrection of the dead. And if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless, and you are still guilty of your sins. In that case, all who have died believing in Christ are lost! And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world. But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died. So, you see, just as death came into the world through a man, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man. If the dead will not be raised, what point is there in people being baptized for those who are dead? Why do it unless the dead will someday rise again? And why should we ourselves risk our lives hour by hour? For I swear, dear brothers and sisters, that I face death daily. This is as certain as my pride in what Christ Jesus our Lord has done in you.  And if there is no resurrection, “Let’s feast and drink, for tomorrow we die!” Don’t be fooled by those who say such things, for “bad company corrupts good character.” Think carefully about what is right and stop sinning. For to your shame, I say that some of you don’t know God at all.
1 Corinthians 15:12-25, 27-34 NLT

In movies when death is defeated it means the MC was half killed, as Mad Max from Princess Bride says, ‘he’s only mostly dead.’
That was not the case for Jesus, He was completely dead and buried before that third day when He walked out of the tomb. Death defeated means that Jesus walked up to the devil, took the keys from his hand, and strode out of hell with all our souls in His hands. We still sometimes choose to return to death and hell by not choosing to believe in Jesus, but we no longer belong to the devil, we belong to Heaven and Jesus.
Carmen imagined what today was like for the devil as two fighters in a ring, the final blow was struck and everyone even tje demons were shocked that Jesus had gone down, this is how he says it:
God the Father turned His head
His tears announcing Christ was dead!
The 10 count would proclaim the battle’s end
Then Satan trembled through his sweat in unexpected horror, yet…
As God started to count by saying
“…10…”
“Hey wait a minute, God…” “…9…” “Stop! You’re counting wrong…”
“…8…”
His eyes are moving…
“…7…”
His fingers are twitching…
“…6…”
“Where’s all this Light coming from?”
“…5…”
“He’s alive!”
“…4…”
“Oh – nooooo!”
“…3…”
“And yet,”
“…2…”
“Oh…Yessssss!
“…1…”
He has won!
He has won!
He’s alive forevermore!

He was killed. He is risen. He took the keys of death from the devil and waits, sharpening His sword for the day when He comes back for us, because He is our avenging warrior coming back to destroy the enemy, and there is an enemy, don’t get into the train of thought where you feel that the devil is not moving against you, because he is. But! Jesus is here with us! His spirit is within us, His Holy Spirit guides us! He has won our souls if we give them back to Him. Stop taking your life out of His hands, He cares more about you then you could ever care about yourself. He died for you. Would you suffer even for the sake of your own life? Jesus died, and He rose again. Why is that important? Because if He did not rise again then we have no hope, but He did rise, and we are saved.
Prayer:
Oh Jesus, how saved we are. Beyond this life, beyond us, beyond it all is You and You saved us. Glory to God! Let us sit in your presence forever. Thank you, God, for you alone are our Hope and Safe place! There are no words but thank you, and it is not enough, but it is all we can say, so we say thank you. Amen.