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.

Blog · Christianity · Devotional · dreams do come true · encouragement · free · guidance · Jesus · still fighting · True Joy

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.

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

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.

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.

Christianity · CS Lewis · Devotional · guidance · Jesus · searching · The Bible

Watch out for donkeys in lion skin

Remember in The Last Battle by CS Lewis? There was a monkey who had a donkey who hung out with him and they found a dead lion, then they skinned the lion and dressed the donkey up in the skin. Many came to give gifts and worship the donkey thinking they were worshiping the king, but in truth it was just a donkey in the skin of a lion.
The Bible warns us about people who will rise up claiming to know God, they will preach sermons and have visions and even heal people, but it will be through the devil’s power that they do these things, they will claim they are leading the way to Jesus when in reality they are leading away from Him. Don’t follow a donkey made up to look like the King. The Jesus in the Bible is the only true Jesus there is, if the Jesus being told to you doesn’t coincide with the scriptures then it isn’t the authentic Jesus, just a sorry look alike; and like the false donkey king, if you look too closely you will see the seams and strings holding this copy together. Jesus is all holy like His Father, He is so pure that if He hadn’t chosen to have us with Him, if He hadn’t decided to die for our sins, we wouldn’t be able to stand in His presence. He is so good that He loves us sin and all, but He also loves us so much that He offers to us the chance to repent of our sins and be the full person He made us to be.
I can’t imagine how hard it must be for Jesus when a person who didn’t repent dies, because He loves them so much, and at the same time sin cannot exist in God’s presence, so those people go to hell. Like when He went into Jerusulem before He was arrested and said to her gates that the people within was a people He could have loved and was heartbroken that they were going to betray and kill Him.
Imagine the first of Jesus’ accusers who died without repentance, standing there and seeing Jesus, then as the Christ cries and denys him entrance to Heaven he realizes he was wrong. Because even those people who betrayed Him Jesus loved, yet many would never see His kingdom.
Don’t be decived by a cunning monkey and a false Aslan, there is only one Jesus, and unless you know the real one you will never see the white shores of Aslan’s country.
When in doubt of anything, but certainly of something you heard someone say or preach that doesn’t reflect well with the Holy Spirit inside of you, turn to the Bible and see what it says; because the Bible is always true and always the answer, if the Bible disagrees then throw away what you heard, because false doctrines are everywhere, and they can sound true if you aren’t careful.
Watch for the coming of the true King. When you meet Him you will realize how great it is to know the real Jesus, and the peace and paradise of Heaven.

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.

Christianity · Devotional · guidance

Compassion is important

Everyone these days believes in empathy. Understanding the position of the other person, where they are at and where they are coming from. Though empathy has its benifits I believe more in compassion. Putting yourself in the other person’s shoes is not always a good idea. Sometimes loving and showing kindness requires you to be dissconected from the person themselves because the situation is not safe or is unhealthy. Other times understanding the other person’s point of view is impossible for you, I can love my friend who is an addict, but I cannot emphasize with them. I can love the homeless man out front of WalMart, but I have no way of relating to him and his story. Empathy has a place, but it is not the begin all and end all of human and Christian emotion, this is my opinion, but I would say compassion is more important in the long run. Compassion does not require you to understand where the other person is at that moment in their lives, compassion says, ‘I can’t understand, but I want to love you and help you anyways.’ Compassion does have a space of empathy in it, because you understand that the other person is hurting and needs help. But you can’t always undertand the situation the person is in. Compassion is also less condisending. Empathy forces you to Place yourself in the other person’s shoes, in doing that you see how you would respond to the situation and you feel you have a right to tell them that they should try and do things the way you would. Compassion simply says, that person is hurting and in need, they don’t need my opinion But they might need a shoulder to cry on. Jesus calls us to love one another, he doesn’t call us to be one another. Having a certain understanding where the other person is at can be important but it can be taken too far. Walk a mile in my shoes and your feet might gain my blisters. If you are trying to be empathetic to someone’s sin you are opening the door to commiting that sin yourself. Empthy is good when it is in it’s place. Compassion is good at all times. All it takes to be compassionate is the love of God showing us how to care for those around us. God Himself is compassionate to us and we would be so lost without that.

Just a thought.