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I’ve been there too

I’ve been there too

So, I caught a cold this past Monday. I have an old family rule that I live by that says, ‘if you don’t have a fever you aren’t sick enough to stay home.’ I hate this rule; but once something becomes engraved in your mind it’s hard to change. So I plowed through and made it to Saturday where I almost died on the couch. Not literally. Then my mom asks me to bring a meal over to my grandparents. Up I get and off I go to carry the food across the yard, (we live on an acreage). On the way back my dog wants to play. It’s so warm and sunny that we play for about half an hour. Then I see him. My horse with his head over the fence. Guess what? He too has a cold. I walk over and rub his neck and he presses his forehead against mine. I have had my horse for nearly 10 years, I knew he was saying he didn’t feel great. I also felt the sense that we were sharing a moment of understanding. He was sick and so was I, he needed a hug and so did I. We understood each other’s suffering. Then I got to work filling his water, because he was low and giving him extra mineral to combat the virus, and feed to keep his strength up and then more hugs.
I have two points here. One is that no matter how you feel there is always someone who needs something and true love is doing that something no matter what. My mom is really great at this. Complain your way through if you must, but Christ’s spirit of carrying one another’s burdens makes us keep giving. Point two. No matter what you are going through there is always someone somewhere who has been through the same and wants to help. You are NEVER alone. With 7 billion people in the world there is zero chance that you are the only one who is suffering this particular way. Others get it and even if they don’t, Jesus gets it and He has always got your back! He will Always help you through the tough times. Even if that though time is pushing through with a cold.

God arms me with strength. And He makes my path perfect. Psalms 18:32

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Where Faith may fail

Where faith may fail

Do you ever feel as though your faith has failed?
Ya, me too.
You build yourself up with courageous words and scripture verses to make your heart feel okay, but deep down you still feel faithless. A nagging voice says, ‘you know God doesn’t operate like that anymore! You know that those kinds of miracles ended before the 20th century began. So why pray for it? Why run after something that you will never catch? You’ll just end up looking silly for trying so hard. Give up. Faith has no ground.’
Wow. Say ‘hello Devil, when did you get here?’ because that’s the voice I hear when I hear such words. It is clearly the Devil saying such things; eating away at your Faith like a monster devouring flesh, but that doesn’t stop us from believing such wicked and common lies. We hit a wall where our Faith feels powerless and we just can’t fight through. I realized something the other day. Why do we fight with our Faith? Faith isn’t a weapon. It’s a shield. The Holy Spirit is the weapon! Our Faith feels battered because we are using it to beat down our enemy. We drop our sword, take our shield in both hands and smack our enemy with it with all our strength! And we get knocked back on our belt of hard truth. The truth is that with our own strength we can’t do anything. But if we attack our enemy with the sword of the Spirit the enemy will fall! Because we are using God’s strength to win! Our Faith gets battered because we wield it as a weapon. Which it isn’t. But as a shield, as our defense, our Faith is unmatched in power because our Faith is in the unmatched, powerful God. Whose name is Jesus.

So then, put on the full armor of God-Ephesians 6:10

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Spiraling or climbing?

Downward spiral .vs. upward climb

Have you ever noticed how it is a spiral? Spiral indicates fast, generally out of control and of course spinning.
It sounds like a bad ride at an amusement park, you know, the one your friends dare you to go on and then you feel too sick to do anything else for the next 2 days. 10 years later you have the confidence to laugh about it with someone. Spiral.

And upward CLIMB. With this one I visualize a mountain. I love hiking and exploring. If you let me go with my dog and spend the day someplace hiking and exploring, there is a chance we will be gone that whole day. Generally the moment we feel like…..I am sorry, I feel like, he could go on forever……when I feel like turning around is the moment I hit a steep incline. Usually it is my powerhouse Jack Russell who keeps me moving, he is probably 1/6th of my weight and yet he is the one who pulls me to the top and we stand (and I gasp for air) and he starts to head down the next trail, dragging me behind and I feel this wave of achievement. We made it to the top! Oh Ya! And look! Another hill…… I wonder what the top of that one looks like?

To hit rock bottom takes a simple ‘yes’ or a small give in your normal perspective. It happens fast, it is generally a little sickening and it takes a long time to recover.
To hit the summit takes a lot of hard work, motivation, and sometimes someone else pulling on your lead to keep you going, and you find acheivement in the end.

To climb back up from the bottom is a massive struggle and you can NOT do it without God, but you CAN do it.

Blog · Christianity · Christmas · Devotional · Jesus · searching

Listen to the voices of the stars

Star

The cold mountain air burns the lungs of the young astronomer as her eyes take in the night sky. Orion winks at her playfully and her gaze swings as she grins back at him; she sees a star larger than the rest and her heart takes her back to a time when a similar star drew men from far and distant countries to a small town called Bethlehem.

These days we don’t have a star to help us find Jesus, but we do still have guides. The Bible, word of mouth, pastors, musicians, artists. God sends us ‘stars’ to guide us. Little lights that show Jesus.
Many say to look to the sky for your answers, read the stars, listen to their voices. I am no astronomer, but that night when God sent a special star to guide people to the stable must have been wild. Angels dropping from Heaven into our night sky and praising their God?!? It would have been a light show like no other. Look to the sky to for your answers? why not? Look up and see 100 billion or more Galaxies and hear them answer you. ‘Yes! There is a God, and He made all this… and He made you!’ Follow the stars around you to the stable and find Jesus.
Life, Death, and Resurrection all held within this baby’s tiny hands.
The very first Christians led to the stable, by a star.

Blog · Christianity · Devotional · dreams do come true · encouragement · free · Jesus · searching

Open heart

Open heart

We all have a seed inside our hearts. A part of us that is undiscovered and trying to grow. A potential. A dream left to the wear of time and long since forgotten. Deep down in your heart, however, that dream left a seed. We all have someone we want to be. A chef, a weatherwoman, an accountant, a movie star. But to fulfill a dream takes hard work, good people, and a bull dog drive. Stats say that over 90% of people give up on their dreams instead of seeing them fulfilled. I think that is very sad. A dream is something important to us, and things that are important to us should be things we fight for. Sometimes we dream of being something that other people say we can’t be. An artist who can’t draw, or a musician who doesn’t know how to play. It is possible that maybe that means your true seed is growing into something else. Perhaps a music teacher or an art studio director. Don’t drop your dreams where you stand and move on. Sometimes the true dream is a vine of the original one. Fight for your dreams and water them. See what your seed grows. Like buying a surprise packaged of flower seeds at the plant store. All you can do is scatter them in the dirt and care for them. You know you want a flower, but what that flower looks like is entirely up to the seed. So you care for it and as it grows you love it more and get more excited to see what it will be.

Let your seed grow, and never give up on it.

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Soldiers

Soldiers

Home is behind, the world is ahead, (J.R.R. Tolkien). I usually see this phrase of this song as a sentence of awe and thrill. Images of camping and wooded trails, tall mountains and pounding waterfalls overtake my mind and I breathe deeply. However that was not the scene around this statement. In the Lord of The Rings masterpiece epic, ( I mean the novels) Pipin sings a song of what would seem to be great adventure, in fact it is a song of war. They left their homes behind and took to war. Trenches and hill tops and beaches. Skies, oceans and forests. Deserts and mountains and jungles. Comfort left behind, loving arms and gentle words long forgotten as feet ache in heavy boots and backs sweat under heavy packs. You almost don’t dare make friends because you don’t know how long you will get to hold to these people around you, but you become family. Our soldiers learned the line Jesus said about true friends, and what Paul said, Rare for a person to lay down their life even for a righteous person; perhaps for a good man one would dare to die for.-Paul ( this is not a direct quote)
Our soldiers dared to die for those they never met. War is UGLY! Suffering and death happen and it is awful! But freedom doesn’t come by hoping for it. We should always honor those who suffered and died, AND those who suffered and live, because our freedom came from their blood. Hate war always, hate our soldiers NEVER! They did not ask for the wars they fought and fight in, but they saw the suffering of the innocent and had the courage to stand up and do something about it. God bless our soldiers! Semper Fi.

I found the cover image on the internet and hope that it is okay that I used it because it is so powerful. My uncle was in Vietnam and this painting reminded me of the few stories that he was able to tell when he got back.

Blog · Christianity · Devotional · encouragement · free · Jesus

A push and a pull

A push and a pull

I have heard it said many times that the Holy Spirit is a gentleman who whispers. If I am perfectly honest there are many days when I feel that I need a great big shove to get me to listen and obey, not a gentle nudge. There are many things that God asks us to do in a day, or a week, that we just do not want to do. Like those days when being honest might get you into trouble, or when the lady at the checkout CLEARLY needs an encouraging word and all we can muster is a grunt that we hope no one heard. Being ‘Jesus’ was never listed in the “easy” column of your favorite magazine; but it is something we are called to do. If you ask God to give you an opportunity be prepared that one may drop in your lap. If you don’t ask God for an opportunity one may drop in your lap anyway so still be braced. If you are asking for patience, DUCK, and do it now because I feel God finds great pleasure in helping us be more patient. It doesn’t matter what the need is because we all need to be better at something. I don’t mean learning how to play Chopin on the organ. We all have ‘be better Christians’ needs and God gets that. He also understands when we get stage freight and freeze when we should be pulling out Excalibur, and like a good master God is never too far away to lend a hand. So, ask the Holy Spirit to give you a push today and see what, or whom, you stumble into.

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Light fills everything

Nations will come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your dawn.
Isaiah 60:3

Today I came across this verse. It popped up on the Bible app I have as the verse of the day and it made me feel warm. There is a peace that follows this verse. In the mess of politics and undercutting and false accusations and true accusations that we see come out every election, God is still King; He is still on HIS throne.

The Canadian election is tomorrow and there has been so much garbage on the internet and so many opinions thrown around that it is clear to see that no one really knows what they want to see leading our country. Not another Ceaser, perhaps a new Alexander? We don’t want a Saul, we hope for a Soloman. What we are searching for however is clear, and it’s not a human authority. What our country really wants is a Jesus. Something in our souls and minds has been crying out for a Saviour and we think that the right political leader will be just that. Rule us into happiness. But that is not true. The only ruler who brings happiness is Jesus.
‘Kings to your light and nations to your dawn.’ We are dying for the light of Jesus to fix this world and we search in every sidewalk crack if every city hoping to find someone to fill the darkness of our society.
We need Jesus and our hearts know it.
But no matter where we are, who gets elected, what king usurps another, or what Coliseum falls, Jesus is still in control and eventually all will run to Him and find His light and that brings me peace.

Blog · Christianity · Devotional · encouragement · Jesus · searching

Emergencies

So. I ended up in emergency today. My dog accidentally bit my nose and it led to 3 stitches and plastic surgery tomorrow morning. If you knew me well you would know that needles send me. I had 8 of them in my nose today, maybe more but 8 was the amount I recall. There are times in our lives when it is horrible. In those moments we can choose to do many things, when we choose to call on Jesus we find sudden help and relief.
When that first needle went into the open wound my heart screamed out,
‘Jesus PLEASE! HELP ME!’
Every needle after I screamed the same inaudible prayer and everytime Jesus’ presence took over the whole situation and made me feel like I would get through this.
You don’t have to kneel and verbally call out for Jesus to hear you. He hears you. Every thought. Every word. Every need. Every want and hope. Jesus hears you.
He might not take the situation away, but He WILL get you through it.
So this Thanksgiving Weekend I say:
“Thank you Jesus for saving my soul! For hearing my prayers! For caring about every throb of my heart and for drawing me through life and closer to you. Thank you God for not just lending us your son, but for GIVING us your son and allowing us to have Him and you and the Holy Spirit. Thank you Holy Spirit for your patience with us and that you are always here. Amen”

HAPPY THANKSGIVING FRIENDS

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Today I die

Today I die

I sit in my cell with the bare cold hungrily eating into my flesh, my wounds almost numb from the night before. Suddenly I look up into the face of my executioner. He clamps irons on my wrists and I am pushed, pulled, and dragged up the winding stair case onto the street above. A cross is driven onto my back by the ruthless pull of gravity and I am told to walk, so I walk. A soldier follows in place of my shadow and strikes me with his whip whenever I slow down, so I don’t slow down, I move as quickly as my beaten body will allow until I reach the top of the hill where I am finally permitted to lie down upon my burden. I close my eyes and tense my throat as vomit threatens to choke me from the agony of the spikes being driven into my hands and feet. Tears burn my eyes and soak my neck as I am lifted up. Everything turns blurry from the pain, people were laughing, I think, I couldn’t really hear past the high pitched ringing raging through my ears.
Breath comes in gasps as the hours pass by. Hours? Or was it days? It felt like days. My shadow comes along and begins breaking legs. Mine are next and suddenly the troubled breathing turns into no breathing at all. Tell me someone can hear me. I know I am screaming so where are the ones to save me? Then it ends. I awaken to see a judge. Sad eyes touch mine and He shakes his head. Two dark figures grasp my arms and drag me away, forever. ‘Wait!’ I cry. ‘Have mercy! Please!’
But there is silence as the judge turns His face away and I am led off to my eternal sentence.

This is what it would be like if Jesus had not taken that cross for us. If instead we had gone through our own crucifixion. Pain, death, hopelessness, and no promise of rescue.
If we had been sacrificed instead it would never have been enough to pay back all the wrongs we have done. In the end death would lead to death and nothing could change that.
Thank God that He sent Jesus to save us. Thank Jesus that He was willing to come.
Thank the Holy Spirit for residing in us.
Without love, God’s love, we would truly have nothing.
As the true story reads.

God so loved the world that He sent His one and only Son. Continue with me. That whosoever believes in Him… should not?…. Might not? Will not perish, but have eternal life. -John 3:16

Thank Jesus today for dying for you.