We lived through hurricane Irma. Living through a large hurricane really reminds us of how small and fragile we really are against forces of nature. But I am so glad I lived through it and miraculously no one in our city was injured or had much damage even through the eye went straight through us. This was my first of many fasts I did. I prayed and fasted and a lot of people were joining with me in prayer. So feeling the force of the wind outside would have petrified me but God had wrapped His calm and peace and even joy around me amidst the awe. And if He is bigger than the strongest natural force we know, He is stronger than any internal turmoil we are.going through as well. I can’t tell you how many times I have said out loud “God is stronger than any hurricane.” It builds faith, trust. God is it, worthy of all praise, honor and worship. God is Who to rely on and stay close to. And His power is even cooler because it is charged with love.❤❤❤
I have many people in my friends and family, grew up with and presently that are addicts. I used to believe that they were addicted to the gluttony of food, drugs, pornography, overwork, alcohol, sometimes many of those. I have lived around it all my life. At first, I thought that was just how everyone is. I adopted a lifestyle of addiction also. But God got a hold of me, I firmly believe because of my older generation’s consistent prayers. God changed my heart and life and cleaned me up entirely. And I live for Him with no addiction whatsoever. God redeems. And He has shown me that any addiction is not actually to the drug of choice or even the gluttony. All addictions are idols, they are addictions to lies and running to things other than God to help them. Addictions are false gods. And these false gods, who are evil, demand your allegience, your obedience, your possessions, your full attention, sacrifice. Whereas God wants you to choose Him and blesses every effort along the way when we do. God wants relationship with us. The false god of addiction demands up to and sometimes includes your life, while keeping you hungry and only momentarily satisfying anything you truly want n in your soul. God is truth and the false demonic god of addiction is lies. And addicts lie like you would not believe. Denial lies are their power source, and who is the father of lies? So, I pray for my addicted loved ones and speak truth whenever I can. I cannot save these people but I know that God can and if I can help them in their illness, I will. And I thank God for salvation from addiction and for having the opportunity to trusting and rely on Him only. He is truth and I love Him dearly.❤
Everyone is different. Some people love to reflect on the past immensely, every detail. I am weird (in a pretty good way). When God has brought me far, I don’t like to look back at how far He has brought me unless I get in a slump or sad time when I need a boost. Otherwise, I tend to get either comfy with my progress and ease up a bit or I wallow in too much self- thought. Not that I am narcissistic- so far from that, I am way too objective with way too many flaws for that. But I like to keep my humble on. (I will write about humble next.) Too much thought about myself is never good and is counter-productive to how I choose to live.
I like to live now. Every day has opportunities to grow and learn and mist importantly stay and get closer to Jesus Christ. I don’t want the past, it is in the pasture and I might step on something stinky. I want to focus on today, right now. Tomorrow is a theoretical construct which never arrives, so today is it. So today I will pray more, read my Bible, study, learn, live, serve. What better day could there be? One day at a time, this is doable. Today is beautiful!😄❤
People often stink. They just really often think in a myopic, selfish way and it is just stinky behavior. And they talk that way or only talk to get their way. That happens a lot. We have a daughter that doesn’t have the courtesy to call unless she needs money. She won’t even return our call for us to get the grandkids their presents. We love her anyway. I love everyone anyway. Here is how. I remember how stinky my behavior is sometimes and that God loves me anyway. He has poured that grace on me out of love. So, I can return His love by living the people He lovingly made. Despite how they act, they are His creation and He loves them and wants them saved. So disrespecting them and not showing love to them is like spitting in His face and I really, REALLY don’t want to ever do that. So I love because God first loved me. That is how I do it. It is the only way you can. It is being the light to them so they remember the warmth and beauty the light brings and want to return to it.❤
My secondary love language is encouragement. Gary Chapman in his book The Five Love Languages describes it as “words of affirmation”. My primary love language is quality time. The others are acts of service, gifts, or touch. I spend time with an encourage those I love. A lot, whenever I can. Some people I love are far away so I spend time and pray for them. It’s what I do.
Well, the downside of having a love language is that if people you live with or are married to don’t speak your language, you either have to keep reminding yourself that they speak a different language and still love you or you don’t really feel loved. I feel loved by my kids because we spend a LOT of time together. I spend a lot of time with my husband since he retired also. The secondary language, encouragement, is harder to come by. My daughter is the best at it, thank God, and my son is when his teenage hormones ate not in charge, but my husband could quite literally be the best critic in the universe. He could find something wrong with every tiny thing and suck out every ounce of happiness you might otherwise find in his presence. I brought this to his attention and he was more careful for five or ten minutes, so we are not without hope, but criticism eats me alive and my poor kids too. Horrible stuff, criticism. I strongly recommend staying away from the stuff, it’s like acid eating away at your heart.
Anyway, the point… focusing on Jesus and His Word the Bible encourages me and gives me time with Him. And in this way, I have stayed married to the critic, stayed sane, thrived in my knowledge of the truth of who I am in Jesus, and have taught my kids they are who Jesus says they are and not what any other person on earth says. We are not defined by our sins but by His redemption. I am not my failures but His victory, precious and loved. This is now and will always be true 100% of the time.❤
2 Years ago, I lost my daddy. I lost the man that loved me most in the world and who was always there for me. I also lost a liar friend that swore love to me and my family and just rejected us and split. (All is forgiven and we still love you, just recapping my pain of 2 years ago.) I also lost a friend my age in a car accident suddenly at the same time. Two years ago, I was a mess, a pitiable disaster shell of a girl… broken to understate it. The strongest crumble hardest when broken.
Absolutely, that was a defining moment of my life. Absolutely, that completely impoverished soul of mine was the means of God finally breaking this pride in me down to ashes and rebuilding a humble me. It was the best thing that ever happened to me spiritually, in light of eternity. Because now, as I keep choosing God to be my strength and keep humbly close to Him, even living with frequent opposition and injustice, everything keeps me humble and closer to God.
And now I am strongest of my life because I am weakest and God is able to work through me. This, my friend, is beautiful. I am thankful for two years ago and reflect upon it thoughtfully and often. I still get emotional but it is always tempered with joy and peace now. If you are going through a lot now, take heart. Hope is in Jesus always and with love. Don’t be afraid to break for Him and He will rebuild you way better. God is so very good!!❤❤❤
Today my second cousin passed away. She was a mom of two, husband of one and was only 51 years old. She had beat breast cancer and had been in remission for 7 plus years. All of a sudden, she got sick and it was all over her body and in two weeks she was gone. She was absolutely beautiful with a happy, cheerful disposition. I had hoped to see her again but will have to wait a bit now. It is sobering when someone close to you and close to your age dies. It is not the first time. We are never promised tomorrow, some hypothetical construct. We have today. We must make the most of it with that eternal perspective. We need to be ready and close to Jesus. There is no fear close to Him and no insecurity either. Stay close to God and kiss and love your loved ones as often as possible. Live today. Love today.❤