Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Woman, You Are Beautiful

Diana Rockwell (click her name to go to her blog), a sister in the Lord and great writer invited me to join the Five Minute Friday link-up. It is a time to write for 5 minutes about the word of the week, this week that word is woman.

"And Adam said: “This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man." ~Genesis 2:23 (NKJV)

During creation God saw that the man he created needed a helper so out of man he fashioned a woman. I always think about this idea of Eve being fashioned from the rib of Adam and it brings to mind being a protector of his heart. Hearts are a fragile thing, they can be broken and the despair that can fill it when it is hurt can kill the spirit of a person.

As I sit here writing for these few minutes I imagine my marriage, my role as a helper to my husband. How can I protect his heart from pain? God brings to mind encouragement, prayer, words of love daily. As a woman I know I need this as well and want the gifts that God has bestowed upon me to be used in such a way that I can build up and strengthen my marriage, relationships with other women, and my role as a woman in this world.

I love to write and I am now realizing that this is on way I can share that gift with other women around the world. Sister's you are a delight in God's eyes. He loves you with an everlasting and unconditional love! Embrace your unique personality, gifts, and your purpose! Love yourself so much that is will flow right out of you can envelop every woman you come in contact with. Not with a prideful love but a beautiful, humble, kind love that comes from knowing God personally.

Every wise woman builds up her home, but a foolish one tears it down with her own hands. ~Proverbs 14:1 (CJB)

I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. ~Psalm 136:14 (NKJV)

Let Us Delight

Don’t be upset by evildoers

or envious of those who do wrong, for soon they will wither like grass

and fade like the green in the fields. ~Psalm 37:1-2 (CJB)

This morning when my alarm went off I was reminded to "choose joy." It is the title I have given my alarm because there are days when things will be hard, sad, traumatic, or just plain gloomy and I will need to have the idea of choosing joy at the forefront of my mind so that when those hard moments I can choose not to allow it to ruin my day. 

I have these two pet peeve that really affects me, emotionally, physically, and mentally when I or others do it. Complaining and constant negative talk. I am sure I am not the only one who feels this way. Oh, how the enemy of our souls loves for us to get stuck in complaining and speaking all sorts of negative words to ourselves and others. He wants us to speak these fears, the anger, the hate into existence so that it becomes manifest in our very lives and that of others. He whispers in our ears, "you're not good enough," "you're too ugly, fat, skinny, dumb, short, tall, etc," "God doesn't love you," "you messed up too much this time," and so many other lies we start speaking out loud and believing. 

Trust in the Lord, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. 
~Psalm 37:3 (NKJV)

We know the devil is a liar and he only wants to destroy our relationship with God. Even though we know this our hearts and minds are fragile and we tend to latch on to the worst things said about is and to us by others or ourselves instead of believing God's wonderful truth about His love for us! His love is something we should delight in every moment of every day!

Last night as I was thinking about getting back to blogging daily or at least most days I wondered what can I share, what has God laid on my heart to learn. The first word that popped into my head was, delight. Then immediately after the scripture above came to mind. You see, I have been so stuck on focusing on the hardships, the pain, the illness, the lack of control in some things, and the blindness I seem to have to the way out of this - to the blessing that comes after the spiritual battle. It has been a terrible existence lately because I wasn't focusing on His love, provision, faithfulness, and the fact that He is in control and He will never forsake me. That is where my focus needs to be! Yours too! 

Commit your way to the Lord,

Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass.
He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light,

And your justice as the noonday.
~Psalm 37:5-6 (NKJV)

Today let is choose not only joy but also to delight in every single moment that we are given. In every beautiful sound, every flower, every bird that flies by, every raindrop that nourishes the earth, every sun ray that warms us, every night the moon and stars shine. Let us delight in every meow of our kittens, bark of a dogs, every feel of the breeze on our faces, every smile from a stranger, every kind word from a loved one, every hug, every kiss, every moment we can hold the hand of someone dear to us. Let us delight in the fact we work up and have a new day ahead to grow, learn, and glorify the Lord. Let us delight in every word written by the hand of God, in His rest, in His unconditional love, in His grace, in His mercy, in salvation through our Messiah, in every footstep of the Messiah that guides us, and every time the Holy Spirit convicts us or encourages us. Let us delight in how God refines us, sanctifies us, molds us daily into who He has purposed us to become. Hallelujah!!

Rest in the Lordand wait patiently for Him;

Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.
Cease from anger, and forsake wrath;

Do not fret—it only causes harm.
~Psalm 37:7-8

Thursday, August 2, 2018

O God, you are my God

O God, you are my God;
I will seek you eagerly.
My heart thirsts for you,
my body longs for you
in a land parched and exhausted,
where no water can be found.
 I used to contemplate you in the sanctuary,
seeing your power and glory; ~ Psalm 63:1-2 (CJB)

The desperation of needing air when you feel like you are drowning has been a month long experience for me. Some days it is the physical pain and some days it is the emotional and mental pain. Every day I woke up feeling sick to my stomach and longing for better. I worried and wondered what could be going on. I didn't want to share it with anyone or let on that something was wrong. How many times do we do this? Pretend we are okay and that we can do it all on our own. 

In my want to disappear, sleep for days, or just wallow in the sadness. I cried out to God. I fell into His Word instead of into the hole of despair. I finally opened my mouth and asked for help, asked for prayers. What I was longing for was for His peace, rest, and strength. But just like when we want to fill a void we believe we need something else, something we deem as better than falling into His comforting arms. So we search and we come up empty each time. We may find a moment of fulfillment in lashing out, being irritable, indulging in too much food, or even in just pretending that we can do it all on our own. Just like sugar, we get the immediate high and then the crash. 

for your grace is better than life.
My lips will worship you.
Yes, I will bless you as long as I live;
in your name I will lift up my hands. ~Psalm 63:3-4 (CJB)

I remembered David and the Psalms. So I opened my bible and let it fall to a Psalm. Oh! How timely Psalm 63 was for me to today and I hope it blesses you as well. Everything that God is, is what we need! In every moment, the hard ones and the easy ones, He has what we need to make it through. 

 I am as satisfied as with rich food;
my mouth praises you with joy on my lips
when I remember you on my bed
and meditate on you in the night watches.~Psalm 63: 5-6

Those days when I could do no more than lay in bed, sometimes sit in bed. I praised Him through song. Those days when I had to force myself to get up and get dressed, I praise Him for the strength to move. Those days I was able to leave my house and get things done, I praised Him for the ability to handle the days events. I praised Him for those people I met along the way and those who I spent time with. I had to look hard for that beauty and I had to force those praises through most of those days. But it made the days just a bit easier. 

 For you have been my help;
in the shadow of your wings I rejoice;
 my heart clings to you;
your right hand supports me.~Psalm 63:7-8

Have you seen His hand in those hard days? Have you been able to rejoice in the shadow of His wings? Oh how wonderful to have our heart cling to Him! He knows us so intimately that He is the only one that can provide the right thing for our needs. Even if that is just the strength to endure. Even if we don't understand understand it and can't fathom the reason why, "why me?" He knows, He feels our pain, and He will give us what we need to run the race and endure to the day we will receive out crown of eternal life.

But those who seek to destroy my life —
may they go to the lowest parts of the earth.
11 May they be given over to the power of the sword;
may they become prey for jackals. ~Psalm 63:9-10

We have a very real enemy and the unfortunate truth is that he will use anyone he can to bring us pain and make us feel that we are worthless. The enemy is a liar! Those moments when we hear his whispers in our ears saying we are never going to make it through or that God doesn't really loves us because if he did we wouldn't have to go through hardships. Such horrible lies! We must be vigilant and aware of the enemies tactics. It is hard to hear those whispers and overcome them. That is why it is so important that we cry out to God and talk to those we can trust who will pray for us and speak truth to us. 

But the king will rejoice in God.
Everyone who swears by him will exult,
for the mouths of liars will be silenced.~Psalm 63:11

Let us rejoice in God! Let us rest in His arms and know that He will provide a way when we see no way. He will guide us through our journey if we just allow Him to. He will carry us through the hard times if we just cry out to Him. When we focus our lives on Him the mouths of the liars will be silenced. We won't hear those whispers of the enemy so loudly. Instead we will hear God's voice saying, " I love you. You are enough, you are my beautiful child and I will take care of you, come to me."

Who's words will you live by? God's or the devils? Who will you trust when you feel like you are drowning and can't breathe? I hope that we can all say that we will trust and cry out to God in those times. I hope that we can all say that we will find a trusted person to talk to, to pray with us, and to tell us the truth even when it is hard to hear.

I hope you are having a wonderful day! In God's Love, Crissy

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Speak Truth

Now it came to pass at the end of seven days that the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me: When I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul. ~ Ezekiel 3:16-19
In the summers of 2013 and 2015 I would wake up in the early morning hours (2:30-3:30 am) with an urgency to pray and read the Bible. This happened for many nights through out those summer months. I would get up and get my Bible and let it fall open wherever He wanted me to read. On several occasions it landed on the scriptures I shared above.
In the Bible I used most often I would mark the dates and times next to whatever I was reading and the title of this section of scripture is, "Ezekiel is a Watchman." I wondered why, I pray and asked, why. Why would God want me to read this over and over so many times. Well, brothers and sisters, we are also watchmen for the Lord. We are to go out and preach the good news and be that iron that sharpens our brothers and sisters. We are not to see sin and say nothing. (This isn't about judging others it is about sharing truth. Sin has already been judged by God and is clearly stated in the Word what it is).
Ezekiel was to warn the wicked that if they stayed in their sin and did not repent, "they would surely die." (vs.18) If he stood by and said nothing. Their blood would be required at his hand. Not only was he to warn the wicked but also the righteous. If he warned them and they choose to listen or chose not to listen he will have "delivered his soul."
“Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die; because you did not give him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand. Nevertheless if you warn the righteous man that the righteous should not sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live because he took warning; also you will have delivered your soul.” (Ez. 3:20-21)
We live in a world where no one wants to speak or hear truth. Everyone wants to feel good all the time and in whatever situation they are in. We humans want to hear about all the good things about ourselves. We want to hear, "You're only human so it is okay to do (enter sin here)______." It's not okay!
We who call ourselves believers should want more than anything to know and live God's truth. We will stumble, we will fall, and if left alone in whatever sin we find ourselves in without the loving, helping hand, praying heart of a brother or sister in the Lord - we just may not come out of it. The consequences for that sin we stumble into may be more than we can deal with - alone.
I share this with you because I have seen what sin can do to the life of believers, the life of the church, and to those looking in from the outside. It tears people apart. It puts a wedge between people and God. It, sin, does just what the enemy wants - kills, steals, and destroys us. I have lived those consequences and if it were not for a lady I met when I was about 19 years old, I may still be stuck there, in a worse place, and facing horrid consequences.
"Just as iron sharpens iron, a person sharpens the character of his friend." (Proverbs 27:17)
Today, hold on to truth. Look in that mirror of your soul and find those "sin planks" and get them out. Don't be afraid to call sin what it is. If we truly love our neighbor as ourselves, we want to see them on the other side. Don't let the moment pass when you can share the truth with someone. Don't allow their blood to be required at your hand because you didn't want to hurt their feelings. When my sister in the Lord tells me that I am heading in the wrong direction, in that moment it may sting a bit, but it proves to be that she loves me and wants to see me living the life God wants for me.
"But when I speak with you, I will open your mouth, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God.’ He who hears, let him hear; and he who refuses, let him refuse; for they are a rebellious house." (Ez. 3:27)

*This was written for a daily worship post for The Spirit In Me Facebook group.)

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Fruit Of The Spirit: Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness (Part 5)

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law." ~ Galatians 5:22-23(NKJV)

Don't you just love hearing a kind word from someone? Or maybe even just a kind voice speaking to you with respect. Unfortunately, it has become a rarity in the world today. We (in general) are on edge, irritated easily, lash out at strangers, and treat their loved ones like they don't matter. We are wound so tightly, due to stress, worry, illness, and a host of other things that steal our sleep and out peace. Some have a heaviness in their voice, a spirit of depression that you can hear even if they are just the person taking your order at the drive-thru. The enemy is killing the spirit of so many of us. The truth is, we allow him to. *OUCH* That has been a hard pill to swallow, but it is the truth none the less. We have the opportunity to choose how we will act, react, and feel every day. Every choice has a consequence, good or bad,

Kindness, goodness, gentleness go hand in hand. When you read this words what do they make you feel?

"Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power, that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ." - 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 (NKJV)

Goodness brings to mind that that feeling a good tasty strawberry brings to your taste buds. A hug from a loved one. A kiss from my spouse. Last night as we were sitting outside watching the fireworks with my parent's he rubbed my feet (Praising God for a good man!).

"For His merciful kindness is great toward us, And the truth of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord!" -Psalm 117:2 (NKJV)

Kindness, brings to mind when a friend, loved one, or stranger compliments me on something I struggle with. It brings to mind a smile from someone that lights up their face. A kind word spoken that makes my heart smile.

“You have also given me the shield of Your salvation;
Your gentleness has made me great."-2 Samuel 22:36 (NKJV)

Gentleness, Oh what a quality to have! A gentle voice that soothes hurt feelings. A gentle touch that soothes fear and relieves tension. A gentle look to calm the chaos that runs through our minds.

His merciful kindness, His goodness, His gentleness, all towards us. Undeserving, unmerited, unworthy of any of it, yet He willingly gives it to us. Give it = GIFT! Just like salvation, the ultimate gift. He extends so much more through His love for us. Can you wrap your mind around that!?

As humans our righteousness is like filthy rags. We withhold kindness, goodness, and gentleness almost daily. We are quick to extend judgement loudly, so everyone around knows just how bad that other person is. We are quick to expect all the good things from others but don't much feel like giving it first, possibly, we will give it in return. Imagine how our actions break God's heart daily as He looks upon those who claim to be His children, claim to love like Jesus, but instead live like foolish devil children. (Preaching to myself!)

We can't pick and chose which Fruit of the Spirit we want to apply to our lives. It comes as a package deal. You can't have one without the other. We need to be aware of our actions, reaction, thoughts, words that flow from our mouths (and fingers), our treatment of our loved ones and strangers, and our treatment of ourselves. What message do you want your life to speak to the world?

"And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise." - Luke 6:31 (NKJV)

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. ~Galatians 5:22‭-‬23 NKJV
When you think of the word longsuffering, how does it make you feel? A bit apprehensive? I know it makes me feel a bit overwhelmed. To suffer for a long time just seems so unfair. We want what we want now, not later. We want people to hurry up. We want to have everything instantly at our fingertips. We are impatient and we tend to voice that impatience loudly.
Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? ~ Romans 2:4 NKJV
God, waits and waits for us to choose Him. He is so patient and good to us. He wants none of us to perish. Even when we break His heart and willfully sin and turn from Him - He is longsuffering.
As God's children we are to share in His longsuffering. We need to love and be patient with people. We need to share what we know about Him and His love. Most of all we need to pray and listen for His voice.
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
~ 2 Peter 3:9 NKJV

Fruit of the Spirit: Peace (Part 3)

Read Galatians 5:16-26
Shalom. Peace. I believe we all want peace in out lives as much as we want love. No one likes to be in turmoil. No one likes constant fighting with others or with ourselves. This type of living saps so much energy from us. Of course, life will not be without conflict, but imagine having peace even when the tornadoes of life surround you on all ends trying to steal your love, joy, and peace. Satan's greatest mission is to steal from us, destroy us, and kill us - he can do this mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and ultimately it will kill us physically.
"Now may the Lord of shalom himself give you shalom always in all ways. The Lord be with all of you."~ 2 Thessalonians 3:16 CJB
How can we keep the peace? There are days I ask this question of myself so many times. There are just some people and some situations that make it so hard to maintain a peaceful attitude. (God forgive me and make me a peacemaker).
“How blessed are those who make peace! for they will be called sons of God." ~Mattityahu (Matthew) 5:9 CJB
Going back to how can we keep the peace. We need to think before we speak. "The tongue has power over life and death; those who indulge it must eat its fruit." ~Mishlei (Proverbs) 18:21 CJB. The tongue has the ability to make things worse or make things better. Sometimes making things better requires that our tongue stay still - quiet.
"The speech of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the speech of the wicked is a cover for violence." ~Mishlei (Pro) 10:11 CJB
"When she opens her mouth, she speaks wisely; on her tongue is loving instruction. צ" ~Mishlei (Pro) 31:26 CJB
Another way to keep the peace is to speak life. Speak with wisdom. Encourage. Inspire. Build one another up. Build yourself up instead of putting yourself down. If you need to correct someone do it in love.
"A wise person fears and turns away from evil, but a fool is reckless and overconfident." ~Mishlei (Pro) 14:16 CJB
Keeping the peace and being a peacemaker requires us to turn away from evil and stay focused on God. It requires that we be in constant communication with Him and learning from His Word. It requires love most if all.
Peace be with you all the days of your lives.