Faith · Inspiration · Life Hacks · Spiritual

Chasing Joy

“…for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10)

This world can be a difficult place some times; and during certain seasons of our lives, maybe more often than not. I’ve found myself moving down some good old paths as well as starting new things. I love new beginnings. But I realize new beginnings can be difficult too. New beginnings are even more difficult when you’re navigating them alone.

It’s not that I want to exclude people. In fact, I think, now more than ever, I’ve become more inclusive. But at the same time, I’ve learnt to be completely cool with being by myself. We won’t always have the pleasure of other people’s company especially the pleasure of the company of like minds. And some times, we wish, only wish, someone else would physically come alongside us on our journey. At least I feel that way.

Sometimes, I think, in the middle of all this, we have to chase joy. Joy can be elusive. We have to actively look for joy in the Lord, because the joy of the Lord is where our strength lies.It’s not an easy thing to do. Some days we just want to drown in the pool of our self pity. It’s much easier – less tasking.

Joy requires a little bit more energy than self pity, but its reward Β is so worth it. There are some dark days, when the only thoughts that come are thoughts of failure, loneliness, confusion, worthlessness, but joy is always so near if we would only reach out just a little bit.

It usually takes one painful step to get to joy. It takes looking away from all the ugly, closing your ears to the heartless voices and looking up. Just one act and then another. It begins with lifting up your head, your eyes shifting their gaze. Then you utter one word and then another. God… Lord… Father.

Father, help me. Help me. I trust You. I choose You. Help me, I have no strength of my own. Your joy is my strength. Thank You for joy. Thank You for making my life so beautiful. Thank You for never leaving me or abandoning me. I’m so glad You think of me. And You love me, and You’re with me. I cannot be brought down because You lift me up. I can never be ashamed because it is Your face that shines on me! Hallelujah! God is with me now!

So one first move, and then another. Look to Jehovah and give thanks. Thanksgiving is a wonderful expression of our faith in an amazing, unchangeable God (who is Love, by the way). So chase joy; don’t let it slip away. Chase joy in God; He is never far away from His family.

And finally, you can be a part of God’s family by calling on the Name of His Son, the Lord Jesus, who has already paid the price for your sins. Is sin a dirty word? Yes, but perfect to ascribe to us. No one, not one is righteous. We have all sinned and fallen short of His glory. Call on the Lord and discover the joy of the Lord as your strength! Choose God; choose joy.

You can comment or email me directly if you have any questions about this call to God’s family. You can comment or email anyway! Β πŸ˜€ I pray that you will know God’s joy, love and mercy in Jesus Name. And so it will be.

Bible Studies · Faith · Inspiration · Spiritual

God Knows Me.

God knows me.

He knows my likes and dislikes and He knows what makes me tick.

He’s led me through beautiful scenes just to bring me pleasure – to make me smile at the sunrise early in the morning. He knows me like that.

Some days I don’t feel worthy at all. On those days I see myself through what I think are other people’s perspectives; I see myself through the eyes of condemnation. On those days I feel that I look like the version of myself God saved me from. The more I look into people’s eyes to reveal what I look like, the less satisfied I am. And then I find myself becoming more like that terribly inaccurate reflection of me.

I am not my old self; I am my new self. God knows me.

He knows when I struggle under the weight of my own expectations. He also knows when I’m triumphant, and when I act like He does.

Early today, I prayed to my Father and asked for His help. I was struggling with my negative thoughts about myself and others. In that moment I really asked for His help and believed He would help me. He helped me. He really did. And He helped me while He showed me beautiful sights. I saw plains and felt the cool breeze on me, while the sun was rising. I like things like that, and He knows. God knows me like that.

I am under my Father’s wings. Kept and groomed. And much loved.

Sometimes I fear that I am far from Him. He is always near to me. Never departing. I actually, not figuratively, have the Holy Spirit living in me. Don’t ask me how. He’s living in me, He’s all around me and near me. With me.

I know God – at least I’m getting to know Him. And He knows me. What’s better than that? What’s better than His love? Like David said, God’s love is better than life! Cool huh?😊

I’m at peace now. And I can rest in this truth: I’m known and loved by God. God knows me.

Dreams and the Future · Faith · Life Hacks · Spiritual

Beloved, and Loving the Wind of Change!

I’ve been navigating some difficult things this period of my life; the silence, the confusion…did I say the silence?

It seemed like on the things that mattered to me, God was silent. It seemed like God was unfair for allowing me to experience the pain I did. I struggled some and triumphed some, but I still wondered if God was with me. I knew it but I could not feel it.

Today, God opened my eyes to the thorn in my side. I said to my Father, now, in my mind, I am free, but I do not feel free. I asked Him to MAKE me free. He showed me something WAY bigger than I could ever have anticipated. He freed me from the bondage of ignorance. He blew on me a wind of change.

God made me realize that He is love, and as large as He is, He wants to pour every drop of Himself into me! So I saw through His eyes, how precious I was (am) to Him, and I began to thirst for every drop. I have become convinced – FULLY convinced – that God wants to give it ALL to me!! To Him, I am worth every drop of His amazing love. I am precious in His sight. All His love is for me to desire and receive and experience. I am the Beloved of God!

Today, I cried out to my Father, “You are just! And Your judgements are fair O God!” God is indeed just and merciful for allowing me to go through the darkness and pain. I could not see it when I was in it, but when I came out of it, I saw that it was by the mercies and love of God that He took me through the valley of darkness. I praise You God, for You are merciful; all Your ways are true!

Now, I can begin again, in full assurance of God’s love because He patiently took me through this place from which I have come. I am eternally grateful. I would have given much to know what I know today. Dear fellow sojourners, if you see me, you will see a thirsty soul, thirsty for the love of God. You will see an insatiable soul, because I will never say enough! Oh God! Your love is better than life and I want EVERY drop!

    

Bible Studies · Faith · Inspiration · Spiritual

Only One Love

There is only ONE kind of love.

Thinking otherwise is the cause of broken marriages, for example. There is only ONE kind of love. You can do no wrong in this kind of love. There is no danger, no fear in this kind of love. (Romans 13:10)The only risk is becoming more and more like our God. 

This only kind of love is the live we were made for – the love that makes us more like Him. We cannot sin in it; we cannot do wrong to our neighbor. Anything else – anything outside it – is fear and self preservation. Anything outside it is prison. When we realize that there is nothing to lose but everything to gain (even when we lose!), we are no longer afraid. “Perfect love casts out all fear.” (1John4:18)

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”(1Corinthians 13 NIV)

Dreams and the Future · Faith · Fiction · Inspiration · Life Hacks · Spiritual

Purpose

Thank You Heavenly Father for showing me what was in my heart and teaching me the right way to go.

I have often thought purpose as a list of specific tasks that I have to check off.

If, I thought to myself, ‘”This” is what I’m supposed to to do,” then I would just go ahead and do it with the satisfaction that I have accomplished a task. But Love does not work that way.

Love does not have a set schedule or a job description. Love does not have a one-size-fits-all answer for every problem. Love does not premeditate its responses the same way a doctor prescribes medication for a specific illness.

Love gets right into the mess, and patiently holds the hands of its neighbor, knowing that each person is unique and each mess is without a measure.

Love does what needs to be done. Love listens. Love does not need a uniform because its role is diverse. Love is humble. Love hopes. Love is patient; love waits.

Father, I’m sorry for trying to live the easy way. I wouldn’t believe that You loved me if You didn’t come right into my mess – our mess. Lord Jesus, every time I think of what You did, I KNOW that You did it for ME. I wasn’t merely a face in the crowd. I know that because You came right into my mess, with all its difficult and unique parts.

“Where can I escape from Your love? Even if I lay my bed in hell, You are there!” (Psalm 139: 7,8)

Thank You LORD!

Love is Purpose. 

 

Inspiration · Life Hacks · Spiritual

The New Me

I like the new me. I like who I am without the whistles and bells. I’m falling in love with myself and it’s amazing! A-M-A-ZING! πŸ˜€ Right now it doesn’t matter who else does or would or if anyone else would. That’s the beauty of the whole thing! The me I’m becoming isn’t at all consumed by anyone else’s thoughts, beliefs or feelings. My life is PRETTY simple. I’m not claiming to be anything or anyone but ME- I don’t have any new year’s resolution either. I’m good. I AM content. IT IS AMAZING. πŸ˜„ 

THANK YOU LORD!

  

Faith · Inspiration

Beauty From Pain

I’m listening to a Superchick song, “Beauty From Pain”. It’s been a long time since I heard it. 

This post is about giving light in the darkness. It’s about sharing our light-little it may be-with others who are walking through the same dark places we have walked. It’s about the kind of relevance that God wants us to have on this earth. 

Sometimes giving light means reaching out in the dark to someone else’s hand to assure that person theat they are not alone. We often think of love as something that requires an epic demonstration. Well, not usually. It doesn’t always bring fluffy fuzzy feelings. It’s hard. It requires more from us than we’re usually ready to give. It goes unnoticed some times. It’s something we still have to give even when we don’t receive it from others.

That’s why I absolutely love the message of the cross: We can’t save ourselves by our own good works or strength. We need God’s love and salvation which He so freely gave. All we have to do is ACCEPT. He’ll take it from there. ACCEPT. SURRENDER. RECEIVE.

Only when we do this can we give. Not out of our little, but out of God’s abundance working with our little-our mustard seed sized faith. Imperfect. Little. Almost nonexistent. He can do great things with our little. God can bring beauty from pain. This is the message of the cross: beauty, freedom, peace, joy, from the pain that Jesus suffered. This is the message we can receive right where we are, and this is the message we can share right where we are.

God loves you. God loves us.
P.S. You can check out the song through the link below. Enjoy. 😊

Everyday Life Hacks · Faith · Life Hacks · People · Relationships · Spiritual

The Hurt

“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love.” (Romans 5:3-5)

I realize that I need the hurt to teach me what love is. The hurt does something to my character because I choose in Christ to be helpless- to be unable to do anything about the hurt. Like Jesus Christ said “I choose to lay down my life. No one takes it from me.” (John 10:18 paraphrase)

The hurt makes me able to feel- to bear a burden on behalf of another person when I take their wrongdoing towards me upon myself. 

Without this hurt in this age- this imperfect age- there can be no true love. Love hurts because people hurt.

I accept. 

Thank You LORD.

Imperfection

Humility

Brokenness 

Patient endurance 

Pain

Forebearance 

Perserverance

Helplessness

Disability

Weakness

Thorn

Shame

The Cross…

Faith · Inspiration · Spiritual

For The Things We Have

Dear Father,

Thank You. 

Every day I breathe in holds its blessings. Small and big. Things and people. Old and young. Frail and strong. Through the darkness and in the light. In the words I hear and in the thoughts I speak. Gifts of all shapes and sizes. 

There are also the moments like the plains in between the hills and valleys, that don’t seem to have anything. Sometimes I’m tempted to fill the plains with sadness because I forget the gifts that He already gave me. Sometimes I think of what I don’t have and what does not seem to be given and I count it as some of my losses. 

I realize that that is a terrible way of thinking. I have the choice to look closely at my Father and remember every good thing or to mourn the things I don’t have. My life could be full and rich when I realize how FULL and RICH MY LIFE IS.

I think I’ll say that again: my life can be full and rich when I realize how full and rich my life already is; when I count the blessings that my Father always gives to me. Small and big. Frail and strong. Old and young. Through the darkness and in the light. In the words I hear and in the thoughts I speak. For the blessings that come in all shapes and sizes.

My life changed when I understood that Christ Jesus came not to judge me, but to save me. I have the wonderful chance to be a child of God who can always enjoy His love and presence. He promised to never leave me or abandon me. I can look at my life always, and thank Him for the things I have-the things He has given.

Thank You Father for every good gift.

Faith · Inspiration · Life Hacks · Spiritual

“Baby” Steps and Acts of Love

(As in steps like those of a baby-if that makes any sense πŸ˜€) Anyway…. 

Jesus said that unless we receive the kingdom like a little child, we cannot enter it. He said this while carrying a little child on his knees in front of all his disciples which included a cross section of adults on the outskirts. 

I love children. On Easter Sunday as on some Sundays, I spent my time with children. Crying, happy, carefree, rough, playful, attention seeking children. And I loved every moment of it. I enjoyed every bit of the generous love they welcomed me with. They were so easy to please, so simple, so willing to receive what ever it was we offered. 

They didn’t like everything: some liked stickers but others did not; some crafts were popular and others weren’t. They were messy, didn’t want to obey the instructions all the time, but they were so open to receive. Open to hear what we had to say, open to play the games, open to sit around with a group of other children they didn’t know and just simply be. 

They didn’t do anything grand or super special. They were just kids that wanted love and attention and we’re ready to pour it on whomever was ready to receive it from their little hands.

God our Heavenly Father wants us to be like them. He knows we are messy, we don’t always want to obey instructions and we are each unique. He wants us to be open to love and to receiving love freely from Him. He doesn’t need us to do something super special. He wants us to take baby steps- to emulate the babies in our individual walks: Simple, flawed and receiving our Father’s perfect love.

SIMPLE, FLAWED, and RECEPTIVE to our Father’s love. 😊