Precious Bouqet

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And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose. Romans 8:28

Be Free & Stay Free 

What Are You Searching For?

Man-searching

We look high and low for something to numb us or someone to fulfill us.

Addictions come in many forms. Drugs, alcohol, relationships, impulse shopping, social media, etc…

Because there is that something in each of us that is reserved for Him. He planted it in us. Because He desires an intimate relationship with each of us. He loves us that much and He is a jealous God, that is why nothing or no one can fill that void we have. He said it is for Him.

The beauty of this is…. what we can not do for ourselves, He can and will do it for us.

Look as much as you want… but until you call His Name, Jesus, you will never find what you are looking for.

Come home to Him. He loves you!

Nobody Greater (click here)

Be Free & Stay Free 

Are You in the FIRE?

Though he Slay me

So, I was talking to a friend yesterday, she said her husband said he didn’t even know if there was a heaven anymore. Of course she was concerned. She is a believer and so is he.

Even the great giants in the Bible wrestled with their faith. It is the cry of our heart when we go through the fires to cry out, “God! Are you there?”

I think about Job and the fire he went through. He lost everything and his friends and wife were of no comfort to him. I bet he felt completely alone. I bet he cried out to God and he felt like he was talking to the wall. Because he could not see what and why this was going on. He couldn’t see it, but he felt it. He was attacked head on. Hit him right where it hurt.

How about Elijah? A mighty prophet who called fire down from the sky? Still, he hid in a cave, exhausted, alone, and afraid.

Even Jesus, on the cross, yelled out, “My God, why have You forsaken me?”

There have been so many things in my life where I felt so alone. I felt like God wasn’t hearing me. I felt alone. Loneliness is the worse kind of feeling.

It is times like this when we are just gonna have to buckle down and say, OK, God, I don’t know why, but You do and I choose to trust You. That is what faith is, right?  It is not the things we can see with our own eyes. It is the knowing. Faith is the substance of things yet seen, but hoped for.

How about you? Are you there now? Does it feel like the whole world is out to get you? Are the people who you love not there? Are you reliving everything in your thoughts? You know, the what ifs…if only I….?

My dear sister and brother, don’t let go, don’t give up, don’t throw in the towel.

We don’t know why things happen. Even when we think we are doing everything right.We prayed, we listen to that worship music and read the Word. We get on our knees and we cry out…. “God! Are you there? Have You forsaken me?”

If I know nothing else, one thing I do know, God said He will never leave us. He has shown up too mighty and faithfully for me to doubt Him now. This life is temporal, but His life is eternal. This test, this trial, this fire, this is your testimony. He is trusting you with it, because He has a greater purpose for it. Though it did not come from Him, He will turn it around for your good and to His glory.

This is what Job said, though You slay me, I will trust You.

Trust Him. He has a plan for you and He is with you and He is walking this with you and He has a way of escape for you. He is a good Father.

I Believe! (Click here)

Be Free & Stay Free

 

 

Power of the Testimony pt. 1

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Your testimony is powerful! Don’t ever be ashamed of it. Share it. Because through it are nuggets that will help someone else.

James reminds us that all good things come from God. Sometimes when bad things happen we question God. We ask Him why didn’t He stop it and where was He. He was right there with you, carrying you. He knows right where you are, where you have been, and where you are going, and He will bring you through and you will come forth as gold.

I didn’t meet Jesus until I was an adult.  I didn’t grow up in a church. I had an aunt that took me to church a couple times, but at the time it didn’t mean anything to me, other than I got the chance to play with my cousins. My home life was pretty much a nightmare, my father was an angry and abusive man. I ran away from home at the age of 12 and pretty much raised myself.

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By all counts and statistics, I should not be here right now. But, God!

I can look back and see His hand had been on me the whole time. He kept me alive. Does that mean nothing bad ever happened? Nope. I got myself into some situations I should not have been in and met people who meant me harm. But, God always had His people He would send my way to direct me onto a different path.

Why am I telling you this? Because it is a part of my testimony. It took me a long time to be able to share my testimony and there are still some parts that I have not shared. It is really on a “need to know” basis when I share it. I used to be ashamed of my testimony and afraid people would judge me. But ya know what? God kept me and delivered me because He loves me and so He could help others through me. So I can listen to their heart, understand their pain and fear, and be able to say, “I been there, I understand. God healed me and He can do the same for you.” I believe this is what it means to come forth as gold. To be unscathed and delivered and set free.

We will never be the same person we used to be, but we can be the person He created us to be if we let Him do His work in us and trust Him in the process.

Be Free & Stay Free 

His Beloved

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I read a blog today… her heart was broken. She so eloquently articulated her vulnerability…

Right now, at this very moment, there are people crying, feeling alone and so small. It makes me sad, because I have experienced that deep grief before, I think we all have.

If you are feeling that way now, as if your world has came crashing down on you and it hurts to breathe and the thought of repeating this all over again tomorrow makes you want to go to sleep and stay asleep… can I say something to you?

You are beautiful! You are still the you you were before your heart broke. I know you look around and everything seems so dark right now, but trust me, the sun will shine again. Don’t beat yourself up, allow yourself to grieve, but don’t stay there. Don’t shut yourself off from the people who care about you.

Take a deep breath, yes, that’s it… now breathe.

You are not alone. You are not invisible. You are not unlovable. You will love again and you will be loved. But first, love yourself, enjoy yourself, appreciate the very unique wonderful you that you are. I know you don’t feel like it now, but you will. One moment, one hour, one day at a time.

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There is one thing I know for certain, there is a true Lover of your soul and He calls you beloved. His love is the staying kind, the forever kind, the never leave you kind…

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

Be Free & Stay Free

Heart Shaped Vision

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I recently watched a movie about a young girl who lived in her van. At first glance the girl seems to be happy and carefree. It started as a typical movie, young girl meets boy, they fall in love, boy proposes, she refuses him.

You are probably asking yourself what does this have to do with anything? Stay with me here…

When he proposed to her he offered her a chance to a “normal” life. He loved her and wanted to care for her. It would make since for her to accept his proposal. But when she turned her back to him the camera caught something on her face and I recognized it. It was the look of fear. It was not that she did not love him; she refused his proposal and a future with him because she was afraid.

Fear causes us to do foolish things, doesn’t it?

The young girl in the movie instantly went into a fight or flight mode when faced with change. For someone who has been where she is, I could see her wheels turning in her mind. She could risk losing him now by refusing him, in which case it would be “her choice,” this would be flight, to run-away or avoid the entire situation. Or she could risk losing him later when he realized she could not have a “normal” life, this would be fight, she could fight to maintain herself, until undoubtedly she would go down in flames, as she believed.

For anyone who grew up in a safe and nurturing environment, this whole scenario would be foreign. After all, who in their right mind would choose to live a homeless lifestyle in a broken down van and eat from the garbage and then when given an opportunity to a better life… refuse it? Why would someone be afraid of love, commitment, security, and safety? It would just make no sense to someone who has never experienced the depth of injury and loss that comes through long term abuse and neglect as a child.

Our bodies may mature and age, but hidden deep inside is a wounded child. Some of us may learn to go through the motions, the mechanics, of a functioning life. Look around you. Most people are good disguising their wounded selves. You just never know what inner war someone battles because people can be great pretenders. Maybe you are one of them?

Fear does not allow us to look beyond our past. It is a slow tightening noose around the neck of dreams, hope, possibility, and life. It is the glaring flashing sign that says “You can’t do this! You are not worthy! Someone is going to find out who you really are! You will be rejected! You are unwanted and unlovable!” Fear sets itself up as a roadblock to keep us from turning to the very One who can heal us.

There is no fear in love [dread does not exist]. But perfect (complete, full-grown) love drives out fear, because fear involves [the expectation of divine] punishment, so the one who is afraid [of God’s judgment] is not perfected in love [has not grown into a sufficient understanding of God’s love].  1 John 4:18 (Amp)

Children are not always resilient, they are adaptable.

Resilient is able to recoil or spring back into shape after bending, stretching, or being compressed. To adapt is to modify, adjust to new conditions, to alter. When something is broken, there will be a scar, a crack, even when it is fixed it is not as it was before it was broken.

This reminds me of a teapot I once had. It was once one of my favorite possessions because it was so beautiful with delicate detailed hand painted flowers on the side of it. It was an inexpensive item I picked up at a yard sale, but to me, living on a budget, it was fancy. I enjoyed steeping my tea in it and then pouring it into my, just as delicate, tea cup. One day my teapot broke, it cracked and the handle came off. I tried to fix it by gluing the pieces back together, but it proved not to be resilient, it was no longer usable as a tea pot to hold liquid. However, it was adaptable as a potter. Not wanting to throw it away I made it into a small planter. To me it was just as beautiful, but it no longer served its original purpose.

You see, we are like that teapot. God created us in His image, kissed with the personal touch and breath of God, each one of us unique and finely detailed by His hand. Jeremiah 1:5 says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you [and approved of you as My chosen instrument]. And before you were born I consecrated you [to Myself as My own]. I have appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” When God saw everything He had made, including you and me, He called it very good. (Genesis 1:31) It is His desire that we walk in this knowledge and understanding.

In a perfect world we would all be born into a family with parents to guide and establish this truth in us. But, we do not live in a perfect world, we live in a fallen world, and because of wounds and injuries passed down from our parents (and generations before) we were not nurtured in the revelation of His truth. This cloud of hurt influences our lives and hides the truth. The injuries hinder us from seeing Gods perspective.

I have found great comfort in Romans 8:28, “And we know all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” This is great news! He has created you for His purpose.

You are not a teapot. You are far more valuable! He does not expect you to be resilient or to adapt. He will not glue you back together, He will make you new.

Do you believe this? Can you take a step of faith and trust Him to heal you?

Trust in His love for you. His love is perfect and you have no need to fear when you know His love for you is without measure and without end. You are free from fear of rejection and shame, He sees much deeper than the surface and if you allow Him, He will go right to the root and restore you.

Be Free & Stay Free

Free to Fly

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As I sit here and listen to Jason Upton sing about freedom, I mediate on the truth of what he is singing. (Click here)

Ah, yes, freedom! Isn’t that we all long for? True freedom to be who we were created to be in the security of safety and comfort of knowing we will not be rejected?

Strange, how even Spirit filled believers struggle to walk in that freedom. Still, knowing is not always believing, is it?  We see, but we do not believe. We listen, but we do not hear. We nod our heads yes, but our shoulders are shrugging. We can even preach His truth and believe it for anyone else, but somehow we think “It’s for everyone else, not me.”

But this is the freedom Christ gives us, to be set free in His love.

There is no fear in love [dread does not exist]. But perfect (complete, full-grown) love drives out fear, because fear involves [the expectation of divine] punishment, so the one who is afraid [of God’s judgment] is not perfected in love [has not grown into a sufficient understanding of God’s love]. 1 John 4:18 Amp.

What does this mean?

I believe God is saying: My daughter (son) you have been created in My image from the beginning. You are Mine and nothing or no one can change that. You are wrapped securely in the palm of My hand, you are the apple of My eye. I have gifted you and created you with a purpose. You are not an accident, you were planned before the foundations of the earth. I knew you before you were even in your mother’s womb. Lay down what hinders you and embrace Me. Look around you, there is no one there to condemn you, I do not condemn you, there is no condemnation in those who are in Christ Jesus. Though others have rejected you, I will never reject you. Do not be afraid to shine. Lay down the guilt, regret, fear, and shame. When you stop trying to self medicate the injury and wounds that did not come from me, then you will seek Me and you will find Me. I am not hiding from you. Unforgiveness will hold you bondage to depression, bitterness, sickness, restlessness, anger, and death. Let it go, give it to Me. Only I can take the ashes and create beauty. My joy that I give you is not based on circumstance, but on the revelation knowledge that I love you and in My love you are free to be the you I created you to be.

Selah

Be Free & Stay Free