It’s Just TIME to Stop!

I know and understand…taking responsibility…WOW! Stop walking in a state of being offended, blaming, using excuses to justify your thoughts and actions.  We all have those hidden agendas, desires to be right, control the situation, impress others.  Ladies, what God thinks is all that really matters. It takes time to totally drink in what is being offered.  I get that…for me I still am seeking, still learning, still asking God to forgive and reveal. Guess what God answers back…He declares who I am “His Daughter, Valued and Loved!” and with that knowledge it is getting so much easier.  I will offer this…when I started this journey of knowing God the victories were small and sometimes hard to even see. Then one day while reading my Bible I realized I loved God’s Word more than anything else, I love God more than anyone or anything.  In this journey many changes are still happening some exceedingly small and some huge…God remains right there guiding even when I said “Ugh! Really? But?!” He continues to stand right next to me when all I can get out is the simplest praise “Yes God!”  Today Ladies, drink in the goodness of your Savior, continue the journey to know and love Him for He is your Forever Father.

“Set up signposts to mark your trip home, Get a good map, (God’s Holy Word) Study the road conditions. The road out is the road back…Come back!…Dear Daughter, come back to the Lord your God…How long will you flit here and there, indecisive?  How long before you make up your fickle mind?  God will create a new thing in you…A transformed woman will embrace the transforming God!”   Jeremiah 31.:21 MSG (paraphrased and personalized)

Give up your need to BE RIGHT!

Give up you need to CONTROL EVERYTHING!  Let the Holy Spirit be in control.

Give up on LAYING BLAME!

Give up YOURSELF DEFEATING TALK!  You will get lost if you try to direct your own path, seek God’s face.

Give up COMPLAINING!  Stop complaining and start BLESSING  OTHERS.  Don’t hang out with complainers!

Give up your need to IMPRESS OTHERS. 

Give up YOUR EXCUSES!  Examine yourself and surrender to GOD!

Give up YOUR PAST!  Do not let the past determine your future!

Give up your RESISTENCE TO TRUTH…GOD IS ON YOUR SIDE!

Walk in the freshness of TODAY!  You are the daughter of the Most High KING! Find your TRUE IDENTITY IN HIM!

Blessing, Laurie

JesusTruthBeliever 6/16/2020

The Lord’s Prayer

women kneeing in prayer

Recently I had the honor of sharing with a group of women.  As I prayed each day prior to the day, the Lord began to speak to me about giving them insight to the Lord’s Prayer as given in Matthew 6:9-13.  I felt the Holy Spirit say give them a new meaning, one they can use when journeying deeper in their relationship with Me.  I call this a Jesus Habit. Prayer and studying God’s Word are a true level of connecting with Him in an intimate way.  It’s important to attend church or a Bible study to gain insight from others, however, your quiet personal time with God will bring new meaning to your relationship with Him.

Read Matthew 6:9-13, take note of my comments and write ones of your own as God speaks to you.  There is meat in these scriptures.  Use this as a guide in your daily prayer time.  I would like to say, don’t let others or the devil make you feel as if you have failed if you do not hold to a specific time of day or a hard rule of when and where to seek God.  He is always with you.  So whenever and wherever works! The point is just do it!

One more thing, get a Bible! Don’t relay on your phone, tablet or iPad, even a computer.  There is nothing better than the written Word in a tangible printed way.  Write in the margins, add pages using some of the new techniques used by art journalers. Let your Bible express your love for Jesus.  As your relationship matures your Bible will reflect that relationship, or provide a history of your journey, no electonic device can show your love better.

v6 “But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” 

Intimate, private relationship with God – praying and studying His Holy Word alone grows your relationship with Him.  Empty platitudes spoken in public prove  nothing but expose your pride.

v7-8 “And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.” 

Do not be meaningless, repetitive, God knows your mind and heart’s motive. He knows before we ask so be honest. Come surrendered and humbled, lay yourself open before your Lord.

v9 “Pray, then, in this way: Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.” 

Recognize His Authority, Who He is, the great I AM. Then declare His  Holiness… Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord for the whole earth is filled with His Glory.  Isaiah 6:3

v10 “Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.” 

Acknowledge the need for God, and the need for all people to know Him, we have a responsibility in representing Him to the world through our life and in spreading the Gospel with those we encounter.

v11 “Give us this day our daily bread.”

We are depend, so make our-self dependent on God for all things.  Acknowledge that only God can give you what you need…physically, emotionally and spiritually.  Matthew 6:33 says “seek Him first, His Kingdom and His righteousness and you will receive all you need.” 

v12 “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.”

God forgives us of our (debts) sin, through this we have an example of forgiveness for those who hurt or sin against us.  We cannot claim God’s forgiveness if we harbor anger and unforgiveness towards  others.  Ask God to continually and daily to reveal any bitterness we may hold in our heart.

v13 “And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the   kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” 

God does not tempt us with evil,  James 1:13 says “Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.“ Ask God to guide you and give you discernment.  God will deliver you from evil when we stand in God’s strength and authority based in His Word.  James 4:7  tells us to “Submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee.”  Finally have confidence in God,  I Corinthians 10:13  confirms God is there for us, “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” 

This afternoon of sharing turn into an amazing day of lives changed through God’s Word.  I am but his empty vessel, set on a course of sharing truth, and the life changing experience found in living and serving the one truth God…Jesus Christ!

Be Blessed,

Laurie

 

Prodigal Daughter; The Road to Repentance.

progical daugther BOver the last few months I have had the honor of ministering to the women incarcerated at our local county detention facility.  When God first called me into this ministry I had no idea of how much I would grow as a Christian and how God would push the boundaries of my life and my husband.  In bringing the Gospel to these hurting women God has help me look at my own life and the personal need for repentance.

Jesus said, “they that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Luke 5:31-32 KJV

The New Testament (which literally means “new covenant”) was written primarily in Greek. So it is often helpful to look at the original Greek words used in the Gospels to gain a better understanding of what God is teaching us. In Greek, the word used for “repent” means “a complete and total change of mind.” In order to truly repent we must deliberately turn away from our old way of life and strive to follow a new path.

Let’s look at Luke 15 and the Parable of the Prodigal Son.  In these scriptures Jesus intended for the younger son to be a character to which we could all relate.  We have all been guilty of disgracing our heavenly Father by placing our personal desires and cravings above all else.  God is very much like the father in this story because He loves each of us just as that father did individually, uniquely and unconditionally.  God has been with us always, for better or worse.  We must believe that God stands by us at all times, even when we choose to worship ourselves and harmful behavior instead of Him.

In the story, the son travels a great distance to separate himself from his father.  Do we not do much the same when we make choices that are contrary to God’s design for our lives?  Because of those choices we experience spiritual separation from God.  The son reaches his all time low in verse 17 when he comes to the revelation that “he came to himself” in the King James Version.   The son realized that his behavior has brought him financial, physical and spiritual poverty.  He decides to return home and ask his father to allow him to work as a servant.  The son believed because of his “sinful” behavior his father would never forgive him but just maybe he would consider allowing him to be a servant.  He made a humbling personal choice to turn away from his sins and return to his father, this is the essence of redemption.  How many times have you thought God will not forgive me? Not this time…I really messed up this time.  I’m here as a testimony that God’s love for us is at the heart of His forgiveness.  Just like the father in the parable…the father in seeing his son coming in the distance called to his servants to bring a fine robe.  In this the father re-establishes his relationship with his son, showing the son his love and forgiveness.  As scripture says “still a long way off” the father meets the son on the road.  God meets us along our journey, walks along side us encouraging us to continue discovering who we can be as His child, loved and valued.

I’m so glad God is not like us.  His capacity for forgiveness and compassion has no boundary.  God wants nothing more than for us to turn away from our sins and turn toward Him.  Amazing that we can return to Jesus just as we are…not “fixed”, we have only to make a commitment to meet Him along the way and GOD WILL BE THERE!  Deliverance and Freedom becomes real for you and me.

Thank you Doug for your support in this journey!

Be Blessed, Laurie

Thank you to Michael K. Mason for the wisdom he shared in his book “Amazing Grace”.

The Crying Corner

When does sadness, loneliness, stress, and for some anxiety step over the line and become depression?  I have suffered with varying degrees of depression for most of my life and have dealt with it in many different  ways from doctor prescribed medication, counseling, suicidal thoughts, self-help book reading, excessive drinking, shopping, sleeping, and binge eating.  None of the before mentioned methods had lasting results let alone were they healthy.  I’m excited to share what I’ve learn and how my life has changed.

I know and believe with all my heart that Satan is at the core of depression.  Satan has the ability to twist true feelings and situations into dark places.  I’m no stranger to abuse, loss, physical illness and financial worry.  Satan’s twist makes you feel failure, guilt, anger, worthless and hopeless…your feelings out of control cause you to begin spiraling down.

If you believe in God and with that I mean Jesus Christ our Savior who has given us His Word “The Bible” you must also believe in Satan.  Understanding and believing this TRUTH is key in fighting depression.  If your reading this post and do not know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior I strongly suggest you seek out the truth found in Christ and make a commitment to Him.  You can find answers and help at a local church.  A small aside…make sure the church you chose teaches from the Bible in its whole and believes in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Unfortunately, some churches have fallen away from these core beliefs and have become lost serving man instead of Jesus Christ.

For more than 40 years I struggled with depression without lasting help.  Only through my personal relationship with Jesus is Satan losing the battle of holding me in darkness.  So what happened simply put I started turning every thought I had over to Jesus and measuring those thoughts by His Word to determine whether  they are true.  Though scripture I’m able to look at my feelings, thoughts and circumstances.  Jesus helps me find truth and I’m able to separate the lies Satan would have me believe about myself and any circumstance.  I wish I could tell you this is an easy process but your past has a toll on your beliefs.  Destructive past experiences and possibly your life at this moment can contribute to holding you in darkness and giving Satan the fuel to keep you depressed.  Jesus gives strength, clarity and most importantly freedom from Satan’s grip.

The best way for me to explain what I mean is by example.   During those long years of fighting depression without Jesus I have found myself in what I call “THE CRYING CORNER”.  This feeling is crippling, I found myself very emotional many times in my bedroom down in the corner weeping uncontrollably.  Most of the time it was life circumstances that brought me there.  In my mind NO WAY OUT was  consuming me.  Trapped in a marriage with a man who mentally and physically was abusing my sons and me.  My self-esteemed destroyed by Satan though this man and my childhood.  I thought I deserved where I was in the “crying corner”.

Day to day life became a struggle.  I performed my duties as a mother and wife with a deep depression just below the surface.  I missed many opportunities for joy and I let those I cared about down.   One such day I had been asked by a dear friend I had know for years to be maid of honor in her wedding I was so lost the day of her wedding I just didn’t show up.  She never spoke to me again.  How could I have done that?  My life on that day and the days leading up to it were dark.  I was being manipulated by Satan through my husband which made me unable to leave my home.  Days like this were common.

Then I was introduced to Jesus and His Word in a new way.  You see the Bible is not an historical account of God’s people nor is it bedtime stories.  Every Word is for you today and everyday.  Salvation is not just for “getting into heaven”.  Salvation by definition is “Preservation or deliverance from destruction, difficulty, or evil.”  What Jesus did for me by dying on the cross was deliverance.  

The Bible became my go to place in battling Satan and depression.  Through scripture, prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit my life began to change.  I got involved at my church and began praying for the Lord to show me what changes I needed to make, those changes began with surrendering my life to Christ.

I began with these scriptures:

“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”  Hebrews 4:12 NIV

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”  Philippians 4:8 NIV

“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5

Jesus wants to set you free.  He died for you so that you would no longer be trapped by the world but would have the power through him to set yourself apart from Satan’s destructive ways.

My prayers are for you!  Discover your own scriptures, build a army of God’s Word to fight against evil.

Laurie

Let God Reign

Scripture:  When the sentence for a crime is not quickly carried out, people’s hearts are filled with schemes to do wrong.  Ecclesiastes 8:11 NIV

Observation:  When justice is delayed, injustice becomes the order or more precisely disorder of the day.  All we have to do is look at our society and see the truth in this scripture.    Delayed justice has led to a complete flip-flop and the inmates seem to be running the asylum.  Isiah 5:20a says, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil…”  We have forsaken our Lord and his truth and our upside-down world is evidence of that!

Application:  I must pray for God and his justice to reign in my life and our world today.

Prayer:  Father, we have caused there to be great injustice in this world. I must take responsibility for my part in allowing it to happen. Reign in my life and help me to be bold in the face of injustice and to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves.  I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen

Doug

Love God, Not Money

Scripture:  For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.  1 Timothy 6:10 NIV

Observation:  The conventional usage of this bit of scripture states, “money is the root if all evil.”  This is a misstatement of the real scripture. It is the “love” of money that is the root of all evil.  I believe that the scripture is actually stating that elevating money to god status is the evil. “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:8 NIV  God is love!  If a person loves money, their god is money and that is evil.

Application:  We must realize that money is a tool and it can be used for good or for evil. Money must be kept in its proper place and viewed in the proper perspective. Love God by using your money to further his kingdom.

Prayer:  Father, it’s been a while since I  wrote of you or of your word. I’m sorry. Help me to focus on you in my daily reading and help me to remember today’s truth. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen

Doug

Help Me to Know

Scripture: If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” John 20:23 NIV

Observation: I remember having this piece of scripture given to me before. It must mean that God really wants me to understand this truth. It’s pretty powerful and comes with a lot of responsibility. Through the power of the Spirit, we can or cannot forgive sin.

Application: I’m not sure how to apply this truth. I know that it’s not to be taken lightly. If anyone can help me with this I’d appreciate it.

Prayer: Father, help me to know. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen

Doug

Consider Others First

Scripture: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves…” Philippians 2:3 NIV

Observation: Consider the welfare of others more important than your own welfare.

Application: The observation is the application. We must consider others before ourselves.

Prayer: Father, help me to consider others first. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen

Doug

Don’t Cause Others to Fall

Scripture: Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, “The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to obey the law of Moses.” Acts 15:5 NIV
Scripture: He made no distinction between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear? Acts 15:9,10 NIV

Observation: Paul and Barnabas discuss with the Jewish leaders whether or not the Gentiles should be required to be circumcised. It is decided that by requiring the Gentiles to be circumcised they would be demanding them to fulfill a need that they, themselves, could not uphold.

Application: This is an interesting set of passages when read with Acts 16:3, “Paul wanted to take him (Timothy) along on the journey, so he circumcised him because of the Jews who lived in that area, for they all knew that his father was a Greek.” Acts 16:3 NIV Why? Why would Paul argue against circumcision in Acts 15 and then circumcise Timothy before they left on their missionary journey? I believe that he did it so that the uncircumcised Timothy wouldn’t be a “stumbling block” to the very people to whom they were going to minister. Certainly circumcision isn’t necessary for salvation but I really don’t think that circumcision was even the issue to Paul. The issue was winning souls. If the fact that Timothy wasn’t circumcised was going to close the ears of those to whom Paul was going to minister–then Timothy was going to be circumcised. We should learn from Paul. Our actions and inactions can and will affect people. We must take care to guard our speech, control our emotions and attitude, and be careful with our choices. We must care that what we think, say, and do can hinder our witness to others. Otherwise, we will become a “stumbling block.”

Prayer: Lord, don’t allow me to be a “stumbling block” to others. I know that my behavior and what I say can harm my witness to others. Amen

Doug

God Used Science

Scripture: “Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided…” Exodus 14:21 NIV

Observation: The exodus of Israel from Egypt is recounted.

Application: As I read today I had to laugh. This passage gave me a very simple truth. Let me explain. When I was a young man I used to watch a program entitled “In Search Of.” Modern cable TV being what it is today there are numerous programs similar to “In Search Of.” All of these science programs try to explain life to the viewer. “In Search Of” was always trying to explain away biblical facts and these modern versions of that program do it with a vengeance. I remember seeing a program one time recently where the host went to meteorologists, geographers, historians, and “biblical scholars,” to try to explain how in the wide world of science the exodus through the sea could have possibly occurred. They had stars aligning, earthquakes occurring, and global warming (before it was cool) evaporating oceans, all as theories as to how it could have possibly happened but they over-looked the obvious. I just saw it today and it is a scientific answer to their question. “…the lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land.” Exodus 14:21b NIV There you have it, plain and simple but they couldn’t see the truth. They were so busy looking for their version of truth that they didn’t trust what was right in front of them. God by his word created science to push the water back with air pressure.  The ground dried out and Israel was able to pass through!

Prayer: Father, you are amazingly simple sometimes. You are so simple that we brilliant humans can’t believe it. Thank you Lord! Amen

Doug