Posted in come, comfort, earth, Emotional, faith, forgiveness, grace, heart, heaven, home, invitation, sorrow, Spiritual

An Invitation

Come As You Are is a beautiful invitational hymn by David Crowder…

Come out of sadness
From wherever you’ve been
Come broken-hearted
Let the rescue begin
Come find your mercy
Oh, sinner, come kneel
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t heal
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t heal

So lay down your burdens
Lay down your shame
All who are broken
Lift up your face
Oh, wanderer come home
You’re not too far

So lay down your hurt
Lay down your heart
Come as you are

There’s hope for the hopeless
And all those who’ve strayed
Come sit at the table
Come taste the grace
There’s rest for the weary
Rest that endures
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t cure

So lay down your burdens
Lay down your shame
All who are broken
Lift up your face
Oh, wanderer come home
You’re not too far

Lay down your hurt
Lay down your heart
Come as you are
Come as you are
And fall in His arms
Come as you are

There’s joy for the morning
Oh, sinner be still
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t heal
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t heal

So lay down your burdens
Lay down your shame
All who are broken
Lift up your face
Oh, wanderer come home
You’re not too far

So lay down your hurt
Lay down your heart
Come as you are

Come as you are
Come as you are
Come as you are

Posted in addiction, care, change, choice, depression, doom, follow, forgiveness, God, grace, hurt, insecurity, Jesus, life, man, pain, repent, sin, sinful woman, strength, truth, woman

A Fleeting Moment

Many of us live for a fleeting moment and pleasure. I know I have been guilty of such. We get so wrapped up into this earthly life, some days it is just surviving and other days on top of the world. Distractions like the idle chasing of butterflies, that bowl of ice cream x 3, another sugary coffee drink, the I-phone or computer screen. Momentary pleasures of a smoke or two, alcoholic drink of choice, the betting game until you win, another frivolous purchase, or floating high on a mind-altering drug without a care in the world, all these possible addictions mask the cold hard truths of life, pain, and depression. Like the painting Ship of Fools by Carl Dobsky, our doom may be just a few feet away.

Yesterday’s Gospel reading was about the woman caught in adultery and how Jesus extended grace to her but warned her “sin no more”. The priest opened the homily with “we all have been caught with the hand in the cookie jar.” Either by stealing, gossiping, gazing at internet porn, cheating on your taxes, telling untruths, slacking on the job, etc. The priest brought up an interesting question, what about the man, why was not he brought before judgement like the woman? The priest suggested that the adulterous man ran faster than the accusers. Any case he will still stand before God’s judgement. God looks for a repented heart, that is where you make a round-about change in direction from the wrongdoing.

The grace of God covers our sins when we confess them to Him. Addictions make it difficult to truly repent, but it is possible by calling on Him for strength. It is a day-by-day battle, for some minute-by-minute journey. Insecurities and unmet needs can lead us the wrong direction. Justifications can set in. I remember the day many years ago I had to choose what direction I was to take, to continue hanging around bad company, or take a different path with the mocking and ridicule to follow. I am so happy Jesus led me His Way. “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life …” (John 14:6) Jesus tells each of us.

Posted in cross, death, Family, forgiveness, God, holy, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Lent, Prayer, quote, Spiritual, works

Deny Self

Ash Wednesday begins the Lent season. This season is to examine where our present life is at, confess wrongdoing, deny self, and look to God our Father, Jesus our Savior, and the Holy Spirit for guidance and follow the calling. What does it mean to deny self? One way is to deny my own needs so another’s needs are met. A healthy marriage requires this regularly. Or deny my urge to lash out on someone who has wronged me or someone I love, but instead pray for them. Another way to deny self is to make a dinner for someone in need rather than spend the afternoon leisure shopping. The Holy Scripture in Matthew 16:24 tells us “If any of you want to come with me, you must forget yourself, carry your cross, and follow me.”

Hand in hand to denying self is the admittance where we have done wrong. We can do this daily, not just on Sundays or holy days, but rather during our regular quiet times, or throughout the day as the Holy Spirit leads. In many Christian faiths there is a prayer called the Confiteor, which we confess during our regular services. This is a good place to start if one needs guidance on how to pray for forgiveness.

“I confess to almighty God
and to you, my brothers and sisters,
that I have greatly sinned,
in my thoughts and in my words,
in what I have done and in what I have failed to do,
through my fault, through my fault …”

Following Jesus is not an easy task. Sometimes it is multiple uneasy tasks. “How many times do I forgive my brother?” you may ask. “Seventy times seven” Jesus tells us. “Pray for your enemies.” Jesus also says. “The Son of God suffered unto the death, not that men might not suffer, but that their sufferings might be like His,” Christian author and minister George Macdonald is quoted. Have you suffered unto death like Jesus Christ? I am preaching to me as well as to whoever needs to be reminded like myself.

Let this Lent season be a time of reflection, forgiveness, denial of self, prayer, true worship, and good works unto our Lord.

Posted in children, father, forgiveness, friend, gift, God, husband, Jesus, love, mother, quote

Gift

The gift, a friend, a child, a grandchild, your spouse, your parent, or a pet.  Unconditional love.  That is the gift.  Sent from God.  Who in your life represents God’s heart and love?  Who have you shared God’s heart by loving them?  Who needs to know that love?

So happy to know God’s unconditional love, His forgiveness, His Son, Jesus my Redeemer and Savior as our example, role model.  No one else is the Perfect role model.  My Jesus.  Your Jesus, too.

Posted in authors, book, comfort, Emotional, faith, Financial, forgiveness, God, happy, husband, Mental, pain, patient, Physical, sad, Spiritual, strength, thankful, weep, woman, words, write

Women, Stories, Faith, and Heart Matters

“Women’s stories matter.  They tell us who we are, they give us places to explore our problems, to try on identities and imagine happy endings.  They entertain us, they divert us, they comfort us when we’re lonely or alone.  Women’s stories matter.  And women matter, too.” ~ Jennifer Weiner

I read many literary pieces authored by famous and not so famous women.  Women have many untold stories, happy, and sad ones, too.  There is a time to share those stories, and other times to be quiet.  A time to work through heart matters in solitude.  Inspirational writer Ann Voskamp asks in her book Be The Gift, “Are the most painful tears the kind no one can see, the kind where your soul weeps alone?”  This is where God meets us, holds us, hugs us, comforts, allowing the tears to flow until no more.  Empty oneself of all.  In the midst of physical pain, mental anguish, sudden illness, chronic health conditions, death, wrongful accusations, troubled relationships, mean co-workers, political wars, poverty, domestic violence, or complete exhaustion, faith has to play a part to get through it.

But also, “faith has to be exercised in the midst of ordinary, down-to-earth living,” writes Elisabeth Elliot.  “Faith without works is dead,” the Holy Scriptures tell us.  “Faith is built out of small acts along the path of life,” Maria Shiver shares in her new book, I’ve Been Thinking … Today, what small act strengthened your faith, your belief in God and His creation?  And that creation is you, too.  Was it surrendering your curse words to thankfulness?  Was it a smile shared with that co-worker who loathes your presence?  Was faith exercised in giving your lunch money to the homeless lady sitting on the bench?  How about when you wrote an encouragement letter to that relative estranged from the family?  The tenth time to patiently point out a grammatical error to the simple-minded teen?  Scrubbing the stains off the wall made by careless guests?  Forgiving the thoughtless comment from your husband?  When you forget another appointment, but reschedule and mark it on your calendar this time?  The lists goes on how we exercise faith in others, God, and ourselves.

We women have stories, and faith to make the stories go on about real heart matters. Heart Key Hole

 

 

Posted in forgiveness, God, jealousy, Jesus, love, patient, scripture, sinful woman

White As Snow

I watch the snowflakes flutter softly from the gray clouds while the deceptive sun rays warm through the window. It is very cold outside this January Sunday.  The way the song birds are feeding this afternoon, the flakes will grow in size, and accumulate to become a white cover.  I suspect to see a pure white landscape by early morning.  I love snow, the subtle uniqueness of each snowflake in contrast to the energy and excitement it generates.  Our 13-year old Labrador prances in this white fluff, old bones and all.

 

Snow also reminds me of what Jesus has done with my sin, and yours.  Isaiah 1:18 says “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow…” and the Psalms tell me “… wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.”  There has to be a time to recognize sin for what it is, in order to be washed whiter than snow.  Anger that is out of control is sin.  Jealousy towards those seemingly more favored with a relationship, talent or possessions, unforgiveness towards another, disbelief in God’s promises, sex thoughts that linger beyond the marriage vow, impatience with the simple-minded, and using food, alcohol, uppers, downers, or whatever rather than listening and obeying God’s Word is sin.  Anything that separates us from God is sin.  Exam oneself.  Take the time now … Today am I right with my God and His people?

Those gaps in life, my shortcomings and downfalls are bridged with Jesus.  I can pray to God with confidence because of Jesus.  Jesus, God’s Son is the only example of the life without sin.  And the Gospel message “He who is without sin cast the first stone”, Jesus scolded the crowd surrounding a “sinful woman”.  Jesus could have cast the stone, but He did not and does not.  He chose to love.  Have you been that woman feeling the stones hit with the gossip, rumors, lies, judgement, abandonment, assaults, or disassociation?  Or are you the one throwing the self-righteous stone? For each, Jesus is there to make you “whiter than snow.”  The saying “pure religion is love in action,” reminds me to smile at all people who cross my path no matter if they smile back, be faithful to the faithless, give without expecting in return.  Be the one that goes beyond the dirt and finds the gold inside the unlovable.  Be Jesus’ hands and heart to those placed in your life.

 

Posted in daughter, day, Elisabeth, Family, forgiveness, God, grace, house, mother, Prayer, Rachel, strength, thankful, Warrior, Women in My Life

Sweep The Front Porch

 

I awoke this Saturday morn early like most days.  Weekday, weekend, it no matter.  I am an early bird. And you know the saying “the early bird gets the worm”, but I am sure worms are not on my menu.  But time with God is.  Yes, I can talk to God (and you can, too) at any time of day under any circumstances.  But there is something fresh about the dawn of a new day, quietness and stillness in the house and just outside the house on my front porch.  I sit on the porch bench watching the day wake up around me.  I am surrounded by shade trees, pots of perennials, the tweeting birds, and garden art.  The breeze subtly chills my skin, and rustles the green canopy of leaves.  Forgiveness I ask for my shortcomings, and His Grace accepted.  Petitions are expressed, asking God for complete healing for my daughters, Elisabeth and Rachel as well as my aging mother.  Strength for this woman warrior and my day.  With a thankful heart …

 

Onward to begin the Saturday chores … I sweep the front porch of the twigs, mulch, dog hairs, and dirt blown in with the summer winds.  It is an attempt to keep my home tidy.  I want to feel welcomed when I come home.  Rather be greeted by the warm cinnamon front door, than dirt and grime.  I am sure the rest of the family and our guests do as well.  Is that not what praying to God is about?  Sweeping the wrong motives, ill words, and bad attitudes away while being received in His warm embrace.  An Open Door.  So happy I chose a comforting color for the front door.  Cinnamon.  Warm.   This morn it invites me into the house to prepare a pancake breakfast and finish those other Saturday chores, and pray all the while.

Posted in faith, fear, forgiveness, grace, hope, insecurity, Jesus, love, Prayer, quote, resources, Spiritual, strength, trust, Women in My Life

Invest In Yourself

Invest In Yourself

Time, energy, money, and prayer spent on yourself is not a waste.  We women spend so much of our resources and reserves on others. “If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete,” quoting Jack Kornfield. Our granite strength can crack underneath if we neglect yourselves.  With our Rock foundation, our lives are built with love, accented with care, and yet at times splats of doubt, insecurity, and fear appear on our walls.

We each are a treasure to behold and admire. “Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also vessels of wood and of earthenware”, 2 Timothy 2:20.  The vessel holds nourishing water until a leak forms.  “Not that I have already obtained, or am already made perfect: but I press on, if so be that I may lay hold on that for which also I was laid hold on by Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12.  Seal that leak with your Maker’s salve of mercy, forgiveness, grace, trust, hope, faith, and love.  And your cup will overflow again …


Cup Overflows