You have value

There are times when we feel useless and unworthy. These are just whispers of the Devil. If we allow these thoughts to percolate, they will turn into an ugly black mood.  There are so many things that can cause us to feel this way.  recently I found myself feeling that way.  There are people working on my roof.  The damage is worse than we thought. It is awful, we are not paying that much and try as we might we were unable to get many volunteers. Only my husband’s nephew, my husband, son, the contractor, his stepfather, his cousin, wife, and their two young sons.  Our house is 1820 square feet and the roof is about 2500 square feet including the attached two and 1/2 car garage. It is a large roof. If it were a roof without damage, and everything was perfect, maybe that many people could have done it in a weekend. I have a couple of things against me climbing up on a roof. On a good day, I walk wobbly. Ever heard of a weeble? People that know me say “weebles wobble but they don’t fall down”. It is not as mean as it sounds, because I know they are just teasing me. Here I am on my third run to buy more materials and boom I go down hard. It would have been harder but my husband caught me. What can I do but put on my braces and go to the store. When we returned from the store, I collapse emotionally.  All these people are working so hard to fix my roof. My nephew went home early. But there is so much work to do and did I tell you we are not paying them that much. I am overwhelmed by what must be done and how enthusiastic they are that “It is going to be done right, no leaks a great roof”. I am sure it will be but so frustrated that I can’t help. Besides being wobbly, I take medications that don’t respond well to sunlight.  Less than ½ hour out in the sun makes one of my medications useless. What I failed to realize that is what many of us fail to realize is that just because we are not doing the hard-physical work, our work has value.  For example, I was a gopher, a cheerleader (don’t tell me) a place for the kids to go when they needed a break. A water provider, a meal provider.    Paper pushers have importance.  Without the paper pushers, the computer operators, the telephone receptionists, etc.; these people take care of the tedious work. The work other people hate to do.  It is necessary and it is as needed as the barista.  Yes, I am not afraid to admit, Coffee is in the need column. If you don’t believe it, ask my family what happens if I must get up at O’dark thirty, and the coffee isn’t finished brewing.  Or worse, the pot, the one that worked yesterday has stopped working.  What I really need more is my time with my cup of coffee and my Bible.  Lately, life has been hectic and I have been missing it.   For whatever reason, I haven’t found the time. I try having that time some other time, but there is interference. It seems the harder I try to cut through the interference, the more strife there is.  Satan is working overtime to keep me away from that time with God.  That is how he works.  The computer is acting up, at the dentist’s office things go terribly wrong, procedure done but completion not scheduled for almost 4 months. Oh, and then there is the double billing (billing for the same procedure twice).  The roof is such a mess that it is taking longer than expected.  There is time out for job interviews, and of course groceries must be bought.  Which means I am struggling with self-worth issues, and the frustration of not seeming to be able to take out that time with God.  I forgot to mention the pets are not responding well to all the noise.  My little dog, wants my attention constantly.  She does not want me to write or balance the checkbook, or fix a meal; she wants me to hold her constantly.  I can read the Bible and hold her, do it all the time. My problem is that spending time with God requires a quiet mind.  With all these things happening, it is hard to quiet my mind.  At this point it seems as if Satan is winning.  But he won’t God won’t let him, I am one of God’s chosen. That doesn’t mean that I do not have work to do, I must push everything aside and pray.  I need to listen to God. Hear his voice. But once I start taking that time to listen, telling the evil one he is not going to win; Jesus is right there pushing the evil one out-of-the-way.  The more practice I have the quicker the evil one goes.  It really takes work. It takes practice.  Yet when you think about very few people can just jump In and be experts at the stop.  Oh, sure there are those that just pick up everything and are good at everything.  Most people must work and work at everything they learn.  Do you think Big Ben could run through a line without practice?  Terry Bradshaw wasn’t born knowing how to be one of the greatest quarterbacks that ever lived.  He claims Phil was (Duck Dynasty Phil) but look how that turned out.  The one that had to work and work was the historic QB. The big question is, how much do you want to have a relationship with the savior?  To be good, it will require work.

There is another way to put it, think about your closest relationship, does it just happen or does it take work?  Occasionally, we hear about relationships that “just happen”. Those are rare. Even those we just click relationships would not happen if we didn’t make time for them.  A relationship with God is not any different.  Sure, he knows us, can hear us, but we don’t know him, unless we chose to know God.  Spending time God is an effort.   Those “unworthy, useless feelings, when we pay attention to our relationship with God, they fade.  Why? because when your relationship with God is strong, it is harder for the Devil to get even his pinky toe into your thoughts. His little lies are obvious and weak.

 

 

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How do you Know if you have forgiven someone?

How do you know if you have forgiven someone?

I want to talk to you about forgiveness. It can be hard to forgive those who have hurt you. The big question is how do you know when you have forgiven someone?  I heard on the radio the other day, when you can look someone without the stink face.  Then there is another question, just because I can now hear the person’s name and not feel rage boiling inside me, do I have to still be friends with them?  Have I really forgiven them if I don’t want to be with them?  In my life, and I am sure in yours as well, there have been many people that have hurt you.  Recently, I ran into someone that I thought I had forgiven and when I first saw them I was able to give a polite all be it a curt hello. Then I had to sit by them and the rage started.  This person has treated me terribly.  Now I realize I am back to square one with forgiving this person.  What did I do? I asked for prayer.  I need help; I am obviously unable to forgive this person on my own. Sometimes, you must ask God to remove this from your heart. But now that I feel as if I have again forgiven this person, the rage of yesterday is gone. I still do not like the person. Which of course begs the question, do I have to like someone that has hurt me to say they are forgiven.  I believe that the answer to that question is a big fat NO.  There are just some people that are not good for us.

Take my abusive Ex-husband for example.  I can hear his name and not feel rage, but I do not want to associate with him. And this is a good thing.   God does not expect us to compromise our integrity by hanging with people that have hurt you especially if being around reopens wounds.

What about relatives, you must associate with these people, yet the pain of what they did is still there. You have tried to forgive them, but every time you must associate with them, they do something new that irritates you.  Which means here you are forgiving them again. Jesus told Peter to forgive 70 times 7 Matthew 18:22. I can hear it now so I only should forgive 490 times?  No that is 490 times for each thing that they do.  This does not count forgiving your husband 490 times for squeezing the toothpaste from the center.  That is so small that you shouldn’t even count it.  If you are holding a grudge because of something small, then you need help. Seriously you need some counseling there is a bigger issue. But forgive the driver in the red car that cuts you off 490 times.  Not for each time, but for each time that they do it on any given road.

The real point behind the 70 times 7 is that if you are keeping track for 490 times, then you have too much time on your hand, and you have bigger problems because you do not understand forgiveness. Forgiveness means that you are not holding that stupid thing that they did and allowing it to eat you up inside.  I am certain that the person I had to sit next to the other day does not think about me unless we see each other somewhere. We are related in such a way that they should think about me. They should wonder how I am doing.  I know by the little bit of conversation, I do not enter their mind at all. Which brings me to another point on forgiveness, if you can pray for them; most likely you have forgiven them.  That is a bigger cue than not holding in the stink face. Just because you can smile at someone, does not mean anything. But prayer, well we can’t pray for someone we have not forgiven.  The words will stick in your throat.  Try it, Lord, be with that person that has hurt me, and if the words stick in your throat and you can’t say them, you have not forgiven them.  If you can you pray for them then you have forgiven them.  The person I keep mentioning? I pray for her all the time.   That does not mean that the next time I run into her that I won’t feel rage and all the stupid stuff won’t pop back into my mind. But I know that each time, I will be able to dismiss it.

Because you know what else I realized?  I realized that Satan likes to trick me into thinking dang; here I am feeling angry at so and so.  Satan will try to trick you into thinking that you have not forgiven them.  Sometimes he will succeed for a brief time. He will not succeed if you take this to Jesus. He won’t succeed if you pray or ask other to pray.  Once you pray, the Holy Spirit will reveal the truth inside you.  Often, new anger will confuse you into thinking you are still mad about something that happened over ten years ago.  Forgiving others can sometimes be like a light switch. You must keep forgiving. You should realize this is a new thing.

I still haven’t answered hanging out with them?  Some people are bad for you. You do not have to be a doormat to prove you are a good Christian.  The world looks at us under a microscope watching and waiting for us to make a mistake.  The world should look at Jesus; he is the only one who ever lived a perfect life.  Jesus is God and the only one that can live a perfect life. Sure, we should try to be good examples.  Just because we trip all the time and make mistakes, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.

I have heard that you are the only “Jesus” some people see.  I hate that saying. I am not Jesus. What we should say is “let them see the light of Jesus through me”.  There is nothing you can do to prove you are a good Christian and Thank God, Jesus doesn’t expect us to prove we are good Christians.  He just expects us to accept Him as our savior and Lord.  That person that hurts you over and over, walk away. It is not a good relationship.  Pray that God sends someone into their life that can show them the Light of the World.  Hanging out with someone that hurts you over and over is asking for Satan to sit in your life. What??? See the more they hurt you, the harder it is to forgive them. Unforgiveness is a black dot on our lives, it separates us from Jesus.

If the time comes when God wants you to reflect His light to them; God will give you the strength and he will let you know that the time has come for you to share Jesus with them. Until that day, let them be.

Just remember the forgiveness test, “can you pray for them?”

 

We are Holy Snoopy Happy Dance.

Isaiah 46:3-5, Ephesians 3:6-13:

 

Have you ever noticed that the New Testament points back to the Old Testament? Ephesians chapter 3, I found something that proves this.  When I talk to people about the inheritance the have as Christians, what is promised to the Jew is promised to us.

Frequently people will ask how can that be?

The conversation is such:

Then: I am not a descendant of Israel so the Old Testament doesn’t apply to me.

Me:  It doesn’t matter, you are a Child of God and the Old Testament applies to you.  The warnings and the promises.

Them: But some of the Old Testament foretells Jesus.

Me: It also foretells the end of Time.  I am not sure why but this seems to bring up Nostradamus.

Them: What about Nostradamus?

Me:  What about him?

Them: His predictions came true.

Me:  That does not make him holy.

Me: What makes a person Holy is they have chosen to accept Christ as their Lord and Savior. They admit He is the Messiah, Jesus died for our sins. Nostradamus made some predictions-maybe he was a time traveler.  Who knows.time travel

Them: is time travel possible?

Me: Theoretically yes, we just don’t have the capability.  And maybe people read into Nostradamus’ writing and say this sounds like… so he predicted this.

Me: But let me tell you about how we can claim the promises of the Old Testament- What God told the Jews- See once you became a Christian- a believer in Jesus- born again through the Holy Spirit, you became an inheritor of all of God’s promises and warnings.

Once disciples, Apostles, missionaries were sent by God, to spread the good news to the Gentiles, God was saying that the Gentiles are no longer accursed. Happy Snoopy Dance.snoopy

And through that logic Paul said, I am sent to the Gentiles because the door has been opened. If Salvation is available to the Gentile, then the Gentile becomes an inheritor as well.  Hallelujah!

 

Isaiah:

“Listen to me, you descendants of Jacob,
all the remnant of the people of Israel,
you whom I have upheld since your birth,
and have carried since you were born.
Even to your old age and gray hairs
I am he, I am he who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
I will sustain you and I will rescue you.

“With whom will you compare me or count me equal?
To whom will you liken me that we may be compared?

 

Ephesians:

This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.

I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power. Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ, and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. 10 His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, 11 according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.13 I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.

 

 

Sweet in the mouth but bitter in the stomach

 

Revelation 10:9-11: In life, there are good deals and there are bad deals.  There are also bad deals that you can see up-front, and then there are the bad deals that look great, at first, but you quickly regret.

Take for example the biological father of my children, my ex-husband. When we first meet, he nursed me through a miscarriage.  He was as sweet as could be.  So sweet in fact that when he started discouraging my friends from being around, I did not notice.  First it was the one whom I was helping to understand his German wife. Then there was the friend that was my boss and was teaching me about guys; something of which, I knew very little.  When our first son was born; he was marvelous, except for that incident at the mall.  I had just moved to sweatpants (from a size 3), and this size 3 walked by and he turned his head and whistled.  Yeah, I know those things should have warned me.  But he was treating me like a princess, well like the princess in the tower, but none the less a princess. Then when I was pregnant 14 months after having the first, that is when everything started to crumble. But back then a pregnant woman, with a toddler, well I could have sold roses on the roadside that was about it or delivered newspapers, which is what I did.  Trust me neither job pays the bills. After I was strong, 2 C-sections, and two babies, and gestational diabetes; makes one weak. I got a job, not an excellent job, but we lived in a town of 12,000.  There are not were not many IT jobs in small towns 20 some years ago.  I was a waitress and I worked at a fast-food place. Then I became a manager at a fast-food place, excellent job for a transplant, now pending divorce from one of the town’s blessed sons.  My ex-husband’s family was one of the town’s builders.  Which meant I was as popular as a wet blanket. Now divorced I took a job at the factory, best money in town. The marriage to a man I thought was prince charming, turned out to taste sweet in the mouth but turned sour in the belly.

Here is the thing, If I had been close with God when I met him, I would have heard the warnings, the sirens going off. If I had been raised with men around, I might have seen the warning signs. (not my mother’s fault, she had to raise us by herself.) However, not ever being around men, I had no idea how men were supposed to behave. Being raised in the church, with the ideology that everyone is honest and good, I was naïve, until I meet my husband of 20 some years, but that is a different story. I have learned the hard way about something tasting sweet in the mouth and bitter in the stomach.  If I had been more diligent in my studies  of the Bible, If I had listened to all the wisdom of God, that I had been taught in Sunday School; I would have known. That is one of our downfalls, we think just because we are smart, we are wise. The only true wisdom comes from God.

 

So I went to the angel and asked him to give me the little scroll. He said to me, “Take it and eat it. It will turn your stomach sour, but ‘in your mouth it will be as sweet as honey.’” 10 I took the little scroll from the angel’s hand and ate it. It tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour. 11 Then I was told, “You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages and kings.”

The Cornerstone

What exactly is the cornerstone?  It is the stone that if removed, the building will crumble. It is at the bottom in the corner, two walls rest on that stone. If it is not strong, the walls will sag.  When we are speaking of Jesus, we are speaking of the one that was rejected. Jesus was rejected in his time. There are many that reject Jesus. 

Here is one reason that perplexes me, coming from a person that knows Jesus is Great, the Salvation of the world.  However, because they have seen “Display Christians” you know the talk the talk but don’t walk the walk; they are put off and say Christs is not real.

Then there are those that see an active Christian make a mistake and are put off. You know the ones holding up a microscope to your life and if they find one little skeleton, then Christians are fake.  Don’t look at my life, there are many skeletons hanging there.

There are so many reasons that people use to not believe in God.  But it is this verse,  1 Peter 2:7,  that gets me. 7 Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, “The stone the builders rejected  has become the cornerstone,”

See the concept that something is the cornerstone, makes me feel confident. It says I can depend on God. I can trust Him.  

My life isn’t perfect, I have made mistakes. In the future, I will make mistakes.  The people in the Bible have made mistakes, except for Jesus.  That is why he is the cornerstone. We can look at Jesus and see perfection.  Afterall He is holding up the foundation of our lives, don’t you want to build on a perfect cornerstone?  Or would you rather build on one that is cracked?  That is called building on your own wisdom.  When we build using Jesus’ wisdom, we are building on a solid rock, a good foundation.

We are depending on the cornerstone.

 

 

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