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Letting it go

Forgive me Father, for I have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

I’m circling back to Mercy and Grace this week. I’ve heard a lot of people this week talking about being offended. How they’re offended, how someone has done them wrong. And, I know, we say that they need to “let it go”, we tell ourselves that we need to “let it go”, but how? How do we let it go? How do we get over it? How do we extend that mercy and grace. How do we stop drinking the poison of anger and pain and suffering (and expecting the other person to die)?

Well, I will share of my experience of getting past a major offense. Something major and traumatic had happened between a family member and myself. And, every time, I started to think about what that person had done and how mad I was about it, I picked a scripture, and would replace those thoughts with that scripture. I started to retrain my brain. Every time I got mad, I would start reciting that scripture to myself. Now, this was not easy, and sometimes I had to recite that scripture for hours in my head, and sometimes I would dwell a little while before I started reciting that scripture, but eventually it just started working. It got easier and easier to stop thinking about how angry and hurt I was, and it started closing that wound up. It started to change my heart of stone, to a heart of flesh. It started to change the way I think. And, I believe that was one of the most powerful things I’ve learned as a follower of Jesus.

For several reasons:

“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” – Psalm 119:11

“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.” – Phillippians 4:8

“In your anger do not sin” : Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need. 29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. – Ephesians 4:26-31

11 Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end. – Proverbs 29:11

19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. – James 1:19-20

8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil. 9 For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land. – Psalm 37:8-9

And, here was the verse I memorized, the scripture I recited repeatedly, the one that helped calm me and retrained my brain to stop living in the past, to stop giving the devil a foothold, to letting someone else steal the peace that God has given me and that no man may take away:

Let’s Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, I pray for peace today. I pray that we learn to “think right” that we clothe ourselves in compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. That we forgive those who have offended us as you have forgiven us for all of our sins, and continue to forgive us. I pray that we meld ourselves more to the mind of Christ. That we love our brethren. That we believe in the mercy and that grace that you have for us, and that we extend that incredible grace and mercy to those around us. That we claim the peace that you have given us for ourselves. That we continue to bend our hearts to walk like you Father. And that you reach inside us and give us healing. IN JESUS’ NAME!! AMEN!!

Mission Circle

Operation Christmas Child! This particular mission, is very near and dear to my heart. What an incredible opportunity. For less than $20, you can make a shoebox for a child, and drop it off at a local collection center, and spread love and the good news around the world. From right where you’re at. In every shoebox, Samaritan’s Purse puts a leaflet that gives the Salvation Story in their language, and as they’re distributing them, they share the story of Jesus Christ.

Operation Christmas Child

Donate here

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Work in Progress – continued

So, as I was getting ready to post the most recent blog entry, I kept having this nagging feeling that it was incomplete. Kept feeling like there was more to that entry. More than just me admitting that I struggle too, that I’m still completely human sometimes. The reason I don’t post those things as often is because I’m trying not to focus on those moments. It’s kinda the same philosophy as: you are what you eat. This blog is to be lifting people up. It’s how God is working in my life, and those around me. And, if I sit here and focus on all the bad stuff all the time. I could go on for days and days.

My life is not perfect, by any means, I have my own struggles, I help people with theirs, other’s lives are so intertwined with mine that theirs become mine. But, that’s not the point. I’m sure you do too. That’s life, I’m pretty sure that’s the definition of life. It’s not our cars, or what we have, or where we work, or any of that. It’s our experiences. It’s the problems we face, it’s the problems we fail to face, it’s where we succeed and where we fail. I admitted my problem because it’s still a problem. I still battle it. It’s been over 2 years since I’ve been there, but it doesn’t mean that I’m not still overcoming it. It’s been over 10 years since I’ve battled some of my other issues, it doesn’t mean that I do not still constantly battle them. It doesn’t mean that Satan doesn’t still use them to try to make me bend or break. And please believe, some days are harder than others. But, I’m on team God now.

And, I have my eyes on the prize. I’m about my Father’s business. I will be attacked, I will be persecuted, but I am more than an overcomer. I am the secret weapon of God.

37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

Romans 8:37

We had the prophetess Crystal Jones speaking at our Women’s Alive Conference this weekend, and she spoke these words over us, and now I’m speaking them to you. You are God’s secret weapon in someone’s life. You are more than an overcomer. You are here to be about your Father’s business. May you be emboldened with the Will and Strength and Desire of God to be about his business, as I am. May you reach out where you’re at, and beyond where you’re at, to be God’s secret weapon. To shine His light so brightly, that men will know that You work for the Almighty God.

Something else that was said this weekend, was where she admitted that she had called our Pastor Jeanne in a moment of turmoil and grief to ask for guidance. And our pastor told her, “Lean into Easy”. God’s yoke is easy. Lean into God’s yoke. Read your bible, pray, minister to others, go to church, fellowship, call or text your fellow believers and tell them to pray for you. Lean into Easy. Take your yoke off and throw it at his feet. It is not yours to bear, you are to lay yours down and pick his up. Lean into Easy. When life is too much to stand, kneel. This week, when I could’ve let the devil win, I just turned on praise music instead. I just started overwhelming myself with podcasts of victory and overcoming. I buckled down, and reminded myself who I belong to. I ran to my Daddy and told him to take this away from me. And He did. Because He never fails. He makes me more than an overcomer. I am a victor. I am royalty. I serve the Almighty God, and I bend to no man, and I definitely don’t bend to the devil. God loved me too much to leave me there. And, He loves me too much to leave me here. I’m going to continue to go further, to be more. Because God is more. He is so much more. He is more than I could ever think or imagine, and He wants me to have it all. And You. I’m not special, by any means. I don’t have anything different than you. I just love God, and know that He loves me back, and with Him I CAN DO ALL THINGS.

You know, it was funny, I told a couple people that the only reason I don’t like going to conferences or big spiritual events like this is because then I get attacked. And, I hadn’t even made it home from the conference, and I was being attacked. Then, I got home, and here was another blow. But, I just reminded myself that, “If you’re never getting attacked, it’s probably because you’re going the wrong way.” I was warned in podcast that if you ever wanted to be a preacher, or a mouthpiece to God, you were going to be attacked. It’s not an easy life. But, God makes it easy. His yoke is easy. The devil isn’t attacking me, he’s attacking God in me. He’s trying to shut me up. He’s trying to steal, kill, and destroy. He is the source of all lies. And, I believe the one true, good God. And Satan is never going to shut me up, he can’t have my joy, I will win life. Every day of the week – because I’m on team God.

Let’s Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you!! Thank you that your yoke is easy. Thank you that you take all my burdens away. Thank you that you have removed the veil from my eyes, that I may always see my true enemy. Thank you that you love me too much to leave me where I was at, or to leave me here either. That I may continue to go above and beyond. That you may give me all you have, that I may bless others with your gifts, and may show your light to the world, that no man may deny you. Blessed be the name of our ALMIGHTY GOD!! IN JESUS’ NAME!! AMEN!!

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Work in progress

” He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” – Mark 5:34

I realized this week, that I may have painted this picture for my audience that has me being “holier than thou” sometimes. And I want to take a moment to make sure that I completely understand that this is not the case.

I’m so broken sometimes, so very, very human. I simply choose not to focus on that part so much, not because I want you to think I’m good or perfect or anything really. What I want to focus on is that God is, that he has things to teach us, that he knows we are a work in progress, and loves us anyway, forgives us anyway.

This week, I was very human, very me, but in the midst of all of it I was putting on a garment of praise.

“And provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor. I was praising God for giving me the strength to not be me, or the old me anyway.” Isaiah 61:3

I had a couple tough days this week, but I was praising God in the midst of it, because thank God I don’t drink anymore. There was a day this week that I would’ve crawled into a bottle before 10am and called it. I was done. But instead, I didn’t. Because God didn’t leave me there, he has given me the strength to move past that. And please believe, the devil knew I was struggling, he just kept piling it on, but I buckled down. I thanked God that he is good and that alcohol is not my answer anymore. I have to be about my Father’s business.

I am a work in progress, if I’m still breathing -he’s still working. And that’s ok. I’m never going to be perfect. I’m just trying every day to be more of who he wants me to be. One step at a time, one day at a time, sometimes one minute at a time. Less of me and more of you, God. Sometimes, I’m my biggest reader. I write this blog with some incredible insight that has been given to me, sometimes I don’t even realize what I’m writing until I go back and read it, and I’m like, “wow, good stuff” (and I’ll admit, sometimes not so great- but I’m a work in progress!)

I’m just walking by faith, letting my Savior lead me. Trusting that I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing, praying for guidance and understanding, praying that I am about my Father’s business.

Because that’s what all of this is really about. A journey, a relationship, both of those things are messy, not perfect, not always exactly what you think, and may not take you where you were expecting to go, but unlike any other relationship or journey, I can promise that they are absolutely worth it. Thank God that he loves you enough to save you from you. He loves us more than enough. He wants more than enough for all of us.

He wants to make us more like him, and less of us.  That’s the incredible thing about this relationship, it’s God who defines us, not our situations or our circumstances or anything like that.  It’s what the Bible says we are, what God says we are, we are the Sons and Daughters of the Almighty God! We are His children, we are royalty, we are heirs to the throne, we are his beloveds, we are fearfully and wonderfully made.  God loves us for who we are.  He created this whole big wide world and galaxy, and decided that the world needed one of you too.  Don’t ever forget that! 

Let’s Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, THANK YOU!! Thank you, that you don’t leave us where we are. Thank you that we can boldly come before your throne. Thank you that you give us a garment of praise, oil of joy, and beauty for ashes. Thank you that you are the incredible GOOD GOOD FATHER! Thank you that you watch over us, guide us, and protect us. Thank you that you are the Light! That others may see your light through us. Thank You for all that you are Father. Thank you for this blessed life. Joy for the morning and life all of our days. Thank you for giving us the victory. That you have already won. That we may stand with you as victors in Christ Jesus. That you are the SAME GOD who rose Christ FROM THE DEAD, and that you will raise us too – that all we ever have to do is ask. IN JESUS’ NAME!! AMEN!!

Mission’s Circle

Operation Christmas Child! This particular mission, is very near and dear to my heart. What an incredible opportunity. For less than $20, you can make a shoebox for a child, and drop it off at a local collection center, and spread love and the good news around the world. From right where you’re at. In every shoebox, Samaritan’s Purse puts a leaflet that gives the Salvation Story in their language, and as they’re distributing them, they share the story of Jesus Christ.

Operation Christmas Child

Donate here

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Funny how that works

20 Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, 
21 equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. – Hebrews 13:20-21

God prepares you

I really had no idea what I was going to write about this morning, but as always, God provides. As I sat down at our computer desk, I was flooded with the thoughts of how things come full circle. Of how, God prepares you for what you’re going to need later. As I spoke these last two weeks, first on Mercy, then about how I had needed to apply mercy that very week. It’s all just so incredible how God works.

It’s true though. Another great example, is one of my Pastors, was recently moved to write a book, like couldn’t shake the urge. And, when she sat down to really start writing it, she started going through her notes from previous years, and realized, she had practically already written it. Now, her book is available to everyone, and it’s a message of Goodbye Panic, Hello Peace. You can find it for sale here. #Godshowedup!

I have another friend, who started a home business in the past couple years. She’s a home & life organizer, she helps people declutter their houses, and their lives with creative and positive solutions, while being understanding and supportive. And recently when she was going back through some of her paperwork and different things she had collected (articles, documents, etc.) , she realized that this had been a passion of hers for years. And, here God had helped her make it into a business. #Godshowedup!

Even with the example of my mercy story, and the many, many other stories I’ve related to you over the almost 1 year I’ve been writing this blog. I felt compelled this week, in the fact that 1) I’ve been writing this blog for almost a year (?!?!? What?!) and 2) this week, I had yet another miraculous series of events that has compelled me to reflect in awe and wonder as to what the future will hold. Many, many moons ago, my husband and I had a candle business, and in our first real year of running the business, we turned a profit. But, then, life got in the way, and we focused on various other things for a long time, but as a lot of things have calmed down, and we’ve had the ability to refocus some efforts… here we’ve come full circle. Now, over the years, it’s been very tempting to restart the business, but it’s never been a good time, or we couldn’t focus our efforts. But now, it all seems right. And, with the internet businesses better than ever, I’m more optimistic than ever. I also had a girlfriend recently who was getting rid of a bunch of candle stuff, that I took off her hands for her ;). I mean – #Godshowedup!

It’s really incredible, when you leave everything in God’s hands, you do start seeing God’s hands in everything. I could go on and on, but I’ll just share a recap of this year’s areas where #Godshowedup. Because when you let him, He’ll show up, every time.

The Bible Study

Spoons 1 & Spoons 2

Light

Plans, plans, plans…

The God who provides

Don’t quench the Spirit

My Grace is sufficient

The Year of Great Loss

Full Circle

Best You

Worry

God’s Plans

How Great is our God?!

Timing

Working Out My Salvation

Let’s Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you!! Thank you for being the incredible, amazing, Good Father that you are. Thank you, that you show up! Thank you for being faithful. For wanting the best for us. Thank you that you are the Good, Good Father, who slowly shows us all the things we need to work toward your will for us. Thank You for laying your hands on our lives. Thank You, for all that you do Father. My words cannot express my gratitude for your will and hands in my life. I pray that everyone reading this experience the amazing awe and wonder that I have experienced at watching you work my life, for your good. I love you Father, and I appreciate all that you’ve done for me, and I ask that you show everyone here how much you show up. I pray that they let you work your hands in their lives. I know that you are the ALMIGHTY GOD WHO SHOWS UP, EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK! And, I’m so grateful for that. IN JESUS’ NAME!! AMEN!!

Mission’s Circle

Women’s Alive Conference is this next weekend! This is held in Brookings South Dakota, every year in October. A time for refreshment and renewal. A time for women to get together and encourage each other, and to soak in God’s word, and make lasting relationships with each other, and God. It’s October 18th & 19th. Crystal Jones is the guest speaker this year.

If you would like to join us, please register with the Holy Life Tabernacle. (Click here) It’s only $20!

Or if you would like to donate, click here, and chose Women’s Alive Conference in the options.

Working out my salvation

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed–not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence–continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, -Phillippians 2:12

Work it out

God’s got a sense of humor. And, I had one of those moments this week, where I really felt like I had it all together. You know? Like, yes, I’m really understanding this. Really drawing closer to God. Felt the Holy Spirit and I really making strides. Just mmm, I got this. Then, the past snuck up on me. Came out of left field…. And, I just had to look up and laugh, because I knew God was giggling. Looking down on me, “Really got this all worked out, do you? Let’s see how you feel about this.” And, suddenly, I was all human again.

That happens though, doesn’t it? We feel like we’re really doing things, really getting tuned in, really growing. And then, something comes up where we have to apply what we’ve learned. Ugh! What?!? C’mon! But, that’s why we’re told, “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed–not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence–continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling” Phillippians 2:12

We’re supposed to be working out our salvation. We’re supposed to be learning new things about our salvation, about the plan that God has for us and what that means in our lives. Then, we’re supposed to be applying it. And, He gives us a clue as well, “with fear and trembling” – doesn’t sound like it’s going to be easy, does it?

So, last week, I wrote on Mercy. First, we have to understand Mercy, to extend grace. We have to embrace the concept of being merciful, because even as the old antic says, “forgive and forget” – first we have to forgive – then, we can forget.

Many, many moons ago, I had someone in my life, who was a nightmare. Someone, who I went to school with, so it wasn’t like there was a lot I could do to avoid them, but for whatever reason, we did not get along, and lots of bad things happened because of it. And, I had told myself that I had forgiven them. I had let all of that go. But, then, this person had grown up, and is now involved with a relative of mine. And, in part of me saying that I had forgiven them, I had refused to tell anyone what had happened so long ago, since I didn’t want to skew anyone’s feelings about this person. Everyone has the capacity to change, so I was trying to give them a chance with everyone else. But, I personally, kept my distance. In hindsight, that sounds super-forgiving right? 😉 But, this past week, my relative was in dire trouble, and there was no way that I could help without having to talk to this person. And, I talked to them, very chill, conversation was very matter-of-fact, helping get the situation handled, and moving on. And, then, because they now have my phone number, they texted me…. Here’s where God started giggling. This person, couldn’t even remember what all had happened, but was very sorry for whatever it was, and was hoping that I would forgive whatever it was and genuinely hoped that we could have a relationship. This person couldn’t even remember what they had done, and I’m over here holding on tight. Oh mercy me, time to work on my salvation.

“If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” John 20:23 How can I hold onto someone’s sins, and condemn them, when they don’t even remember what happened? Why was I holding on so tight? I had done things far worse, remembered those things, and hoped that as I asked forgiveness they would find it in their hearts to forgive. Why am I acting differently? Because I’m human. But, more of you and less of me, God. Time to grow, time to apply what we’ve learned, and practice what I preach…. <— Ha, see what I did there 😉

So, I will be putting all of this down. Laying it at the feet of my Savior, and asking him to heal my heart, and let me grow. Let me know what it’s like to be more like him, and less like me.

Another thing that happened this week, and maybe you’ve seen it. Is this incredible video. This kid, who takes a moment to testify God’s mercy and grace to the world. Who publicly forgives his brother’s murderer, and says that it’s what his brother would want, and what God wants. As many comments state, we wish we could all be a little more like this guy, I challenge us to try.

https://www.npr.org/2019/10/03/766866875/brandt-jeans-act-of-grace-toward-his-brother-s-killer-sparks-a-debate-over-forgi

God bless you and keep you.

Let’s Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for your mercy. Thank you for being such an incredible example for us. Thank you that we have the opportunity to continually work out our salvation. Thank you that You are the good Father who forgives all, and challenges us to do the same. That we may bless those around us with your eternal mercy and grace. That others may see your light through us. That this man’s testimony of your forgiveness and your grace may soften people’s hearts and lead people to you. And that it may have the ripple effect, that other’s may challenge themselves to be more like you Father, and forgive and forget and only want the best for all. More of you, and less of us. Every day of the week. IN JESUS’ NAME!! AMEN!!

Mission’s Circle

Going to take a short break from promoting Operation Christmas Child, to promote the Women’s Alive Conference! This is held in Brookings South Dakota, every year in October. A time for refreshment and renewal. A time for women to get together and encourage each other, and to soak in God’s word, and make lasting relationships with each other, and God. It’s October 18th & 19th.

If you would like to join us, please register with the Holy Life Tabernacle. (Click here) It’s only $20!

Or if you would like to donate, click here, and chose Women’s Alive Conference in the options.