Could you?

Can you imagine knowing for years ahead of time that you’re going to be “stabbed” in the back by a close “friend”, (and even knowing who this person is, you still accept him/her into your inner circle) knowing you’ll be tormented, tortured, ridiculed, humiliated and yet still you’re willing to die for just a “chance” that others will believe in you and be saved. Enduring all this for people who may or may not even like you? For people who oppose you at every turn? Could you do that? Could or Can you put yourself in the “shoes” of Jesus, during that particular time, as he went through all of that?

I believe that most mothers, think they could and would do just that for their children; take their children’s place, if it meant saving them. But, if we’re really honest with ourselves and I mean really really honest, would we? I’m not so sure. As a parent I would like to think I would do anything to save my children from harm; and to be completely honest, me being the person I am in Christ, today, I probably would. But, if I didn’t know Christ? If I didn’t have a relationship with the Holy Spirit, would I? If I was still all about me and self-centered, would I put myself in their place to save them from harm? I don’t know that I would. As a matter of fact, In my early 20’s, as a single mother and before I really knew Jesus, I didn’t keep my son out of harms way. I put my son in situations that maybe I shouldn’t have; because, I wanted to be doing what I wanted to do; whether it was hanging out with my friends having a good time, or at home, staying up late, (usually watching movies) letting my son stay up with me, even though he should have been in bed asleep. I didn’t do what I should have known to be right; because I didn’t really have that internal guide (God’s Spirit).

Now, with the Holy Spirit guiding me, I’m a completely different kind of person and parent. My focus is mostly on other’s. Not just my kids and husband, but, people out in the world; some random, some specific. Can I honestly say I am selfless though, not by far. And so back to my original point… If my son or daughter was about to be hit by a car, you bet I’d be pushing them out of the way and taking the hit; if either of them(God willing this never happens) had cancer, I’d be begging God to let me trade places with them. But would I do these things for someone else? For someone who hated me? For someone who constantly treated me poorly, who tortured me? If I’m being honest, I’d say no. I’d say while it’s terrible what they’re going through, I think, I’d just be thankful it’s not me. Is that bad? I think in some ways yes, and in some ways no.

I guess that’s why Jesus was the Perfect sacrifice, because He was without sin, and therefore didn’t have those kind of thoughts. It wasn’t even a question for him.

Can you even fathom that? IT WASN’T EVEN A QUESTION FOR HIM. As the point of no return came closer and the anticipation built up in him, did he ask for God to take this burden away from him, (if it’s God’s will)? Yup, he sure did, but, He knew that was not God’s will and so he willing continued on with fulfilling his purpose.

He set himself aside, and endured the torment (emotional and physical) for all people that believe in him. Talk about living an other’s kind of life. Everything this man did was for others. EVERYTHING!

Now, in understanding the concept of living an “other’s kind of life”, I now ask, Would you be willing to walk in another person’s shoes in order to save them? What would the world look like today if You and I lived even just a fraction of the selfless life Jesus lived?

 

God Loves You!

I’m sure you’ve heard at some point in your life that God loves you. Do you believe it? Maybe you don’t. Maybe you do. Maybe you want to, but, you just can’t wrap your mind around it. Here’s my experience, and I’m still learning.

Did you know that despite everything you’ve done in your life that doesn’t line up with the Word of God, He still loves you? Did you know that He chases after you time and time again? Did you know that what you’ve done is NOT who you are? You are so much more than your mistakes. I know this, because, He’s been telling me for some time now, that, I am more than my mistakes; and if that is true for me, then it is also true for you.

As a young adult I never really understood the whole Trinity “thing”. More to the point the “God the Father” part of it. As we read the Gospels, we learn from Jesus about His Father; but, I never knew God in this way. HIS Father wasn’t my father; I had never felt about God the way Jesus felt about Him. I always thought He was some distant being in the sky. That was, until I started really digging deep into my bible, that’s when in a loving and gentle way, He started to reveal to me how he loved me and chose to adopt me into His family (Galatians 4:4-7). When I started learning all this and what it entails I realized His Father is now my Father and my experience has never been the same.

As a parent I love my children more than words can say. If they make a mistake, or they live apart from what they know to be right, and do not live according to God’s Word, my love for them doesn’t change. That is how God the Father loves us. That doesn’t mean there are no consequences for our disobedience; but, it does mean that our Father will love us through our disobedience as well as the consequences.

You see God loves you so much, that he gave you free will, the option to love Him back. However, whether you love him back or not, He will always, ALWAYS, love you. Exactly like a parent loves their child(ren). I’ve been watching my 18 year old son take a variation of the path I took when I was his age. I have tried to prevent that for about 13 years now. But, as his mother, I am at the point that I cannot bail him out anymore; and so it becomes one of those “tough love” scenarios. Does that mean I don’t love him anymore, not in the slightest. In fact, I love him so much, I refuse to continue to enable him. That is what our Father does for us, so that we will grow and mature into His design. Just like we as parents want our children to grow and mature into adults according to God’s design. But if we as parents don’t allow our children to go through the trials that will strengthen their character, we are not doing them ANY favors; and while they may feel as though we don’t love them, the truth remains that we love them more than they will ever know. That is, until they become parents themselves.

God loves you and me, so much that He refuses to enable us, so that our character is strengthen in order to fulfill His plans and purposes for our lives. How awesome is that? Contrary to popular belief, love doesn’t always “FEEL” good. Sometimes love hurts; but, it’s always only for a season of growth.

I pray that, you, each person who reads this, knows just how much God loves you!

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for using me and this platform to reach every person reading this. I ask that You would open the eyes of their understanding in the knowledge of You. I pray that You would reveal to us, the love you have for all of us; the depth of your heart for us; and what it means for our lives, regardless of what our past looks like. Father, take us, in this moment, where we are now, and pour into us, so that we can pour into others. I pray this in Jesus’s name. Amen.

Zoomed in or Zoomed out

1 Samuel 17 is the heroic tale of a shepherd boy, David, coming up against the champion of the Philistines; the giant, Goliath.

As a shepherd, your job was to watch over and protect the flock from dangers, such as: sheep getting lost, due to wandering away from the herd; cliffs; predators, like lions and bears.

David, the young hero in this tale, survived all of these dangers and I’m sure more; when he was sent by his father to bring his brothers, who were in the Israelite Army, some food and retrieve news of what was happening on the battlefield. When David got to the Army he learned of what was taking place; the Israelite Army, the people of God were terrified of the enemy champion, a giant named Goliath of Gath.

Now, David, was a confident youth. I mean he’d survived lion attacks and bear attacks. (1 Samuel 17:34) So, in his youthful Godly-confidence, he stepped up for the entire Israelite Army, to take on the giant that all the other soldiers were terrified of.

What made David stand up and take action, when the rest of the men were too afraid? What made him believe, that he would be able to defeat Goliath? Was it the fact that he was still a young boy, filled with the chutzpah of youth? Or was it a little bit of cockiness, because he had killed lions and bears protecting his flock? Why weren’t the grown men of the army as confident as David? Was it because they had seen more, lived more, known more, beyond the pastures of a grazing flock?

The answer for each of these questions is the same; according to 1 Samuel 16:13, the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully on David from that day forward. David was Godly-confident, because he knew the Truth; He had a personal relationship with the Spirit of the Lord. His focus was never on the problem or the danger of the “enemy”; his focus was always on the Lord God, because he had experienced God’s strength and power against lions and bears. David knew that the Lord God, would give him the strength and power for whatever he faced; regardless of whether it was a lion, a bear or a 9 1/2 foot giant. He knew that God would fight through him on his behalf.

 

As I look back on my youth, I see a girl who was cocky, not confident; arrogant, with an attitude and the mindset that I can take on the world, and I’ll beat it every time. I imagine much like David’s demeanor. (At least that’s how it came across to me in the story). However, unlike David, I wasn’t fighting my battles with or for the Lord God. I was fighting my battles in my own strength and in my own power; not really knowing anything about the Holy Spirit and how He works in and through our lives. So, I would say, the biggest difference between my mindset (as a youth) and David’s (as a youth), as well as the difference between David’s (as a youth) and the soldiers (as adults), was that his [mindset] was in the knowledge and truth that his strength and power came from God; and it was God through David who was victorious over his foes; which is why he was confident when he came to King Saul and told him that he, David, would fight the Philistine giant. I on the other hand, was much more like the Israelite army, wanting nothing to do with God, and taking all the glory for myself as I fought and won battles. I didn’t have a clue.

I’m older now, the battlegrounds have changed and like David, the Lord God is on my side; because, I have a personal relationship with Him, through His Son, Jesus, and in Him I have more wisdom. So, I approach dangers and problems differently now, opposed to how I approached them in my youth. In my youth, I would charge in guns blazing; in the same way David did with Goliath. But, now, I consider if I might not be more like the Israelite army, standing back, terrified, looking at the giant that wants to severely hurt me. It makes me wonder why, as an adult, I can’t wrap my head around the concept that David understood as a boy, that God is the strength and power that overcomes the dangers and the problems. Maybe, it’s that I fought so many battles, on my own, in my own strength and power and lost, that it makes me gun shy and too timid to stand up or stand out for truth. Maybe it’s that the consequences are different? There is more to “lose” now. Maybe, these are all just excuses, that the devil wants me to believe about myself, so that I will continue to forfeit the strength and power that Jesus Christ has gifted me and every one of God’s children with.

The truth of the matter is, David as a young boy was successful against all dangers, animal and human alike, because he was never zoomed in so much that the only thing in focus, was the danger or the problem. He zoomed out, so that when he saw the whole picture, it was (in this case) the giant that was blurred in the landscape of God’s power, strength, and ultimately His glory through him.

So, when danger appears or problems arise, or a giant wants to pummel you, where is your focus going to be? Are you going to zoom in, so that all you see in focus is the problem, or are you going to zoom out, look at the whole picture, blur the problem so that the abilities of the Creator of all things is what becomes focused? The choice is yours, but as for me, I pray God helps me to blur my problems and dangers, and focuses the background, where He works from.

Overcoming ADHD

This is a story about a woman who was diagnosed with ADHD in her mid 20’s and through prayer, God’s Word, and His mercy for a slow learner, she overcame the stigma that comes with ADHD. This is my story.

I believe it will help if you know a little bit of the back ground before my diagnosis. I was diagnosed in my mid 20’s because my family and I had NO IDEA that I had ADHD. We only knew what it looked like in my brother, we couldn’t have known it could look different or manifest itself differently in different people.

School was tough if I didn’t like a subject. I struggled through many of my classes. But, I did graduate. Once I did, life was just that much harder. Not being able to concentrate, too many thoughts constantly flooding my brain. *to this day, my brain very rarely rests, but I digress*. This way of life continued, until one day, when I was filling out the paperwork to have my son tested; I found myself able to answer yes for MANY of the questions. So, in 2006 both my son and I were diagnosed with ADHD we took the next step that comes with ADHD, we both started taking medication. We did this on and off for 12 years.

Which brings us back to present day, where this story, my story, takes an amazing turn. Toward the later months of 2017, I was attending a small group at church on Spiritual Warfare; that helped set me free and overcome ADHD. I learned about things like curses; generational and self inflicted. I learned about demonic strongholds. Most importantly though, I learned how to break both curses and strongholds. This is where I started; we were reading a book by Derek Prince called Blessing and Curses; it takes you through the steps to break curses and pull down strongholds; and over time that is exactly what I did. Through the blood of Jesus and His mighty name, I broke the generational curse of ADHD. I tore down the strongholds that came along with it, like allowing the spirit of deception to tell me that I was worthless, because I couldn’t even do something as simple as keeping my kitchen clean.

Now, I had a routine: I woke up, made my coffee, took my pill, and started praying. Many times praying for God’s help that day in concentrating on what I needed to get done and not getting distracted. Believe it or not, no matter how much I prayed, I still could not get motivated to clean the kitchen or any of the other things that a “good home maker” does. What was wrong with me? I found myself asking that question a lot. What is wrong with me, why can’t I make myself do this or do that? I see other people and they don’t struggle like this, what is wrong with me? I was doing everything I knew to do, and nothing was changing.

*Ok, I’m going to go down a bunny trail real quick. Here I was, taking my pills, praying for God to heal me of this affliction, because after all the bible says that He’s a healing God; I wanted to do the right things, I was trying to do the right things. It consumed me, really. But, all I felt, was that I wasn’t measuring up. Nothing I did seemed to work.*

Now back to my regular path. While I was praying one day, again for healing, I heard God tell me, “Daughter, there is nothing to heal. I made you this way for a purpose.” Several times while praying he said this to me. This went on for a week or two, (did I mention sometimes I’m a slow learner?) Then, one of the last times, He explained it a little better and my thoughts started to finally fall into place; He said, ” There is nothing to heal, you just have to renew your mind, and think about it differently.”

* You see, the reason I couldn’t measure up, the reason I always felt like I was failing, the reason I thought I was never good enough, is because essentially I couldn’t measure up, I was failing and it was never good enough. I was trying to fit into someone else’s expectations of what they thought I should be; and in the renewing of my mind, God told me, you can’t fit into the box they are trying to put you in, because that’s not the box I made for you*

As I said earlier, I was still taking my meds this entire time. Now, once I grabbed onto the concept that I didn’t need to be healed, that is where the medication now came into question; along with a specific scripture, that I’ll get to in a minute.  So, God has now renewed my mind, and I’m thinking differently about this, now I’m not praying about healing, now I’m praying for His help. But every morning when I took that pill, I heard His voice say, “You keep asking me for hep, but, you’re not really trusting me to help you.” Then, on January 13, 2018, as I swallowed my pill that morning, I heard God say, “What are you doing? You are putting your trust in the pill instead of putting your trust in me.” So, I made a decision that the following morning I was done. I was going to stop trusting in the meds and start trusting in God’s power in my life. As of January 14th, 2018, I have been off my medication and God has been faithful; my brain does not feel scattered. I no longer feel like I’m being forced into a box that I can’t possibly fit into. The atmosphere around me has completely changed.

I mentioned a scripture earlier, and my go to scripture for this affliction is 2 Timothy 1:7, God did not give you a spirit of fear and timidity, but one of power, love and a sound mind (emphasis added).

Here is what God revealed to me in my searching:

1) You were made exactly this way for a purpose. God made your brain, exactly the way He wants it. It’s how you will fulfill His plans for you life.

2) You cannot fit into ANYONE else’s expectations for you; not even your own. You can only fit into God’s expectations for you.

3) ALL ADHD medication is altering your mind, because that is it’s purpose. (Disclaimer: I am in no way saying to stop taking them. What I am saying is, if your are looking to be healed of ADHD, it is IMPERITIVE that you open up dialogue with God about the way HE made you. You are HIS creation, HE will now better than anyone what you should do.)

4) God is faithful! The bible says, that if you seek, you will find. He will reveal to you ALL you need to know in order to understand. Just don’t give up! Persevere!

Keep Your Head Up

My four year old daughter walks around our house with her head down; more often than not pretending she is a horse. What can I say, she loves horses. While she is walking around in this manner I hear myself (more often than I’d like to) saying to her, “Hanna, keep your head up.” After all, what kind of mother would I be if I let my dear child walk around head down, and a greater potential of harming herself? Ya know, due to the fact that the only thing she can see is the floor and not the wall she’s about to walk into.

On Tuesday, January 30, 2018 I was watching her do this; and although the words, keep your head up, oh man, Hanna keep your head up, circled around in my mind, they didn’t actually make it to the audible state. I believe that is because God was speaking to me about how often He too says these words to His children. It’s like He was highlighting the phrase for me.

Have you ever noticed how often people, myself included, walk around looking down? They do, and I was notorious for this, thinking that if I don’t make eye contact they won’t notice me. Like when you’re a little kid covering your eyes, you think nobody can see you, because you can’t see anyone with your eyes covered? Yeah, same concept. I thought, it would be easier to slip in and slip out of places if I keep my head down; not seeing anyone and not letting them see me or converse with me. I found myself doing this in school, a new job, the grocery store and even and most often at church (sad but true); and if I’m to be completely, 100% honest, I still do this. But, this morning, God has put this phrase on my heart, and I, from this moment forward, will be trusting in Him to strengthen my neck muscles, so that I can, Keep my head up.

Have you ever watched someone walking around looking down, and wondered how they haven’t ran into anything yet, I mean all they can see is their fee and whatever might be on the ground. Sure, they don’t trip, but, they aren’t really aware of their surroundings either. Would you indulge me, by helping me with a little experiment? Don’t worry, it won’t take long. If you can get someone to assist that would be great, if not, it’s ok; you’ll just have to do both things. I’m sure you can handle it though. So, here’s what I want you to do, stand up, and tilt your head down fixing your eyes straight down. Then, write down what you see, yes, even in your peripheral vision. Once you have it written down, stay standing and in the same spot, we’re going to do this again, but this time keep your head up and write down all that you see. Compare the two lists.

How much do we miss when we walk through life with our eyes fixed on the ground, trying to just blend in and not be seen?

Thank you by the way, for helping me with that little illustration.

Why do so many of us walk around like this? Do you think God made you so that you would blend in? No; He made you to be unique! He made you to stand out, that is why He put the brightest light to ever shine on this earth in each and everyone of us, who call him Lord, Savior and Friend.

Who ever you are, no matter what your past holds, you were created intentionally and with purpose; FOR a purpose. You, my dears, both brothers and sisters alike are unique and God is wanting us (me included) to stop walking around with our heads down. He is telling us to keep your head up. Just like I tell my daughter, so she can see where she is going and not run into anything that might hurt her all because she’s looking down.

So, remember, You are alive because you are unique and God has a purpose for you; He has placed inside of you a light that wants to be spread around, shining brightly into the lives of others, so that they too might shine and spread His light. So, Keep Your Head Up, that way you won’t miss the opportunities God has placed before you to shine.

God’s Lighthouse

Hello! I just wanted to welcome you to my first blog post EVER, so please keep that in mind as you read on. I am a newbie, but, we all have to start out somewhere.
On that note, I thought I’d share my God’s Lighthouse devotion on this first post. Yes it’s jumping right in, but, really not sure how to be subtle with this. God gives me topics to write on, and that’s why I’m here, writing on a blog. I pray that God gives you wisdom and revelation as you read this post. In Jesus’ name. Amen

God’s Lighthouse

A while back, as I was reading my bible, I was given a mental image of the similarities between Christ followers and lighthouses; and how as Christ followers we are to shine our light in this dark world, shining our beacon light on the path that leads to our heavenly home with Jesus in eternity.

So, check it out, lighthouses have been around since before Jesus. A lighthouse by definition, is a tower or other structure containing a beacon light to warn or guide ships at sea. They are built in different shapes and sizes; some have lights that are revolving and some have lights that are constant, but in them all, the light never goes out.

You might be wondering how lighthouses represent Christ followers; well, God led me to some scriptures to support the similarities.

Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” (John 8:12) Paul wrote in his letter to Corinth, …Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God. (1 Cor 6:19) John wrote, All who proclaim that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God. (1 John 4:15) and in Paul’s letter to the people of Philippi, he writes, ‘You are to live clean innocent lives as children of God in a dark world full of crooked and perverse people. Let your lives shine brightly before them.’ (Phil 2:15)

In the first scripture, we see that Jesus is literally the light that will NEVER go out; and in the second verse, it states our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit, the place it lives; and, as the third verse states it takes believing and proclaiming that Jesus is the Son of God in order for the Helper or Holy Spirit to dwell within us. So with these three verses, We have become the lighthouse; the structure containing a beacon light to guide or warn…

Now, there’s one more aspect of a lighthouse to consider. The keeper of the lighthouse. The lighthouse keepers are the people who makes sure that no matter what, that light shines bright. I’ll get into that more in my next post. But, if your lighthouse windows aren’t unclean, you can’t expect the light to shine through very brightly; which means, the lighthouse isn’t really fulfilling it’s purpose. Which is why in Philippians 2:15, Paul says, we are to live clean, innocent lives… and let our lives shine brightly.

When I was reading all of these, scriptures, at different points in my relationship with Christ Jesus, it dawned on me what this meant for my calling. You see, God wants all of us to love one another and help one another. My calling is to help and to encourage people in their walk/relationship with Jesus.

As we grow and mature in Christ, His light begins to shine brighter and brighter inside of us; but, what are we doing with it?

I propose, we do precisely what Paul says, and let our lives shine brightly in this dark world.

Will you join me in this lighthouse journey?

Lord, I thank you for the light of your Spirit and ask for your help, taking every opportunity, to shine it brightly, guiding and encouraging others searching for the right Way. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Thank you for stopping by, hope you enjoyed this post.
Corrie