"Count it all joy when you fall into various trials."

Posts tagged ‘love’

Who are the People God Throws Away?

Are there really people thatGod has created to throw away?  Is it His will that some of us are destined for hell?  Who would they be?  Why would God bother to create people for destruction? Let’s look at how “Christians” look at people who are ‘different’ from their idea of Christian life.

Recently I became aware that some good church folks think it is okay to look down on and even dismiss some people.  In fact, if one of these undesirables comes into their sanctuaries, they would be put on the back row in the balcony so as not to offend.

What does a candidate for salvation look like?  Are they well-groomed, middle class with a good income and not too many problems?  Are these the only ones God loves?

So who are we throwing away?

A young man gives his heart to the Lord and then tells his pastor that he is gay and loves his partner.  The Pastor tells him to go get his life straightened out and then come back.  He goes to another church and the Pastor preaches that all homosexuals are destined for hell and are an abomination.  He falls into despair and quits going to church.

A young woman is pregnant and the father of her child is her dad.  She turns to the church for help.  The board is shocked and suggest an abortion.  She has come to them for help and to find a way to keep the child in safety from her family.  They report her father and he spends jail time and is forever a registered sexual offender.

A young boy of seventeen comes to church alone and when the Sunday School teacher talks to him, she finds out that he is being molested by a family member.  She calls social services and he ends up in foster care and his family member is in jail.  Redemption?

A father of four confesses His love for Jesus but can’t get free from his addiction to alcohol.  He begs the pastor for help, but he either doesn’t know how to help him or doesn’t want to help him.  He comes to church faithfully; every week he goes down to the altar begging for help.  Within the year, he dies.  He is forty-five years old.

A mom has a new baby with an abusive husband.  Because of her victimization, she has lost her other four children by a previous husband.  Now this husband plays mind games with her and tortures her with losing she fears losing this baby.  She seeks for help but the pastor can’t get her free.  She lives in fear.

A couple has lost everything.  They are living in their car, washing up at McDonald’s and working for Image Detailhourly pay doing the most menial things.  They have nothing, clothes are threadbare and their teeth are decaying.  Are they invited to the front row?  No, they sit down and the people around them get up and move away.

A trembling Muslim woman in a hijab comes in and slinks off in a dark corner hoping not to be noticed.  Her husband has beaten her again and has left alone for a few days.  Having escaped from her prison, she is hungry for a religion of love and wants to hear about Jesus.  She overhears someone call her a terrorist and leaves in fear.

A  Charismatic  couple visit a mainline church. They are made to feel welcome.  One of the greeter ask them where they go to chruch and when they realize the denomination, they all turn a walk away and don’t speak to them again.  Their doctrine is more important than the people.

A rather plain woman with Down’s Syndrome is brought to the church.  She loves everyone and wants to touch them and kiss them but the church people are repulsed by her.

A beautiful young woman comes in to the church.  Her father died when she was sixteen and she is hungry for the counsel of a godly man.  It starts out well, but before long, the Pastor takes her to bed.  She is confused and her understanding of God as Father is corrupted.

A soldier coming back from the Middle East has Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome and struggles with suicidal tendencies.  They counsel him and counsel him, but they have no power to set him free and one day, he is found in his car with the motor running.  At the funeral, the pastor wonders if he could have done anything differently.

All of this grieves the Father-Heart of God.  He loves each one of us.  It doesn’t matter to him if we are a murderer, alcoholic, homosexual, lesbian, pregnant with out marriage, suicidal, handicapped, vulnerable or a molester.  He wants us to come to Him.  He loves us.

As those who have given our hearts to God, we need to remember that when we judge another, we may be guilty of something worse.  It boomerangs on us.

Today, I invite you to quit judging people with soft hearts who want to know God.  They may look hard and scary, but they are looking for answers and they want to see the love of God in you.

We are all broken.  We just don’t always tell everyone what is wrong with us.

Read the testimonies at http://SwimTalks.wordpress.com.  Remember where you came from.  If you were a good person with no noticeable faults, remember ‘God resists the proud.”

God loves us.  Every one.  He created hell for the devil and the other fallen angels, not for us.  So the next time you think that someone isn’t good enough to join your fellowship, check your own heart.

I invite you to receive God’s forgiveness and ask Him to put His love in your heart for even the least of us.  They are in gangs, murdering and lost because those of us in the church are not sharing the love of God with them.  Purpose today to spend time with the God of Love and get filled up with Him.  Quit playing church and BE the Church!!

The Body – A Song of Praise by Clare Kaegi-Watts

Presenting Clare-Kaegi Watts, my dear and talented friend. The pictures here are her original artwork done in great detail in pen and ink. 

She is also a poet whose words are a praise to our Heavenly Father.  In her work, THE BODY, you will see that she highlights various parts of her body that she uses to praise the Lord.  (i.e.  Eyes, Feet, Hands, etc.)

It is my hope that the art and the poetry bless you as they have me. 

 The Body

A Song of Praise

Before the light of morning spills across the land

I rise to greet the day and thank my God

For His grace, His love, my liberty.

Some distance walked while still half dark,

Through trees the soft mists shrouding.

The quiet of my LORD’s creation settles, peaceful, still,

Upon my spirit as I seek His sweet presence there.

 

A soft golden ray of light from this day’s sun

Alights upon the silver, polished limbs

Of a tall and stately Gum right in my path.

A movement caught my eye,

A note of song of sweet, pure clarity

As tiny birds of dazzling hue and great fragility

Woke joyful, carefree, singing praises

To their Maker for this new fair day!

 

I stopped, looked and held my breath;

The scene to me became a symphony

Of light, and sound – and wonder.

God’s blessings, beyond number, took perspective

Far too wonderful for words to say

As revelation led to revelation beyond number.

Welling up from deep within, this song of praise erupted ……

 

Oh, LORD Creator, thank You for my EYES that I may see

The beauty of this tall and stately tree,

That ALL Your wonderful creation I too may gaze upon

And praise Your handiwork with, “It is good!”

And precious Savior thank You for my inner eyes

That I may see the wonder of Your Truth.

 

Oh, LORD Creator, thank You for my EARS that I with joy

May hear the sweet song of birds carefree,

The cricket’s chirp, cicada shrill, frog or busy bee;

Or stand and listen to Your wind blow gently through the trees.

And loving Savior, gentle Friend, thank You for my “inner ear”

That hears Your still, small voice of guidance, love and care.

 

Oh, LORD Creator, thank You for my TONGUE that I

With thanks and praise may taste of Your rich bounty –

Of fruit, or herb or honey sweet,

Of bread, or fish or tender meat,

And blessed Jesus thank You for my LIPS that join

With tongue to sing Your praises,

Glorifying You for ALL Your graces.

 

Oh, LORD Creator, thank You for my HANDS that I may touch

The wonders of Your work.

To feel the softness of a petal smooth,

The sweet touch of baby’s cheek.

But especially I thank You LORD for these strong hands

To do Your work and minister to souls in need.

And Abba, Father, thank You for these HOLY hands

Rising with my prayers as precious incense to Your Throne,

That reaching, touch Your great and loving heart –

To receive blessings beyond words known!

 

Oh, LORD Creator, thank You for my FEET that bear me

On journeys far, that I might marvel as I travel

At Your good gifts so great by far!

I bless You, Jesus, for these feet made strong to carry me

Through my pilgrimage to heaven eternal –

And follow in YOUR footsteps straight and true.

Beloved LORD, I thank You for my MIND that through life’s journey

I can ponder on those things of God

That come from You each morning.

That in my memory retain the treasures of Your Wisdom

And Your guidance, meditating daily on Your Word

And think with joy and wonder of those things which are above!

 

But LORD Creator, Mighty, Gracious God, I thank You

Bless and praise You most for my strong HEART.

You took my old cold stony one, and cast it on the scrap-heap,

And in its place You put a heart of flesh, restored,

Washed in my Savior’s blood, cleansed and forgiven.

So now I see, O SO clear! – that ALL I am, and ALL I have,

And EVERYTHING about me

Is gifted from my loving God, that I may sing His praises.

And this body, made by Him,

For Him, a holy Temple.

To God, and Him alone – be glory!

AMEN.

 

 

Aside

Reboot!

REBOOT!

Did you ever have a day when everything you did made you feel more and more irritated?  It is like something was just slamming the door on all of the peace that you had in the Spirit?  Well, I have had just such a day. 

As you might guess, much of the frustration has been with the internet and computer based issues.  I interacted with two different companies  on-line. 

One I didn’t get after paying for it.   Another encounter charged me a great deal of money for something that I didn’t think I was getting and certainly didn’t want. On the second issue, when I called to correct it, they told me it was non-refundable.  (The other issue is being resolved and was based on their own computer issue internally.) 

Now, it was just seconds after I pushed the submit button on the second charge that I realized what I had done and called to stop the payment.  The word non-refundable hit me and I felt waves of anger rise up on the inside of me.  I was on the phone about 20 minutes with long hold times listening to elevator music.  When I finally got to the floor supervisor, he wanted to appease me with a partial refund and a benefit that sounded good on the surface, but in reality was just a another waste of time. Without boring you with all the details, I hung up and called the credit card company and have been assured that I will be receiving a full refund. 

Which leads me to the point of this story.  Sometimes we cause problems due to our own interior operating system.  We don’t mean to be hurtful, but there are issues that we haven’t yielded up to the Lord for Him to handle.  We are doing it in our own strength and our personal “computer,’ no matter how sophisticated, is not able to perform properly without our Lord, the Great Systems Administrator, putting things right.  There is no malice in what we did.  We just caused problems for someone else, because we were running with a ‘ virus.’

But there are times that our actions are truly like malware.  We are in it to win it and we ‘con’ everyone along the way.  What we do is for our benefit alone and as far as we are concerned, it is ‘non-refundable.’  We are proud of our ability to put it over on someone else.  When this happens, it is time to re-boot the system or move toward system failure.

Take a deep breath, get your Bible and head to the prayer closet.  Lay out on the floor and cry out, “Help!   I am in way over my  head here.  I am hurting other people and I am hurting myself.  Rescue me from this mess!”  Read a favorite Scripture, quiet your spirit and rest in Him.  He is not mad at you.  He knows that you are flawed, but He is able.  Give Him a chance to change it all. 

Only Jesus Christ can rescue us from this life of sin and death!  Do you belong to Him?  If you belong to Him, He knows that you may try to run things on your own.  And He will step back and let you run under your own power until you give up and turn to Him. 

Once you realize that He really, REALLY loves you, you don’t want to run your life without Him.  He has sent the Holy Spirit to lead you and be your Comforter, Helper and Teacher.  All you have to do is listen to that still small voice.  It is the thought that you didn’t think – the solutions you could not have come up with in your old life. 

  What a privilege to yield to Him and live free.

If you don’t know Him, it isn’t hard.  The Bible says that those who call on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ shall be saved. Read John 3:16, 17. Find out how much He loves you and that He is just waiting for you to call out to Him. Each of us come to the realization of who He is in a different way. For me, I was driving down the road, listening to the radio preacher when God took over his voice and I knew for sure that He was real. I just began to say, “I’m sorry Jesus. I just didn’t know. I didn’t know.” So it isn’t a formula, it is a heart thing.   Ask Him to make Himself real and I promise that He will.

Are you frustrated with your actions and disappointed in your behavior?  Share your thoughts.

Confirming Scriptures:

John 3:16-17  16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His [a]only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.

1 John 4:7-8    7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

Psalm 116:4
Then I called upon the name of the LORD: “O LORD, I beseech You, save my life!”

Acts 2:21
‘AND IT SHALL BE THAT EVERYONE WHO CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.’

Romans 10:13
for “ WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.”

1 Corinthians 1:2
To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours:

1 John 3:23 This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. 24 The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.

Romans 7:21-25 21 I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. 22 For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, 23 but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? 25Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.

Freedom

I wrote this when my children were little.

Sweet and Strong

My children are special to me,

They are whatever they want to be,

A ballet dancer, a movie star,

The cookie monster in the cookie jar.

They live with me and visit their Dad,

It’s the best arrangement to be had.

They get the best of both worlds you see;

Of Dad and his family and of kitty and me.

They are fun, they are special,

 They are my pride and joy;

This pretty sweet girl and this strong gentle boy.

Yep!  We got divorced when they were little and I remarried when they were nine and ten.  Now, I don’t know what was the more traumatic – the divorce or remarriage.  They were very resilient and have grown into fine adults, but they had faced many challenges by the time they left home to become their own persons.

After we had been married a year, Joe and I got ‘saved.’  It was wonderful and strange.  We started going to church whenever the door was open and if there wasn’t a church program, then we went to a visiting ministry.  We were in church twice on Sunday, had family altar on Monday, Tuesday was home fellowship, Wednesday was church, Thursday was choir practice, Friday was the youth meeting where we had a leadership role.  Saturday was open – really?

We had the children do their homework for an hour, practice their band instruments for an hour and study the Bible for an hour – and then – they could go outside and play but they didn’t get to go very often.

We did some good things, but the schedule outweighed most of it.

To say that we made mistakes is an understatement.  We had great kids, but we never made knowing the Lord a good thing.  Jesus came because the Father loved us but all we knew was a series of rules to be followed and meetings to attend.  We have no defense.  We just wanted to do it right and in the process we became Pharisees and religionists.  We were like the only people in the Scriptures that Jesus ever got mad at.

My husband dropped out of the church process twice because what he experienced didn’t line up with the Scripture.  We didn’t put down roots because we couldn’t find the answers.

In my studies, I found the Scripture in Galatians that says, “It is for freedom that Christ set us free!”  I wasn’t free.  I didn’t know how to be free. Joe didn’t know how to be free.  I remember telling a friend who was a Pastor’s wife that I knew this had to work, and she asked me “to call her when I figured it out!”  She didn’t know either.  We were going through the motions that was expected by the church leadership and our peers. What we didn’t understand was that when our enemy was unsuccessful in killing Jesus, he decided to join the church.  He twists what happens and keeps us focused on ourselves.  It is a successful strategy and we live out of our heads instead of our hearts.  This diminishes the truth of the Spirit.  Without the Word, Christianity is just another religion.  Without the Spirit, it is all about rules and doctrine and has no life.

We spent a lot of time judging others who were as lost as we were.  We thought the little light that we saw was better than the little light that they had.  Judging is a bad deal.  The Scripture tells us that when we judge others, we are also judged the same.

We began to look for answers and went from one church to another regularly never finding the freedom we saw in the Scriptures.  Soon we realized that the way we had raised the children was counter productive, but they had moved on and there was no second chance.  We were saved but we had missed the love walk.

I apologized to our kids, but I don’t think they ever understood what we were talking about.  My heartache was that even though I know that Jesus is the answer, I didn’t know why, and my life didn’t reflect the joy and love I knew should be there.    I kept looking while  Joe just gave up and stayed home.  I got involved in several churches that made no sense and one group that was really dangerous.  Joe tried to tell me that I was on thin ice, but I didn’t listen.  It seemed to me that he was against everything and I wanted fellowship so I just closed my ears.  I learned that God gave me a husband to protect me and I should listen to him.  I won’t make that mistake again!

In the last year, we have been fortunate to find a fellowship that isn’t church as usual.  The leader really knows God.  He isn’t just talking about what he has read or heard others say.  He actually hears from the Lord and he is teaching us to hear for ourselves.   He hates religion!   He isn’t all about himself or being the super star.  He tells us how God has become real and changed his life from drug and sexual addictions to the free-est man I have ever met.  It is an honor to get to know him and a bigger honor to get to know Jesus, the Holy Spirit and Father God.

He has poured hours of one-on-one time into Joe and I.  In all the years we have sought the Lord, no one has ever been willing to share with us in this manner.  It has opened us up in new ways.  We have been privileged to meet the Lord face-to-face.  I read about it, but never thought it would happen to me.  I am very grateful.

As an encourager, he has helped us to see our gifts from our hearts and not from our heads.  He has encouraged me to write and because of it, my writing skills have improved greatly and I find joy in it daily.  I have watched him encourage one young man to develop his skills as our worship leader while developing other gifts in him at the same time.  He improves every time he leads us.  Another man is urged to use his gifts of leadership.  There are so many more.  He pours his life into us and we are developing, so that we can pour our lives into others.  It is a true discipleship program.

You may be thinking that your church is great. I am happy for you and I do  believe there are fellowships that are solid, but I also know that it is rare.  The “rule makers” that confine us are doing what they have been taught and they, too, need to be set free!  I pray regularly that the church will wake up.  It’s time!

Thank God that now I am free!  My prayer is that God will make Himself as real to others as He has made Himself to us.

Are you free?  Write me and let me know your thoughts.

Related sites:

www.pliablehearts.wordpress.com

www.swimlifelessons.wordpress.com

www.notafan.com

Scriptures:

All of the book of Galatians

Galatians 5:1  It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.  NASB

Matthew 7:1
Do not judge so that you will not be judged.

1 John 4:7
7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is [a]born of God and knows God.

Ephesians 5:14
For this reason  it says, “ Awake, sleeper, And arise from  the dead, And Christ  will shine on you.”

1 Thessalonians 5:11
Therefore  encourage one another and  build up one another, just as you also are doing.

Hebrews 3:13
But  encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the  deceitfulness of sin.

Aside

The Farm

THE FARM

The screen door on the old farm-house slammed shut.  Shouting for Grandma, I ran in, breathless.  I had been on a tramp in the woods and was reporting in.  My parents were on vacation and I was privileged to come to the country.  I loved the quiet and I thought of it as my special place in the whole world.

Grandma and Grandpa listened to the radio every night which played the Lone Ranger and the Bohemian Band.  We would listen or play cards at night before we would go to bed.  I can still see the small parlor with the dining room table, shining wood cabinets with glass doors, and the african rosewood clock with a pendulum that chimed on the hour.  It was alive with love and activity.

When I would walk down the lane, just beyond the bridge, a choke cherry tree would have fragrant blooms in early spring.  The finger shaped blossoms mesmerized me.  At the base of the tree, the dirt of the lane was a soft sandy texture unlike any that I have ever felt since.  At the flat wooden bridge that connected the lane to the farm buildings, I would sit down, dangle my feet over the side and watch the dark green moss waving in the crystal clear water just above the pebbles and gravel on the bottom.  iridescent shimmery blue and black dragon flies darted around the wispy blossoms shooting up from the moss.  It was a time to reflect on the beauty of God’s creation.

This is where I first knew God’s voice.  It wasn’t strong but he spoke to me in several ways.  There were things that he showed me about who I was and that I couldn’t be anyone else; that the people in the world had lives of their own and that they didn’t just start into motion when I entered the room.  (Talk about being self-centered!)  He showed me things about my future and about the nature around me.  He taught me faithfulness through Stubby, our collie dog.  It was the sweet, innocent times of a child.  It was peace and discovery.

Today, I am learning to feel God’s presence within me.  Yes, I did say feeling.  When the Scriptures speak of the heart, it is the Holy Spirit’s Presence within you because of having accepted Jesus’ finished work.  This feeling is like an inner hug and goosebumps.  Father speaks to my heart.  He comforts, confronts, instructs and encourages me.  I am learning to know Him face-to-face.  I close my eyes and find myself in the heavenly throne room where Father dwells in unapproachable light – except I can approach Him, because I belong to Him.

For a long time, I was afraid to draw near because there were things in my life I wasn’t ready to release, but it was a foolish fear.  When I drew near to Him, He drew near to me and welcomed me.  The sin fell off of me the closer I got to Him and I entered into His love.  I was warm, protected, sheltered and loved.  He wasn’t mad at me.  He knew that I couldn’t do it without Jesus and so He provided a Way to Life and Life more abundantly.

Being at the Farm was the best I could do here on the earth, but there is nothing that compares with what the Father opens to me, when I open my heart.  I just surrender and say, “I blew it!  Help!”  He just gathers me up in His arms and holds me.

Won’t you draw near?  Visualize Him and walk through the door – Jesus Christ – He is the door.  Without Him there is no way, but ask Jesus to come into your heart and the Way is open.

Tell me, can you hear God’s voice?  Are you willing to draw near?  Write to me and know that I will pray for you.

URL:  https://joyousbells.wordpress.com/2012/02/16/the-farm/

Other links:

http://swimlifelessons.wordpress.com and look at the Happily Ever After Post

http://pliableheart.wordpress.com and look at Resurrecting Feelings

http://www.christianblog.com/blog/kiwigirl/to-enter-the-throne-room/

Confirming Scripture

Revelation 1:15
His  feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace, and His  voice was like the sound of many waters.

James 4:8
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.  Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and  purify your hearts, you  double-minded.

Hebrews 10:22
let us  draw near with a  sincere heart in  full assurance of faith, having our hearts  sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies  washed with pure water.

Hebrews 7:25
Therefore He is able also to  save  forever those who  draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to  make intercession for them.

Hebrews 4:16
Therefore let us  draw near with  confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

John 14:6
Jesus *said to him, “I am  the way, and  the truth, and  the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

Hebrews 4:16
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Aside

Desire

DESIRE

On a beautiful horse farm in Kentucky,  a tiny AKC registered Irish setter puppy was born.  He was perfect and his owner loved him.  One day a man came by looking for work and the owner felt he was unsavory and sent him on his way.  After he left, they found that their beloved puppy was missing.  The owner looked for them both, but to no avail.

The man who had taken the puppy was named Hurley and he found work at a salvage yard as the night watchman.  He trained the puppy to be a guard dog and named him ‘Dog.’  It was a dirty place and as Dog grew, he became very scruffy and untidy looking.  His long fur became clumped and matted.  The man tried to make him mean but the nature bred into him was to be kind and loving.  He had to bark when ever there were intruders or Hurley would prod him with a long ugly stick.  He was kept in a cage all day with no food or drink, and when he was let out at night he was fed dry dog food and water out of a dirty dish.  The man was not one to be kind and somehow the dog knew that this was not the life he was meant to live.

Each day was misery as Dog tried to sleep with all the noise of the busy salvage yard.  The nights were worse as he was kept moving by the lazy night watchman prodding him with a long stick.  He desired to be free.  Nothing felt right and he was in deep despair.  Every night as he patrolled the fence, he looked for a way of escape.

One late afternoon, a well-dressed man came to the salvage yard.  Hurley was just getting Dog out of the cage and preparing to feed him.  The man took one look at the scruffy mess of a dog and recognized the fine lines of a champion.  Deep inside he begin to wonder if this was his lost puppy.  He addressed Hurley and asked about the sorry-looking animal.  Hurley looked at him and narrowed his eyes and rasped, “What do you want to know for?”  The man replied, “How much do you want for him?”  Hurley almost shouted, “He is not for sale!”  The gentleman looked at him and said,  “Would you take $200?”  Greed lit a fire in the grubby man’s heart and he pondered for a moment.  “Why do you want this ugly dog?”  The man in the suit replied, “I’d like to give him a better life.”  “Well,” Hurley said,” you can give me a better life also.  I’ll sell him to you for $1000!”  As the suit reached for his wallet, he said “Done!”  and peeled off ten $100 bills.  Hurley took the money and growled, “I shoulda asked for $3000!”

The gentleman opened his car door and beckoned the scruffy sad dog to get in, but he hung back.  Hurley got out his prod and poked at the ugly critter and said, “Dog, go!” and waved the stick toward the car.  With his tail between his legs, he nervously got in the back seat of the Cadillac Escalade and laid down on the floor.  The motor started and his new owner drove through the gates and out of the prison

The new owner’s name was Franklin and he owned a horse farm not far away.  He knew in his heart that the pitiful hound was his lost puppy.  He took him home and called the vet and the groomers.  After a dog spa day and a compete medical check up, the dog felt strange.  He saw other beautiful dogs that were being petted and loved.  He longed to be one of them, but he knew it could never be. He was from a different world. The spa day had resulted in all of his matted fur being removed.  Now he was bald and even uglier than before and he was embarrassed.  He slunk into the breeding barn and found a horse blanket in a back corner and laid down, content to be alone, clean and away from the hated man and the salvage yard.

Time passed and the owner had the dog tested and found that he was indeed the lost litter pup.  They named him Champion of the Overcomers and registered his blood line. From then on “Champ” was his name though it took Champ awhile to recognize he was being called.  Franklin taught him to play and took him for long runs in the beautiful meadows.  He felt their love.  His new owner sat on the grass and held him and petted him.  His fur grew out and he looked so different. He felt brand new.  This is who the lost dog was meant to be. He was a beautiful pedigreed champion with perfect classic lines.  Champ was groomed regularly.  Franklin began to train him for an upcoming dog show.  He would be a real surprise to the local  kennel crowd.

Champ loved the attention and responded to the commands with joy.  When he went through the paces at the contest, he swept the awards winning his class and ‘Best of Show.’  Franklin and his family were proud of him and he was very happy.  So the ugly ‘junk yard’ dog became a true Champion with ribbons and trophies and experienced his true life.  He knew he was born for this.

We, too, are made for greatness and for the One who owns us.  We have fallen so far below the privilege of who He created us to be and we live in pain, lack, and despair.  Broken relationships make trusting others difficult.  Deep within each of us there is a desire – an ache to be more.  We don’t know how to get there but we know  somewhere there is an answer.  We look for more, but the desire has grown distant.  We try drugs, alcohol, sex and food to cover our pain only to find our drug of choice only makes things worse. And just like Dog, we have a Hurley or several Hurleys in our lives to tell us we are worthless and keeps us moving through the junk yard of despair.

So,” who will rescue us from this life” of pain and broken dreams?  Thank God, He sent Jesus Christ to redeem us out of despair, to fulfill our lost desire and bring us back to our Great Father who loves us and wants us to love Him in return.  He has a beautiful life for anyone who will draw near.

Now I want you to know that this is not the ‘religion’ that your parents tried to shove down your throat.  This is a relationship with the great Creator God of the Universe. Contrary to popular press, He is a good God.  His ‘loving kindness endures forever.  You can trust HIm.  You can know Him and He will talk to you.  He already loves you.

So, where is He when you need Him?

He is waiting. The Bible says that those who call on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ shall be saved.  And also, it tells us that if we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us.  Just like the poor lost dog when he stepped into the Cadillac.  He didn’t know that this step would set him free to be in an amazing relationship with his new owner.

Find out how much God loves you and that He is just waiting for you to call out to Him and move toward Him.  Each of us comes to the realization of who He is in a different way.  For you, it may be reading this post and realizing that there is more.  For me, I was driving down the road, listening to a radio preacher when God took over his voice and I knew for sure that God was real.  I just began to say, “I’m sorry Jesus.  I just didn’t know.  I didn’t know.”  So it isn’t a formula, it is a heart thing.  Ask Him to make Himself real to you and I promise that He will.

John 3:16 – 17  God so loved the world (put your name here), that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.17For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world (put your name here); but that the world (put your name here also) through Him might be saved.

Scriptures for further study:

Romans 10:11 & 13 10For with the heart man believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.  11For the scripture says, Whosoever believes on him shall not be ashamed.  . . .  13For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (You can be a whosoever today.)

Psalm 20:4 -5  May He grant you your heart’s desire And fulfill all your counsel!  We will sing for joy over your victory, And in the name of our God we will set up our banners. May the LORD fulfill all your petitions.

Psalm 38:9  9 Lord, all my desire is [e]before You; And my sighing is not hidden from You.

Psalm 107:27-31  They reeled and staggered like a drunken man, And were at their wits’ end. 28 Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, And He brought them out of their distresses. 29 He caused the storm to be still, So that the waves of the sea were hushed. 30 Then they were glad because they were quiet, So He guided them to their desired haven. 31 Let them give thanks to the LORD for His lovingkindness, And for His wonders to the sons of men! NASB

Psalm 145:19 He will  fulfill the desire of those who fear (this means to regard Him with respect and awe) Him; He will also  hear their cry and will save them. NASB

Proverbs 10:24 What the wicked fears will come upon him, But the desire of the righteous will be granted. NASB

Proverbs 13:19a Desire realized is sweet to the soul. . . NASB

Proverbs 13:12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But desire fulfilled is a tree of life. NASB

Aside

Friendship

FRIENDSHIP

Lately I have been pondering about friendships and relationships in general.  What makes a friend?  What is the difference between a friend and an acquaintance?  What if I am a friend to them, but they are not to me?    When one marries another, there is an expectation of permanence so why the divorce rate?  Why do relationships end?

Definition of FRIEND in the Webster’s:

1a : one attached to another by affection or esteem

1b:  acquaintance

2a : one that is not hostile

2b : one that is of the same nation, party, or group

3 : one that favors or promotes something (as a charity)

4 : a favored companion

There were more definitions, but these were the important ones.  I noticed that there is nothing there about the length and duration of the relationship.  It is my experience that some of the some relationships are forever and some are only for a season.

I know that there have been times in my life when I have wounded and offended a valued friend.  Often they have forgiven me, but the trust was destroyed and the relationship was damaged and never quite the same.  I find that I am still saddened by my actions.
I love this quote that I found in the comments at Webster’s:
“A friend is someone who is there through the good as well as the bad. A friend understands a point of view while disagreeing with it. A friend remains a friend through adversity. A friend takes the time to listen despite a lack of interest. The next time someone deletes you as a “friend”, ask yourself, were they really a friend?”
We all desire healthy intimacy with our friends and our spouse, but often the thought of letting down the wall terrifies us.  What if we let that one in and we are wounded?  What if we don’t?
I wrote a poem years ago after my divorce from my husband of eleven years.  The first lines are:  “The barriers between us are all carefully maintained.
                   They are nurtured by guilt, fear, tears and pain.
                   We hold ourselves off at a distance insulated and protected,
                    Unable to make a commitment out of fear of being rejected.
                   And the armour imprisons the wearer instead of making him free . “.
There is more, but you get the idea.
Scripture says that there is One who sticks closer than a brother.  I am privileged to know that One.  When He lives in my relationships, the loyalty and the trust level are much higher.  When the wound is from a fellow who is on the same path, I must trust in the One who created us all.
I wonder if true friendship and relationship are even possible apart from knowing Jesus and the Father?  I am in awe that I can now be wounded by a close companion and walk in peace recognizing that they are not my enemy but one who is struggling to do His will.  For me, I have determined that I will be a friend and cover another’s offenses.  I, too, will be wary if the door they closed opens again but I will receive them..

To conclude this, I choose to love those I have wounded and those who have wounded me.  I choose to live in peace with betrayal.  It is okay to hurt me.  I forgive and release tthe offender and I choose to walk in freedom.  Thank you Father God for your amazing peace and love.
Related Sites:
What to do when friendship breaks down. http://www.whenfriendshiphurts.com/blog/
Scripture References:
Proverbs 17:17, 18:24, 27:9
Psalm 41:9
%d bloggers like this: