Thursday, October 2, 2014

Who Is Weeping Over You Today?

Jesus wept. — John 11:35

This is the shortest verse in the Bible and one of the saddest verses. Each time I read this verse I cry as well.

Jesus wept because those whom He loved didn’t have faith in Him. They knew He had performed miracles but didn’t trust that He would do it for them since He wasn't there in person at the moment they thought they needed Him. They gave up on Him. They didn't believe He was who He said He was.

It’s sad to think that Jesus weeps over me each time I don’t honor Him by putting my trust in Him. He died for me. He came to earth, took on human form, conquered the devil and brought peace between God and man. He took on all of my sins so that I can live with Him for eternity. Eternity which began the day I accept Him as my Lord and Savior.

The Bible is the most intriguing, fantastic and satisfying book that I have ever read. The words are alive and each day when I read it something pops out that seems new or a new revelation is obtained. It never gets boring no matter how many times it’s read.

The more I read the Bible, I see how much God loves us and wants to take care of us.

My father loved me so much and wanted my life to go well. He provided for me, comforted me when I was sick and taught right from wrong. I now see that God loves me more than my earthy father ever could. God is the ultimate Father. The Father we all have ever dreamed a father could be. He wants to do what my earthy father did but in a perfect and complete way.

I don’t have to wait until dad comes home now to talk to him or for him to give me guidance. God is always there the instant I need to speak to Him. He has put His Spirit inside of me that brings to remembrance all the guidance I need to tackle anything that comes my way and if that isn’t enough all I have to do is ask for His help. God wants to provide for my every need. I just need to believe, trust in Him and have patience.

He wants to do the same for you as well. God’s love for us is more than we can even imagine since we have never received that from another human being.

Jesus weeps for you as well. You were created for one purpose, to have a personal relationship with Him. Once you do, you will start receiving the love that you’ve always desired and so much more.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

I Survived

Yesterday was the one year anniversary of the final airing of Burn Notice and I continue to marvel how God has created this world for us to survive when faced with challenges we never thought we could get through without being adversely affected.

What amazes me is that not only did I survive, but I thrived this past year. In my wildest imagination I would have never guessed this past year would have brought more happiness than I’ve ever experienced before and not just happiness but unbelievable peace, contentment and a deeper love for family, God and life.

Granted I miss the excitement of the anticipation of the show returning each season and the new episodes. However, it has been replaced with excitement each morning wondering what blessing God has in store for me for the day.

God has been answering prayers I have had for years leaving me awestruck by the end of the day.

It truly has been an incredible year.

It actually started about eighteen months ago or so after I first faced the possibility of the show ending. I had become so obsessed with the show that I was deeply concerned that when it ended it would send me into a bout of depression and possibly make my illness unbearable again and I didn’t want to lose the happiness that the show had brought since its beginning.

Never did I realize that making one decision would have turned my world one hundred eighty degrees to the better. That one decision led me from one revelation to another about life and one change to another leaving me now in a position to handle anything that comes my way. That one decision fulfilled my ultimate goals in life.

I have God and Burn Notice to thank for it. If the show hadn’t ended and God hadn’t taken my hand, I might never have made that decision.

I have so much to look forward to wondering where this wonderful life will take me.

Thank you Burn Notice. I will continually be blessed because of you.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

We All Have Dreams



Today I was sent a message "We all have dreams. But in order 2 make dreams into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, & discipline. -Jesse Owens".

Many months ago I committed my life to God as a living sacrifice as in Romans 12:1-2 to be used by Him.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
[Romans 12:1-2]

As a result, my dreams are now God's dreams for my life. I no longer want to be in control but rather be lead by God.

He created me so He knows what plans He has for my life. He knows me better than I know myself. He knows what will make me happy and what will make me sad. I am tired of trying to do it my way. I want to live my life as Jesus would want me to.

As a result I am often overwhelmed by the favors and blessings that God is giving me. To most they would seem insignificant but to me they are tremendous. I am awestruck by God's mercy and grace.

The Scriptures says "Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart."
[Psalm 37:4]

God is changing my heart giving me His desires and supplying what I need to reach His goals. I have been blessed with things I never knew existed and received blessings I never expected. He is making it happen for me.

It is no longer a struggle making my dreams come true. I have put my trust in Him and He will guide me. It won't always be easy but it will be simple as long as I let Him lead.

I will let God promote me when the time is right. I will let God get the glory and as a result He will be the one who gives me recognition.

Even though I live in this world I no longer want what the world wants. My desire is to be a part of God's world.

I don't want what the world has: anger, strife, bitterness, resentment, sadness, pain, anxiety, worry, anguish. I want what is in God's world.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. [Galatians 5:22-23]

When I live in the fruits of the spirit I know I am on the right track. When I don't it is just an invitation for Satan to come into my life and make me miserable.

So dear friend, I don't desire to take "an awful lot of determination, dedication, and discipline." to accomplish my dreams. That is how the world operates. It's a struggle when we try to do it our way. I will let God clear the path as I take one step at a time to reach the goal He has for me.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. [Jeremiah 29:11 KJV]

The NKJV says "a future and a hope." God has an expected end for me. Therefore, I don't have to worry about the future. God will give me the vision, strength and ability to accomplish what He has planned for me. The only dedication I have to make is to God and that is no longer difficult as long as I keep my eyes on Him and not on the world.

God has been leading me to the point where I finally turned my life over to Him without any reservation. Each day is exciting waiting to see what God has in store for me. I still have problems, just not as many. The Scriptures I have planted and continue to plant rise to the surface to assist me in dealing with whatever comes my way. I have put my entire trust in God and now do as He wishes. The Bible is my guide.

I am constantly surprised with the change in my life. I was so foolish not to realize that God created this world and me. He knows how it works. I no longer try to swim upstream when all I have to do is float and rise to the top when a wave goes by.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Battle

 

38 "I have pursued my enemies and destroyed them;
Neither did I turn back again till they were destroyed.
39 And I have destroyed them and wounded them,
So that they could not rise;
They have fallen under my feet.
40 For You have armed me with strength for the battle;
You have subdued under me those who rose against me.
[2 Samuel 22:38-40]

What enemy are you battling against today: depression, anxiety, fear, hatred, anger, pain, sickness, grief, job loss, weight gain, addictions? These words from David are powerful and inspired by God. They are the key to success. The Bible is full of Scriptures to use to battle against all our enemies so we can lead healthy, successful lives.

The majority, if not all, of our enemies are within us; in our minds. Often we are our own worst enemy. We accept thoughts to enter our mind that we should be rejecting.

Our minds are powerful. The words we speak are powerful. More than we can ever imagine.

One sentence or one thought can literally destroy a person. They will mediate on those words until they become larger than life. They will blow an event or words spoken over them out of proportion instead of rejecting them and moving on.

One thought can change a person. Just one though has brought enormous success to millions and millions of people. If you think back, you probably can recall one thought that changed your world. An idea that came to mind that you acted upon that turned a situation around to your benefit.

Our biggest battles in life can be won by getting our mind in agreement with God. God created this world and He knows how it works. He created us so He knows what it takes for us to lead healthy, successful, happy lives. When we turn our backs on God we turn our faces to Satan.

Evil is real. Evil is in the world to kill, steal and destroy us. [John 10:10] When we are suffering from something that is hurting, whether it is physical or mental, it is the result of evil entering our life. We opened a door for it to enter, either through ignorance, immaturity, or disobedience. We may not have intentionally known that's what we were doing, but the truth is that's what we did.

How many times have you told yourself, "I'm coming down with a cold." then you do. Those thoughts become a self professing prophecy. At one time I was bombarded by severe colds. One day I said enough. I never want another cold. Now when I feel the first 'symptoms' of a cold, I chase away any thoughts about the symptoms or the possibility of a cold coming on. I keep my mind active on anything but that. As a result I rarely experience a cold, and the colds I do get are the result of me not talking my mind off from the symptoms.

The same applies to headaches. For years I suffered from chronic headaches 24/7. They started in the 7th grade. After suffering with this condition for years taking aspirin every three hours, I finally had enough. I told the headache to go away. And guess what? They went away. I just change my thoughts. The minute I felt a headache starting I told it to go away then went on with my day and it left. It was so simple.

I do the same with insect bites. They no longer itch or swell. I leave them alone and don't think about them and forget I was even bit. I change my thoughts and focus on anything but that.

What I've been doing was turning my back to my enemy and no longer giving him power to destroy my life.

Jesus came into the world to make peace between God and man. His death removed the wrath that God once had against us because of the sin that was in the world. Jesus came to bring us salvation. Salvation is healing. He healed the wrath between God and man, but Jesus also came to heal the sick and the lame. He came to heal our broken hearts, our sadness, our loneliness, our despair, our relationship with God.

When man was created there was no sickness, disease only gladness of heart and communion with God. There was no evil in the world at that time until Eve ushered it in because of her disobedience to God. They didn't even know evil existed. With the first bite they received the knowledge of evil.

Sickness is of the devil. Sickness is evil. Jesus gave us power over evil with His death. This is something that those before Jesus came didn't have. God gave us power over sickness, over disease, over all the ills of society. But we have to believe without doubt and have faith. Evil rules only when we give it power to do so. We give the power that God gave us to the devil to use to destroy us.

Again the question arises. What battle are you facing today? Are you resisting it or have you allowed yourself to become a slave by allowing the enemy to hold you captive, preventing you the freedom to enjoy life.

Today, I am fighting the biggest battle of my life so far and I will win. I will take the advice of Samuel and destroy my enemy with the help from God. I have allowed my enemy to have too much power over me but that will end with each thought I chase away that is harmful and replace it with powerful, positive thoughts from God's Word that will heal me and make me whole once again.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

The Miracle of the Ice


We have been dealing with an ice situation like we do each year because our home faces north. The sun during the winter cannot reach our sidewalk or the top part of our driveway. Also the downspouts are situated where they run off onto the driveway and a portion of the sidewalk. We recently replaced a large portion of the front sidewalk causing the ice to build up thick in the sections we didn’t replace. It’s a winter nightmare.

Even though this situation is frustrating, most winters we just throw a bunch of salt on the icy areas and they eventually disappear.

But this winter has been different. Last winter we had the majority of 30 pound bag of salt left over from the previous year. With the lack of snow and ice the salt turned hard, rock hard. I decided instead of us hammering the block of salt to make it usable I would just throw it away and buy new salt.

I was extremely happy when I found a 10-pound bag, so I purchased only one after asking the manager if they would continue to carry that size all winter. He assured me they would. The previous year I saw a very large display of 10-pound bags towards the end of winter in this same store so I believed him. I didn’t want us to have to deal with hardened salt next winter if I could avoid it.

Never did I expect this would be the winter of all winters with an unusually heavy amount of snow and extremely cold temperatures. Our 10-pound bag was rarely used due to the extremely cold temperatures since the snow didn’t melt off from the roof or surrounding areas of the sidewalks and driveway. Until… twice we had an inch or two of snow followed by a downpour of rain followed immediately by more snow and extremely cold temperatures.

Our 10-pound bag of salt quickly vanished trying to remove the ice from steps and a portion of the sidewalk never realizing that due to the large amount of snow salt was scare. With spring approaching the large chain stores weren’t expecting additional winter salt to arrive. Various stores kept telling me call back on Tuesday, call back on Thursday. I called everywhere I thought they just might happen to have salt without any luck.

In the meantime, we spent over two hours with garden shovels breaking up the ice on a warm day which allowed water to form underneath the ice dislodging it enough for us to chip it away. The snow alongside the sidewalk and roof continued to melt throughout the night collecting on a few areas which we were so excited to be rid of ice. Before morning the temperatures dropped below freezing and the ice returned.

Desperately I searched for salt again without any luck. Before the ice was crunchy with only a few slick spots, but now the ice was like a skating rink… smooth and extremely slippery.

Of course, I was the only one worried about this because of my health condition and for the delivery guys that bring me presents from online ordering.

I prayed to find salt, but my prayers were not serious and therefore I didn’t find any. Now I needed help that only God could provide.

I turned the situation over to God and He reminded me that we still had two containers of cat litter stored away in the event we decided to adopt another cat since our last little one had passed away. I retrieved the cat litter and sparsely sprinkled it onto the ice. It just sat on top making it still slick maybe even slicker. I thought at least I would have some traction, but not so.

I never lost faith that God would get us through the remainder of February and March with the melting and freezing that lie ahead.

I had to run an errand three days after turning the situation over to God. Each day I kept my eye on the ice which never changed.

I was pleasantly ecstatic after bundling up to face the extremely cold temperatures when I saw the ice was gone. The icy patch was approximately nine to ten feet long and thick. We had temperatures below zero with highs in the teens since I turned the situation over to God. There is no way it could have melted on its own. It was God. He performed a miracle because I put my trust in Him.

God loves us. God created us just to love Him and fellowship with Him. He wants to be part of our daily life. He wants to go to work with us, spend the day with us, He wants to go shopping with us. Every place we go, He goes with us.

Sadly, we often ignore Him, when all He desires is to give us the best that life has to offer. But in order to receive we must put our life in His hands. We need to allow Him to take care of us. That’s all He asks of us.

He is a good Dad. He is a great Dad. He is an awesome Dad.

God doesn’t always perform miracles in our lives, but He had equipped us to handle each situation that comes our way. He has given us the Bible with the answers to leading to a healthy, prosperous life full of peace, joy, love, happiness and contentment. But unless we know His Word we will never experience all that He desires for us.

This is not the first time I put a situation into His hands with miraculous results. I have put large problems in His hands trusting Him and He came through at the moment it was needed. Just like with the Miracle of the Ice.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Words I Speak



Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit. [Proverbs 18:21]

Each year I set goals to achieve then at the end of the year I look back at how far I’ve come. I may not succeed one-hundred percent but I marvel at how much I’ve accomplished.

Last year there were several goals but a major one was that I learned how to control my thoughts. I haven't achieved perfection yet at controlling them, but I was quite surprised how well I did. I might start reacting to my thoughts but I quickly discover what is happening then change my thinking. Now fear, sadness and so many other emotions no longer have the control they once did.

Habits are hard to break but not impossible. When trying to break a bad habit it’s easier to start a good one to replace it.

This year is going to be a big year for breaking bad habits. It will be challenging but at the end of the year I will look back proudly at how much I’ve changed and how far I’ve come. One of the big goals this year is to change my words.

Last year I discovered how powerful words are. God created this entire world by speaking it into existence. And He has given us power to use our words for our benefit. Our words decide our future and present. Unfortunately, we have become a culture of speaking lies. As a result our words are no longer powerful.

So this year I plan to start changing the words I speak. I have a few large desires that I believe cannot come true because of these fibs I keep telling myself. They may seem trivial to you but they aren't. I believe my mind is confused as to know if my desires are serious or not. When I have mastered controlling my words, then my mind will believe what I have to say.

For example, I have a terrible habit of saying ‘Tomorrow I’m going to…’ or just 'I'm going to'. I start off good in the morning but I rarely if ever accomplish everything that I wanted to do for that day. I have so many 'I'm going to's' that it's impossible for me to ever accomplish all of them. Thus, I have lied to myself. I do this day after day. So this year I will change those words to ‘tomorrow I hope to...’ Or ‘tomorrow I want to...’ Something that is true.

Another big lie involves words like always, or everyone. “Why do I always do this…” That is a lie too. We don’t always do whatever we are talking about. It would be better speaking the truth. “I really need to.. I wish I wouldn’t…” “I should try to…” By doing this, we have a greater chance of making the change.

Another biggie. 'I'm freezing.' or words like 'I am cold.' or any of the 'I am's' are wrong. When in fact the truth is God is 'I am.' It would be better for me to say 'I feel cold'. 'I wish I felt warmer.'

So many people say ‘I’m dying to…” when in fact that is a lie. They aren’t willing to die for what they say or they won’t die if they don’t do whatever they are talking about. Therefore their words are meaningless and no one believes them. Thankfully, this is one I've learned not to speak.

We don’t realize how our own words and thoughts destroy our desires in life. When we want a good job or something, we often curse ourselves and the possibility of that happening by speaking words like “I’m never going to be good enough.” Or “I won’t find the job I want.” Or “I’m not talented enough.” Or “That will never happen for me.” Then when we sit in an interview those thoughts and words we’ve been speaking to ourselves come out in body movements, the hesitation in the way we answer questions, and so on. We get in the car and start beating ourselves up that we didn’t say this or say that.

Just know this. The words you say can either be a blessing or a curse.

This year I choose not to curse my future. Realistically, I won’t accomplish it one-hundred percent but I will be much further ahead at the end of 2014 than I was at the beginning.

It is a start and a new way of living. This is one habit I will enjoy creating since I believe the results will astound me.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Be as Kind as a Kitten


I saw this picture this morning and it fit right into the thoughts that I wanted to share. Most of us can't help but smile looking at a kitten watching them play, exploring new objects, chasing their tail or seeing their reflection for the first time in a mirror. They can capture our attention for hours bringing such amusement.

I awoke early again this morning to write in my book then finished watching the Burn Notice final episode ‘Reckoning’ then returned to my book to finish a chapter.

The last paragraph I wrote was powerful to me. It spoke loud and clear. A new life lesson was born.

This series has impacted my life more than the writers, or actors could have ever expected.

God speaks to us through people since He lives in a different realm than we do. Well, He has used Burn Notice to speak to me. Everything in this life seems to have some lesson to learn and Burn Notice is no exception.

The book I'm writing is an extension to the episode ‘Reckoning’. It covers the time after both explosions; the one that took Madeline's life and the one at the Miami Chronicle building, until Michael, Fi, and Charlie are settled in Ireland. However, in my book there are two other main characters, Holly and her infant son. Holly came aboard my version during the last two episodes of the summer season in 2011, long before I even knew what those episodes would be about. Then she became the fifth member of the team in the next episode. She is someone Michael knew since he was under a year old.

The paragraph that impacted me was Strong’s thoughts after speaking with Sam and Jesse when they are first taken into custody by the CIA. They had just told Strong what happened to Michael, Fi, Madeline, Charlie, Holly, and the baby then gave Strong the disk drives that Sam managed to get out of the Chronicle building before it blew. And Jesse telling Strong what it was like before the explosion took the children and two women’s lives that he had grown to love and why he had survived. Here is what I wrote.

After the men were placed back into handcuffs then lead away Strong sat solemnly in his office with the door closed. He thought about what Sam and Jesse told him. He could picture his own mother and wife sitting on the sofa with his kids, all scared to death of the men outside their house not knowing what to do. He could imagine the fear the two women experienced and the fear for the children they so loved. Tears suddenly formed in his eyes. He had made a grave error not trusting Michael to do the right thing. Michael was a man of his word... a man of integrity. He had completed his mission and had sacrificed his life as well as his family and friends to get it accomplished. Strong didn't think he could even do that for the C.I.A. that he loved. Instead he had kept himself out of danger the entire time, staying in the safety of the walls of headquarters in Langley letting other men obey his orders, instead of handling the matter himself. He had made mistake, after mistake, on this op and Michael had paid with his life because of them. Now, how was he going to live with himself in the future? How could he make this right? When a good man dies, there is no way of making it right. Instead, he made a vow to make things better for others in the future.

In the series, Strong placed Michael between a rock and hard place. Strong manipulated him into helping resolve an op that so many people before Michael had failed. It was a win lose situation and Michael was trying to please everyone around him which was unrealistic to expect.

As a result, as far as Strong knew, Michael died. He died trying to successful conclude an op that so many had failed by following his instincts without the C.I.A. to back him up as promised. As a consequence Fi, Madeline and Charlie also died. Strong thought he knew better when he wasn't even in the action. He was so focused on bringing this guy down to bring recognition to himself or who knows why. He abandoned Michael and left him out in the cold because the op didn't go as he had planned. If Strong had shown some kindness towards Michael realizing Michael knew he made a mistake and now wanted to make it right, it might have saved Madeline's life.

These are fictional characters and made up stories but there are lessons to be learned. Our actions, words and thoughts are powerful and have consequences that impact other people's lives and well as ours. No one is perfect in this world. There has only been one, almost 2000 years ago.

We get mad at store clerks, coworkers, friends, and family when all they are doing is the best that they know how. Often we don't know what is going on in their lives, or in their thoughts, but for some reason we expect them to act in a way that we deem appropriate, never realizing someone else is looking at us with the same judgment.

What we say, what we do, the expressions on our face changes the world without us even realizing what we are doing. It is like a snowball rolling down a huge mountain continuing to grow as each year passes from one generation to another. It seems so insignificant but we never look at the long term effect that our words and behavior cause.

For some reason we expect others to be better than we are. We expect them to live their lives just to please us. There is something wrong with this thought process.

Instead we should show kindness to all, regardless if they return the kindness back to us. We should greet everyone with a smile. If we run into a situation that frustrates us, we should look inside to see what's wrong with us, not put the blame on others.

Instead we storm off, drive faster than we should, bark at our coworkers, snap at our spouse or children, or just sit in silence with our faces displaying our unspoken words, spreading anger wherever we go. In the end, we are worse than the person who frustrated us. Their actions were a moment of our day, whereas our actions lasted hours, upon hours, and sometimes days effecting hundreds around us.

People were not placed on this year to bring us happiness. Instead, we were placed on this earth to spread happiness to others, by being kind, considerate, thoughtful, thankful, loving, gentle, and patient.

We will never know what one act of kindness will do. It will still have an effect a hundred years from now. Every action we do changes the lives of others, even the smallest of things.

One unkind word to our child can change their lives forever and for future generations to come. They will never forget the words we spoke. We won’t remember them but take it from me, they will. Can you imagine what one uplifting word to our child can do? We will never know if we don't say it.

Strong made mistakes but so did Michael. No one is perfect. You aren’t and neither am I. I often wonder how many lives will be lost because of my actions and because I wasn't the person God wanted me to be. I will never know.

I've snapped at innocent people myself because they annoyed me and now I have such regret. I still can see the face of a clerk when I was in my early twenties who was just a few years younger than me. She responded to a question that I asked and I thought she was a complete moron. 'How could anyone be that stupid?', I remember thinking. I didn’t tell her that but I sure was thinking it. My mood changed instantly. But I changed her life that day. I could see it on her face. There was shock and sadness. I can't take back the words I spoke and the expressions on my face. Who did I think I was judging her the way I did? I don't even remember the words I spoke but I bet she remembers them exactly and how she felt inside because of my cruelty. They were just a few unkind words, I didn't go off into a tirade or call her names, but it still had the same impact.

The people that I treated rudely didn't deserve it. It was me who was at fault for not just accepting them the way they were. Just like I want people to accept me the way I am.

If we took our cue from a kitten, so innocent, full of love for all those around them. Smiling, jumping and just enjoying everything they come into contact with, we will change this world. The footprints that we leave will be significant and not in a bad way.