Sunday, July 10, 2016

The Race

attributed to Dr. D.H. "Dee" Groberg

Whenever I start to hang my head in front of failure’s face,
my downward fall is broken by the memory of a race.
A children’s race, young boys, young men; how I remember well,
excitement sure, but also fear, it wasn’t hard to tell.
They all lined up so full of hope, each thought to win that race
or tie for first, or if not that, at least take second place.
Their parents watched from off the side, each cheering for their son,
and each boy hoped to show his folks that he would be the one.

The whistle blew and off they flew, like chariots of fire,
to win, to be the hero there, was each young boy’s desire.
One boy in particular, whose dad was in the crowd,
was running in the lead and thought “My dad will be so proud.”
But as he speeded down the field and crossed a shallow dip,
the little boy who thought he’d win, lost his step and slipped.
Trying hard to catch himself, his arms flew everyplace,
and midst the laughter of the crowd he fell flat on his face.
As he fell, his hope fell too; he couldn’t win it now.
Humiliated, he just wished to disappear somehow.

But as he fell his dad stood up and showed his anxious face,
which to the boy so clearly said, “Get up and win that race!”
He quickly rose, no damage done, behind a bit that’s all,
and ran with all his mind and might to make up for his fall.
So anxious to restore himself, to catch up and to win,
his mind went faster than his legs. He slipped and fell again.
He wished that he had quit before with only one disgrace.
“I’m hopeless as a runner now, I shouldn’t try to race.”

But through the laughing crowd he searched and found his father’s face
with a steady look that said again, “Get up and win that race!”
So he jumped up to try again, ten yards behind the last.
“If I’m to gain those yards,” he thought, “I’ve got to run real fast!”
Exceeding everything he had, he regained eight, then ten...
but trying hard to catch the lead, he slipped and fell again.
Defeat! He lay there silently. A tear dropped from his eye.
“There’s no sense running anymore! Three strikes I’m out! Why try?
I’ve lost, so what’s the use?” he thought. “I’ll live with my disgrace.”
But then he thought about his dad, who soon he’d have to face.

“Get up,” an echo sounded low, “you haven’t lost at all,
for all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall.
Get up!” the echo urged him on, “Get up and take your place!
You were not meant for failure here! Get up and win that race!”
So, up he rose to run once more, refusing to forfeit,
and he resolved that win or lose, at least he wouldn’t quit.
So far behind the others now, the most he’d ever been,
still he gave it all he had and ran like he could win.
Three times he’d fallen stumbling, three times he rose again.
Too far behind to hope to win, he still ran to the end.

They cheered another boy who crossed the line and won first place,
head high and proud and happy -- no falling, no disgrace.
But, when the fallen youngster crossed the line, in last place,
the crowd gave him a greater cheer for finishing the race.
And even though he came in last with head bowed low, unproud,
you would have thought he’d won the race, to listen to the crowd.
And to his dad he sadly said, “I didn’t do so well.”
“To me, you won,” his father said. “You rose each time you fell.”

And now when things seem dark and bleak and difficult to face,
the memory of that little boy helps me in my own race.
For all of life is like that race, with ups and downs and all.
And all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall.
And when depression and despair shout loudly in my face,
another voice within me says, “Get up and win that race!”

Monday, May 9, 2016

Never Alone

Last night I went quickly to sleep thanking the LORD for another day only to be awoken several hours later by a dream. I was at a convention with six other women, three of whom separated from us to go off on their own leaving the remaining three seated waiting for the event to start. None of us knew each other.

The event coordinator came by and started talking to us. As I looked down there was a strange looking bug that I believe I have seen in a picture or gif which she almost stepped on. As her foot brushed the bug, with it’s see through tail and head, another one appeared then two more each time her foot moved by them.

As she walked away, a grasshopper landed within inches of the four bugs which was immediately pounced upon by a large number of flies which started eating the grasshopper. The four other bugs, which were elegantly formed (if you like bugs, which I do not) joined the flies.

I quickly turned away in disgust at the sight as the other two women continued to look on.

This caused me to awaken. Yuck. I thought. I laid there briefly and felt so alone like that grasshopper must have felt. Then I felt helpless like the three of us watching the grasshopper be devoured unable for any of us to come to its aid.

The feeling of being alone is not a pleasant feeling. That feeling can happen anywhere even in a large crowd of people or in our household among our family. We can be surrounded by people and still feel alone.

These days I often feel helpless watching evil slowly invading my world an those I love and care for.

I am so thankful to have the Lord in my life. I immediately remembered that I am never alone. First, I have myself. God has given us the ability to speak to ourselves. Second, I knew that God was there with me as well as Jesus and the Holy Spirit within me. I was not alone. They were awake ready to give me comfort and reassuring me that I will never be alone or helpless. The angels surround us as ministering spirits to protect us at all times.

I quickly went back to sleep comforted and the memory of the grasshopper put to the side.

I’m not sure what brought on that dream or where dreams come from. I do know that when dreams stop is the day we die. That means our mind has ceased to function.

That dream has many lessons about life if I were to meditate on the events but I will save that for another day.

I thought about that crazy lady attacking Mr. Donovan leaving him maybe believing he’s all alone in fighting a battle against crazy fans which caused me to remember Rebecca Schaeffer, whose life tragically ended when she was only twenty-one by a crazy fan.

We are all in a battle in this life and our enemy is satan and satan only. He is here to steal, destroy and kill. That is his only mission in life— to separate us from God. If he can deceive our thoughts he can take away anything that is good in life.

Last night I won another battle against the devil. I am never really alone in life. I may fall over and be devoured by the enemy but I will triumph even in death as I leave this world into a new one for eternity with the Lord.

Daylight always brings clarity to a situation but last night I quickly triumphed over darkness. It’s going to be another wonderful day.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

He Knows

He knows it all, He knows it all
My Father knows, He knows it all,
The bitter tears, how fast they fall,
He knows, my Father knows it all.

I read this hymn from one of my Smith Wigglesworth books and my heart was quickened when instantly the thought of my childhood came to mind. How often did I sit on my bed weeping, feeling alone in a house full of my family, trying to understand life and not wanting to burden others with my problems and also to avoid criticism for the way I was thinking.

How often do we as children face problems only for others to expect us to understand, not realizing we are just children. As children we need to be taught how to become an adult. We need to be taught how to deal with life’s burdens. Our problems often seem small and insignificant to others but they are large to us. We need others to be kind letting us know we are magnifying them larger than they really are.

And sometimes things happen to us that only God can understand. They are huge that no one should have to experience and we often feel we have no place to turn.

God knows it all. Jesus experienced it all while He was on earth. Why didn’t I trust God to show and teach me? He is the only one who knows it all. He knows everything I’ve been through and He knows how to handle each circumstance that I encounter. He is a loving God with only my best interest at heart.

Today, it is different. I’m so grateful to have reached a place where I know that God knows everything and He is the only one whom I can put my full trust. He miraculously brings me knowledge each day teaching me the ways of life. Today, I know when I ask Him a question, He will answer me. Maybe not immediately but in the matter of a few days.

Today the tears are gone as understanding fills my mind and my heart. Today the tears of sadness are replaced with tears of joy knowing that I am no longer alone. He is always with me and will be for eternity.

NOTE: As I continued reading Wigglesworth's message he said: "We may enter into things that will bring us sorrow and trouble, but through them, God will bring us to a deeper knowledge of Himself. Never use your human plan when God speaks His Word. You have your cue from an Almighty Source who has all the resources that never fade away. His treasury is past measuring, abounding with extravagances of abundance, waiting to be poured out upon us." What a glorious Lord we have looking over us, and providing for us when we trust in Him and ask.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

A Present

I wrote a piece earlier this morning in which I wanted to say more. However, I believe that is all the LORD wanted me to say in that posting.

The “Rest” the LORD was speaking about since the beginning of time, was for us to put to “rest” all of the troubles we experience every day. Put to rest our anger. Put to rest our worry. Put to rest self-centeredness. Put to rest hatred. Put to rest fear. Put it all to rest. Lay it down.

We shouldn't revisit times of hardships we’ve experienced. Put it to rest. They are in the past. The only things in the past we should revisit are pleasant memories and put down the sadness, regret and wishful thinking. Be grateful for those times instead.

When the LORD was finished creating the earth He said it was "good". The only things we really need to focus on is what is good. If we are to magnify anything it should be the good. The bad never really lasts very long. Just moments in time. Even in the midst of the most terrible times in our life there is gladness if we are willing to allow ourselves to see and experience it.

We often grieve over what we have lost. Our family members that are no longer with us, the friends, and so on. It’s hard but that’s life. Death of any kind is a part of life. We don’t like it but that’s the way it is.

I miss my mom and dad but not like others do. When I think about them it brings me joy with gratitude that God chose them for me. It is just selfishness missing them. “Poor me” syndrome. Instead I choose to honor their memory and be grateful I had them in my life as long as I did. I know they are both in heaven and it would be cruel to wish they were back here with me, to endure the hardships of life when they now live in glory never to face pain and suffering again.

We often look at work as if it were a curse and not severing the LORD. Even work can be fun when we know that God is behind the scenes. Murmuring and complaining about our job or work to be done will keep us in the wilderness instead of allowing God to take us to the promise land. We will be stuck in what we don't want if we are ungrateful for what we have. Why would God give us something better when we aren't grateful knowing eventually we will only complain to Him once again if He gave us something else?

I didn’t always feel this way. I looked at life like so many others and actually thought earth was a living hell until I saw the light and a new way of looking at life. Now every day is as if I’m already in heaven living life to the fullest at least the fullest I can in my current situation.

Today I’m obedient to God’s Word. It’s a marvelous way to live. Sin seems enticing but actually eventually it brings us misery. God’s way of living is like being on a natural high without the need of drugs or alcohol to bring me down.

My only regret is that I didn’t trust God and live this way my entire life.

Today I do what I can and leave the rest to God. I seek His advice always. I know whatever comes my way I will get through it. I have always in the past. But this time is different. I go through it with happiness of heart knowing I’m never alone and God has provided everything I will ever need to go through. I refuse to get stuck and remain in the troubles even though they have ended.

I now understand why my mom refused to have a past. She only lived in the present. A present is a gift to be enjoyed. Today, I like her will enjoy the gift of today that the LORD has given to me. I will give all of the problems to Him to work out on my behalf.

It’s really kinda fun laughing at the things that come my way knowing they have to face God and not me. God is more powerful than I am so why not enjoy His power so I can live in peace.

I am truly blessed and honored to be a child of God. An heir of the most powerful Being in the universe. A universe He created with me in mind. Therefore, I will live today in the "rest" of the LORD.
Mark 2:27
And He said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.

Put it to Rest

Last night before retiring, I started reading a message given by Smith Wigglesworth on January 14, 1924 “Possession of the Rest” in which he referred to Hebrews Chapter 4.

I love Hebrews 4 now that I have a better understanding of what it means. I recently listened to a series of messages on the subject which I had never heard the way he approached the subject which I could back with hundreds of scriptures bringing my understanding of the Sabbath Rest to an entirely new and exciting level. Many of my questions about life were answered by the message.

As I got into the welcoming, warm bed last night, I realized I now live in His Rest. What a wonderful, glorious place to be. I urge you to read Hebrews 4 over and over again until it hits you what it means. You will never look at life quite the same.

Satan is real and he will cloud our mind to prevent us from enjoying the wonderful life God wants for us by keeping us in darkness, never seeing the light of truth.

This morning I was reading Exodus when I was reminded once again about murmuring and complaining keeping the Israelites from entering into the Promise Land. We experience the same as the Israelites when we murmur and complain. Exodus 16:8 tells us:
Also Moses said, "… for the LORD hears your complaints which you make against Him. And what are we? Your complaints are not against us but against the LORD."
When we complain and murmur it is against the LORD and not our situation. We think it isn’t but it is. We are driven away from the promise land into the wilderness. We become miserable, angry, sad with all the emotions we do not enjoy.

Paul tells us to “Rejoice in the LORD always, again I say rejoice.” He said this while in prison and prison during those days make our prisons look like palaces.

Rejoicing even in times of trouble keeps God in our presence helping us through the difficulty with a smile on our face and hope in our heart. Even the tribulations that satan brings against us can be a time of joy letting us continue to live in “God’s Rest” allowing Him to handle the stresses and worries of life while we live Jesus’ abundant life.

Friday, January 15, 2016

When the Light Bulb is Finally Turned On

One of the most eye-opening experiences of my life was the moment I understood God’s love not only for me but for mankind. That’s when the doors were opened and God’s love washed over me like a raging flood of water softening my heart to the true nature of God.

I’ve always known that God loves me since I was a child. I learned early in church “Jesus loves me. Yes I know. For the Bible tells me so.” Through my child-like mind I reasoned that if God came to earth as the man Jesus then God loved me just like Jesus did. It was just as simple as that. No one since has been able to convince me otherwise.

We are told to come to God as a child. I’ve discovered to just believe in Him as a child believes. A child believes their parents before the world starts to corrupt their thinking, disillusioning them through deception.

As teens or even as pre-teens, we slowly start believing that our parents don’t really love us; that they are mean and uncaring. When in fact they do love us more than anyone in this world. That’s why they can be harsh with us out of frustration that we don’t understand that what they are doing or telling us is for our own good. It isn’t until we become adults that we start saying and demonstrating the same thing they did and realize how right they were.

I think we all can recall that feeling… that moment when we were shocked to hear words come out of our mouth that our parents said which were immediately followed by “I sound just like my mother.” It’s a kind of horror that goes through our body until we think about what we said and truly believe she had been right.

Like I said earlier, I always believed that God loved me. However, I didn’t really believe that He loved me as much as He loved overs. It was an overwhelming experience when I discovered that God loved me just as much as He loved anyone else. I was no exception.

I have a feeling that maybe what I felt that day was the Holy Spirit finally being able to get through to my heart that had been partially hardened through time by accepting some of the wrong beliefs of others. Once He could get through to my heart, it opened my eyes to a new revelation of God that unfortunately many will never experience.

Now when I hear a message about God involving His love and what He has done and provided for me, I once again am overwhelmed and receive new insight into God.

I also have a feeling that He reveals this to us slowing. Otherwise, we most surely would instantly die if He revealed all of His love for us at one time. It would be too much for our physical body to experience.

Having experienced the knowledge about God’s love to the extent that I now know, it has changed my understanding about so many things. Creation is no longer merely words written. The first few chapters of Genesis are some of my most favorite chapters of the Bible since I see the love God poured out through the creation of our world and our lives. It changes everything once we grasp how much He loves us.

God has provided everything we will ever need to have a successful, fruitful, and happy life until we are joined with Him in heaven. Who has ever done that for anyone? No one. Just God. Mankind tries to steal what God has freely given to us.

God is love. The Bible repeats and shows us this from cover to cover. That’s why it is so important for us to love others whether we believe they deserve it or not. By loving others we know that we are a child of His. When we don’t, we know that we are lost souls.

However, it’s important for us to know what love is. Love isn’t acceptance. Love isn’t always agreeing with each other. Love isn’t tolerance. Love can even involve hatred towards the behavior of others. But we must separate the person from their behavior. Love doesn’t mean we allow everyone into our lives on a personal basis or even into our country.

There is a thing called “tough love.” Sometimes the best thing we can do for someone is to reject them out of love by letting them know their behavior is unacceptable. Allowing their bad behavior to corrupt our children is wrong and is a sign that we don’t really love our children like we ought to. Accepting other’s wrong behavior or wrong ideas is hatred towards that person. It shows that we don’t really love them. If we loved them we would help them out of their destructive lifestyle and let them know that what they are doing is unhealthy for them as well as for society.

The most loving thing we can show to other people is God’s love for them. We can’t change a person but God can. Love is the answer to all the world’s problems. But first we have to understand what love is and it’s importance. God is waiting for you. He desires to show you His love. He desires to show you the truth so that He can bless you beyond anything this world has to offer.

I’m not sure what your trigger will be to soften your heart enabling you to receive the understanding of His love. I believe for me it was when I confessed Romans 12:1 with my whole heart and began living it on a daily basis. It was the day I sincerely turned my life over to Him to use me as a living sacrifice to work through me to help others. It’s no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.

There’s no turning back now. I have experienced a high like no other. Joy like no other joy. Peace and most importantly love like no one other than God can give.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

An Abundant Heart

This morning the bed felt so inviting with its abundance of comfort and warmth that I curled myself tightly to embrace the wonderful feeling of being alive as I started worshiping the LORD for the wonderful day that He had arranged for me and thanking Him for all of the wonderful things He continues to bless me with and provide.

I have been enjoying a Charles Capps message over and over again as I accomplish my tasks throughout the day. It is an uplifting message full of God’s Word.

While I laid in bed a scripture came forth from Luke 6:45:
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
This scripture tied into Charles Capps’ message about taking care of the words that we speak.

This is one of my New Year’s resolutions for 2016 is to work more diligently on the words that I speak and to work with the LORD to control the thoughts that enter my mind.

If I do as Jesus instructs and fill my heart with only good life producing thoughts then the words that I speak will bring forth good things.

James tells us in James 3 that the tongue is an unruly evil that man cannot tame and how it steers the course of our life. The good news is that with Jesus all things are possible. With God on my side I know that He will assist me to be able to control that tongue of mine so that I can bring forth even better things in 2016 than ever before not only for myself but for all the people who hear my voice and for those to whom I direct my words. I encourage you to study James 3. They are very powerful scriptures once you understand their importance and significance.

Words are like seeds. They produce after their own kind reaping a harvest of either good or evil. We don’t realize but over time if the same self-defeating words are spoken they become a prophesy that comes true. Word like “nothing good ever comes my way”, “I think I’m coming down with the flu”, “I always get in the wrong line at the grocery store”, “I bet I won’t find a close parking spot”, “I know with this traffic being so bad that this is going to be a bad day”.

The Bible has dozens upon dozens of scriptures about what we say is what we get. If God has to repeat Himself over and over again, we know that these scriptures are very important.

Proverbs 18:21 tells us:
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.
The words that we speak are either death or life. We can speak death to something or life to it. We can use both to our advantage. But if we aren’t careful about the words we speak, over time they will accomplish the same thing with results that are opposite from our desires.

God’s Word is final. Not the doctors, not your best friends, not your bosses. Only God’s word is final. If someone tells you something don’t believe them. Believe what God has to say about it and start confessing His Word over your desires.

Psalm 23 tells us that goodness and mercy will follow us all the days of our lives. Start saying it and believing it in your heart. Never give up until you see it manifest in your life. The first time you say it you might not see it come alive since satan immediately tries to steal your words. He knows that if he can steal them you’ll give up believing. You have power over him so refuse to give up instead believe God will hold true to His Word.

God loves you and wants nothing more than to please you. He didn’t place you on this earth to be miserable. He placed you on this earth to enjoy life and share that goodness with others to His glory.

So then, my New Year’s resolution #3 is to fill my heart with only good things so that out of the abundance of my heart my words will be those of encouragement, love, kindness, gratefulness, thankfulness, abundance, and only the seeds that I want to sow.