Why did He have to die?

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‘AFTER JESUS had finished all…He entered…’

These words of God were highlighted by the Holy Spirit for me this morning as I was reading my devotional.

“AFTER JESUS had finished all that He had to say in the hearing of the people [on the mountain], He entered Capernaum.”

Luke 7:1 AMPC

Jesus was only 33 years old when His life on earth ended.

Many would say He died way too young. Ever think about how His friends and family felt when He passed away?

There were people who loved Jesus who grieved when He passed…

Yet God had a plan and a purpose for His life… to impact the lives of a multitude of others.

The people who lived life with Jesus grieved deeply when His life on earth ended.

Just as WE grieve, when OUR loved ones pass on.

God cared about Jesus’s friends.

And God cares about us.

Yes, God cares about their (and our) broken hearts…

Yet God had a purpose.

One that most of us simply do not understand.

Just like God has a plan and a purpose for ALL life-

Life is a gift from God. Whether alive for 1 day or 100 years-ALL life is significant and carries Gods purpose for a bigger picture…HIS picture.

Sometimes it’s not what the individual life can accomplish by themselves and for themselves that matters, but what that life represents in the span of another’s life.

Stop and think for a moment about some of the knowledge that we possess.

Where did we learn from? Who did we learn from?

Sometimes we learn from mistakes.

Our own and also those of others.

But more often than not, we learn by example. We follow the example of those around us.

Infants learn to imitate what their parents do and continue to grow throughout their life… shaped and formed based on their childhood experience.

Ever bump into a personality type that rubs you the wrong way? That just kind of gets on your nerves?

Yeah… me too. I often wondered why… and then I asked God.

Instead of asking God to change them, He let me know that there was something in ME that needed changing…

God was providing me an opportunity through the difficult personalities of others to teach me and develop me.

An opportunity to be chiseled… to be pruned… to be sharpened… to grow… to improve my love walk…

Perhaps the sharp edges of others are being used to file off rough spots on our own hearts… after all, diamonds in the rough need to be revealed by harsh treatment of others…

Proverbs 27:17

‘As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.’

Both blades are being sharpened and transformed into efficient and effective tools, when used together. By themselves, they remain dull and ineffective.

The truth here is that we need one another.

And the passing of ones life is very important to those who remain and continue to live without them.

We influence one another… and sometimes the detriment of one life coming to end has a lasting, significant impact on the life of another or on a group of people.

Often times, we get so lost in our grief that we are blinded to the blessings… and the lessons, God has for us.

There’s often good that comes out of bad.

The impact of loss forever changes how the lives of others are being shaped, and formed, and molded into Gods perfect plan.

Remember, God is the Potter, we are the clay.

Isaiah 64:8 ESV

‘But now, O LORD, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You are our potter; we are all the work of Your hand.’

Sometimes, in life… we just plain out feel like a lump of clay.

And we feel like ‘life’ keeps throwing sucker punches at us… a quick jab to the left, and POW 💥- a major blow to the stomach. Right?

Ever hear or say the expression ‘when it rains, it pours?’

We get to the point where we can’t seem to catch our breath, and BOOM! There’s yet another test and trial facing us.

Yikes!

It sometimes hurts to be pressed, pushed, pounded, shaped and molded, as clay… doesn’t it?

When a loved one dies… it leaves a hole in our hearts… we feel lost. We are filled with unanswered hard questions… and often, people blame God.

God knows exactly how we feel!!!

Look at Jesus. His life on earth was short too, but significant to all mankind.

He only lived to age 33.

His life was cut short.

Have you ever thought about it?

I’m sure many of those who loved Him felt robbed and shortchanged when He died on the cross.

I’m sure many said things like ‘it’s not fair!’ Or ‘He didn’t deserve to die’ or ‘He was such a good person’… and in Jesus’s case- it WAS not fair! He DIDN’T deserve to die! He WAS a good person!

In fact- He was SINLESS.

We’ve all heard people ask ‘why do bad things happen to good people?’

Maybe you’ve said it yourself or at least thought it…

I have a few questions for you:

What is ‘good?’ What is ‘bad?’ By who’s standard?

Can not BOTH things or circumstances that are ‘good’ and ‘bad’ be worked out for our good?

Yes. Absolutely.

Romans 8:28 NASB

‘And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.’

God had another purpose for His Son’s life that was greater than His life itself.

Like Jesus, let’s consider the life of others that ended…leaving a gap in ours….

What does this persons life have to teach me?

How might my life be enhanced for the better because of this persons life?

How has the life of my loved one impacted the lives of others?

Am I thankful to God for the gift of their life in mine?

We often times think we have it all figured out don’t we?

Sometimes the perspective is always introverted and we think ‘life is only about me’ or ‘what’s in this for me’ or ‘how can I bear all of this?’

‘Why do I have to endure this?’

These are some of the heart wrenching thoughts and questions many who are grieving experience.

Perhaps instead we should be looking at other questions?

Maybe asking God ‘show me Your purpose in this.’

Or ‘What is it Lord I need to learn from this?’

Or ‘Help me Lord fulfill Your plan for my life regardless for the length.’

God places others in our lives to help us in our development of becoming who God wants us to be.

God uses every emotion and every experience for His good.

Every tear shed, every disappointment, every heart ache, every mistake… God causes even our mistakes to prosper and work out for our good.

Not every ingredient in a recipe taste good by itself.

In fact there’s some ingredients that are downright nasty tasting- for instance, try taking a spoonful of baking powder or baking soda and see how that taste.

By itself NO ONE would eat it and say ‘yum this is so good!’

Yet it (as each ingredient) has a purpose, and by the time the cake comes out of the oven, the entire house smells wonderful and every bite of that cake is going to taste good.

I believe our lives are like a cake recipe…

Throughout our lives, there’s different experiences, good ones and not so good ones… and painful ones.

These experiences are similar to an ingredient of a cake recipe- that by themselves independently appear to be bad and leave a yucky taste in our mouth.

But at the end of our lives, when it’s all put together, we can look back one day and see how God intricately woven in every ingredient of every experience, good and bad, into His beautiful masterpieces…

Our steps are ordained established by God.

  • Ordained and established for HIS plan. HIS big picture.
  • Psalm 37:23

    ‘A man’s steps are established by the LORD, and the LORD delights in his way.’

    We need to stop thinking we know it all.

    And we need to truly relinquish control to God. Do we trust Him?

    Do we REALLY trust Him?

    Really? Even when we don’t understand?

    Even when it doesn’t make sense?

    EVEN WHEN IT HURTS?

    Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV)

    Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

    It’s not always easy to surrender. God is faithful, and He knows all things, and He’s working things out for good…

    Not only for YOUR good… but for the good of His Kingdom.

    It’s good to plan… but it’s BETTER to seek out GODS plans… for His are the one that matters.

    Gods ways are not our ways. We can’t possibly understand everything about God. Only His ways He puts in His Word are we able to understand… to a degree.

    Every life matters, and is significant in Gods plans- and…

    Every life has a beginning, and an appointed time to end.

    Treasure all life. And give your treasures to the Keeper of your heart. 💗

    Proverbs 19:21 (ESV)

    ‘Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.’

    Don’t miss the miraculous!

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    “He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.” 2 Corinthians 9:10

    God made every seed to reproduce after its own kind.

    Think about it.

    How incredible is this?!?

    Many times we take so much for granted! We miss the miraculous in the ‘ordinary.’ Yet every breath we breathe is life sustained, and is miraculous in itself!

    God created man, and BREATHED life into him. God alone sustains life.

    We can plant a seed (that God created) but we don’t have the ability to cause it to grow. Only God can…only God does.

    And when I open each one of these fruits and vegetables before me, it contains it’s own seeds, created by God, to reproduce after its own time.

    It’s pretty amazing, and there’s nothing happenstance or coincidental about it.

    This is so for EVERY single form of life, whether plant, mammal, fish, animal or human.

    For those who are skeptics about God being The Creator, explain your theory of how this can be true for every single form of life 100% without fail, other than God, THE ONE AND ONLY GOD, is real and is THE Creator of all.

    It’s also true with our finances. When we sow a financial seed (tithes and offerings) into the Kingdom of Heaven, investing in winning souls, spreading the good news of the saving gospel of salvation, it also will increase and we will reap a harvest of blessings!

    Many times we miss the miraculous in the ordinary… but with eyes to see, we SEE the hand of God… even in a tiny seed.

    What did He say?

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    “Let us go to the other side.”

    When Jesus says let us go to the other side, He was not making a Holy suggestion.

    He was making a statement. He was announcing their destination would be the other side. Period.

    Yet, a storm arose… one of ‘hurricane proportions’ the Bible says. And even though Jesus stated exactly what would be, His disciples took their eyes off Him, and on the ‘storm’- and instantly began to doubt Jesus.

    Their faith was replaced with fear, when they gave in to doubt.

    Why do people doubt what God tells us in His word?

    Usually it’s because of their own experiences, their own understanding of things, what they hear others to say, what they see with their own eyes. All of these things lead people to doubt God when circumstances are different than what God’s Word says.

    Consider healing, for example.

    Gods Word says in 1Peter 2:24 ‘by His stripes you are healed.’ (Yet, at the moment- you may still be fighting symptoms, ‘feeling’ sick or in pain, or ‘hearing’ certain medical reports that don’t agree with what Gods Word says.

    This is where many miss it. They make the decision to not agree with Gods report, Gods Word, and instead, they agree with medical reports, and their own understanding, own feelings, own perceptions of what they are seeing.

    One might think and even say ‘yeah, I know that’s what the Bible says, but I am sick! I feel horrible.’ And Satan wins, because he succeeds in getting us to agree with his lies, even to start speaking his lies, because we give in to our feelings, and our own understanding of things…

    WHAT???

    Who do we think we are???!!!

    We are NOT God! We do not, and cannot know all things!

    Our own understanding is very limited in comparison to the understanding of God.

    Our own thoughts are limited to our own experiences and knowledge but God‘s thoughts have no end and are all knowing.

    Facts are things that we know at the moment but later can change.

    Facts are composites of one’s opinion. Or of a temporary moment.

    For instance- at the moment the fact is I’m sitting in my home working on this devotion. But that that will change in an hour when I leave my home and head on an errand.

    Facts change.

    Truth is truth regardless of what anyone individual thinks about a subject and truth can never change.

    There’s always only one right way and only one wrong way.

    Truth or false.

    Gods Word is Truth. Always, without fail, 100 % of the time, Gods Word is Truth.

    Gods Word changes facts when facts don’t line up to Gods Truth- WHEN we activate our faith in Gods Word, claim it for purses, and speak it boldly.

    Notice further into this scripture account, after the disciples frantically woke Jesus up in fear, what Jesus said, and what Jesus did.

    He addressed the problem:

    He rebuked the wind and commanded the sea to be still.

    The Prince of Peace commanded peace to the chaos of the moment, and immediately the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

    Then He admonished the disciples (followers of Jesus), for being of little faith. He asked ‘why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?’

    HE WAS IN THE BOAT WITH THEM, and they STILL jumped out of faith, into doubt, because of fear.

    The disciples took their eyes off Jesus, forgot what He said about their destination, and allowed the ‘temporary’ moment to overshadow everything else- exactly what Satan tries to do with all of us!

    And you know what? If we’re not careful, Satan will do the same thing to us, too. Causes the distractions to get our eyes off of Jesus and onto the problem. Do not let him!

    People, Satan is subtle, and bold.

    Even when Jesus is ‘in the boat’ with us, he Satan ‘roams around like a lion seeking whom he may devour.’ (1 Peter 5:8)

    Resist him! Fear is of the devil- it’s a spirit that God says in 2 Timothy 1:7 He did NOT give us fear.

    When God gives us His Word, we can count on Him to do what He says.

    Mark 5:1 goes on to tell us “…and they came over to the other side of the sea.”

    Now after reading of the magnitude of the storm that Jesus subsided with a few words, it’s easy to overlook these few words in this first verse of chapter 5. But I want to highlight them because they’re extremely important.

    ‘AND THEY CAME OVER TO THE OTHER SIDE OF THE SEA.’

    Only because Jesus immediately addressed the problem first, commanded peace, and then addressed the disciples fear did they achieve exactly what He originally said would happen.

    If we eliminate the in between text, it’s quite simple to see it.

    Mark 4:35 “Let us go over to the other side.”

    Mark 5:1 “and they came over to the other side…”

    The enemy snuck right in there, didn’t he?

    Satan heard what Jesus said. And he was determined to destroy the plans of Jesus!

    In fact John 10:10 says “the thief comes but only to kill, steal, and destroy.” It’s his job description. It’s what he does. However in the same verse Jesus goes on to say “but I have come that you might have life more abundant. “

    Noticed that word “might“? That’s suggestive that you may or may not. My opinion, based on other scriptures, is that the choice is up to us.

    Do we agree with God or not?

    Do our words and our actions line up with God’s Words? If so, and we use the authority God gave us to use His name, ALL circumstances that arise against us will have to cease.

    When Jesus declares a thing, believe Him. Regardless of any circumstance.

    We must train ourselves to ‘Trust in the Lord with all of our hearts, lean not on our own understanding, and in ALL our ways, acknowledge Him, and He WILL direct our steps.’ (Proverbs 3:5-6).

    Determine now, no matter what, to agree with Gods Word and not your own understanding. In spite of temporary difficulties and apparent limitations, SPEAK THE WORD OF GOD ONLY. (Matthew 8:8)

    Watch God perform and do exactly what His Word says- keep on speaking it. Line up with God and get Gods report.

    This is the victory that has conquered the world: our faith.” (1 John 5:4)

    I am the reason

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    Before you get all huffy about the first picture, read the post and look at the rest, first…

    I realize we celebrate the birthday of Jesus on Christmas Day-and we should.

    We all give gifts to our loved ones -friends and family-at Christmas time, and we should.

    Many will post and wear clothing and share the expression ‘Jesus is the reason for the season’… and that’s ok… but-

    I have recently been challenged by the Holy Spirit on this…

    He revealed to me, through scriptures and study, that ‘I’ am the reason. ‘YOU’ are the reason. JESUS is the gift. The ultimate gift. But without any doubt, I AM, YOU ARE, the reason.

    ‘For God so loved the world (the fallen, sinful world), that He gave (the gift) His only Son (Jesus) that whosoever (I am a whosoever) believes in Him (Jesus-the gift) will not perish, but have everlasting life.’ (John 3:16)

    Jesus willingly left His throne in Heaven to be born of Virgin Mary, impregnated by the Holy Spirit, with the purpose to demonstrate Gods plan, leave His peace, and take our punishment for our sins-as The Messiah, Lord and Savior of the World… as Gods free gift to whosoever repents, receives and believes.

    The Bible says ‘the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.’ (Romans 6:23)

    The Bible says ‘ for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God’ (Romans 3:23)

    Jesus came to bring us eternal life, He came to die in my place (your place)- so that I (and you, if you receive) can live eternally.

    From before the foundations of the world, God had me in mind. (You in mind.)

    Jesus is the gift, the greatest gift ever, but I am the reason. (YOU are the reason.)

    Will you accept Gods free gift this Christmas season?

    If so, pray this simple prayer out loud, believe it in your heart and speak it with your mouth,

    “Father God, I believe that Jesus Christ is your one and only Son. Because You love me, even while I am a sinner, You sent Jesus from heaven to earth to die on the cross in my place to become my Lord and my Savior, paying the penalty of all my sins so that I might live. I ask You right now to forgive me of my sins. I repent from them, and with your help I will strive to live a holy life. Please come into my heart now as my Lord and as my Savior. I thank You for Your free gift of eternal life, Jesus, I receive You now freely, surrendering my life to You, becoming a child of God. In Jesus name, amen.”

    ‘Remember?’

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    “Having eyes do you not see, and having ears do you not hear? And do you not remember?”

    Mark 8:18 ESV

    That word of Jesus leaps off the page to me, ‘remember.’

    And His question comes back to me ‘And do you not remember?’ every single morning… how could I ever forget???

    I hear You, Lord! I DO remember, vividly…

    August 27, 2011… a day our family was forever changed… a day that marked us- and defined our faith.

    Now, today, 8/27/18, it’s been 7 years, and I still stand amazed at what my God has done, and continues to do, each and every day.

    Let me tell ya!

    Because of what we went through, going from death to life, with the power of our tongues ONLY because of Jesus, and speaking the Word of God over our daughter, she is fully healed and alive today.

    She’s married, (3 years this December), a registered nurse, and serving the Lord in the Peace Corp in Zambia with her husband Asa, declaring the marvelous deeds of the Lord- making a difference every day in the lives of others.

    We have a deeper, stronger faith. We went through the flood, ‘the valley of the shadow of death’ literally, and our roots are firmly established in the revelation of a Father who never leaves us. NEVER.

    We came through the ‘valley of the shadow of death’, when we emerged out of the deep end, and we have an awareness of God‘s abiding presence that forever changes the way we see impossible situations. NO one can tell me a situation is impossible when God’s involved, because I know otherwise!

    Don’t ever settle for less than what God redeemed us from! Nothing is impossible with my Jesus!

    God.

    He was in the van with us. He was our ‘ever present help in our time of need’.

    The moment we cried out ‘JESUS! Jesus, Jesus!’ He was right there, working on our behalf.

    He sent His Holy Angels, who navigated my husband out of a treacherous situation… from the drivers seat, through a crushed door and broken window, glass everywhere… across LIVE POWER-LINES, in the pouring down rain- the Angels protection shielded him from harm, assisted him in getting her unbuckled and out of the pinned position of being sandwiched between the rear of her seat and the roof of our crushed van, over the the passengers side where both her Heavenly Father and her Daddy waited.

    “Even if I go through the deepest darkness, I will not be afraid, Lord, for you are with me. Your shepherd’s rod and staff protect me.”

    Psalm 23:4 GNTD

    Honestly, when the tree fell suddenly on top of our van while we were driving, only five minutes from home… we were thrust into total darkness. The span of the tree so big, it covered our van… and the shield of our eyelids when we were thrown into unconsciousness also was utter darkness.

    When my husband awoke first, his first instinct was survival and protection. Searching frantically for a cell phone to call 911, realizing the gravity of our situation he attempted to wake me, ‘WENDY! WENDY!’ he hollered my name multiple times. I seemed to hear him as if in a dream, with his voice sounding far away, though he was sitting right next to me…

    My hand went to my head and neck, exploding in pain… then I heard these words:

    “MORGANNE’S NOT BREATHING!”

    These words reached into the depth of my darkness, my eyes flew open, heart was shocked into beating…dazed, seeing broken windshield and tree limbs covering us, trying to move my body around towards where our daughter was sitting, and then seeing her there… lifeless, like a rag doll, long arms and long hair hanging over side of seats edge alongside her knees…with the rear of her seat folded on top of her, the roof of the van pinning on top of her-I instantly was gripped by a level of fear and panic I never experienced before in my entire life!!! A sight forever branded on my heart and in my mind- not a day goes by that I don’t ‘see’ that gut-wrenching image…

    I knew I needed to speak but the enemies grip on my throat was so tight it seemed literally impossible.

    BUT GOD!!!

    The power of the living Christ within me through my Helper, the Holy Spirit, arose a mighty spirit of faith. In fact, the very same power that raised Jesus from the dead was activated in me-and I cried out ‘Jesus!!! JESUS- HELP MY BABY GIRL!!’

    As I twisted in my seat, I reached out my hand and touched her pulse, on her neck and wrist. THERE WAS NO PULSE! NO HEART BEAT!

    Words of LIFE, God’s Word, started flowing off my tongue, guided by the Holy Spirit, as I laid my hands on her- ‘Morganne will live and NOT DIE, and shall give account of the deeds of the Lord! It is written! When believers lay hands on the sick they SHALL recover! We resist you Devil! We submit to God, you MUST FLEE! Go! Leave her alone! She will live and not die in Jesus Name!’

    And we prayed in the Spirit, kept saying ‘Jesus! Life! Help our baby girl! JESUS! LIFE!

    6 minutes from when we found the phone and called 911, she remained unchanged…Lifeless.

    But our God breathed life back into her, by HIS Words we uttered over her.

    She started to breath. And rescue arrived… they pulled her out of the narrow opening on the passenger side of the van; no time for jaws of life or crane to remove tree…

    And took her to the emergency room. Praise God for first responders!!! We do, all the time!

    Throughout our ordeal, a total of 13 initial days in two hospitals-finding out of her massive blood loss and brain bleeds, fractured skull, multiple hematomas and subdermal bleeds, major brain damage on both lobes and brain stem, hearing the words ‘1-5% chance of survival with little to no quality of life if she makes it’ , emergency ground medic transfer to MCV during the height of Hurricane Irene, followed by a 9 hour brain surgery then hooked up to life support for three days… we held tight to God’s Word and each other.

    Our son and older daughter with us, we kept praying and speaking God’s Word of life over her. A nightmare for each one of us…only we ALL were living in the same one.

    We fought the good fight of faith. We refused the reports we were hearing and only believed God’s. We kept on saying she would fully recover and that it would be expedient. Nothing else was acceptable. It didn’t line up to what we believed, and we believed GOD.

    On the third day, she awoke, though her journey of recovery and HER fight of faith was just beginning.

    It was soooo hard seeing her in pain! Seeing her swollen beyond recognition; all of her long beautiful hair, gone- replaced by vicious staples across half of her head… all a testament now of the incredible God we trust in and serve, and of her amazing strength.

    Fighting severe pain, inability to see in one eye, unable to walk, she kept saying ‘I need to run!’ Even though she couldn’t even yet stand. Doctors and nurses told her ‘honey you need to understand that you have a severe brain injury. You can’t do what you used to be able to do. This is what having a traumatic brain injury is about, it’s for life, this is your new normal.’

    Our feisty girls response? ‘Will you stop telling me what I can’t do when my God says I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength?!’

    On the 13th day, against all odds, our daughter WALKED out of MVV to our vehicle, on her own two feet! She refused the wheelchair. Of course she refused it- she was making a statement without words, she didn’t need it!

    The next day, she surprised her team at an invitational run; and on the way home stopped at the storage yard where the wreckage of the vans remnant remained… seeing her standing there, looking at the van, I knew we were looking at what a miracle looks like. Another image branded forever on my heart…

    Two weeks later after intense physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy, and lots of prayer, she returned for a consequent brain surgery to reattach her bone after swelling went down… and after another five days of intense pain, and hospitalization at MCV, she was home again.

    And, one month after original accident on September 30th, she returned to school- to all her advanced and AP dual enrollment college classes, and that afternoon?

    Morganne ran with her cross country team!!! I’ll never, ever forget it.

    The power of the tongue… Like a rudder on a ship- it’s so tiny in size yet it powerfully steers the direction of our lives by the words off our lip.

    When we line up our words with God’s Words- life will always follow.

    “What you say can preserve life or destroy it; so you must accept the consequences of your words.” Proverbs 18:21 GNTD

    “Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.”

    Proverbs 18:21 MSG

    This year is bittersweet, as we always commemorate this day with an anniversary dinner to honor God and thank Him for saving us, and for restoring our daughter back to life, miraculously… but with Morganne being thousands of miles away across the world from us, we will celebrate in two separate time zones, and in two parts of the world.

    We will always remember, Jesus, what You’ve done for us. We will tell the world of Your goodness every opportunity we have-

    ‘We overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the words of our testimony’. (Revelation 12:11)

    If I could encourage one person not to give up by ‘remembering’ and sharing what Jesus did for us, then our trial has been worthwhile.

    Jesus Himself tells us in Mark 11:22, ‘Have faith in God.’ We live by faith., and never stop thanking Him for the incredible things He has done.

    We remember…

    Life’s a Journey

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    Life is a journey…

    Made up of peaks and valleys, many roads-some long and narrow, some bumpy, some treacherous, some winding, and some seem never to end!

    Many times, we start on our path, believing we know the destination-but as we go-we realize each curve in the road, each intersection-is more challenging than the last.

    All the variances and places in between ‘here and there’ in the roads we travel in life are being used by God in shaping us, molding us, into His image.

    Sometimes, we set our cruise control, sit back, and enjoy the beauty in our surroundings!

    Sometimes, the scenes are splendorous and breathtaking!

    We travel through so many different sceneries!

    The snowy peaked mountains, rolling hills of countryside, changing fall colors, the plains…

    Miles of corn fields, and wheat farms-sometimes even alongside the oceans… sweet fragrances to enjoy, and we reflect on Gods beauty everywhere.

    Not every road in our life’s journey offers beautiful scenery-

    Not every stretch is pleasant…

    (Or enjoyable.)

    Sometimes- when we are traveling, we get stuck in traffic.

    It’s NEVER convenient. NEVER planned. Just as we thought we were making progress…bam!

    In one hundred degree temperatures.

    Sometimes, the air conditioning stops working-and life gets sticky, unpleasant.

    Sometimes we have to roll our sleeves up, and our windows down.

    Sometimes, instead of the enjoyable fresh country air, and sweet aromas of honeysuckle- instead, is the stench of cow manure from the dairy farm, or from the garbage truck next to you!

    This IS life.

    God will use each part- every mile of our travel, especially the little side trails where we wander- and will use them for His glory.

    It may not ‘make sense’ to us-and may not always ‘feel’ good…

    Sometimes, part of our ‘journey’ seems as if we are stuck in a tunnel for miles and miles…with very little light surrounding us to help navigate clearly through.

    Yet, as the song ‘Waymaker‘ goes-

    ‘Even when I don’t see it, He’s working-

    Even when I don’t feel it-He’s working-

    He never stops-never stops working, He never stops! Never stops working!’

    God takes the little things we don’t usually understand and works them out for our good.

    Listen-

    Hear His voice, the still, small voice on the inside-

    Rest in Him.

    Trust in Him.

    Do what is right, even when it’s hard.

    Don’t compromise.

    When the rose bush is being trimmed, the pruning process is painful at the time-but it’s so necessary for the growth and blooms about to follow!

    When God’s doing the pruning, He will make it right.

    I read a devotion this morning that made me think along this lines, ‘Simple Living’ (TearFund). Here’s an excerpt:

    God is in the business of taking small, tiny offerings and using them to create a huge impact. The small, smooth stones in David’s sling. A little boy with five loaves and two fish. The tiny mustard seed. A widow’s last few drops of oil and flour for a final meal with her son.

    We often think of what we lack. The problems are too big; the world is too broken. But God is able to do abundantly more than all we could ask or imagine. He’s blessed us with creativity, ingenuity–and each other.

    In considering the small things we can do and when we are uncertain of the way ahead, we can be encouraged that God takes our small steps–and our offerings along the way, inadequate though they seem–and breathes His life through them for His glory.

    Chew over the words in Psalm 84:5 and thank God for the blessings He gives to those who set their hearts on pilgrimage.

    God is for us! He is with us-through every step of our journey. He is faithful, and will never leave us or forsake us.

    It’s easy to enjoy the enjoyable seasons of our lives… trusting God during the difficult times is where we see our inner character outwardly.

    When we are stuck in a season when everything seems to be crumbling around us- the spotlight highlights us in moments of raw transparency-

    Remember… the journey of life continues… this particular ‘mile’ will fade., bringing us closer to our destination.

    Like a road map, so are the days of our life. All have meaning and purpose.

    Hope.

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    All throughout the winter, I have been driving past this tree on my way to and from work.

    Always captures my attention…

    This tree has a lesson. So does this empty fruit basket.

    It’s been speaking to my soul. And yes, trees can speak.

    We read about Jesus speaking to the fig tree in Mark 11… it spoke back to Him, in obedience. It heard what He said, and did what He said.

    Regarding THIS tree-and THIS empty basket…

    Most specifically the little fruit basket sitting as if it’s waiting. It has been speaking to me.

    A lot.

    It is a symbol of hope and of new life.

    When we look at things that seem lifeless and hopeless, the more we let our gaze dwell there unchecked, we grew weary and depressed.

    This image paints a different picture to focus on-if only we have eyes to see and ears to hear…

    The tree branches are empty.. there’s no sign of life…

    There’s a hint of life however on the bottom, of the green grass starting to grow… but the symbol of hope here is in the empty bucket waiting at the bottom… it’s a sign that good things will come in the future.

    I believe this is a message to encourage somebody.

    Are you facing a hopeless situation?

    Anyone feeling as if life will never come again the way you want it to?

    God has different seasons in our life for a reason.

    While we learn to wait on God, let’s purpose to trust Him!

    “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Hebrew 11:1),

    Based on the true uncompromised Word of God!

    We need to learn to be obedient and to do what God says to do, in order to get the results God says we can have.

    “call those things that are not as though they are!” (Romans 4:17)

    God is a speaking Spirit!

    He spoke everything into existence and to this day there are new galaxies still being created based on His original command to exist!

    “Words are powerful! Words can be our salvation and words can be our damnation.” (Matthew 12:33 MSG)

    “Death and life are in the power of the tongue!” (Proverbs 18:21)

    What are we saying?

    What are we declaring?

    What are we confessing?

    We need to learn to look adversity directly into its face and declare our victory!

    Like this little basket sitting at the foot of this barren tree, waiting for the right season of fruit to come-anticipating…

    let’s “trust in the Lord with all our heart and lean not on to our own understanding- in all our ways acknowledge Him and let Him direct our steps!” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

    Lets look with eyes of faith! And speak into our future right now the expected end!

    Be encouraged, dear loved ones- hope never disappoints!

    Humanitarian Godly Hands…

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    A Word from God.

    “I haven’t dropped you. Don’t panic.

    I’m here with you.

    There’s no need to fear for I’m your God.

    I’ll give you strength.

    I’ll help you.

    I’ll hold you steady., keep a firm grip on you…

    Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you.

    I’ve called your name. You’re mine.

    When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you.

    When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down. When you’re between a rock and a hard place, it won’t be a dead end- because I am God, your personal God, the Holy of Israel, your Savior.

    I paid a huge price for you: all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in!

    THATS how much you mean to me!

    THATS how much I love you!

    I’d sell off the whole world to get you back, trade the creation just for you.” (Isaiah 41:9-10; 43:2-4 MSG).

    Gods Spirit keeps stirring within me on this subject…

    Hands.

    God took His hands and placed them into the dirt and formed man with His hand..

    Jesus’s nail scarred hands hammered to the cross…

    I carry that image in my mind daily…

    He still feels the nails, every time I fail.

    And every time I fall, those same hands pick me back up.

    When I need comforting, His Hands pat me on my shoulder, embrace me in warm hugs.

    When I’m sad and my eyes leak the emotions in my heart, His hands wipes every year, and collects them into heavenly bottles for Heavens purpose- never is a tear wasted.

    When I’m in need of companionship, He places His hand in mine.

    When I achieve a goal or reach a milestone, Gods hands applaud me, cheers me on.

    When I’m sick, His hands are laid on me to heal me.

    God said ‘See? I have engraved you on the palms of my hands. I have written your name on the palms of My hands… I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands….” (Isaiah 49:16 NIV, NLT, ESV, NAS, MSG)

    God loves me.

    So much that He permanently inscribed my name on His Hand as a remembrance.

    He says “Can a mother forget the infant at her breast, walk away from the baby she bore? But even if mothers forget, I’ll never forget you— NEVER.” (Vs 15-18)

    (And for the record- THIS momma can NEVER forget or walk away from her children she bore!)

    God can never forget those He has engraved on the palms of His hands.

    Every time He sees His own scarred hands, He sees you.

    I’ll always remember the feel of my babies hands holding onto mine, and patting me with their hands.

    That precious innocent complete act of trust…each one special to me- My mind replays thousands upon thousands of scenes in my memory bank of them… as infants, as toddlers, as preschoolers, as school aged children, as preteens, as teens, and as adults… That reassuring feel of comforting touch that hands bring-so special!

    I wrote this three years ago as two different posts- on two different dates-yet today they have deeper meaning, more profound meaning for us today.

    Today, we said ‘see you later’ to our daughter and son-in-law, who are missionaries heading to Africa for 2 years., serving in the Peace Corp. Watching MY baby, put her hands in her husband’s… Knowing their hands are firmly planted in God’s hands regardless of where, brings me comfort and peace.

    This past weekend, watching all the gathered immediate family and extended family hold hands, shake hands, embrace in tight hugs with hands, patting love taps on backs with hands, reinforced to me how amazing and perfectly formed are our hands.

    Seeing our sons shake hands with tears overflowing in church… seeing our daughters hold each other tightly in the tightest embrace while trying to be brave fighting off tears, losing because of a sibling love so strong LOVE wins…

    Seeing grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins hands interact with loving touches-

    It is its own love language-

    The language of Hands.

    Today, these hands waved a proverbial farewell… but never a goodbye. Only see ya later.

    As we trust in our God, who formed us with His guiding Hand, and protects us with His Hand- we know we send them off AS the hands of Christ.

    In the months to come, their hands will become calloused from fielding the bush for food, carrying water buckets to and from the well for mile’s each day, forming a daily fire to cook and boil water, scrubbing their laundry, doing the work they were created and called to do.

    These hands will encourage one another., and will work together.

    These hands are anointed.

    They will be used to praise and worship God high and lifted up. These hands will be used to clap as they sing with the locals. These believers hands will be used to lay on the sick, and the sick shall recover.

    These hands will be used in acts of service- consecrated and dedicated to each other and to God.

    Someday, these hands will hold our grandchildren, but for now, they hold all of our hope, love, and prayers.

    But no fears, and no cares- Those were all cast to the Father God.

    What voice are you hearing?

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    I have been meditating a lot on this topic-
    We are a triune being- we are a spirit, we possess a soul, and we live in a physical body.


    …and a few days ago during my morning devotion it came up again…

    So I decided to give birth to my thoughts and see what’s born…

    Many have ‘awareness’ of this concept, based on bible truth-but few have revelation that we are a three part being and each part has a voice:

    ‘Conscience’ is the voice of our human spirit.
    ‘Reason’ is the voice of the soul, or mind.
    ‘Feeling’ is the voice of our body, or flesh.

    Our Heavenly Father connects with us through our spirits, our inward witness… He doesn’t speak to our soul or our bodies… 

    Nowhere in the Bible are we told God speaks to our body., or has a relationship with our mind.  

    On the contrary, it’s our spirit man that is born again, but our mind has to be renewed daily.

    Yet, the enemy ALWAYS gains access to us through our bodies (flesh) and our souls (mind)… in the ‘sense arena’- Satan appeals to what we ‘see’, ‘feel’, ‘hear’, ‘imagine’ or ‘think.’

    And this is where it’s dangerous.

    Satan is a liar, the father of all lies, in him there is no truth.   (John 8:44) He is a master of deception, and though there is nothing good about Satan, he is good at what he does:



    Kill.  Steal.  Destroy.

    That’s it.  That is his job description according to John 10:10.

    He uses our senses to deceive us, so he can steal from us, destroy us, kill us.
    Satan can not succeed however, unless we permit him to.  And God will permit what we permit.

    Most of us get caught in the ‘feeling’ part… and get stuck there.

    Many believe if they feel sick that they are sick.  Then they begin confessing the sickness, and their confession soon leads to possession… 

    Before you are even aware- the thought that came by a wrong feeling was entertained, and settled into the heart, then confessed out of the mouth- bingo.  

    Life is born from the wrong thought, that failed to get caught or run through the filter of Truth, God’s Word.

    Follow the fruit to its root. Did it come to kill, steal or destroy, or, did it come to bring life, more abundantly
    Folks- consider the root and inspect the fruit.


    Many times you will actually hear people refer to a sickness as theirs…  In talking about it, without thinking, often they will say something like “my cancer has returned” thus, they are calling it theirs.  
    Or, will say something like “I have the flu.” Taking ownership of it… agreeing with, permitting it rights to remain., assuming  there is no other way- if they have medical facts it exists, if they are feeling the symptoms, it must be so. 

    “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” (Proverbs 18:21).

    Many believe that if they see, hear or feel it, ‘it’ must be true.

    I’m not suggesting we live with our head in the clouds and ignore reality, symptoms, feelings or facts.  I’m stating that though something might exist and be a fact doesn’t mean it has the rights to remain and become a truth.

    Friends, there’s a profound difference between ‘truth’ and ‘fact.’

    If we give in to what we feel, or hear, or see- we are not living by faith. We are living by the worlds standards, not God’s.  We become a ploy for the enemy.

    If we ‘feel’ something, we believe we ‘are’ what we feel. If we go by feelings alone, we become deceived and give in to these feelings.

    God doesn’t call us to walk by our ‘feelings’. 

    He created us with feelings, our emotions serve a purpose and it’s good to understand them, but as believers, we are not called to live by our feelings or get caught in the sense realm.

    Rather, we are called to live by faith., by the Spirit. Not by sight.

    Feelings are subject to change.

    Thoughts and reasoning are subject to change.

    Feelings and thoughts are based on facts- and facts are subject to change.

    Truth (Jesus is Truth- and Jesus is The Word- therefore God’s Word is Truth.). So Truth, however, will never change, but has the power to change facts when acted upon by faith.

    We are spirit, soul and body. Each has a voice.  

    So… I’ll close with this thought provoking question:
    Which voice is dominating you?   
    1 Thess 5:23. Romans 8:1.  

    12 Cor 5:7-10. Gal 5:18-20.

    John 17:17. 
    Minister Wendy J Roundy, international motivational speaker & missionary

    Founder of ‘iamjesusgal ministries’ Iamjesusgal website

    Founder of ‘Helping The Homeless Ministry’ Helping The Homeless Website

    Homeless Center: it SHALL come to pass

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    When God gives you a vision… when God gives you a word… when God gives you a promise- then you can believe it shall come to pass. 
    We founded and lead a 501 (C) 3 non profit ministry, ‘Helping The Homeless.’ 
    God gave a clear vision plan, and step by step over the last 7 years it’s been unfolding into existence just as He said. 
     Every step has been laying the foundation, strong and sure, for its purpose. 
    People are God most precious and valuable asset. 

    Yet in our world we have people starving, hungry and thirsty, homeless. 
    And people with the means to change this often walk right past them. 
    We treat animals with better provisions of shelters and humane societies than our struggling neighbors, and this just is NOT OK. 
    I’m not talking about applying a bandaid to a gapping wound- I am talking about a plan to resolve this problem for good.   I’m talking about a solution. 
    A bible based plan, one that God Himself implemented and illustrated for us. 
    We are by faith calling our 12 month Christ-Centered discipleship center, ‘CAMP RESTORATION’ into existence- a place where the hurting and broken people struggling with homelessness can come restore their lives and hearts freely, build a firm foundation of faith, learn job skills, anger management skills, money management skills, receive the love and support needed to get back in their feet and become independently dependent on Christ, then assist with finding transportation, employment and own housing during transition into being back in their own… 
    I can see it.  Can you visualize it? I’ve been seeing it, ever since God gave me the vision in a dream.  And it SHALL come to pass!
    It’s all about loving our neighbors and caring for others the way God said to do, changing the life of homelessness one person, one family at a time. 

    Consider our ministry when praying over giving. Be part of making a difference in lives spiritually, emotionally, and physically. Give securely you online Tax deductible contributions here
    Follow our ministry at Helping The Homeless FB Link

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