Steadfast!

Steadfast!

Listen, my son, accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many. I instruct you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths.When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble. Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life. Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evildoers. Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn from it and go on your way. For they cannot rest until they do evil; they are robbed of sleep till they make someone stumble.They eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence.  The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble. My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body. Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips.  Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you.  Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil. Proverbs 4:11-27 NIV

Wow! Keep your head up–looking forward–not backwards–keeping your eyes fixed on what’s ahead, not what’s behind! Know what’s in your heart and guard what God has put there for only what is in your heart will come forth and be seen by others. Carefully think about the path of life you take and then be steadfast–unwavering in all your ways.

Steadfast (according to Merriam Webster) is to be immovable, not subject to changing, firm in belief and determination or adherence.

The steadfast love of The Lord–never ceases, never comes to an end. His mercies are new every morning! Hallelujah!

There is much to said about the physical posture and spiritual posture in this selection from Proverbs. If we keep our eyes focused on what is ahead of us–chances our we are holding our heads up, not down and we can keep the muscles in our neck and back toned, avoiding some of the effects of gravity with atrophied muscles which lead to hanging flesh and aggravation of nerves and muscles.

From a spiritual perspective–if we keep our heads up, we demonstrate a posture that proclaims our confidence in God. We always look to how we can lift others so they too will be able to hold their heads high–not in arrogant pride, but in a confidence that says, we trust God. When we look forward–we are ready to receive all the goodness He has for us, putting aside our pasts and those things that kept us from receiving God’s best. When our gazes are straight ahead; it’s difficult to look down upon others.

When we trust God and know that His plans are what is best for us, we can confidently put one foot in front of the other without worrying about stumble, because if we stay on the path He has determined for us, He will clear the way and nothing will hamper our journey.

I can’t speak for anyone else today, but I am confidently moving forward in all I hear God speak to me, trusting the path He has established and I will not allow what others say or do to deter me.

This is the day The Lord has made and I shall rejoice and be glad in it–holding my head high and looking ahead to all He has for me!

name recognition

In Humility!

In Humility!

The path of life leads upward for the prudent to keep them from going down to the realm of the dead. The LORD tears down the house of the proud, but he sets the widow’s boundary stones in place.The LORD detests the thoughts of the wicked, but gracious words are pure in his sight. The greedy bring ruin to their households, but the one who hates bribes will live. The heart of the righteous weighs its answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil.The LORD is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous. Light in a messenger’s eyes brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones. Whoever heeds life-giving correction will be at home among the wise. Those who disregard discipline despise themselves, but the one who heeds correction gains understanding. Wisdom’s instruction is to fear the LORD, and humility comes before honor. Proverbs 15:24-33 NIV

It is with great humility that I acknowledge the quest I’ve taken upon myself is going to be the biggest challenge experienced in my life.

Though there are some who may be hesitant to grasp the reality of a potential presidential run by me, others have embraced the idea to the point of being willing to board the bandwagon that as yet, has no wheels. I am thoroughly humbled by their trust and support and candidness.

I remember saying to my walking buddy, that in this place and time (as always with me), I need people to help with my campaign, but I don’t want anyone around who is simply going to agree with everything I say. I need people in my life right now who will question everything I do–to ignite critical thinking about everything I say or do. I’m not afraid of correction and when I’m wrong, I’ll be the first to admit it.

There is much I do not know about undertaking the challenges of a presidential run, but I’m an avid researcher and know how to say, “Uncle” and call upon others who have the knowledge and expertise that I don’t. I’m willing to learn and work hard to earn the trust and respect of those who believe in me and to maintain their trust and respect.

One person expressed their concern about me risking trading my faith because of all the unethical behavior associated with politics or compromising my stance with regard to biblical principles that I teach and write about–prolifically. I appreciate her concern and addressed it and she was assured that I would do nothing without putting the issue before The Lord and would obey Him.

Now, I realize that my belief in the Bible and relationship with Jesus Christ may cause some to halt–mid-stream in a desire to support my run and I can certainly understand it. But let me say this much to clear the air before we even start to put those wheels on the bandwagon. I have not changed my views about what God has said and won’t change my views about what God has said. I recognize that people–every human being capable of making a logical decision–have a right to do so without my intervention. Though I may not agree with their lifestyle or decisions, none of that will stop me from loving them as a human being and praying for them to receive God’s best for their lives.

God is pro-choice (giving us all free-will and not forcing us to do anything) and therefore, I am pro-choice. This does not mean I am pro-abortion, nor does it mean that I or anyone else has a right to tell anyone else what to do with their lives. I believe that every woman has a right to make the best decision she can about her life and I know there are situations in which an abortion is the right choice and the only person who has to live with the choice, is the person making the decision–not me or others.

I cannot see myself–as a Born-Again Believer–attempting to force my views upon others when I don’t have to live their life. I am concerned about all life–especially the lives of babies, mothers, children, senior citizens,  and students and know that it is the responsibility of the Believer to take defend the rights of the poor, vulnerable and needy. So while I admit, I do not understand the choices some people make (and I’m sure that’s equally true in how others feel about me), I can respect their right to make decisions about their lives. As long as a person’s rights don’t infringe upon mine or mine infringe upon them–we’re good. The wisest people know that whether we agree about anything or not, there are consequences for everything we do that will impact our lives either negatively or positively.

I’ve also been reminded how the enemy will work overtime in trying to dig up dirt in an effort to create animosity against me. I know what people cannot find to undermine me they will manufacture in an attempt to discredit me. I can’t stop them. People can say whatever they want to say and nothing they say defines truth about me or others. Therefore, they can have at it. I do not have to respond to foolishness or stupidity or trumped up allegations about anything and I won’t. As I pointed out to a couple of people–my life is “literally” an open book. Anything, anyone wants to know me–good, bad, indifferent–can be found in one of my books or in a blog post and they’re all available online. I have nothing to hide.

Knowing the challenges I’ll be facing over the coming months will certainly keep me communicating with my Daddy and because He loves me, He’ll guide me every step of the way. If by chance I happen to misunderstand something He’s telling me, Holy Spirit will be right there to remind me and set me back on track.

Father,

Thank You for wisdom and insight and humility to understand I need You–every hour of every day–I need You. Thank you for loving me, correcting, and my guiding me in all that needs to be done and for sending people in my direction that can and will keep the wheels on the bandwagon turning in the direction in which You would have us to go. Remind me that nothing I do or encourage others to do should be done in an effort to bring glory to anyone other than You.

In Jesus’ name I pray and thank You, Amen!

 

name recognition

Dare To See Yourself!

Dare To See Yourself!

Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can share its joy. Proverbs 14:10 NIV

Here’s a challenge for everyone today. Get a mirror or go to the mirror in your bathroom or in your car. Take a good look at yourself and be willing to see the depths of your soul through the windows of your eyes. What do you see?

Do you see joy or sadness?

Do you see love or hate?

Do you see angst and bitterness?

Do you see helplessness or hope?

What do you really see?

Think about that for a moment. Now think about “why” you see what you see.

Far too often, people are bitter and hateful because they do not recognize the seed that has been planted by circumstances beyond their control. That includes how parents raised them or not raised them (love and hate are taught)–the struggles they fought through on a daily basis–or the envy and jealousy they felt when they looked at others and wondered, “Why them and not me?”

I have a better question for everyone to wonder about–why not you?

Look, every morning (because of my age) I take a good look at myself in a magnifying mirror so I can “see” the hair growth and pluck it out before I leave the house. Some women don’t care, but I do. Nothing creeps me out like discovering I left the house with a long, curly black hair sticking out my face (chin) wherever it might be. But now here’s the tricky part–cataracts are forming in both eyes and even when I look before I leave, I don’t always see the ornery little hair trying to escape detection. When I “feel across my chin” even the tiniest hair is discovered and back into the bathroom I go with my trusty little tweezers until the culprit is gone.

Even though I get a little put out when I miss those hairs, it’s nothing that compares to how I feel when I know I have slighted someone–unintentionally–and when I look at myself–I recognize when I’ve headed in the wrong direction and immediately, I repent.

Though life’s circumstances (in the last 65 years) have provided plenty of fodder and fuel and fertilizer to nurture bitterness and disappointment--I refuse to let it grow. God has been too good to me to allow a seed of bitterness to linger in my soul and bud, attempting to flower and spread like an ivy throughout my being. So, I allow His love to flood my soul and heart–washing away the bitterness and disappointment–never allowing hate to bud or flower and every time–every time–I get angry and want to hate–He reminds me He is love and if I truly belong to Him; I cannot hate. What a wonderful feeling–to have so much love within that hate has no room to enter.

Now, have you had time to really look at yourself and think about what you see? If you haven’t, keep looking and dare to see beyond the surface, all the way down to the depths of your feet.  Is there anything there that needs to be plucked out? Do you have a trusty pair of tweezers?

Own what you see and be willing to rid yourself of anything that will nurture bitterness and hate and allow the Love of God to fill you to overflowing and the world will see–the joy that resides within.

This joy I have–the world didn’t give it and I won’t let the world take it away!

exploration

Holding Onto His Love!

Holding Onto His Love!

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister. 1 John 4:8-21 NIV

When all is said done–no matter what else is going on in the world–we know we can count on His love to keep us going.

Taking a few minutes to reflect upon where I am and where I used to be–on a spiritual plane–on a daily basis–keeps me mindful of just how much He loves me. And since He is not a respecter of persons, I know He loves others just as much as loves me. After all, He loved the world so much, He died for us. Now, I try on a daily basis to demonstrate my love for Him, by living for Him and doing all He has instructed me to do.

I get no perverse pleasure out of seeing anyone humiliated for trying to do what’s right, but I must admit–when justice is served upon those who commit crimes and seek to serve only their interests–I am not unhappy when evil is exposed for all to see.

The evil that exists in the WH is being exposed and only God knows the final outcome and while I wait for the conclusion of the matter, I’m spending time remembering just how much He loves me.

I know He loves me because I’m still here–still learning–and still loving even those who have shown themselves to be unlovable. There are some who might say, I don’t know how to love others–especially since I’ve been so critical of 45 and his associates. I know how to love from afar–even though there is a severe distaste for his methods and ignorance, and it is because of love that I keep pointing out his shortcomings in hopes that someone, someday might make him aware of his condition and his destination--he’s headed for the lake of fire, but if he’s going to avoid it, he must learn to accept truth and speak truth.

People who love us will always tell us the truth whether we want to hear it or not. And they keep telling us truth (not their opinions) until we recognize truth for ourselves. God’s Word is truth and nothing anyone ever says against it will change its truth. It doesn’t matter whether some believe God or His Word–their belief doesn’t change God’s truth and it is His truth, I will continue to share with others.

“Oh how He loves you and me.”

“Oh how He loves you and me.”

“He gave His life, what more could He give. Oh how He loves you, Oh, how He loves me, Oh how He loves you and me.”

He’s loved me through all my ignorance (lack of knowledge about Him and His Word); loved me through sickness and pain; loved me through dealing with loss of loved ones; loved me through the anxiety of being an elder student and succeeding beyond my dreams; loved me through doubts and determination, and no matter what I do, or how far I fall short of being perfect, He reminds me, He still loves me.

In order to get through the next few months of uncertainty within our nation and what it will eventually mean for all, I’m going to hold onto His love--and look forward to seeing His purposes fulfilled in my life, no matter what.

And while I’m waiting, I’m going to continue to love and speak His truth.

living-gods-word

30 Days of Prayer and Praise–8!

30 Days of Prayer and Praise–8!

Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.Psalm 100 NIV

Day Eight

O Lord,

How excellent is Your name in all the earth! How wonderful it is to know You and how You love us. How precious is the gift of salvation to all who understand the sacrifice of love You gave to all who will believe!

We magnify Your name this day O Lord, for what You are doing in the hearts of those who love You, for those who are determined to do what is right for all people.

Lord, we love You because You first loved us and desire for all to have every good and perfect gift from You. We give You praise because there is none like You, no one who can satisfy us like You do, no one who cares about us the way You do, no one who is willing to forgive our shortcomings and keep loving us, giving us chance after chance to get things right before You. All the honor, all the glory, we give to You!

Now, Lord–we thank You for speaking to hearts, giving us wisdom and direction in all things so in all things we know You are with us and will never abandon us. We thank You for all who are hearing You speak, ready to receive a Word from You and willing to do what is right no matter what others may think. For we know it is better for us to obey You rather than man; it is better for us to commit to Your Word, rather than the laws of man.

Lord, we thank You for strengthening us with Your joy, for giving us boldness in the face in the enemy, courage to stay in the battle no matter how things look for we know–with You going before us–we are victorious in all things–for the battle is not ours, but Yours.

Thank You O Lord, for finding us worthy to be Your spokesmen, Your Watchmen, Your Messengers of love and hope, and giving us the right thing to say to all to keep them encouraged and looking to You–our comforter when distressed, our joy when sadness tries to seep into our souls, our help in time of need, our light when darkness falls upon the earth–You are everything we need and we thank You for Your love that never ends and Your faithfulness that endures for all generations!

Lord, we thank You for knowing that in Your infinite Wisdom, You created one human race, infused us all with red blood, and give us all the same choicesto receive love and love, to be thankful for Your mercy and grace, to be obedient to You in all things and live a life that speaks a loud message about who You are in our lives.

For all You are yet doing, yet speaking to the hearts of all, we thank You and praise You with our whole hearts. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Overtaken By His Blessings!

Overtaken By His Blessings!

“Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the LORD your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. “And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the LORD your God: “Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country. “Blessed shall be the fruit of your body, the produce of your ground and the increase of your herds, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks. “Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. “Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out. “The LORD will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways. “The LORD will command the blessing on you in your storehouses and in all to which you set your hand, and He will bless you in the land which the LORD your God is giving you. “The LORD will establish you as a holy people to Himself, just as He has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the LORD your God and walk in His ways. Deuteronomy 28:1-9 NKJV

There is so much more within this passage of scripture–blessings through the 14th verse, but then comes the 15th verse to the end–the curses of disobedience. We know the story of what happened to the Children of Israel in their journeys–when they obeyed God they were blessed; when they didn’t, they suffered the curses of their choices.

From the beginning–after Moses met with God–commandments were given and expected to be followed. And then there were added various sundry laws and policies until realistically–God’s people–like now–decided it wasn’t worth trying to keep up. And this is why when God walked the earth in the person of Jesus Christ–He said–Love Him, and Love Your Neighbor–everything He wanted us to do–summed up in two commandments. Why? Because He is love and He wants us blessed beyond measure!

If we love Him, we desire to please Him, and if we endeavor to please Him at all times, we won’t do anything that would create any cracks in our relationship with Him.

If we love each other–we won’t do anything that would cause harm to one another or injury or damage of property. If we love each each other–we lift each other up and encourage one another to stay on the path He has established for us. Loving each other doesn’t mean we have to agree with one another, but we know how to disagree, agreeably, maintaining the love relationship. That’s what God wants from us and when we endeavor to obey, He blesses us–with more love, peace, joy, happiness, self-discipline, and wisdom from on high.

Most of us (I realize not all will feel the same) have a great deal to be thankful for on this day. Some have watched loved ones suffer and leave this life. Some have agonized over the fate of our nation and loved ones abroad. But in the midst of all the turmoil and upheaval, if we look hard enough–we can find a reason to be thankful.

I’m thankful for His love that never abandons me. I’m thankful for the peace within when I know I’ve been obedient to Him. I’m thankful for my family–a husband who loves me and for my children and grandchildren–who I admit–I’ve spoiled with love. I’m thankful for the friends who love me as much as I love them–even when we don’t agree. I’m thankful for life, health and strength and determination to keep moving forward in His name. I’m thankful for the desire He has placed in me to rise up and speak out against injustice, hate and bigotry everywhere. I’m thankful for the wisdom He keeps pouring into me and directing my thoughts and actions in sharing with others.

I am blessed and highly favored, overtaken by His blessings and will continue on the journey He has established for me. And I pray that anyone and everyone reading this today, will feel the same way–overtaken by blessings.

Self-Control!

Self-Control!

Better a patient person than a warrior, one with selfcontrol than one who takes a city. Proverbs 16:32 NIV

Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks selfcontrol. Proverbs 25:28 NIV

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.Galatians 5:22-24NIV

Having the ability to control one’s environment establishes a pathway to peace and order and success. Before a person can control their environment, they must begin with exercising self-control in all things at all times. This is a measure of Holy Spirit living within.

Starting with the first verse of scripture reference–let’s look at disciplined warriors. A patient person takes the time to think beyond the moment and establishes strategies to reach a goal, with contingencies for the unexpected, and they complete each step determined needed in order for their strategy to be successful.

An undisciplined warrior–one who is prone to make more noise about what they want to do, but never stops ranting long enough to create a proven strategy to accomplish anything, creates havoc along the way because they don’t anticipate the unexpected.

The second scriptural reference points out that the person who lacks self-control is like a person who breaks through the city walls–huffing and puffing–but has no idea what to do once they get through the wall. The person who exercises self-control has studied the situation and determined what’s on the other side of the wall, before making attempts to get through it so they’ll be ready for any event they encounter.

Now, the evidence–the benchmark or standard–of a person being filled with Holy Spirit and allowing Him to guide in all things is self-control. When we allow Holy Spirit to guide us–and not depend on our own “great brains,” those who are watching us see that we belong to Jesus because we do not allow our flesh to dictate what we do. We do not rant and rave over insignificant events, we do not allow our egos to get in the way of doing anything, we do not provoke others with half-truths and innuendo that attempt to make us look superior to others. This is the evidence of belonging to Jesus Christ. And if we say we belong to Jesus and are not capable of exhibiting the evidence of being filled with Holy Spirit–we lie. If we lie–we reveal Satan is our father.

I’ve always thought it interesting that the evidence–the fruit of having Holy Spirit within–always starts with love and ends with self-control. Everything else–joy, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness and goodness–becomes a part of who we are and how we treat others.

So, if we want people to know where we are in Christ–we must allow Holy Spirit to guide us in all things as learn how to love and act with self-control. We don’t need to tell people to whom we belong, our actions speak much louder than words.