No More

You always come when I’m feeling fine

You come haunting, taunting, pushing the line

You always come when I’m feeling down

You come accusing, assaulting, screaming until I’m bound

I’ve listened to your guile, your awful protests misaligned

I’ve received your vicious hatred and allowed it to confine

I’ve been consumed by this overwhelming, nagging fear

I’ve stood paralyzed and dejected, feeling you ever near

Yet, today, I’ve had enough. I am done.

No more will you ridicule, insult and spew lies like a gun

No more will you have control of my feelings, emotions and thoughts

I am vanquishing you for my price has already been bought.

You have no more authority. I suggest you now leave.

If you try to remain, your dignity will be relieved

I am free from your bondage. Looking back will not be my game.

I am released from my captivity. Going forward, I have a new name.

Penned – MG – 5/19/18

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Choose Well

I saw this post the other day, and I thought, “This describes exactly how I’m feeling and what I needed to hear today!” It was Christmas Eve morning. I had 2 church services to attend, songs to sing while on praise team, a devotion to share during offering, Christmas gifts to deliver, people to greet and names to remember, smiles to give and necks to hug. All that before 11:30 in the morning, and I’m not exactly a morning person… Really, it was no different than any other Sunday (except the gifts), and I really do love what I do; yet, that morning, I was feeling frazzled, stressed out and insecure.

Honestly, I had stayed up too late the night before, and I was feeling weary. I had been excited about Christmas coming, and I had gotten everything done about 11:00pm; yet, I just kind of piddled until I got sleepy, an hour after midnight, which doesn’t fare too well when you rise at 6:00am on Sunday!

I was, also, going through a bit of an emotional battle, feeling unworthy, insignificant and internally “bluesy.” All of this was adding up to make the day a very sour lemon! Then, I came across this pic that I had just saved the night before, thinking I might use it for a blog one day, (lol!) and it was as if everything came full circle right a that moment. I was reminded of my philosophy for living: Life is what you make it. It’s all in your perspective and the choices you make.

I didn’t need to let my circumstances rule my emotions. I didn’t need to allow my feelings to be my guide, and I could not permit my choice of lack of sleep and struggling thought patterns to dictate how I would worship my God, engage with people, and follow through with the commitments I had made.

I had a choice to make, and I decided to choose well. I chose to breathe it all in. I chose to slow down, be deliberate and be aware. I chose to have joy, to rejoice in our Savior, and to be thankful in my heart and my head. I chose to savor life and those around me. I chose to smile and allow the wonder and happiness of the moments to not only fill my smile but to fill my soul and my whole being.

It was Christmas Eve, and this one only comes once. More importantly, it was Sunday, and we live in a free country where we can still worship as a congregation. We serve a great God who is worthy of all our praise! I wasn’t going to miss that! It was, also, the day I get to see a lot of people who may or may not be there tomorrow, because after all, none of us are guaranteed the next breathe, and in this crazy world, you never know what might happen!

It was an amazing day, and I am so thankful I made the right choices. 😊

We all have choices to make everyday, every hour, and even minute to minute. What will you choose today?

What Do You Celebrate?

At the beginning of this month, we celebrated the Fourth of July with some of our family, and the fireworks display at the end of the night was the perfect ending to a perfect day. It was absolutely beautiful!

We all celebrate things, people and happenings in our lives. We celebrate holidays, birthdays and new beginnings. We celebrate new babies, marriages, graduations and retirements, but I wonder how often we stop and actually ponder those celebrations. I wonder if we actually think about who and what we are celebrating. 

Do we see the person or just simply the event in their life? Do we recognize the growth in the graduate, or do we only see the loss of a child at home? Do we see the joy in the eyes of the new mom and her baby, or do we only see the birth? Do we see the wealth of wisdom in the retiree, or do we only see the age and tired body?

As I was going back through those pictures of the fireworks and reminiscing the day, I smiled as I thought of our family and the celebration. It wasn’t simply a day to celebrate a patriotic holiday and a few beautiful fireworks. We joined together to celebrate the strength of family, the joy of togetherness, and the gratefulness we have to live in this country of the free and the brave. 


Yeah, now THAT’S a celebration. 😉❤️🇺🇸

Trapped Again!

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.
Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”
Gal. 5:1

This Scripture came up today in my Youverse app, and even though, I’ve read it many times before, it seemed to settle in a little deeper this time. Have you ever had that happen? You’re re-reading a scripture that you’ve read for years, but that next time, it’s like reading it for the very first time all over again, because God seems to speak to your heart in that very moment.

That’s how it was today. I’ve been doing this bible study on the power of our words, and it has really been strengthening my faith, challenging my flesh and transforming my words. This past week, we were studying the lesson on gentle words and memorizing the Scripture in Provers 15:1, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” …You would know, the one week when the stress loads of life are heavy on our boys and me, schedules are tight, tension is heightened, and words are short and snappy every day, that this is our memory verse and the lesson I’ve got to study and share with the class! …geez! Talk about feeling like a hypocrite! 😑

Regardless of the feelings, I kept studying, and God kept convicting my heart, reshaping my responses and working the repentance out of my mouth. By the day class time rolled around, I had made my mistakes and my confesssions and worked out a plan for us all to do things better this coming week. Amazing how, sometimes,  we have learn how to “adult better” alongside our children. 😉… I guess, if we were perfect, we’d be in heaven already; so, I’m all for the learning.

What struck me about this verse in Galatians is how, too often, we realize those sins of which we need to repent, we ask for forgiveness, and we think we’ve move beyond them; yet, somewhere along the way, we find ourselves trapped again by the very things that tripped us up in the beginning! How does that even happen?

Thinking over this, I was led to another well known scripture in 1 Peter 5:8, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” The devil is always seeking to destroy us. His search for our weak spots, and his schemes to bring us down never stop! He is relentless in His strategy to take us out!

However, I believe, our daily struggle to crucify our flesh (or die to selfishness) and feed our spirit (or live more like Christ) isn’t always so relentless. We get distracted by the cares of this world. We become negligent in the studying of His Word and in the seeking of His face. We allow “the little foxes to spoil the vine,” so to speak, and the battle (for our freedom from sin) becomes lost as we stop being vigilant in our fight. We start lowering our shield of faith and raising our selfish ambitions and outlooks. We start laying down our sword of the spirit to rather pick up those things from which we have been freed, as we become more “me” focused and so much less “Christ” focused. Before too long, we find ourselves ensnared with the very things He freed us from years before.

This is not what Jesus plans for us! This is not what He desires. Let us fight this good fight of faith. Let us not return to those sins for which He died. Let us live freely in the freedom (from sin) He has given us, and let us finish this race well! … There is a generation, of both young people and young Christians, coming behind us. They need for us to remain free and to finish well. Then, we might be able to share our story with them on how it’s done and allow our legacy of faith to be passed on. Live free today!

PROTECTION

My pastor gave this great description of like to share with you:

PRAYER + PREPARATION = PROTECTION

We were actually talking about security in our church when he gave this, but I’d like to take t a step further into our spiritual lives… Both of these steps are vital for our Christian walk. Too often, I believe, we find ourselves in a chaotic mess, because we’ve forgotten one of these two essentials.

When we are so much in prayer, but we don’t prepare for anything, we appear to those around us as spiritual IDIOTS. Please forgive my bluntness, but it’s true. If you are always proclaiming God’s greatness, and you’re speaking your praises wherever you go, but you can’t hold down a job, you can’t pay your bills and you can’t keep your mind and mouth in stability, you’re actually hurting the Gospel more than helping it. Now, I am NOT talking about those who have a tragedy or come on hard times, please understand. Everyone has their battles, and sometimes, we just have to hold onto Jesus a little tighter to make it through the day. However, if it’s a lifestyle of perpetual chaos and instability, you may be missing the mark somewhere. For the Word tells us, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”  2 Tim. 2:7

On the other side of this spectrum, if you are so prepared, yet you never pray, your witness will hurt the kingdom, as well. We can be so earthly minded that we do heaven no good. Sometimes, faith isn’t going to look right to the world. Sometimes, prayer is going to seem a little crazy to the carnally minded, and sometimes, prayer is the ONLY thing that is going to bring about victory in your life! If we are so prepared, or maybe I should use the word WISE, in our own abilities and skill sets, we can do damage to our witness for Christ, because we fail to see our need for Him. We rely too much in our own strength and our own smarts. Or should I say, “…for in my weakness He is made strong.”

It takes both the prayer and the preparation to being about God’s full protection. When we have both, we walk in His complete authority. When we have both, we can storm the gates of hell and take back the captives, because it is no longer our own words and our own might, but HIS!

Let us be a people of preparation AND of prayer, and we will watch Him bring forth the victory!

To Set You Free

“Standing up for what is right is a key to freedom…A chain of bondage is placed upon a person link by link each time she turns away from the Truth or refuses to voice what is right.” – Jesus Freaks

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You speak lies as if they were rays of light.

You spew anger and deceit like rain.

Untruths pour out of your lips like rivers flowing to find higher ground.

Yet, you never see the chains that have wrapped around you link by link.
You stand proclaiming your stories.

Believing this will bring you fame and glory.

You hold onto your belief that slander will bring you the power you seek.

Yet, you never realize the pit in which you have thrown yourself is destined only for disaster.
You cannot see the chains that bind you.

You cannot see the miry pit in which you tread.

Your release lies within the Truth.

Your liberty is bound within your fight for rightness.

Your freedom is enslaved to the veracity of your words.
There is Hope for this prison in which you dwell.

There is a Promise for these chains that hold you still.

Just turn toward Him to see your redemption.

Let His Truth wash over you and make you clean.
Penned – 7/27/16 – MG

verseoftheday.com

“Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” John 8:36

 

Just A Phase

“It’s just a phase.” Some people use this phrase to describe a little tyke who’s going through the terrible twos and needs to learn a little discipline. The little guy is just young, and he has a lot to learn about manners, tempers and self-control. You excuse so many things for him, because, after all, he’s just little. He simply needs a firm, loving hand, a parent who will help him grow up into a wise, spirited, and strong individual.

“It’s just a phase.” Some people use this phrase to describe a young woman who’s going through the turbulent teenage years and needs freedom to explore while learning her boundaries within the contents of house rules, school requirements and civil obediences. You don’t quite excuse as many things as you once did, because, after all, she’s a little older, but she still does have so much more to learn. She simply needs a firm, loving guide, a parent who will help her grow into a conscientious, yet tenacious and dauntless individual.

However, when “it’s just a phase,” is used to describe men and women who are well past the age of accountability and who are, now, quite capable of having self-control, who are quite able to follow rules set by any organization, and who are just defiant against any form of authority in their lives, this “phase” is simply beyond ridiculous!

I am so tired of those in our culture today who continually give excuses for people who don’t deserve this faulty alibi. Just because someone grew up in the wrong family, wrong town or on the wrong side of the world, does NOT give them the extenuating circumstances of just “falling into” a crime because “they just can’t help themselves!” You may not be able to choose your heritage, your upbringing or even your environment. You may have really been given the “raw end of the deal,” but that does NOT give you reason to abuse everyone and everything around you! It does NOT excuse you to being a jerk your whole life! Everyone has choices they must make. Everyone has to decide whom they will become. As Forrest Gump says, “I happen to believe you make your own destiny. You have to do the best with what God gave you.”

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“…and that’s all I’ve got to say about that.” 😉

Daily Prompt:  Phase

Mom’s Job

We, as moms, have so many jobs, so many responsibilities to fulfill. These change often, too, depending on the age of our children, the different seasons of life, and the various needs of our family. What my roll was, as a mom with our boys, 10 years ago looks somewhat different than today; yet, I have found a few “mom jobs” to remain constant over the years. If these go missing, chaos seems to presume.

  Speak Life – It is our responsibility to speak life into our home and our children. We need to encourage, admonish, admire and lead by example. Christ said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life…” When we speak life to them, it is the beginning of their seeing Christ. It causes them to see a better way than where their fleshly desires would entice them. When we speak life, it guides them in truth. Solomon, the wisest man in Scripture, had a mother who spoke life into him. You can see that in Proverbs 31, when she admonishes him about drinking and shares with him what kind of “good woman” he should seek. Speaking life is not condoning sin or emphasizing failures. It is giving them God’s best in their moment in order for growth, strength and transformation to occur.

  Provide Liberty (freedom) – It is incumbent upon us to give our children the freedom to grow into the man or woman they are meant to be. We begin this from a very early age. We hold their hand to teach them to walk, and then, we let go so they can. We hold onto the back of the bike so they can get steady, and then, we let go and watch them bike around the block on their own. We help them in so many ways, at the beginning holding on to make sure they’ve got it, and then, we watch them as they learn to do things on their own. We must do this with their dreams as well! It is our job to help them to dream and to one day fly to higher heights, and we must give them the freedom to do so! When we hold on to tightly, or we hold them back because of fear, competition or even jealousy, we cripple them and cause their way to be harder than it needs to be. They may still reach their dreams, but oh, the hardships and battles they have to face along the way!

  Give Love – It is our calling to love those God puts in our care. We were made as nurturing creatures. We were created as networking beings, to reach out, to connect. We have been developed to care, to cry, to comfort and to cover our loved ones with our love and prayers. If we are not reaching our arms up in prayer and out in love, we will wreak havoc on all those around us. That’s why it’s so important for us, as women but especially as mothers, to release anger, bitterness, strife and unforgiveness. If we hold onto these things, we don’t just simply “cover it up and hope it goes away,” as we often want to believe we can. It breeds in our home and eventually manifests in all areas of our lives, as well as, in the lives of our children. We must love. We must care. We must reach out. Hannah brought a new coat to little Samuel every year at the time of the feast offerings. There is a whole book in the Bible devoted to the story of Ruth and how she not only loved her husband but how she loved her mother-in-law. Esther changed the heart of a king by her love for her God, her husband and her people.

It is said, “The mother is the heart of the home.” I tend to agree with this statement, but I want to make it a little more specific. I believe she can be the heartbeat of the home. With her attentiveness, her effort and her consistent focus on Christ, she can not only keep a hand on the pulse of the home, but she can also become the heartbeat of that home. If she is stable, loving, courageous, bold, prayerful, gentle and kind, her home has a better chance of being the same. If she is imbalanced, hateful, fearful, lacking in prayer, grouchy and just plain mean, her home will most likely emulate the same attitude and personality.

Men weren’t created to do these things the way a woman was! They have their own purpose and their own calling within the home, but it is different than a woman’s. We have a purpose, and we must fulfill it, or everyone loses!

“Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:
 “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.”   Proverbs 31:28-31

Happy belated Mother’s Day!

Light Peeking Through

Whew, it’s been busy around here, because we are moving (just across town)! So, if you will indulge me this week, I may do a little bit of “resharing” of posts. I hope you don’t mind, and I hope, maybe, I’ll share one you haven’t seen before. Next week, I should be able to get back to writing! 🙂

Originally posted 11/6/14…
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Have you ever felt lonely, wondering if anyone cares? Have you felt as if everyone has left you to wander through this life without direction or love, ever reaching, ever hopeless, ever desperate? Have you felt you were, perhaps, standing in a forest of trees all around, and if you fell, no one would hear your cry or even notice you were no longer standing there?

Sometimes, in life, we can feel as if there is not a soul on earth who feels the way we feel right at that very moment. We feel as if we are isolated, ostracized, and severed from those who love us.

We may be alone, but we’re not truly alone. We may be isolated, but we’re not really isolated.

There is always light peeking through the darkness.

There is always hope in the midst of hopelessness.

We only need to know where the source of Life is. We only need to realize there is an escape from the voices of despair screaming at us in the night. We only need to believe there is something more.

There is always hope for change as long as you have breath in your being.

There is always hope for life when there is a beating in your heart.

Just breathe.

Just believe.

Just be freed.

He is The One…the Light peeking through.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
John 14:6

America the Beautiful

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Her majestic mountains once rose above the clouds; 

They once challenged men to climb her rugged stairs to bow.

Her magnificent waterfalls once dropped deep into the valley;

They once inspired men to race down her rocky waves to rally.

Her awesome wildlife once soared above or scurried below;

They once entranced men to follow her and reap what they’ve sown.

 

These men have come and abused her rugged land.

They have crumbled her majestic mountains to form contraband.

These men have come and drained her waterways.

They have closed her powerful rivers to produce longer days.

These men have come and devastated her wilderness.

They have destroyed her beautiful creatures to make a their money nest.

 

Because of this,  America is in what we abide.

Man has taken over, ruled and abused her countryside.

They have caused her air to pollute, her animals to scatter and her flowers to wilt.

And still, many of them ask, “Why is America what she is today? …Upon what is this country built?”

Only time can show what we have produced, nurtured or half-baked.

Only you and I can change this and make improvements from our mistakes.
There is still hope to redeem this beautiful land. 

There is still opportunity to protect her sacred sands. 

We must awaken the passion. We must arise from our slumber. 

We can change it, but we must first acknowledge out blunder. 


Recognition is the first step to healing. 

Healing is a process; it is never an instant revealing. 

It is possible. We still have hope to survive. 

We must redeem our heritage if we are ever again to thrive. 

Penned – MG – 2/19/90