Once Again

Once Again

Your face reminds me of the pain

Your smile retains the brokenness

Your voice prods the gash deep in my soul.

Just when I think I’ve grown past, I hear your laughter within

Just when I feel I’ve moved beyond, I see your hand holding on

Just when I believe I’ve overcome, I touch a memory in the forgotten mind

I wish I could just stay angry forever

I long to see the payment for your crime

I yearn for the day when justice divides

Yet, He draws me back to unconditional love

He reminds me of His unyielding mercy

He calls to my heart to gracefully forgive

Not for your sake, but rather, for mine

Once Again

Penned – MG – 11/14/19

This is quite an old song, but it so eloquently describes the wounded heart. ❤️

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Where Do You Go In The Storm?

These past few weeks, we have been reeling from the recent storms and natural disasters all across our nation. There have been hurricanes, floods, fires, tornadoes, and various fallouts because of these natural, yet horrific, occurrences. So many have been evacuated, displaced, overwhelmed and even killed in the process. It can leave a soul weary and weathered from it all.

Yesterday being 9/11, reminds me of all the turmoil and heartache that can brought in an instant. It reminds me of the precious lives that were lost and the heroes who spent their last dying breath to save another.

It causes my heart to ponder the simple question, “Where do you go when the storms roll in?” Some hunker down and ride out the winds and the waves. Some run, drive away, flee from the danger that blows in, and still others try to go back and forth, running in wisdom or fear, only to find themselves anchoring back in for the long haul of destruction, evaluation, rebuilding and praying the restructure will hold. Still others are lost for every in the disasters and debris that come tumbling down.

Where are you in the midst of a storm? How do you survive it? What or who is your anchor? Without true security and a solid anchor that holds, a ship will be beaten and worn by the mighty winds. Without a firm foundation and support measures put in place, a house will surely fall when the grounds shake. Without a firm grip on Truth and love, the storms of life will only bring destruction and heartache to your very soul.

Yet, there is Hope. There is a better way to survive the storms of life that wreak havoc on the heart and mind. Jesus is the only Hope we need. His grace is sufficient for every storm. His mercy will survive through every disaster. His love will cover you and comfort you through whatever destruction might come.

If you don’t know Him today, why not talk to Him now? Why not reach out your hand to Him and let Him carry you through? He loves you and longs to cover you and shelter your heart today.

GO!

I look at so many religions in this world and watch how they fervently make disciples of their beliefs. They go door to door. They call special meetings. They infiltrate and consume college campuses and schools, all to create more followers if their particular system. Yet, I see time and again, Christians hold back from sharing Christ’s story. They allow someone else to take the center stage of testimony. They allow the cares of this world to consume every minute of the day that the busyness chokes the Living Word right out of their lives. They allow the fear of ridicule to silence their stand. 

I know this to be true, because the same has happened in my own life. I haven’t shared this Good News as much as I should, as much as I am truly able. I fall so short in the area of “making disciples.” I often keep silent when I should just open my mouth to speak. It’s sometimes easier to “just keep to ourselves” rather than to possibly be counted with “those crazy charismatics of the cross.”

Yet, sharing His love isn’t that hard. It’s not that lengthy in time, and it’s not complicated. Just share your story. Just talk about Him. He will always show up, and He will take care of the rest. 😉

It is time to speak up! It is time to speak out!  He is a good God. He is a gracious and merciful King. He is a loving Father. He is a living Savior. He is the one true God. Let us GO and tell all the world!

GOOD NEWS!


Today, as Christians, we celebrate Easter, not because “the Easter Bunny came to visit” and not because momma has fixed some “fine meat and potatoes” for after service today. We come together to celebrate, because “…God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8), and because Paul reassures us in 1 Corinthians 15 that we don’t serve a dead King, but rather, we serve a risen Savior and He is returning one day to take us all home!

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HAPPY EASTER!

Now that is something to shout about!!

Listen Up and Receive

Proverbs 15:31-33
“The ear that listens to life-giving reproof will dwell among the wise. Whoever ignores instruction despises himself, but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence. The fear of the Lord is instruction in wisdom, and humility comes before honor.”

Have you ever met anyone who just wouldn’t listen to wisdom? You know, that one to whom you could talk till you’re “blue in the face;” yet, he or she just simply refuses to open his or her ears to hear. To be honest, when this happens, I have to fight genuine anger within my heart and then I have to fight pure pity.

To watch someone who is so stubborn in their own will to refuse God time and time again infuriates me on the onset, because it is as if I am standing at the top of a waterfall screaming out to her of the coming danger. I am jumping up and down, waving my arms, yelling at the top of my lungs, desperately trying to make her see that if she continues to travel in her canoe, ignoring the rushing rapids, she will find herself busted and destroyed in just a short time, maybe even beyond repair. It is as if I am furiously throwing all lifelines out to help him get to safety, and yet, despite all my efforts, he shoves the ropes off the boat and scoffs at my concern.

Then, the undesirable but inevitable happens. She finally realizes the error of her ways, but it is now too late. She violently attempts to turn around, only to find the craft is teetering over the edge and racing toward the rocks below. There is nothing more you can do, except wait until he steps out of the destruction and finds himself again. You can pray, and you can cry, and rightly you should; yet, until he decides to remove himself from the debris, you will be struggling in vain.

That is when the pity and the sorrow settles into my view. To see her fighting against the hope which remains breaks my heart. To see her waring against her Maker draws tears to my eyes. To see him clawing and assaulting his Savior, refusing the grace and mercy right within his grasp, shatters my serenity and peace.

There is hope for all who are lost. There is redemption for all those broken and shattered by their own muck and mire. He loves you. He will redeem you. He is waiting there for you to see. Just call on His name. You will never be the same.

His Mercy and Goodness

His goodness simply amazes me again and again. His mercy isn’t just for one moment, one breath in time. It endures forever! This is the God I serve!

I am amazed. I just stand back in total awe and surrender, humbled by His grace and love. A God so Mighty, so true, and so faithful; yet, He cares for me? He cares enough that He sent His only Son to die a horrible death to atone for my sins before I was even created in my mother’s womb! “WHAT?! Are you kidding me??”

It is so incredible to even fathom. It is so mind-boggling that I cannot comprehend. The depth of love, mercy and grace He extends is so overwhelming. Once experienced, you’ll never be the same, and you’ll never want to be different 💗

No wonder the Psalmist repeats the phrase, “… His love endures forever,” 26 times in Psalm 136…

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods. His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords: His love endures forever.

to him who alone does great wonders, His love endures forever.
who by his understanding made the heavens, His love endures forever.
who spread out the earth upon the waters, His love endures forever.
who made the great lights— His love endures forever.
the sun to govern the day, His love endures forever.
the moon and stars to govern the night; His love endures forever.

10 to him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt His love endures forever.
11 and brought Israel out from among them His love endures forever.
12 with a mighty hand and outstretched arm; His love endures forever.

13 to him who divided the Red Sea asunder His love endures forever.
14 and brought Israel through the midst of it, His love endures forever.
15 but swept Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea; His love endures forever.

16 to him who led his people through the wilderness; His love endures forever.

17 to him who struck down great kings, His love endures forever.
18 and killed mighty kings— His love endures forever.
19 Sihon king of the Amorites His love endures forever.
20 and Og king of Bashan— His love endures forever.
21 and gave their land as an inheritance, His love endures forever.
22 an inheritance to his servant Israel. His love endures forever.

23 He remembered us in our low estate His love endures forever.
24 and freed us from our enemies. His love endures forever.
25 He gives food to every creature. His love endures forever.

26 Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever.

What Holds You Back?

What holds you back from loving Jesus?

Is it 

SIN…

DISBELIEF… 

FEAR…

LIES…

APATHY…

NEGLIGENCE…? 

Whatever it is, these things are not worth it. He loves you, and He waits for you to come to Him. He waits patiently, and He waits lovingly. He waits wth anxious anticipation to show you all He has. 


In Him, you will find unconditional love and unending grace. You will find unmerited favor and undeserving mercy. You will find rest. You will find peace. You will find strength, and you will find HOPE. Without hope, our hearts grow weary and our lives grow dim. Without hope, we all persish. 

Choose Your Weapons Wisely

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Monday I posted about winning the battle against the enemy, but it made me wonder…Sometimes, I wonder if we, as Christians, give the right answers to those who feel like they are losing the battle of life. I mean, to the common reader on this site, what does this mean, “winning the battle”…”we’ve been given the weaponry”…”pick up your sword of the Spirit and your shield of faith?” I know for those of us who have grown up around church and the things of church and Christianity, these words might be a common vernacular; however, for others, these might make as much sense as a foreign language.

So, today, I’d like to share a little of what I have come to know. I want to share a little of my storywhat He means to me, and how I have learned to fight and stand tall in this fight of faith. I hope it will help you, whomever you are, and I pray you will be encouraged to seek more of Him to find the truth and love that I have found.

TRUTHS:

Life can be hard sometimes, and being Christlike doesn’t necessarily change that.

Being a Christian does not cause our lives to be perfect.

Loving God does not make all bad stuff go away, never to effect us.

Relying on Him doesn’t mean we won’t have doubts and fears.

Trusting in Christ takes just an ounce of faith and a whole lot of surrendering of our will.

Once you decide to trust, He makes up the difference between our ability and lack of faith.

Our Christianity isn’t based on good feelings, happiness or getting what we want.

He has given us promises on which to stand and build up our faith.

His promises are true, steadfast, uncompromising and unchanging.

He is a God who is full of unconditional love, unwavering mercy and unrelenting faith.

He is a God who is forever reaching to us and eternally seeking to draw us back to Himself.

I could quote Scripture after Scripture of who He is and what He is about. I could recite verse after verse of His goodness, His promises and His commands; however, unless, you actually develop a relationship with Him my words won’t make much of a difference for you. Until you come to know Him, truly know Him, as your Savior and your King, as your Refuge and your High Tower, and as your Prince of Peace, what I have to say will not really make an impact on your heart and mind.

Oh, but if you can just have a moment with Him. If you can call on His Name just once, and grasp even a glimpse of the love that He has for you, I promise you, you will be forever changed. All I can tell you is just try Him. Reach out to Him. Call on His Name, and see what He might do.

 

 

Moving Forward

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The New Year can often be filled with regrets and remorse over the things of the past. Sometimes, it can be filled with so much trepidation that it might even impede you from moving beyond it. Yet, can I tell you? With God, all things are made new. 

Knowing Christ and surrendering our lives to Him can give us a fresh new start. He simply washed away all sin, as if we have a brand new, clean slate. Isn’t that awesome? 

Now, please understand. Committing your life to Christ doesn’t mean your relationships are instantly made perfect or that traffic ticket is somehow demolished or even that your past due bills are miraculously paid off with no effort from you. No, sometimes, the consequences to or wrong actions are still there, and we have to walk through those painful experiences still. However, as we commit our lives to Him, all of a sudden, we are not alone anymore. We don’t have to be fearful anymore, and we don’t have to dread the future or lament over the past. Our past no longer defines our future when Christ is at the center, because He now defines it. 

He gives us a second chance, a chance we don’t deserve, and we can’t earn. He gives us grace, meaning we have unmerited favor simply because He loves us. He shows us His mercy, not because He needs us, but because we so desperately need Him!

Now, that is something to look forward to. That is something that should make your New Years a pretty good one! 😉

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Shovel or Spoon?

Do you have a shovel or spoon today?

We hold love, grace, mercy, kindness, forgiveness, patience, joy, and so many more virtues within our hands each and every day. How do we measure these out to those around us? Do we give these away like candy? Do we use a shovel to measure how much we give to others?

Or do we use a teaspoon, carefully divulging our treasures to those we encounter? Do they have to work hard to earn our love? Do they have to shed blood, sweat and tears to receive our forgiveness and kindness when there’s been a transgression?

The Word says, “It is of the Lord‘s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” His mercies are new for us each and every day. He has a great big “shovel” to measure our mercies when the day is new.

Are we following His example today?

Please understand, this is not to bring condemnation, nor is it to approve of violence, abuse or sin. I am simply referring to how we treat one another in common arenas. It seems so many Christians are fighting with each other over petty opinions and haughty points of view. Too many have become so offended by the differences of, what I will call, “first degree” judgments that we ruin our witness with the very ones who so desperately need Him.

I read recently about the largest “bucket” machine every built. It was called the “Big Muskie.” It had a bucket capacity of 220 cubic yards and could hold two Greyhound buses side by side. God’s measuring devices are even bigger than that!

What if we tried using His measuring portions today?

“Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” Luke 6:38