Filling In The Gaps

It’s been amazing to me how God’s goodness has just followed me throughout my whole life. This doesn’t mean my life has been perfect, nor does it mean that it’s been devoid of pain and sorrow. That’s actually very far from the truth. However, looking back through the years, and even at the very beginning, His goodness was there, almost lurking in the shadows at times.

I can see His hand at work so many times, comforting me, shielding me, overshadowing me and even uplifting me to be encouraged and reminded of this. I hear often, from people who want to reject Him, ask the question, “If He’s so good, why do bad things happen? Why do people get hurt? Why doesn’t He rescue all from evil?” To completely, and theologically, try to explain the answers to these questions, it would take too long for this blog, and it might be too deep or too boring for some.

Yet, I will say this much, typically, these questions aren’t from true searchers who would actually accept God if they found Him. These questions are designed to set up rebellion in a heart and argument in a mind to the point of stubborn resolution that either there is no God or He’s just a deity that is too lofty for our minuscule life, and He never cared anyway. This couldn’t be further from the truth, and I’d have to contend that you are not a true seeker nor a very good reader. You don’t do any research or read anything to truly help you find the answers to the questions you ask. But I digress. That will be another post for another day.

We live in a fallen world, and just as a person being sick doesn’t make the doctor less of a doctor, dealing with the evil of a fallen world doesn’t make God any less God. Having bad things happen in my past doesn’t nullify the Sovereignty of my God nor does it mean He loves me any less. There are a ton of reasons bad things can happen, and I won’t try to pretend to have all the answers for the Whys. I will say, the more I focus on Him and on His goodness, I see more and more of Him intricately intertwined into every piece of my life’s tapestry, and for this, I am eternally grateful!

I see the godly men He brought into my life when my own father abandoned me time and again. I see the godly women He brought into my life when my own mother and I could never see eye to eye. I see the friends He brought in when another would wound and scar my tender heart. He has always filled in the gaps when the entities of this world left my soul wrenching in pain and agony.

God places specific people in your life to fill in those voids that others leave, those gaps where others have failed their purpose. Sometimes, we are too fixated on what was lost that we fail to see the refreshing fulfillment He places right before us. We have to get our eyes focused back on Him, and He will give us sight to see what we could never have imagined possible.

“Now the Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go; I am sending you to Jesse the Bethlehemite. For I have provided Myself a king among his sons.” 1 Samuel 16:1

Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him.” 1 Kings 19:11

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To Steal One More Quote from LOTR

Everything we do impacts another. Everyday we impact someone.

Will you be ordinary?

Will your deeds be extraordinary?

For good or for evil, we all must live.

To Steal A Quote from LOTR

What will you do with the time given you??

Philippians 3:13-14, “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

It Is Time

I’d like to ask our modern culture and our “evolved” Christian believers, when did we get to the place where Truth cannot be spoken for fear of offenses and Sin cannot be confirmed for fear of judgement? If we are a follower of Christ, Truth is absolute and irrevocable, and sin is sin, not “grace-filled” or “judgement-filled.” It just is, because God deems it so.

When did we get to the point where we care more that we not offend someone than we do about their very souls? When did we get to the point where we work so hard to preach grace that we forsake the reality of sin, hell and an eternal death? If we read the Bible, from the front cover to the very last page, God is so very clear.

We’ve come to the place where we’d rather argue, too often quite hatefully, with our brothers and sisters in Christ over the possible offenses taken or not taken over an issue rather than the merits of truth. We’d rather drum up dissension over the intentions of someone’s words rather than seek His Word for His truth on the subject at hand. We’d rather slash the hearts of our fellow kinsmen, and in turn, wound those who are listening and trying to find their own answers, rather than speak with love AND truth and let the Holy Spirit bring forth His conviction and mercy.

It sounds too much like the arguments of old when men and women would argue over the color of the pews and the length of the choir robes while their babies were battling issues of sex, drugs and rock and roll. It smells too much like the wayward youth of decades past who fought so hard for their independence and their owns rights that they forsook the ancient boundaries set before them to show them the only way. It looks too much like the sly dealings of darkness who always brings forth confusion, contention and chaos in order to distract, disengage and devour those who are most vulnerable and afraid.

Wake up, Church. Lift up your eyes. Look upon the One whom we have pierced! Gaze upon His torn flesh, His stripes, His pierced hands and feet. He was wounded for OUR transgressions! He was bruised for OUR iniquities! It was not for someone else. It was for our own prideful stance. It was for our own arrogant words. Not a one of us is not guilty. Not a one of us is worthy of the mercy and grace He gives.

It is time for us to stop claiming our own opinions and laments as Gospel. It is time we stop doing what is right in our own eyes. Lives are at stake. The innocent lie within the balance.

It is time we all repent. Moses stood between the children of Israel and God’s burning wrath. Moses stood between the children of Israel and the armies of Pharaoh. Moses cried out to God for their lives to be saved. Moses was their hero. Yet, he could never have brought them to freedom had they not listen, followed and obeyed him! He was not God, but He did show them God, and they chose to receive.

Whose hero will we be?

Whom will we follow?

To Nullify or to Rectify

To nullify or rectify, that is the question.

Sometimes, we are faced with the choice to swallow our fears and face our purpose and march on resiliently. Other times, we are faced with the temptation to embrace those fears, learn from them, process them and grow through them. Because, “after all they’re a feeling, and feelings are real,” aren’t they?

We are faced with the choice to nullify our fears in order to grasp our future purpose or nullify our future purpose by embracing our fears when those fears are all too overwhelming, all-consuming, and debilitating. Which should it be?

If this is your only crossroad of decision, then, you’re not asking me for a real change, but rather a shallow answer that you can simply follow for the moment and move on. No, if you truly want difference in your life when face with a deep rooted fear that threatens to take over, you’ll realize there’s another option than just nullifying the fear or embracing your purpose.

One definition of rectify is “to make a substance pure.” (Cambridge) I love this description, because it perfectly describes what must be done if you want to get rid of a confining fear that threatens your very hope of purpose and livelihood. Scripture tells us, “Perfect love casts out fear.” (1 John 4:18) It’s not that you have to push out the fear, deny the fear, ignore the fear or even pretend it isn’t real. You just have to love something greater than the fear!

In other words, i may be scared of being shot; however, if someone breaks into my home and threatens my babies, you better believe I’ll do everything within my power to protect those boys…even if it means stepping in the way of that bullet being fired. It’s not that my love for them is “perfect,” but my love for them is perfected in my desire to keep them safe, and my fear of that gunman is cast out because of my love for them.

You may be scared to death for the things you need to accomplish, the decisions you may have to make, the person you must confront or the new endeavors you have to face, but if your “love” is greater for the purpose you have, the hope that is coming or the God whom you serve, this love will cast out any and all fears you may have! You must carry within you a desire for something greater than that fear. You must hold within your soul a resolution of the hope for a better tomorrow, a purpose in the future, and this will rectify those fears of today!

Being truthful about your fears never nullifies your purpose. Recognition is the first step toward healing and personal victory! Once you recognize the hindrance, that hindrance can be moved. Once you recognize the roadblock, you can devise a strategy to get around it, over it or through it. Once you recognize a fear, you can rectify the problem and work to conquer it!

It is only when you recognize, embrace and refuse to take action against a given fear that you begin losing ground and take steps away from your future hope.

Your future purpose doesn’t not nullify your fears for today; however, if you dwell in them, those fears can nullify your future purpose!

So, face that giant today! Fully embrace and love your purpose more than that wimpy, gimpy fear. Realize it IS conquerable, and charge it! Nullify those fears by rectifying your purpose!

Perspective Can Make or Break You

I saw this the other day, and I thought, “Yep. Isn’t that the dang truth?” If ever forget where you came from OR you lose sight of where you are going, it’s no better than if you drop your compass in the middle of a rain forest and wonder why you can’t find your way back home.

If I ever forget where I came from, then, my perspective becomes skewed either out of arrogance or out of self-abasement. If arrogance, I begin to somehow believe I am better than I am. I trust in my own wisdom, and I rely on myself for everything I need, forgetting that the achievements and victories I’ve achieved have not only come by my own strength and resilience, but also, by every friend, family, and sometimes even total strangers, who encouraged and cheered me on along the way. If self-abasement is the angle, it is the same road of sorrow and self-focus, only it has more hidden objectives and behaviors. It’s still an arrogant approach, because self-abasement comes from a place of self-loathing to the point you cannot receive wisdom, strength or even encouragement from anyone, and you live your life in a perpetual rejection of and rebellion against any ounce of truth.

If I lose sight of where I am going, then, my perspective for the future is skewed, because I have no focus, no direction and no purpose for days ahead. Ultimately, I die in the embalming of my yesterdays, because I have no hope for my tomorrows.

Our past molds and shapes us for our present being, and our future gives us hope for which to grow and reach beyond our today…

Yesterday or Today?

I saw this quote while at lunch the other day, and it triggered me to purpose and a challenge of heart. It made me think of so many I know who constantly live with regrets, remorse and shame. It reminded me of my own tendency to return to what could’ve been, should’ve been, and would’ve been, had it not been…

It brought me, once again, to the recognition that yesterday is what it is, today is here, and as long as there’s breath in your lungs, everyone has a shot at tomorrow.

The question is not whether today will come, rather, the question should be, what will you do with what you have received?

Use it well. Make the memories. Cherish the moments. Savor what is yet to be.

And as my husband loves to say, “When it comes to living life, ‘Drive it like you stole it!'”

Life: It’s a Process

I was walking down the back staircase of a hospital when I saw this mural. My husband chuckled when I stopped my descent to take a pic, but when told him it would be for a blog, he totally got it, because he’s amazing like that.

To every challenge, every improvement, every healing, every victory, there has to be a process of steps to bring you to that positive outcome. Courage, strength, endurance, recovery and accomplishing goals don’t just happen miraculously or overnight. There are always steps involved, and sometimes, those necessary steps have to be taken meticulously and can even be excruciating.

However, if you are willing to put forth the time, effort and tenacity to take them, you can reach your goal, and you can shout your victory!

Be Destiny Minded

I read this statement today somewhere today and I thought, “Wow. Yes, I receive that.” Sometimes, we just have to let people walk out of our lives and never look back. I’m not talking about your spouse or those in whom you should place investments of time, love and attention. I’m talking about those people who habitually bring pain and drama into your life. Sometimes, you just need to walk or let them do the walking to maintain your own sanity and well being.

Some people are just not meant to be part of your destiny, and you have to allow them to leave; so, you might be able to live. That’s not being mean. It’s not be heartless, and it’s not even being apathetic.

It’s being wise. It’s using common sense. It’s using the brain God have you to make a better life, not only for yourself but for your children, your spouse, and your friends who are close enough to be impacted by the crazy situation you’ve allowed yourself to live under.

Live for your purpose. Focus not only on the present, but focus on your destiny. Realize what and who is beneficial to that dream and to that end result. Recognize who does not impact these things for good. Let them go.

If You Are Over 30…

Ok, so, I’m going to kind of make a funny here with some hyperboles and be a little exaggerate simply to make a point…

ONCE YOU’RE OVER THE AGE OF 30, THERE’S SOME THINGS YOU JUST NEED TO LET GO OF, BECAUSE YOU’RE LOOKING KIND OF GOOFY AND REALLY MAKING YOURSELF OUT TO BE A FOOL. 😳😑

This though has probably been triggered, because I’ve come across a few of these lately, and I’ve been reminded what “immaturity in an old shell” really looks like. I guess, you could just call me old fashioned, or maybe you’ll charge me with too much conservatism. If so, that’s ok, but really, if you are guilty of the following and don’t think you need a little change, you might just want to step back and see yourself through the eyes of the older and younger generations.

If you’re over the age of 30, please stop:

1. Cussing out the cashier or waiter, because he or she didn’t do something correctly while ringing up your bill.

Are you telling me you’ve never made a mistake, especially after a long day at work?

2. Making a scene in public because your momma hurt your feelings, the teacher disciplined your child or someone just cut in line in front of you.

Really? Show some respect for yourself and other people. Take up the confrontation with whom it needs to be settled.

3. Miniskirts and midriffs.

The company you’re trying to attract will be on the prowl, regardless of your attire, and the company you need to be attracting won’t be interested in all that.

4. Various brands or quotations on your rear end.

Umm, no. Just simply don’t.

4. Selfies taken in front of the mirror of your bathroom.

You’re not 15, and this isn’t the glamour shots of the 80s. Somethings just need to stay in the past.

5. Partying all night and all day, especially when you have children who need care.

You’re a momma or a daddy now. Act like it. Their lives may depend on it.

6. Living at home with mom and dad.

You outgrew that baby bed for a reason. It might be tough, but you can do this thing called life.

7. Gaming all night and skipping out on your job.

The old proverb is true, “A man who won’t work won’t eat.” This culture’s society will try to convince you otherwise with the welfare and entitlement mentalities, but do not be deceived. We all need to work if we desire to eat.

8. Making out in the grocery store parking lot when you should just go get a room.

This was all fun and games in high school, but when you’re older, it just seems you’ve got way too much to prove or maybe you’re cheating on your spouse.

9. Skipping out on your family, because you just “wanna have fun” or “sow your wild oats.”

So much could be said here, but I’ll just keep it to two words: GROW UP! Yes, I did shout that, in case, you didn’t hear me.

10. Stealing, thievery, lying or cheating.

This is not okay at any age, but when you have crossed this threshold of life, you seriously look like a loser. Get a life. Get a job, and be a man not a parasite.

Yeah, maybe I am just “old school.” Maybe I am just a little bit of a “fuddy dud.” If that’s what I am, simply, because I choose to make solid choices for my life and my family, well, that’s okay with me. Call me what you will.

I’ll just settle to being a little traditional, a bit old fashioned and conservative, or maybe, I’m just secure in my decision to grow up, live life with determination and purpose, and move beyond those selfish motives and actions of my more youthful days.