Sunday, January 8, 2017

Who Is Responsible for Adultery?

If a husband looks online or through apps for a relationship with another woman is this adultery, even if he has never had physical sex?


In Matthew 5:28 Jesus says,

“I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” 
So how can a pastor counsel a woman, in this situation, that she is equally to be blamed for her husband’s actions and sin if she has not been having sex regularly with him. Where in the world would a pastor get this counsel.

The Bible teaches in 1 Corinthians 7:5,

“ Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent for a time, so that you may devote yourself to prayer. Then come again together, so that Satan will not tempt you through lack of self-control."
This is not a guilt free license for a man or a woman to have an affair. This verse in the Bible assumes that the couple is spiritually sound and making mutual decisions and mature enough to devote themselves to time of prayer.


When the marriage is broken because of lack of love, respect and communication, also because of past adulterous sin and other sins, a woman cannot be expect to comfort her husband in a sexual way. She is not a sex slave-- that is abuse. It is not a drudgery or a duty to be sexually involved with your spouse but a fruit of a mutual love that includes great respect day in an day out in the marriage.

I watched a dear friend nearly in shock hearing that she was responsible for her husband’s adultery online because she had not had sex with him in 6 months. However their marriage is was in shatters already. The pastor was unaware of many of the problems occurring in the marriage. The husband had removed his wife’s name from their joint checking account, cursed and screamed at her regularly, and had a very angry temper that he had not dealt with. What wife is going to want a physical relationship with a husband who treats her unloving?

The spouse who has the affair is being selfish and not thinking about all the damage he is creating to have his pleasure. His wife and children will be heartbroken. They will feel unstable, insecure and doubt their value. It is only God that can heal their hearts and restore their self-worth.

Ultimately, it is the enemy of God that is forever seeking to kill, steal and destroy what God loves. John 10:10 says,

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;"

But Jesus continues and says,

“I have come that they may have life, and have it abundantly."

The one who chooses sin -- adultery -- chooses the way of Satan who comes to steal, kill and destroy, but the one who chooses Jesus and his will chooses life and will have life abundantly.

A person first needs to go to God directly in a one on one relationship and allow God to heal their agony. A friend can listen but only God can heal a broken heart.




(Photo Credits: the weeping rose by KoAn72, a failed valentine by mommaphant, touched by a rare rose by Nadavdov on Deviantart)

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

What Is God’s Joy (Isaiah 66:5)

We have to be careful when reading Scripture that we don’t make one verse only answer to a question. Isaiah 66:5 speaks of joy--God’s joy that we may see. Let’s look to see what the Word is talking about:
Hear the word of the LORD, You who tremble at His word;
“Your brethren who hated you, who cast you out for My name’s sake said,
'Let the LORD be glorified, that we may see your joy,'
But they shall be ashamed.” (Isaiah 66:5)


These verses follow a listing that God makes of sacrifices that do not please him, because the people making the sacrifices did not have a relationship with Him. They went through the traditions of animal sacrifices, burnt offerings and incense, but in their daily life they were choosing their own way to live. God says in verse 3 that “their soul delights in their abominations”.

Then he follows to say, “Because when I called, no one answered, when I spoke they did not hear; but they did evil before My eyes, and chose that in which I do not delight.”

It is so important to read a verse and discern its meaning in context of the chapter and book in which it is written. It is also important to discern the meaning of a verse in light of the entire Scriptures.

So we are building up from what God has not delighted in to know that God is aware when those who truly believe in Him are cast out for His ‘name’s sake’. If you are ever treated poorly for being a Christian or for standing by God’s word, you don’t need to be concerned about the person who is hating you. God is aware and more importantly He knows that they hate you because they first hated Him. (Mark 13:13 says, “You will be hated by all because of my name, but the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.”)

Therefore, we are to continue onward with our love and relationship with God. We are to persevere to the end. In continuing in our faith our God, He is glorified. His value and worth is seen through our life, by our actions and words and choices.



The Scripture specifically says, ‘Let the LORD be glorified, that we may see your joy’. Titus 2:11-14 can help to clarify this verse:

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,
teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and gold in the present age,
looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.

We have salvation. We are shown how to live. We look forward to Jesus return.

In these three, God is brought glory and joy may be seen.

We are saved from eternal death, separation from God, that should always be seen as a source and reason for joy.

Regardless of our circumstances or what sorrows we endure living life, God will supply our needs and heal our hurts. He will carry us even when we can go no further. Joy is not bubbly happiness but a steady sense of knowing God and being known by Him.

And whether before our death or after, we can be sure that Jesus will re-appear and make all that is wrong right.

So what is God’s joy?

God is assuring the believer that Jesus will appear - this is the joy of the believer. In Isaiah Jesus had yet to come, but for us we have Christ. We can experience living with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. And moreover, we have the hope of His second coming and eternal heaven.

This does not mean you or I will live perfect, but it does mean we can always be forgiven, receive God’s grace and be right with Him. It also means that we have access to Him and can moment by moment know Him. We can and should hear Him, and obey. By doing this, we can glorify God and make His joy visible. We can also know Him, and thereby we can know joy.

By abiding with God, our joy can be full.




(Photo Credits: It’s A Kind Of Magic part 2 by idaniphotography and excidium III by sorny on DeviantArt)

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Isaiah 66 - What Does God Look For?

The Last Chapter of Isaiah, the 66th, begins this way:



Thus says the LORD:
“Heaven is My throne, And earth is My footstool. Where is the house that you will build Me? And where is the place of My rest? For all those things My hand has made, And all those things exist,” says the LORD.
But on this on will I look: 
“On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word."

This quote that I typed here ends with only the 2nd verse. There are 24 verses in Chapter 66. However, I pause here because I am struck with many thoughts, and need to ponder upon these verses.

Movements will always be underway within the church on earth. God originates some, others begin by man.

Being a student of the Bible since I was in my twenties (some three decades now), I have learned to try, or shall I say test, words and claims out by the entire Word of God, not by an isolated verse.

The “Words in Red” movement (there is even a hashtag used by believers in it #wordsinred) state that the Words Jesus spoke in the Bible and that are published in red in some versions trump all other verses in the Bible. Of course, a lot of Biblical problems abound in this theory. But, the red-letter-Jesus-lovers are attracted to his gospel messages of love and compassion for the poor and now the alien/foreigners, what some would call the social justice parts of the Bible.

For many reason, too many for me to list, I can’t fall into this philosophy. I tremble at the thought that I --a mere human-- would think I was able to decide what parts of the Bible are more valid than others. And I understand that simply because one is financially poor does not make him/her spiritually poor, much less contrite.

The Lord looks on “him who is poor” and “of a contrite spirt” and “who trembles at My (his) word”. These are not comprehensive in themselves but a listing of characteristics that God seeks as the “place of My (his) rest.”

Can God find his rest in me? Can he find it in you?

Jesus said, “Blessed is the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3). Here in the Word, blessed means happy. A person who is “poor in spirit” will be happy; a person is aware that his condition in life is low, who has reckoned himself to be a sinner that is in need of God. Usually, if not always, this person will have asked and received the grace of God to continue in life, and to have eternal life hereafter.

Interesting to me is that often it takes a person who is poor and contrite in spirit to also tremble at God’s Word.

I tremble at the thought that I might dare to pick and choose verses of high value. Who am I to do this? And certainly if I did I would error. This does not mean I can’t have favorite verses or even a life verse, but I know of no verses that cancels out others. I know of verses only that clarify others. And as I age, I discover verses that did not mean as much to me at one time in life, becomes more meaningful and needed during others times in life.

I smile writing this because this is the sweetness of the Bible to me -- that it never changes but as we change it can become more to us. As it is with our own personal relationship to God. While we all go through seasons of shallow walking, He is so faithful to meet us when we return with hunger.



And for this reason, among so many more, I feel so blessed, yes--happy, that God knows me.


(Photo Credits: Bible by delbarital and Little sunny friend by Mariaforhisglory on DeviantArt)

Sunday, July 3, 2016

The War of 1812 and the 4th of July Common Theme

What does the War of 1812 have to do with the 4th of July? How do they have a common theme? And why is the American Flag important to the history of America? Why should we celebrate independence in America?




This past week I have listened to several sermons that would be appropriately called a "Look at America from a Biblical Worldview” and they were polar opposite. One was a glowing praise our America - the Great USA - that has tragically lost is way but that as Christians we were exhorted to stand firm to Biblical truth of one woman/one man marriages and to end the blight of abortion and other such points. The other was a respectful “I am glad that I was born in America” but let us look at our own personal sin and corporate sin. We are a consumer nation that has the ability to eradicate poverty, illiteracy, starvation and other social ills if we would only sacrificially give and serve as compelled by our love for God. While neither was untruth, neither was fully balanced. Today I may even err toward the 2nd sermon for I am sensitive to the great needs surrounding me and I don’t want to lift up a Nation but to lift up the WAY of GOD.

However, what is often forgotten is the solid truth of our authentic Christian heritage. Not so much as a Nation but as individual Christian people and communities that were willing to die for liberty. The War of 1812 is hardly taught about in our public schools. I dare say that less than 5% of American citizens today even know what the War of 1812 was about. America was a British Colony. That fact needs to be taught to many (even leading politicians in our government today that hate Colonialism and lump America into the colony maker). The citizens of America had won independence in the American Revolutionary War (the War of Independence) from 1775-1783!

Yet, America battled for its independence again in the War of 1812! America would have become a British Colony again in 1814 if men would not have willingly gave their life to hold up the American flag on the rampart of Fort McHenry. Yes, the American flag represents the colonies and the states, but it also represents the blood, sweat and tears of American citizens who have sacrificed their life that we may still have a Nation. And even today men and women are willingly sacrificing their life for a Nation that most don’t remember its history, nor feels as though they can hold their head up high and say, “I am an American.” We have been beat down so much as being the global rich powerful Nation.

Hear me clearly. I am not saying we are sinless as a Nation or individuals--we are NOT! But I am saying we have hope because of our Christian Heritage and because once again today we can CHOOSE God and walk again in the way of God, being Jesus like.

Please listen to this. I beg of you (and I rarely ever do that!), but I do BEG you to listen to this. We do not know our American History. Our Christian American Heritage is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, of good repute, of excellence and worthy of praise!
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. Philippians 4:8 
Rightly so we are told that America is no longer a Christian Nation and I agree we are not! But we can be again. I don’t think we were ever a Christian Nation but a Nation of true believing Christians. For certain we are not that anymore! Still we must KNOW are true history. 
On this day in 1814, Francis Scott Key pens a poem which is later set to music and in 1931 becomes America's national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The poem, originally titled “The Defence of Fort McHenry,” was written after Key witnessed the Maryland fort being bombarded by the British during the War of 1812.



Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Devoted to God and Hearing God

We all go through times in life that we are aligned with God and then life’s circumstances push us around and fill our minds so that we are muddled. And in a very true sense we grow apart from God.

photo credit: blanklives/deviantart
We may still do the same actions of a follower of God out of routine or we may even not, but in our core we know without a doubt that we are disconnected, and pretending the part of being a follower of Jesus.

But by God’s grace and mercy, if we keep pressing in to Him, and ridding ourselves of the distractions of this world we joyously become meshed with Him. Our inner fibers, the roots of our heart grow into Him, and as we allow, He grows larger in us, filling our mind, soul and being. I am united with Him.

I find myself in a wonderfully, peculiar place of being devoted to God.

Today I read:

“A lily, or a tree, or a servant of God, may convey God’s message to me” (Oswald Chambers, 2/13).

God knows everything about me. All of my thoughts, desires, actions that I have done in my past and that I will do --- I do not have to be concerned about these.

My one focus is God:



  • spending time with Him
  • hearing Him
  • obeying Him
  • worshipping Him
  • learning about Him
  • pleasing Him
  • knowing Him.

It is as though I am trying to frantically remove every distraction to Him, to choose the best: HIM. 


I reflect upon how within this past year God has revealed the darker side of my soul, and cleaned out what he has revealed, and, therefore, I am walking lighter, more able to be His.

My purpose of doing things has altered. I wanted to do something, be something, etc. I wanted to be “used" and given a definite place of service. But this was my desire to be useful to man and not God, to be accepted and appreciated by man, not God. I was continually in search of fulfilling my destiny

and then it became startling clear to me that HE is it.

The destiny of my spiritual life is my identification with Jesus, in a way that I can always hear God and I know that HE always hears me. 

To have a life, a heart, a mind, a body that is devoted to God-- that is the pinnacle of living. And nothing but my own will can stop me from having all of Him as possible.

Does this mean I will be perfect or some supernatural woman? Of course, not! But it does mean for as long as I can keep my devotion of life on Him I will be in the best place of life that I ever can be or even hope to be.

So I am endlessly offering myself to Him, and listening to Him, and enjoying Him.


And as I do this so much of what I wanted or thought I needed has become meaningless, rubbish that can so easily be tossed out. I am cultivating my devotion to Him. My aim is that I can be able to “intuitively detect what HE wants” (O.C., 2/13).

I have no plans, I am trusting God to have them all. I am simply going to do what God asks, and enjoy my relationship with Him to the fullest, wherever it takes me.

I do not ever want to become deaf to Him so I will have to continually ask myself, “Am I hearing God’s voice?” 




Saturday, January 30, 2016

You Are Already

I awoke this morning, as many mornings, with thoughts of the day and week before funneling through my conscious mind. After several of them cleared, I turned my inner heart to God and said to Him, “I want to be acceptable in your sight."

photo credit: fuzzbucket/deviantart


And He quickly replied, inaudibly, but I ever so clearly heard, “You are already." You are acceptable and approved. Jesus is all of this for you. Jesus did all of it for you. In Jesus, and you are in Jesus, you already are.

Oh, how we wander away from the simple facts of faith.

We get concerned that we are not included by humans. We are not asked. We are not invited. We are not offered ______________. You and I can both fill in that blank of everything we ponder that we think we want or need, but that has not yet been.

And then we forget the fact that it is:

God, not people, determines our acceptance and approval.


God meets all of our needs.

God opens doors and closes them.

God ordains the details of our life.

When we get our eyes and heart off of Him, we look to people to do this.

We (can I boldly say this, as I hesitate in fear).... do care about what people think about us, but we should not. People are so hard to please and are fickle; you are in one day and out the next. They often don’t understand us. Few will rarely ever KNOW US.

We want people to accept us, to approve us, to want us and include us.

HOWEVER,

This is WHY it is so important for us to get our eyes on GOD: Our heart tuned into God’s voice.

WHAT GOD THINKS ABOUT US IS ALL THAT MATTERS!!!





Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Never Stop Growing

Life rattles me from time to time. This is common to people who are trying to grow. Doesn’t life rattle you?



"Less of me and more of God" is the mantra I want to embody, but oh, how self-centered and self-seeking I can be.

photo credit: sublimeone/deviantart

Just yesterday I saw someone that I had not seen in years. I greeted her cheerfully and was encouragingly responding to what she was sharing about her life. Then bam! out of nowhere I got clubbed over the head by her comments toward me. She shared her observations and reflections of one of my children as she knew him/her when he/she was younger and was telling me what problems she clearly observed in this child in particular but how she didn’t share it because she figured I was in denial and would not listen anyway. It was a learning disability. She said from her experience parents didn’t want to know.

I was dumbfounded. What? How? Why?

Then she added, "Well, you are a teacher, aren’t you? I figured you obviously KNEW because of your experience with children and simply was either choosing not to do something or you were in denial."

I went to my car and wept. I called a dear friend and we prayed for the comments to not attach to me and for the person who made them.

But God in His ever teaching way had me remember a few times that I have opened my mouth and probably clobbered others over the head with my words. I knew I was guilty too of hurting others.

As far as the situation with my child, he/she is doing the best in his/her life right now and I am so proud of the step he/she is making. We have prayed a lot for this chid and God is working in many ways answering prayers.

I recognize that I could have been permanently devastated, resentful and unforgiving... but that would only hurt me and because of my own words I often need to ask forgiveness of others. I simply need to release it to God and let it help me to grow.

Today I have on my schedule a meeting with someone who has been in my life for over 15 years on a professional basis but who has recently spoken to one of my children and hurt them deeply. I set this appointment up last week and, as God would have it, he gave me a powerful lesson on the ability of words to speak life or death. In my meeting today, I am praying for God to guide me to speak words of life, and to be gentle and compassionate as I explain our perspective of the previous hurtful conversation.

God has always wanted to get my attention and to help me get my words under the control of His Holy Spirit. I am grateful that he is a patient, long-suffering teacher.

So, here i am Lord. I am crawling back onto your potter’s wheel and asking you to mold me, continually, to be your vessel.

Thankfully today that my devotion is “Find Your Purpose”!

“For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10

Friday, January 22, 2016

Lose Your Ego and Your Christian Ego

For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.” has been my life verse for many years.



It meant more --it was more real-- during the years that I was going through trauma counseling and had to cling to God moment by moment in order to survive and at least have some semblance of sanity to function in the world.

But it is so easier to “fake” it -- that is, to pretend a walk with Christ -- when you are not needing to desperately cling to Him in order to wake, walk, sleep and talk.

To live is Christ... is that so?

If someone followed me around all day long and recorded not only my outward actions and words but my inward thoughts would this recording say “to live is Christ" about me? No, because not even I would admit it at my present state. But then, I am pretty hard on myself, especially lately.

Oh, how do I get back to the rawness of “to live is Christ and to die is gain” kind of life?

It takes truly practicing the presence of God.


Photo Credit: seorangprempaun/deviantart

Can I do that? Can I even try?

For five minutes...ten...twenty... when I am not praying, or trying to pray...when I am driving a car, washing dishes, making a bed, reading a book?

Can I die to myself and put God first in my thoughts? Can I let Him have control?



RADICAL Thought

Why am I holding onto myself and "my life" for anyway?

It is frankly a mess.

It can only get better if I put HIM in his rightful place of total ownership of me.

All I can do is repent of not doing this, and ask God to enable me to.

Here I am God, fill me, be my presence, and let me be fully in yours and when I wander, because you know I am prone to wander, draw me back.

This is why I love the song “Come Thou Fount” -- This is sung by Sarah NoĆ«lle and it is a cover of Robert Robinson and John Wyeth's hymn, Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing (1757)

For some reason many who record this old hymn take out this, my favorite part: 

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;

Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.





The Day 12 verse for Lose Your Ego, in our church’s devotional is “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom” Proverbs 11:2.

So as Christians we need to be as careful about losing our ego, as well as our Christian Ego. So many Christians walk about with a “holy” facade and should have a “life is good” logo tattooed on their forehead. Is that mean? (My dd told me I was not sensitive enough and self-aware enough.)

In a quest to not be a “holy” fake I let it all lay bare. I lean more to “it is what it is” “I am what I am” personality. And that scares the heck out of many people, especially church people, because they have taken decades of practice to know how and when to speak and act. (Who has time for that?)

So I can pray for God alone to temper me, not be be like others and to fit in, but to be like JESUS.

There should be no pride in becoming like Jesus and being acceptable to Him, because this is not a high road to take. Becoming like Jesus is learning to die to self, and if you are really doing that, no bragging or boasting or acting in ways that make people look at you will happen. I am far from that ideal: Jesus.

We need to PRACTICE the PRESENCE of GOD!


Thursday, January 21, 2016

Lose Your Former Days and Need for Other’s Praise

photo credit: perhydrol/Deviantart
Ok, these two “lose” topics do not fit together, but “days” and “praise” rhyme so I thought what the “hey” maybe God will bring unity to them in the end.

I confess. I have been doing that a lot lately: confessing, that is. But, I confess that the devotional topics over these 40 days are quite heavy and really hard to deal with in a single day, so combining them does not help, but I don’t want to skip one. (Who am I a slave to? Who set that goal?)

Today I will start with the Bible verses, since yesterday I ended with them and concluded that it might have helped me to focus more on God if I started with them.

Don’t say, “Why were the former day better than these?” since it is not wise of you to ask this” (Ecclesiastes 7:10).

I will need to examine this above verse in context. I am left with so many questions, aren’t you? And the next Bible verse is:

The fear of man is a snare, but the one who trust in the Lord is protected” (Proverbs 29:25).

I love this Proverb. I just read a devotional from a pastor from a Nashville Church and his main focus was what we do does not matter as much as WHY we do it. He asked are we doing things to “be loved” or to “be loving”?

The Bible says that in 1 John 4:19: “We love because He first loved us.” And is this not the main point? We love because we are loved by GOD and since we are so loved and so undeserving of HIS love that we should want to love others. If we are needing to be loved, we need to run to God, not others. I don’t know how many times I have to tell people (and myself) to stop worrying about what people think and ONLY care about what GOD thinks!!!! I want to get this on a big neon sign and put in up in people’s houses and churches.

Stop worrying about what people think and ONLY care about what GOD thinks!” 

We should be continually renewing our mind with God’s thoughts; one essential way to do this is to read the Bible and to listen to God. He needs to be our number one source of what flows into us: our gatekeeper, our feeder, and our go-to person for everything and every need.

We all have a past.

We all have former days.

We have all blown opportunities and made mistakes.

We have all done things we should not have done.

We have all craved approval of others and love of others.

One thing is common to us all: WE ARE ALL HUMAN.

But,
"For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin” Hebrews 4:15.

And 

"For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people” Hebrews 2:17. 

Jesus was human in every way we are, but he was without sin. Jesus kept his thoughts on God, not on what man thought about him. 

See:

Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. John 5:19

Jesus did nothing of Himself. 

He did what He saw the God the Father doing. 

Jesus was continually in touch with Father God and spoke and did what He wanted Him to say and do. 

This is total surrender, total reliance.

And this IS the way we should be living. 

Jesus is our model. We are to conform ourselves to Jesus. We are in God's process of being transformed into the image of Christ. This is God’s work in our life, to continually make us more like Christ Jesus. The more we surrender to God and allow Him to do this work, the more we grow.

Part of the process of sanctifying us is helping us to work through our past not to simply ignore it like it did not ever happen. God wants us to learn from it and to gain blessings from it being transformed in our life. So losing your former days doesn’t mean you drop them off at some recycling center or dump. We give them up to God and allow Him to walk us through the ones He wants to teach us about. It is all about trusting our past, our present and our future in the hands of God and obeying Him. 

But this takes a personal relationship with Him. It can’t be done in a group session or a step-by-step book. If you are serious about God and growing and being a Christian, you have to have a daily talking, walking relationship with God. You have to be tuned into Him. You have to get the chatter out of your head and the distractions out of your life so that you can really have a relationship with Him, and not just pretend like you do.

Jesus is our standard, no one else. Jesus is who we are to aim to please, no one else. If we could get this settled in our hearts and minds and never struggle with it again, we--Christians--would be on the fast track of sanctification. 

I am talking to myself and to anyone who cares to read this: 

If God is pleased with me, I am good!
















Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Lose Your Hurts and Your Offenses


I feel stuck. If you look at the past week of my blog writings you will see that I seem to be going in a downward spiral. I guess that is not really that I am stuck but moving downward. On the positive side I am moving. I am making my point clear? I am running in circles. And heading down.

I am Stuck - My Junk



And the whole point could be that I am focuses on me.

I thought this 40 days was supposed to have me focus on God. I keep wanting to say, “Ugh!” but that does not sound like something an educated writer would say. But “UGH” expresses what I can currently verbalize.

Another positive note is the more I move down, I can only improve as the days eventually go on.

So I dread looking at the next two topics in our church’s 40 day devotional: hurt and offenses.

Some things have happen in the past few days that is causing me to be “off.”  The top shelf in our bedroom closest came crashing down. The Closetmaid braces pulled out of the walls and most of them simply snapped. The plastic was old, brittle and could not withstand the weight. So the clothes and boxes of stuff on the top shelf fell to the ground. As soon as I heard the sound I went in my room and began saving first my husband’s dress shirts and suits. I made piles of nicely stacked clothes all over our king size bed. And today, several days later these piles are still on our bed and the closet is still torn apart. “UGH!”

Positively, I do have a bunch of clothes and stuff. (I am trying to make the best of this, badly, but trying.)

One of the boxes I took from the very corner of the top shelf was heavy so I wondered what could possibly be in it. Opening the lid I discovered it filled with everything that had to do with abuse... child abuse...my child abuse, and copies I had made from library books on parenting and abuse, and copies of letters I had written my parents (I am not sure if I mailed them or not) and a huge manuscript that I had written in the 1980s about my childhood and so many other things that had been buried in the top shelf corner of the closest for a decade or more. “UGH!!”

As people do that have PTSD and other mental conditions related to shattering trauma I have been off kilter.

There I said it.
I am struggling.
My mind is rattled and so are my thoughts.

I am running in this direction and that but I am running, running, running... anything to keep me from focusing. I am agitated, easily made irritable and mentally beating up on myself. I have slept so much, eleven hours last night and that was after five hours during the day. Yes, I have been so NEGATIVE the past few days. Negative, irritable, avoiding, disassociating ... wanting to do anything but focus.

Breathe

“Breath” by mechtaniya Deviantart

Wow! In typing that I was able to take a HUGE deep cleansing breath.

I don’t have a great godly or theological point I am writing about. I am just being real, raw, me... and this is helping so much to get me unstuck.

God pours out his grace and love on me. 
He cuddles me,
And loves me, 
regardless of the condition of my psyche at the precise moment. 

And how much I wish as a church, fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, that we could be like Christ in this way.

I wish people would just wrap their arms around me, pour grace all over me and love me through times like this. I do have friends and my own husband and children that do this, but I wish this was something we as a church were continually ready to do. We all have our histories, our quirks, our issues that stir up the yuck inside that God is still perfecting. We all need grace and love that is supremely bigger than our mess.

Bible

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3).

Be on your guard. If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and comes back to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him” (Luke 17:3-4).

Should I have started with these verses? It might have helped me to focus on God and not me. Sometimes we have to dig out of our stuff, tossing it here and there, work through it so that the light of God’s Word can pierce into our negativity. 

I need to let these verses help me turn my attention to God’s ability to help me when I hurt. One of the biggest mountains that anyone has to overcome is forgiving a person who has hurt him or her. And forgiveness is not something that is a one time act but a way of living. It is the balm, the salve, the medication we need to heal deep wounds. 

Hurts are real, therefore we NEED a God that is REAL and ABLE to heal us. And Jehovah God is! He is who has says he is. He is Jehovah-Rapha, the LORD that Heals! But healing is not magical, it is most always a process that we walk in day by day. 

I wish I could go deeper today but that is all I have.