Archives

Mom’s House

11947855_1042023445822400_8965523308789260870_o1

Last night…. After work … I decided I should run over to Mom’s house to check on it…especially after the ice storm we had over the weekend.   My Brother went back to Chicago on the 30th of December and when he left….
He turned down the heat… shut the lights off and set the Alarm system….and closed the door behind him!

No one has been in it since then.

Mom passed away on the 13th of December.  I knew in my heart this would be her last CHRISTmas here with us, but really thought we would have her at least through it….. but life has a way of throwing us curves.   Needless to say the month of December…. Including  CHRISTmas and New Years …. Has really been a blur.  So much happened in that relatively short period of time and when I think back on them it seems like a lifetime ago.

On the way to Carthage…. I called my brother to let him know I was headed that way and if he got a call from the Alarm System….it would more than likely be a false alarm.    Alarm systems and me have a love/hate relationship.   I almost think they are more nerve racking having them than not having them.   I reaffirmed the code with him as well as the “magic word” to give to the person on the other end of the line of the call we may or may not receive….I then proceeded to my destination.
I stood outside the door of my Mothers house…. making sure I had the right key….. and then turned on the flashlight on my phone in order to have all my ducks in a row before opening that door.
Door open…. and the please enter code jumped to attention….. buttons pushed….. and now… that mechanical voice told me the Alarm system is now officially…. off!

After the alarm system was successfully deactivated…..and I had time to breathe…. I am not going to lie….

I cried.

I began walking through all of the rooms…. each one stirring up specific memories.    The first one was no welcome from Mom’s little dog that is now living at my house…. but the memory still flickered across my mind.
The next one…. turning the corner into the living room where I knew in my heart and in my head that I would not be seeing her curled up on her little love-seat with her coffee and blanket wrapped around her and QVC on the TV.

I Cried…. again!!!

I continued my journey through out the bedrooms…. kitchen….. and then down to the basement….checking for things that might have looked out of place.   Coming back up from the basement, I grabbed one of her cups she got from one of her many stays in the hospital and watered the few plants she had.   I checked the windows …. ran water through the faucets to make sure nothing had frozen….and to run the “stale” water out….. checked the timers…. and…..

I cried some more.

The house…….It was so quiet!    It felt cold.    It felt lonely.     It felt empty.
Although…..I have been in houses where no one was home or that were empty before… none of them were  …. MY Moms house!   Such an un-explainable thing….. and something I think I can honestly say I have ever really never experienced before.

I gathered a few things that I was going to take with me.   I Shut the lights off…. Locked the door …. sat the alarm…. then closed the door behind me. I left Moms house this time ….. feeling …. very unsatisfied with my “visit”.

On the way to work this morning…. I was talking to my oldest son about going over there last night.
I told him how strange it was walking in to that house for the first time… by myself…. without Mom… or my Brother… or my boys.    After awhile, we agreed that the house no longer will ever be the same …. NOW…. It’s just that…. A HOUSE.

The HOUSE ….. the same house that only a month ago was full of life….. is now just a shell of that life that once lived there    The life….. are now memories…. memories that are now kept deep inside our minds and our hearts.    The laughter that rang through the walls of that HOUSE….. are now something we will hear only with the inner ears of our hearts…. or on a recording of days gone by.   All of the past CHRISTmas memories…. Are now relived in the pictures we have on our phones, or in a picture album.   The good times… and the bad times…. will forever now be tucked away…. Inside us…..But never forgotten.

I then said…. It kinda reminds me of  when a person passes away when we go to the funeral home.  We go … only to visit the “shell” of the life that once lived there.   The memories….of that person…..are now kept deep inside our minds and our hearts.    The laughter that rang through the walls of THAT house….. are now something we will hear only with the inner ears of our hearts.   All of the past memories we had with that person…. Are now relived in the pictures we have on our phones…in a photo album or in our hearts.   The good times… and the bad times…. will forever be tucked away…inside us…. But never forgotten.

Houses…. things… can be replaced.   There is no life in them on their own.
People…. Family…..Friends….. Relationships…. are truly irreplaceable!

Life…. is a cycle.   Hard to truly understand until you have lived through those cycles of life!
Here today… gone tomorrow.
James 4:13 Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.” 14 How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.

But…. gone for a Christian…. is not really gone.   It is a relocation!    Our bodies becomes older…. tired and weak….. year by year…. and eventually… we will all relocate ….. somewhere!
If you are a born again Christian and have made Jesus your Lord and Savior ….. then the Bible tells us we will relocate to Heaven and live forever with our Heavenly Father!

2 Corinthians 5
For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands.
We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies. While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.
So we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord. For we live by believing and not by seeing. Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord. So whether we are here in this body or away from this body, our goal is to please him. 10 For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body.

My heart….. although still healing from the sudden loss of my Mom…. is comforted by the hope I read in my Bible.   My moms house will remain empty…. and as we sort through things…. will become more and more empty.   We will Remanence while we see…. touch … and feel our way through her things.  We will laugh….. We will cry…. holding on to those memories we may have even forgotten through out the years and making new ones as we do.
Someday…. new memories will be made in that house with a new family who will move in.  Maybe they will be a newly married couple…. maybe a couple who are starting their family with a newborn baby to coddle.    Maybe… a retired couple who will spend their last years in the comfort of all the unique nooks and cranny’s built into that cute little house.   No matter who moves in….. they will make their own memories….some good….. and some not so good.    No matter what kind or how many memories they make…. they will never replace our memories….. and that gives me hope in the cycle of life…. once again.

I love my Mom!
I miss my Mom!    But…. one thing is for certain…..I know where my Mom is….. and….I will see my Mom again…. in her new home…. Heaven!!!

All Things Work Together for Good….!!

purple-praying-hands

All things work together for good…..

We have heard it time and time again…. so many times in fact that we might have lost its real value.   I see and hear people almost use it so much it just becomes a cliche’ …. or a feel good mechanism…Not that Scripture is a crutch like some claim…. but the Power… that is attached to such Scripture becomes watered down.

I …. am guilty of that as well….. until… Last night!!

As some of you might know… My Mom just passed away the 13th of December from a Heart Attack.  I knew in my heart that this would probably be our last CHRISTmas with her…. but …. I never thought of her leaving us BEFORE CHRISTmas Day.   She loved CHRISTmas and always wanted it to be special for as many friends and family we had left.
Needless to say…. THIS CHRISTmas was very different without her.

Last night…. I ran to the AT&T store … planning to deactivate her phone I had on my plan and also looking into an upgrade on my phone.
When I got there they told me they couldn’t do it there, but I just needed to call 611 and it would only take a few minutes.    After SEVERAL minutes talking to the sales people (kind of like a car salesman)  I finally wheeled and dealed myself into a new phone… and hopefully a better plan that wont break the bank….. Guess we will find out for certain when I get the phone bill.

I left with many mixed emotions.    Finality of another piece of my heart that connected my Mom and me…. even through a phone….was now disconnected.   Was excited on the other hand about the new phone I got…. but anxious …wondering if I did the right thing or not!    Kevin…. my salesman… reminded me on the way out the door to call 611 to deactivate my Moms phone so as I pulled into the parking lot of Neighborhood Market to get a few groceries before heading home…. I connected to…. Charlotte!

Charlotte…. the rep on the line with me from AT&T…. was very pleasant when she answered the phone with the usual “how can I assist you today”?
I told her my Mom had passed away about 2 weeks ago and that I needed to deactivate her phone from my account.  Of course she extended her deepest sympathies with the usual… “I can take care of that for you Ma’am” and proceeded to ask for all the verification information to make sure I was who I said I was.

When all was said and done…. with the assurance there was no disconnecting fees and it would be taken care of today…. she once again offered her condolences on the loss of my Mom…. when I said…. I really knew this was probably our last CHRISTmas with her…. but thought we we have her at least for this one…. and then…. I said… but I know where she is now and I WILL see her again.|

That is when she said… she had had many losses this year herself and she wished she could have that sureness of things going to be ok.    I then began witnessing to her…. over the phone!   Although the exact conversation is all jumbled in my head at this time…. mainly because I was in total Awe of what was taking place in the parking lot of the grocery store….It went something like….

Oh girl….. I dont know how anyone could make it with out My Jesus.    He is who has given me hope through this and so many other trials in my life.   By knowing Him…. and receiving Him as your Savior… you are guaranteed a life in Heaven.

She said…. she has never delved into that kind of thing before…. she said… well… I guess I believe what you are saying but it is foreign to me….religion and things.

I told her it wasnt a “religion” but a relationship with Jesus.    I asked her her name… and she told me it was Charlotte…. I said Charlotte… I want you to do me a favor…. tonight… when you are driving home… and your car is quiet…. I want you to remember this conversation…. with a Lady named Teresa.    I want you to talk to God.   Tell Him… you want to know if what this lady on the phone is real.   If YOU are real!    And if so…. show me.   Then.. I told her to watch over the next few weeks as God reveals Himself to her!!…. because …. HE WILL!!

I told her I wanted to hear how it came out… but she wasnt allowed to keep any information from phone calls and I told her to try to find me on Facebook.   But I told her… no matter if I ever hear how God showed her how much He loves her or not…. I will believe that someday…. I will see her face in Heaven.

She thanked me for my kindness and a renewed hope in her heart as we said our goodbyes and her…. “if I can assist you with anything else….” pleasantries.  I told her I would be praying for her… and I have…. several times since we hung up!

How awesome was that!!!   My trip through the Neighborhood Market was a blur.   I was flying about 5 feet off the ground… thanking God for allowing me to be His vessel for a soul who had been hurting and needed to hear about a God who loved her… a Jesus who died for her… and a Heavenly home to gain!

ALL things DO work together for good…..!!!

Romans 8:28 (AMP)

And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.

I’ll Choose Purple Every Time!

Lowes-Paint-Color[1]Are you prejudice?

Kind of an odd way to start out I know…. but it is a fair question considering what all is going on in our little world today.

Prejudice definition:  preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience.

Blacks… Whites….
Gays…. Straight…..
Christians….. Muslims….
Democrat….. Republican….
Death….. Life…..
Broncos….. Chiefs…..
In….. out…..
Right….. Left…..
Up….. Down…..
Pink…… Purple…..

….. and that is just the tip of the iceberg of things we have “preconceived opinions” about.

I remember when my boys were babies and I would take them different places…. or even just show their latest pictures.   Depending on the group I was around… almost always determined the outcome of the conversation of which parent they looked like.    If the majority of friends or family had known their father the longest…. they “look just like his daddy”   ….. but…. on the other hand…. if they were mostly my family or friends I had known the longest…. well what do you know….. they thought they “look just like their mommy!”

Now HOW can one baby….. the exact same baby…. look just like their daddy and just like their mommy!?!?!?

Well…. lets blame it on that preconceived opinion thing!   The truth is, when we get right down to the bottom line of it…. each person was biased…. prejudiced…. so to speak in their opinion.   Their opinion wasn’t based on careful observation…. but in reality it had been swayed by their desire to tip the scale toward the one they were most loyal to….. or… the one that would also boost favor toward themselves.    I mean who wouldn’t want to brag to everyone that this beautiful baby boy got most …. if not all their good looks from “my” side of the family….. or “my” best friend?”

Some …. however did try to look past the preconceived opinions…. and really try to discern the features on actual “facts”.   Most times they would end up saying something to the effect of….. “well…. his hair color is the same as….. and I think he has your….. but he definitely has his dads…….    Truth was… they were a perfect mish-mash of both …. mommy and daddy…. making them then…. unique and special.

When it comes to choosing a color….. My favorite has always been purple for as long as I can remember!   I’m not sure what it is about purple that I like… other than it just gives me that happy feeling when I see it.  It brings a smile to my face and joy to my heart….and well….. it just makes me go…… awwwwweeeeeee….. !!   So…. with that said…. if there is ever a color option for me to choose… pretty much anytime my pick will lean to the various shades of purple if at all possible!   You could say … I am prejudice in my choice of color because I have had preconceived opinions that are already formed because of my personal feelings.

Deeper issues…. such as Political…. Race…… Religion…..can and have … been the basis of conflict which has caused division and discord among family, friends, colleagues…. and even nations!

How did we form some of these “preconceived opinions?”    Many were formed in us simply by being born into certain family’s.  For generations some ideals were accepted somewhere in our family tree and passed on to generation to generation and have formed some mighty deep and sturdy roots.   Most things passed down to us from our ancestors are totally irrelevant and harmless….. some however…. can be quite the contrary … making us indeed….. narrow minded… bigoted…. and yes…. Prejudiced .   Trying to remove those roots can be a major excavation project.    The process could be very costly… not only in a monetary way…. but it could cost jobs… friendships… social acceptance as well as family relationships.    Roots … as we well know… can go deep…..DEEP into the earth and spread in every direction touching many things as well as people.  Most times we would never know who or what could be affected…. until those roots are tampered with or begin to come to the surface.

Other opinions are formed….. or changed….. by the group of friends we begin to hang around with, as we grow into our own person.   If our generational roots have not grown as deep and strong … or if we have chosen to rebel and sever those roots… our opinions can take on the form of those people we surround ourselves with.   There again… not always a bad thing… depending on the subject matter it could actually be a better thing.  Even very controversial issues can take us on a new life journey, and as long as those opinions do not invade someone else’s opinions…. by sucking life out of their roots, we can all still live side by side and get along.   Many new opinions are formed simply because of selfish ambitions.   They have swayed our directional thinking so we can “fit in” with a person or group that will take us to bigger, better and higher places, without giving them any real thought, consideration, research or prayer time.

Many of these issues could be solved in this world if we would just stop and discern every issue we face in a totally unbiased manner …. unfortunately…. most of us already have those “preconceived opinions” tucked down so deep inside of us we probably don’t even recognize they are there.   When asked… are you prejudice???   ….. We automatically get on the defensive side and deny any such thing because that would mean we are narrow minded…. bigoted….mean spirited and just plain rude.  We try to come up with many reasons to defend ourselves….. to justify our reasoning’s and some could be justifiable while others…. well… they just wouldn’t hold water ….much like a bucket with holes in it!

Being prejudice TOWARDS things …. are one thing …. being prejudice AGAINST people is an entirely different story!
We are ALL important to God…. He said in His Word
….For God shows no partiality [undue favor or unfairness; with Him one man is not different from another]. Romans 2:11 (Amp)
and again …
Then Peter replied, “I see very clearly that God shows no favoritism.   Acts 10:34 (NLT)

God Never in His Word ever made reference to skin color as a basis of blessings… favoritism….entry to Heaven…. exclusion from Hell….
in fact V 35 of Acts continues by saying
In every nation he accepts those who fear him and do what is right.
In fact … one of the Greek definitions of the word “nation” in this verse is “RACE”
so
…. We could say… In every RACE he accepts those who fear Him and do what is right!!!
So many times through out the Word of God…..God said….. ALL….  and in case we are not sure the definition of the word … Websters definition .. copied and pasted is….

Simple Definition of all

  • : the whole, entire, total amount, quantity, or extent of

  • : every member or part of

  • the whole number or sum of

Like they say…. ALL means……there ain’t no more!!!

But then again…… Matthew 24:7-7 says talking about the signs of the end…..
Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world.  But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come.

That same word… Nation…. “Race”…. says Race will go to war against race….. one of the end time signs….that is most definitely coming to pass right before our eyes!!!
Even though the media continues to stir this pot….We do not have to be a participant!  We Can choose to Love!   Love like Jesus did…. color blind!
…..The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”   1 Samuel 16:7
It’s whats INSIDE that counts!

So…. if you have found yourself in a place where you might have to answer the question…. Are you Prejudice?…. with a yes….. Stop and ask yourself…. and God…. why do I have this issue?
Where and when were these preconceived ideas formed…. and then… Repent…. and ask God to continue to change your heart.   Ask Him to open your eyes to see past color… Race… Religion….He is big enough to do it….. the question I guess though….. but… Are YOU big enough to change it?

When we begin to Love like He Loves…we will see Revival break out in our lives… our church… our community…. and in our Country!   It starts with you…. it starts with ME!
Lets keep our prejudice ideas to the little things…. and remember….. ALWAYS choose PURPLE!!!

Grading on a Curve

aid1391226-728px-Curve-Grades-Step-1-Version-2[1]Do you remember when we were in school…. how absolutely relieved we were when we found out the teacher would be grading on the curve on some of our tests?    We were Especially glad on those hard ones or the ones we just didn’t study for!!  For some reason, those teachers would have pity on us and decide they would slip us a break …. and level the playing field by taking the highest achiever’s grade and using it as the “A” point …then….they would adjust everyone’s grade accordingly.  They lowered the standards so to speak so each of us would look better on paper.   Even though we didn’t take the time to study…. we still have a grade that would make our Parents proud…. instead of a big fat “F”… we now have a C…. or B … or sometimes even an A!!   On paper…. we look pretty good!

I was thinking about this while I was driving to work one morning.   I wasn’t quite sure why that particular thing crossed my mind since I haven’t been in school for a long…. long time…. and my youngest son has been out of High School for 3 years now….. but then of course…..the analogy came.   This is what I felt God was saying to me …..
….. many people think I am like that.   They think I am like those teachers in school….they think I am grading on a curve!!

Have you ever said…. or heard someone else say something like…..

“Well… Look at Joe over there….  he claims to be a Christian but did you hear him cussing out that Referee?   …….. At least I don’t do that!”
or……
“I am a very good Christian woman…. I may have a drink once in awhile …. when I’m at home ….just to unwind a bit…… but at least I’m not like Sally over there who acts like she doesn’t and still sits on the front row of church!”
or……
“Hey…. at least I go to church on most Sunday’s and not only on special Holidays like Mr. Whats-his-name over there!”
or……

Ok… I know you have gotten the picture I am trying to paint.   I won’t keep going because there are so many more…. “at least I don’ts or do’s” …. floating around out there that we could go on for a long time.

Now… just think… if God was like one of those teachers that graded on a curve, and the only one we had to measure up to was the best scoring Christian we know…..we would all be looking pretty dog gone good.    If God would just level the playing field by lowering the standard and taking the best Christian “scorer” and using them as the “A” grade, it would make things so much easier for us.  How awesome would that be!!!  Now …..we wouldn’t even have to read, let alone study the Word.  We could “skip” church and do those fun things we want or even just sleep in on Sundays…… We would only have to Pray or Praise a fraction of the time and as long as we put forth a little effort … we could possibly be catapulted to the head of the class.   When we look at our Christian grade card now… instead of seeing that big fat “F” … we now are pleased to see an A or B!   See…. We’re not so bad after all!   God must be so proud of us!  Well done though good and faithful servant?!?!?!

Isn’t that what many of us think though?

THIS however…. is NOT what God does.   He has not lowered His standard so we can all have an easy “A”  in Christianity…..but He has raised the standard by telling us we are to strive to be like Jesus….. Not…. Joe…. Sally… or Mr. Whats-his-name!   Yet…. many of us are still “hoping”  He will have pity on us and use those “less than perfect” Christians to grade us on our walk when we get to Heaven.
My Bible says in 1st John 2:6   whoever says he lives in Christ [that is, whoever says he has accepted Him as God and Savior] ought [as a moral obligation] to walk and conduct himself just as He walked and conducted Himself.
God sat the standard with Jesus.   His walk …. His conduct…. is the standard in which we are graded on.   He … was perfect and blameless.   He… is the “A” point… and we are all going to have to do some work to pull our grades up as Christians.   Work… as in reading and studying Gods Word so we can know what Jesus did in order to become more like Him.   Work…. as in Praying to Him to get direction as well as our needs met.   Work… as in Praising Him for Who He is and for What He has done and is doing in our lives. Work…. as in developing a relationship with Him!

Jesus didn’t “fit in” to the way the world thought or did things.  He didn’t even fit in to the way the “religious” people thought or did things!   He stood out!   He was different.   He Loved those the world shunned.   He called evil…. evil!   He taught Truth!   He lived a life that was Holy!  He didn’t do what the world did or go where the world went.  He kept the Sabbath day.    He Prayed to His Heavenly Father.   He healed the sick.   He didn’t condemn the world… but brought Light and Hope!   He gave His life…. for US!!
He… is our Standard!

Now before we get down on ourselves and condemnation tries to sneak in…. God knows we could never meet such perfection while still in this world.   He doesn’t expect us to be perfect in and of ourselves…. but … through the blood of Jesus we have been given Mercy… and Grace.
Phillipians 3:12  Not that I have already obtained it [this goal of being Christlike] or have already been made perfect, but I actively press on so that I may take hold of that [perfection] for which Christ Jesus took hold of me and made me His own.
The problem is… many of us are taking advantage of Mercy and Grace and using it as a “get out of jail free” card so we can slide in on someone else’s work!  But that simply isn’t Biblical.

We all will stand independently before God someday and give an account of what we did or did not do.

The Bible says in 2nd Corinthians 5:10
For we [believers will be called to account and] must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be repaid for what has been done in the body, whether good or bad [that is, each will be held responsible for his actions, purposes, goals, motives—the use or misuse of his time, opportunities and abilities].

We won’t be able to throw around the names of others to justify our actions ….. It will only be you …. and God!   You will be “graded” on your performance alone.   I am sure He will show you and me what we did… or didn’t do …. good or bad…. right… or wrong.   There no doubt will be tears!   Tears of missed opportunities…. and also of out right rebellion to His Word.   Then, I believe Jesus will step in on our behalf  to remind God of the Blood He shed for this very moment…. to cover those sins and to make us pure in Gods eyes…. and that… is when He wipes away every tear!
Revelation 21:4 and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be death; there will no longer be sorrow and anguish, or crying, or pain; for the former order of things has passed away.”

but….. there is one more Scripture that NO one wants to ever hear…..

Matthew 7:21-23
 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven.  Many will say to Me on that day [when I judge them], ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, and driven out demons in Your name, and done many miracles in Your name?’   And then I will declare to them publicly, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me [you are banished from My presence], you who act wickedly [disregarding My commands].’

Those are words I wish never to hear!!!  I believe God is sounding many wake up calls for us to get our priorities in line…..to make the necessary adjustments in our lives and to always be prepared for what is in front of us.   Always ready.  The time is short.  Shorter today than yesterday!  Don’t assume you will pass!   Don’t take your salvation for granted!   Don’t compare your walk with the person next to you! Don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today!   Jesus IS coming….. and He not only wants you to be in Heaven with Him… but He wants you to be a vessel to bring others with you to Heaven.   Follow His Standard…. !

and on that judgement day……. our diploma will read …..‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’ Matthew 25:23

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grace… yep… that is what we call the free and unmerited favor of God.   Grace keeps us from getting what we deserve but….that is

A….. Is For Adultery……. Lesson 4

7f79fcce3d4b81e31819c4cc07eb15ba[1]

Lesson 4 Brings us to the Letter A.
Again … there are many words that begin with A that might make us cry.  I have experienced several in my lifetime… such as:
Abuse….. Accusations…. Adultery…. Adversity……. Affliction….. Alienation…..Annoyances…. Affection…. Anointing …… Anything!!

Adultery….. is the word that kept coming back to me as I prayed over this lesson, even though I kept thinking…… these women don’t want to hear my story ….
and I don’t need to be bringing up old wounds.   But….  That is exactly the A word He wanted me to use, because He had a wider scope on Adultery He wanted to address.

Websters Defines Adultery as:
A Sexual encounter or relationship between a married person and someone other than their spouse.
Cheating…. infidelity….misconduct….two-timing…. unfaithfulness.

Many of us have felt the sting of Adultery.   The thing about Adultery is it not only affects those going through it personally…. but many on the outer edges of those involved  as well.   My life was turned upside down with not only the traditional form of Adultery committed by a spouse… but also a nontraditional form of having a friend who was two-faced and unfaithful in our friendship.

This friend …whom I spent many hours with…. went shopping with… ballgames of our boys with…. even church together…. ended up with an adulterous affair with my husband.   Its not the first in history I know…. many of you have had similar stories and the hurt cuts deep.  Adultery rips and tears hearts and lives apart…. even in a world that is now callous to faithfulness.

18 years ago is when my story began.    I was a fairly new Christian of about 5-6 years.  I was a new Momma for the second time…. and I was attending a Bible Study on Mondays where I was filled with the Holy Spirit.   I had just lost my Dad to Cancer when it started back up…. and needless to say…. really rocked my already shaken life.  Things began to escalate with the uncertainty of my circumstances.   I believed that God wanted to heal my marriage… and yet… I was bombarded with so many arrows flying at my head and my heart as well as my spirit!

My Heart…. was broken!   I tried to hold on to the hope for a year….but I just no longer could keep believing for the miracle of reconciliation.  I began to lose who I was and didn’t recognize who I had become.  To the outside world… it looked as though I was the same happy woman I had always been… but to those close to me… knew I was becoming battle worn.
I finally made the decision to file for divorce.   One thing my Pastor had told me when I finally talked to him about it…. was that the filing of divorce is not when divorce happens….. it happened the first time he stepped out on me.   Not that that made it any easier to file…. but it seemed to be what I needed to push on through.

Many nights… in my little chair…. in my house…. behind closed doors…. I cried.  I felt like such a failure!  I felt as though I had failed as a wife…. why would he have an affair after he told me on our wedding day he could “forsake all others”?    Was there something I could have done differently?    Was I not pretty enough?  Smart enough?  Why?

I felt like I was a failure at being a mom!   I had already been divorced once before and I wanted to just do it “right” this time.  You know… the happy American family…. with a Mom and a Dad… and 2 kids… going to family things together.   I wanted my youngest to be able to have his parents sitting together at ballgames and school functions together…. and now… just like with my oldest son…. we would all show up in different cars…. set in different sections of the gym…. and one of us would go home….. alone.

….. and of course… I felt like I had failed my God!   Did I not pray long enough….. believe hard enough…. have enough Faith?    Did I give up too soon?   Oh…. how God must have been so disappointed in me!
I remember one evening in particular …. feeling ALL of the weight of what was happening…. feeling ALL of the emotions of being Abandoned… and of course those thoughts of being a failure in every area of my life.   I sat in my recliner…. VERY emotional…. TEARS and sobs filled my night of loneliness.  The TV was on…. and an episode of  Touched By An Angel was playing.   I prayed…. God… I am so sorry… I know I have failed you and you are very disappointed in me…. and then…. Andrew…. the “death Angel”…. began to minister to a lady who was dying.   The camera panned up to his face…. and it was as though he was in my room… looking directly at me when he said….
God wanted me to tell you…. that He is not disappointed in you….He is pleased with you…. and He loves you very much!

Ok… NOW the Tears are multiplied…. but this time… they are more of a Thankful kind of a Tear.   I had hope again… and I knew that God had spoke a Word directly to me… through a secular TV show!   Isn’t He AWESOME!!!  God ALWAYS shows up …. right when I needed Him most to remind me of His promise that He would never leave me or forsake me….  No matter how it felt…. His promise was and IS true!
Hebrews 13:5 AMP…… for He has said, “I will never [under any circumstances] desert you [nor give you up nor leave you without support, nor will I in any degree leave you helpless], nor will I forsake or let you down or relax My hold on you [assuredly not]!

 

Then….I began to do some digging in my Bible about Adultery …..when I cam across Hosea.

In the 2nd verse of the 1st chapter Hosea God told Hosea….. “Go and marry a prostitute, so that some of her children will be conceived in prostitution.   This will illustrate how Israel has acted like a prostitute by turning against the Lord and worshiping other gods.”
So he married a woman named Gomer.
I searched the meaning of Gomer and found a definition in Biblegateway that said it meant “completion,” that is, the filling up of the measure of idolatry, or ripeness of consummate wickedness. Her name was indicative of the wholesale adultery and idolatry of the kingdom she represented.
Interesting!
In Chapter 5….  the Scripture says she either must have returned… or maybe never truly left her “old ways”.

Chapter 2:5-8  
She said, ‘I’ll run after other lovers and sell myself to them for food and water, for clothing of wool and linen,  and for olive oil and drinks.’
“For this reason I will fence her in with thornbushes.  I will block her path with a wall to make her lose her way
When she runs after her lovers, she won’t be able to catch them. She will search for them but not find them. Then she will think,
‘I might as well return to my husband, for I was better off with him than I am now.’ She doesn’t realize it was I who gave her everything she has—
the grain, the new wine, the olive oil; I even gave her silver and gold.
   But she gave all my gifts to Baal.

This passage of Scripture gets me everytime I read it.   I read it in my Spiritual walk with God this way.
God…. I don’t trust you to take care of my every need.  I need to go out and find other resources to gain bigger homes… newer cars…. fuller closets… finer foods…deeper wallets…!   I will let you take care of the day to day things… the little necessities…or call on you when something Big comes up… but in the meantime…I am going to run after these things the world has to offer… but… you know  I’ll be home on Sunday so we can see each other then!

Haven’t we all been guilty of this… at least to some degree?   I know I have.  And… like Gomer… God has fenced me in when I get that way… blocking my path to those things …. simply to get my attention.   Things begin to seem like they are getting harder… the bills pile up… things breakdown.. and I just cant seem to get my hands on anything fun anymore…. and… Just like Gomer…I have been quilty of saying… “I might as well turn to God… and Pray … and trust Him…because I was better off with Him than I am now.”
Put like that… it really breaks my heart that I would have ever done that to my God.  The ONE person who loves me unconditionally….and cares about every part of my life and who was and is the source of everything good I have or have ever had in my life… and I…. gave credit to everyone and everything else instead of Him!

But… look at verse 14…   “But then I will win her back once again.  I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her there.
God… waits until we are in our “desert” …those dry places where we have nothing else to distract us… and THEN… He speaks tenderly to us.   He doesn’t yell… He doesn’t scold!
He reassures…. He teaches… He corrects…. He LOVES!
When we mess up…. when we find ourselves some place we aren’t supposed to be…. God  … through the Blood of Jesus has given us another promise…
1st John 1:9 If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just [true to His own nature and promises], and will forgive our sins and cleanse us continually from all unrighteousness [our wrongdoing, everything not in conformity with His will and purpose.

Hosea 3:1-2
Then the Lord said to me, “Go and love your wife again, even though she commits adultery with another lover. This will illustrate that the Lord still loves Israel, even though the people have turned to other gods and love to worship them. 
So I bought her back for fifteen pieces of silver and five bushels of barley and a measure of wine…..

Hosea… was told to go buy his wife back…. even though… she had committed Adultery with another lover.  The exact thing that God did for us…. through Jesus ….Romans 5:8 But God clearly shows and proves His own love for us, by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.    Even though…. we were adulterers with the world… God loved us … and bought us back!
The price Hosea paid to get Gomer back…. was the price of a “slave”.   Jesus…..was sold out… for the price of “a slave”!  

Adultery….
It can bring us to TEARS……It can break many hearts…. and it also breaks God’s heart!

To wrap up….I found this one last passage I wanted to share with you….to give you something to think about ….and which should ….. be an eye opener for all of us!

Hosea 4:1-3 NLT
    …..The Lord has brought charges against you, saying:
“There is no faithfulness, no kindness,
    no knowledge of God in your land.
You make vows and break them;
    you kill and steal and commit adultery.
There is violence everywhere—
    one murder after another.
That is why your land is in mourning,
    and everyone is wasting away.
Even the wild animals, the birds of the sky,
    and the fish of the sea are disappearing

 

James 4: 4 NLT    You adulterers!  Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God.

 

E……Is For Endings…… Lesson 3

18453452-Floral-initial-capital-letter-E-Stock-Vector[1]

 

The Letter “E” is our next lesson in the series of T.E.A.R.S.

A few words that could draw a tear are:
Endings….. Emptiness…. Embarrassment…… Enemies…. Enduring…. Evil…. Eviction…..Exasperation….. Excluded…. Edification…. Encouragement…. Exonerated ….

The word Emotions itself begins with “E”
Happy Emotions…. Sad Emotions… Excited…..Mad…
Emotions can grab us out of no where sometimes… and how we “react” to them can vary.   Me?…. well I seem to have an abundance of tears in reserve and it certainly
doesn’t take much for the floodgates to open and flow freely.

Endings ….however…. is the E word I felt God wanted me to use.      If…. there is a beginning … there will always be…. an ending!
Example…. movies.   I really don’t like to got to watch a movie in a theater very much….. oh… I like the atmosphere…. the fullness of the surround sound that seems to go all through you…. and of course… movie popcorn with extra butter!!!   What I don’t like about it,  is it really doesn’t matter if it is a love story… action film… or a cartoon…. I almost ALWAYS cry at some point in the movie!  And if it is one of those real tear jerkers… you can only imagine what I look like when the lights come on when you don’t even leave the house to get the mail without Mascara and Eyeliner.   If you still don’t get the picture…. lest just say…. “it ain’t pretty!”

I remember when my son was younger, his favorite movie was Air Bud.   We must have watched that movie a 100 times…. and yet…. EVERYTIME he yelled at Buddy to go away….. and then threw the ball so he could run back to the boat…. leaving that sad little dog just watching …. wondering why he was left…. I BAWLED….. even though… I KNEW in 5 minutes he would come strolling in on the basketball court.  And then lets not forget the ones that had really sad endings…. like My Girl…. or The Green Mile!   Lets just say… I was glad I was home… behind closed doors and windows and next to the Kleenex and makeup remover!

Embryo    (Because Babies doesn’t start with the Letter “E”)
New born babies make me cry too!!   There is just something about those sweet little things that just touch my heart and apparently my heart is attached directly to those darn tear ducts!
Their beginning…. will begin to set off a continues stream of beginnings…. and …. endings.

As Mommas…. we are totally wrapped up in those little ones’ life!   When they are happy…. we are happy…. when they are sad…. we are sad…. when they cry… yep…. we cry!
When they go off to school…. Kindergarten…. we cry…. for their beginning…. but at our ending of those precious toddler years.

When they graduate from High School…. We cry…. at their beginning of being an adult…. but at our ending of our nurturing role as a parent.

Then they get married…. we cry…. at their beginning of a new role in the adult world of husband and or wife…. but the ending of being the only woman possessing their heart.

….. and when they have their first baby….. we cry…. at the beginning of their parental status…. and the ending of yet another closed chapter in ours.
Beginnings…. and …. endings… bring lots of tears!

Another ending for some of us has to do with Divorce.    Our beautiful…. happy ever after dream beginning…. ended in a ugly…. night mare ending.  I shed many tears during the nearly 2 years of struggling to keep my marriage from ending in a statistic.  I prayed…. confessed…. believed…. and tried to be who I thought he wanted me to be, only to find out that once I was there….. it was never satisfactory to him and to me…. well… I had almost forgotten who I really was.    So…. I filed for divorce…. and now… I found myself… “Estranged”…. “Empty” and “Exhausted”!

But …. God never left me.  He walked me through ever step.  Even when I felt like I was a complete failure and was a disappointment to Him… He would remind me through things like a song on the radio…. words from my child….or even a TV show.    I remember when I was having a super bad night… and Touched By An Angel was on.  Andrew (the death Angel) was preparing to take a woman home who was dying in an alley.   The camera panned to his face and as he was telling her… he was looking me in the eye and said… God wants me to tell you… He loves you very much and He is not disappointed in you!!   Oh my!!!   God touched my heart …. which we recently concluded has a direct connection to my tear ducts … in a big way!

And of course…. Life…. if life has a beginning…. Life has and ending…. which we call …. death.
Not all of us may go through some of the previous “endings” I have talked about …. but everyone of us will at some point in our life …. experience the ending of life of someone we love.

Our family had a streak of deaths for awhile in the ’90s.   One of those was my dad.   My dad… suffered with prostate cancer for almost 2 years and the last few days were extremely hard.  The last day of his life seemed to be the longest for all of us… as he experienced many hours of extreme pain…then some kind of a seizure….. followed by a stroke…. and then he slipped into a coma before he took his last breath.

The tears I shed…. was for the ending of his life…. a life cut way too short … in a very cruel… cruel way!   A life… that would no longer be there to share in all of the joys…sorrows…. the beginnings and endings with the rest of us.   But…. our ending…. was only his …. beginning!!   You see… just a few months before he died… he accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior!!    So his beautiful beginning of everlasting life with our Heavenly Father…. ended…. his pain … his sorrow… and his suffering!

Ecclesiastes 7:8 AMP
Better is the end of a thing than the beginning of it.

Revelation 21:4
God will wipe away every tear from their eyes and death shall be no more, neither shall there be anguish (sorrow and mourning) nor grief nor pain anymore, for the old conditions and the former order of things have passed away.

Isaiah 25:8
He will swallow up  death (in victory; He will abolish death forever) and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces; and the reproach of His people He will take away from off all the earth; for the Lord has spoken it.

 

 

“T”….. Is For Trials….. Lesson 2

The-letter-T-the-letter-t-22188793-2560-2560[1]

 

Lets think of some words that start with  “T” …. that could make us cry?
Taunting….Tattlers….. Taxes….. Temptations…. Terrors….. Theft……. Tombs….. Torment…. Torture….. Traitors…… Travailing…. Tired….Tribulation…. Trouble….

Many others that I could have listed or …. many that you are thinking of that haven’t even crossed my mind but are very high up on your list of “T” words for Tears.

The “T” word however, that God gave me was Trials.
Websters definition is:
A TEST of the quality, value or usefulness of something
A TEST of someones ability to do something
A TEST of Faith, patience, or stamina through subjection to suffering or temptation.

The word TEST was in all of those definitions and I dont know about you…. but I have never been a fan of TESTS!
Have you thought about those trials you are…. or have gone through…. as a test?    Really… when you think about it…. that is exactly what they have been.   Those tests… those trials have made you who you are today…. who you will be tomorrow!   Look back….can’t you say that…. TODAY…. you are much… Much  stronger than you were before the trial?   A lot more wiser?   How about your Faith?   Hasn’t it grown some deeper roots?!?!?

Like most of you… I have had my share of trials throughout my soon to be 53 years on this earth.   When you ask me about those trials…. many times I will refer to the “adult” trials I have had…. but… one “trial” when I was a kid was probably the one that really set my journey of character building into motion…. and I had no idea until just a few months ago the impact it had on me.
I think I had pushed it out of my carousel of memories and thought I could just forget it…. but with it being brought back to the forefront of my mind lately… I believe it is what God wanted me to bring up in this lesson.

I am really not sure how old I was when this happened…. I really am not sure the exact “how” “when” and “why” it happened.   The one thing I DO remember… is the long lasting sting that continued to happen all through my Grade School, Jr. High School and even through High School.
Living out in the country as I was growing up…. I was a “bus kid”and was close to the last picked up… and the last dropped off.   The ride probably was 30-45 minutes long…. and sometimes felt like 4-5 hours.   Most of the time there was a few people we could talk and laugh with… and if some of my friends weren’t on …. I could always try to do some of my homework… or just gaze out the window…. watching the poles go by.

The older you got… the farther to the back of the bus you got to sit.  That… of course is where the older… “cool” kids were.   Like I said… I still have no memory of how old I was…. but apparently one of the High School Boys must have pulled my hair.    It must have been bad enough…. because…. I really wasn’t a touchy kid… that after I got home… I must have began to cry….. and that is when my parents must have called the school.
My life…. began to change from that moment on!   The “cool” kid was kicked off the bus…. and I … inherited a new nick name….. Miss Priss…. Prissy….. Priss Priss Priss Priss Priss!   From that day on… the bus ride to … and from school always had a chant of some sort ….. with my new name attached to it.   It never really let up all through my school “career”…. although the last of the “cool” kids of that era graduated a year ahead of me… which meant my SR year was a bit less “colorful” on the bus ride home.

Looking back…. I know I shed many tears over that.  I never could understand how I got “punished” for something that someone else had done!   I was a kid… 10-12 years old I’m sure.   A girl.   Not a threat.   Not mean.   But nevertheless… I was singled out and Taunted and Tormented!   That Trial… that TEST… came to break me.   In many ways it did… but in even greater ways… it only made me more resilient and stronger!   It came to make me cower down…. and to never speak out on in justice for myself… and even others!   For a time… I suppose it did… but with all of the other “Trials” I have gone through since then… I am not that person the devil wanted me to be!

God had plans for me.   He protected me through many of those situations…. mentally, physically, and Spiritually!   I had great parents that I knew had my back….. and I made it through!
In the ’70’s….. “bullying” was not as mean spirited as it is today!    Bullying …. also was not as tolerated either…. because even the kids who did step into that roll… knew…  it was wrong… and had parents that would not have supported that kind of behavior.

Trials…. come….to test… test our Faith… not only for God…. but for ourselves… they not only show God your faith is genuine… but also proves to yourself… how genuine your faith is!!!
Go through your Trials… with your head up … as best you can… shed a few… or a lot of tears… but keep on keeping on through it.   It is only for a season… only for a “little while”… and when you come out of it… you will be like the man in the story below!!
James 1:2-3
Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials.  Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace].

1st Peter 1: 6-7
 So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while.  These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.

Acts 20: 19
I have done the Lord’s work humbly and with many tears. I have endured the trials that came to me from the plots of the Jews.
Trials…. I often think of this story  below …when I wonder … why … we have to go through some things..

The Unmoved Rock

 Once upon a time, there was a man who was sleeping at night in his cabin when suddenly his room filled with light and the Saviour appeared. The Lord told the man He had work for him to do, and showed him a large rock in front of his cabin. The Lord explained that the man was to push against the rock with all his might. This the man did, day after day. For many years he toiled from sun up to sun down, his shoulders set squarely against the cold, massive surface of the unmoving rock, pushing with all his might.

Each night the man returned to his cabin sore and worn out, feeling that his whole day had been spent in vain. Seeing that the man was showing signs of discouragement, Satan decided to enter the picture placing thoughts into the man’s mind such as: “You have been pushing against that rock for a long time, and it hasn’t budged. Why kill yourself over this? You are never going to move it.” Thus giving the man the impression that the task was impossible and that he was a failure.

These thoughts discouraged and disheartened the man even more. “Why kill myself over this?” he thought. “I’ll just put in my time, giving just the minimum of effort and that will be good enough.” And that he planned to do until one day he decided to make it a matter of prayer and take his troubled thoughts to the Lord.

“Lord,” he said, “I have laboured long and hard in your service, putting all my strength to do that which you have asked. Yet, after all this time, I have not even budged that rock a half a millimeter. What is wrong? Why am I failing?” To this the Lord responded compassionately, “My child, when long ago I asked you to serve me and you accepted, I told you that your task was to push against the rock with all your strength, which you have done. Never once did I mention to you that I expected you to move it. Your task was to push.

And now you come to me, your strength spent, thinking that you have failed. But, is that really so? Look at yourself. Your arms are strong and muscled, your back sinewed and brown, your hands are callused from constant pressure, and your legs have become massive and hard. Through opposition, you have grown much and your abilities now surpass that which you used to have. Yet you haven’t moved the rock. But your calling was to be obedient and to push and to exercise your faith and trust in My wisdom. This you have done. I, my child, will now move the rock.”

Source unknown