Bottomed Out?

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Bottoming out is one way God can get our attention refocused from ourselves onto Him. Why? Because He knows we need Him.

To some, it appears that God operates as though he is self-centered and wants people to supply His needs; but that is not the case. We, by our sin nature, are self-centered. God needs nothing — He IS complete in Himself. We are the needy one.

God our Father, has a compassionate heart of love toward all people; in our Father’s grace and mercy He leaves the ninety-nine and passionately, prodigally, goes after that one. Look at the Prodigal Father in Luke 15:11-32.

Prodigal GodThis book by Tim Keller, The Prodigal God, is so insightful. Tim explains the “prodigal” (recklessly extravagant, spending everything) love of the Father towards us. This book, along with much good counsel, has shown me what an “Elder Brother” I have been and can be. I am humbled and thankful for the many ways God has caused me to bottom-out, so that His grace could transform my heart.

To continue reading:  Guilt and ShameForgive and Forget.

Photo Credit: Pixabay, Tim Keller.

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So, Tell Us about Yourself…

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Anything that you see, that impresses you about me, is all God. ~ Me.

God is teaching me that HE has been in control of my journey and I am safe in Him. Every good thing, every gift comes from Him[1]  and is a result of His initiation, prompting and completion.

I’ve been interviewing for a certain job for the past 3 weeks. During the interview process, I’ve covered a lot a ground about myself and realize once again that God is so amazing! Of course interviewers are looking for accomplishments, application of past experience and how that will work in the position, along with the gifts, talents and abilities you have to offer. If you’re not careful you can begin to think rather highly of yourself. Pride is always waiting at my door, and likely at yours too.

As I awoke this morning, after engaging yesterday in what I think is the last of the interviews, I had many thoughts. One was concerning the question I was often asked toward the end, “So, do you have any questions for us?” While I did have questions and asked a few, I realized today that my nature would be to ask lots of questions, gather statistics, gain algorithms, and try and figure everything out; I’ve lived this way all my life. I believe the Holy Spirit kept me from asking too many questions. Why you ask?

Ariana & Destiny (2)Throughout my 36 years of following after my Lord, Jesus, I’m realizing on each new journey that He has everything figured out. After I do what I should, I need to simply trust Him; I come to Him as a little child, knowing He is directing me. I’m attempting daily to do that, and now again with this 2-3 month long job search. This trusting goes against my nature, yet in my spirit I feel strength and His favor.

When I look back at the many ways in which God has worked miraculously in my life and family, I see each time that it was a step-by-step process. Trying to figure it all out ahead of time would have been futile. I would not have participated in the many adventures God took me through if I had figured it out first. One good example is living in Romania for almost a year while adopting our four children. It would never have happened if I had known everything upfront, I could not have handled it. But God…

daisy-1403041__480I’m rejoicing today in His grace, knowing I am His child and in His care. That’s all I need. He’ll place me where He wants me to serve. We’ll see what God has in store for me at this next turn. I’m rejoicing in His goodness while I’m waiting.

[1] James 1:17 (ESV)  Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

Photo Credit: Pixabay, Demary (my granddaughters).

Genocide Denied

architects-of-denial.jpgI recently watched a poignant documentary on genocide, the Armenian genocide that to this day the leaders of Turkey deny happened.

Genocide is sin, darkness, death, cruelty from man upon other human beings who’ve been created by God in His image; demonically inspired leaders of one ethnicity determined to destroy those of another.

Architects of Denial is the account of Turkey’s leaders ordering the deaths of 1.5 million Armenians beginning in 1915; and it has continued in various ways for the past 100 years. www.architectsofdenial.com

My husband traveled to Armenia in 1998. It was in the midst of our decision to adopt children abroad. He was there for another purpose, but had asked the woman who served as interpreter, “Would it be possible to adopt children from Armenia?” She replied, “Never! The Turks have slaughtered 1.5 million of our people; we will never let our children go to anyone.

Bible or the AxeHitler ordeted his leadership to do the same, repeating this wicked genocide against Jewish people, and other groups, beginning in 1939. This is being repeated again in our world. Some Muslims of North Sudan have done the same to the beautiful Sudanese people of the South (read my friend’s account of his family’s suffering in the book The Bible or the Axe by William Levi). Sin continues and evil men will become even worse the Bible tells us.

Choosing Wisely

doors-1767563__480How do you know which door to choose when you need help, especially when you’re feeling worn down and ready to give up. Getting help can be difficult and it takes time and effort… and humility.

I’d like to recommend a Podcast by Rick Thomas, he covers common topics concerning relationships. He is an insightful counselor, with many years of experience, who gives sound advice on how to walk through some of the most difficult places in life.

I recently listened to some of Rick’s podcasts and find them to be so good and thought this may be a good way to introduce you to Rick. He also has two new books out Change Me and Suffering Well (available on Amazon).

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Have you visited my RESOURCES page yet? If not, please click, you will find helpful resources on a variety of topics.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Finish Well

parachutist-2183279__480The Finish line:

With free-fall, there’s a sense in which once adapted to the parachute, air pressure, and the ability to control the descent, the journey down becomes so enjoyable that many do it again. If the jump is done under duress, in fear, there will be no desire to repeat this experience. But for those who trust and follow the guidelines, stepping out of the plane actually becomes a joy; the thrill of the ride back down to earth — it captivates some.

With God, our Good Father, we can learn to embrace free-falling into His arms and become strengthened through it. It is the practice of placing our faith in Him to bring us to safety. Will you step out and believe that He wants to expand your abilities to trust Him? Free-falling while He holds you can become a way of life that brings Him joy as a Father, and gives you delight knowing He cares for you.

One day we will land safely home at our final destination, Heaven, and realize the journey was short after all. So, practice obedience, trust Him and free-fall — and enjoy the abundant life that God desires to lead you in[2]. Go for it!

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Fields of the Fatherless

father-daughter-1476167__480Today is Father’s Day. A time to celebrate and think of the many blessings a father provides to his family, especially his children. No earthly father is perfect and so realizing our fathers have all made mistakes we usually can find qualities in them to be thankful for.

BOUNDARIES

Remove not the boundary (landmark); and do not enter into the fields of the fatherless: For their redeemer is mighty; he shall plead their cause with thee. (Prov. 23:10-11)

God has placed boundaries everywhere for our peace and safety. He provides guidance so that we may choose to live fruitful and joyful lives. Harmony in relationship with Him as our Father and one another is His plan. Family is His design, and it’s beautiful.

TOUCH

As I sat in church this morning listening to a wondelove-3388646_640rful message by Pastor Rex, I couldn’t help but think about those who are having a hard time “celebrating” their father today. Pastor was speaking about the value of people. In listing the ways we can value people, he shared a point about how important touch is. He illustrated the importance of babies receiving touch and how they thrive. He very specifically emphasized appropriate compared to inappropriate touch. The message was from Luke 13:10-17 how Jesus touched a woman with a spirit of infirmity and healed her. Jesus touched many women appropriately. Think about Mary washing his feet with her hair and the precious ointment she rubbed on his feet; he was receiving her genuine love and appreciation for Him; at a Pharisee’s house no less. Instead of pushing her away to save his reputation, He allowed her to touch him, appropriately. You can always reach out to Him.

So back to my Father’s Day thoughts and those who are struggling today. Fathers who have touched their daughters, andperson-409127_1280 sons, inappropriately have placed a stumbling block in their way. Jesus talks about offenses in Luke chapter 17. He said they will come. But then in verse 2 He goes on to say that if someone offends (violates) a child, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea, rather than causing a child to sin (or stumble). Wow, that is severe! And the violation of a child through sexual molestation is severe. It does not slide into the category of forgive and forget. It requires diligent effort on the part of the perpetrator to work toward godly sorrow that brings repentance, and the possibility of restoration.

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Adopted!

flowers-291902__480God is willing to adopt us, removing a spirit of slavery that produces fear and replacing that with a spirit of adoption producing son/daughtership. When we choose Him, we belong to Him, we have all the benefits of His children. He is our protector, provider and loving Father. (Rom. 8:15).
God does not give us a spirit of fear. Fear comes from the enemy; fear binds us. Freedom is your Heavenly Father’s desire and plan for you. Trust Him, obey Him, He loves you and wants you to be all He created you to be! Do not believe the lies of the enemy of your soul and live in doubt, shame or fear. Seek God, be filled with the Holy Spirit and flourish in all God desires for you.

Freedom from Bitterness

sunshine-666395__4801)  RECOGNIZE that someone has caused you pain and that your response to their sin, or your perception of an offense, will either free you or bind you.

2)  REPENT if you have allowed the sin of another to cause your relationship with God to falter.  You may have been a victim of sin initially, but at some point you become a perpetrator if you feel you must take vengeance rather than allow God to deal with the individual.  Victims can turn into violators if unforgiveness festers.

3)  READ God’s Word daily, often, so when temptation comes to react to situations, especially those that involve past pain, you can be freshly reminded of God’s promises to help you overcome wrong feelings.

4)  REJOICE in the reality that God is faithful to you no matter what you have experienced.  He knows the depth of pain you have gone through.  Jesus put Himself through the dregs of sins and every imaginable offense so that we would have opportunity to forgive and be free.

5)  REMIND yourself daily that because Christ has forgiven you, you must also forgive others (Col.3:13).  Praying for the person who has wronged you will develop love in your heart toward them.  It’s not because they asked for or deserve forgiveness, but it’s your extending grace to them, as Christ has done to us.

REMEMBER:  Think->Do->Feel.  Do not let feelings lead you, but God’s Word instead.

Step Back

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When life seems quite overwhelming,
and you feel the need to take charge.
Be careful you honor the scripture.
for pains of consequence are large.
If you will take gently a step back,
consider your ways and be wise,
you’ll soon see your Father’s instruction,
in your situation proved wise.

Step back and make room for the Lord,
give time for His will to reveal.
Instead of you charging forward,
with error your future to seal.
Wait! God will in His timing,
use peace to measure the score.
And if that is not present within you,
Step back, do not engage war.

God guides by these simple treasures,
His Word, obedience, and peace.
And when, all these three are present,
the warring and tumult will cease.
So step back and do an assessment,
and see where you’re missing the mark,
adjust and then humbly go forward,
with God’s favor and peace in your heart.

~ Nancy Demary