Wednesday, January 1, 2020

The first day of the New Year.

The first day of the New Year.
The day of new beginnings, promises, resolutions, changes, improvements, and in some cases moving in a new direction.

Realizing a need for change, and improvement in our lives is a good thing.
There is something I take comfort in always staying the same, however.....and that is God's everlasting LOVE.
He remains the same.
His love is constant.
He is the same as He was yesterday, today, and will be tomorrow.

I cannot "earn" His Grace and Mercy.
They are given, as is His Love....gifts to those humble enough to repent (change their heart), and accept what Jesus did for them on the cross, as the sacrificial lamb....shedding His blood for the forgiveness of sin once and for all.
I am assured of that unchanging love, and forgiveness each and every time I fall short of the glory.
He will NEVER leave me, nor forsake me....ever!!

I will continually strive to become more like Jesus.
It is my hope, that when I stand before Him, or fall to my knees....the changes made in my life will be those that  have been from Glory to Glory.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if we all would seek the same thing for 2020? The peace that transcends all understanding for a hurting world.
In His Love.
Debbie
xo

Thursday, December 26, 2019

No Answers....just God.

We live our lives as if tomorrow is guaranteed....putting off those things we could be doing now..... we take people for granted, thinking we have "time" to say the things that need to be said, or do those things that need to be done.
Assuming our loved ones "know" that we love them....so why say the words?
Going that extra mile to show people how much we care isn't needed....because they should just know how we feel about them, right?
Or how about the "little things"? Those special things we used to do, "just because".
A gift given for no reason.
A kiss, or a hug, out of the blue.
A smile....

Do we care enough to pray for each other?
Do we give our best to our loved ones?
Do we save that last slice of cake for someone else?
Do we bake their favorite cake for their birthday?
Would we go to the store just before closing for the cold medicine that someone needs to get some much needed relief?
Have we carried other's burdens?
Do we give 100 percent when we might get 10 percent in return?
When we don't get...do we stop giving?

Life is hard.
No one knows the answers to all the questions.
We can "think" we're doing everything right, and things still don't work out.
We go through life, following the rules, and something comes along that seems cruel, and unbearable.
We cry out to God, and ask "why"?
"What have I done for such tragedy to come into my life?"
Cancer, a horrible accident, heart attacks, someone drowns.  It happens to a child, a mother, a father, spouse, friend, sibling.....no one is exempt.

We've all been touched by loss in some form....and the answer to the "why" goes unanswered.
We all must pass from this life to the next......the real question is....how will we live while we are here.
Will our total reliance be on God?
Maybe the reason that God doesn't always give us the answers to the whys of our existence is that He knows we haven't got the capacity to understand the answers.
In learning to depend on God, we must accept that we may not know all the answers, but we know that HE does!!!
While we are here....we can live as Jesus did.  Loving one an other. Showing mercy, and grace to each other.  Being kind, and having a servant's heart. Giving our best....even when we feel our worst.  
This "place" is our temporary home.  Someday we will pass into Glory and reside with the One that we depend on....the One that holds all the answers!!!!
WWJD
xo

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Home Sweet Home

When we moved from our home years ago, we not only moved from family and friends....we moved from our "church family", as well.
After we moved, we searched for another church family, for years.
There were plenty of good people that we met along the way; but we just didn't find the place that "felt like home".
Time passed, and I was losing hope of finding another church family like the one back home.

When I started teaching Bible study at the mission....I thought that was going to be "church" for me!
God had other plans, however, and the mission was just for a "season".
Through the mission....Pathway was introduced to us. 
Jim walked through the doors, and dove in head-first!
I took my time, gathering treasures as they were revealed.

I savored each moment as it came along....enjoying the beauty of each experience, basking in each blessing.

I am blessed with each friendship that is birthed by the Holy Spirit, and every activity that we participate in that brings Glory to God.
Being involved with the women's prayer group has been a faith-builder, and is helping to band together a circle of prayer warriors, bonding us as Sisters In Christ.

Our church family might be small, but we are a part of God's big picture.....to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
We will work together inside the church, and outside the church to do that very thing.
It is God's hope that none should perish!!

Our searching is over.....God led us to this place that we call "home"....I cannot say that we walked through the desert, because there were ministries God put us in over the years that both humbled and caused growth.
We had to learn to surrender to His Will through every situation, and circumstance.
It wasn't always pleasant.
He has pulled us out from under all the ashes, and revealed His Glory over and over again!
There has been beauty after the storms.  We must trust His timing for everything!!  We waited for 20 years for a church to call "home".....it was worth the wait. Praise God!!!!
Debbie
xo

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

What Christmas means to me.

What Christmas means to me....
When I was a little girl, I remember walking to church on Christmas Eve for Midnight Mass on a frigid night.  It was so cold, the snow crunched under my feet.
I looked forward to hearing the choir singing the hymns that night.
The service would be long, and end up with everyone receiving Communion.
There was something comforting in all of that ritual and tradition that I was so used to year after year, growing up.
And then I learned what Jesus was all about.
He was no longer this statue of a baby laying in a manger.
He was The Son of God, who left the Throne Room of Heaven, laying down His crown to put on human flesh.
Jesus came and lived among men, as a servant.
He had no home to call His own. Just the clothes on His back, and the sandals on His feet.  Jesus was fully aware of His mission.
Knowing every choice, and every decision I would make in my life....yet, He still chose the cross.  He was scourged for every single sin, every dirty thing I have done.
Every thorn, every punch, every hair and piece of beard pulled out....endured for me.
Every drop of blood.
The sound of  steal on steal, as the hammers pounded on the spikes ripping through His flesh.....for me.
Then the slice of the spear in His side.
Yet......it was a heartache that made Him cry.
He gave His life, so I would understand.....is there any way, I could say no to this Man?

Jesus....being the human sacrifice, once and for all!!!!  The sacrificial lamb.  Not just covering my sin.....but washing away my sin with His blood!! *1 John 1:9  My Savior, my Master, my Lord.
This is what Christmas means to me.
Debbie
xo

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Getting our relationships in order.

This is the time of the year when we gather together with the people in our lives that have shared the joys and sorrows, highs and lows, wins and losses, blessings and answered prayer.
The people that have been with you through all of those situations that you have gone through....good and bad.
The people that you have built relationships with.

Having a relationship with someone takes effort...from both sides.
We might not always agree on all things that happen....but we LOVE each other, no matter what.
In order for our relationships to prosper...we must have our priorities in order.
If we have no relationship with God....no other relationship will take root.
That includes with members of your own family.

God first!!!
Our relationship with Him HAS to take priority over any other in our life!
Anything not born of the Holy Spirit, isn't going to fly.

Once we establish Who is the Lord and Master over our life, then we can put everything else in it's proper order.
Sadly, pride keeps us from admitting that we are "out of order", and "not walking in God's Will".
We see ourselves as good people....self-righteous.
We ALL sin and fall short of the Glory!!! ALL of us!!!
Jesus came to serve. He left the "Throne Room", and traded His crown for an apron.
He was set in a lowly position....a place of humbleness.....yet did not sin!!

All of creation knows the rightful place of Jesus....yet we, who are created in His likeness and image, seem to think we have the right to hold unforgiveness in our hearts toward others.
We have animosity, hold grudges, and judge one another.
We go for years without associating with each other, because we think it's our right to punish others for their choices in life. When we ourselves have made those exact choices in our own lives!!!!  What a sad people we've become....much like the Israelites in the Old Testament.
Always justifying wrong for right.
There will be a day when we all will stand in front of God, and we will ALL be accountable for the things that were not done for the Kingdom of God.
It is my hope, that this Christmas season brings about a change in people's hearts. A change in their desires.  That a humbleness washes over all of us. That we swallow our pride, and confess our sin(1 John 1:9) Hopefully, our priority will be Jesus. THEN, we can concentrate on relationships...and only then.....after our focus is on God, Abba, Our Father!!!
Grace and Mercy is available to us all.
Debbie
xo

Monday, December 2, 2019

The Son of God.

I'm one of those people that over thinks things.
One of the things that I wonder about is....when did Jesus....in His human state....realize that He was the Son of God?

In Luke 2:40 it says, "And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon Him. :42 And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast. verse 49: And He said unto them, HOW IS IT THAT YE SOUGHT ME ? WIST YE NOT THAT I MUST BE ABOUT MY FATHER'S BUSINESS? :50 And they understood not the saying which He spake unto them.

By His statement to Mary and Joseph, it seems Jesus already knew that He was to be about His Father's business here on earth.
By the time He was twelve years old, He was preaching in the temple in Jerusalem!!
verse 2:52 states...And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.

The proclamation from Heaven comes at the age of 30 in Luke 3:21 Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, :22 And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven, which said THOU ART MY BELOVED SON; IN THEE I AM WELL PLEASED.
The Trinity was present....Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

This officially begins the ministry of Jesus.
Luke 4:1 And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness.

So did Jesus "know" He was the Son of God in His early years, or was He going about being an obedient servant, because of scripture?
Or, did He come into the realization of being part of the Trinity when the Heavens opened, and God proclaimed Him to be His Son? and Jesus was then filled with the Holy Ghost?

It shouldn't really matter to me one way or the other.
Being redeemed is the point...isn't it?!
Being able to participate in the Joy Unspeakable is the plan.
I am sure the answer to my question is obvious to millions of others....I just don't see it.
Let it go, let it go.......wait, where have I heard that before???!!! hmmm.
The purpose of Jesus' coming is found in Luke 4:18....THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME, BECAUSE HE HATH ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR; HE HATH SENT ME TO HEAL THE BROKENHEARTED, TO PREACH DELIVERANCE TO THE CAPTIVES, AND RECOVERING OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND, TO SET AT LIBERTY THEM THAT ARE BRUISED. :19 TO PREACH THE ACCEPTABLE YEAR OF THE LORD.
May we be as bold, yet as compassionate as Jesus in our own obedience to the Father.
In His Name.
Debbie
xo

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Walking in His Will....

We pray to be used as vessels, by the Holy Spirit, to accomplish the Will of God.
In that prayer, we are seeking a ministry to fulfill.

It took me years to realize that choosing to walk as Jesus did while He fulfilled His ministry here, is doing the Will of the Father.
I felt like I needed to be in a particular ministry....worship, teaching, support group, etc. to fulfill His Will for my life.

"What would Jesus do"?
In any circumstance, period!
Walking in love, sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ to a lost and dying world, even if it's to one person at a time. 
It is God's Will that none should perish....
Be that vessel that loves like Jesus loves, and share what He did on the cross.


If you are willing, the Holy Spirit will use you.
He will give you everything you need to share in prayer, and Word.
Don't worry about what other's are doing, or how eloquently they speak...God will meet you right where you are!
He can use anyone humble enough that is willing to surrender themselves to His Will.

We all fall short of the Glory everyday.....but 1 John 1:9 says..."If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness."  
A true repentant heart, a servants attitude, and a disciple of Jesus Christ is, hopefully, walking daily in the Will of God....
WWJD
Debbie
xxoo

Monday, November 11, 2019

Peace...

I am the Lord of Peace.  I give you Peace at all times and in every way.  There is a deep, gaping hole within you that can be filled only by My peaceful Presence.  People who don't know Me try to fill that emptiness in many different ways, or they simply pretend it isn't there.  Even My children often fail to recognize the full extent of their need: at all times and in every situation.  But recognizing your neediness is only half the battle.  The other half is to believe I can-and will-supply all you need.

Shortly before My death, I promised Peace to My disciples-and to all who would become My followers.  I made it clear that this is a gift:  something I provide freely and lovingly.  So your responsibility is to receive this glorious gift, acknowledging to Me not only your need but also your desire.

Then wait expectantly in My Presence, ready to receive My Peace in full measure.  If you like, you can express your openness by saying, "Jesus, I receive Your Peace."
Taken from Jesus Today
Enjoying Hope
through
His Presence
by
Sarah Young

*Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.( 2 Thessalonians 3:16.)
*My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.( Philippians 4:19.)
*Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. ( John 14:27.)

For years we've tried to fill that big hole in our hearts with the things of this life....relationships, drugs, alcohol, money, careers, STUFF!!!
None of it brought joy, or peace.
Not until I dropped to my knees in total surrender to the One that offered total, and unconditional LOVE,  did I understand what the peace that transcends all understanding truly meant.
I was set free from the longing for acceptance.
God knit me together in the womb....just the way He saw fit!
He already knew the choices I would make in my life.....yet He sent His only Son to be crucified for me, with that Hope that I would choose LIFE, eternal LIFE found in the shed blood of Jesus Christ. 
Praise God for His Grace and Mercy! For His undeserved favor in my life....for the trials that drew me closer to the Truth! Those circumstances that opened my eyes to my need for God in my life. Without His Power, I am nothing! He is my Peace, and my Joy, and my Strength. I rejoice and am glad that He filled that hole in my heart that NOTHING in this world could ever fill!!! Amen, and Amen!
Debbie
xoxo

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Discernment

The decisions we make not only affect us, they affect others, as well.
Before making a decision, we try to distinguish, and examine the reasons behind our choices. We pray for discernment...the ability to properly discriminate and make determinations.  It's related to wisdom.  The Word of God itself is said to discern the thoughts and intentions of one's heart (Hebrews 4:12).

The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.  We have to consciously surrender our mind, will, and emotions (soul) to God.  What we think, and what we feel must line up with God's Word.  A discerning mind demonstrates wisdom and insight that go beyond what is seen and heard.  For example, God's Word is "spiritually discerned".  To the human mind without the Spirit, the things of God are "foolishness" (1 Corinthians 2:14).  The Spirit, then, gives us spiritual discernment.

Paul prayed for believers "to discern what is best...until the day of Christ" (Phil. 1:10).
A discerning person will acknowledge the worth of God's Word: "all the words of my mouth are just; none of them is crooked or perverse.  To the discerning all of them are right; they are faultless to those who have knowledge" (Prov. 8:8-9).  Seeking discernment is a goal for all who desire to walk righteously: "Who is wise? He will realize these things. Who is discerning? He will understand them.  The ways of the LORD are right; the righteous walk in them, but the rebellious stumble in them". (Hosea 14:9).
We are commanded to "hate what is evil; cling to what is good" (Romans 12:9). Discernment helps us determine what is evil and what is good.  Wisdom also guides us to discriminate between what is "best" and what is merely "good".
Just as Solomon sought discernment and wisdom (Prov. 1:2; 1 Kings 3:9-12) to explore the handiwork of God (Eccless 1:13) and seek the meaning of life (Eccless. 12:13), so should believers seek "the wisdom that comes from heaven" (James 3:17). We must study the Scriptures which are "able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus" (2 Tim. 3:15).
"I am your servant, give me discernment that I may understand your statutes". (Ps. 119:125)
It is our hope, as believers,  that we understand that what is laid on our hearts is meant for blessing.  We desire to be used as vessels to share the Good News, and help others in their walk with Jesus Christ.
Blessings.
Debbie

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Forgiveness

Forgiveness.
Something we all struggle with at some time in our lives.
There are things that happen to us that are so painful, we find it almost impossible to forget about, or forgive.

As we grow in our relationship with Jesus, we gain wisdom, and knowledge by the power of the Holy Spirit.
We come to the understanding that forgiveness is not a feeling....it's a decision.
We make a conscious decision to forgive.
When the feelings of unforgiveness start to creep in, we go back to that decision we made to forgive.

As we continue our walk with Jesus, we continue to grow and become more and more like Him.
Being transformed into the likeness of Christ is a process. 
Stay focused on eternity, and remember....He will never leave you, nor forsake you.
Debbie
xo

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Renewing your relationship......

Have you ever walked so far off the path you were traveling on that you got yourself feeling lost, and closed in on all sides?
Everything was so overgrown, and thick you could barely find your way out?
The situation you'd gotten yourself in was a process that happened over time: complacency.
Gradually your prayer life ended.
You stopped reading your Bible.
Church attendance dropped off.
No more Bible studies.
You cut off your relationship with God.

Your life was falling apart.
You were overwhelmed by circumstances, and had no where, and no one to turn to.
You knew, in your heart, what to do....but were afraid....because you had walked away.
*If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9.
Sometimes it's a matter of pride. We must humble ourselves before the Lord, and proclaim our need for Him.
The knowledge that He is with us keeps us out of the pit of despair.
Confessing our need for God in our lives puts us back on the path that He has chosen for us.

Renewing your relationship with the Lord takes commitment, and time.....nonetheless is the path of Life!!
It is where you encounter God's luminous Presence---radiating Peace that transcends all understanding.

Wait quietly in His presence. Don't rush through prayer, and meditation time. Let His thoughts form silently in the depths of your being. Hurrying keeps your heart earthbound. 
Ask the Holy Spirit to quiet your mind so you can hear Him speak within you.
Let the Creator of the Universe make His home in your heart.
*My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.
*And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7.
Though the journey you are on seems to be one of faltering steps, and ongoing weaknesses.....those steps keep your dependence on God.  They are links to His Presence, and spiritual blessings.
In His Love.  Debbie  xo

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Stay steadfast in prayer.

Have you ever felt you were at the mercy of circumstances that were beyond your control?
Do you find yourself clinging to loved ones, possessions, or even your reputation to no avail?
Where do you go in the midst of life's storms?

There is One that never leaves you, or forsakes you.
*Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
During times of stress, our prayers might not be as eloquent as we might think they should be....as long as we are in constant communication with God...that's what matters. Trusting Him in all of our circumstances, knowing He hears us, we will be able to stay steadfast and patient through the trials.
*Rejoice and exult in hope; be steadfast and patient in suffering and tribulation; be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12.
God doesn't always remove the problems we deal with living in a fallen world, but He will always be with us as we go through them.
Satan continually tempts and tests us to see if we will abandon our faith, and turn from God.
*Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him. James 1:12.
Debbie
xo

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

God's Timing......

This old computer has been down for six months.
We put our house on the market last June, and I honestly thought we would be living far away from this cottage we've been living in for the past 18 years.
I imagined us living downstate, close to my girls, retired, and living our lives different from what they are now.

I have been praying,  for a very long time,  for God to give me a purpose. I have felt depressed, and longing to get back to "My First Love-Jesus" for so long.....years.

Our friends, from back home, moved up here just this past Summer. They started attending the same church that we were attending. Sue had heard, through the church, that the newly opened drug rehabilitation mission needed Bible study teachers.
The mission is solely funded by the community, and volunteers.
I volunteered to teach. It turned out to be twice a week!!!
Also bringing in suppers, and cookies for night time snacks.

Going to the mission has become "church" for me.
The overseer is also the worship leader, along with his wife....both recovering addicts, and trained facilitators. 
When I am there, it feels like a group of disciples gathering together to worship, pray, and learn about Jesus.
The head facilitator is a pastor, and his wife....so rehabilitation is all Bible based.
The people that come in have been incarcerated, sometimes more than once.

I had been sad and depressed that our house wasn't selling, especially when ALL of the other homes in this sub-division sold over the Summer.
I had prayed for a purpose....
Then, God's plan was set in motion...His timing is always right!!!
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philip. 4:6,7.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6,7.
God answers our prayers.....maybe we will move closer to my girls some day....but for now....I have a purpose. I have returned to my First Love.  
We are never to old to learn to place ourselves totally in God's Hands and allow Him to be the ruler of our life.
Debbie
xo