Thursday, May 31, 2012

Let Them See You LIVE

What are we waiting for?  Time to pass? A better job to come along?  "I Do"s to be shared at our wedding? Our kids to grow up and move out? More understanding of God to spontaneously pop into our minds?

Are we waiting for a better time to really live?  Are we thinking that when we get our lives in "order", then we'll get serious about knowing the God who created us?  Are we thinking that being a spouse or girlfriend is enough stress right now that we can't add on another level of getting serious with our spiritual lives simultaneously? Sometimes I get caught in these thoughts. However, I know that the time to really live the life God has given me is now....same with you.

Dear friends, women of truth, let us let the people in our lives see us LIVE. Let them see us live for a higher purpose than ourselves and our own agenda.  Let them see us live for truth in the public places and in the comforts of home.  Let them see us live fully for the One who gives us a life to live out loud in the first place.  Let the people in our world SEE us live......not just exist.  Let each breath we take be for the purpose of honoring the Great God who loves us unconditionally and sacrificially. Let us live.....have a heart beat for being women of peace in our communities.  Let us live....pursuing knowledge as a way to bless others around us and live for God's great purpose more effectively.  Let us kindness and understanding and deep God-powered love to our spouses and our children.

This is a huge exhortation to me and you in honor of my dear friend/sister in Christ---Karen M. who is battling cancer and who is (from what I've been told) is close to meeting our LORD face to face. All of her family and friends are waiting to see what God's will is going to be for her in this--her battle with cancer. We know God has even brought people back from the grave. We know nothing is impossible for God. We just wait and continue in gratitude to our God for allowing us to know Karen and be blessed by her sweet spirit, wise words and loving service to so many lives.

Karen has always inspired me (like so many other dear women I have the privilege to know--including my fantastic mother) to LIVE life and not just exist. Karen lives life to the full.  Encouraging everyone around her; strengthening them with her God-driven counsel and hope-filled words and giving of her talents and gifts selflessly.  I pray everyday that God wouldn't take her to heaven so soon. I am selfish and I want her to stay here on this earth and continue to glorify God with her life here; to share His amazing love with many more people till a very old age.  But God's will is so much higher than our human will.

So, I pray for you and me, dear friends, that we let our light shine!  If you feel your light is burnt out.....go get the Word of God--read it and start the fire again.  Let's go!  Let's really LIVE!

COLOSSIANS 1:3-18 (The Message----a paraphrase version)
 3-5Our prayers for you are always spilling over into thanksgivings. We can't quit thanking God our Father and Jesus our Messiah for you! We keep getting reports on your steady faith in Christ, our Jesus, and the love you continuously extend to all Christians. The lines of purpose in your lives never grow slack, tightly tied as they are to your future in heaven, kept taut by hope.
 5-8The Message is as true among you today as when you first heard it. It doesn't diminish or weaken over time. It's the same all over the world. The Message bears fruit and gets larger and stronger, just as it has in you. From the very first day you heard and recognized the truth of what God is doing, you've been hungry for more. It's as vigorous in you now as when you learned it from our friend and close associate Epaphras. He is one reliable worker for Christ! I could always depend on him. He's the one who told us how thoroughly love had been worked into your lives by the Spirit.
 9-12Be assured that from the first day we heard of you, we haven't stopped praying for you, asking God to give you wise minds and spirits attuned to his will, and so acquire a thorough understanding of the ways in which God works. We pray that you'll live well for the Master, making him proud of you as you work hard in his orchard. As you learn more and more how God works, you will learn how to do your work. We pray that you'll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul—not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us.
 13-14God rescued us from dead-end alleys and dark dungeons. He's set us up in the kingdom of the Son he loves so much, the Son who got us out of the pit we were in, got rid of the sins we were doomed to keep repeating.
 15-18We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God's original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment. And when it comes to the church, he organizes and holds it together, like a head does a body.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Blood Relatives: Sisters By The Blood

Ephesians 1:7

English Standard Version (ESV)
7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses,according to the riches of his grace,

Colossians 1:20

English Standard Version (ESV)
20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven,making peace by the blood of his cross.

1 John 1:7

English Standard Version (ESV)
7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.

Revelation 1:5

English Standard Version (ESV)
5 and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth.   To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood

Hebrews 9:22

English Standard Version (ESV)
22 Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.


As I begin my post, if you are a man reading my blog today, you need to know, as if it wasn't already made clear in my blog's web address, that this post is for women.  I am speaking to women since I am one.  This post is about a deep thought I have been having for many years now and it needs to be expressed, not because it is going to be fun or entertaining. It is just a reality women face that I believe gets overlooked or avoided in the Christian community. That being said, I will begin.

As an artist of some sort, I have wondered about why certain emotions are depicted in specific colors or color combinations. The colors of the rainbow are used in art to calm, to inspire, to awaken, evoke, and to clarify/cleanse. And I have been thinking of something since we had our holiday of St. Valentine's Day this year here in the United States. I have been thinking about why love, affection, intimacy, brotherly/sisterly love, kindness, God's love for mankind and things of the love category are depicted, remembered, characterized in the color red. The color red historically represents the heart. The heart can refer to, as you already know, the actual organ that pumps blood or the emotional/spiritual heart that expresses passion, love or sacrifice.  This is all what I call a "no duh!" thought.  But then my thoughts go further with the color red.

Love is represented as red because of a heart's job of pumping blood.....which is red. This is a thing we know. HA! Hang in there with me, I'm getting to my point. Then my mind wanders further. God's love is depicted in the sending of His only Son Jesus Christ to die on a cross, shedding His blood to save the people of the world from their reconcile the people to Himself when they come to belief in His Son as the only way to God.  And here's the part I'm getting to...

As women, we experience a monthly encounter with blood.  Somehow we make it through that time of the month without thinking too deeply on what's happening.  However, regardless of how inappropriate this topic might seem to be heading, I hope you will track with me for a few minutes.

Can it be that God in His deep and abiding love for us allows us to experience this uncomfortable, unclean, awkward, humbling time of the month just to remind us of His deep love for us-----the sending His only Son Jesus to die on a cross (a gruesome death), shedding his die in our place in order to give us new life?

Many of us, if not all of us women on this planet, do not enjoy/look forward to the time of the month when we have "our cycle".  It's no fun, ever.  Can it be that God allows us to experience it so that we can draw closer to Jesus Christ, embracing the truth of the story that has forever changed history and has forever changed us (those who have believed Jesus Christ is the Son of God, as Savior of the world)?  Can it be that we experience this whole "having a cycle" business because God knows we will be VERY equipped to better grasp the idea of Christ's blood washing us clean of our sins?

Must I go further?  Do you realize God deeply loves you??  Do you and I understand that even in that time of the month that is SO painful, uncomfortable, humbling,......let's just say it----gross, that God is trying to show his daughters that His Son Jesus paid for all of our debts by the shedding of His own blood on a cross?  Do you and I understand that while we often ask during that time of the month, "Why God??  Why do you have us experience this awfulness each month??", God is looking down on us with SO MUCH LOVE longing for us to get the good message---that even His perfect and holy Son Jesus asked His Father why as He hung on a cross?  Do you and I see God's love for us during that yucky time of the month because we are reminded of the power of God raising Christ from the dead, seating the Lord Jesus at His right hand in heaven? During that time, do you and I have a fresh understanding that the truth of Christ wins, that Christ is the victor---in all battles and wars because of his death on the cross and because of His resurrection from the dead?  Maybe God is giving us women a deep privilege through this monthly aggravation called a period so that we will better understand the shedding of Christ's blood and it's cleansing power SO AS TO GO AND SHARE THIS AMAZING MESSAGE OF GRACE AND REDEMPTION WITH THOSE IN OUR WORLD.

Ultimately, what keeps coming back to my mind when I think about why we women have to experience that monthly process
 is: God's love for us.  He loves us so much that He wants to monthly (and also daily through the reading of His Word) remind us the power of Christ's sacrifice on the cross.

So, I must stop typing. I feel as if I have said this TOO many different ways.  But I hope you are alerted to a new perspective on something that has been "plaguing" the women of this earth since the very first woman.  It's seems that the Good News of Christ was found even in the first Eve's monthly cycle and she didn't even know it. haha!


Blessings to you all. Thanks for reading this.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Even To Your Imagination's Deepest Depths?

Dear women of truth, I know from inquisition and conversation that I am not the only woman who gets distracted from the here-and-now by my imagination or fantasy. I would like to take a moment or two to address my perspective of this part of our lives as women.

Very obviously, men have the ability to imagine, dream and fantasize, however, I believe women are given a heaping helping of this ability that is sometimes so powerful it clouds our reality.  Maybe I think this because God gave me a great ability to imagine and day-dream. I'm not bragging, I'm just saying. I find my mind wonders into imaginary places and situations many times throughout each day  It has been a strength AND a weakness throughout my life.  We as women of truth need to assess this particular level of our thoughts and break it down so as to know what should stay and what should go.

Women of truth have control on their minds' wanderings and explorations and expeditions.  Women of truth know when they have taken a wrong and dangerous turn in their imaginations and or thinking.  Women of truth know Who can give guidance out of the wrong way we might find ourselves sometimes. Women of truth still need a Savior.....still need holy counsel from Christ on a daily and momentary basis. Women of truth still need to acknowledge a great need of a captian for their vessel in their journey through life even as they are responsible for the turns and choices of routes in life's journeys. Women of truth are to hold the gift of their imagination and the gift of fantasy in a high regard. 

Imagination is a great way for our LORD to speak clearly to us. It is a great way to bring refreshment and rest to our weary minds.  However, without our LORD JESUS being captian of our vessel, and without the acknowledgement of His HOLY presence in our little lives as believers in Him as the Savior, our imaginations are powerful enough to drag us into dark places and lead us into places of torment, despair, confusion, evil and un-godly decisions.  An un-godly decision is any decision that is not fully honoring the Christ who altogether gave us minds to be able to make any notion. Women of truth should be women who can see potential in situations and hope in circumstances because of the LORD's power that resides in each one who is a believer.  Women of truth, see truth everywhere they go and they see the potential for truth to come alive in others. 

Questions for me and you. Are you living like this?  Are you asking Christ to help you learn more about His gradueur and majesty through your imagination?  Are you asking Christ to help you see your friends through His lense of holiness and steadfast sacrificial love?  Are you asking Christ each day to help you conquer your selfish desires of getting things done your way and to help you be victorious in looking for ways to praise Christ in your life's decision and actions?   

Our great God has given us imagination and creativity to help us see Him while we stay in this world of dark thinking and dark living.  Our imagination should be offered up to Christ as an offering.  It is not something we should keep for ourselves.  When we believe in Christ, we go "all in".  To honor the KING of kings, we should lay this great gift of the imagination at the majestic and holy feet of Christ Jesus our King. 

Ephesians 1:15-23
"15 For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, 16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit[f] of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way."

Ephesians 2:1-

"As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh[a] and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions —it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith —and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."

Dear friends, can you see these words come alive in your minds?  It's a history of what has happened in our hearts.  It's a news report of what is happening in our hearts and lives today. It is GOOD news! 

WOMEN OF TRUTH, I encourage you to... Think in love-- for Christ's praise, Respond in love-- for Christ's glory to be seen in you, Encourage and not discourage because of the love Christ has shown you, Bless because Christ blesses you with the rights to be a member of his holy family, Admonish in love--- for Christ's fame and renown.  And I will resolve to do this too.  BLESSINGS!