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Be Encouraged! God is THE source of creativity, even in provision. While your job and your side hussle(s) are ways God provides for you, He is not bound by your those 2 ways to provide for you.
He provided using a ram in the thicket (Gen 22:13), Widow’s Oil (2 Kings 4:1-7), and a coin in the fish’s mouth (Matt 17:27) for example.
Point to ponder while you wander…“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Matthew 6:31-33 NKJV
Fun Fact Friday: Wait
Fun Fact… Did you know that wait in the Old Testament is defined as: to bind like a rope; be strong with endurance; to expect/to hope in God.
“Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!” Psalm 27:14 NKJV
This verse is not David pointing his finger at you accusingly and commanding you not to move, despite using the word twice.
He’s encouraging you to spend time with God, let him prepare and strengthen you so that when the time comes, you’ll be ready.
David was anointed king as a kid, but he did not go around telling everyone he was King Saul’s replacement. He did not kill King Saul, despite Saul trying to kill him and having opportunity to do so, to take his place as King.
Instead, he partnered with God and prepared in the secret place, and waited WITH God.
This is the same verse in the Passion Translation:
“Heres what I learned through it all: Don’t give up, don’t be impatient, Be entwined as one with the Lord. Be brave, courageous, and never lose hope. Yes keep on waiting For He will never disappoint you!”
Point to ponder while you wander…Waiting is more about having expectation in & partnering with God than timing. Waiting is about hope.
Deep Thought Thursday: What Job is Really About
I’m currently studying the book of Job. Truthfully…it’s not my favorite.
What do you think the book of Job is about?
Most people, at least by the studies, commentaries, and posts I’ve found, believe Job is about why the righteous suffer.
I disagree. Wholeheartedly.
The book of Job is about relationship.
In the beginning, Job 1-3, Job knew of God. In the end, Job 38-42, Job KNEW God. That my friends is the point of Job’s story.
Are you going through hard times right now? Please save yourself the agony of the why that may never be answered (Job never found out why).
Instead focus on the who. Who is Jesus to you? Who do you want to be?
Use these hard times to grow and be a better person that you were before they happened.
I know it sucks. I’ve been there.
I’ve spent months battling a disease, having surgeries, and lying in a hospital bed. #notontodeath
I’ve lost a house, two cars, and had to depend on other people to help me financially. Literally living on less than $200 a month for over a year. Read more about how I felt going through it here. #pridekiller
I lost 3 of the most important people in the world to me in a 6 month time span. #deepdeepgrief
Sometimes seasons in your life just suck. Sometimes we lose. Sometimes we get sick. Sometimes we suffer.
If you read Hebrews 11, the Hall of Faith, many of them went through rough stuff too! BUT…just like with the 3 boys in the fiery furnace, they were not in it alone! And neither are you!
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel…” Isaiah 43:2-3 NIV
Point to ponder while you wander…
Life is not always easy, even if you are a believer!
BUT every season you go through can help you grow wiser, stronger, more compassionate, and closer to God.
Or you can choose to shrink into resentment, bitterness, and blame God.
The choice is yours.
Rainbows are a Sign
Rainbows. I love them. And I usually start singing Rainbow Connection by Kermit the Frog…or at a minimum just smile.
There are lots of things associated with rainbows…the most popular being pots of gold…of course. Who doesn’t want a pot of gold?
But the truth is that rainbows have a much deeper meaning beginning after the great flood as recorded in Genesis.
”Then God said, “I am giving you a sign of my covenant with you and with all living creatures, for all generations to come. I have placed my rainbow in the clouds. It is the sign of my covenant with you and with all the earth. When I send clouds over the earth, the rainbow will appear in the clouds, and I will remember my covenant with you and with all living creatures. Never again will the floodwaters destroy all life. When I see the rainbow in the clouds, I will remember the eternal covenant between God and every living creature on earth.” Then God said to Noah, “Yes, this rainbow is the sign of the covenant I am confirming with all the creatures on earth.” Genesis 9:12-17
What a beautiful promise and covenant sign!
But to me, rainbows are reminders that God keeps His promises. All. Of. Them. Including the ones He’s given to me.
He is a good God who keeps His promises. But sometimes life gets to us and we begin to doubt. We doubt that His promises are true for us. But they are true. They are true for you. They are true for me!
About 3 weeks ago I saw a double full rainbow. It was incredible! I saw it happened in middle of a frustrating situation. Seeing it gave me peace, because it reminded me that I wasn’t forgotten.
Yesterday I saw another huge beautiful rainbow! And then another one this morning out my window at work. I am so thankful that God speaks to me in pictures when I’m struggling to hear His voice clearly.
And I have been frustrated and that’s causing me to struggle to hear Him. I have begun to doubt a particular promise He gave me (one of two promises that mean the most to my heart).
God didn’t try to convince me or argue with me. He simply reminded me with beauty that He is God. And that He keeps His promises. He is the best Daddy.
Point to ponder while you wander…He is good. All day. Every day. He is always speaking and encouraging us. We just need to keep our eyes and ears and hearts open to receive what He is trying to say.
“Here’s what I’ve learned through it all: Don’t give up; don’t be impatient; be entwined as one with the Lord. Be brave, courageous, and never lose hope. Yes, keep on waiting- for He will never disappoint you!” Psalm 27:14 TPT
I ended my last blog with this verse.
And immediately I was attacked about all these things. Patience. Courage. Hope. Trust.
Honestly, I’ve hit the breaking point. I want to quit.
I don’t want to spew forth negativity or go back or undo progress I’ve made. So I put on worship music and I called in reinforcements. No seriously. I did. I knew if I called people I’d rant and be negative. So I messaged a very select group of trustworthy prayer warriors. I have a great group of friends, but what I’m battling is not to be shared with all my people. Just mentors and a few others. I’ve learned the lesson that when you’re in a depressed state or a downward spiral, the first thing you should always do is turn on worship music. The second thing is pray. When I can’t pray…like today…I call in trusted people to pray for me.
I will come out of whatever funky dark place this is. I will overcome. I will be back to myself. I will kick fear’s ass.
But today I need help. So I asked for it.
That’s all I got today. Worship. Ask for help. Pray.
Point to Ponder While You Wander…Don’t give up, but instead lift up your hands and worship. Many battles were won in worship in the Bible.
Hope is a Perspective Shift
“When hope’s dream seems to drag on and on, the delay can be depressing. But when at last your dream comes true, life’s sweetness will satisfy your soul.” Proverbs 13:12 TPT
This verse… Oh man. This verse…
The first part has been my truth for many years now. Fighting to keep believing. Seeking Jesus. Worshipping in the darkest parts of depression, when I’d rather stay in bed and sleep my life away. Or escape to a place I’d rather be in movies or books.
I even painted the first part of the verse in the ugliest manner possible…
About a year and and some months later God encouraged me to paint the second half of the verse. I used the exact same colors.
Looks totally different, doesn’t it? Perspective matters. What you believe becomes reality.
Remind yourself daily that God is for you not against you. Remind yourself you are unconditionally loved. Remind yourself that God is working things out for good for those who love Him.
Because, let’s be honest, the world can be an asshole who sucks the joy and peace right out of you.
Point to ponder while you wander…Not all dreams come true when we are young, so don’t let the frustrations of the day to day steal your joy. Keep dreaming. Keep believing.
Musical Monday: Because of You
I had intentions of a completly different (and fun) song today, but I felt like I needed to post Because of You by Kelly Clarkson. The video is powerful, please watch it before reading on.
I have 2 words of encouragement today; one for the kids who feel this way and one for the parents. Both are encouraging so please keep reading, and remember there’s always hope.
Message 1: For the Kids
I understand the feelings behind this song. As kids, we suffered from our parents bad choices. Those choices may still be affecting you now. If that’s you today, I’m praying for you to forgive your parents and any other care giver who hurt you.
This forgiveness releases you from the bondage of the past. This forgiveness is so you can move forward and be whole. This forgiveness is the very thing Jesus was talking about in Matthew 6.
“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:14-15
If you hold on to this anger and hurt it becomes bitterness! That’s why Jesus demanded you to forgive others. Not as a law…but as a freedom for YOU from bondage.
Unforgiveness hurts you. Poisons you. NOT the person you’re holding a grudge against.
Please hear my heart here!
I watched someone I love dearly eaten alive by bitterness towards his father. And I’ll be honest, his hatred was justified. His father was a cruel man that came far too close to beating his mother to death. This is horrendous. No child should have to see that!
I also watched bitterness taint the most joyful, hilarious, and downright blast of a woman I ever knew. I watched this amazing woman age rapidly after she lost her joy. She became sullen, negative, and bitter. People began to avoid her, which multiplied the bitterness into cancer. And I lost her.
“A joyful cheerful heart brings healing to both body and soul. But the one whose heart is crushed struggles with sickness and depression.” Proverbs 17:27 TPT
Don’t let yourself be tainted. Don’t let yourself grow bitterness. Confess your anger and bitterness to God. Speak out loud that you forgive whomever your bitter towards, whether they are still alive or not. Whetherthey deserve it or not. And anytime that hurt/anger/resentment/disgust/sadness begins to rise…you say it again. And you keep saying it until it stops rising up.
“Eyes that focus on what is beautiful bring joy to the heart, and hearing a good report refreshes and strengthens the inner being.” Proverbs 15:30 TPT
God NEVER wanted you to be hurt or have a rough childhood. But people make choices that affect others. He DOES want to heal you. He wants you to be whole.
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10 NKJV
Please forgive so you can be free!
On an a personal note about my parental units…I love my parents, but they are flawed. They made mistakes and bad choices that handicapped me in some ways. But I have forgiven them for that crap, and moved forward into adulthood. I yearn to see them become all they were designed to be. When I forgave them, it felt like a million pounds was lifted from my shoulders. I felt free. And for the first time I was able to love my parents right where they were at. I was able to see them clearly, with God’s eyes.
“Honor your father and mother.” This is the first commandment with a promise: If you honor your father and mother, “things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth.”” Ephesians 6:2-3 NLT
Message 2: For the Parents
“So I tell you, every sin and blasphemy can be forgiven—except blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which will never be forgiven.” Matthew 12:31 (See also Mark 3:28)
You made mistakes as a parent. No one parents without making mistakes. You need to forgive yourself. I’m praying for you to come to the place where you choose to forgive yourself, even if you don’t deserve it.
If you are caught in a web of unforgiveness/bitterness for what happened to you as a child and guilt for repeating the cycle, please please please, forgive your parents and forgive yourself.
“So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.” Romans 8:1-2
The man I mentioned above who hated his father became an alcoholic who beat his wife. He repeated the cycle. Years later, he refused to receive the forgiveness of his ex-wife and children. He refused to forgive himself. The guilt he felt about repeating the cycle became self-hatred and he died at a mere 60 years old. I lost him. It was a devastating loss of a man with the kindest softest heart, a generous people person, and a jokester who made me belly laugh more times than I can count. My heart broke that he couldn’t forgive himself, and couldn’t receive healing before he died.
If you’re reading this it’s not too late for you! Come to Jesus and confess your mistakes and receive His forgiveness and forgive yourself. You getting help and becoming whole is the best way to show your kids it’s possible. Healing is possible. Restoration is possible. Breaking the cycle is possible!
If there is a chance for reconciliation and restoration of relationship, you should offer an apology, without expctation. This could help THEM heal. But understand that they may not be ready or able to forgive you. That’s okay. You should still forgive yourself.
Even if you don’t deserve it, forgive yourself anyway. Even if the situation is bad enough that your children can’t or won’t forgive you, forgive yourself anyway. Even if they are repeating your mistakes, forgive yourself anyway. Then pray for them to repeat your good choices, to seek help and to forgive themselves as well.
Point to ponder while you wander…”Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from deathand crowns me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!” Psalm 103:1-5 NLT
For Those Following Along
Went to a concert tonight with my sister and she was wearing this…
If you would like to follow along…read this. 😉
“For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.” Luke 19:10 NLT
Jesus came here expressly to search out the lost. The original word in Greek is apollymi. It means that which is ruined, lost, or that which is set to be destroyed.
Why? Why leave your throne in Paradise to seek out those that are ruined, lost, or those who are destined for destruction?
Save is sozo in Greek. It means to save, heal, and deliver. He loves all of you, body, soul (mind, will and emotions), and spirit.
Salvation. He saves your spirit when you chose to receive His as your Savior. It’s immediate and permanent. No longer destined for destruction are you!
Healing. Physical healing. Emotional healing. Both rights of God’s kids, because of Jesus.
Deliverance. Mainly this is about the mind and mindsets, but can also free the will to make better choices.
Jesus came to completely eradicate any trace of bondage, sickness, and hopelessness from humanity.
Point to ponder while you wander…”For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:16-17 NLT