Super Saturday-How is your mouth with those you hold dear? If tomorrow does not come with you and that person – how will you handle it? Will you be guilt ridden? Will you be filled with regret? Pain? Condemnation? If that is the case then you are a candidate for a new heart toward not just them but yourself and with God. Don’t go to sleep tonight without righting what has been wronged. Don’t allow yourself to have a divided heart toward yourself or others. EVEN if none of it is your fault.
Here I sit in a Starbucks keenly aware of my surroundings. The scurry of activity makes even my ADD move to a different level. I can see above each person’s head a story, a need, a history, a song, a calling and a life untold and unlived unbeknownst to them. What if the answer to your question was in the heart of the woman or man to the left or right of you? You are in the grocery store to get your food for the week but your insides are hurting because you have a need. Look up – the solution could be in front of you but first you may have to get off your high horse.
Need is Scary
What on earth could I mean? Need – its a strong and scary word for most. Yet we each experience it in various ways. Along with the word need comes words like responsibility, inconvenience and TIME. Perspective is everything and this is where the lines get a bit blurry. One one hand a person thinks they have no needs and therefore has no need of anyone so why be involved in taking responsibility in the lives of others? Be careful on that high horse. On the other hand you have a person who may have needs but tells no one out of fear of inconveniencing others so they remain silent. Be careful on that high horse. Maybe someone has needs and tells the world and monopolizes everyone’s time to the extent that they wear out their welcome because they feel entitlement. That too can be from the station of a high horse. Life from a high horse can look different for each person involved.
Before a Fall
All of us can have a bend in the kind of pride that comes before a fall. What if you live your life as if it is not your own? God is smart and if we would simply let Him be God then your call into responsibility in my life can be filled with joy and my call to be inconvenienced with your issues can be filled with joy and both our calls to have our time consumed with others can also be our joy.
What is it that brings a Christian life into self? Could it be looking at the needs of others as if they are less than instead of different? Have you not yet experienced the drudgery of responsibility, inconvenience or giving your time? If you have not – then you will and if you have already and think you will escape its clutches in the future – good luck with that kind of attitude. If you belong to the One Who died and lives then isn’t it His call as to how you spend your time or live your life? Why judge me as if my actions are less than yours or yours are greater or bigger than mine? If I keep my eyes on you then my perspective is already skewed. In the big corporate picture – we belong to a Father Who manages the microscopic and the macroscopic and both are equally important.
So, today’s encouragement is to simply be BRAVE enough to obey God right where you are and to pardon the visual – BOLDLY get off your high horse. If you think your business is bigger or better or even LESS than someone else, then gain a new RESPECT and take ACTION to be loving through HIS VICTORY. ENCOURAGE yourself and those around you because its God’s business and ALL HIS business is BIG business. Honestly, HE is the only One Who never changes and HE has the highest perspective available.
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I’m FABULOUS now…but my ugly lasted way into my thirties. How about you? Did you know that ugly IS the new fabulous?
A true story
Let me tell you a story about early in my life. Our family was on vacation in Tennessee when I was around six or seven years old. Bored, I went riding on a bicycle in the neighborhood looking for something to do. I happened to come across a group of boys that were riding their bicycles down a street. Now, in this part of Tennessee, the roads were pretty hilly and this one had a steep dip and curve at the end of it but of course I did not know about it. The boys were bragging about how it was a really hard ride and how there was no way that a girl could ever do it. Since my pride never allowed me to back down from a challenge,I looked at those boys and looked down the hill (that I could not see the end of) and with confidence said, “No problem.” Frankly, I was scared to death but there was no way these “boys” were ever going to know it. Then, I took off ignored their little challenge and gone about my business. But I was young and good sense was not in my mind at that moment. Let me explain. As soon as I began to roll down the never ending hill, the bicycle picked up speed so fast that I had to lift up my feet to keep them from getting sliced from the pedals. You see, at that time, all bicycle had those little sharp pointed pedals. It was as if my life (all six or seven years of it) was passing before my eyes. I wondered quickly how I would ever stop the bike and before I knew it, I was reaching the end of the never ending deep rolling hill.
MY BODY SOARED!
ALL OF A SUDDEN, I saw it and I felt the front of the wheel of my bike lift up in the air and me with it. Then, I flew out of the bike. Later the neighbors watching told me that my body soared as tall as the nearest pine tree. They watched me fly and then saw me fall face forward into the gravel like substance that lay in the middle of the never ending road. Apparently, the bike had hit the gravel and caused it to flip and lose what little stability it might have had. In addition, later, doctors said I was fortunate I did not break every bone in my body because of the force of the fall. Some thirty-five years later, I still have the memory etched as scars where the gravel found my legs and arms. What resulted from this pride filled fall was two weeks of ice baths and broken front teeth that had to be capped with UGLY hideous silver and porcelain. I was then what myself and others considered a very ugly duckling. Sadly, I had to keep those ugly caps on my front three teeth until I was a freshman in high school. There was not a day that went by that someone did not make fun of me in some way regarding my looks. In other words, my school years were filled with mockery, sarcasm and I had the lowest self esteem imaginable. Needless to say I grew up feeling very inferior, very insecure, very unwanted, very unaccepted and most definitely very very UGLY! Little did I know that Ugly is the new fabulous.
Words to inspire you and encourage you in your journey – 1 John 4:7 – Psalm 143:8 – Romans 8:28 – Philippians 1:6 – Romans 8:38-39
I turned 52 this year and I gotta say I feel like the ugly duckling was beautiful throughout my entire journey……..I just did not know it. WOW! Could this be the secret of confidence and acceptance per chance? I’m convinced that knowing WHO you are determines HOW you see yourself. HOW you see yourself determines what others see too. It is like this – PEOPLE see us through THE POWER OF OUR OWN PERSPECTIVE.
Let me ask you a question.
IS your identity in your looks (or your lack of looks?)
DO YOURSELF a great favor! Go look yourself in the mirror and say with me, “UGLY is in the past! I AM FABULOUS!”
Say this several times. You need to say it so much that you begin to believe it. When you believe it then those around you will too. It is NEVER too late to see how fabulous GOD ALREADY MADE YOU! IT truly is all about perspective. Ugly IS the New Fabulous!
Pray with me:
Jesus, when I look in the mirror, I sometimes only see pain and heart break and ugly. No one around me really knows how miserable I am at times on the inside of me! Well, I want to experience and understand how You see me so that I can feel and think like the beautiful, hand chosen hand crafted person You love with a never-ending, ever-lasting love. I want to see me as You see me! I desire to look in the mirror and truly smile on the inside and not just on the outside. Help me God for I need to receive and comprehend this unconditional love You have for me. I give myself over to You and ask You to make Your love real. Free me from myself and bring me into Your great and perfect love. Let Your kingdom come and Your will be done as You have already determined in heaven. In Jesus name.
Jesus, I am willing to get to know You and I want You to get to know me. I’m afraid to have anyone really really know me deep within my heart. But, I recognize You are God and I cannot go on hiding from You. God, help me say goodbye to the ugly and hello to what and who I really am because ugly is the new fabulous.
I always had an intense love for music and loved to sing. I had never joined choir in junior high or high school, because I was under the impression that it cost money to do it. Every year I had been too afraid to ask my parents or the school, because I was afraid of rejection and afraid to burden my parents with a bill for something so trivial. I learned as a junior in high school that no money had ever been required. I missed out on learning how to sing and how to develop a natural gifting simply because I was afraid to even ask a question. In addition, I still have a little note I wrote to my mom when I was just a little kid. I asked her if she would take me to the skating rink, I pleaded for her not to tell me her answer aloud. Instead, I asked her to write it down on the piece of paper I provided for her with a place for her to check yes or no. I was afraid of being rejected to the extent that I could not even hear a no without it causing me to cry or feel like there was something wrong with me. I lived under the fear of rejection. What about you? Perception is reality.
Over the years, I have been placed in circumstances where I was able to confront areas where I felt afraid or rejection. Over time, I have been healed of the fear of authority, the fear of being harmed. Of course through the journey, I was harmed and I did come across some who just were not for me but it was not the case with everyone. My perception has changed and I believe more in myself and in others than ever because I asked if His perception is reality.
Father, I pray for the reader and I ask for healing in the depth of who he or she is and I pray for a release from false preconceived notions about themselves and others. Let Your truth take the place so that they are one with You and Your perception is reality.
Send this to a friend whose perception is reality…
About twenty years ago, the LORD told me I looked like a porcupine! Of all the creatures in the animal kingdom, He chose a porcupine! I didn’t feel very flattered by that type of description. However, as He unfolded that little picture, He showed me what He meant and how to change. Do you know how a porcupine uses his quills? Quills are a defense-a protection-a suit of armor. A porcupine can erect those very sharp prickles – some of them nine or 10 inches long – any time he wants! Of course, you could not see my sharp quills, but they were there – my very own self-made tools of defense, my protection and my armor. Let me just say that I was well versed in using them and my mouth wounded a number of people as I was a porcupine in a suit of armor who frequently set my mouth ablaze.
James 3:5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and it can boast of great things. See how much wood or how great a forest a tiny spark can set ablaze.
As a woman running from love, I would rip you apart with my words if I thought you said the wrong thing to me. If I thought you were getting too close, you would have to by pass an “if-looks-could-kill” glance. Quicker than the eye could see or the heart could tell I would wield my piercing sword. You, then, would be the one apologizing because you would be so confused about who was really at fault! Even I would be deceived in thinking it was your fault for getting too close. I had no idea I was responsible and could actually control how I responded. My past pain rose in my defense and set my mouth ablaze.
James 3:6 And the tongue is a fire. It is a world of wickedness set among our members, contaminating and depraving the whole body and setting on fire the wheel of birth, being itself ignited by hell.
Most of my life, my mouth got me into loads of trouble, because I was so filled with pain and so filled with a poor image of myself. I had no idea that God loved me; much less that He had a plan for my life. After all, how could He love me when I felt so horrible about myself? I was so consumed with feeling like dirt, because I thought that was what others thought of me. I was so friendly that I was known as an icebox and my thoughts set my mouth ablaze. The Icebox
As an adult in my thirties, I remember a very nice man at our church came up to me one day and asked if he could be my friend. At this time, I was in love with Jesus and I was growing in His wonderful passion and love for me. This man asked if we could go get a cup of coffee, and he said he wanted to “get to know me better.” Wow! A man wanted to get to know me. On one hand, I was flattered, but on the other hand I knew it was a major improbability. In my early years of Christianity, I was very focused on Him and His word and really had no use for people. Remember, quills were my defense. As a matter of fact, I was known as an “icebox,” and so the fact that he had the guts to approach me at all said a lot about his character. In that way, I was impressed. However, this was my response – I looked him in the eye and said, “No, I cannot get to know you better, because when I look into your eyes I see the same need I see in my own when I go home and look in the mirror.” He was pierced by my honesty and hurt by my words. I spoke truth, and he knew it, yet there might have been a gentler way to say it. At the time, gentler meant nothing to me, and it was not so much that I did not care much about the feelings of others, but that I had no idea how to be kinder. In addition, I was too busy protecting my own feelings to understand his heart. A year later, he came up to me at church and said how much I had hurt him, but what I had said had been true. He had taken that year to reflect on those words and seek the Lord. He determined not to be so needy. Years later, he is a very happily married man with several children and a beautiful wife who loves him. Praise GOD his response was mature and his relationship with God was stable or else he could have chosen to be wounded for life and live inside a castle of isolation. As I grew into love and love poured into me, I began to meditate on the following scripture and let IT set my mouth ablaze.
James 3:17 But the wisdom from above is first of all pure and undefiled. Then, it is peace-loving, courteous, considerate, and gentle. It is willing to yield to reason, full of compassion and good fruits; it is wholehearted and straight forward, impartial and unfeigned – free from doubts, wavering and insincerity.
As a brand new believer, my mouth was far from undefiled, and I needed an act of God to change me. As I listened more and talked less, I began to get a glimpse of His feelings toward me, and you know what? His wisdom, His heart, His feelings are peace-loving, courteous, considerate, gentle. God Himself began to pour into me the very thing He wanted me to pour out. Oh, the faithfulness of our God to change a willing heart. Have you ever ripped anyone apart in your words or your thoughts either on purpose or by accident? Do you have your own set of quills? Or like me, do you need the Word of God to set your mouth ablaze? Pray with me
I admit that I may be difficult to get to know. I keep everyone at arm’s length, because of my fears of being known. I say things I shouldn’t say, and I think things I shouldn’t think, just because I refuse to let others get to know me. I am afraid of love and afraid of being loved and afraid of loving. Help me God! I want to change, but I don’t know where to start. So, I begin with You, Lord. Help me change and help me to receive others and love others! In Jesus’ name. Amen.
The LORD bless you with special bravery this year as you press forward to know Him better and so that others can know you too. #Bebraver and get out there in your community. LOVE those around you and be #LITNG.
If you read this far you might be interested in a fiction story…kind of like a soap opera really – I released the 3rd part in the Other Side of the Road and am preparing to release FROM the Other Side of the Road – you can follow me there too if you like – its just for fun!! http://donnareinersblogs.wordpress.com/
Send this to friends who need encouragement to be loved.
Recently, a young and precious friend moved to heaven. I write this in honor of her, her family and how they lived life out with her through this very difficult season. She intentionally planned her move and was greatly loved by her community. She had greatly struggled with physical pain all her life and her literal survival was dependent on continual and regular hospital intervention. She was always in crisis mode because she was always in a fight to live. She grew weary in this challenging bubble of almost dying all the time – pricks and prods by needles, machines, hands and pain medication added to the mix. I am leaving much out for lack of space/time. The young woman got with God and sought His answer and felt like He gave her an answer. She felt His presence with a love and peace to trust Him whether alive on the planet or alive with Him in heaven. Let me break that down for you a little more clearly – she decided no matter what would come her way – she would not be returning to the hospital or seeing any well meaning doctors again. Bottom line? She was done. Admittedly, I struggled with her decision. Family struggled. I was on the outside looking into the private turmoil her family passed through which was far greater and much deeper than the pain I felt. It’s one thing to view from the outside, it’s another to be the one living through it. Have you ever had to fight for your life?
Choose to Die
From the beginning as a new believer, the enemy has challenged my own daily existence. The enemy of my soul has used my body against me numerous times to bring me into death, into emotional calamity, into a place where I was forced to fight in order to remain alive. My sister struggled too – read about it here. Throughout my lifetime as His, He too has challenged my thoughts, encouraging me to choose life instead of death and to choose blessings instead of curses and to choose love instead of fear. It has been a growing revelation as He and I have lived out life together and has been a deeply penetrating revelation that has held me through darkness and lead me through a pit until I reached light. So, when I learned of her decision to choose to die instead of choosing to continue to live – it took me into a seeking time with my Best Friend. I looked into my own private world of my fight for my own life, her fight for her life and so I ask if you fight for your life?
Whether We Live or Die
During this season of my own questioning and thinking and exploring, I found myself inwardly humbled by her trust in His love and in His reality….quietly and deeply cognizant of the courage it took for her to say no to live on this planet and yes to life in Him- this – the afterlife that many of us never really feel ready to embrace once faced with it one on one. There is a passage in the Holy Book where Paul speaks of his own revelation that whether he lived or died, he belonged to the Lord. In Paul’s lifetime, he experienced being beaten and left for dead. He was stoned and went hungry. He was lonely, unsupported, betrayed and so on. He had to learn how to be content whether he had much or little. He even talked at one time about how he knew his time left on the planet was soon and yet, there was no dread at all in his tone. In the midst of all of the challenges and obstacles, he spoke of the love of God being reachable, touchable, and available in the NOW…and not just when it was time for the earthly body suit to give up its assignment. He knew heaven was real. You see, Paul followed the example of Jesus and he lived to die as he surrendered his fight for his own life and instead took up the fight for my life and the fight for your life.
Living The Same As Dying
Let me ask you a question. Could it be that my young friend, who grew weary of the fight to live and the pain that went along with that fight, instead, grabbed hold of His reality? Could it be that He visited her so thoroughly and so intimately that her confidence in the Christ became such that she knew living WAS the same as dying? Could it be she said yes to Him in a way some of us have not? Could it be she got the revelation of the Apostle Paul – that she belonged to Him? I just want to encourage you today to stop and take a long look into the eyes of the One Who died for you and died for me. Ask yourself – are you ready? I’m not asking you to throw in the towel and choose to die. I’m not asking you to join into an agreement with leaving the planet not one day sooner than He desires. BUT, do you have the confidence that if tomorrow your life ended – you would live with Him?
This is not my normal entry. All I can say to you is that I am very challenged by the sacrifice God made on my behalf and on your behalf. HE sacrificed. HE paid the price. HE. HE. HE. HE. HE. He fought for my life and He fought for your life. We can hold no offense with another. Read some lessons here. No one is greater than the other. You may be more mature. You may have a higher authority. You may have an international calling. However, not one of you is greater than me or less than me. You see, we all find entry the same exact way – through the blood of the cross.
BRAVE. We must at one point or another enter into a bravery that is a higher level – a deeper place. Boldly she faced the Father and felt assurance of their relationship. Respectfully, she made a decision she felt was in line with His heart for her. She made a decision and took an action many would not dare to do. She knew she had victory over her past and now she is encouraged beyond measure by His reality. #bravetobraver @bravetobraver
It is Not Me or You
It is not me.
It is not you.
We must grasp and receive this life in Christ for what it is and for what it is not…
It is about Him.
It is not about me. This is why I forgive and forget and move forward and do not hold grudges or even memories that prevent me from trusting this person or that person. We must not exalt our feelings or our memories over the payment He already paid. His blood. His cross.
It is about what He did and it is NOT about what I do, did or shall do in the future. My works will be measured – I see that.
However, I cannot earn my place in heaven.
HE earned my place.
HE earned your place.
HE earned my young friend’s place.
She received that place.
I am learning to receive the confidence she exuded.
How about you?
Can you receive how He took up the fight for your life?
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If this speaks to you – please reply and let me know 🙂 Let’s encourage one another. Let’s be a pathway of strength for each other through spring, summer, fall or winter – until next time.