Braver Saturday- Praying with you today: Father, thank You for Your faithfulness. Thank You that You are kind, loving, compassionate, merciful, patient, active, rich in wisdom and favor. Thank You that Your life and Your perspective is always better than what we think is best. Thank You that we can see life from heavens vantage point. Jesus, we give ourselves over to You fresh and new – daily – I acknowledge You with a confident trust that You direct my path, thoughts and decisions. With expectancy, I lean into the covenant You have with the Father that heals, inspires, restores, renews and refreshes me and those I live out life with in this adventure. Holy Spirit, I resist the thoughts and ideas that lead me from You and I lean into You. Thank You for drawing near to me as I draw near to You and thank You for causing me to walk with You instead of being lead astray. I belong to You and You belong to me. Jesus, You are not a fable, not a myth, not a crutch and not a facade – You are the Living One Who has awakened us all. Thank You that Your kingdom has come and Your will can be done right here and right now as You have already determined in heaven. Thank You for allowing us to hear from heaven. Thank You for dual citizenship – heaven and earth.I give myself to Your will. I give myself to Your breath. I give myself to Your ways. I respond to Your reach and I wrap myself around You and Your Life giving ways and I choose You as my Partner in Life, living and beyond. Let us see the Father and let us run this race with fervor and fascination in Jesus name. Let it be. Love-d
Interestingly, I woke up singing that blasted song the other day? Weird if you ask me but because God is so smart, HE knows how to get my attention AND how to get me on the road again.
When I was Stuck in a parking lot I was fairly miserable, conducting a lot of self examination. Then, when I seemed incapable of leaving and was Still Stuck in a parking lot, I was just on the verge of frustration. Then, I tried to start Leaving the parking lot and then actually left it. What a process it was as I worked through my emotions and inward drama….yes I used drama…it WAS like my own secret soap opera. Anyhow, the problem was I didn’t have a road map and just decided to leave…I realize Abraham got to go ….out there….wherever…and that was cool but I’m in Christ now and honestly, I think HE may want us to at times be a bit more responsible when we get on the road again.
On the road again –
Just can’t wait to get on the road again.
The life I love is making music with my friends
And I can’t wait to get on the road again.
On the road again
Goin’ places that I’ve never been.
Seein’ things that I may never see again
It does into the whole making music with my gypsies but that’s not my fave. I’m not a wanderer. I wandered before I met Christ. Why on earth would I desire to wander when I have my Anchor. Sure, I can wander with Him but that song is not talking about that and you know as well as I know that over all the gypsies have that whole identity of going from place to place, taking things from time to time, and even living in trash heaps. Is this every single gypsy’s identity? No. But, I’m a daughter…a son…in Christ. Why would I go backwards into a worldly identity that offers dainties that God says are not His best. Sorry, I have no desire to live in a trash heap….at least not on purpose – not metaphorically or in real time. So, instead of traveling ….out there….with zero idea of where I am headed, I have a plan AND am on the road again.
So, I ask you – do you know where you are going? Be BOLD and quite wavering between righteousness and wickedness.
Have you DTR (defined the relationship) between you and God? Have some RESPECT for yourself and take ACTION to let HIM actually be LORD.
Is He your Friend only or does He sometimes get to lead you and maybe….even I don’t know…pull that whole I Am God card and…tell you what to do…..and give you HIS road map???? Hmmmmm?
I’ve got my map.
I’ve got gas in my car.
I’ve got a plan.
I’m on the road again……..VICTORIOUS IN CHRIST AND ENCOURAGING MYSELF IN HIM……..#bebraver #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 some help out of the parking lot. Who knows? Maybe they need some wisdom as they get on the road again.
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Until next time,
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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Surely, I won’t be here long…this is what I would ponder…as I asked myself why on earth was I still stuck in a parking lot.
I am at the end of an odd season. Everything within me wanted to give up and turn back and give in and look down. However, this was new territory for me since my mantra for some time had been just the opposite. I pondered a little bit on how many friends would stick around if I was no longer the go to friendly let me pray for you person who encouraged when life was bleak or dark. It only crossed my mind but let’s me honest now…how many friends have you chosen NOT to hang out with or be friends with WHEN they are not their usual fun self? This may not be you but it is some of you. God wants us to rejoice when others rejoice…but He also wants us to weep when others weep – not condemn, not try to change, not try to hurry them along so they can get with the happy program. But how about you take just a moment out of your day to be their sunshine, lighten their load, give them a word of encouragement, be their spiritual mom, friend or confidant. Are you able or willing to make room for others when they are not who you want them to be in YOUR season of life? Don’t be condemned and don’t be upset. God says it’s okay to go there – after all – honesty is a fabulous place to sit when still stuck in a parking lot.
Thankfully, I’m about to the end of a season where I have been weeping any given moment of the day. Sadness would take me over and I would just cry and cry and then cry some more….and then I would be fine again – until the next wave of sad rolled my way. It was as if I had turned into a Hallmark commercial because I teared up at the strangest moments! I could have thought I was losing my mind but that was not the case. The LORD is my light and my stronghold whether I’m in the dark or in the light. HE still lives in me and through me and does not leave when I’m not on the top of my game. I think that is the challenge with all of us when living out life with one another. It’s easy to be around someone who is a happy camper but a whole new story when their day has turned dark and they need a friend to light a candle for them because they have no strength to even find the matches. Still it’s a beautiful season for me personally because of my relationship with the Lord…its so sweet and so timely and so good. I’ve been sitting in my prayer room listening to some specific lyrics from Merchant Band when they sing, “You are so good – You never leave, like I think You should. You are so kind ….You still give me life. I’ll let You make me, I’ll let You break me, I’ll let You fix me until we’re One.” It’s on repeat until I switch over to another song by Jason Upton when he sings, “Come up here, come up here My beloved” and he sings about John on the Isle of Patmos and his encounter with God. Powerful. In case you don’t know, John was banished to an island because of him being a follower of the Christ. He had to encourage himself in The Lord for many years because in a much stronger way than me, he was definitely stuck in a parking lot.
Enemy of Our Souls
You might ask if I’m feeling sorry for myself – no that’s not it. You might ask if I’m hurting or in pain – no, not as far as I know – but it could be part of it. Frankly, I have a sneaky suspicion that some of the emotions and ideas stem back to earlier in the year. Also, I feel I made some sort of emotional covenant with an ungodly source and this is truly the enemy to my soul right now….granted…yes…God is living and breathing in me and loving me….but some of this emotional duress is due to something other than God drawing me. Yesterday, I dealt a bit with the enemy of my soul and felt a strong breaking through into my true self. I will tell you that whatever season of life you are in – if you don’t deal with your emotions, ideas, feelings – they WILL eventually deal with you. So all of that is pretty much why I’m still stuck in a parking lot.
I’ve experienced some loss – our sister moved to heaven in January of this year. Prior to that we had some friends who decided they were no longer our friends. My sister’s husband also, suddenly passed. We had strong changes as well as several deaths in our church family. In addition, we have had sicknesses in our immediate community. I’ve been taking in one thing at a time like a good soldier 🙂 with rare discussions with myself on how I am handling these shifts and transitions. I laid down my superwoman cape many years ago or so I thought…apparently, I had a spare cape in my closet that I slipped on….and have just been going going going…. Though I’m a spirit being, my human being part of me needs ministry and loving and stopping and considering this thing called life. So, that’s kind of what I sense The Lord doing in me in this particular season. Though it feels very odd and out of sorts to be stuck in a parking lot, I’m cognizant that I have a good Father Who cares for me and is drawing me into His lap. We are reasoning together in this season – Him doing the talking and me doing the weeping – I mean listening. HE is building me back up and encouraging me and strengthening me. Admittedly, I’m thankful HIS love for me is so deep and wide. Though you may not be stuck in a parking lot, I want to encourage you to take deep breaths, look around, breathe again and give yourself a great big HUG from God. HE is never too busy to love on us whether we are on the road or still stuck in a parking lot.
Therefore, it may be time for you to prepare yourself to be BRAVE and #bravetobraver. Get ready to GIRD yourself up with BOLDNESS and realize you CANNOT live in a parking lot. So, have some RESPECT for yourself and get the plan of ACTION you are going to take when it is time to take it. Know it will prove to be a VICTORIOUS move over your past and very ENCOURAGING! God loves you and HE is for you and HE knows who we are and where we are and HE is not in a hurry to be in a hurry. So, I declare over you and me a release from false obligations, false responsibilities and false relationships so that you and I can BE STILL AND KNOW how good HE is and how for us HE really is….
PS………I’m not living here and you should not either – I’m already planning my escape and writing my next word – LEAVING THE PARKING LOT……..LOL – how about you?
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Who’s going to take care of me when I’m old? This has been ringing in my mind for years but today is loud in my heart as I carefully handle each worn earring and pendant. Readily I can see her flare for color, design and just down right fun. Our sister was quite something and the nearness of God in her life was awe inspiring. I miss her this day as I look into my garage at the few personal articles that remain after her move to heaven. Medical supplies from the hospital, health products from the nursing home, funky soft stuffed animals, blankets and some new and some old clothing, pictures and memories are what I have left. My household has been kind as I took up both sides of the garage blocking cars from using it as I look through containers. Today is a new day and I DID promise I would have one side of the garage clean and so it is….and my car still sits outside.
Recently, we held a memorial for my sister’s life. Our home church, The Encourager in Houston, TX, very graciously opened their doors and we had about 75 in attendance to show us their support, hug our necks, listen to our stories and freely mingle with each of us and love us one at a time. We even had friends who drove from out of town and we were very very thankful and encouraged by their presence. Frankly, I was shocked by the folks that ventured out in the cold (here in Texas anything in the 40’s is cold) to bring a meal to share, a card to read and last but not least – a hug. The hugs were the best part of the day.
And Now There are Three
Old. It has a strange ring to it. I’m not sure what to think about it yet. My sister moving to heaven has stirred my heart and made the reality of our bodies inability to live forever very very real to me. Also, just last week, I heard of a woman in her mid forties who suddenly transitioned into the heavens. What do we do with this? Hard to wrap your mind around something so surreal. Then another long time friend contracted a bacteria that ate some of her body so much that gangrene set in and to the husband’s despair, the doctors gave her a zero percent survival rate. Shocking to them both as they had discussed his move to heaven one day due to his own maladies but never talked about hers. Miraculously, she is alive today and her move to her own house again is around the corner. However, her move comes with great adjustments because they had to remove parts of her body in order to allow her life to be preserved. She is learning how to walk, use her opposite hand and unsure of the future in her vocation.
What do we do?
What on earth do we do when life takes a turn down an unexpected path? Spouse moves to heaven. Job ends. Sibling dies. Divorce comes to you. Best friend betrays you. Another friend turns away from God. What next? Who is going to take care of me? of her? of you? Interestingly, my friend whose life has been preserved gave me this scripture when we visited recently:
Psalm 73:28 – But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord God my refuge, That I may tell of all Thy works. NAS
The nearness of God…the nearness of God…the words echoed in my spirit as she told me how that one phrase – the nearness of God has been her Alma Mater for many many years. The nearness of God when we are young and the nearness of God when we are old.
HE will care for us my friend – HE is nearer than we understand – our Parent – our Friend – ultimately, HE will be our Caregiver whether we are young or old – HE cares for us. Through another warm individual – friend or family member – God will provide someone to be near to you. For some amazing reason which I do not understand, God allowed me to have the privilege to love my sister even to her last breath. Though it was a strange and fiery moment in time, I’m in awe how he did not allow her to be alone. HE knows our needs better than we know our needs. I would have never chosen me….but God did and so I encourage you to let God choose you for His assignments and let His nearness be your good. Then, you will find His refuge. Tell of His works. Let others know your availability and let His nearness in and through you be refuge for another. No – you cannot be at everyone’s beck and call but HE has a call for you and HE has a call for me and if we will listen and love and let Him have His way, we will invariably find ourselves in His nearness doing His good for those around us.
So we must all make a new decision to trust Him. Be BRAVE! HE has instilled courage into us. Be BOLD and step into relationship with God and with the community around you. Embrace a fresh RESPECT for yourself as you step into His nearness and refuge. Take ACTION this day to be VICTORIOUS over your past! Be ENCOURAGED for God is near – He will never leave you or forsake you from very young to very old. #BEBRAVE
Who is going to take care of me when I’m old–God will take care of you and me because HE is faithful and so draw near to Him and let His nearness be your good and I will do the same.
Have you ever walked into a season of life when it feels as if the walls are closing in and the very ground you are walking on is now shaking? You turn to the left and that friend who was once your “bestie” has moved on saying, “Our season of friendship is over.” You turn to the right and that special person whom you have stood with and been through thick and thin with for years is suddenly just not interested in who you are or what you have going on in life. Wow. Breathe in. Breathe out. You look around you and realize countries are fighting, companies are folding and churches are changing direction. That family whom you have been friends with for years is divorcing and one of them is taking the other one for all they’ve got. Who knew they had such contempt for one another? Then it gets even more personal. A family member divorces because the man they were married to decided to leave her for another man – I guess the first clue was that he had more female clothing in his closet than she did in hers. Then, a family member gets sick. Another family member dies. Yet another is wanting to commit suicide AND MAYBE you are thinking of doing that too. You don’t know if you are up or down. It’s as if a day has come when every prop you used to help you stand up has been removed and you are suddenly wobbling around like a chicken that just came out of your shell. When a chick comes out of the shell, the world is new and its trying to figure out how to walk and what its going and where it is and so on. BUT – you are not brand new out of a shell are you?
So, what are you going to do when all hell breaks loose and you feel like you are falling apart?!
DO IT AGAIN.
You ARE going to be okay. You will not just survive. You will LIVE.
LEAN into God – let the props go – let the crutches go.
IDENTIFY what it is you truly believe about this God Who says He loves you and Who says HE is your Father…its personal…its intimate….He is not just the Big Guy in the sky – if you have given yourself to Him then HE is now your Father and HE WILL NOT LEAVE YOU. HE is for you – but do you believe it in the midst of the tragedy?
VICTORY is yours IF you will let yourself truly truly trust yourself to His ways and His vision
ENCOURAGE yourself – do not just lay there and die. DO SOMETHING positive and prepare to move forward from where you are to where HE wants to take you.
- You are going to have to be radically honest in order to LIVE.
- What are your props? Emotional? Mental? Financial? Spiritual? Is it God or man?
- Do you believe He loves you? This is a decision – not based on your experiences but based on HIS actions. HE DID die for you and HE DOES live and DOES make intercession for you today to become HIS and to remain HIS.
- Can you ask HIM what HIS vision is for your life? MUST you continue to cling to your own thoughts or can you let Him give you His thoughts and ideas?
- You DO have value and you are worth encouraging. You HAVE to decide to get up. I can lift you up and your friends can lift you up but you can just sit right back down again….its okay that we lift one another up and sometimes we won’t make it without the lifting but AFTER you are lifted…..are you willing to choose to live?
Only you can answer the above thoughts and queries.
I see your value. Do you? It is past time to Be BRAVE – Be Bold...decide today is the day to live. Be Respectful toward yourself and see your own personal value and take ACTION in living – you can honor yourself without it becoming a self centered selfish act – you can honor and value your life without running over others to do it. Remember there IS an avenue for VICTORY…..can you find it and then follow it? ENCOURAGE yourself in the LORD. Listen…today IS a new day and it is a day for personal bravery…be brave….until God makes you BRAVER.
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Have you ever noticed how the sanctity of life is being demised little by little year after year after year? Children are discarded alive and elderly people are cast away into nursing homes.
I’m over 50 now and this means I have lived longer than I have left on the planet. When I was 17/18 years old my mom died at the age of 57. YOUNG. Her premature death haunted me for many years…for years I would stay up all night just because I had a fear of going to sleep and not waking up at all….talk about a sick point of view….I had it. At the same time however her death also impacted me positively. I see life precious. I see life short. I see relationships precious. I know when someone treats me poorly it is because they have been treated poorly. I know if you don’t acknowledge me when I come into a room means you probably aren’t acknowledged in a way where you understand the value of your own life or others. I’ve learned (over time) to understand that most of us truly mean to do good….but we many times fall short because of our own personal issues. In other words – if you don’t like me – it may not be about me.
In my 20’s I was pretty arrogant. I searched for the meaning of life by delving deep inside my own heart…all 20 years of it. At that time I figured I had it all figured out. HA! I consulted my own mind and my own emotions and decided what was right or wrong based on my own experience…all 20 years of it. Bless my heart…I lived under a rock of denial and abandonment. This was how I handled death and tragedy and all of the trauma that came through it. My mom’s death was not something I just “got over”. She was my best friend and influenced me more than anyone I knew. Then, she was gone so early in my life – well – it was more difficult than I can express. Yes, my dad was still living but he was hurting and had known her much longer than I had known her and the hole in his heart was a thousand times larger. Dad lived a long time and moved to heaven at the ripe age of 81….many years later.
Why am I sharing all of these seemingly disconnected thoughts and what does this have to do with the sanctity of life from babies to the elderly? I share because they are not disconnected in my brain and heart. You see I’m the 51 year old baby of my family and at the present time of this blog, I have a sister approaching 60 – another sister in her mid 60’s and still another sister who literally just moved to heaven this week – she was 68. When I was 18, 20, 25 and even 30 – I could not ever fathom living this “old” and now being this “old” I can tell you – I’m not that old!!! LOL!!! Yet still I’ve less left than I’ve lived and in that mindset and that place inside of me where I’m watching all of us grow older.…I am able to truly see how as a culture, we could easily ignore what once was considered precious and honorable….and what God says is now precious and honorable – one another.
So in this busy world we live in with our lives inundated 24/7 with business, busyness, social media distractions….face it…most of us spend more time on a computer or our phone than we do actually interacting with live human beings face to face where we actually look one another in the eye. In this place of computer land, have you noticed how our hearts can grow insensitive to the needs of others – even those closest to us? Wait…let me finish this post and then I’ll talk to a live person. Seriously. I’m sure this may not be for everyone but I’m sure there are some reading this whose kids want your attention but you are at your computer. There are some whose spouses would love to have actual time with you one on one without you looking at your phone – all of these “needs” to be on the computer to make us satisfied….our hearts are growing just a little bit colder and colder…and I gotta admit…I’m married to an IT guru and its with honesty I say that I LOVE MY MAC.
Our precious sister who just passed lived in a nursing facility. Her needs far outweighed anything any of us could provide and truly it would have been a disservice for her to live where her needs could not be met or where she would be in danger alone.Yet the guilt that shadows our hearts because of her living alone in a place like that was like a rake across a dry root covered ground. I would go to see her as often as possible and yet it never seemed enough on the inside of me. As I write this blog, this same sister just this week has moved to heaven. Her health was very poor – congestive heart failure, failing lungs, failing kidneys, low heart beat and the list goes on. Her husband traveled with her to the hospital and remained as much as he could and each one of us did as well. It would have been so easy to dismiss her and – she was not my responsibility – after all – she was not my mother and she had a husband. Yet, her own daughter lives in another city and was unable to care for her and her husband worked and could not be there every waking moment.
What do we do?
What do we do when the needs of another outweigh our energy, resources and ideas? WE HAVE TO GUARD OUR HEARTS to keep from becoming insensitive. HOW? BE BRAVE! Be BOLD and lean into the Father for wisdom, rest, ideas, energy and resources. HE will strengthen you to do what you can when you can and live as best as you can this life HE has given you.
What do we do?
Be BRAVE! We must pay attention to the cry of our Father Who wants us to RESPECT His guidelines for our hearts to stay right – stay pliable and soft and easily convicted and lead by Him. We keep our heart undistorted by the cares and weights of this world and the busyness of our minds and stay focused on what and who is important to Him. We must take ACTION to LISTEN and to be as organized as possible taking care of His priorities so we have time for that suddenly that comes up in life that requires our attention like a loved one in the hospital….which is one of His priorities. We take on becoming VICTORIOUS by living guilt free when we are available to hear Him and respond to Him instead of our emotional regrets, guilt and distractions. We live bravely doing the very best we can daily and when we mess up – when we are selfish or when we are just losing our minds and must have a break from all the “duties” – we stop – we RECALIBRATE our lives and we ENCOURAGE ourselves! We get still and make a new list and start all over again 🙂
If we put ourselves in His shoes and walk out life through His life, we will have peace for our journey and be able to help another along the way without it eating us alive in the process….HE is the journey….HIM knowing us and us knowing HIM.
Look into your life. Is there someone who needs your love? Your touch? Your call? Do you need to recalibrate for this year and free yourself with a few minutes per day to reach outside of you into someone else who cannot give back to you? Don’t do it for kudos. Just do it for the precious shortness of life you and they have on this planet. Do it so you have fewer regrets. Do it for God – do it for them – AND do it for you. Stop. Breathe in and breathe out and consider your day before you waste it away. Love and see how love comes back to you.
Its a new day. Look at it as precious. Love while you can. Say a kind word when you can and answer that email, that phone call – that letter – that prayer request. Reconcile with those who you feel have wronged you and restore relationships with those whom you have wronged. Truth is when you have lived longer than you have left (if you have not already) – God gives you opportunity to love while it is still called today….and when someone does not love you back – well – all I can say is don’t take it personally – it may have nothing to do with you. Do your part to have humility. It is pride that refuses restoration or reconcilation even if it is disguised with hurt or pain or offense. RUN to the altar of humility and let the price He paid for your life be lived through you. Fight to sit in the back seat NOT the front seat!
LIVE your life while it is still called today. Live…longer……today…by giving yourself away…
Be BRAVE – Bold-Respctful-Active-Victorious-Encouraging for yourself and for those around you.
Until next time,
End of Life. It continues to roll across my mind…over and over and over it speaks to me. First it comes as a whisper and then it is louder than the voices of those around me. Most certainly, these three little words have a stronger significance when it has to do with you or a loved one.
End of life.
It is intense.
It is intimate.
It is final.
It is no respecter of persons as it comes to every single one of us.
Sometimes it is sudden. Sometimes it is a process. Sometimes you are ready and sometimes you are not ready and truthfully even when “ready” are you ever really prepared? Sometimes you want it now as in today and then, sometimes you wish tomorrow would never arrive. Even so, whether you are old or whether you are young – we will each meet these three final words.
It is indeed personal.
Every once in a while she attempts to lift her head and tries to talk but not much comes out. Her continual complaint is, “I’m tired.” She is mostly unaware of my presence while pray, cry out and pace. How do you fight for the very life you need to also release?
End of life. Three little words that change you, your perspective and the lives of those around you.
How do we live out the end of life? One day at a time seems to be the only answer.
So, this is what we are doing….one day at a time…we are surrounding the one we love…caressing her forehead and speaking into her ear our love…holding her hand…not just giving hope but being hope for a brighter heavenly tomorrow.
As I ponder what has passed us and what lies in front of us, I realize our responsibility and privilege is the same whether we are “living” in the end of life stage or whether we are not living in the “end of life stage” because truly we do not know what tomorrow holds.
So, what do we do? What do you do? What do I do?
Take an inventory of your heart.
- Is your heart and mind right with those around you? In other words – are you IN offense….or maybe ON the fence in relationships? You know the enemy is a liar and his job is to kill – to steal – to destroy what God gives you to treasure and to hold near. Don’t assume you are “in the right” because your right can be very wrong in the eyes of the One Who desires unity with His friends.
- 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 EVEN if none of it is your fault.
- Lastly, we do not take any of this earthly stuff with us…..not even the body we live in here on planet earth. What is precious to you? Where do you spend your time? Maybe – just maybe – you might need to re-prioritize your time, your efforts, your finances, your life so that you can live with you when it is all said and done.
Pray with me – Father, we come in Jesus name and ask You to reveal by Your Spirit any wrong done that has affected how we relate to others including ourselves. We change our mind God. We sever this from us and command it to be under our feet once and for all. Show us how to approach others for restoration – even if we are not in the wrong. We ask You to forgive us Father for You paid the price for us to stay in right standing with You and one another. We receive Your forgiveness. We forgive ourselves. We forgive them God – we know who they are and we choose to forgive. Show us how to talk to them before its just too late and the enemy has his way. We release Your peace, Your forgiveness, Your mercy and Your restoration into us and those around us in Jesus name and with His resurrection power which no foe can withstand. Let it be. Let it be.
Let’s continually surround those we love with our time and effort. Let’s speak to one another our sincere love and appreciation and encourage one another when it is still today to not just give hope but be hope….for a brighter, heavenly…tomorrow whether we are still here on this planet earth breathing breath or we step into heaven after taking our final one.
Much love – until next time,
The way I viewed me – unbeknownst to me – kept me from me! It also kept me from those around me…I was always arms length from anyone knowing the real me for fear that they would not like me. WHY? Because I truly did not have the reality of HIS LOVE living in me. I did not like me and did not think anyone else could like me either.
THROW IN THE MIX THIS AMAZING GOD WHO sees you and me as His beautiful, hand-chosen, perfectly-molded children, and who loves us with a never-ending, ever-lasting love.
Psalm 143:8 Cause me to hear Your loving kindness in the morning for on You do I lean and in You do I trust. Cause me to know the way wherein I should walk for I lift up my inner self to You.
Can you hear the Psalmist cry out to God, asking Him to rescue him with His loving kindness? Why? Because he knew the Love of God was the only reason he was still alive…….years of being threatened and chased down by a man who wanted him destroyed…years of being taken on the verge of retaliation himself…he KNEW he could not live without LOVE. IT was GOD’S LOVE THAT prevented him from killing the very man who wanted him dead. It is the love of God that changes us, convicts us, and molds us into His image. It was the LOVE of God that brought him face to face with himself. It is the love of God that brings us face to face with the reality of the cross and the blood God shed for us.
Though I felt like a very ugly duckling for the majority of my life, through a process of receiving this incredible LOVE from God…I have been changed.
Do you know what the greatest help has been in my walk in life as a Christian??? It has been receiving and accepting God as my father………my FATHER….and not only as my LORD. YES…HE is my Lord….HE is GOD ALMIGHTY….but in the garden…God was their Parent..Father…and if God was THEIR Dad and this was way before Jesus hit the planet…how much more is HE MY DAD? Oh…it was not easy…seeing this….chewing on it…accepting it….knowing God as God is much more holy to my mind…but…HE sent His Son Jesus why?? To give us RELATIONSHIP WITH HIMSELF. WOW. Its not just God. Its Father.
So, as I saw HIM as my kinfolk…my family – and I mean that in the most respectful way…then…when HE received me as His own and allowed me to be me…and He received my confession of wrong when I was wrong and forgave me and loved me…..then I finally caught it….and then….as HE was my Father…then I saw it…HE wants to be my EVERYTHING – Maker, Husband, Daddy, Brother, Best Friend, Companion, Closest Confidant – there is NO CONDEMNATION IN CHRIST… and if there is no condemnation in Christ…how can I allow condemnation to continue to live in me? ANOTHER WAH!LAH!!! I got it. HE LOVES ME. PERIOD. I CAN LOVE ME TOO.
In this process I learned to accept me. As I learned to accept me, I also learned to like me. As I learned to like me, I also learned how to love me and then, I began the process of learning how to see myself through His eyes. Then, in time, I actually began to see His beauty and now when I look in the mirror, I believe I am beautiful. It is never too late to begin the process of knowing God in an intimate and relational way. I can truly say it is the only pathway for real and lasting healing for a heart that has been wounded and scarred. God’s faithfulness even reaches into our very last moments on earth right before we take our last breath….to remind us of His nearness and HIS love and our need to move into HIS shadow as HE takes us into the liberty of living the rest of eternity with Him…THAT’S LOVE. THAT’S OUR GOD.
God really loves you…and HE really loves me. Get to know God…get to know yourself. When you give LOVE a chance………then you will give YOU a chance and as you give YOU a chance – you will find yourself giving your neighbors, co-workers and others a chance too. Will you be hurt? YOU BETCHA! YES indeed……it will happen BUT……when you learn to turn TO HIM for strength THROUGH the hurt…..through the betrayal…..through the pain…..through the devastation…in time….you will look more to HIM than to your circumstances to determined that you are okay……..and you’re gonna make it………and as you go face to face with yourself you will indeed discover that you are not just a survivor but in HIM you are not just a thriver but a LOVER…no matter what life throws your way.
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