Why we don’t get to make deals with God…

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A recent conversation has caused me to think about the deals we often try to make with God. I think many of us assume that if we’re good enough, God will allow our lives to be transformed into something amazing. And although it’s true that by keeping a straight footing and aligning ourselves with what scripture tells us, we can often do better. Yet none of this will ever guarantee that we won’t face difficulties and hardships.

Despite what most people may think, we don’t actually get to make deals with God. Sure we normally bargain all day long with the people we’re around. It’s human nature to scratch someone’s back if they’ve scratched ours. But with God, none of that applies. We can never be good enough or cause him to do something for us just because we think we’ve done something for him. He simply does things for us because he loves us fully and completely.

There is nothing we can ever do to be good enough. In this life, we are all equally promised eternal life, just by merely believing in Jesus and recognizing his sacrifice on the cross for us. Anything we’ve ever done that was wrong or hurtful will not determine our destiny, the price has already been paid. All we have to do is believe.

~M xo

#MidnightMadness – 4/25/2017

I was having a conversation with my 15 yr. old daughter, about how everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses.  We came to the conclusion, that we must accept the simple fact, that we can’t possibly do everything.

My daughter had to add this…

 

Brianna – “Hey mom, even Jesus can’t do everything…”

Me – “What do you mean sweetie?”

Brianna – Well, he can’t sin!”

Me – “Oh, good point!”  Lol…

#MidnightMadness – 3/22/2017

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If Jesus can raise Lazarus from the dead in real life, think about how much more an author can do with his or her own fictitious characters.

Come on J.K. Rowling… do Lily and Severus really need to stay dead?  And how about Sirius; I believe a part of me died the day he departed.  And what about, Albus, Alastor, Nymphadora, Fred, and so many others…

It’s quite alright if you leave Bellatrix and Voldemort to their demise, but we really need some of those others to come back.  Our hearts are forever broken by such tragedy and we have been forever changed by the absence of these amazing characters.  ~M


Photo credit: pixabay.com

The Innocence of a Child

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“You can’t see Jesus because He’s in your heart saving you.”  ~By, Autumn Cook, age 6

It’s 7:30 a.m., the alarm has gone off or should I say… run in.  Yes, it’s my little three year old Autumn running into my bedroom, early as ever to snuggle with Mommy before we start our day.  She goes to the end of the bed, makes her way over the mess of covers, and climbs underneath to get warm.  I keep trying to pretend that I’m asleep so that maybe I can get about five more minutes of rest before I have to get up.  I can feel her squirming restlessly next to me and sighing heavily as if to say “Mommy get up already!”  So I start to open my eyes and this cute little face with a little button nose is staring right at me and asks me this question, “Mommy? Jesus isn’t in here.”  So I say, “What do you mean?”  She proceeds to put her hand just above her belly and says once again… “Jesus isn’t in here!”  I start to become intrigued wondering if she is asking what I think she is.  Does she want to ask Jesus into her heart at the age of three?  So I asked her, “What do you mean? Do you want to ask Jesus to come into your heart?”  She nods and says quietly “Yes, I do.”  So I proceed with telling her to repeat after me and we say the sinners’ prayer together.  When we are through though, she opens her eyes, puts her hand near her belly again and says to me, “Mommy, Jesus is still not in here.”  I start to say, “Well… of course He is!  You just prayed and now He is with you forever!”  She looks over at me, moves her hand about 4 inches up from where she had been resting it before and exclaims, “Oh Mommy!  There He is!”  I about died laughing, not knowing that the entire time she was thinking that the beating of her little heart was what tells her that Jesus is with her.  It’s moments like this that Mothers cherish forever.  I love you my little Auti and Jesus is with you now and forever.

No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us. We know that we live in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. ~ 1 John 4:12-13 

A dream that I will never forget…

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I dreamt this dream so very long ago that the exact date escapes me, but here goes my best recollection. I believe the dream came to me in 2005 and it was at this time in my life when I was suffering through a spiritual battle that had been waging war over my soul for fifteen long years. The battle was now reaching its climax and I would either defeat this battle or lose everything in the process. Little did I know that this dream would serve as a turning point in my life. Here is what was going on in my life during the years that led up to this dream…

Without my knowledge, but as I would come to realize later, the Lord was fighting alongside me every step of the way. I fought him daily and searched for answers to my questions in the darkest of places. I felt as if my whole life had been a lie and I wanted the truth for once in my life. I had come to the conclusion that God must not be who I thought he was; because if he was, certainly he would be helping me, instead of always causing me so much pain.

I chose to look for another god, one who fit into my idea of what God should look like, one who could make me happier, one who didn’t ask so much of me. I fell into a hopeless tailspin as I searched and I was sucked into a pit that I couldn’t climb out of. I searched out every lie that had ever been told and I tried to believe every last one of them. I was certain that I could convince myself that the one true God wasn’t real, that somehow there must be another. So I searched and searched…

At first, I found other gods to be quite interesting and I felt as if I could somehow be happier if I could just understand their mysterious ways. I began my spiritual journey of self-improvement by studying natural health and I fell in love with the natural ways of healing. I found quotes by Buddha inspiring and listened to meditation music in order to relax and cleanse my soul of the darkness that I felt. I thought about ideas like reincarnation and how such transformations could quite possibly be truthful. I bought books about other religions of the world and studied them in order to find the true meaning of life.

I was convinced that I had been brainwashed my entire life. Surely there was no such thing as a man named Jesus who had come to earth to save me from my unrighteous ways. Did I really need saving anyway? Life seemed so much easier not having to live out all of those silly commandments and I wanted to be free of the condemnation that I constantly felt from other Christians. I assumed everything I had grown up believing was false, because I surely wasn’t getting anywhere fast by following Christ. I figured if the God I had been told about really existed, that my life would be wonderful all of the time. If he truly loved me, wouldn’t I feel that love always? Wouldn’t I be free of the pain and the suffering that I was constantly being tormented with? I was convinced he was the biggest lie of all and yet every time I turned my back on him, every time I tried to be free of his steadfast love, I felt the darkness growing inside of me; consuming me to the point in which I didn’t even know who I was anymore.

I went so far as to apply for a job working at a nature preserve, where a Wiccan clan needed a part-time secretary. Their lives seemed so much more happy and fulfilling and they seemed like they had everything figured out. I wanted what they had for myself and so I attended their workshops and grew in love with their peaceful ideas. I received a call one night from them, asking me to come in and interview on Halloween night. They said that I could come and join their party and wanted to interview me during the night’s events. As I spoke with the woman on the phone, my heart sunk deeper into my chest. I could hardly breathe and a pit formed in my stomach that was like nothing I had ever felt. Oh I so wanted to go and make a new life for myself, but something held me back. I started to tell the woman that I would be there, but somehow my words changed and I ended up telling her that I had other plans and that I wouldn’t be able to come. I was furious with myself when I hung up the phone and yet somehow I felt lighter, as if some of the darkness within me had somehow just evaporated.

A few years went by and I continued my schooling in natural health. I also continued to look for ways to make my life more fulfilling. I quit my job working as a laboratory assistant for a Biotechnology company and my family and I moved to the country where I discovered some of the much needed peace that I had been searching for. I still kept searching for some sense of truth, but I just couldn’t seem to find anything that made sense to me. Every time I sought a new religious idea, every time I flew in a different direction, reaching out for answers, I couldn’t find an ounce of truth in any of them. Sure, many ideas were lovely thoughts and some even brought me temporary happiness, but it was all fruitless in the end and my joy continued to leave me, as I sank further and further into the depths of despair. Which now leads me to my dream…

I was in a pitch black room and tried blinking my eyes a few times so that my eyes would adjust to the darkness that engulfed me. I realized very quickly that I was sitting on the lap of a giant man. He had to be at least eight feet tall and was dressed like a roman soldier. His attire was red and gold in color and he had leather straps that wove their way up his legs in order to affix his sandals to his feet. The armor he wore was shiny and new and he looked as if he had the strength of a thousand men.

He was completely bald and clean shaven. The massiveness of his body made me look tiny in comparison and he held me close against his body. His arms were wrapped firmly around me, yet lovingly and gentle. As I looked up into his eyes, I saw a tear escape and slide down his brilliant face. He was the most beautiful man I had ever laid eyes upon. His skin was the color of bronze and his eyes spoke of a love that of which I had never known. There was a brilliant glow that seemed to flow freely about his entire body. The glow resembled a wave of light and left me feeling complete elation as I reveled in his splendid beauty.

His head hung low, as if he were deeply saddened by something or someone and I began to look around the room to see if I could figure out what was causing him so much pain. Now that my eyes had begun to adjust to the darkness, I noticed shadows all around us. Their presence spoke of a deadly evil that lurked in the shadows of the vilest of places and they charged at us from all directions.

After focusing a little more, I noticed their daggers were plunging deep into his body. His loving arms were protecting me from the sharp blades that pierced his flesh over and over again. Then I noticed that he was actually moving the entire time as I sat there quietly in his lap. It was if he was moving at warp speed, blocking every dagger that was meant to take my life. I looked back up into his eyes and even though he did not speak, I understood that the life I had been living apart from him, had been literally killing him.

He was suffering because of my sin and he was absorbing all of the attacks that were meant for me. He was doing all of this in order to save me from the evil that I had let come into my life. Once realizing my mistake, I began to cry and he held me in his loving arms, rocking me and gently wiping away every tear that escaped my worn out earthly body. I had never felt so loved in all my life and I didn’t want to leave him. I snuggled in closer to his body. The warmth of his love spread through me like a fire that could not be contained and when I suddenly awakened, I knew that he was real.

For the first time in my life, I now understood what I could never figure out on my own. I felt his love as it burned through my body, consuming me to the most inner parts of my being. I wept in the darkness of my bedroom. Wanting him back and yet realizing now that he was actually there and always had been. I just needed him to show me who he was and how much he really did love me. I needed him to hold me in order to feel his true presence and he gave me what my heart had desired for so long.

The feelings of his love from that moment on, have stayed with me since then and I will never forget the glimpse into his world that he showed me that day. Jesus is the light in the darkness when we cannot find our way. He is our healer and our creator and he is everything that I ever wanted and so much more. I wasted so many years searching for the truth, when all along he was right there, holding me in his loving arms and he never let me go. Even when I turned away, he never released me, he just held on tighter until I finally found my way back to him. He is my God, my King, and my Savior now and forever. May He reign on high forevermore.

~M

Third Day – Revelation

Third Day was the first band that I ever saw in concert.  Their message was a blessing to me in a time when my life was a horrible mess.  I hope you will find strength in these words.  Everyday, I must seek Jesus for the hope and strength that I need to sustain me in a world that is quickly fading.  Jesus is the only way if you are searching for the truth.   He will show you the way.  I know, because He showed me and I am forever changed because of His love.