Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Starting at the Beginning

Father God you created every living thing; every bird, every animal, every plant, every tree, every drop of water, every grain of sand and every human being.  It all begins with you and it all ends with you.  So often we forget to thank you and to honour your for this.  More often though we forget to cherish each day, each breath, each moment.  Life has a way of getting in our way and that is the worst excuse going.  Nothing should stop me from honouring you, nothing should stop me from remembering how I came to be and why I am here.  So often I find myself wandering in prayer.  Why is it so easy for me to wander from you when you have never wandered from me???
Help me God to stay focused and to stay grounded in you.  Help me to never forget the gift that life is, that my life is. I want to be closer to you God but I let so much get in the way.  I am not the servant I want to be, I am not the witness I want to be.  Am I the servant and witness you want me to be?  Change me God if I am not. Keep me focused on you, keep me focused on what it is that you want me to do with my life.  Use me God to better your world, this world that you so freely have given us and we have abused and mistreated it and those in it.  I am your faithful servant and I am trying hard to empty myself of my will so that you can do whatever it is with my life, take me wherever you want me to go.  I need to stop resisting, I need to stop being  a Jonah.  Make your channel God.

Friday, December 6, 2013

My Identity in You

Oh heavenly Father, today I am processing a devotion on identity...how I view myself and how that gives way to sin.  God I know I need help here.  I view myself as overweight, lacking in self-worth and a failure at times and yet others I view myself with excessive self worth...it makes no sense.  Why can't I just see myself as you see me...perfect, wonderful, beautiful...exactly as you made me.  When I view myself in a negative light then I end up giving way to sinful behaviour.... glutteny, over eating especially poor food choices.  I gossip, I focus on the negatives in others, I put undo attention on myself.  So many things, so many bad choices.
God, please help me to identify myself in you.  Help me to see myself as you see me.  Help me to ward off the negative self talk, the words of the enemy creeping in and making me doubt everything about me. With confidence given by you, not by me, I can do many great things in you. I can be a good servant and witness.
Thank you so much for the person you have made me.  Thank you for the strength you have given me to get healthy, to eat better, to exercise more, to lose the weight that has pulled me down for years.  Please continue to bless me in this way.  Thank you for the gifts of words that I have been blessed with and have shared so freely with others, I know you are using me to help others refocus when grief has torn them down.  And thank you God for my life, for saving me!
I love you Lord Jesus, with all my heart and wish only to be the best servant I can be.

Thursday, December 5, 2013


Oh Heavenly Father; today I am reminded of all the wondrous surprises you present us with.  How often do we think we can predict what will come next, how often do we just coast along in life, going through the motions and never giving it a second thought until something happens to cause us to sit up and take notice.  To take notice of you!
God I am so sorry for missing the purpose of your surprises at times.  I am so sorry for not being patient to wait for them.  I am even more sorry for the times I have just gone through the motions and not given my life and the blessings it is filled with much thought let alone praised you for it.
It is so encouraging to know that you are a surprising God for the surprises are the ways that you break our cycle, especially when it is a cycle of sin.
I want to be open and welcoming to all the surprises you have for me Lord.  Help me to appreciate my life at all times...in the times of surprise and excitement, in the times of sorrow, sadness, strife, and trials and all the times in between when life might seem just abit stagnant and boring.  Help me to see that each and every part is a gift from you.
I want to be your servant Lord, to serve you in all of these times, to not doubt, to be faithful and sure and to be a witness to your amazing love.  Help me Lord, strengthen me Lord, give me patience.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Faith and Patience

Heavenly Father;
So often it is hard for me to be patient and wait for you to answer my prayers.  So often I think I am getting the answer and jump ahead with what my selfish heart wants, convincing myself it is what you want me to do, only to end making mistakes, making the wrong choice, ending up in more troubles instead of less.
When we have faith in you, when we trust you to bring the change, to answer the prayers, to bring the next stage of our life forward instead of rushing ahead without thinking, without being impatient, we are rewarded.
Help, oh God, to be patient.  Help me to be still and listen.  Help me to pray before I act...not just think before I act.  Help me to be a good servant by giving me the much needed patience that is required to hear your voice and feel your guidance.

Friday, November 29, 2013

I am what I am

 “By the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me” (1 Corinthians 15:10NIV).

Oh Father God help me to see that...that I am what I am by your grace...that I am not too great a sinner, to much of slow learner, a repeat offender to be forgiven but more then that, to be your servant and to bring others to you.  

Somedays I feel like I'll never get this, I'll never change, never stop making mistakes over and over again.  I keep thinking that the reason we, our family, Geoff and I, are stuck in the spot we can't seem to get out of is because we just don't change, we just keep making the same mistakes over and over and until we stop you can't bring us out of this.  
But I know this is the enemy tormenting me, making me feel punished.  I also know that You are changing us God.  The last 2 weeks have brought such change, such light, such hope to our lives.  Nothing in our financial situation has changed, none of the stress is really gone but you have brought us to a place where we are working together to change what we can...the chaos, disorganization and clutter in our house and our lives.... and letting what we can't change be something we give to you.  
And it's working Lord, I feel it, I feel you.
Lord we just want to serve you, to be a witness to you.  I am very certain there are many who look at us and shake their heads and wonder how we can call ourselves followers of you... those who have known us for so long and are stuck viewing us for the past we lived, the sins we committed.  But You have brought others to our lives who see each tiny step we take and encourage us, praise us, compliment us...celebrate with us...and moreover, pray with us.  I thank you Jesus for bringing those people to us and for bringing us the hope to push past those who can't see it and focus only you, not on those the enemy wishes us to hear and see.

Please bless all today who are seeking you, needing you.  I pray especially for Geoff today...I am very certain that you have a big change about to happen for him...if not today then very soon.  Please help us to be patient and hopeful and keep our eyes on the prize...YOU!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Give Thanks for a Grateful Heart

Heavenly Father;
Today's devotion spoke of Thanksgiving...obviously American based since it's their Thanksgiving today.  It challenged me to think about how thankful I am, how often I express that as well how gratitude is a powerful witness to you and how I will live that out.
Jesus you have walked a difficult path with me and I am so very thankful that you are there each step of the way.  I could sit here to day and type about all the many things I am thankful for... a faithful, loving husband, amazing children, our home, our food, our health, a wonderful family of parents, brothers, sister in laws, nieces and nephews, the most amazing church and church family, caring friends, a great job I love etc.  But the thing that catches me on this is the question 'how is gratitude a powerful witness to our faith in you?
I don't even have to pause to think...being grateful for all that losing my son has brought to my life is likely the most powerful witness I can imagine.  And truly Lord, I am thankful that my son is with you.  I am thankful for the experiences that loss has taught me.  I am so very blessed by all the people that have come into my life because I lost him.  I am delighted in the things You have motivated me to do through the healing process after losing him.  I am sad, I get angry, I know that I wish, many times over, that he was here.  But I am grateful and I thank you Lord for taking Cole home and giving him an eternity of pain free existence.  Moreover God, I am so very thankful that you saved my life, changed my life, made me more whole, more sympathetic, empathetic and more compassionate through his loss.
God you are ever powerful but you are also ever loving.  I am so blessed and my life is so rich because you choose it to be that way.  You have given me great gifts and I thank you for each and every one...even the ones that others would never wish on anyone!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Groans and Grumbles

Father God;
What a wonderful message you have brought to me today about the complaints Moses received from his people and how the way we respond to trials in life reflects on our character but more importantly, on our faith in you.
Life gives us trials. Some people seem to have more then others...but then maybe that is just the way it seems because we hear more about their problems...because they are always grumbling.  As per my devotion this morning...
We’re right to groan beneath the burdens of a fallen world, for “all creation has been groaning” right along with us. But we groan in hope, believing that one day all will be made right when Jesus returns to set us free “from sin and suffering” (Romans 8:22-23).
Father God help me to grumble no more.  Help me to remember that groaning is okay, that it is expected that I will find the trials of life difficult and will throw my hands to you in a plea for support.  Just remind me God what you said in James 1 2-4...that I need to find joy in trials for trials bring perseverance and perseverance will bring maturity and wisdom to my life.  I can't grow up, can't grow in you, grow towards you, if I don't have trials to bring me to the point that I admit I can't do it alone.  You know, God, just how hard the trials are at times in this house.  But you also have seen how far we've come and how much we know that you have brought us through them and will continue to do so.
Remind of this God, when I forget, when I struggle...when my groaning turns to grumbles.  Remind me God that you are there and you will take me through it. Use me God, use my trials, my life and the faith I put in you through it to show others what you can do in their life.  If that means I need to have obvious trials in all of my life so be it.  I know I can do it through you and I know that others can learn so much by what you do through me.

Bless all those in my life who are struggling, who do have trials.  May they know the love and support I feel from you.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Giving it Up

Heavenly Father;
Today you have the story of Jacob wrestling with you in human form from Genesis in my hands and my heart.  I have to admit, it really makes me think of all that I wrestle with, all that I feel torn about and not wanting to give up.  It's so hard to change God, it's hard to give up the things that I know aren't the best for me, aren't the most honouring to you, take away from my time with you, with your word, with prayer and with my family too. It's so hard to give up the foods I love and the time I have in order to prepare my body to serve you.
 I know what some of those things are and yet I continue to justify why I can't give them up, I continue to fight you on this.  I let the enemy control my time instead letting you control it.  I let myself be selfish instead of remembering the selflessness of your son, Jesus.
God help me to keep my focus on you.  Help me to put you first.  Open my eyes and my heart to the time I can be giving to you to read your word and pray instead focusing on the things that are my selfish wants and needs.
I want to serve you Lord but I am so easily tempted to serve myself.  I want to eat healthy, want to be more active and fit...and yet I give in to sweets, snacks, treats...and give in to thing like facebook instead of working out, spending time with you and with my family.
I am vowing today to make an stronger effort to change.  I vowing to being more dedicated to the things I feel are coming from you.
Thank you Lord for all that you continue to bless me with

Thursday, November 14, 2013


Father God today you have brought words to me that I needed to hear.  In Nahum we learn of the consequences to the people of Ninevah that Jonah had warned...we learned that they didn't learn their lesson and they were punished for their wicked ways.... and we also learned that the victims of Ninevah were pleased with the consequences that you gave the Ninevites.
It struck me that so often we forget that we need correction in order to live a good life...in order to be rewarded with a good life.  When we do not lose our faith through those corrections then we are rewarded even more.
God I want to be corrected.  I know there are many errors in my ways.  I know that I make mistakes daily and believe that you are encouraging me to repent so that you can reward me.  Open my eyes Lord and help me to see what I am doing that is holding you back.  And help me Lord to share this message with others.
All my love to you Lord Jesus, maker of Heaven and Earth and forgiver of all my many mistakes.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A Godly Wife

Father God, you are so holy, so full of goodness and grace.  You have forgiven me of so much and yet you continue to keep blessing me with grace.  I just don't seem to get it somedays, ok many days, Lord.  I am so new to turning to you for help and to turning to your word.  I am learning, I am working on it....but some days I just feel stuck, feel like I am just not going anywhere.
God I need your help to understand how to be 'a good Christian wife' in my world.  Not the one of the bible, not the one of those around me but my world...the one I encounter daily, the one that has the setting of my family.  I am struggling in this area a lot and in reading Proverbs 31 I am realizing I am just not cutting it at all.  The biggest area I don't cut it in is being respectful to Geoff, always encouraging him, never undermining his authority, doing things to honour his name (and not cutting him up to others). But most of all I have a hard time in giving up the leadership of the family, in allowing him lead our family in all aspects.  I don't know what this looks like to be honest.  Help me God to understand how to do this.  Help me to see how I can give up control to him even though I see him as out of control at times.  Show me how to not use my success as a working person, my ability to keep employed and being the consistent breadwinner in our family as a way to excuse why I 'need' to be in control of this family.
God I am just searching here so much.  I need your help Lord.  I need to become a better wife and a better person within my household.  I need to manage things better here and have a home that is honouring to you.  Please help me to turn to you for guidance and help  me to find the resources that will  make this happen.
I want to honour you God and I am asking for your forgiveness for the areas that I have not been doing this so far.  I am so very sorry God.
Today I vow to make a change in the wife that I am and I will try hard to honour you in all of this.

Thursday, November 7, 2013


Bless you Lord, oh my soul, worship your holy name!  Oh there are so many reasons why I can sing this song, so many reasons to bless you for blessing me.
Today's devotion rang so true God...that by blessing you for all you have done for me, I am raising you up, bestowing upon you the good things that I can.  I mean you have everything so what could I possibly bless you with except my devotion, my honour, my thanks.  When I raise you up, when I say I bless the Lord, I mean it with all my heart. I love you Father God, above everything.  I want others to see that love so that they, too, will see their blessings and know you.
Today is a gift more then any other day.  Today I thank you for my life...for the 39 years of life I have had.  It's a day to honour the gift my life has been, to honour that you gave me life on this day 39 years ago.  So much has happened in this life and not all of it has been honouring to you.  Even now, as I have been born again to my faith, I continue to do things that are not honouring to you.  God please help me to be an ambassador to your amazing blessings, to your amazing love.  Help me to show others through my actions, my words, my day to day life that I am child of you, that I am your servant.  Help me to show the 10 000 reasons that I bless you....for you have given 10 000 000 million reasons for me to do it, you have blessed me abundantly, I have an abundant life, a life worth living, a life full of so much.  Help me to honour you Father, help me to be the vessel that leads others to you.
Thank you today and every day God, for my life, for your love.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

All That I have

Father God today I am completely convicted of the selfish greed that is in my heart.  As I read in my devotions today about those who have had so little and yet still gave to others, as I read

2 Corinthians 8:1-5

New International Version (NIV)

The Collection for the Lord’s People

And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able,and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us.

I am completely filled with the knowledge of how selfish I am.  
We have so much, we have food to eat (and are so blessed with the places that help to supply us with food when there just isn't enough money to buy all we need), we have a roof over our heads, a warm home on these cool days and we have electricity (and all the gadgets to hook into it).  We have clothes, we have toys, trinkets, pretty things.  You have blessed us over and over again. 
And yet I wandered through Walmart last night wondering how on earth I will be able to buy any Christmas presents last night, wondering where the money will come from to pay the bills so that I can buy something for my kids.  
What does that matter when there are so many who have so little???
God I need help.  I need to be able to put it in perspective.  I need to stop thinking  of what I don't have and be ever thankful for what I do. I need to look at what I have and offer it others.  I need to be generous of spirit.  There has to be ways to make this work.
God you know our financial situation.  You know how hard it's been lately and you know exactly what we need to get through this....and you provide that.  But we don't see that. We see the bills that aren't paid, we see the things we need to buy for the kids or for us, we see the things we wish we had and we just keep worrying about money.  Perhaps if we stopped thinking like that and started looking for ways to help others with what we have, the answers to the problems in our own life would be right in front of our faces, the money we think we need would either no longer be an issue or it would be there in some form or another.
I thank you God for putting Ali Matthews, her ministry and her wish to serve you in our path this weekend.  We have talked long enough about sponsoring a World Vision child...and now we are.  Perhaps this is one step in the right direction.  God help to show us where more steps can be found.  Maybe the secret isn't the money we have to give to those without but the time we do have to help those, to help projects that help those, the talents we have to help.  
God I am so filled with hope right now.  I know that this is you working in me. You are, once again, showing me that I am not hopeless, I am able to help and I am able to provide for those who have less then me.  Help me to stay focused on this Lord.  Help me never to lose focus on the ways I can serve you.
And once again Father God I thank you for placing this new book in my hands and showing me the ways I need to change so that my body can serve you.  I have focused so much on the selfish reasons to lose weight but the fact is that I only have a body because You gave it and I only have one body so I need to honour it, treat it as the temple that it is, treat it in the image it was created...You.  I need to stay focused on being healthier to serve you...for no other reason.  The healthier I am the more I can do for you...the more energy I will have, the more ideas I will come up with, the more focused on you and not on me I will be.... and the longer I will live to be able to do this.
Please help me to learn, to absorb, to appreciate all this book will share with me and then help me to spread this word to others.  There are so many who need to hear the words that you are sharing with me through this book
Thanks God...for everything you give me.  I am so very blessed and I want to bless others, I want to give in your name.  I want to be generous and honouring to you. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Self Control

Father God you are so amazing.  You work in such wonderful ways, such admirable ways.  You place just what we need to hear, need to read in our hands at just the right time.  Your divine ways are so awesome.
You know how I am struggling.  You know how hard it has been for me to continue to be healthier, to lose the weight that has plagued me for years.  And now you have placed a book in my hands that has given me, in just 10 pages, a perspective on why I need to do this that I've never considered.

Titus 2:11-13

New International Version (NIV)
11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,

Self Control... not something I have much of many days.  I have good intentions many days but until I began reading Every Body Matters I really gave it no thought as to why I needed to have intentions.  And even as I write this I realize that my intentions really weren't that 'good'...they were honouring to you but instead were honouring to me.  I thought of it only from my perspective.  I wanted to lose weight to look better (totally selfish) but also to feel better.  I cut out some foods from my diet with the hopes of feeling better and that is great...but it's not the right reason.
Jesus you saved me. You came into my life when I was in desperate need of change, of salvation.  You helped me find my way out of a dark pit that as surrounding me.  You gave me hope.
And what have I done for you God.  I know that there are answers.  I have impacted others with my testimony with the purpose of helping others to find you.  But until I began to read this book I really gave no thought to the body I am using to do this with.  As Gary Thomas wrote, 'The reason I get into shape is not to impress others or make them feel inferior, not to demonstrate personal discipline and self control but to become, as Paul writes, instruments for special purposes, made Holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do good work'.  
I was saved to serve... we all were.  
Wow...saved to serve... very powerful idea that I am 100% sure that so many Christians have not fully contemplated...not from this perspective.
How can we be saved to serve if our bodies are healthy enough to serve? 
God I need your help.  I need you to open my eyes and close my mouth. I need you slow down my whirling mind so that I can hear you and reve up my body to become more and more fit.  Help me find the time to fit all of this in.  Help me to see how important this is.  I know that I am meant to do great things...we all are...it says so in Jeremiah 29:11.  You have plans for me and I am getting in your way...my body, my selfishness, my appetite, my laziness...all of these things get in your way.
God I just want to be something great for you.  I want others to be able to see me as a light to you.  But I need to remember that the focus is on you.  I need to get healthy, to lose this weight, to strengthen this body not for me, not for my reasons...but for yours.  So that I am stronger and more able to serve you.
I dream of a day that I can just go on any mission trip you wish me to.  That I am healthy and strong and able to go anywhere you call me to.  I need to be able to survive without the foods I THINK are important.  I need to have the stamina to keep going.  I need to feel healthy and not have a mind that is clouded, fuzzy, foggy...overtaken by the foods that my body never needed in the first place so that I can focus on you and your message to me.

Thank you amazing Father for placing the words in my hands, in my eyes, in my mind and in my heart...the words I needed to hear.
You are so amazing Lord!  I am here to serve you!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Worth it all

Heavenly Father;
What a wondrous thing it is to have yet another day in your presence.  And yet how often do I not rise thinking that way.  Some days I get up with a sense of dread, a sense of worry, a sense of panic.  It's hard not to.  Life is pretty stressful lately.  I wonder how I am to feed this family, provide for this family.  I wonder how I can keep it all together and get everyone out the door (and that rarely happens as you know).  I wonder how I can encourage others when I feel so discouraged at times.
But I only need to look to you and all you have done to realize that it is worth it.  You brought this amazing child into this world.  A child who changed everything.  He changed how people thought and he changed how people acted.  And then his life was brutally taken away...your child, taken away.....oh how I can relate!  But it didn't end there, the pain that you felt, that the world felt was worth it because HE CAME BACK!!!
It's hard to see our trials that way God, as being worth it.  But I know they are.  Our trials strengthen and challenge us.  They bring us closer to you because we get to the point where we realize that there is nothing left to do but to lean on you.  Us humans are stubborn, we're self reliant.  We need to realize we can NEVER do it alone.
I need to realize this.  I need to remember that you are with me every step of the way.  I need to see what those like Apath and Paul saw... that they, in their earthly lives, may never see the results of their efforts here on earth but that doesn't mean they aren't results and it doesn't mean that they would not see them from heaven.
And even better then this is that just because I can't see an end in this tunnel of financial stress and trying times what I will see, if I just open my eyes, is that by enduring these trials with my faith still in tact, with the ability to praise you on my tongue daily, I will change lives too.  Those around me will be changed, will be inspired...they will look to you as I have looked to you because they will see how doing so kept me going.
The sacrifices that Paul made were worth it.  The torture, the imprisonment were worth it as he was given the crown of righteousness...and he was given this because his faith never wavered and he praised you til his dying days.  Jesus sacrifice was worth it...his death changed the world.
Who am I to think that my sacrifice isn't worth it, that the trials I am enduring aren't making a difference somewhere?
God please just remind me that this is not my life, it is yours.  This world is not my home, it's just stopping ground for you to use me to better the world, the change others.  My prize is still coming, I won't know fully what it is til I am in your presence in Heaven.
Guide me Lord to make the choices that will bring me ever closer to  you but also ever closer to the life you want me to live to be a witness for others.  I am your servant Father...even if I do choose to serve myself at times.  Keep me focused Father God and bring me ever closer to you.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Doubt No More

Heavenly Father;
Today I am filled with doubt.... self doubt.  I feel overwhelmed with what is expected of me and don't think I can possibly get it all done.  I feel like a failure for not being organized, not being able to complete things on time or without tonnes of stress.  My devotion today is about doubt....doubting you and doubting Jesus.
I believe that I don't doubt you in that I don't doubt that you are here, there, everywhere.  I don't doubt that Jesus came to save us.
But I do have doubts....and if I have doubts in anything then I have doubts in you.  You have the strength to get me through this.  You have the power to help me to organize my life better, to complete what needs to be done when it needs to be done.  You can remove this stress from me.  All I need to do is ask right?
Then why don't I ask?  Why do I think I am alone on this?  Why do I think there is no way I'll ever get it together?  I don't know.  I just don't have answers....but again, you do.
I need to learn that every problem is my life is not mine alone.  Every thing I feel overwhelmed with needs to be given up to you.
God I am coming to you, on my knees (figuratively as I can't type from my knees) and asking you to help me.  Remove this cloud of doubt that the enemy has poured over me.  Show me how I can do it. Help me find the time in my day to get all that needs to be done, done.  Show me how to be better organized.  Help me to prioritize. But  most of all God, help me to forgive myself when things don't go as I planned so that I am not caught up in the doubts and convinced things will never change.
God you are ever present in my life.  Help me to see that.  Help me to see that I can come to you with anything and you hand will be on it.
Lord I want to serve you.  I want to be a vessel in which others see you and your amazing grace. Mold me Lord into the woman, the wife, the mother, the child, the friend, the teacher that you wish for me to be.
Open my eyes to all that you have already done...remind me that I am moving ahead, that I have come far.  I thank you for how far you have already taken me.
Bless this day Lord.  Make it full of promise and confidence, not full of doubt.
Be with me today Lord and be with all who I love.

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Choice of Forgiveness, the Idol of Unforgiveness

Good morning Father God!
Today I thank you for the snow you have brought to us.  It might not be my favourite season but the beauty of it is not lost on me.
I praise you once again for the opportunities to be in your word.  When Geoff's hours at work first changed I was feeling a bit angry. Selfishly I wanted to have my morning exercise time, my run and walk time, to not be changed, for my routine to not be disturbed.  I now can see your hand in this Lord and I thank you for the opportunities you have given me to rise each morning and spend time with, in your word and in your presence.
The last few days have brought the thoughts of forgiveness to my mind and I just feel I need to reflect on this in your presence.  I have read some amazing words about what forgiveness does and what not forgiving destroys.  It has made me realize that I do have some unforgiveness in my heart and I need to pray through that.  Sometimes I think I have done this and then it comes up to bite me real hard.  What my recent reading has taught me is that if we don't give this completely over to you then we are giving the enemy a foothold in our lives.  Forgiveness is not a feeling, it's a choice.  It doesn't come naturally at times.  I have a really hard time letting go of some of the disappointments that have occurred in my life and I will publicly admit (well to anyone who reads this lol) that I hang a lot of that on Geoff.  I know it's not going to get me anywhere, it's not going to change anything...and yet I do it time and time again.  I need to choose to forgive him for all that has happened to cause the job unrest he's had.  I need to choose to see the good in what it has caused.  I need to rejoice in what has happened, not focus on what has not.  When you don't forgive someone then that person becomes an idol that you place before God... what??? That I place BEFORE God... so by not forgiving Geoff for this job unrest, I am putting him in the way of my relationship with the you God.  I am saying that what he can't do is more important then what you can.  I become bitter towards him and this bitterness consumes me.
He's not the only one.  I have unforgiveness in my heart for how my family, most especially my mom, treats Geoff and how my mom treated me growing up.  I say I have forgiven her but when those doubts about things creep in my head then I am back to hanging it on her, on them.  I need to hand it over to you God.  I can not forgive on my own strength God.  I need you Lord.  Show me where unforgiveness lives in my heart and help me to release it forever.  You have forgiven me for all my sins and all my future sins...so why can't why I forgive others.  I am not more important then You so why should my actions say otherwise.  Forgive me Lord  for my unforgiveness Lord.
And Lord help me to see that these things that surround my unforgiveness are just trials.  There are just things that needed to be placed in my life.  My journey is not my own.  It is yours.  My trials are also not my own...they are ours.  Yours and mine.  Only you can get me through them.  Help me to see that they are there for a purpose, remind me time and time again of where the trials I already have journeyed have taken me spiritually.  Help me let go of my plans for my life and surrender them to you...your plan is better then anything I can ever have imagined.
Lord you are so amazing and you have so many great things in my life.  I am so very blessed to have the trials that I have had for they have strengthened me and brought me closer to you.  Help me to see this always and help me to endure the next trial and the trial after that with my eyes on you....looking only forward, looking only to you for help.
I praise you today and always!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Getting Lost in the Wonder of God

Good Morning Heavenly Father;
Thank you so much for this day, for one more day to serve you. Each day is a blessing and each day is one more I can spend loving you, serving you, being with you.  Sometimes it gets very easy to forget to start my day this way.  Sometimes it's hard to remember that each day is a gift.  It gets easy to ask you for things, for help, for encouragement.  It's not a bad thing to ask but the problem I have is that I ask a lot but don't think about the depth of what I am asking for.  An even bigger problem in how I pray that I have just discovered is that spend so much time looking to change what needs fixing, so much time asking for help etc, that I forget to look at what's already done, to thank you for what you already have made possible.
I have thanked you for making sure we have what we need and in the next breath I ask for a better job (or a job period at times) for Geoff, for better financial security.  It is such an ungrateful thing to do.  God, I thank you for always ensuring we can feed our family, provide what they need, not what they want but what they need.  I praise you for the jobs we have.  I love my work and am challenged by it and though Geoff isn't doing what he wants to be right now I praise you for giving him work and giving him the opportunity to be humbled by this type of work and this type of pay.  I thank you for the life lessons it has provided for both of us.  Many people make do with the low wage he's making and I am humbled to know that...and appreciate what we are learning to live with.  I thank you for the chance this job gives him to explore a different area, a different sector.
I often pray for patience for myself with my kids and husband, for my anger to be kept in check, for the ability to keep things in perspective.  Today I praise you for the growth that has already happened and for the changes you have made in me. I know that I so different then the person I was a year ago.  I thank you for the people you have brought to my life like Janine and Josie that are helping me to find ways to keep my cool, to be organized, to refocus.  I praise you for the ability to admit I wronged, admit I've lost my cool and it's not ok to my kids.  I thank you for teaching me to be humble.
Life is not easy and the trials of life are hard...they seem impossible at time. I know that with you they aren't. I know that those trials are making us stronger and I thank you for bringing them to my life.  I want to serve you, be a light to others and I know that showing how I can keep going through tough times is a testament to my faith in you.  So thank you for them, for the lessons they are for me but even more for how you use me to teach others.
Please help me to remember this today and everyday Lord.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Who Am I?

Father God today I am pondering just who I am in You and how other see me.  Do they see me as a light leading others to you?   Do they even know I am a born again believer by my actions, my words, the way I live my life?  Do they see me as a hypocrite?
I have a feeling that a great many might think that of me or at least of Geoff and I as a couple and as parents.  And I hate that.  I hate that we let the enemy in so often when we are trying to work out problems, when we are frustrated.
God I just want to be a channel of your peace.  I want to bring others to you by the example I set.  I need you to use me to do this.  I am ready to be your servant, to humbly walk with Jesus and show others how amazing a life with you is.  I need your help God.  I need strength to stay away from the things of the world that tempt me and lead me away from you.  There seem to be so many distractions that I give in to and those take away from the things that need to be done.  I need focus, I need to wear blinders like a horse does to keep me from veering off the path.  But I also need to keep my eyes always open to the needs of others, to the places you want me to serve.
Guide me Lord Jesus.  Bring me closer to you.  Use me to lead others to you...and change me and my ways so that I am a better example of someone who dearly loves you.  Keep my heart pure, my mind clear and my actions honest.  I want to serve, I want to change...I just don't know how.  I humbly come before you today acknowledging that I am not a good servant often and that I have many things that need changing and I ask you to change my heart and my ways Lord.  Make me stronger, less tempted.  I will do anything for you, whatever it is you wish for me.  I want to be bold and show others my love for you but I know there is great work to be done first.
So work me hard for the change Lord.  Push me to be better, stronger, purer.
I love you so much God and I am so very grateful for all you have done in my life and continue to do.  Please forgive me for my blunders, my mistakes...for the words and actions I say and do that are not honouring to you.
I give this day to you God, I give myself to you.
Ever your servant,

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


Today's devotion spoke about those in church leadership positions who do things to cause those in the church to doubt them and to lose respect for them.  In the end it asked ' How is God calling you to walk in a greater measure of responsibility and holiness as a leader? ' and I had no idea how to answer this.

Ever loving Father;
I am so blessed to have been forgiven by you for the mistakes I make.  Humans seem to be able to so easily judge the mistakes of others but not you.  You pick us up, dust us off and set us right again.  Today I am being asked to think about the errors of those in church leadership and from there to thing of how you are calling me to be more responsible as a leader at LEMC....And I am clueless.  I have no idea what You are calling me to do at church, no idea what leadership I am to be taking let alone how to be more responsible in it.
God I know you brought me to LEMC for a reason and so many great things have happened to me while there.  I am sure I am likely already doing some sort of leadership there, some type of important job but most days I just feel like I don't know what I should do there, what job is mine.  Help me to have my eyes open to the jobs I am already doing so that I may feel like I am fulfilling your desires for me there better and guide me Father to greater roles, greater responsibilities there.  Help me to stand up, stand strong, lead by example.  Make a channel for you God.  I am your servant and I want to serve.  I just need to know where and I need to courage to step out of comfort zones and step up to more of a leadership role.
God, I want, more then anything, to be used by you.  I want to be a light for others, a witness of your greatness, of your Grace.  Help me to drop the veil I hide behind and shine brightly for you.
Today Lord, please bless all those who are in leadership in our church and help me to feel more comfortable talking to them about my spiritual journey and seeking their guidance in what I can do to be more of a leader.  Keep us all safe from the attacks of the enemy.
I love you Father and am your ever faithful servant...I just need lots of guidance to get the serving you in the right perspective.
Thanks God for another day to be in You.

Monday, October 21, 2013

A New Focus

I have no idea who follows this blog but I am just going to start off today by explaining what I am up to with it now and why.... and letting anyone who reads it know that I may make it completely private... simply a place for me to journal.
I am in the midst of reading a book called  'A Miracle for Jen'.  It's a wonderful story about a young girl who is severely injured in a car accident and tells the miraculous story of her recovery.  One of the first things this shy, quiet girl did when she came out of her coma was to begin praising the Lord.  Her words of prayer and her singing of worship music was done in perfect, unaffected speach...and yet her communication skills on anything not related to the Lord were that of a toddler.  As soon as she can begin to write she starts a prayer journal....just as she had done before her accident.
Her prayer journals have made me realize how much I am missing the boat, how much I am not doing in my relationship with Christ. I have begun doing devotions a few times a week but I had never even thought of doing a prayer journal....which makes no sense given that one of my greatest gifts seems to be writing.
I was just going to do it in a book but I realized that I type faster then I can write...and I can certainly read my typing far better then my writing LOL!  So I will try my best to do a prayer journal on a very regular basis.
The thing that Jen's prayer journal made me realize is that my prayers are rather pathetic.  I spend so much time praying for things to happen, for what I/we need and not nearly enough time just praising God and asking Him to help me see that things I need to change about myself as well as praying for others when I know of prayer requests that are ongoing for others.  I am rather selfish in my praying.  I have had some insight into some of the things I need to pray about/for and I have read some great devotions that have made me really think.
So here goes.

Father God;
You are so amazing Lord.  You just seem to know exactly when I am ready to hear what You want me to know...you know when my heart is ready to take on a new challenge but better yet, when my heart is ready to hear the harsh realities of what your word says and how pathetically I am following it.
I know that becoming a Christian is a process and everyone's process is different.  I have always felt like I wasn't doing enough, wasn't where I should be.  I just had no clue how to get there.  I still don't but I realize that I am looking in the wrong place to find out.  I only need to look to you.  It's just as simple as asking you to show me.
Today God, I want to ask you to show me the areas in my life that need the most work.  Show me the things that I do that disappoint you the most.  I don't want to disappoint you God.  You have done so much for me so now please help me to see what I need to do for you.
Change is hard, habits are hard to break...but that is such a cop out, such an excuse.  I need to stop saying I will change, stop trying so hard to change even...and start asking you to help me change.
One the biggest areas I need to change is how easily I turn to anger, how easily I let anger consume me.  So God please show me the ways I can put myself closer to you when I am angry, show me how to use my anger as a motivator not a destroyer.
Yesterday Pastor Jeff spoke to us about coveting.  I used to have a huge issue with coveting various things... I wanted the financially successful life that others have, I wanted the marriage that others have...the kind where kind words are the norm, where fights happen rarely, where respect and love prevail.  Those would likely be the 2 areas that I was most conscious of and the ones I know to pray about...not that I really do.  But God I know that are other areas that exist.  I am asking you to show me those areas so that I may give them over to you.  If I keep wanting more then I am disrespecting you for what you have given me already.  I mean how I can even think of what else is out there without being thankful first for what I have.  And yet I do it...over and over again.
Pastor Jeff spoke about asking and asking for things or things to happen, coveting them and showed an example from the bible where people asked and asked but were not thankful for what they had.  Eventually you said 'sure, I'll give it to you....so much so that you will be sick of it'.  I think we tend to be like that, I tend to be like that.  I pray and pray for something without thanking you for what I have.  Then when it comes it is sometimes not at all what I wanted, what we wanted or needed.  I see that so much in Geoff's job search.
So today God I am praising you for all you have given me.  I am so very blessed to have the amazing family I have.  I love my kids and husband so much and they are such a wonderful gift that you have given me.  My life is a wonderful gift, so full of amazing people, things, experiences and successes.  I don't any more then what I have...I only need to learn to be happy with it, to see it all the time for how wonderful it is.  Success of life is not measured by the money we make, the house we have, the financial ease life is.  Success of life is being able to manage all that comes our way in a grateful way that honours you.
Show me Lord, where my heart needs changing, where my flesh desires override my love for you.  Help me to focus on you and what you want from me.  Help me to see Jesus in everything.  Help me to remember that the words of the bible are not just lessons for your people but proof of how amazing you are.
I love you God, I am so amazed by the things you have done for me and know that this will continue.  I need to remember to come to you more often to find solutions, to ease my sorrow, my anger, my frustration.  I need to turn to you and not to me.
Forgive me Lord for all that I have done out of anger, jealousy and distrust and open my heart to be changed by you.
Thank you for grace...it is sufficient for me.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A break....

I am finding it quite hard to keep up with this blogging project.  I enjoy it in a way but am finding that I get so far behind and so easily distracted from it....and I am not really sure anyone reads it anyway.
I think I may take a break from this blog and focus on my other blog and the writing of my book.  I  may change my mind on that and would really appreciate any feed back on this blog...on who reads it, on whether you find it helpful.  I may back my goal off and try to aim for once or twice a week...who knows.
I really welcome your feedback though... it will help me decide what to do.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Healthy Grieving: Step One

Grief is a natural, inevitable reaction to loss. You are not given a choice about having grief, but you can choose how you grieve.
I will be very interested to work through this multi-step grief activity and reflect on how I chose to grief.  I know I made many mistakes..and likely continue to.

Knowing the general process of healthy grieving will assist you on your grief journey. A basic understanding with practical application will enable you to work through the loss in a positive way.
The first step of healthy grieving is to acknowledge and understand your own grief. "The people who recover are the people who admit their loss and are able to talk about it," says Dr. H. Norman Wright.
Ok...think I did ok on this one, talking about my grief...it was all I did for a very, VERY  long time.  What I don't think I did well was to admit what my loss was... as I did in one of my last posts.  I lost my son but I lost so much more too. 

Understand this step and apply it. Look into your heart and explore your responses to grief so far.
"The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart" (1 Samuel 16:7).
Deuteronomy 4 : 29-31a
29 But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul. 30 When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, then in later days you will return to the Lord your God and obey him. 31 For the Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you
I feel very blessed to have been able to share, not only my grief, but also my son, with others.  I encourage everyone to talk about their loss and their grief.

Lord, help us when are grieving to grieve in our way and our time, but with Your wisdom. Amen.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

What Are You Feeling?

To help you express your emotions and share your story with others, it will be helpful to identify and define what you have lost and how you feel about it. Follow these steps:
1. Identify your loss. What did you lose? This seemed so obvious to me when I first went to write my response to this post...I lost my son, twin brother to my youngest child.  But then I realized that I lost so much more.  I lost my naivety about pregnancy, I lost my innocence.  I lost friends.  I lost the respect of some people (thankfully I gained it by many, many more people)...I guess I lost a big piece of myself. 
2. Determine your specific feelings about that loss. Initially I felt intense sadness and much confusion.  I just didn't. understand if I wasn't meant to bring two babies home from the hospital then why did I get pregnant with twins in the first place.  I felt guilty for not being overjoyed at the news that I was having twins.  And then I felt angry and bitter.  Those feelings came later, after the boys were born.  They tied into the loss of friends and respect.  I was so angry that the life I knew was gone, that people couldn't understand the new me, that people would judge me...but most of all I felt angry that this was my life...that I was to be the mom of an angel twin. 
3. Tell someone: "I'm feeling —— because of this loss." I didn't do well at expressing some of this but I think I shared bits and pieces of it with others and never kept it inside for too long.  Unfortunately the people I told were somtimes very unsure how to react and sometimes were judgemental.  Loss of a child, especially in a still birth situation, is such a hard thing for people to know how to react to...what to say, what not to say.  Validation for the loss was so important from everyone for me and I didn't get that from some people....I still don't from some people.

Dr. H. Norman Wright says, "What you need is more public affirmation and recognition of the fact that what you went through is a very legitimate loss, and you need to have grieving opportunities for that." 
I never wanted people to have to go through the pain that I went through but part of me will always wish I could put them in my shoes so they might be able to understand and would then recognize my loss as significant, recognize Cole's life as significant.  I think in time that has happened...as I could show how Cole inspired change in me and inspired me to do things for others, to fundraise, to raise awareness....I think as those things became more apparent then my loss was more validated.

Identifying your losses and your feelings is an important step to take at the personal level, but it is also important to share these feelings with another person and receive his or her affirmation.
I have an online friend, one of the very first who I met in the TTTS world, who lost her son about 18 months before I lost Cole.  She has never been public in her loss, she doesn't say much outside of the TTTS world about him, she rarely speaks his name.  She is still grieving so badly and finds it so hard to move forward.
I, on the other hand, needed to learn to stop talking about it at times...maybe I still do.  I don't pick up on cues that others don't want to hear me talk about it...actually I don't really care.  Why?  Because I feel I am honoring my son's memory by mentioning him and by sharing what he has inpsired me to do.  Obviously I had not been inspired to do much in the first few months but even then, by sharing Cole and our journey with others I think I helped myself move on and find acceptance.  I didn't hide my emotions, I didn't hide my son. 

"Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God" (Romans 15:7)

Righteous God, thank you so much for helping me to understand what I was feeling, and finding those with whom  I could share my feelings? Continue to make this clear to me, and give me the courage to follow through. Help me to be that person for others, the person that they can share with.  Help me to help them.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Sudden Loss and God's Grace

Dr. H. Norman Wright says, "Sudden death is a shock to the system. It can often plunge a person into a crisis state. It's the suddenness of it that's just overwhelming. You don't have the resources. It stops you from your walk through life." 
Most of the families that I deal with, most that I have so much in common with, were shocked by the death of their child.  Some had a bit of warning but we had none.  It was like being hit by a train.  We went from a blissfully happy twin pregnancy with no signs of any concerns to a life threatening diagnosis, surgery for treatment, loss and another life threatening diagnosis all within 48 hours.  It was completely overwhelming and I really didn't know where to turn. 
The sovereign Lord will remain by your side and will keep you from being destroyed by your emotions and circumstances. Claim His words in the Bible, and stand on the truth of His promises, regardless of what you feel and see. Cling to God with all you have. He will preserve your life. 

I wish I knew then what I know now but then again I wouldn't be who I am now if it hadn't taken me the time it did to turn to Christ. 

In the following verse Paul said he felt great pressure and confusion, but God set a limit as to how far this would go:

2 Corinthians 4 : 1, 8-9, 16-18

1 Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

When you need God's grace the most, God will bless you with a special, dynamic grace to get you through. 

Elisabeth Elliot experienced the deaths of her first two husbands. She says, "I think that the reason I did not cry at Jim or Ad's funeral was because God gives grace to help in time of need. Everybody else at those funeral services was just dissolved in tears. I can honestly say that I really did not feel like crying; I was just so swept away with the glory of the fact that my husbands were with the Lord. 
Sometimes those of deep faith are so filled with grace and can actually celebrate death and loss.  They don't dissolve in tears because they are so filled with peace knowing that their loved one is with God.  I don't know that this is the case with many when the loss comes as a shock.  So often in those situations if you don't see the tears and devastation it's because everyone is just in shock.  I sometimes think that is God's way of protecting us and our 'dignity' for lack of a better term.  He knows that we will need time to absorb what has happened and so he gives us a form of grace to cope with what has happened.

"I think God gives special grace at times like these to people who need it the most." 

As a Christian, God's grace protects you and sustains you in so many ways, even when you are not aware of it. Humans are limited in perception and understanding, but God's grace is infinite. Believe that God's grace is being poured out for you today, and if you need specific grace, ask Him for it. Through Jesus, you can find something to rejoice about in suffering.

"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance" (Romans 5:1--3).
This scripture quoted by the Grief Share devotion folks reminds me of my favourite scripture...

James 1

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

Savior of my life, I have said it time and time again, someitmes the pressure seems unbearable, but it has not crushed me and I do not believe it will crush others who turn to you.  Sometimes, even now, so many years after our loss, I am utterly confused and overwhelmed, but I have not given up, I will not give up.
I have been forcefully struck down, but I am not destroyed.  I believe that You have given me a special grace to help me through the hardest times. I will stand on Your promises even when I cannot see You or feel You. Amen

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Third Principle of the Journey: Be Involved

"Don't imagine that you're gonna tough this out and make it all by yourself," says Dr. Jim Conway.
I don't think I ever thought that but I also never saw myself as 'needing' anyone for grief either if that makes sense.  I needed distraction, I needed company, I needed help with the older boys but I never thought I needed someone to share everything with...I mean I shared it with EVERYONE didn't I....
Do you have a person with whom you can share your innermost feelings about your loss? Take action to find someone. Often it is helpful to find someone who has experienced a loss similar to your own.
And this I now realize is something I didn't do.  I didn't have anyone I shared EVERYTHING with.  I told bits and pieces to different people but no one heard my innermost fears, feelings, emotions and thoughts.  I would share abit with one person but if their response wasn't what I needed or wanted to hear then I shut down and stopped talking or spent forever trying to 'swing them' to my way of thinking....when no one but me could really think this about this situation...because I was and am the only one who carried Cole Edward Ryan Tummers. 
Pray first that God will direct you. Then make a list of family members, friends, neighbors, and coworkers with whom you might share. Pick up the phone and plan a time to meet and talk. You might also call your local church and explain that you just need someone to talk to about your situation. Another idea is to find a grief support group where you can share, ventilate, talk, and find support from others who can truly relate.1
I really encourage you to do this.  Having more then one person is ok but try to share the deepest parts of you, with your grief, with someone. 
There was a man all alone;
    he had neither son nor brother.
There was no end to his toil,
    yet his eyes were not content with his wealth.
“For whom am I toiling,” he asked,
    “and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?”
This too is meaningless—
    a miserable business!

Two are better than one,
    because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down,
    one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
    and has no one to help them up.
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
    But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered,
    two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
 (Ecclesiastes 4:8-12).

Lord, direct us to the person You want us to have as a friend and confidant during this time of grief. Help us to confide and hold nothing back so that we may feel supported and so that our loss may be validated. Amen.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Second Principle of the Journey: Be Expressive

Express your tears and your pain. In order to move on, you cannot push down and pocket your emotions; they must be fully communicated for you to heal.

"Everyone cries," says Dr. H. Norman Wright. "Everyone sheds tears. Some people do it on the outside, but some are only capable of doing it on the inside. From a health perspective, the shedding of tears is very beneficial to physical well-being. 
Well this is reassuring to me... I know I have shed more tears in my life then I thought possible and I have certainly shed more tears in the last 4 years, 2 months and 11 days then I ever knew a person could.  I have always been someone who could cry but had never really given it much thought as to how healing it could be.
"The people who are unable or haven't developed the capacity to cry are carrying a heavier load of emotion that can actually contribute to some physical difficulties. I don't think you should ever apologize for your tears because you never apologize for something that is a gift from God." 
It is amazing how hard it is NOT to apologize for tears. I do it all the time.  Ironically though I NEVER do it when I am moved to tears by something God has put on my heart...most often by worship music or sermons that move me.  God has given me those tears for an even more valuable reason I think.... to know that he is sending me a message from him, that he is walking very closely with me at that moment.
Pull out your emotions. Face the pain head-on. Mourn loudly. Weep bitterly. Be set free.

When Peter realized he had disowned Jesus three times, he "went outside and wept bitterly" (Luke 22:62). When Stephen, the first Christian martyr, died, devout men "made loud lamentation over him" (Acts 8:2 NASB). 

2 Samuel 18:33 The king was shaken. He went up to the room over the gateway and wept. As he went, he said: “O my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you – O Absalom, my son, my son!”

Lamentations 3:48-49 Streams of tears flow from my eyes because my people are destroyed. My eyes will flow unceasingly, without relief

Holy God,Sometimes we become so adept at pushing down our emotions that we don't know how to pull them up.  We know that must, that in order to move ahead we need to release those emotions that are caged up inside of us. We need to be confident in those emotions, comfortable in the gifts from you that they are and stop hiding them from others. Give us the opportunity and the courage to let our emotions pour out freely. Amen.

Monday, February 18, 2013

The book of John

As I said in my last post...the book of John is often said to be very key to understanding for those new to Christ.  Here are just some highlights that really spoke to me....

John 3

There was a man named Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader who was a Pharisee. After dark one evening, he came to speak with Jesus. “Rabbi,” he said, “we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are evidence that God is with you.”
Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again,[a] you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”
“What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?”
Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit.[b] Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life.[c]So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You[d] must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.”

 13 No one has ever gone to heaven and returned. But the Son of Man[e] has come down from heaven. 14 And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life.[f]
16 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.
18 “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. 19 And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. 20 All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. 21 But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.[g]

John 4

13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” 25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”

34 “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. 35 Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. 36 Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. 37 Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. 38 I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.”

John 5

19 Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed. 21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it. 22 Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.
24 “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. 25 Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live.26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. 27 And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.
28 “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice29 and come out—those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned. 30 By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.

John 6

26  “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. 27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”
28 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”
29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”

32 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 36 But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. 37 All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me,but raise them up at the last day. 40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.

53 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. 57 Just as the living Father sent meand I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.”

John 7

Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me. 17 Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own. 18 Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him.

28 Then Jesus, still teaching in the temple courts, cried out, “Yes, you know me, and you know where I am from. I am not here on my own authority, but he who sent me is true. You do not know him, 29 but I know him because I am from him and he sent me.”

33 Jesus said, “I am with you for only a short time, and then I am going to the one who sent me.34 You will look for me, but you will not find me; and where I am, you cannot come.”
35 The Jews said to one another, “Where does this man intend to go that we cannot find him? Will he go where our people live scattered among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks? 36 What did he mean when he said, ‘You will look for me, but you will not find me,’ and ‘Where I am, you cannot come’?”
37 On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”[c] 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.

John 8

 “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.
But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
11 “No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
13 The Pharisees challenged him, “Here you are, appearing as your own witness; your testimony is not valid.”
14 Jesus answered, “Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid, for I know where I came from and where I am going. But you have no idea where I come from or where I am going. 15 You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one. 16 But if I do judge, my decisions are true, because I am not alone. I stand with the Father, who sent me. 17 In your own Law it is written that the testimony of two witnesses is true. 18 I am one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father, who sent me.”
19 Then they asked him, “Where is your father?”
“You do not know me or my Father,” Jesus replied. “If you knew me, you would know my Father also.”

23 But he continued, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins.”
25 “Who are you?” they asked.
“Just what I have been telling you from the beginning,” Jesus replied. 26 “I have much to say in judgment of you. But he who sent me is trustworthy, and what I have heard from him I tell the world.”
27 They did not understand that he was telling them about his Father. 28 So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up[a] the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me. 29 The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him.” 30 Even as he spoke, many believed in him.

31 Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

34 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

There is so much more I could share here...and I might later but for now I simply say...

Lord Jesus, I want to be set free. Amen.