Wasted Time

It was on yesterday morning when I began to think about my children and how I was lost for so long that I hadn’t begun to pray for their salvation until after the Lord opened my eyes to how lost I was. Often times we don’t think about our children’s salvation when we ourselves are just going through life making it from day to day. God was the furthest thought from my mind. All I thought about was myself and how I felt, and how I was being treated, and how broken I was. A life of selfishness had consumed me. Slowly the Lord began to pull me closer to Him. He used the pain that I had allowed to consume me, to drive me back to Him.

Speaking about the end of days seems to have taken over a taboo, and fictitious life form that many don’t discuss, and pastors have moved away preaching about it. Society, and culture has accepted the caricatured persona that those who speak of this are “not all there.” We all have seen at least one movie or t.v. show where the presumed mentally ill man stands on the corner proclaiming to be Jesus and/or proclaiming that the end is coming. Jesus’ declaration has been spun into a spoof, a parody if you will that has softened the reach of the church and the church has allowed it. We’ve backed away in order to appease the masses. We have forgotten that the Word says in Revelation 22: 18-19 (NIV), “I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.” This is also in the context of those who take the words of the Bible and distort them intentionally for their own gain, and intentionally lead people away from the true meaning of God’s word.

The Bible says in Revelation 1:3 (NIV), “Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.”  The end of times have been preached for well over 2000 years we can read from the beginning of the New Testament book of Matthew 24 (NIV) where Jesus Himself began to speak of the end’s destruction to come. Many Prophets have suffered persecution some severely, declaring that the end of time was near. Surely as time passed, and generations and generations began to live full lives and die of old age the proclamation of Jesus’ return began to wear off. The urgency of allowing the Lord to transform lives began to lose its luster and necessity in the minds of man. However, the Bible informs us (Matthew 24:14 NIV) that “…this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”

Just as in the day where Noah’s family was shut in the ark, many had gone on about their days without grasping the conviction of Noah’s message that the end was coming. This will also be in the final days.  “Behold, I come like a thief! Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed.” (Revelation 16:15, NIV). Jesus declares (Revelation 22:20, NIV), “He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.”Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.” What is quickly in our eyes? A few seconds, right? “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day” (2 Peter 3:8, NIV).

So to us we believe we have time to seek God and to turn from our ways but we cannot take time for granted. Our time is not God’s time.

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You Lord for being so patient and loving. Thank You for being so forgiving. Lord, I pray for the children of this nation, that their hearts are drawn to You, that they desire to know You Lord even if we, their parents, neglect our duty to turn their hearts to You. We give our children to You Lord. They were Yours before they were ours. Hold them up Lord in Your righteous hand. Give them the wisdom and knowledge they need to navigate these destructive days, and the culture that tells them it is acceptable to walk against Your Word. Protect them Lord. Direct their paths and soften their hearts to only Your Word so that they will accept Your guidance from the vessel You have sent.

In the name of Jesus I pray,

Amen!

 

Photo Credit: https://goo.gl/images/TcnDyc

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Loving Beyond My Comfort – Christianity and Prejudice Cont’d.

I wanted to continue on the subject of discrimination and Christianity. It is a subject that continues to be at the forefront of our society and we continue to struggle with the thought of seeing all as equal and loving one another beyond our comfort zones such as family, friends, fellow church members, and etc.

I want to share something that I believe could help heal someone else. As I pinpointed in the last post, there are many people who harbor anger and pain towards others because of a misdeed or an unfortunate circumstance that occurred that may have caused the scar that could not heal in your heart. Hurt causes reaction. Misunderstanding causes reaction. The great mind, Nelson Mandela once said, “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

I began to wonder how true this is. God gave us free will. Even the devil and the angels who followed him chose to rise against God in an attempted coup but of course failed and were thrown out of Heaven to roam the Earth seeking whom he may devour. Adam and Eve chose to eat of the ONE tree of knowledge after God told Adam not to. Cain killed his brother Abel after a jealous rage. So we can see from the beginning the heart is not naturally good. We must consciously allow God to come into our hearts to change us and once He has we must make a conscious effort to not turn back to the old ways. The Bible says in Proverbs 4:23 (NIV) Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

So we can only pray that God allows us to reject the pain that may cause us to harbor the resentment against another and begins to build up in our hearts until we can no longer resist the hurt from spilling out of our hearts and mouths built to praise our Heavenly Father.

Dear Heavenly Father,

I continue to pray Lord that You walk with me in the days on this Earth. Though I may discover difficulty along the way Lord, continue to wash me of the sins that may attempt to land in my heart. Keep me in Your will Heavenly Father. Let me be an example of Your word Lord so that I may lead a lost soul to You. Continue to work on me Lord because pain causes me to retreat to the old ways but You are my refuge in the time of trouble. Lift me up in Your righteous Right hand. In the name of Jesus I pray.

Amen!

My Words

Matthew 12:36 (NASB)
36 But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment.

Lord, forgive me. Can you think of times where careless words escaped your mouth? I surely can on a daily basis even when I try not to. But it’s that one thing that comes up that I can’t just let go and pray about it. Isaiah 64:6 says, “For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment…”  Every day I find myself asking for forgiveness but the Word says that there is no condemnation in Jesus. So, why do I continue to ask for forgiveness for the same things over and over? God will not forgive me anymore than He did the first time I asked. God does not accept guilt as an offering for His grace and mercy. 2 Corinthians 7:10 (NASB) says, For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death. He knew I would start off destroying the life He gave me to be a good steward over. His Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has already paid the debt to cover my raggedness.

Dear Heavenly Father,

Your grace and mercy is poured out upon us at every breath we take. Thank You for sending Your Son to cleanse us of our sins. Lord, let me accept Your grace as freely as You continue to give it. Forgive me for not always instantly realizing that You fulfilled the greatest act of love so that I may live freely with a repentant heart. Let my heart turn from the wickedness that it displays through my words. Let my words be acceptable in Your sight. You are are mighty, You are wonderful, and loving.

In the name of Jesus I pray,

Amen!

 

 

Let Me Choose

via Daily Prompt: Song

Let me choose to be happy
When tribulations come my way
Let praise be on my tongue
Let no song go unsung
Let joy be on my face
Though to my mind it can not be traced
Keep my worries at bay
Let my heart offer up praise.

~GrantedGrace72

 

Dear Heavenly Father,

When I may struggle to see past my circumstance, let me fight to see good through Your eyes, through Your Word. When I feel down and out, let Your Word lift me up.

In the name of Jesus I pray,

Amen!

Re-post from earlier date.

Christianity and Prejudice

I struggle with the ideals of Christianity and prejudice converging forming the society that we have grown accustomed to. I struggle with understanding how minds could believe that a loving, kind, and giving God would smile upon the unmeasurable hatred that has been displayed when He clearly said in John 3:16 (KJV), For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. The word whosoever defined as “whoever; whatever person” is a direct reflection of His outreach to show His love. To say that one  is inferior to the other because their religion, origin or skin color is contradictory to God Himself who cursed Miriam, the sister of Moses for speaking against Moses’ wife’s.  In Numbers 12, (1) Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife, for he had married a Cushite. The Lord heard them and become so angry that He called them out of the tabernacle to scold them (Christianity and prejudice). Then the Lord came down in a pillar of cloud; he stood at the entrance to the tent and summoned Aaron and Miriam. When the two of them stepped forward, he said, “Listen to my words:… 9 The anger of the Lord burned against them, and he left them. The Lord ended up cursing Miriam and gave her the lightest skin possible, leprosy. Her brother Moses being a humble and kind brother, pleaded for her, asking the Lord to forgive her and remove the curse but it says the Lord refused his plea.

There are so many websites, and articles that contradict each other. The Old Testament is debated greatly as the source of evidence that God is for slavery, and for oppression, and the slaughtering of many but it was not race that dictated God’s disapproval, it was the hardness of hearts that refused to believe that there was one true God or for the disciplining of those He considered to be His children. But God! I hear many share their love of those two words. I too love those words. But God, sought to save as many as He could and sent His only begotten Son. He, the Lord  Almighty wrapped in flesh chose to become a descendant of one of the most persecuted people on this Earth, the Jews. He chose. One day, Jesus was asked what is the greatest commandment. In Mark 12 He responds, 29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[e] 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[f] 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[g] There is no commandment greater than these.”

His love, grace, and mercy knows no bounds. In Revelation 7:9 (NIV) it says, (9) After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb… 14 … “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 Therefore,“they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence. 16 ‘Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat down on them,’[a] nor any scorching heat. 17 For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; ‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’[b] ‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’[c]”.

We all have some prejudice in our hearts, a moment in time will give us the true answer. Whether it was taught to us by parents, friends, our environment, an incident, a hurt, an inopportune time that caused it to become embedded in our minds triggered by the sight of…them, whoever your them is. I pray that we allow God to search our hearts and uproot any hatred, and anger, anything that is not like Him, anything that does not fall in line with His GREATEST commandment to love all.

Dear Heavenly Father,

Forgive me Lord for allowing the circumstances of these times to corrupt the heart that You have given me to protect. Forgive me for allowing the pain that I have experienced to overcome me and seep into the cracks I left exposed and began to display in my actions. Forgive me Lord. I ask Lord that You take control of my heart. Cleanse me of whatever is not of You and allow Your love to pour into me so that I can pour into others. Grow me up Lord in You.

In the name of Jesus I pray!

Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

Train Me Up In the Way You Will Have Me To Go

Just as my page title says, I am a WORK IN PROGRESS. As a parent I continuously find myself entangled and sorting through arguments that seem so frivolous that I need a minute to comprehend them. I start yelling as well! Making demands and corrections.

I grew up in a household where conversation and laughter was rarely experienced as a child. Normal dialogue came at an elevated tone to describe the latter of it so, that is all I knew of parenting. So my step children and biological children had to live through me learning how to be a parent and not a product of my upbringing.

I have struggled through this, completely unaware of what was missing in my life and unaware of my broken self, I continued in the production phase of parenting. It was not until and before I began to realize that the Lord began to pull on me, I fought it. Even when the Holy Spirit would nudge me and say this is not the way. I would still do it my way. Why? Because it was familiar to me. I knew it. I understood it. I’ve got this!
Then the weight began to pull me down. Is this who you want to be? A product being poured into the life of another. It took years! And I mean years just to GET my attention! The Lord never abandoned me. Then, I was too broken and too hurt and unable to go on in the manner I had grown accustomed to.

I had to allow myself to remember the grace of our Almighty Father. The One who forgave me for my sins; the One who listens when I cry and complain about circumstances, though I should be content and pray instead; the One who allows me another day to get it right even though more times than not I selfishly choose not to; the One who sorts through the messes I make so that they make sense.

So now when I hear those arguments starting, from the time I hear the first elevated voice to the foot stomping down the hall in my direction, I am LEARNING to pray, Lord give me the words to speak when they come to me to sort things out.

Dear Heavenly Father,
Forgive me for not standing in the position of mother that You entrusted to me in a gracious and merciful manner as You have been to me. Forgive me for pouring emptiness into my children when it was supposed to be Your Word. Forgive me for taking Your grace and mercy for granted. Thank You for continuing to chide me when I walked away. Lord, You have a purpose for my children, they were Yours before they were mine. Stand in their voids Lord that I leave. Fill them with You so that they will be whole because we are nothing without You. Walk with me Father as I continue to stand in this God-given position as a mother and let me not take another day for granted. Let my children hear Your voice when I speak and not the weak flesh that I so easily portray.

In the name of Jesus I pray,
Amen!

Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it.

Proverbs 22:6 New King James Version (NKJV)

 

Photo Credit: https://goo.gl/images/X5hGtQ

 

With Splendor

Isaiah 52 NIV

Awake, awake, Zion,
clothe yourself with strength!
Put on your garments of splendor,
Jerusalem, the holy city.
The uncircumcised and defiled
will not enter you again.
2 Shake off your dust;
rise up, sit enthroned, Jerusalem.
Free yourself from the chains on your neck,
Daughter Zion, now a captive.
3 For this is what the Lord says:
“You were sold for nothing,
and without money you will be redeemed.”
4 For this is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“At first my people went down to Egypt to live;
lately, Assyria has oppressed them.
5 “And now what do I have here?” declares the Lord.
“For my people have been taken away for nothing,
and those who rule them mock,[a]”
declares the Lord.
“And all day long
my name is constantly blasphemed.
6 Therefore my people will know my name;
therefore in that day they will know
that it is I who foretold it.
Yes, it is I.”
7 How beautiful on the mountains
are the feet of those who bring good news,
who proclaim peace,
who bring good tidings,
who proclaim salvation,
who say to Zion,
“Your God reigns!”
8 Listen! Your watchmen lift up their voices;
together they shout for joy.
When the Lord returns to Zion,
they will see it with their own eyes.
9 Burst into songs of joy together,
you ruins of Jerusalem,
for the Lord has comforted his people,
he has redeemed Jerusalem.
10 The Lord will lay bare his holy arm
in the sight of all the nations,
and all the ends of the earth will see
the salvation of our God.
11 Depart, depart, go out from there!
Touch no unclean thing!
Come out from it and be pure,
you who carry the articles of the Lord’s house.
12 But you will not leave in haste
or go in flight;
for the Lord will go before you,
the God of Israel will be your rear guard.

 

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+52&version=NIV