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Archive for the ‘GOD’ Category

Angel-army

 

It is so easy to look at our life, or a particular situation and blame systems, governments, society or individuals for the problems in our lives. It is so easy to vilify those around us; their actions and motivations.

Years ago I read a fictional book that was very popular at the time, about spiritual warfare, called This Present Darkness, by Frank Peretti.

Ephesians 6:12 encapsulates the them of this book:

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

When the book title came up in a conversation, recently, I was intrigued to return to Ephesians 6, and to see what it said, in context.

The instruction, from Paul, is to encourage the believers to be prepared. This makes me think of the motto for the Boy Scouts, “be prepared”. When their founder, Robert Baden-Powell, was asked what it is that they should be prepared for, he responded, “why, for any old thing.”

Ephesians 6:10-18 begins with an introduction:

“… be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.”

Not from us is our strength found, but in him! A good reminder for those of us, who independently, and arrogantly think we can do it … alone.

Then, wrapped around verse 12, is the recipe for his strength:

(“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”) verse 12

He tells us to:

“Put on the whole armor of God” (v.11)

“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.” (v.13)

His instructions to “put on” and “take up” stand out to me. It would seem as though his armor is fully available to us, but we are responsible to dress ourselves.

And this is part of the freedom we have, as believers. He does not force us to wear the armor, that will save our very existence. He lays it all out, he tells us that putting it on is his plan … and then he leaves the door open, and it is up to us to choose whether or not to dress for battle.

No guilt trip, no pressure … freedom to choose.

And this is what he presents for us to dress in”

  • the belt of truth
  • the breastplate of righteousness
  • as shoes for your feet, the readiness given by the gospel of peace
  • the shield of faith
  • the helmet of salvation
  • the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God

But, he doesn’t end with the armor, for he reminds us to cover all of this with prayer, and to not give up.

“praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication … keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints” (v.18).

I think that my favourite part of this letter, from Paul, is how he ends it,

 Peace to the brothers and sisters, and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.” (v.23-24)

As I reread this letter, as I contemplated the darkness in our world and in my individual life, I found myself feeling … well … a little under dressed. I am guilty of taking God up on the freedom he gives to me. I am guilty of walking into battle short on armor. I wonder how much more prepared I might be if I were to accept the protective armor that God has waiting for me?

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This is the day!

Tuesday …
Not that regretful Monday, or that anticipatory Friday.
Just Tuesday, humdrum, mundane, Tuesday.

But, this is the day.

A gift …
It has never been before, and will never will be again.
Just how will you and I unwrap it?

This is the day.

Unmarred …
With not a single mistakes in it (yet).
Just to keep it that way.

This is the day.

This is …
The day that the God has given us,
With no promise of another.

We do well to rejoice,
be glad,
and squeeze every bit of life out of it.

This_is_the_day_the_lord_has_made_16x16_-_600

 

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It has been happening again …

the obvious sense of God’s intentional stalking of my heart and thoughts, reaching into my very being, taking me on a journey that will test my preconceived notions beyond anything I could ever imagine.

God has been leading me to a variety of teachings, on a specific topic, but he keeps bringing me back to Hebrews 12.

And it all starts with nudity choosing freedom.

“let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles”

I’ve gotta admit … I am not so comfortable talking about my sin. I can talk about the sin of others, or the sins of my past, but … present sins (yes, sins, as in plural) … kinda gives me the heebie jeebies.

It kinda makes me feel … naked, exposed, stripped down.

when sin is exposed, and we feel exposed

It is as if the sin becomes us, we become the sin.  As if the light that illuminates our wrong way of living, shines a spotlight on our very selves, our very souls …

But, to “throw off” our life-hindering sin, it has to come to light, so that we can live.

dark to death
light to life

So, we are to throw off this hindering sin. It is hindering because it becomes like heavy baggage, resulting in bitterness, sorrow and feeling stretched and weighed down. To throw it off means to move on, 

And to move on … well, isn’t that what we need to do? Isn’t that what New Year’s resolutions are all about? moving on from the old, and toward the new?

This stalking by God, that I have been sensing … it is all about moving on, it is all about throwing off the sins that are hindering,

but first, I have to call a spade a spade,
and admit that I sin,
so that I can strip it from my life.

Day one, the journey has begun.

 

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conviction

In lieu of words from me, today I am bowing to words of another.

And all I am going to share is the comment I left on her post:

“This was my favorite post of the year! You documented the process from the start in such a way that it is undeniable that you were experiencing a very personal and spiritual conviction. Thanks for sharing your transformation.”

Enjoy the thought-provoking words of author, speaker, momma, wife and Jesus-feminist ;), Sarah Bessey, and her personal story of being convicted that God wanted her to do something, So I Quit Drinking.

 

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“Positivity is the key to success”

The words rang through our home numerous times each day, from a daughter to her brother throughout his adolescents.

They are good words, they are encouraging words … but they are not always the words one desires to hear when negative situations seems to falling into one’s lap, over and over, day after day.

The Bible allows for a little negativity:

  • Job, quite literally, sat upon a dung heap numbering his woos
  • the Psalmist has numerous accounts of laments
  • Esau cried out loudly when his birthright was given to his brother
  • heck, an entire book in the Old Testament is called Lamentations

It is okay to to lament, sit for awhile on a dung heap and to cry out to God.

Our God knows and sees all that we experience in this life. He knows when we hurt, when we are angry, when we ache. To not share our laments with him is pointless, for we cannot hide anything from him.

With our acknowledgement of the negatives in our lives, can come some relief, for in the telling, the sharing of our hearts in the safety of communion with God, it can be like a needle prick in a balloon, allowing the tension of holding it all in to be broken.

In sharing our honest hearts with God, we release our negative situation to him, no longer being held down by it’s control.

Though positivity can be a key to success, dealing rightly with the negatives is also an important factor. Holding on to the negatives in our lives, as if they were a precious jewel, does not allow us the freedom that comes from handing them over to God.

And he is safe with our laments, for “he was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain” (Isaiah 53:3).

 

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New year chapter one, new start concept

This day begins with it’s end in view … with the start of tomorrow, a new year is also in view.

This change of a year in a day causes our thoughts to drift back, to drift forward in a constant hither and thither movement.

We look back, over the past twelve months, and smile at the times that have left an eternity of warm and pleasant memories for us to live the rest of our lives. We also look back and sights we remember what we wish we could forget, what we wish had not been part of the narrative of this past year.

But we also look forward, with the hope of Anne of Green Gables, who stated:

“Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet.”

So, as we prepare to bid adieu to 2017, let us hope and dream, let us love and squeeze every bit of opportunity to do well to our fellow Earth travellers, to inhale the wonder of each new day, and to not waste a breath we have been so graciously given.

The Year
(Ella Wheeler Wilcox)

What can be said in New Year rhymes,
That’s not been said a thousand times?

The new years come, the old years go,
We know we dream, we dream we know.

We rise up laughing with the light,
We lie down weeping with the night.

We hug the world until it stings,
We curse it then and sigh for wings.

We live, we love, we woo, we wed,
We wreathe our brides, we sheet our dead.

We laugh, we weep, we hope, we fear,
And that’s the burden of the year.

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blogAfter being awakened, far too early, by my torturer (aka, the Wonder Dog) I sat watching the sky to show signs of morning moving aside the darkness of night, my phone dinged an incoming text.

A sweet lady I know was awake when she received a notification, by email, of a blog post from itsawonderfilledlife, and she let me know that she felt she could hear my voice saying it’s words, telling it’s message, to just her.

The most common question I get about this site is,

“How do you have time to write a blog?”

To which I would say, I just do it.

The real question isn’t how? The real question is, why? For if the answer to why feeds some part of us, the how is redundant, for we do not starve ourselves from that which nourishes our souls.

A couple of years ago I wrote about my writing as being what I leave for my kids, in the post, Writing as a Legacy. I have also written about my purpose in Why do I write this Blog? In that post I wrote:

“Although there is great jesting in my house about my desire for Oprah to discover me, really, I write for me. This little corner of the cyber world is where I connect with God, where I process my hurts, where I share my celebrations, and where I just get it all out. For me, itsawonderfilledlife is my hairdresser, my bartender, my shrink. And, you who read are the flies on the wall.”

I do write, primarily, to leave a legacy for my children, and I do write because it is a place where I can be the real me, as I share my successes and failures, and my insights on them. Because we all have such insights …

We all live in the mundane, the magical and mayhem of real life. We all experience love and hate. We all have given forgiveness, and been given forgiveness. We all strive, fall and have to face the reality that we must get back up again. We all have times of being full with life, and times of struggle to get out of bed.

And that, is life … real life.

I simply give words to it all.

It is not unusual to receive messages from people like these:

“I so needed to hear what you wrote.”

“I am going through the same thing.”

“Thanks for sharing your heart.”

“I needed those words today.”

I write … for my kids, for myself.

And I hope that my words of love and loss, success and failure, laughter and weeping, joy and struggle touch you, the reader. Whether the stats show that there were two views, or two hundred, on any given day.

No matter the number of views, it’s the comments, emails, messages and texts in the wee hours of the morning that tell me this isn’t just about me (or even my kids). This is what God does when we offer him the little we have, and he works though our little, to multiply his love into all of our stories.

 

 

 

 

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