Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The Wounded Strong

Recently I witnessed a wrongdoing. It brought up a lot of feelings inside of me. Anger, sadness, pain, compassion. My initial response was to fight for the person that had been wronged, but then I decided it would be best to wait and pray and see what God had in mind. 
Since then, I have been thinking of the women at the well. In John 4 verse 24 I read this today, " God is sheer being itself--Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration."  Jesus is looking for people who are worshiping him out of their very being, their true selves, openly and honestly. 
He is not asking us to come before Him without problems or without wounds. In fact, when He spoke to the women at the well, she had a lot of problems. She was amazed that Jesus knew all about the many things that she had done, and was still doing. Yet, He still engaged in conversation with her, and she was still a light to others. She went back to her village and called them to follow her and brought them to Jesus! 
"And they went out to see for themselves"
There have been times in my life that I have been pushed away and told I could not help in the church because I was wounded. The rejection of Godly Christian people was very painful, and that was much harder for me to recover from than other wounds in my life. It was like a knife in my back permanently wedged there by people I loved and trusted.
This is what I witnessed again last week, and it is wrong.
God loves the wounded, because we all have wounds. He uses those who openly come before Him with our wounds and admit to Him that they exist. Then by His stripes he heals them.
By the grace of God I will stand on His integrity and His love, and believe in the light He has put in His people.
Say That Again!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

God and Friends

So I heard a sermon by Kris Vallatton the other day that intrigued me, and it helped me put some pieces together in my own head. He was talking about being friends with God. The part that I loved, and hadn't given a lot of thought to before now, was the stories of Abraham and Moses in conversation with God:
"Then the men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, while  Abraham was still standing before the Lord. Abraham  came near and said, 'Will You indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city; will You indeed sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous who are in it? Far be it from You to do such a thing to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that  the righteous  and the wicked are treated alike.  Far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?' So the Lord said,  'If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare the whole place on their account.'" Genesis  18: 22-26
This conversation between The Lord and Abraham continues until Abraham has convinced God that the city should be spared if ten righteous people are found. 
Now, if we look at the story of Moses, he knows the people have sinned horribly and God is not happy. God actually said to Moses that he is ready to destroy them. So, like Abraham, Moses fell down before God and prayed: "O Lord God, do not destroy Your people, even Your inheritance, whom You have redeemed through Your greatness, whom You have brought out of Egypt with a mighty hand. Remember Your servants, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; do not look at the stubbornness of this people or at their wickedness or their sin. Otherwise the land from which You brought us may say 'Because the Lord was not able to bring them into the land which He promised them and because He hated them He has brought them out to slay them in the wilderness.' Yet they are Your people, even Your inheritance, whom You have brought out by Your great power and your outstretched arm."
 Deuteronomy 9: 26-29
The part I related to, and even chuckled over was how God, in both cases had had it! He was done with the people. Yet, it took a friend to talk Him through the situation. 
This was the sermon, and I liked it. I liked it because, there are times that I am done with people and I run to God needing Him to talk me through the situation. This helps me see how much He understands. He gets it.
Or the great value of having friends in our lives to process difficult situations with. God calls us friends, He wants to know what is going on in my life, and He wants to tell you what is happening in His life too. It's a conversation. 
What do you want to talk to God about today?
Is there something you need to say again?
I know, for me, there are many things I bring to Him, and many times I ask Him to Say That Again!
For Him, it is a delight!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Whole30

My family has been on a nutritional reset. We have doing the WHOLE30 for the month of January. In many ways it has been fun, and other ways it has been very challenging. My husband and son found it to be a challenge initially as they detoxed from carbs and sugar. I found the challenge to be more emotional and time consuming. 
I was spending a lot of time preparing food, something I do not necessarily enjoy. Then, I found it emotionally draining to hear any grumbling or complaining about it. My patience the first couple of days was thin, as it felt like a lot of work with little benefit.
We are on our 18th day, and for me it doesn't feel like as much work now. I've figured out a good routine and I'm not living my life in the kitchen anymore. Thank God! My husband has been very helpful and even though he claims he hasn't noticed a lot of benefits, I think there have been several for him. He's lost weight for one. 
My son, still is not overly excited about our adventure, but he has stopped complaining. He even helps on occasion. And, he too has lost some weight and looks great. He is not excited about making less sugar and less carbs a way of life for us. But, that is our goal.
My daughter and I have done pretty well. She is looking forward to having pancakes again, her favorite weekend breakfast. 
My favorite part of this journey is that we have worked together as a family. We have had a big breakfast everyday, and sat down together to eat it. And, the same with our dinner. We make our brown bag lunches together. It has been a family effort, which to me has been very good. This is something I want to continue in our home. 
The value of learning nutrition and teaching our children moderation is something I've always believed in. It makes a difference when the entire family is on board, working together for a common goal.
I think this is true for all things concerning the family-church, time, communication, friends, etc The family is a unit to be unified together. 
What are the things you are doing in your family that bring unity? 
Jesus was all about unity with His disciples. He was with them day in and day out. He walked with them, talked with them, and ate with them.  He worked at relationship with them. They were high on His list of priorities.
I like the way Jesus lived! It was whole! Say That Again!
To read my reviews on the WHOLE30 cookbook go to www.rootedinmercy.com

Monday, January 18, 2016

Growing Roots

So much has happened, where do I begin? 
God and I have been on a journey that has escalated the last couple of months. This has been a fascinating ride for me. 
I've known for so long that He has been creating ways for me to have deeper roots. This, is not always pleasant. He has also been repeating the words to my heart to "Rise Up" and I've been praying  about that for sometime now. 
This brings me to my devotional blog and website www.rootedinmercy.com This site has been an adventure for God and I together and a step of faith for me. It's been my "Rise Up"
As I've stepped forward I've had to fight against many of the enemies weapons. I've spent hours praying to God for courage and strength. 
Some of the weapons used against me have been:
-rejection
-fear
-failure
-isolation

This is God's promise: "No weapon forged against you will prevail" Isaiah 54:17 
With prayer, I have found that He raises me up and deeply roots me in Him. When I really begin to feel that internal battle, and I do, I ask a friend or two to pray for me, and fight with me. My courage and strength returns, in time. 
"God's Word is an indispensable weapon" Ephesians 6:17
  What are the weapons forged against you?  
We all have our battles, and our root system. Each one of us will Rise Up in some way, and the enemy is working hard to push us down.  Know the weapons used against you, and perfect the use of the weapons given you. 
Say That again!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Where's the Power?

Last week we experienced a strong wind storm, the lights flickered, and then our power went out. We were then without lights, heat and water for the next four days!
It felt like the wind had swooped in on us and blown it away.
Thousands of people in our community were hit by the wind storm, and left without power.
For us, we were very fortunate to have family and friends that still had power in their homes and welcomed us to come shower and stay warm. We had friends that offered us food, and a generator. It was very kind and helpful.
The experience was good, and eye-opening.
I saw the goodness of others, and I felt loved.
I witnessed how quickly things can change from normal to not so normal.
I was impressed with how well my children adjusted and sailed through each day.
I was incredibly thankful for everything provided to me from our loving God.
I felt blessed to still have power at our office.
It was Saturday morning when we heard our son calling from his bedroom with excitement "the lights are back on!" And, sure enough, the power had come back on. I was eager to take a shower!
I think we quickly forget how blessed we are. We've been given so much abundance and luxury, but we become accustomed to it all. It is sometimes easy to take it all for granted, but when the wind blew and it all went away, and it stayed away, I was more and more grateful. 
I like having power. I like to see in the dark. I like having heat on cold mornings, and I really love hot showers. I especially enjoy having water to drink. These are all wonderful gifts from God, and I am so thankful to have them back!
Praise Him today for all that He has blessed you with; it's the week of Thanksgiving. And, there's so much to be thankful for. 
Say That Again!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Going To The Other Side

Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while he sent the multitudes away.
Matthew 14:22

There are some challenges in our life right now. We've been in the middle of a storm now for a very long time, like the disciples were when they crossed the lake. We've been riding the waves, up and down. But, lately, it feels more like the waves are overtaking us. This last Sunday in church the sermon was about the waves overtaking us, and one of the points he made was that Jesus told his disciples to get in the boat and go to the other side! Just go to the other side! There will be storms in between, but Jesus comes and calms them down. We don't even know how long it's going to take to get to the other side, we just know that Jesus said to go to the other side.
For me, there are many things that Jesus has said to me that does not coincide with what is happening now, but I have to keep my focus on what he said. It's challenging. Life circumstances do not look good, the waves bring moments of doubt and questions, but I'm not at the other side yet. 
I'm in the middle of the lake!
My husband, children, and I are not going to drown because Jesus put us in the boat and told us to go to the other side. 
When fear creeps in, and it does, I have to run back to my source and he reminds me that we will not be forgotten. 
Jesus, Say That Again!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

To Dance

Then he broke through and transformed all my wailing
into a whirling dance of ecstatic praise!
He has torn the veil and lifted from me
the sad heaviness of mourning.
He wrapped me in the glory-garments of gladness.
Psalms 30:11

I read a book by Brene' Brown that said to be really vulnerable with each other, we must learn to laugh, dance, and sing. Shortly, before that I had heard a man and women speak about the powerful effects of laughter, and how when we start to tell ourselves lies, it actually works to laugh at them. After all, isn't it God that inspired Solomon to say that laughter is like medicine?
Then, I remembered a retreat that I went to a couple years ago and they had a talent show. My favorite talent was a young woman that got up in front of everyone and sang a childhood song. There was a small thing-she could not carry a tune at all! But, her song was absolutely beautiful! 
This brings me back to dance.
There was a wedding a couple weeks ago. I had the honor of being in this wedding. This was an honor for me on so many levels that I won't go into, but I will say it nourished my heart. 
It nourished my heart as a friend
a woman
a mother
and a wife
At this wedding,  there was laughter and song and then there was the dance. 
We watched the Bride and Groom dance which was incredibly romantic, and, I know, the wedding is about them. But, this dance was about my husband.
I could see him standing on the other side of the dance floor and I knew the Spirit was telling me to dance.
Take note that neither of us have dance experience!
When I pulled my husband onto the dance floor, his smirk was priceless. We had so much fun! 
To dance with a crowd of people around us, but feel like it's just the two of us is heaven.  And, at that very moment, I felt like God had broke through years of grief and given me a glimpse of all the joy that is to come. 
We've had a lot of grief, loss, pain, etc yet there is joy to dance, sing, and laugh. God sees through the pain and breaks down the veil and brings gladness. 
Today, I am dancing in this.
Say That Again to me Jesus as I dance  before you.