It was fun to experience meeting a couple of our grandson’s friends last evening. Dante wanted to have us take them to dinner with us which we did. I found it fascinating to talk with them for a couple of hours over dinner. They, like Dante, have a definite future in mind for themselves. They have goals and a purpose for living. They may not have come from the “idyllic home”, but they have determined to have their lives make a difference.
I found myself admiring these three young men. I knew from an early age I was not going to let my life at home affect what my life was going to be like as I could grow up and live life on my own. Of course, life didn’t turn out the way I had planned. I wanted life to obliterate the past I had. Yet, I have found that God does use everything in our lives to promote His Kingdom. Our lives become a beacon of light for others when we put all of it into God’s Hands to be used for His purposes.
I never thought I would be using my life as a counseling tool for God. I thought I needed to hide it so I could be useful to Him. Well, what I’ve found is being committed to God’s purposes in my life is the most important part of serving Him. He uses all things in our lives as we surrender all of them to Him.
It is always amazing to me to experience how God works out the details of living each day when I give the day to HIm rather than battle through trying to make it work out with my expectations. This entire trip has been put together this way. Yesterday, I knew would be the graduation for Dante at 8:00 am. Other than that I had no idea. Well, Dante was able to move out of his barracks and move into our place of lodging so he can be with us the entire time we are here. His other grandma who came also spent the day with us yesterday making the time even more special. Now, today, we can just enjoy being together until mid-next week when we all continue back to our homes.
My lesson for today is total trust in God’s leadership. I know how to trust that God will put things together, but doing this without fretting is another thing. God is wanting me to learn to trust with peace in mind knowing He is the very one who loves me and my family far more than I ever could. What a great and loving God we get to serve!
Today starts with the graduation of my oldest grandson from EOD training in the Air Force. He does so top of his class. I even get to go forward with him and pin him with the EOD badge. This makes grandpa proud!
It’s early and we have to head out early so todays message is short. However I give great honor and glory to God my Father!
Last night we had three counseling sessions in a row. The second one centered around the theme of what I wrote yesterday in this blog. I thought I was hearing my own story from another man. Actually, I was hearing the same struggle. I am still in the mode of observing the counseling so mostly I sat, listened and observed the scene as the man kept hearing truths he hadn’t ever been able to believe for himself. I love so much being able to see Light being shed for the first time just as it was shed for me not so long ago. This Light obliterates the lies of Satan and opens our mind and heart to a deep settled truth we can’t grasp otherwise. God is so AMAZING as He leads us through steps of healing!
Today we leave for Destin, Florida. Our oldest grandson is graduating from a division of the Air Force he has been in training to do for the past 9 months. We are very proud of him and look forward to all that God will be doing with him in the days and years ahead. We are staying for a week so we can have some time with him after tomorrow’s graduation. He will be free to “roam” for a short period of time until he is placed at his next assignment which is in S. California (much closer to home). We are also taking our next oldest grandson so the two of them can have some time together. He just graduated from high school and this is his graduation present. He has never been east of Idaho so he says he’s looking forward to seeing parts of our country unknown to him.
I’ve wondered what we ought to do while gone, but I keep being reminded by God’s Spirit that He will put this itinerary together as we get there. Just let Him lead. I go with great trust knowing the time will be a blessing.
A major reason I could never see myself as a home for the Holy Spirit was the horribly ugly sin of sexual abuse. No confession of the sin would remove the ugliness. My heart just wasn’t fit to be the home for the purity of God’s Holy Spirit. Though I knew scripture says our heart is the home for The Holy Spirit, I would quickly move away from that thought knowing it overwhelmed my desire that couldn’t be true. On top of that, I had impure thoughts relating to this sexual sin which only intensified this ugliness and my unworthiness.
God has performed His miracle, however, for me. I realize the abuse done to me was not mine to own and I do not own it any longer. Also, the fact that my flesh has temptations doesn’t make me impure, it makes me human. Along with all of this, these sins are “common to man” as I Cor. 10:13 tells us.
Knowing and believing all of this today, I rejoiced when I read today’s devotional entitled: “You are a Beautiful Dwelling Place”. Not so long ago I would have read this and knew in heaven this would finally be true. God wanted me believing this now and He has helped me to now believe I am a new creation who is a beautiful dwelling place for His Holy Spirit with Christ on the throne of my heart. There are no words in my vocabulary to express the depth of my gratitude. I believe, however, God knows this depth of gratitude and He gives me that deep settled peace in my soul!
This journey does continue. When 2022 began and I had made the commitment to begin living as a new creation by believing continuously I am one, I had no idea what I was doing. I only knew that this promise was for me and somehow I needed to believe it into existence. I had no idea what this would entail, I just knew it was time. Well, this year has been a huge turning point in my journey. Living as the old creation, I lived with the bondage of the sin done to me and my own sin. Believing I am now a new creation has begun to show me what living with an active and alive Heavenly Father, active and alive Savior and Lord, and active and alive Holy Spirit is all about.
A new creation doesn’t hope they are real, he knows they are because of their presence. I struggled so MUCH with believing before this year. In fact, most of the time I had believing buried deeply so I wouldn’t have to think about it. I just keep doing what I thought would please Jesus and I obeyed as best I knew how hoping that someday I’d arrive at this new creation reality. The gateway labeled BELIEF was locked until this year. Walking into the brilliant Light of belief is nothing less than AMAZING! I know I will never reach the end of my learning about this new reality, but what I know with deep assurance is I will never turn back. I’m sure I’ll face times where unbelief surfaces, but I am learning to face them, not hide or stuff them. How Faithful our Trinity Team is!
This morning as I was reading my devotional I was made aware of something I’ve thought could be true, but I haven’t seen it worded so definitely. What I’m writing about is controlling our thoughts. It states: “You are powerful enough to choose what you think about.” So often I can get consumed with details about upcoming events such as the start of the counseling program. Fears and anxiety can consume me. This morning was one of them. The scripture tied to this devotional message says, “I leave the gift of peace with you–my peace. Not the kind of fragile peace given by the world, but my perfect peace. Don’t yield to fear or be troubled in your hearts–instead, be courageous!” John 14:27.
As I read the scripture and the sentence stating I am powerful enough to control my thoughts, I realized this is another one of those areas of “self-confidence”. I use to think I would die before I’d be rid of some troubling thoughts. I never translated Christ’s Words of promise–“I leave the gift of peace with you…” as courage and strength to stand up to these troubling thoughts. Yet, today as I read this I knew this was another one of those old beliefs which I can let die.
Believing and living as the new creation Christ provided for us is nothing less than a miracle continuously in the making. How I love Him for this!
This weekend has been one for completing inventories for three of the men in the step study group I’ve been co-leading for our Celebrate Recovery ministry. Yesterday I did the second one and this afternoon will be the third one. It is always so wonderful to listen to one’s past and see what God is doing today. Then, it is even more amazing to hear them talk about what they hope for their tomorrow’s. Because I’ve had more years with my recovery, it is easy for me to see into their future the fruition of what they call hope. Each one of them has a story God is getting them ready to use for His Kingdom Glory. One of the guys is now ready to give his full testimony. Another is hoping to give his in another 6 months and to be sober for that long so he can begin to co-lead his own step study group. We have been praying for God to open the window for new leadership in our group. This, He is doing.
This recent awakening of mine regarding “being love” is not something unique to me. One of the men this weekend was sharing his own ugly past and the consequences of it. When I asked him if he knew that as a new creation God had made him love, he laughed. He knew better! Well, before the next few minutes were over, he was starting to believe a hope he never thought would be true for him. I certainly never thought it would be true for me, yet, God does not change what His Word promises. Finding the truth of God Word within oneself is truly AMAZING! It is a miracle of God’s Grace and Mercy–truly a miracle!
It has been amazing to me to finally ask a couple of people when they found out they were love, only to hear they never really doubted it. It was a foundation they hadn’t questioned or needed to think about. It was simply a truth for them.
It was two years ago this summer that I went to my prayer warrior. It was in the depth of covid so we sat out on her deck keeping a distance between us. I had finished the book she had me read–I Give You Authority. In it were the 3-R’s: Recognize, Reject and Replace. I had begun to recognize the lies I had always believed as truth, I could now reject them, but what was I to replace them with? This is where I was stuck. She then said it was time to pray over you so God would show you what to replace them with. As she did pray over me she said, “Let Earnie know to replace these lies with self-love, self-appreciation and self-confidence.” I now call these the 3-S’s. I asked her for a piece of paper so I could write the 3-S’s down so I wouldn’t forget them by the time I got home. She didn’t know what I was talking about so I repeated for her what she had prayed. She said, “That was the Holy Spirit talking, I have no recollection of that.”
I write this event because I now am coming into the realization of what self-love is. The first and big reality is that it is not arrogance as my father use to say to me. It is a peace that passeth all understanding–a contentment with oneself. I’d spent a lifetime hiding my past thinking it was who I am only to now realize it was done to me. It didn’t make me. God had done that with a purpose in mind. I’m finally getting there!
This journey of present is bringing me to a reality I’ve never touched upon and certainly never dreamed would be true for me. Earnie is love. (I’m all teared up trying to write this). God is Love. God made me in His Image. I am love. Good grief! This is utterly AMAZING!
I went and met with my prayer warrior yesterday after lunch. I couldn’t wrap my mind around this reality of “being love”. I am a doer, but being love was too overwhelming for me. I asked my prayer warrior, “Lois, when did you know that Lois is love?” Immediately she said she had never not known that. She went on to say that she didn’t know abuse from her childhood like I did. Love is embodied into a child during these early, formative years. She then went into sharing with me the characteristics I have which demonstrate love. The first one was passion. I easily recognized this characteristic. I have always carried a good deal of passion for whatever I’m doing. It is the motivation to not only do it, but to not quit on it until it is done right. Well, Lois said Passion is another way of saying love.
God is transforming each one of us into His likeness. I am so overwhelmed to be considered in this category of of Love. Earnie is love. This journey of believing I’m a new creation is now starting to find what the characteristics of a new creation are. It is a whole new level of believing. Today, I believe that I, (Earnie) am/is love.