Last night was our Good Friday service. We call it Good when it is so bleak and black. I’m unsure who coined the label Good Friday, but whoever did was only looking at tomorrow when they put Good in front of Friday. God IS so Good and Christ’s work on the Cross was so GOOD.
In my years gone by I would come home from a Good Friday service and have to steel my emotions. Knowing the reality of Christ’s work on the Cross, seeing it being relived would overwhelm me. In those days I couldn’t dispel the weight of the sin of abuse. I didn’t know how Christ took care of the sins done to someone. I knew He buried the sins I committed, but I was also carrying the sin within me of my brother’s sin. How did Christ bury it/them? All of this would be the reason why I’d steel myself from these feelings in order to celebrate on Sunday–Easter.
All these years later, working with Celebrate Recovery, having the counseling and therapy, telling the bondage within me to Godly ones God has placed in my life and daily journaling to God and His TEAM (Christ and The Holy Spirit), I now know that the sins I thought were mine to house in me were never mine to carry. I believe this is one of Satan’s strongest shackles used on abuse victims. He keeps us in such bondage believing there is nothing we can do because we are less than others or else we would not have been the one chosen to be abused in the first place. There is so much I could write out here, but my point in doing this is to let any reader in bondage know that these sins are forgiven and buried by Christ’s work at the Cross too. If the abuser had asked for forgiveness, as my brother did, they were buried. The bondage of carrying them within me was a weight I needed to give to Christ and understand I am a child of the One True King. I wasn’t the sin, my brother’s actions were the sin. This reality has taken years for me to unravel, but I am pretty much there.
So, because of these truths, today I don’t anguish over the weight of sin in me as I use to do. You don’t have to anguish over what was done to you either. Give it to God and allow His healing to be yours as you take the steps of talking these through with Godly people and allowing God to speak to you through the steps of journaling and daily coming to Him with what might be tormenting you. Read the scriptures of truth about what the Bible’s authors say such as in Ephesians 2:10–“I am God’s masterpiece.” Reach out! God is wanting so much to give His Mighty, Powerful Help.
I’m home and it is much more like Spring here than on the eastern side of Idaho. The temperatures are warming there but there is no evidence of life starting to show its colors like flowers beginning to bloom, trees starting to show their changes in color as life if beginning to flow in their veins. I’m glad to be home where this is happening.
Today is Good Friday. We know this story. Even though it is devastating to think about Christ’s crucifixion, we know the purpose, the outcome and the final outcome. No one of the time recognized any of this except Christ even though the prophets had given many prophecies which were grossly misunderstood. It is interesting for me to be reading presently in Revelation. Here is where the prophecies of Christ’s work finalizes. This Son of Man who is also the Son of God fully reveals Himself. It certainly gives Easter a luster I haven’t thought out the way I am this morning.
I am still amazed that this Son of God places himself in me–on the throne of my life as I turn it all over to Him. He also gives me this Glorious Holy Spirit to live/dwell within me. Boy, does Revelation give more powerful credibility to The Holy Spirit I had not recognized before. All of this is within me and it is within each of us if we have surrendered our life to Jesus. I love Him and want to fully trust Him in all aspects of living each and every day. His Holy Spirit promises to help me and each of us do this when we accept the challenge of surrendering. To God be all Glory–Great things He has done and will do as we continue on this path of living for Him.
It is amazing to be on God’s team working to do what He wants done for the day. Yesterday I finished what the day’s work was to be. Even though I’m not to anticipate what the outcome was to be in God’s leading, but, I did anyway. I was expecting the four men to have their eyes greatly opened and eager to make changes as needed. Well, Earnie was awakened yet again to the fact that man doesn’t change so easily. I’m no different in this category either. It has taken me 67 years to get to the place of surrender I am today. One of the men was fully engaged, another one wants to be but he’s very green to the work. The other two were like misbehaving kids. I will be back in a month and will address this behavior if it continues then. My point in writing this is that I’m continually awakened to God’s Work and His Timing. I keep trying to put the work into my timeframe and with my expected results. I don’t mean to do this selfishly, but I’m learning it is nonetheless, my selfishness that drives my thinking and expected results.
Today I finish the work here and head home. It will be nice to get back home too. This morning I’m reminded that Jesus and his disciples spent this day prepping for The Last Supper. I can only imagine the anguish Christ was sensing knowing His men still didn’t “get it”. Their selfishness, their expectations were continuously getting in their way. I find this so true for me much of the time. In my Bible reading of Revelations 2 & 3 this morning I am challenged to keep myself open fully to Christ’s leadership in my life. To also keep His Holy Spirit alive and well within me. I never want to be lukewarm as John is challenging the churches of the time for which he was writing. For me to stay on fire I must surrender these selfish moments when I want to yield to temptations of simply thinking about things that could easily yield to sin. I am instantly being selfish when this happens. This morning I realize these are the times when I am to “surrender rather than linger”. Jesus takes these to the Father when I surrender them. I want to put this into full operation.
God just isn’t done with me, transforming me into the likeness of who he created me to be. I feel Him nudging me to say: “In the likeness of His Son Jesus,” yet I (we) are all so unworthy of this capability. However, as I write this I already know that this isn’t about our worthiness but it is all about God’s Grace given to us through His Son Jesus. Along with all of this, the indwelling of His Precious Holy Spirit. I just started reading Revelation this morning. In the first chapter John is writing about hearing this powerful voice behind him. When he turns around he finds the Transformed Christ in all his glory giving him the message to write to the 7 churches. He even says the Spirit of these places is the Holy Spirit–the same Holy Spirit that dwells in me (us).
Yesterday’s work with the district showed me 4 men who are running a small Idaho school district with a whole lot of man’s ego. Today I finish the work and report back to them everything that must be done differently and I’m allowed to offer my help in making these changes in the months ahead. This morning’s revelation in God’s Word shows me that the Almighty Spirit of God is within me. I am not giving yet another man’s ego message to these folks. It is a message of man seeing how his ego is competing with other egos to try and get as much money to do their own thing rather than completing as best possible what is in the best interest of all their kids. I saw the ego of my dad over and over yesterday. Now that I know well that dad’s ego stemmed from his insecurities I see that in these men. I’ve already asked God to let His Wisdom show forth today not through another man’s voice but through Him using a surrendered man. How that is done in a secular meeting will just be one of God’s workings today. I’m trusting in Him to complete what He wants done here. I sense the spirit of evil, but that has already been shattered by the Light of God’s Truth in my devotions so I know it won’t be me, it will be God’s Spirit mightily at work today.
I’m hoping this makes sense to any reader today. God is showing me that no work is too difficult for Him. He wants His children treated fairly. My assignment is to deliver a message to these leaders of the kids about a better way of doing things. To God be all Glory!
Why do I ever fear or even begin to question God? I write this because in the back of my mind I have not wanted to be on this trip today due to one of the people I am working with. We go back a long way in the education field. She has been one of those who has made me most uncomfortable even though she has never made any overt moves towards me. My radar is simply always on high alert when we are together. Last night when we’d finished getting all documents ready for today, she and I walked across the street from the hotel for dinner. It was there she told me about her son who has a background exactly like mine. It wasn’t a brother who abused him, it was the father of her son’s best friend. This took place for several years. He was 15 when they found out. The man is now in prison and her son is in his own prison. He is married and has 3 girls (like me). He has talked to his mom but won’t address this with his dad or with any of his siblings. We talked for two hours. I keep a copy of my book in the glove box of my car just in case I come across someone where God nudges me to share it. Last night when we walked back I gave it to her for her son.
Yesterday morning I said God had given me a peace and an anticipation for this trip. I don’t know if this is the only reason for it but I sure do know God doesn’t wanting me fearing the association with this person. He wanted me to be willing to listen and let her share. I have much to learn about trusting more fully this God of mine and ours. I don’t want to quit growing in Him and letting His Spirit have His way in my life. He truly is an amazing God!
Yesterday was a spectacular day. The morning service at church was remarkably good. Even though my family is gone, I thoroughly enjoyed it. God was rich in the service and insights were shared. I had not heard until the sermon yesterday that the giving birth to our new creation is just as painful as a mother giving birth to her new baby. Facing pain is never fun–never. However, in facing pain I now have freedom like I would never know. I don’t want to say that emotional pain is equivalent to birthing pains for a mom, but it is nonetheless painful. The pain of facing our past, our sin, our selfishness and more is what we do when we surrender our lives to Christ so His Holy Spirit can have control of our life. This clarity was given in our service yesterday for me. Yes, the pain is worth it just as a mother’s pain is worth it when she is able to hold that new born child. God is truly amazing.
Yesterday afternoon I spent a couple hours with my prayer warrior. She is the one who lost her husband a few weeks back. He is the pastor I wrote about at the time. I loved him and love the gifts he left me. Now his wife is and has been my prayer warrior as I work with recovery–mine and others. I wanted to comfort her in her loss–maybe I did, but I walked away over 2 hours later being lifted to the throne of Grace. She is 87 years old but she is alive and on fire for God. How I thank God for her!
Today I leave for eastern Idaho where I will work through Thursday. This will end the work I do for the state dept. of education for the season. I sometimes dread the trips because it usually means times of temptation. God has given me a blessed peace this morning during my devotions. I sense Him working in this trip. I go with anticipation rather than dread. I also go knowing His Spirit is within me and I will be embracing the Cross of His Son Jesus Christ. Hallelujah! Praise His Holy Name!
The ground is white with snow this morning. Winter wants one last fling I believe. The internet is down so it’s iPhone writing.
Last night our church hosted a men’s night with a tri-tip steak dinner and wild game. I usually go to these events to support them rather than out of sheer desire. There were a couple hundred men there. There were also some raffles to encourage attendance like a rifle and a 4 wheeler. I know most men crave these toys but for me I’d rather have a new rototiller. I was told that would not attract many men!
As I reflected on the event this morning I was amazed to realize I’d had not one moment feeling threatened. We were packed into a barn and I was right at home. At one point I had thought this use to be very threatening but it wasn’t until this am that I realized how free I felt. God is an amazing healer of deep wounds as we risk trusting Him.
Whatever may be holding us back from trust—ask God for the strength to take a step into it. I did this 10 years ago and now the fear is gone! Praise God! Know it is not different for you.
It is nothing but stunning to me how much I don’t realize about God’s love for mankind which includes me. It took a lifetime for me to learn the beliefs and behaviors I possess today. Why do I think I will get instant healing from any of this because I am now aware? Awareness is the first step to change. If we don’t think there’s a need to change we will simply pass the thought away.
In my Bible reading this morning in I John 4 & 5 I find John’s writing about how God convicts us of sin. Joyce Meyers goes into the difference between God’s conviction and man’s condemnation. God convicts us of sin. He makes us aware of something we have done and that we need to correct it. We take specific steps to do this and it is then done. These aren’t necessarily easy, but we do know what to do about sin and conviction of it. Joyce talks about her own condemnation struggle. Because of her past abuse it has taken years for her to overcome her own self-condemnation feeding off of Satan’s lies he puts into our minds which create beliefs. Condemnation is definitely something man does and Satan feeds. It impacts identity, beliefs—things at our core. Joyce goes on to say that she spent months and months confronting condemnation with God’s Truth from scripture. I’ve had others say this to me and I have taken steps to do this. However, I will do more of this for I know the new creation God has made in me doesn’t self-condemn. I want to respond to conviction when it is necessary and not to condemnation I’ve battled all my life.
God is so faithful. I can’t know the fullness of His Faithfulness unless I believe and take the steps to replace condemnation with His Truth. This journey of my life is going to include believing God made a masterpiece in me which is said in Ephesians 2:10. It is the same for you too if the message of this blog rings true for you.
Today is the birthday of my favorite sis–Bonnie. She heads the last 4 of the Lewis kids. Mom had been given an 8 year hiatus from having kids and then the last 4 arrived starting with Bonnie. Today she turns 70. She and I have always been very close for which I am most grateful. I love her with all my heart and today I want her to know this first hand.
I am meeting this morning with one of my schools and the rest of the day I will need to prepare for the 4 days of work I’ll be doing next week with two school districts on the other side of the state. I’ll have 10-12 hours of prep work to do ahead of going which I’ll get done throughout the weekend. My family is going up to McCall for a few days since the grandkids are on spring break. It leaves me with ample time to get all of the work done and still have some yard time. This morning I know I am to be in touch with not only my sis, but there are a couple others I need to contact. They are facing difficulty and they need support. It is funny how God supports us and others by having us reach out. I always feel better knowing I’ve been a tool of God.
Yesterday I mentioned embracing the Cross where my past is buried and at this Cross I found the new creation God has given me. As I was driving to work yesterday I was called by a man who wanted to talk. He is in same type of therapy as I was a few years back facing his own past. He has been discovering, as I did, much from his past where he has been in bondage. It was gratifying to share my own experience with him as he is having his own personal healing leaving his past at the Cross of Christ. How amazingly patient and kind our God and Team are. The work of Christ on the Cross and the Gift of His Holy Spirit are to be cherished and I never want to lose sight of this truth.
This morning I started a new journal so as I do, I went back to the beginning of the previous one to see where God and I were in our journey together when I had started it. I found that Kathy and I had just arrived in S. Carolina last October. I was working on intimacy with God, Jesus and The Holy Spirit. I was wanting to trust them fully as I felt God nudging me to do so. As I reflected on this I can see tremendous growth in not only trusting God, but also in trusting God’s timing, God’s nudges and His love for me. I don’t mean for this to sound selfish. Instead, I am so grateful to understand and receive all of this.
In starting my new journal I wrote that I’m now ready to face my selfish pride. All of my life I’ve used my past as my excuse for any sin I’d commit. Either I was running or hiding from the hurt of past abuse. However, God has patiently brought me to the point in healing where the past is that–past. I well remember it, in fact due to therapy I remember it much more now than I ever did. I’ve learned that remembering it is not the same as being in bondage to it. The bondage is mostly broken and gone. What I can see clearly is my own sin, my own pride and selfishness. So I asked God this morning to let this be our work as I journal this coming period of time I’ll be recording in my new journal.
Something else hit me this morning as I was recording my conversing with God. I’ve been writing about God nudging me to Embrace the Cross which I’ve been doing. So this morning as I’ve been reflecting, God has pointed out that it is at the Cross where my sins were not only buried, but it is there that my new creation was given birth. The old me didn’t just die there, I was given new life! This new life still has times of temptation in it but in it I have an army of human support I’m now fully awake to who are waiting for me to simply tell when I need them fighting for me–like times of temptation. I no longer need to keep any of this a secret as I had thought in my old self. God’s promise to us in James 5;16 that when we confess to God, ourselves and to one another we will be healed, is TRUE. I am finding such great healing! We all can by trusting exactly what God has told us in His Word. How I love Him!