THE JOURNEY CONTINUES: JULY 8, 2019

I awoke this morning with the weight of the world upon me. Throughout the night I was having dreams which ended with doom or panic because doom was inevitable. As I picked up my phone it registered a text of evil from an unknown sender. I recognize all of this as attacks so I took all of this to God this morning. Once I finally got all of this journaled and asked God what I am to believe from it, He said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved, both you and your household.” Acts 16:31. God went on to tell me that my worry is due to an absence of surrender. The weight I sense is an indication for me to surrender. These battles are spiritual ones. Worry is the flesh’s response to a spiritual matter. That is why we are to “not worry”. Instead we are to surrender it and then “believe/trust” that God is Who He says He is–God Almighty.

I have much to learn about all of this, but I am committed to staying the course with God, Jesus Christ and The Holy Spirit. This must be what Paul talked about when he said he was running the race. He was definitely a new creation and he was learning to run the race of life that was totally surrendered to God’s Leadership in his life.

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES: JULY 7, 2019

Today is my youngest’s birthday. Happy birthday Angie! She wanted to take the kids to the water park for her birthday and just relax. Well, she decided we should do this last night rather than today. As it turned out it was a good choice. Today is about 10 degrees cooler and last night was a blast!

I’m rather stuck of late becoming more and more aware of what it is like to be a new creation. I said yesterday that I’ve come to believe without doubt this is true for me. I’ve known it’s truth for years, but having it anchored in my heart and soul had many doubts. I also said yesterday that this takes place when we ask Christ to be our Lord and Savior. His Work on the Cross paid the price for us. What I didn’t say was the Gift He also gives us at this time. It is the Gift of The Holy Spirit.

When we become a new creation The Holy Spirit is given to us, however, He is the Gentleman that waits until we ask. I have so much to learn and believe in this arena. The Strength of The Holy Spirit is ours upon asking. What I’m also learning is my need to surrender my own personal fighting. Even though I know my fight has lost all my life, I still resort to it when temptation comes instead of immediately surrendering. When I was having my bible reading this morning God reminded me so well of these steps; turn away, call my sponsor, praise Him, and surrender my fight. These steps are easy to take, but boy, does Satan’s minions want us to fight these attacks on our own. They know we will fail again. The Holy Spirit is ready and is naturally God’s Strength. Satan flees in His presence. I want to become mature in this practice but I have a ways to go yet.

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES: JULY 6, 2019

Today started early for me. It wasn’t intended on my part but God had it in mind I’m sure. For a couple hours ahead of my typical time for getting, I arose as I couldn’t sleep. I ended up reading a book I had been wanting to, but hadn’t as of yet. Its title is: Holy Sexuality and the Gospel. Its author is Christopher Yuan. I’ve mention him before as a man who has stepped out of the homosexual lifestyle and is coming to speak at our church in September to kickoff our Restoration Ministry classes for the coming year. I have never read anything which clarifies so well the confusion in our present day about sexuality: homosexuality and heterosexuality. God gave us sexuality upon creation and He told us to be Holy. When sin came into the world through Adam and Eve’s sin, sexuality got impacted just as all of man did. The sins of homosexuality and heterosexuality are just that–a consequence of sin. I’m not going to try and explain what the author says in detail, but I’d surely suggest one getting the book and reading it yourself. It is not only good about this topic, but it is good clarifying sin’s impact on life itself.

I appreciate so much finding the freedom to be the new creation from Christ Jesus’ Work on the Cross. The removal of the bondage of my past has given me eyes for sin itself. I can see that God wants me (each of us) to see sin as the consequence of choice. I use to think I had no choice. Sin was done to me and I was that sin. This is no longer owning me. I am still a sinner saved by Grace. But, the truth in that is there is always a choice for us. I choose to live for Christ and quickly repent if I happen to sin. The chains are broken–praise the Lord!

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES: JULY 5, 2019

Every day I reread the previous blog before delving into the one for today. Of course, the first thing I saw was my typo. In spite of rereading before I hit publish, these are sometimes missed. I also find myself thinking I didn’t make clear what I was intending. This was true for yesterday. As I read the Bible each morning I walk away thinking we really are like sheep. Sheep do not learn from the mistakes of their elder sheep. They repeat every habit the elder sheep had. We do the same. The Bible makes this very clear. We today are repeating the sins of our forefathers and the nations before us. Man simply wants to make everything about him and not about God. In spite of all God does to enlighten us, we fall prey to our own selfishness, human curiosity and desires.

As I have been on this trek to find depth in the spiritual side of my relationship with God, Jesus Christ and The Holy Spirit, I find that my own consciousness to sin increases. I not only see sin more clearly, I see my own sin much more clearly and realize it is solely mine. I use to categorize sin measured against dad and my brother or some other family member. Today, I clearly see my sin and mine. The good thing is that I do see in this that the bondage of my past is pretty much broken. The reality is that I now clearly see myself as human–no different than my dad, my brother, etc. I am a sinner saved by Grace just as they were.

If there is any difference in my life from theirs, it is that God has given me a chance to live telling my story. I want to help those of my own generation to not walk the path the “other sheep” have taken. It may only be an influence for today, but for those it does touch, it will hopefully strengthen them to keep their eyes on the One True God. More than anything I simply want to obey my Shepherd’s Voice.

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES: JULY 4, 2019

Happy Freedom Day! Wwe love today and the freedom our country has because of the hard fought battles giving us the freedom our founding fathers wanted America to know and live. What is happening to our own nation is the connection of our initial freedom to living out God’s Word. Our nation is one under God. We are losing this critical connection of our earthly freedom as a nation from God’s freedom when we follow and live as His Word guides us. I pray we awaken to this reality soon.

Today, more than anything, I praise God for His growing freedom within me. As I was reading in II Samuel 12:14 this morning, it says in part, “…because by this deed you have given occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme….” This message was delivered to David by Nathan the prophet after his sin with Bathsheba and then having her husband killed. As I was reading through the chapter and read this verse, I was nudged to reread and reflect. In so doing God was showing me the impact of sinfulness today and I’m talking about willful sinfulness by Christians. When anyone of us choose to sin it gives the enemies occasion to blaspheme the Lord. He came to save us. I can just see the evil spirits taunting Christ saying, “Look at him, a lot of good your death on the cross did for him!” I truly want my life to portray the genuineness of Christ’s Work on the Cross throughout the day, every day.

Today as we celebrate our nation’s freedom, lets include our spiritual freedom with it and live fully for Christ Jesus for someday today’s celebration will be minuscule compared to the one when Christ’s return.

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES: JULY 3, 2019

Yesterday was such a nice day in many regards. I went to town to get some errands done and wanted to catch a senior discount at a store which has a greenhouse. I could use my discount on plants I wanted to add to a couple flower beds. I got what a wanted, went to the check out to find the discount wasn’t 10% as I’d thought, it was 50%. Talk about making this gardener happy! I saved so much that I went to another greenhouse place and found their plants were 50% off also. I smiled the rest of the day!

I & II Samuel tell all about King Saul and then King David. The books go deeply into the lives of each one and how they responded to God and how God responded to them. As I was reading and then journaling afterwards, I was wrapping my mind around the truth of God being the same God for me today He was for those two 2-3 thousand years ago. Of course my mind immediately went into the truth that God is also the same God for each of the Bible characters. Yet, God is the same God for me, for you, for each of us. This is something I’ve always known. Today however, I am nudged to begin believing it.

As I asked God what He wanted me to believe for today, His response was different. He told me to remove my human boundaries from “believe” and “know” and learn His spiritual boundaries. When I know something I acknowledge that I do know it and I do somewhat the same with believing something–I acknowledge it and then go into my day’s activities. Spiritual knowledge and spiritual belief are eternal–never changing. God said they are part of His Substance. They are anchors to know and believe never budge in any human circumstance. This solid truth is what I put my trust into. I want my walk and talk to be evident of my growing belief system.

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES: JULY 2, 2019

I am not much of a gift person, but I do love humor and surprises. For my birthday I got lots of humorous cards from a number of family and friends. I even got a couple thoughtful ones! Kathy fixed a lovely meal last night and our oldest grandson came for it too. Following dinner I had a quartet practice. We are singing for a 4th of July event Thursday and last night was our last practice for it. I had told them I’d bring the treats since it was my birthday. As I arrived and walked into the house I was greeted with a sign on the door and some unexpected friends who were singing Happy Birthday. That was sweet. One friend had purposely made a batch of oatmeal-raisin cookies–my favorite! I had made a blackberry/raspberry cobbler from the fresh ones I’d picked yesterday so we had a party to start the practice. So, I got humor and surprise!

At 3:00ish am I awoke. I knew I wouldn’t go back to sleep as I was wide awake. There were a couple of people on my mind for which I’m deeply troubled. I began to sort through the issues and prayed for them. It wasn’t until about an hour later that I was reminded to praise God for what He was going to do because of these problems. I then began to thank God for taking these folks and using any and all of their circumstances for His Glory and their finding a much closer relationship with Him due to them. I then awoke a couple hours later feeling much more refreshed.

Somehow God is teaching me the critical side of spiritual living. I can get so locked into the ills of humanness, I wonder where God is in it? It is times like last night I’m reminded by Him that He sent Jesus to give us liberty over our humanness. Jesus paid this price once and for all. Satan wants to keep us locked in it so we cannot sense and know The Holy Spirit’s voice within us which Christ Jesus gave us as His Gift from God. This Gift–The Holy Spirit is what I know God is wanting me to better understand and BELIEVE. He works in my praise because it is when I begin to Praise Him that I release the issues gripping me so He can now grip them and bring about the miracles of His Love and Grace.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me! I once was lost but now am found, was blind but NOW I see!

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES: JULY 1, 2019

Today is my birthday! It is the last year of the 6th decade and then in a year I start the seventh decade. We had a nice time with all of the kids and grandkids yesterday. In spite of so many ups and downs in life, it is fun to take a day and hear the grandkids voices having so much fun together!

As I started my devotional this morning, the title was: “Be Still”. Hundreds of times I’ve had God tell me this as I daily journal. On my birthday I needed to hear it again. This time it has a couple more words added. Now it is Be Still and Believe. In the early morning hours when life is just awakening it is easy for me to believe and be still. I’m needing to better learn to practice this at the end of the day when my body and mind are tired. It is then that the trials I know about and some of which are my own can give me that overwhelming sense God doesn’t care.

I love the fact that God is Eternal and has never changed. This is truly an anchor for continued living. As I read through the trials of David in the ending of I Samuel–Saul and his sons have just been killed and David has just heard the news–I realize, this God who gave David vision, focus and confidence is mine too. I don’t care what time of day it is, God is the same. I’m the one tired, God is the same! As my years keep increasing, this is a wonderful promise knowing my Anchor Holds!