I recently made some delicious Apple Butter for my neighbors for Christmas. When I was finished, the sides of the crock pot were covered with burned, stuck-on sugar that wouldn’t come off no matter how hard I scrubbed. I heard … Continue reading
This is my little doggy and her name is Zoe! She is our little bundle of life and energy!!
One of our mainstays in training her is using treats. When she goes outside to potty she gets a treat. When she comes back in she will follow you everywhere expecting her treat… right behind your heels…everywhere! She never forgets until you get the message that she wants her blessing. Sounds similar to another story I know…
“And he arose that night and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven sons, and crossed over the ford of Jabbok. 23 He took them, sent them over the brook, and sent over what he had. 24 Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day. 25 Now when He saw that He did not prevail against him, He touched the socket of his hip; and the socket of Jacob’s hip was out of joint as He wrestled with him. 26 And He said, “Let Me go, for the day breaks.” But he said, “I will not let You go unless You bless me!” 27 So He said to him, “What is your name?” He said, “Jacob.” 28 And He said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.” 29 Then Jacob asked, saying, “Tell me Your name, I pray.” And He said, “Why is it that you ask about My name?” And He blessed him there. 30 And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: “For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.”; ” Gen. 32:22-30
Our friend Jacob was in trouble, I mean it kind of seemed to follow him. In the natural, he had been given a name that meant, “Supplanter (substitute) or Deceiver” and apparently had lived up to that meaning. He had deceived his dad in blessing him rather than his brother Esau and Esau in turn hated him and wanted to kill him. Now some 20 years later God was speaking to Jacob and telling him to return to his family of birth because God wanted to deal well with him. I’m sure he was thinking, well? After what I have done?
At the same time Jacob is pondering his presumed demise, you see this scenario unfolding where Jacob’s men have just given him a report that Esau is coming near with a force of 400 men (vs. 6). Jacob is shaking in his boots with fear and dread. He has his wife and whole family that he has invested years to have and to build and adore. Now, this thing he did 20 years ago is coming back to potentially take everything from him the same way he took everything from his brother? What a dilemma! So, he continues reasoning and scheming to justify in his own mind how things could possibly go “well” with him and how he might, “help” God along. He tries to win Esau’s favor with stuff, tradition, intimidation and his preferred method…deceit. That night with his future uncertain and looming before him he has this encounter with what Hosea says is an angel of the Lord.
We know that Jacob is quite a tenacious man and he knows a thing or two about blessing. He deceived Esau out of his and then worked for Laban for years for a blessing from him. It seems fitting that he would go after it since it is such familiar territory! But, as with all things concerning God, mans tactics may work on man for a season, but they don’t work on Jesus. He sees straight through them and straight through us; right to our heart. He knows that Jacob has learned bad behaviors and has never understood who he is and that will not work for the ultimate blessing God wants to give him. He doesn’t mess around, He understands how Jacob sees himself and He doesn’t want to give him the opportunity to rely on his past methods. He jumps right in there in his face and wrestles him!! I love this!!
You can rest in knowing that God sees you. He will not allow you to operate in your learned behaviors when it concerns Him! He will not be manipulated or controlled! He loves you too much! He knows the only way for the blessing to come is by complete encounter with Him!!! Complete encounter brings complete transformation!! This transformation brought Jacob a new name, Israel. Israel means “Prince with God”!! All of these years Jacob saw himself as a deceiver and a substitute and God wanted him to know how He saw him…as Prince!
Jacob was destined for encounter. He was destined for blessing, that is why he was so drawn towards it his whole life. He just had to learn that he didn’t have to trick for it, work for it or any other human method. You simply receive God’s blessing through encounter. Then when he saw who he was in God’s eyes He longed to know who this was who had loved him so…
Do you ever find yourself like Jacob. God has given you a promise but the circumstances are the exact opposite of that promise and those circumstances are producing a dread in your heart, strategizing in your mind and anxiety in your soul? Well one thing you can trust is that God knows how to find you and there is nothing in all creation that will ever separate you from His love!! He will do what He needs to have a vibrant encounter with you. Call out to Him today in response to His love, grace and favor on your life. Jesus has made a way for you to have great relationship with him! He is the blessing! And that relationship is what will guide you through your distresses. He wants you to know how He sees you and what name He has for you so you don’t fall back into your old patterns and reasonings. So, when face to face with Him, you like Jacob will understand all He died to give and when you really see that love, you will not let Him go either until you receive Him as your blessing in Jesus Name!!
For some, Christmas is the experience of great joy, surrounded by love and peace. For others, it is an experience of great pain, as they are separated from their loved ones here on Earth, their dreams have been dashed, and their sufferings seem endless. Wherever you find yourself this Christmas use this time as a reflection of His Majesty in your life.
Today I want to speak to those who are downcast. Those who feel lonely and wanting. Those who are grieving, in transition and working through life’s obstacles. Be encouraged, today as you read…
…As I awake this morning, I am met face to face with the circumstances of my life and the taunts of the enemy. I feel heaviness all around. When I purpose to figure things out, all I see are my faults and the faults of others and I wonder exactly who is to blame. My mind is confused, my emotions are raw, my path feels uncertain. I constantly face reproach, ridicule, and scorn within and without. I wonder how long my enemies will be allowed to triumph over me?
So, good morning Lord! Today, I come to you as I am and I bring You all of this. This pile of blah and grief and frustration and yuck and failure and pain. I lay these burdens at Your feet and I choose to turn my gaze upward…
…There I am reminded of Your mercy and Your salvation. I choose to set my heart and my mind on things above. I refuse to allow my heart to be troubled and I will not fear because of the hope that you came to give me.
Today I surrender all control. I surrender what I hoped life would be like for me. I surrender all of my dreams, all that I am and ever hope to be. I know that I have no right to anything. In and of myself, I deserve nothing… but Hell. I acknowledge my need…
Today I am making a choice to silence all voices in the presence of the One true Majesty!
- The One who came to Earth and died just for me!
- The One who humbled Himself and was humiliated beyond understanding so that I could be empowered against His enemies.
- The One who knows I don’t deserve anything, but still wants to give me all things freely.
- The One who is my hope, has adopted me as His own, has taken all of the reproach that I am to face in this world upon Himself.
- The One who has taken on the trouble of this world and overcome it so I can have life.
- The One who fights my battles, crushes my enemies and conquers my foes.
- The One who has conquered death, hell, and the grave so I never have to face that type of hopelessness.
- The One who has offered me a home in His heart here on Earth and an eternal Home in His Presence.
- The One who numbers my hairs and saves my tears.
- The One whose benefits cannot be counted…
…This is my Majesty!
Everything I have put my hope in, I now see how vain and meaningless it is. Not one of those things has laid down all that it is to see me completely victorious and completely free. You are my Majesty, Jesus.
I worship You with all that I am, all that I have, all that I ever hope to be. I praise You for who You are today and I thank You for what You have done and what You will do.
Happy Birthday My Majesty. Happy Birthday to You.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from our home to yours friends!
Flourish and prosper in His presence. Move forward in freedom and peace. Allow all that He died to give you be yours today. Believe Him and live! Trust Him and experience fullness! Receive His love freely and freely give! You are treasured and valued and prized and righteous and blessed abundantly in Christ!!
Resolve to learn what that means this year, above all else…
(This is my first post of this kind in the section I have categorized, “Resources; Alone No More!”. From time to time I would like to address areas that we truly need support with on the journey. I would love you to comment on any specifics you can lend to these areas, as I am not an all-inclusive authority, but rather a willing investor to help one on their journey towards understanding God’s love for them.)
I felt God’s leading this morning to speak to you who are victims of sexual abuse. This is a very sensitive and delicate topic and I wanted to acknowledge you today and acknowledge your journey and the incredible courage it has taken you to make it! The often times lonely, isolated, and painful world you live in is foreign to some, but not to all. You are not alone. There is hope for all things in Jesus! If you are reading this, you have survived and I believe you can thrive because of Jesus and His love for you. Today, you may feel as if your cries for help have landed on deaf ears, you might see yourself in a room full of people yet be the loneliest one, you might feel unloved and even unlovable. You might find your mind always occupied with fear for yourself, your children, your sexuality, your present and your future, or you might simply just have this unexplained desperation, depression, and heaviness that will never lift (almost like a bathtub that is ever filling but the drain is ever open). That may be today, but there is a new hope for tomorrow. If you find yourself saying yes to any of these items or you find yourself not relating to these, but you have your own list…..you can be confident that God has heard you and has moved Heaven and Earth just for you. His answer for everything in this life including complete healing and freedom is in Jesus, no matter the circumstance.
At any given point, it would be easy to abort the healing process when you don’t know what to do next or where to turn. I wanted to provide a list of strategies that might further you on your journey. It would be limiting to say that God can only work in one way or He has to work in this way or that way. The truth is, God can work in any way He chooses. He is the leader and He customizes our specific healing journey with Him. He can choose whatever He wishes and if He desires, He doesn’t even have to use a tool. He knows best and He knows you best.
- Journaling. This requires no money, no resources, but allows you to start to release your feelings to God in a tangible way. Write everything you feel, everything you fear, everything you want, everything you need. Let this cathartic experience begin!
- Self Studies. I have included some new links on my home page called Healing for Your Soul, and Healing for your Soul, too! These are websites that may be a beginning place for you to read about and work through the pain that so surrounds you in a gradual way. Allender’s book and work book, The Wounded Heart is an in-depth self-study and The Sanford’s have much experience, as well as a prayer and counseling ministry to deal with many deep needs. Joyce Meyer is also a terrific resource and testimony to God’s healing. She experienced sexual abuse and has an amazing testimony of God’s healing in her own life.
- Group Facilitated. There are many churches all over the country that are facilitating a curriculum called, “Celebrate Recovery”. This is a small group type format; I know several people who have attended who had been sexually abused and it was what God used to help them to a new place of healing and freedom. http://www.celebraterecovery.com/
- One on One. Private counseling is a great resource, as well. There are many qualified and capable people out there who have refined their skills for many years and who are qualified to manuever the path of healing with you. Check with your local church first for recommendations. Please do not stop looking for someone to help you if you have had a bad experience with a practitioner. Be sure to find someone who has experience with this type of area and someone you have met, feel safe with, and could receive from.
This list is by no means exhaustive, but hopefully you understand that you have choices, resources, and you are not alone. You have a God who died for you and you are loved and treasured in a way that only He can reveal to you on the journey with Him. Allow Him the opportunity to love you. I love Joyce Meyer’s quote, “Do it afraid!” Ask Him how He wants to speak to your heart. Ask Him to help you desire to move forward. Tell Him how much you hurt and how scared you are. I believe in His power that much and I believe in you!
“Then they took him and cast him into a pit. And the pit was empty; there was no water in it.” Gen. 37:24
“But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst ; but the water that I shall give him SHALL BE IN HIM a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” John 4:14
There may be no water in the pit you are in today, but the water shall be IN YOU springing up from the WELL that never runs dry!