There is a place and time of everyone's life where there is a point of clarity. Some consider spiritualism, solitude, religion and faith as their point. And, certainly there are many others as there are a world of belief systems. I come from the place of Biblical Truth to understand how truly great life is and how very blessed I am. It is not a statement of perfection, but rather a statement of true life experiences that were divinely allowed to occur. These instances had direct impact on the outcomes based on my obedience or disobedience to God. Rather than exhaust a subject I can only demonstrate by writing, I will be sharing some of my likes, dislikes, wants, waits and hopes. I plan to share the goodness of God in Jesus Christ through my my faith, life, marriage, and communications: especially stand up comedy. You will read about many different things and even politics. But, I pray that the words of my mouth would bless Him. I am rarely politically correct, but I am open to discuss differences and will still love you even if we disagree. All I know, is that God is good and I want to bless others by sharing. Follow me to read more "timely" communication on my blog. No time like ahora... V. Gonzales Galations 2:20 vgonzales.net
“What is your why?” This is a question everyone needs to answer for themselves. Why do we do what we do and say what we say are other questions we should ask ourselves. Is it to motivate, criticize, point out the obvious or just make a statement. Everyone has a purpose and a why but not everyone understands the motivation for their why.
Only recently, have I barely begun to answer the “why” question. I am not certain I fully understand my own answer either. I am still working through it. I know I always fall short of what I believe is my why: it is a daily work in progress. I will say that writing publicly as well as writing in my diary is essentially important to unraveling this complex answer to a one word question.
Some of the reasons that come to my answer of why are obvious to some of you who know me well: because I live to honor and glorify God; I want to share the good news of the Gospel; I want to live an abundant life and so much more. But other answers to my why are to share my life story and how it has shaped me and made me the woman I am today. I also have many gifts and talents that I want to share with the world to demonstrate how good life can be. Realizing the dream of performing stand-up comedy has been one of the greatest achievements of my life-time and there are many. I plan to write more about them in the future.
I write this blog because I want to connect with people and share my experiences. My why relational to your life and how we can find common ground in this very short life we live: to demonstrate commonality, encouragement, acceptance, and love is at the core of my soul. My desire is to plant seeds of hope in the hearts of those who read the words I write. But most of all, I pray that you will find peace in your spirit knowing that the same God that began a good work in me, is the same God that is working in you.
My why, I believe, is to live and breath for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. All else is futile rubbish that will burn in the fire on the day I see Him face-to-face. Do I fully understand how to live this way, oh heavens no! I am realizing how short I fall from being all that I am to be in this life-time.
What is your why?
May 16, 2020 By V. Gonzales
Romans 8: 38-39
- The Book of Romans
- Authored by the Apostle Paul
- Audience: Followers of Jesus; Originally written to Christians in Rome.
- Written about A.D 57
- Setting: Paul wrote from Corinth regarding his pending visit to Rome via Jerusalem
“The Christians in Rome had not yet met Paul, and he was excited about meeting them soon. But before he went to see them, he sent them this letter, perhaps his most straightforward theological essay in print. Starting with the sinfulness of humans and the wrath of God against sin, he moves on to tell of God’s grace in salvation, which comes to us through God-given faith and not our works. He then tells of the future glory of the believer and gives some principles for God-centered living. This is the book to read and study to understand what God has given us freely through Christ. Whether you’ve not yet read through the whole Bible or you’ve studied it for years, the basics in this book are worth dwelling on. God’s gift of salvation is extraordinary, and so is the new life we have begun.” (REF: New Women’s Devotional Bible (NIV))
For Context read Romans 8 in its entirety: Focus on Verses 38-39
- 10 things that cannot separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord:
- “For I am convinced that neither (1) death, nor (2) life, nor (3) angels, nor (4) principalities, nor (5) things present, nor (6) things to come, nor (7) powers, 39 nor (8) height, nor (9) depth, nor any (10) other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
The point of this whole passage is your/my/our security. God wants his people to experience deep, unshakeable confidence that they are secure in his love.
And the reason He, (God) through Paul, must stress these truths is because in real life we can be so insecure. To use the words of verse 36, “We are being put to death all day long [not like the NIV says, “we face death all day long”], we were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” This is always true for Christians some places in the world (but in today’s climate coming to a town near you, if it has not already arrived). And when it is true, we can feel very insecure and separated from God. Just like we may feel now in these uncertain times. This will also be true for you throughout your lifetime. It is a fact. Things will happen that make you feel that you are separated from God. God, in His infinite wisdom, knows our struggles. He used Paul, a mighty man of God, to communicate His desire and plan for us: His children.
Let’s look at His promises more carefully: These scriptures should strengthen our heart, clear our mind and feed our soul. God’s powerful and encouraging Word should give “God’s elect” great security: “Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? (Romans 8:33) This is not the security of everybody. He is very specific. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, he has chosen you, you are his, you belong to Him. Romans 8:28 says that ALL things turn to good if you love him and are called according to his purpose. This is his purpose – everlasting security. Romans 8:29 says that you are foreknown, that is, recognized with favor, loved before time, you are predestined to be like Christ, and you are called from death to life, and you are justified once for all – counted righteous in Christ – and you are glorified. (*sigh*) These promises of inseparability are God’s declaration that he will save his people and nothing can destroy them. You have these promises if you will have Jesus as your Lord and Savior and Treasure.
Neither Death nor Life Can Separate Us from the Love of God. To live is Christ…to die is gain. (Phil. 1:21)
Romans 8:38: “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life . . . will be able to separate us from the love of God.” Death is the first in the list. Why? Two reasons, at least: Because Paul has just said in verse 36, “We are being put to death all day long.” And because death separates us from so much of what we know on earth: our families, our diversions, our friends and everything that is familiar and tangible to us. This is an important passage as we are facing the unprecedented fear of of death.
Death is the most urgent threat to an unbeliever and yet it is inescapable no matter how man tries to tell us that they will keep us safe. It is not withing their power to do so. But God says, “Death cannot separate us from God’s love.” In fact, death does just the opposite. It increases nearness and fellowship with Christ. Philippians 1:23, “I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.” Death means “to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8). It is not separation; it’s homecoming. The inevitability of death should excite a believer’s heart. The pangs of physical death should be cast out by the great expectation and promise to be with the Lord for eternity. Our intended final destination is to be with Him.
But it is separation from family and friends and the body and all earth’s pleasures that keep us chained and in bondage to the world. That is why we may not see or understand the love of God. God loves us before death and he loves us in the act of dying and he loves us after death. Remember Jesus experienced it for us and He, as the Son of the Most High was not spared, but He took it all upon Himself for us. All of our losses here are part of being loved by God. Hard as it feels, Paul wants us to know and experience the fact that death – and all it takes from us – is not a lapse in the love of God. Easy to say and hard to understand, but then our ways are not God’s ways. Remember dear brothers and sisters, He will do whatever it takes to get us to draw nearer to Him. Seems cruel at times, but that is His mercy. Surrender it all and you will find that His comfort and promise will fill the void of doubt, pain and suffering.
When Christ died he secured his own people in death and in life. Nothing in life and nothing in death will undo the triumph he achieved in the cross and the resurrection. So Paul says in Romans 14:9, “For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.” His lordship over life and death is invincible. So life and death cannot separate us from the love of God. What a relief. I am truly free to live and die knowing that He is with me always and in everything.
No Cosmic, Supernatural Powers Can Separate Us from the Love of God
In the next passage, Romans 8:38, is “angels and principalities.” And then a few words later he mentions “powers.” Neither angels nor principalities nor powers will separate us from the love of God. These three names are probably designations of angelic or demonic beings since “angels” are mentioned first in the group. So Paul’s point is: there are no cosmic, supernatural powers that can separate us from the love of God. These powers were decisively defeated at the cross. Colossians 2:15 “[God] disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him [or “in it” = the cross].” When Christ rose, Ephesians 1:21 says, he was exalted “far above all rule and authority and power and dominion.” So, even though these evil powers are on the loose, they cannot do ultimate harm to God’s elect.
Nothing in Time and Space Can Separate Us from the Love of God
In Roman 8:38-39, are Paul’s way of saying that nothing in time and space can separate us from the love of God. The first is time: “. . . nor things present, nor things to come . . . will be able to separate us from the love of God.” And then space: “nor height, nor depth . . . will be able to separate us from the love of God.” You can’t get more specific than this: Paul makes sure to cover every possible base. God knows us so well that He, through Paul, made sure to communicate to us (His children) there are no loop holes. The word NOTHING should be read NO-THING.
Nothing in the Present nor Future Can Separate Us from the Love of God
This scripture should help us understand that though we have moments of trial and suffering in the present the future will hold its own challenges. We wonder if we will be able to stand it. Or we might fear that the present is so bad that we will not make it to any future. Totally true to the times we are living in. Don’t beat yourself up if you are battling with these thoughts. God knows. that is why He inspired Paul to write these Words for the Christians in Rome and for us today. Paul’s response: It will never be so bad now or any time in the future that you or I will be separated from the love of God. Circumstances will never surprise God so that he must go back on this promise. The future is absolutely His and He knows it and runs it. Trust Him. If he says it won’t separate us, it won’t. That is called faith.
Nothing High nor Low Can Separate Us from the Love of God
Romans 8:39, covers our fear (worry) that there may be a lurking in some distant place far, far away, some menacing power that would surprise us and destroy our faith and separate us from the love of God. Paul says, No. No matter how high you go up or how deep you go down, you will never find a power that can nullify God’s power and promise. “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there” (Psalm 139:7-8) . Nothing in highest heaven and nothing in deepest hell can separate us from the love of Christ.
No Created Thing Can Separate Us from the Love of God
At the end of verse 39, Paul adds one all-inclusive encouragement to make sure he hasn’t missed anything: “. . . [no] other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” That covers everything that is not God. No thing and no person…not even ourselves or anything, in all the universe, can separate us from the love of God. What a sure promise we have from our Father God. He is and will always be our Protector, Savior, Husband, Lover of our soul, Friend – our everything.
“Those whom he justified he glorified” – that is the radical assurance of the elect. Just to clarify, the assurance is not that you can forsake the faith and live in sin and go to heaven. The promise is: God keeps his elect from final apostasy and unbelief. The new covenant promise for all God’s people is this: “I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me” (Jeremiah 32:40). There may be many stumblings and wanderings, but if you are His, you will be brought back: trust Him, surrender to Him, and know that He is good and faithful to complete everything He starts.
So nothing, absolutely nothing, can separate God’s elect from him. The result is massive security for merciful service to God in Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit through many sufferings.
Be encouraged and rest assured as His elect, His child, His chosen one and draw near to Him: now more than ever hold tight to the Truth of His Word.
God Bless you all. Love in Christ, V. Gonzales
by Virginia Gonzales
“I love how unpredictable life can be:” That was a statement I would often make in sincerity. Now that the most unpredictable situation actually happened, I can say I feel the same. It’s not that I’m okay with the events of late. It’s that I am glad for the jolt. A jolt is that moment when you dodge the proverbial bullet. You hit the brakes just in time as you drive away swallowing your heart and checking your underwear. Once the shock has worn off there is a sense of gratefulness and peace. That’s what a jolt is.
I’ve never been struck by lightning but I know that a jolt of lighting is a significant event that causes you to stops in your tracks and in some cases can kill you. This is that point in the history where every person on the planet is engaged on a polarized global platform and we have all “stopped in our tracks” at some level during this unprecedented time in history. All different regions, countries, nations, neighborhoods, families, churches and friends have been affected by a virus known as the China Virus, Wujan Virus, Corona Virus or if you prefer COVID-19. Some are at peace and trusting in the Sovereignty of God during this time and others fearing for their lives as they wait at home for the government to tell them that it is okay to start living. The jolt has affected everyone differently.
For me, it has strengthened my faith. I read the Word in a way that ministers to me even more deeply than before. God’s promises and truth resound in my soul from memory. I am reminded that “…He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.” (Colossians 1:17) In this difficulty, God is maturing my faith and my calling.
Life will always be a God ordained adventure. I marvel at how exciting it is to live a life in Christ: under the shadow of His wings. I am so blessed to say I’ve done in my lifetime many things: I’ve been a prison guard, administrative assistant, dental assistant, optometrists assistant, Realtor, teacher, property manager and comedian as well as few others. Recognizing the richness of life that I have been given is my second jolt. Life changing. I have an attitude of gratitude and the desire not to waste a moment of the beautiful life I have been given on this side of heaven and beyond.
Whatever that this jolt had done for you or whatever life change is store for you make I sure hope that you include a relationship with your Savior Jesus. I know that each morning I wake up on this side of heaven, I am being given the opportunity to live this beautiful life enjoying all that He has made: no fear…only thankfulness, reverence and awe, do I feel. I pray that no matter what happens that many would come to know the Lord Jesus through this awful mess we’re in and that it ends soon according to God’s will. I am blessed to be the redeemed daughter of the King. To live is Christ to die is gain.
God bless you all and I pray that “…He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height to know the love of Christ which passses knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:16-19)
Written by V. Gonzales April 12, 2020
Throughout history the rainbow has been looked upon by mankind as a symbol of hope. Some Native American Cultures see the rainbow as a bridge, often referred to as “Rainbow Bridge” whereby we pass from this life to the next. There are religions that believe that the rainbow symbolizes the elements of the earth: water, earth, fire, and air. Many use the rainbow as a sign of diversity. Man, throughout history, has adapted God’s creation to fit their belief system and this is no exception. There are many more examples not listed in this writing. The common thread, however, is that the rainbow is a symbol of hope to all mankind.
In Christianity, the rainbow is covenant promise from God the Father. It is His sacred pledge to us, His creation, that He will never destroy the earth with water again. The account of the flood, in the Bible, was a traumatic event. It was like no other time in history: sound familiar? Noah was charged to build an Ark with specific and detailed instructions. Up until that time in history, there had never been rain and no reason to build a boat much less an Ark of such grand scale. The people of the day must’ve gathered daily to marvel and mock Noah and his sons while they built a monstrosity of a vessel no one had ever seen the likes of before. And yet, Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth were obedient to God’s instructions. How they must’ve doubted and struggled, in their faith, as they pressed on in dutiful service to God the Father. But God, would be cleansing the earth from sin and evil, and needed for them to do their part so that He could do what He had planned and save them. Once the Ark was completed, the rain began. For forty days and nights the flood kept coming to the earth.
Although every living thing perished from the the earth except eight people: Noah, his sons, and their wives along with the precious cargo they carried. God had seen fit to save those who were faithful and surrendered to Him. What great affirmation they received when the waters arose carrying them safely during the storm. They were confined to the Ark for what surely felt like an eternity. With dark ominous clouds, lightening, and thunder claps which they had never experienced before, the crew of family were held together by God’s powerful hand as they trusted Him. How they found strength in the midst of the unknown is difficult to fathom. However, the evidence of his favor and protection during a time of so many variables could have been the thread of hope that kept them going even though they couldn’t see an end in sight.
Once the rains subsided and the clouds disappeared, the rainbow emerged: a sign of hope. God’s promise to His creation: “I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth. And God said to Noah, ‘This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth.'” (Genesis 9:15-17 NKJV) Amazingly, God’s promise is to all flesh. It is exciting to know that God has made this promise to all of us: believers and unbelievers, creatures great and small and every creepy crawly thing that exists in creation. It stands to reason why so many find hope in the rainbow. That is what God ordained.
We are not experiencing a flood, but we are facing unknown variables and mandates. Our world seems to be changing day-to-day and minute-by-minute. Our natural response is fear, anxiety, and despair. Think of Noah and his family. they were isolated; they didn’t know what to expect; they were not certain that tomorrow would even come. How terrifying to be held in darkness for so long. Their survival of the flood is evidence that we can live in uncertain times trusting that we are fully under the protection of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit who knows the beginning and the end. In fact, another account of a rainbow in scripture should bring great comfort. This account is found in Revelation 4. This chapter prophetically signals the beginning of the of terrifying events that will occur in the future. Smack dab in the middle of the scary foretelling of the apocalypse and the great tribulation you will find in Vs. 3 the rainbow: Hope.
We are living in perilous times that is for sure and it is apparent that we are not in control, but do not let your hearts be troubled, God is in full control and He loves you. Make no mistake God is doing something great just as He did in the days of Noah. Rest in His promises and know that He loves you. Read Ephesians 3:14-20, as a prayer, and be comforted.
In closing, “When storms come in your own life, they may not be a calamity on the scale of the flood. But they may bring just as much sorrow and pain. In the midst of the event, your decisions can help save you and your family. Let’s face it, disaster can strike whether you’re a saint or sinner. To survive requires spiritual preparation. When you build your home on the foundation of God’s word, you can find safety despite the down pour outside. You can help those you love to weather the storm. Begin now (it’s not too late) to prepare your house for the storms that are sure to come: spend time in the Bible, strengthen your relationship with God and with a godly community of Bible believers. Bring those you love before God in prayer. When (not if) the tempest strikes you will have shelter.” Author Unknown.
This communication is titled The Virus. I refuse to give credence to the name of just one pestilence that I’ve encountered in my life time. Addressing just one ‘outbreak’ or another during its season is enough. Besides, focusing on just one disease diminishes the power and evidence of our Creator and Father God. Pestilences have been around since the fall of man. Do a google search for Social History of Viruses: you will find great insight into the struggle of this life and that it has always been.
The reason this virus seems so serious is because we are all globally connected. We are connected to each other instantaneously through the Internet. Because we are tuned into media 24/7, we literally get fed information through a fire hose. We also have a melting pot of generations and diverse belief systems whereby people are demanding political correctness and postgenderism. There are also a great number of wounded people who have never suffered for the cause of equality, but carry the curse of misery like a badge riding on the coat tails of generational oppression. That combined with the cocktail of intolerance, indignation, and pure hate that permeates the world: the pandemic wheels have come off of the bus. We are a world without hope so fear prevails. The the truth is that we are like blind sheep dying of thirst all the while standing next to a pond of fresh water.
God is living water. He gives us hope and promise in His Word and through the Holy Spirit. There are many scriptures to be named, but the scripture that keeps coming to mind during this season in history is Psalm 91. This passage was my paternal grandfather, Edward Romero’s favorite. It is also a book my dear sister in Christ gave me called “God’s Umbrella of Protection.” Read this like your in a diamond mine and each nugget is a priceless gem written just for you. This is assurance and truth you can rest on:
91 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”
3 Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the [a]fowler
And from the perilous pestilence.
4 He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and [b]buckler.
5 You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
6 Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
And ten thousand at your right hand;
But it shall not come near you.
8 Only with your eyes shall you look,
And see the reward of the wicked.
9 Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
10 No evil shall befall you,
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
11 For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways.
12 In their hands they shall [c]bear you up,
Lest you [d]dash your foot against a stone.
13 You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra,
The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.
14 “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will [e]set him on high, because he has known My name.
15 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With [f]long life I will satisfy him,
And show him My salvation.”
Daily, I enjoy meeting diverse intelligent, talented, experienced and educated people. I see why God loves us so much. We are such a variety of bodies, souls and spirits. I’m also reminded that we live in a fallen world that is decaying as we are too. This life is a vapor. Enjoy the time you have. Take in the sweetness of each sunrise and sunset. Life is a gift that why it is called the present. Know that life has it’s ups and downs and in and outs, but mostly cast your cares upon the Lord. He truly cares for you. Don’t waste your days in fear of anything. The thief who has come to kill, steal and destroy would like nothing more than to paralyze you: to keep you from the being who created you to be.
Don’t be afraid. God says it “fear not for I am with you.” (Is. 41:10) Surrender it all to him. You will finally know that it is a win-win situation: “To live is Christ to die is gain.” (Ph. 1:21) May the God of peace be with you all. V.
What an amazing God we serve. The world calls it a “fluke” or “coincidence” and yet there is irony in those descriptions. The one thing that the scientific world has proven is that the universe exists. Beyond that fact, they cannot explain the complexity of it all. I marvel at the unwillingness of humanity to believe that a Master Creator Could have formed the universe and would rather believe happenstance versus intelligent design.
We know, that God created the heavens on the very first day: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1) This is the foundation of what we now call the universe! In scripture, Psalm 147:4, it states that He placed the stars in the sky and He knows them by name (paraphrased). But yet, with eyes wide open men follow after fables. I want to share with you my experience this week as I witnessed the eclipse and observed the secular commentary about the event.
Seeing the eclipse was extraordinary and it quickened my soul to experience the majesty of God. A program on KNME Nova series had a special about the eclipse the evening of after the event. I was moved when the commentator mentioned that during the full eclipse the sun’s corona can be seen. A corona is a crown. Is it coincidence that the sun that gives us life and sustains us has a crown and the giver of eternal life, Jesus, is our King. Make no mistake God created everything and the eclipse is a beautiful spectacle of His power, majesty, and intelligent design.
Do you see the correlation? If not, I will give you a couple of examples. When a painter creates a masterpiece you can pick out his work easily because his signature, not just his name, but his style is evident in every piece of art produced. Likewise, God’s artistry is displayed in creation. That is why you can look at leaf in the sun light and it has veins. We have veins. Another more common mistake, is when you look at monkeys. We are similar, not because we are descendants, but because the creator left His fingerprints on creation. One more. Birds can talk, they mimic sounds, and yet they are not our relatives either. I could go on and on, but I won’t. I will suffice to say that the Master Creator’s fingerprints are all over creation. The connection: The sun is the primary natural source that sustains life and without it we will perish. The Son is the source of eternal life and without Him we will certainly perish.
On the day Jesus was crucified, the sky darkened. He gave up His life to the Father and a solar eclipse occurred. I heard a lot of people say that when the total eclipse occurred it was eerie. Of course it is! God’s power humbles us to know that He is in control. The difference between them and us (believers) is that we can see how truly amazing this gift of eternal life really is and eternity is now!
I am compelled to join creation in declaring the glory of God: “the heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows his handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge.” (Psalm 191-2)
Note: If you want prayer or need want to ask Jesus as your Savior please reach out to me. My email is email@example.com. Or just say this prayer (it is not a magic prayer but from your heart to God mean it and you will never be the same!): “Lord I come before you asking for forgiveness. I am a sinner and I need you. I surrender all that I am to you and ask that you become the Lord of my life from this day forward. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.” If you said that prayer, start reading your Bible (the Gospels: Mathew, Mark, Luke and John are a good place to start), pray everyday, and get yourself to a Bible believing church. Remember, no matter what you are going through. God is on the throne and He loves YOU! Afterall, He died for your sins.
In a world driven by slogans that promise you that can “Have it Your Way,” “You’re Number One,” “Just Do It,” and “You’re Worth It,” why do we live in a world where people are still so lost and empty?
I’ve had it my way, I’ve been number one, I’ve just gone ahead and done it and I’ve always thought I was worth it. None of those actions or thoughts got me any closer to happiness. In fact, I never felt farther from the satisfaction, contentedness, and the peace I was after than when I served myself.
As a Christian Educator, I taught children and reminded them, as I often need to remind myself, that we have two choices in life: please God or please self. We live in a black and white; up and down; hot and cold; accept or reject kind of world: there is no in between. God made it that way. We have a choice.
When we come to the end of our selves, we discover a powerful thing called humility. I’ve met many people who innately have the ability to be genuinely humble: that’s just who they are. Unfortunately, that is where the power begins and ends for them. I’ve also met those humble people that look like a beautiful apple tree from far away: shiny red delicious juicy apples. The trees that make you want to come in closer and enjoy the beautiful fruit on the vine, only to get up close and find out their a crab apple tree: ugly, bitter, and deceiving. True humility cannot be manufactured just like a crab apple can’t pretend to be a red delicious apple.
I write this blog because I’ve been challenged as a Christian woman to examine my heart. The things that move me, the desires that drive me, and the gifts I’ve been given. I am grateful for the peace that comes from knowing I am the daughter of the King, but I often wrestle with the enemy of my flesh: me. We all want the best in life and pursue good things. Certainly, God created us for His blessings: we are His creation, His children, and He loves us. He tells us in Jeremiah 29:11 that he has plans for us, to prosper us, and not to harm us, but to give us a future and a hope.
As I meditate on His word, I realize that the prosperity He gives me comes from and broken and contrite heart that lives by faith. A humble heart that lives in such way that He receives all of the glory: a life of true service in giving, not just in service to others, or in tithing, but giving of self to go where He leads and surrender all my dreams and desires to His divine plan. His ways are so much higher than my ways. To please God rather than self is where true peace is found. There is freedom in understanding that humility is not “thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.” True humility is not weakness: it is power under control.
The picture in this post was taken several years ago by my camera (no funny business). It was day when my heart was full and the Spirit of God was upon me. We, some friends of ours and my husband, drove over a hill. As we shared our faith and love for God, this celestial being appeared before us. My eyes were intently gazing at the figure outlined in the clouds. I was mesmerized. I couldn’t look way. How much more should I pursue the Lover of My Soul who loves me and died for me.
I can’t tell you that I have “arrived” but I can tell you that I’m in the race with greater passion, stamina, and vigor than I’ve ever had. No sidelines for this Child of God! I am His and He is mine.
(Note: Some of the content is inspiration from Pastors who have shared God’s word with me through out the years and presently. In addition, a book written by Jim Berg titled “In His Image.” )
I love to run to the mountains. Growing up in Colorado, I’ve always found rest in God’s magnificent creation: where the earth and sky meet.
Many of my days are spent struggling with my health. Talking to doctors and getting no where, but always having a new prescription to add to my collection. As a result, I often find myself worrying. I have come to the conclusion that I am wasting a great amount of my time for nothing and all this worry is only a demonstration of my lack of faith.
As I sat on a stump marveling at God’s creation this Memorial Day weekend, I prayed. I was reminded of the lilies: flowers that grow in the wild with no one tending to them. There they looked back at me with brilliant colors and their petals open wide praising God for His magnificence. They were not worried for rain or sunshine, but completely surrendered to their fate as the Father has created them for this time and for me to see. They didn’t even protest when I placed them on the stump that I sat on when I prayed. Lilies don’t get to experience eternal life so their fate was sealed when I plucked them. Mine, however, is in the capable hands of my Father.
Mathew 6:25-34 is a passage of scripture I am only now beginning to understand. With arms wide open, I praise the One who is the Author and Finisher of my faith.
Performing on stage. There is nothing else like it. Rockin’ the house at the end of a killer stand-up comedy set is higher than any drug can take you and a gratifying accomplishment to those who love to be on stage. But what if you can’t sing, you don’t play an instrument: what do you do?
At the age of 27, on my birthday, I got to go see Bill Engvall, known for “Here’s your sign” bit. I was captivated. Not by Bill, although he was the funniest guy I’d ever encountered, I was attracted to the art of stand-up comedy. After the show, I stood in a pretty good line to get Bill’s autograph and ask him to tell me how he does it. In about 90 seconds, he told me to carry a notebook, tape recorder and sleep with a tablet by my side. I intently listened as I knew the secret was going to be revealed. And I got it! “He said capture the essence of what makes something funny and re-create it: that’s comedy.” He ended by saying, “you know (with that Bill Engvall twang in his voice) when you and your friends are laughing about something and then you try to retell it to your other friends and they look at you like your talking to the dog. Well ya missed it. Then work the business for about 20 years and you might catch a break.” It’s been 17, so I’m almost there.
Tim Hawkins is a talented entertainer who happens to be a comedian as well. I recently had the opportunity to meet him in person. He said something very poignant to me, but it wasn’t face to face, it was when he was performing on stage. In between laughs, he would tell the audience that comedy is easy to do. The recipe he exclaimed is “live life, take notes and tell others.” That’s it! It’s not stand-up comedy it’s life.
What Bill and Tim have in common, is that these two very talented artists influenced my life in such a way that has fired my desire to pursue my dream. These dreams that are the desire of my heart. After all, laughter is like medicine for the soul.
May God bless them both.