Saturday, December 14, 2013

Pride. Pain. Anger. Apathy. Resistance. Rebellion. Paramount Sin. Shame. Regret. Running. (cycle through prior list) Realization. Repentance. Refreshing. Repeat

This has been the constant theme of my life lately. Yet, God in His rich mercy allows me to see sin for what it is. Darkness and evil. Any sort of disobedience toward the Lord whether it is doubting His promises or fearing or hurting another out of spite is direct opposition to Him. We tango with darkness when we disobey the King of Truth and Light.

I was thinking this morning about the plagues God sent through Egypt when Pharaoh would not let the Israelites go (Exodus 10:20-23)

21 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward the sky, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even a darkness which may be felt.” 22 So Moses stretched out his hand toward the sky, and there was thick darkness in all the land of Egypt for three days. 23 They did not see one another, nor did anyone rise from his place for three days, but all the sons of Israel had light in their dwellings.

Struggling with fear is a normal thing. But I have found recently that when I rebel against God and I decide I will go my own way (even though I know I don't truly want to run from Him, I just want my circumstances to change and be less painful, confusing, hard, etc.) He lets me feel the darkness of stepping away from His loving protection and guidance. This rebellion always begins with my pride somehow being rubbed the wrong way. I get my feelings hurt and then I get angry, because my pride is the very thing that rises up to defend myself against any slight that may not be what I want. Anger festers and I tell myself I don't care. My heart hardens and I resist God's Word, His Holy Spirit (because after all, "He allowed my pride to be hurt and so it's all His fault and isn't He a meanie" my hardened heart agrees with the enemy of my soul). Finally, I give in to rebellion against the One I have been blaming for the bad in my life while neglecting the TRUTH of His character- That He is GOOD and His LOVING-KINDNESS endures forever (Psalm 118). It's then all my good sense is thrown out the window and I usually sin in a paramount way against the Lord. Then the cycle of shame and regret and further running ensues and I feel so trapped because sin is good for a moment but it's end is death (James 1:15)

Eventually an immense sense of fear shrouds my heart and anxiety mounts in my gut. It is a darkness I can feel. And I hate it. It scares the crap out of me and I realize that I have left the side of the only ONE who will protect me from all evil, the ONE who loves me with an everlasting love. And yet, I feel I have messed up so much and for so long that how could I possibly return? There in the state of utter despair is always where my Lord meets me and comes to my rescue if I even have a slight hint of turning toward Him. He is SO FAITHFUL. 

This is what I read just this morning while feeling the darkness surround me on all sides just last night.

For thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness. (Psalm 18:28)
The earth is a haven for darkness and the things that lurk and creep. Foul is the world and thick is its shadow. The dim murk of this fallen land threatens all that is living and fair. We would be swallowed and bound in slavery to that dark roiling but that we are become children of light. The Father of Light guides our paths and so our ways become clear. His Son is the Light of the world and the darkness flees from before His glory! Abide in Him, dear believer, and rejoice that you can now see! Click here for site reference
Encouraged beyond belief, I also read this: 
"They go from strength to strength." — Psalm 84:7
They go from strength to strength. There are various renderings of these words, but all of them contain the idea of progress.
Our own good translation of the authorized version is enough for us this morning. "They go from strength to strength." That is, they grow stronger and stronger. Usually, if we are walking, we go from strength to weakness; we start fresh and in good order for our journey, but by-and-by the road is rough, and the sun is hot, we sit down by the wayside, and then again painfully pursue our weary way. But the Christian pilgrim having obtained fresh supplies of grace, is as vigorous after years of toilsome travel and struggle as when he first set out. He may not be quite so elate and buoyant, nor perhaps quite so hot and hasty in his zeal as he once was, but he is much stronger in all that constitutes real power, and travels, if more slowly, far more surely. Some gray-haired veterans have been as firm in their grasp of truth, and as zealous in diffusing it, as they were in their younger days; but, alas, it must be confessed it is often otherwise, for the love of many waxes cold and iniquity abounds, but this is their own sin and not the fault of the promise which still holds good: "The youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint." Fretful spirits sit down and trouble themselves about the future. "Alas!" say they, "we go from affliction to affliction." Very true, O thou of little faith, but then thou goest from strength to strength also. Thou shalt never find a bundle of affliction which has not bound up in the midst of it sufficient grace. God will give the strength of ripe manhood with the burden allotted to full-grown shoulders. Click here for reference

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


"It doesn’t happen all at once…You become.  It takes a long time.  That’s why it doesn’t often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept.  Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby.  But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand."
The wise old horse from The Velveteen Rabbit

Thursday, February 14, 2013

I Love My Master

So this morning I was reading
Psalm 42:8
The Lord WILL command His lovingkindness in the daytime; and His song WILL be with me in the night.
When I read this last month I was in a different place emotionally, spiritually and mentally. It seemed a bit far fetched. But I see how true God is to His word. Sitting this morning hungry for God's word in my life as I have each morning for the past month and a half I saw how God has re sparked my heart for Him.
For some reason I was thinking about slaves in the old testament and the guidelines God had established for all His people in the book of Exodus. Slavery in the Old Testament was a totally different slavery than a westerner would think so bear with me. A slave was usually serving for six years and it was over in the seventh year. However, at the end of the sixth year that slave had the option to choose to stay and commit himself to his master for the rest of his life as a bond servant.
Exodus 21:1-6
"Now these are the ordinances which you are to set before them: "If you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve for six years; but on the seventh he shall go out as a free man without payment.” If he comes alone, he shall go out alone; if he is the husband of a wife, then his wife shall go out with him.  "If his master gives him a wife, and she bears him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall belong to her master, and he shall go out alone. "But if the slave plainly says, 'I love my master, my wife and my children; I will not go out as a free man,' then his master shall bring him to God, and then he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost. And his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him permanently. 

There were some who actually chose to stay! CRAZY, RIGHT?! But God spoke to my heart this morning something very simple and at the same time very eye opening:
This slave committed himself FOREVER to his master because he knew who his master was. Obviously, a person would not commit themselves to serving someone forever if their master were a harsh unreasonable man. This slave in Exodus who wanted to stay would be basing it off of a love for his master.
His master would then "Bring him before God" and pierce his ear at the doorpost.
The doorpost was the same place the blood of an unblemished lamb was spread during passover.

Do I love my Master Jesus Christ? Are my ears opened (pierced) so that I can hear Him? Do I obey and serve Him out of love? Will I? Or is it just duty? I realize the only way I can obey God is because of Jesus, who went before me and obeyed His Father. The only way I think this is possible is because of KNOWING GOD. KNOWING who He is, His character. If I find it very hard to obey God, somewhere along the way I have forgotten who my Master is and what He is like. In those times I need to look back to that doorpost and remember the blood. The perfect blood of the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world that was shed for me.

If you're suffering and you know it clap your hands

Yes that is to the tune of "If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands." Sorry but that is just how my mind works (and I don't even have kids yet)
At any point in your journey have you known God was calling you to suffer and did you fight   it kicking and screaming? because I realize I have been. I imagine I am not alone in this.
This morning the Holy Spirit brought to mind Paul and his conversion from Saul. In Acts 9:15 God tells Ananias "Go (to Paul), for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; for I will SHOW him HOW MUCH he MUST suffer for My name's sake."
Do you want God to work in and through your life??? Do you want to be able to encourage and strengthen the souls of others who love Jesus? Do you want people to come to know Jesus as their Savior?
Suffering is required.
In Acts 14:22 Paul strengthened he souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith saying, "through MANY tribulations we MUST enter the kingdom of God."
If you read from the beginning of Acts 14 you'll see that Paul flees one city when he finds out they are about to stone him to death for the message he was preaching. When he moves along and preaches, it seems as though the people are so receptive to the gospel but then the Jews get them all worked up so that they actually stone Paul and take him outside of their city thinking he is DEAD (v:19-20).
Maybe this was when God gave Paul the vision where Paul was sent a messenger to torment him and he asked God to take it away three times but God said "No, My grace will be enough for you, because My strength is perfected in weaknesses." (2 Corinthians 12:1-10) I am unsure.. What I do know is that Paul, after being stoned to death nearly that he got right back up and went straight back into the city and preached and that is when he encouraged the other disciples and told them that through MANY tribulations we MUST enter the kingdom of God.
I found it interesting that Paul tried to avoid suffering for Christ in one city, went to the next and suffered tremendously, but how the Lord obviously strengthened him and equipped him with the grace he needed to not only GET THROUGH it but also to PRAISE HIM in the midst of it and be used by God to encourage others.
No matter what you are going through, it is not a mistake. God allows things. Yes, even suffering. But He will help you and strengthen you through it. Hold fast to him.
Love, Sara

Monday, January 14, 2013

Stay Warm

Matthew 24:12-13
Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.

No matter who does what to you, fight the natural reaction when you are hurt: bitterness and anger. Put on love and choose to forgive. Do not let your love grow cold and become just as guilty as the person who hurt you by becoming a prisoner to your own bitterness.

So much easier said than done...

The only way is to stay downstream from the perfect love of Jesus Christ. The One we have sinned against in ALL we do, yet He chose forgiveness. He chose to take our sin upon Himself and away from us. What a beautiful Savior. Stay downstream from His love and sweet waters will flow from your life. There's no way to really let go of hurts on our own, we just numb ourselves. Christ's love frees us to forgive the offender and to keep our hearts tender and soft.

Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Resolution

Resolution each new year
Things we pledge without a fear
Yet no one knows what comes tomorrow
Joy, fulfilled hopes or sorrow
When the calendar turns the page
And we look toward a new age
Why is it that we start again
We go in cycles to no end
Twelve more months there's nothing new
But we enchant ourselves we're blind to truth
And so we, starry eyed, dream large
Of thing's we'll do though we aren't in charge
And no one knows their length of days
Before great loss we proclaim "come what may!"
We trick ourselves that our own might

Is quite enough to fight this fight
This battleland of tears and sighs
And aching so deep we can't describe
We toil throughout the entire year
Yet look on in hope to "good drawing near"
But what if good doesn't ever come
And all our days are spent alone
What if we, in a crowd, feel like
Something's missing and just not right
Oh soul, you're branded with a sign
There's nothing here to satisfy
No matter how many turning leaves
Bewitch us into false belief
That just because a new year's here
Our troubles will all disappear
They will not end- not here not now
Out trouble's meant to show us how
Just how we long for so much more
With brokenness crying to be restored
Oh soul, you'll never find enough
To quench your thirst, to fill your cup
Beacuse you, soul, are not of earth
You were made for second birth
Oh Jesus, that is what, it's who You are
My bright and shining Morning Star
The One who lived as just a man
You felt our pains and so You can
You can bring comfort through our pain
You understand hurts we can't explain
You died our death-once- for all
You redeemed us from the fall
And now You prepare a place for me
That forever where I am is where You want to be
All longing, sighing tears will cease
The agony and fears released
And everlasting joy will stay
That's so much more than New Year's Day