Blogs retrieved from the faithbychoice.net
10/12/14 I Want to Know Joy
Have you ever been bombarded with the struggles people you know live with? When you hear the stories and something inside of you cringes because you sense, and see, their pain and weariness?
You wonder why some marriages last and some don’t. Why some live to be 100 and some die at 22. Why cancer hits some again and again, and they just keep pushing forward. Why cars go screaming out of control and leave lifeless forms behind.
You wonder why some are blessed financially and why some, even when using wisdom, live so close they sweat each bill that comes in the mail.
You wonder why military people are too often forced to choose between the lives of many or the life of one and then live with that memory forever.
And, mostly, you wonder at the joy you still see in the lives of some of these people. Joy that can only come from knowing God, trusting God, choosing God.
Too many choices are ones we aren’t given the chance to make. They are thrust upon us. But faith, joy, and determination to trust- those are choices we can and need to make to survive with any semblance of life, of righteousness, of peace.
I can’t take upon me the hurts I hear about, I see, sometimes I feel. But I do trust God hears and sees and feels much more than I ever could, and He cares.
Why is not a question I want to continually ask. Instead I want to ask “what are You showing me, Lord?” and be obedient to follow His leading.
Mostly, when those hard, hard choices are placed in front of me, I want to have the faith to remember that even the hardest will pass as I focus on the promise before me. If I understand I was created with a purpose; live in the understanding that this is a journey and my destination is so incredible words can’t describe it adequately, then I can know I will push through whatever I face with the joy that comes in knowing Him.
That’s it. When bombarded with life’s trials, I want to know joy.
9/28/14 Caps All The Way
Sometimes the reality of my own faith hits me like a brick to the stomach. Nothing incapacitating, just painful and causing a momentary lack of breath. When I can breathe normally again I hear the still small voice reminding me that there is a reason the Holy Spirit was sent to teach and council me, and that those moments when the capital F becomes lower case I am humbled – and grateful for it.
Self-confidence, independence and pride have no place in the life of this believer. For the peace and security I need to function in this world of growing unrest, my confidence MUST be in God; my dependence MUST be in my savior and not myself; and my pride needs to crumble in the presence of the powerful knowledge that God and God alone is the author and finisher of my faith and in Him all things are purposed.
So when the voices of the world scream at me and I stumble a little I have the assurance all is not lost. I am still a work in progress. Forever learning and growing in the understanding of how little I am, how little I know, and yet how blessed I am. Forever learning, too, that in submission to my Lord, what I know, what I can do, is taken beyond my limitations and in awe I watch things accomplished that in me alone could never have been accomplished.
Faith. Not in myself. That’s lower case stuff. Faith in submission to GOD….caps all the way.
I read a lot. Always have. Different times in my life I’ve read different kinds of things. Now I get emails and Facebook and Google+ posts that tell me how to write to be read. Interesting how what I learned in college journalism classes about that topic is so different from what I read now. Of course, there wasn’t social media back in the dark ages. . .
So many conflicting people with conflicting advice and some are guaranteeing successful blogs and novels and magazine articles. . .
I write because I am compelled to write. Compelled to put down ideas and stories and observations as revealed to me by my Lord. Or, just because sometimes someone just wants a good, clean source of entertainment.
Any time I have tried to write by someone else’s method it has come out dry, without life, and has, honestly, led me to want to just give up because no matter how much I emulate in what I write, it is all wrong.
So, sometimes I ramble. Sometimes it’s short and to the point. Sometimes it makes no sense to most but to one someone somewhere something clicks. That’s the one God wanted me to write for. It’s enough. No, it’s more than enough. It’s fulfillment.
5/26/14 Believe Big
Sometimes when you are feeling incredibly small, totally insignificant and vastly unqualified to believe that the crazy dream deep in your heart could ever come to pass, the words Believe Big pop into your mind.
The tendency is just to laugh. Tell yourself you are tired and not thinking straight. That those kinds of dreams and visions are meant for other people.
But then why, after twenty plus years, does it still simmer deep inside of you? That dream from those years where your faith was bold and your zeal reached the mountain tops and you had yet to travel any of the valleys that ultimately were part of the path God had chosen for you.
And now you half laugh, half moan, because you remember a couple of bold attempts in your spiritual childhood that God in His wisdom, and Mercy, never allowed to come to pass. What a disaster it could have been…what harm could have been done to others by your lack of wisdom.
Now, definitely older, admittedly weary from some of the valleys, but experienced enough now that instead of stepping away from those feelings of insignificance and non-qualification, you can rejoice in their truth that you are exactly that. No way can you do what is in your heart to do.
But one thing those trips to the valleys and back have shown you is that God is both capable and willing to do The Big Thing.
That’s what the last twenty plus years have been all about. To settle in your spirit that God is God, and you are a servant, a vessel for His use.To settle in your understanding that God can’t be contained in any man-made system, and He can, and does, work things in ways that leave you shaking your head. To settle in your mind that the gifts you have are for a purpose, and you don’t need to either broadcast them or hide them. You just have to work in them as He directs. Not as you direct, or any other person directs, but as He directs. You have to recognize and accept the weaknesses you have, understanding they have a purpose as well. Some of those weaknesses are in reality your greatest gifts and strengths, and God will make that all clear in time.
You have to understand that the enemy is real, and wants to kill and steal and destroy, and you need to be alert, and know and put to use the God directed way to stand against him, not your way.
So, taking that all into consideration, it’s not all that inconceivable that stirring right there beside that dream are the words Believe Big. It can only be God that makes it happen, so that takes the pressure off of you. Believe Big. Draw from the resources your walk with Him has given you and begin to plan. Trust Him for those plans, for the steps to take, for the time and place and finances and. . .
Just. Believe. Big.
5/21/14 Be Happy
I think I’m afraid to be happy. Because whenever I
get too happy, something bad always happens.
I saw this statement today and felt an incredible ache inside me. I remember a time in my life when I felt the same way, and refused to let myself be happy or excited about anything.
How self-destructive we can be when we don’t understand just how much we are loved by the Creator of Life Himself.
Happiness is an emotion. We were created to have emotions. Happiness. Love. Hate. Sadness. Anger. Frustration. Anxiety. Fear. We were not created to let our emotions control us to the point of avoiding an integral part of life; good or bad.
How do I keep from falling back into that? Because, believe me, when everything around starts to crumble, it is so easy for the first thoughts to be, “it was all going so well and I should never have let myself. . .”
Complete that sentence however it fits you. Was I close?
Here’s a question to think about. Doesn’t bad stuff happen anyway, whether you’re happy or not?
I’m not about to profess to being a therapist. What I do profess to be is a child of the Most High God, and His Holy Spirit has counseled me far above what any man or woman has ever done.
Another question for you. Are happiness and joy the same thing?
I choose to believe God. I choose to believe I am the beloved of God. I choose to believe that even if almost everything around me is lost to me (and it has been) then I have joy. Not always happiness. No, when those sleepless nights came and my thoughts were nothing but chaos because of all the “bad” that was happening, I didn’t have happiness – I had joy. Joy in my salvation. Joy in knowing there were people that loved me no matter what happened. Joy in simple things like blooming flowers, and kittens, and dogs, and birds that could sing away the tension and trees whose limbs were lifted heavenward as if giving praise to God.
Oh, I know happiness is much more fun than sadness and troubles, and this seems so simplified. But things outside of the joy and love that flow from the Love of God, are temporary. If we can get our eyes off ourselves, can truly understand that none of it is really about us, but about Him and His plan, then I can tell you, happiness is possible without being afraid of the next bad thing about to happen. Because, somewhere the bad will happen. And you’ll get through it; much easier if you trust the Lord to be with you through it.
Bottom line, we all have to let go of trying to control everything in our lives in order to find full joy. It’s a funny concept, give up something and watch it come back. You know, like letting a captive animal go and it will return…
And, no, I don’t always get it right. But I always go back to the One who can show me how to get it right. And that is where the Joy always rises above all other things.
So please, don’t be afraid to be happy. Choose to find happiness in the midst of whatever life throws at you. You won’t always be smiling or laughing. But if you have accepted God’s love, His promises, His gift of eternal life, then you’ll discover just how comforting joy can be when happiness is elusive.