Tag Archive: faith


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 Every day when I wake up I wonder ” what’s going to happen today? Can I handle it, am I strong enough?” I always think about how strong I need to be. I never say first thing, “my God is strong enough”.

When I converted to Born again Christian I learned a great deal about disobedience vs independence. Beforehand I thought that it was great to be independent, I boasted of it. The men I knew in my lifetime always wanted an independent woman. I thought I was just as capable of taking care of myself as any one else. I would see other women being taking care of by their husband or boyfriend and I felt a lacking, I didn’t trust anyone to take care of me. I am a product of a cold hearted, bare bones  upbringing. I grew up strong, tough, independent, capable and not trusting anyone. I was also  hurting deep inside. I covered it up with years of more pain, hurt and lack. It was quite a mud pack of junk piled up on me. It wasn’t until I was in yet another failed marriage that I realized what being independent really meant. It meant being absent from the Father.

My former husband didn’t want to worry or think about me when he wasn’t around. He KNEW I would manage, take care of the house, yard, chores whatever needed to be done and still have dinner for him. When we fought I would tell him I didn’t need him I was able to take care of myself. I was proud of the fact. In time we broke and a small part of it was for that reason.Since I was so independent it left him time to have a relationship outside of our marriage. At the time of course I had no idea. All the other reasons for us breaking up were becoming more apparent. I still remained self sufficient or so I thought.

The eventuality of it all was that I learned that independence is a sin. It is DISOBEDIENCE to our Abba Father, God Almighty. We need to be dependent on The Father. He wants to be our father, to protect us, feed and  clothe us, comfort and provide for us. When we are independent we are saying “I can do all these things by myself I don’t need you”. But on the inside we want a father. Someone to do just that. Yet I pushed Him away, I thought I was capable. I thought I was being so strong.

In reality I was causing Him pain. I never thought I was disobedient in that sense. I thought of how good I was. How strong I was. I discovered it was a ruse, a trap, a deadly sin. When I didn’t trust the Father to take care of me and comfort me I was saying ‘I don’t need you God, I can do it ALL myself’. The reality is I can’t do anything by myself. The sin of disobedience brought Pride, Envy, Lust,and Greed just to name a few other sins and bondage spirits. I was in bondage.Me the independent one, was in bondage. I was proud and boasting and running amuck in the world. Thinking I was doing well lying and blindsiding myself. I was strong and tough enough to handle anything that came my way. It was I, I, I, all the way. Pushing my strength and my ‘ I’m  tough I can handle it attitude’ on everything and every body.

I lost a great deal from behaving,believing and living a life like that. I tried to be strong at work, home with friends and family. It was  getting more difficult trying to be strong, trying to do it myself. I was using up so much energy and time trying, pushing, pulling, dodging and starting to feel the weight bearing down on me. Letting go of it would have been much easier to do.

It wasn’t easy to accept the fact that independence is a sin. A simple thing with a really big consequence. Sin, a small word with Hell for a consequence. So I  learn more each day to try to lighten up. Let my Abba Father take care of me. To trust Him and not myself. I’m not there yet, not completely anyway but I’m getting closer. It’s not easy giving up oneself to trust an unseen all knowing God. But I’m working on it and my life is showing an improvement. It’s been slow going at times when it’s a human being checking the calendar waiting for time to click by and eventually arriving  where I wanted to be. It’s definitely worth the wait.

Let go and let God, I heartily  recommend it.

Blessings,

Mary

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Today after listening to my favorite  television Bible teachers  this question came into my mind, “How many times do you have to lose everything before you figure it all out? Just what is it going to take? How high is your tolerance for pain, your blindness, your denial or your stubbornness?

I know in the past mine was pretty high, actually it was extremely high. I could handle anything. I could take care of it myself. I have a plan for my life. I can see clearly my goals and aspirations. I am independent and I don’t need anyone to help me. I can do it myself.

Get my point yet? I was cruising along struggling to get by, taking care of my house, yard, truck, health, faith, and it took awhile.  I thought I had it all figured out, independent and determined to succeed. “I” had no idea that “I” was not in control of my destiny.

It was all “I”, “I”, “I”, see where this is going? Like Humpty Dumpty “I” was getting ready for a great fall.

 In retrospect there was no way of knowing that God was going to intercede in my life in a grand way. Having mentioned this in previous blogs, about my losing everything, house, independence, my goals and aspirations and basically whom “I” was at the time, I am now a new person. Actually I lose myself everyday. Then with the new day I become a new person, and that happens everyday.

I often give things away that were given to me to pass on to others. I have seen God work through me and in the other people that are now part of my life.  Always being a giving person offering to help others I found that to be my ministry of sorts.

Actually I’m not even positive it’s a ministry for me. It just really happened, it became something I do often. God made me good at scrounging around for myself since money and food were in short supply. So I became better at what I was always good at.When I think of all “I” have been through and the exciting paths that are before me now, I have anticipation for the new adventures.

Starting over for me before I found Christ was always something difficult, a chore, looking for food, shelter, jobs and new friends. Now since I don’t have to worry about that at all, it has increased my blessings. Increased them so much that I have an over abundance to share with others. Before it was about me, myself and I. How was I going to make it? Can I get a job? What about a place to live? And food? Sure, I still get desires for worldly goods. Recently I was beginning to be concerned about getting new pants for work. I had to stop myself from thinking over and over how was I going to get them. New clothes are not in my budget at all I remember saying to myself, “o.k, enough of that, God will take care of me, God IS taking care of me, it’ll be alright”. That same day, a woman friend I volunteer with at the Monday Soup Kitchen came to me with a clothes hanger covered in dry cleaner plastic and said to me, “Mary these are three brand new pairs of pants do you want them? Wow, blew me away. God that was quick. Isn’t He awesome?

Don’t get me wrong, I have a great place to live, a full refrigerator and freezer. BUT GOD did that for me. I don’t struggle now like I did before I found Jesus. I used to really worry about how I was going to make it. I lost everything in my life a few times and had to start over. When I look back at my life I can see that I did make it after all. He found me. He saved me. It’s probably hard for the non believer to accept but once they do, it’s an awesome experience. I am free.

Now that Jesus is in control and taking care of me, there’s nothing for me to worry about. Because if I make it all about Him there’s nothing ever to worry about.

Thank you Jesus for finding me a lost sheep. thank you Jesus for forgiving me. Thank you Jesus for dying on the Cross and taking on the sins of the world.

 

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These  four little words are so profound. So deep. So thought provoking and even disturbing.

What have I become?

I even have difficulty writing about it. I have been so many things. Child, sister, mother, wife, friend, co worker, neighbor, statistic. I looked up the definitions of  “I, Have and Become” Posted below.

“I”:

I  is the first-person singular nominative case personal pronoun in Modern English. It is used to refer to one’s self and is capitalized, although other pronouns, such as he or she, are not capitalized.

“Have”:

1have verb \ˈhav, (h)əv, v; in “have to” meaning “must” usually ˈhaf\
had hav·ing has

1
a : to hold or maintain as a possession, privilege, or entitlement  <I have my rights>
b : to hold in one’s use, service, regard, or at one’s disposal
c : to hold, include, or contain as a part or whole
2
: to feel obligation in regard to
3
: to stand in a certain relationship to
4
a : to acquire or get possession of : obtain <these shoes are the best to be had>
b : receive <had news>
c : accept; specifically : to accept in marriage,

 

“BECOME”:

be·come verb \bi-ˈkəm, bē-\
: to begin to be or come to be something specified : to begin to have a specified quality

: to look attractive on (someone) : to be flattering to (someone)

1
a : to come into existence
b : to come to be <become sick>
2
: to undergo change or development
: to be suitable to
— become of
: to happen to

 

We get accustomed to using words loosely. We take them for granted the power in words and behind them. There were so many things “I had to have”, “had to become”, and the things I “became”. I struggled and fought for it all. To be, to become like everyone else. I was so ignorant, and wrong, I was fooled into believing I needed to become what others wanted me to become. To become what I thought I should become. Jesus taught me to put away that thinking. To trust the Holy Spirit, not the body, mind or world.

I was all those things mentioned and more. Those were were only the good words, the ones everyone is used to hearing. They say a lot but then again much is left out. When I was a child I did childish immature things, as a sister I was the one to do most of the work because I was the eldest. Taking on the inexperience and lack of love from parents I struggled to love and care for my siblings. As a wife I loved and  tolerated much. As a friend I loved and extended myself outward to others, giving the honest me. As a co worker I loved my jobs even though I didn’t want to. I offered my friendship honestly at work and outside of work. As a neighbor, I tried loving them, mostly if my friendship and outstretched hand was rejected I pulled back. I kept to myself. Always willing to help but hesitating, watching and waiting.I was and I am a statistic. That’s the way the world looks at me. Born, living, dead, tracked though out life, a statistic (that will be another story)

But there’s more:

I was a sinner also. I went my way listening to everything, watching everything, hearing and learning about how I should live in this world. What society expects of me. How I “should” do this or “must ” do that.

My thinking started out pure, clean and open, wanting to learn, to be part of, to do the right thing. Doing what others do, liking what they like, eating and drinking the same foodstuffs.

Geez Louise. “what have I become”? I cry whenever I think about it. I’m older now and so much time has gone by. I think, if only I knew then what I should look for, look up to, live for, believe in, if only I knew.

I was saved almost five years ago. I have been fast tracking as a Christian. I’m so hungry for the Lord. Knowing how much time is behind me and not knowing the time in front of me I want to BECOME more Christ like . Learn my lessons quickly, force Satan out of my life, my memories, my everything. Push onward, be a blessing, give blessings. Make myself conform to the right thing. Yes it’s hard and painful, I still hurt and cry and carry on.

I ask the Lord, “Why did it take so long for me to find you”? He reminds me that I needed all those lessons to BECOME what He wants me to become.

He saved me for the time which is now. I am a Warrior Bride for Christ.

 Thank you Jesus. Praise Him Always.

What have YOU Become?

 

 

 

 

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I am so sorry for the long gap in posting. I had many things going on. Working, packing to move, going to church, bible study, volunteering, brief social visits, doctor visits, well you get the picture. I was busy. Too busy, something I really don’t like to be anymore. I promised myself that since I moved back to New York from Florida I would not let myself get stressed and pressed. It almost happened, praise the Lord I think I caught it in time.

Then after I moved, I thought “aha” I’ve got a better handle on it and voila! It happened again. Since I was closer to work but further from the places I volunteered at and worshiped at, I had to adjust my schedule, and my gas allowance. I also see more doctors now. You have got to know that it’s just the way it is, as we get older that’s what happens. Wear and tear. All the times when we should have been taking care of ourselves were spent in postponement of self obligation. Either we thought getting old was never going to happen to us, we didn’t have the money or insurance, the transportation to and from, the doctor always gets me upset mindset, or being too proud to go to the doctors for only God knows why, we still need to do our routine maintenance and checkups. I have always tried to the best of my ability to take care of myself. Oh, I wasn’t  an athlete or superstar just a regular hard working person. I finally got medical insurance so now I can work on my physical self.

But my emotional self obviously needed more work. I did have a problem with rewarding myself for things well done. Whether it was a job well done, an accomplishment of a long term/short term goal, a friend in town or socializing with my friends kind of reward, it was a food reward. Years ago, I punished myself with food, I thought I was ugly, not good enough, always apologizing for something I had no control over, or my inability to deal with my life circumstances. My life was difficult in the past, praise the Lord that’s all behind me now.

When I realized that I hid behind food, that I punished myself with food, I was comforted by food, and that I had used food like many people use alcohol or drugs. I had an awakening. I thought I had it all figured out. But now for the flip side, I reward myself. Instead of telling myself, that the extra lunch money can go into an account I allowed myself to be blindsided and lost control. Going out to eat used to be part of my entertainment too. I would go out to eat and then the movies. Normal right? Except at the movies I had a large buttered popcorn, no drink or candy usually. Just water.

Geez Louise! I thought about this today as I sat at my favorite Chinese Restaurant, a buffet restaurant. Getting my usual two plates, one with meat and veggies the other with fish and seafood, I sat down to eat. Quietly by myself which is the norm for me since I left Florida. Sure I go out once in a while with my good friends but when they’re not around I take myself out.

While sitting there, eating, drinking my hot tea, watching others, I noticed most people, not all the people but most of them are obese. Now I’m overweight, not enough to require surgical intervention but I couldn’t help wondering about the sin of Gluttony. I have also noticed this at my chiropractors office. Most people that come in are overweight and out of shape out of shape. Interesting terminology, “out of shape”. As if we take on a new form, a disfigured self. I noticed that about myself. I looked bloated and puffy, my skin felt different, my body ached more.

According to Merriam-Webster dictionary it’s:

Excessive eating or drinking, excessive overindulgence        

According to velocity.net (Ed Tarkowski) : 

It is a result of lawlessness where gluttony, rebellion, disobedience and the like just walk in and take over. Gluttony contributes to lawlessness because gluttony is excess, and that excess indulges the self and leads to a lack of self-control. The time or activity that one spends glutting himself takes away time from other things, and brings forth a life of irresponsibility. In order to justify the time spent on whatever consumes him, the glutton can’t be wrong because that might infringe on the freedom to do what he wants. Therefore, when things go awry, everyone else is responsible for the problems. The glutton has to fill himself with what he wants to do to satisfy self, and this is usually done at the expense of others. http://www.velocity.net/~edju70/1deadly.htm

Well, THAT was an eye opener. I’ve been working on my humility and disobedience and low and behold I read this. Yep, it’s true for me, what about you? How about this one?

The chief error about Gluttony is to think it only pertains to food. Some people can’t have enough toys, television, entertainment, sex, or company. It is about an excess of anything. There are at least three forms of Gluttony:

  1. Wanting more pleasure from something than it was made for.
  2. Wanting it exactly our way (delicacy).
  3. Demanding too much from people (excessive desire for other people’s time or presence)    http://www.holyspiritinteractive.net/features/thesevendeadlysins/gluttony.asp

Geez Louise, I had no idea. I need to reel myself in and ask God to help me on this one. It’s more involved than just overeating and spoiling myself. I surely don’t want to be disobedient or stalk anyone. I’m trusting God and having more faith. I need strength, His strength. Help me Father.

 This sin is insidious, I need to pay more attention. There are many twists and turns on the way to Heavens gate. Thank you Jesus for opening my eyes once again.

Here’s some more resources on one of the Seven Deadly Sins:

The Holy Bible

http://www.holyspiritinteractive.net/features/thesevendeadlysins/gluttony.asp

http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Bible-Verses-About-Gluttony/

http://www.upworthy.com/7-deadly-sins-map-how-does-your-state-stack-up

 

 

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Lately Lord I have noticed more aggression around me. Driving on a well known main road near my home, on my way to work, the store, church, laundromat or going to my sons house there are just so many people pushing past me. I’m already doing a little over the speed limit as it is. Drivers that should yield when they are in a yield lane zoom past just to get in front of you. It doesn’t matter that some of them are passing down the middle medium where no passing is permitted. I have seen them pass in the middle, on the shoulders, good weather, rainstorms and blizzards. No regard for others, no regard for life, theirs or anyone else’s. Look at the slideshow. Do they look happy, joyful or contented? They look like they want someone to pay, one way or another they wll vent their anger and pain.

Customers in stores demand a discount or want to return a well worn or broken item, whether or not they have the coupon or requirements met or not. They harass and raise their voices to get their way. Or, they yell out, “get me the manager”. So  the manager will come and give them what they want because of wanting to give good customer service. Instead of making people accountable for their actions and behaviors we cave in. We are bullied in stores, in doctors offices, by insurance companies, government agencies,  just about everywhere.  

What is happening to us? What are we becoming?  There is anger everywhere, in music, movies, schools, homes, everywhere. We need to take a stand. I personally don’t want  to become like my enemy, you know who I mean, satan, the evil and nasty one. I want to be like Jesus. Goodness, peace, serenity, light.

Ever since they took prayer out of school, restricted parents from discipling their own children, restricted teachers and police offers from correcting our children and being so called politically correct, I have noticed a decline, a decay, a rot setting in. Bullies do what they do because no one stands up to them out of fear of reprisal/repercussion. Living in fear is not of God. It is of the darkness, the evil one, the liar. Bring light to the darkness, do what’s right. Bullies are in pain, have low self esteem , low self worth. They look to be idolized and worshipped. Look at me, I’m bigger, faster, better, stronger, meaner, tougher, louder, smarter, richer, more clever than you are. They’re also lonely, heart broken, love starved, sad and frightened.

Before we were saved by Jesus we were the same. Broken-hearted, helpless, crying out in our own ways.  So my suggestion is to offer these kind words to make a difference. ” I’m sorry if you thought I offended you. Please go ahead of me. Let me get the door for you. May I pray for you? Jesus loves us just the way we are”.

 If we offer kindness as if Jesus was actually standing there with us, then it makes it easier. Remember the Holy Spirit is with us once we’ve accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior. When we set the example, speak softly, kindly, without malice or hostility, use encouraging words and forgiveness (turning the other cheek) we ourselves grow more in Christ. So when someone refuses to yield, I do. When someone wants to raise their voice at me and argue and harass, I lower my voice and try to be nicer. When governmental clerks try to make me accept unacceptable doctrine, I gently remind them that I  am a grown up citizen and I don’t work for them.

Take a stand, Stand up for Jesus, for yourself, your country, your life and for your future generations.  Remember we are children of God, we have royal blood in our veins. We have Abba Father. Let them know they can have Him too.

Blessings, Mary 

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I’m trying hard to be a good Christian, I occasionally feel tempted to declare audible gasps, oh my’s, and Geez Louise’s’ . I see more people leaving the privacy of their homes in their pajamas, in slippers, pants way too big and drooping and sagging down on them. I see men and women wearing tight too small clothing over a rotund, spare tired body.  Don’t they look in the mirror when they get dressed? What do they see? I see and feel the sadness.

I’m overweight myself. The thought of me going out of the house with my belly fat hanging out repulses me. I try to wear clothing that’s a looser fit, you know for bigger people. I don’t try to fool myself into thinking I look good, refined, professional or more feminine by wearing thin tight blouses or low rise pants. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a fashionista . I’m working on myself not just spiritually but physically, mentally and emotionally. I get it when the bible says my body is  a temple.

If the Holy Spirit is dwelling within me, He needs a livable place. I try to do regular maintenance. I know my body has issues. But I’m not going to fall for the flesh running my life. That’s a lie from the devil. I used to not even think about how I would look to Jesus. I thought well, he knows I’m a sinner. So that’s how I am. But then I just kept reading the Word daily, watched my favorite tv evangelists, read books,  listen to many preachers and figured out that what I believed was only partly true. Old school, Old Testament. Sure I faithfully believe in the commandments. I learned that those are the ground rules, then once you know the difference between right and wrong, you’re expected to move into the New Testament. The Old Testament is foundation, cornerstone building.  It lets you know, hey, what you’re doing or about to do is wrong.

Open your eyes. What do you see? Jesus wants us to get away from sin, clean up ourselves, take charge of our flesh and worldly things.  He wants us back, He comes looking for us. Can He recognize you? The New Testament is about His Grace and love. He wants us to learn about love, to love others and to love ourselves.

A false image is like a false idol. We do not worship false idols or any idols of any kind. Whether they’re movie stars, musicians,  athletes or models. We worship God, only God and we’re praising Him always in all ways for all we have and don’t have. When we are born again, the Holy Spirit, our Helper comes to dwell within us. I want to make Him proud of me. I want to remain humble and respectful.

At any time I can be called before The Lord. That means, my flesh has died. I’m dead, gone, a memory to friends and family. Standing before God the instant I take my last breath. How will I appear? Will I display a trashy image? Have I tried to do Gods will? I am accountable for my life. Me, myself.

I do not care what the world tells me, what horoscopes, cards, dice, bone tossing, tv, music, fashion or other people try to say or turn me from or toward. It’s my life, I choose not to give it to fantastical lies, strange beliefs or false traditions.

The Holy Spirit lives in me, my personal life and world are changing for the better.  I will care about my body, and whom I represent. I am Gods kid. It’s His group I long to belong to, not worldly groups or gangs. Not what everyone else is doing, saying, wearing or believing, but what my Heavenly Father wants me to do and how He wants me to live.

There’s something comforting knowing that it’s in myself to be able to please Him. To have Him look at me with love, knowing He’s the one that’s always truly loved me unconditionally. When I come before my Abba Father I want to hear “well done, my good and faithful servant.” I want my Daddy to be proud of me.

ImageLately I’ve been wondering about a lot of things. I guess that I’ve been getting hungry again.

Three years ago I was saved. I lived in Florida at the time and had many Christian friends and contacts.

Moving to New York I needed to begin again. I found a great church right away, praise the Lord.

Then after awhile I felt a gnawing, a space, a void. I used to be so involved in bible studies, church and various types of worship, fellowshipping, and being a part of several different  things. I found different places to go and discovered  more about myself and my relationship with God.

Now  I don’t have all that contact and I’m more of a lone explorer, except for the occasional blessing of finding a few other ” explorers” like myself, I am wandering again.

Looking for my Jesus fix. That’s also what Joyce Meyer calls it. Being addicted to Jesus. I just have to have what He has. I keep looking for my teacher. I keep listening for the still small voice. I feel the need.

So I begin searching for my teacher. Asking others about more.

More praise and worship, inspirational preaching, restorative instruction, deeper and deeper I feel the need to go.

I’ve been to two new churches. Awesome places of worship. Full Gospel Christian Center in Port Jefferson Station, NY and The Refuge Church in Northport, NY are wonderful examples of feeding my need.

Full Gospel Christian Center is charismatic, has altar calls, flag and dance ministries, friendly parishioners, terrific praise and worship ministry, and the pastors are so anointed. When I was there many people went up for the altar call and where anointed  with oil and prayed prayed over by the pastors. Talk about a Holy Spirit movement. It was so amazing, two and a half hours long. Wow. I felt great after that.

The same people that told me of that church asked me if I wanted to go to a healing service. We did that a couple of weeks later.

We went to The Refuge Church in Northport. Friday and Saturday night and Sunday service. The praise and worship music was wonderful here also. Everything here was great. The pastor had such a great connection with his congregation.

What I found inspiring was the amount of young people so devoted to Jesus. There were more young than old. Hallelujah. There also was flag and dance ministries.  

They had special guests,there were two healers there from Bethel Church in Redding, California. The miracles that took place that weekend were simply fantastic. One young woman had her Scoliosis healed and grew an inch. I myself had my back and my right knee prayed  over. I actually felt and had visualized my one disc being pulled and moved. It took a few days before I realized the knot behind my right knee was gone. I can say that I partial healing but I will TESTIFY to what happened to me while I was there. A man had a rash on his leg that completely disappeared. There were others also.

My advice is for you to go yourself to a healing service. Bring your Faith and Belief.

As for me, I’m looking for more, so if you happen to see me when I’m questing let me tell you about about my adventures with Jesus.

Blessings,

Mary  

PS: See links section for website addresses.

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Lately I have been trying to listen, I mean really listen. What am I hearing? What can I hear? Since looking into mirrors is not something I was ever fond of doing I tried to develop a better sense of hearing.   I can tell a lot more about myself by listening.

Do I stick to positive words? Or do I fall back onto negativity? I don’t even like using that word. To me it pays homage to the devil. I try hard every day to speak good, not just do good. Not just to be a blessing, but to speak a blessing.

Compliments are of a positive uplifting nature. Have you complimented anyone today?  Have you told yourself how special you are to Jesus? I remind myself all the time that I am a child of God. I am Gods kid and He loves me. That is an awesome statement.It speaks life into me, it pushes out of my thoughts anything that Satan is trying to get me to believe.

If I believe in what Satan tells me to believe then I am not believing in Jesus or the Word of God. it means just the opposite. Satan is NOT my idol. He is a LIAR, a THIEF and he is whatever is NOT good, NOT of the Light or Truth or of anything positive.

Everyone at some point has unhappy , cloudy, angry or confused thinking. Remind yourself that those are all negatives.

Picture a traffic light in your mind when that happens. Red means STOP, do not proceed, do not move forward or turn. The color is even harder to look at, it’s a powerful color.

A green light means GO, proceed, move forward, turn if you like. The color is easier on the eyes, more pleasing, restful, graceful.

Perhaps you’re in between not sure yet, still on the brink, like a yellow traffic light. Moving forward but on the verge of stopping. Yellow is a warning light, a prepare to stop light, slow down  proceed with caution light. Not a stop light.

Whatever you need to visualize and retrain your brain  figure out what works for you. If I hear myself, or get feedback from others regarding not speaking Life into myself, or others I try to quickly correct myself. Yes it takes some personal work. It also mean  that I have been listening to the Word, and applying to myself and others. The rewards are everlasting.

How’s your hearing, are you really listening?

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 When I moved to New York I began attending the Church at the Movies (www.churchatthemovies.com  also called Grace Ministries) .

While in church yesterday doing my usual prayers before service  listening to the praise and worship team warm up, I thought ” I do the same thing all the time when I come here I wonder if it makes a difference?”.

When Pastor Roger Blackmore came out after the praise and worship leaders were finished he started again on his”Second Chance Salvation” sermon.

This week it was about Job. Now I heard and read about Job umpteen times but I took notes anyway. Pastor Roger asked the congregation a rhetorical question.

Where are You in God’s Love?  

Pastor Roger went on to discuss the deal the devil made with God, Jobs loss of ALL his children in one day, his boils and sores, his friends, his wife and Jobs lament. Yep, heard it all before, so what was different today?

 Job was a man that praised and worshiped God for everything he had and  lost, what Job missed was his relationship with God. Job longed for his past life, when he had good life and his children were still alive (Job 29:2). He longed for his lost youth (Job 29:4-Oh, for the days when I was in my prime, when God’s intimate friendship blessed my house). But most of all he looked back and noticed he wasn’t as spiritual and faithful as he should have been (Job 29:2-Oh that I were as in months gone by, As in the days when God watched over me; NASB ).

He missed God’s care (Psalm 121:7  -The LORD will keep you from all harm–he will watch over your life; NLT) He missed his relationship with God more than he missed all his wealth, loss of health and children. He must have had an awesome relationship.

I sat there thinking ” I pray, praise and worship quite often. Just how often did Job?  Just where am I in God’s love? I want that kind of relationship with God.

I think I can have it if  I ASK.

 In Job 42:12 God blessed the latter portion of his life. God DOUBLED it. I want that! I want to walk around in Joy and gladness.I need to remind myself that God’s going to work everything out for me.

I need to TELL GOD I really need Him and allow Him to come to me where I am.

God’s a perfect gentleman. He’s not going to force Himself on you or me He will wait to see if you or I sincerely want Him.

 If you really want Him, just ask Him and then wait. Because everything’s in Gods time, not mine or yours.

Thank you Pastor Roger for a great sermon.

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My life has gone through many changes. In the past few years, some very dramatic and renewing life changing events. It was when I lost everything that I actually found so much more than what I lost.

I was a hospice nurse. I loved my patients, the families, and my job. For me, I was a  career hospice nurse ,and I loved it. It brought me much satisfaction in my inner self. I learned so much about people, compassion, families, family dynamics, pain and suffering, and most of all Spirituality. I was comfortable in knowing I did my job well. I took good care of my patients. I was committed to making them as comfortable as possible.

I have learned so much from my patients and their families. I am so very grateful for the privilege of caring for them.

When I first began caring for hospice patients I prayed often. For them and their families and also for myself. I asked God to help me be a good nurse and to be what He wanted me to be.

I prayed quietly to myself at the bedside of the dying. I prayed in my car, at home, in church wherever I was. I asked for understanding. When I had questions I prayed for answers. He ALWAYS delivered the answers to me in an “ah ha ” kind of way. I saw the answers right there,  right at that moment. It was always “wow, I can see what you mean”.

Somehow I began losing sight of Him. Oh I went to church, I still prayed, I was still a good nurse but slowly I got caught up in the world. The world of taking care of myself. Of making a living, taking care of my house, truck, pets and yard, paying my credit cards and household bills, the list goes on . I coveted things, I actually  worshiped  idols. The idols of capitalism. Don’t misunderstand me. I enjoyed shopping, hunting down things. Even though it was mainly thrift  and discount stores. Owning second hand items didn’t bother me. But putting work, the house, yard and material items before God is a big no-no. God is a jealous God. Even though they were not golden calves or statues of other gods, I put them first.

I still helped people though. I enjoy helping others. Helping others is a big part of my life. I feel it’s something I’m supposed to do. Not realizing I also needed help.

 Being blindsided. I thought, “I want to be like everyone else, a good citizen, have a good credit score, my own home etc”.

I didn’t realize at the time that it was okay to be me.Where I was in life, it was alright, hard working, dedicated, aspiring, alone but not lonely, always trying to do the right thing. I kept myself busy, not afraid to take little adventures. Go places near and far by myself. I learned not to depend on others for my happiness.

As much as I wanted to be like others I was deep down glad I was not. I never realized how much I was putting on myself. Proud of my INDEPENDENCE. I can fix almost anything. I can work more, I can do this, I can do that. Being independent I thought was a good thing. Actually it alienates people. Others think you never need help with anything so they stop asking you. They get put off by your independence, thinking you can do so much more for yourself you don’t need anyone.

Actually, I find that my  independence came from loss. No help to do things, to help get stuff done, to go places with, no one had time to comfort or console, to bounce ideas off of, or to share with. I became stronger in my resolve that I didn’t need anyone, I can do it. I became more independent. A cycle round and round. All the while praying to God,asking and asking so many questions.  Looking for why me, why not, how come?

Then my life changed. I got hurt at work. Went through all the required rehabs, surgeries, rehab again, insurance and job requirements.  Ultimately due to “economic forecasters” ( my terms) I and 26 other people, mostly nurses and home health aides were laid off.  Oh my gosh what a disaster! My life passed before me at the speed of light. What about my home, my credit, my, my, my. All about me. To make a very long ( 5 year or so) story short, I lost my career, my home, my physical self and wound up with a physical disability from my injuries, and severe arthritis from long years of hard  work. But yet I still wanted to go back and continue what I was doing just as before.

I had to accept my many losses. It was hard to do. I grieved often, prayed often and hoped for answers. I dealt with my grief, yes I grieved. I went through the grief process for each of my losses. I had to change.  I did that with God’s help. He put wonderful people in my path along this very painful journey. I became a born again Christian. I saw that God was always there, I had to get ME out of the way. I prayed the confusion to be cleared and I that I would have wisdom and healing. I have been fast tracking, hungry for the Lord. I realize my thinking before was corrupted by worldly things. I understand now what principalities are. I know I am a warrior bride for Christ. I have purpose and meaning in my life. I am into the Word first thing every morning. I get up earlier to do that. I verbalize my praise and thanks all day long. What I gained is so much more empowering. Life affirming. The veil is lifted.

I am on the biggest adventure yet! I don’t have to just survive or try to be like the other fish in the fishbowl. I trust in God, He will provide for me, He directs my steps. I am not alone, my eyes and heart are open.  I am on an awesome journey. A marvelous adventure! And I just love new adventures!

Blessings, Mary

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