Tag Archive | Relationship

Cousin Friends

So. Last week, I was able to have breakfast with my cousin.

When we were growing up, we saw each other a lot, practically every weekend; sometimes until the wee hours of the morning.

I miss the games of Monopoly, and LIFE, playing hide and seek in the tall grass field next door until well after dark, the camp fires, and the times when we watched the vacation photos off those slides, on that funny little screen.

There’s a funny thing about cousins.

They get you when no one else does, because they were there when no one else was.

This cousin in particular, was a soft place for me to land when I was a high schooler – her being SO GROWN UP with her age being five years beyond mine.

As a young mom with two littles, a lot of time was spent around her kitchen table, making sense of how things were, how they could be.

We learned together how to trust God, and how to allow Him to lead and guide us through some really rough times.

We both had them, but we held on tight.

Somewhere when our kids became full of school activities, and life got crazy – we lost each other.

Well, not really.

Our hearts have been joined all these years none the less.  

We just couldn’t get together as much as we liked.

But you know what?

Being together again last week, seemed to begin closing that gap again.

We are still so much alike, maybe even more now, and we know that we can still benefit each other by just spending time together, telling our stories.

Another thing that we know is that we can help some outside of our family as well.

There are, near as I can tell, only a few other relationships in our lives that can compare to the cousin relationship, and they would be a sibling, a spouse, or if you’re lucky enough a BFF.

These are the ones who can help soothe your soul, hide your crazy, or talk you off the ledge.

All this being said, what my cousin, what my siblings, what my Spouse and what my BFF all know for sure –

Even we will fail.

Humans are not infallible.

We can say we want to help, and truly mean it, but for whatever reason there is a disconnect.

We can strive for that perfection, but will not really ever reach it, at least not here on earth.

So even with all of these human fail safes in place, there still is only ONE who can foot the bill – Perfectly – Forever.

His name is Jesus. 

I read this article, 7 Ways Jesus is the Best Friend You Could Ever Have.

I was impressed by the simplicity with which the author describes what an authentic friendship with Jesus looks like.

She begins by stating that ” Christians think of Jesus as their Lord, Savior, King and Master. However, believers rarely think of Jesus as being a close friend. Though that might sound strange to you at first, Jesus actually wants us to think this way.”

Clicking on the link above will take you to the complete article.

Let me end by saying that I hope you have those in your life who will give you the boost you need, or even the kick in the pants if you are stalled out somewhere.

A cousin, a sibling, a BFF, or a spouse, even a blogger friend; but even in the absence of one of those, you can always give Jesus a try.

I would welcome your dialog if you need some help getting started.

I hope you’ve found this helpful.

Until next time…

Father's Love Letter

On this day, we celebrate the fact that our heavenly Father gave us His most precious gift;

His one and only son, Jesus Christ.

Here is reprint of a “Father’s Love Letter”

You may not know me, but I know everything about you. (Psalm 139:1)

I know when you sit down and when you rise up. (Psalm 139:2)

I am familiar with all your ways. (Psalm139:3)

Even the very hairs on your head are numbered. (Matthew 10:29-31)

For you were made in my image. (Genesis 1:27)

In me you live and move and have your being. (Acts 17:28)

For you are my offspring. (Acts 17:28)

I knew you before you were conceived. (Jeremiah 1:4-5)

I chose you when I planned creation. Ephesians 1:11-12)

You were not a mistake. (Psalm 139:15-16)

For all your days are written in my book. (Psalm 139:15-16)

I determined the exact time of your birth and where you should live. (Acts 17:26)

You are fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14)

I knit you together in your mother’s womb. (Psalm 139:13)

And brought you forth on the day you were born. (Psalm 71:6)

I have been misrepresented by those who don’t know me. (John 8:41-44)

I am not distant and angry, but the complete expression of love. (1 John 4:16)

And it is my desire to lavish my love on you. (1 John 3:1)

Simply because you are My child, and I am your Father. (1 John 3:1)

I offer you more than an earthly Father ever could. (Matthew 7:11)

For I am the perfect Father. (Matthew 5:48)

Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand. (James 1:17)

For I am your provider and I meet all your needs. (Matthew 6:31-33)

My plan for the future has always been filled with hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)

Because I love you with an everlasting love. (Jeremiah 31:3)

My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore. (Psalm 139:17-18)

And I rejoice over you with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)

I will never stop doing good to you. (32:40)

For you are My treasured possession. (Exodus 19:5)

I desire to establish you with all My heart and all My soul. (Jeremiah 32:40

And I want to show you great and marvelous things. (Jeremiah 33:3)

If you seek Me with all your heart, you will find me. (Deuteronomy 4:29)

Delight in my and I will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4)

For it is I who gave you those desires. (Philippians 2:13)

I am able to do more for you than you can possibly imagine. (Ephesians 3:20)

For I am your greatest encourager. (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

I am also the Father who comforts you in all your troubles. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

When you are brokenhearted, I am close to you. (Psalm 34:18)

As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart. (Isaiah 40:11)

One day I will wipe every tear from your eyes. (Revelation 21:3-4)

And I’ll take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth. (Revelation 21:3-4)

I am your Father, and I love you even as I love My son, Jesus. (John 17:23)

For in Jesus, My love for you is revealed. (John 17:26)

He is the exact representation of My being. (Hebrews 1:3)

He came to demonstrate that I am for you and not against you. (Romans 8:31)

And to tell you I am not counting your sins. (2 Corinthians 5:18-19)

Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled. (2 Corinthians 5:18-19)

His death is the ultimate expression of My love for you. (1 John 4:10)

I gave up everything I loved that I may gain your love. (Romans 8:32)

If you receive the gift of My son Jesus, you receive Me. (1 John 2:23)

And nothing will ever separate you from My love again. (Romans 8:38-39)

Come home and I’ll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen. (Luke 15:7)

I have always been Father, and will always be Father. (Ephesians 3:14-15)

My question is … Will you be my child? (John 1:12-13)

I am waiting for you. (Luke 15:11-32

Love, Your Dad

Almighty God

What's grabbing You?

Who are you quoting?

What thoughts are you having?

What life are you living?

“We go where we look” Tim McGraw

“If you build it, he will come.” Kevin Costner

“Inside of me there are two dogs. One is mean and evil and the other is good and they fight each other all the time. When asked which one wins I answer, the one I feed the most.” Sitting Bull

“If you feed them they will come” Bruce Martin – About church functions.

We’ve all heard these kinds of sayings.

Do we take them seriously?

Probably, but only for a moment.

Then our usual habits sneak back in, and we find ourselves doing the same things over and over again.

It takes some real tenacity to continue on the road to success; whatever you deem that success to be.

What I’m about to share with you is basically the same thing.

Whatever you give you time to, helps to create who you are.

So with the next two quotes, I’ll give you my personal recommendation.

These two ideas were placed in my head several years ago, (2008?) they grabbed me, and have had me ever since.

This is not to say that I get them right all of the time, but it is to say that I have found them tremendously helpful.

The person speaking was Graham Cooke.

First; “If you don’t like the thought you’re having, then have another thought.”

Second; “Opposition attaches itself to what you do not remove.”

So how does this removal work?

How can I do that?

By reinventing your walk in the Fruit of the Spirit.

People spend copious amounts of time trying to reinvent themselves, only to find themselves the same, or worse than they were before.

Only by REMOVING the old thoughts, can the new ones take over.

I refer you to the Holy Bible,  Galatians 5.

The whole chapter is enlightening, but I point you to verse 22-23 which says; But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Against such things there is no law; simply means you can’t go wrong!

This means to me that there is great power in these fruits.

So here’s the thing;

If in your life you are seeing the opposite; hatred, bitterness, anger, strife, jealousy,

(The list is long I suppose, and different for each of us.)

then I would encourage you to choose the “Fruit” that is opposite of your issue, and

“Have another thought”.

Look where you’re going.

Feed the right thing.

Build a place inside you where the “Fruit” can be attracted to and grow.

Feed the right things – and more will begin to appear in your mind and in your heart.

One last quote;

“You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet, and the books you read.” Charlie Tremendous Jones

I encourage you to choose your reading, your friends, and your thinking wisely.

It makes all the difference.

Until next time.

**http://Grit & Grace: Train the Mind, Train the Body, Own Your Life; by Tim McGraw

** Kevin Costner as Ray – Field of Dreams – 1989.

Don’t Give Up!

Back in September, we read  David’s story

It was a story about loss, and persistence, and restoration.

Here it is again, in a nutshell;

David – Returned home to find that his entire village had been destroyed. Not one living thing was left, not one building standing. His wife and children were taken away, and he had no way of knowing whether they were alive or dead. Here’s what David (and his men) did. You can read this account in 1 Samuel 30. Here’s what he did –

1. He wept bitterly, until all of his strength was gone.

2. He then found strength in the Lord his God.

3. He inquired of the Lord to see what he should do (He prayed)

4. He took a portion of his men with him and pursued the enemy. He got EVERYTHING back, and then some. God honored the fact that he did not quit, but that he and a small number believed God could restore. (Nation, Families, Finances, Churches)

Now here is another story, this time about Daniel;

Daniel – Chapter 9. Now Daniel finished reading the scrolls and saw that the captivity was coming to an end. He could have said hip-hip-hooray and stopped praying, but he didn’t. He didn’t stop crying out to God, he called out to God what He had already promised! Three things he did –

1. He repented, for his sin AND the sin of his people.

2. He interceded. He took the promises of God’s word and brought them before Him all the more.

3. He gave thanks. He gave thanks for what He had done and what He would do. He thanked Him for His promises and covenants.

Both of these men could have given up. They could have stopped. They could have taken the freedom God gave them, and hidden themselves away. They never would have gotten the promises of God fulfilled in their lives.

Instead, they were persistent. First in their belief that God would care for them, and then, in their tenacity to continue moving forward, through pain and loss, to receive the prize at the end of the line.

The questions here for you and I are these;

  1. Will we persist?
  2. Will we believe God?
  3. Will we go on until we reach the prize?

To be sure, there are prizes here on this earth that are worth fighting for, but in reality, they will all fade away.

My persistence will lead not only to some of these, but to the ultimate prize – Living in the Presence of God. In His kingdom. Forever.

Pretty sure of this am I?

Yes.

Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.  Matthew 6:33

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?  Romans 8:35
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.  Psalm 16:11

 

How about you?
Are you sure?

Shadows

black and white cemetery christ church

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

“Prophecy – is normally only seen in shadow” – Gary Ellis

Excerpt from “The Dead Zone” – Stephen King

Johnny Smith: I’ve been tutoring this boy named Stuart. In the vision, I saw him drown. But that’s not the point. In the vision, something was missing.
Dr. Sam Weizak: How – how do you mean?
Johnny Smith: It was like… a blank spot, a dead zone.
Dr. Sam Weizak: First of all, tell me, did the boy, in fact, drown?
Johnny Smith: His father wanted him to play hockey. I talked him out of it. The boy’s alive.
Dr. Sam Weizak: Ah. Yes. Don’t you see how clear it is? Not only can you see the future, you can…
Johnny Smith: I can change it.
Dr. Sam Weizak: You can change it, exactly. Here. Yes, John. That is your… your “dead zone.” The possibility of… of altering the outcome of your premonitions. It’s fascinating. Let me make a note.

The thing he couldn’t see, the thing in the shadow, was what thing he could change.

There are many times when God tells us something, perhaps not audibly, but it comes in as a “Knowing in our knower.” (Mark Anderson)

It can come as an encouragement, or a warning as in this example.

If God has given you a prophecy, a word, a knowing; then you can always count on it, no matter what you see with your eyes.

If you have behaviors or thoughts that take you consistently away from that promise, you can change that.

That dead zone is a place where you can change things.

Change them by hanging on, getting stiller, listening longer, and waiting for the answer to come from the shadow. If He has said it, He will do it.

Things will change. Hold on.

And soon;  Isaiah 9:2 The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone.

1 Corinthians 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

Psalm 17:8 Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings,

 

Psalm 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

 

Psalm 36:7 How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.
Even if the days seem dark, we have a promise.
We wait, and walk, and wait some more, with Him, to see His promise fulfilled.

When You Were Seven Revisited

Well, as you can see, I’ve been exploring my past through blog posts from long ago.

Why? Because it occurred to me that over time, I had begun to forget some of the look and feel of some of the dark places I’ve been, and the steps I took to find my way home. My heart is to help others to reclaim their lives, and progress to the places that God their Creator created them for.  Breaking this idea down;

  • You were created for greatness
  • Dark circumstances have blocked your progress
  • Reclaim what was stolen
  • Advance to the purposes you were created for

Hopefully, prayerfully, these Friday looks into the past will help create questions in you, and a longing to find the answers you need, finally.

I’m here cheer you on!

When You Were Seven 

(Original post date June 12, 2012)

This past Sunday our Community Hour Class began its summer session; “Proverbs; Making the Wise Wiser”.

During the introduction, we were each asked to answer a couple of questions around our table.

These questions were meant as kind of an ice breaker, and a lead right in to the topic we are studying.

Well they were ice breakers to be sure, but to me one of these questions was so much more.  It sent me on another journey, into the background that makes me who I am.

All of the time I have spent on introspection, I would like to think that it is all finished.

As we have spoken of in a previous post, it will not be finished as long as we are here on this earth.

However, our Merciful Father in Heaven will allow no more than we can handle at any one time.

Each journey into our background and back out again, carries with it another piece of healing, filling in the puzzle that is us.

English: Puzzle Svenska: Pussel

Have you ever been putting a puzzle together and many pieces go together quickly?

Have you noted that in the very same puzzle, some can take a long time to place?

Each of these remaining pieces needs to be inspected.

They perhaps need to be held in your hand, and placed and replaced until the proper

place is found.

If you do not enjoy the process, you probably will never finish the puzzle.

The question we were asked, seemed very innocuous at the time it was asked, but the more I reflected on it, the more I could sense that this would not be over, just because the class was.

This piece would have to be investigated closely.

Here are the questions;

* How many lived in your home when you were seven?

* Who was the warmest person in your life at that time?

Harmless questions right?

Well as the others spoke their answers, I sought my own answer to the question “Who was the warmest person in your life at that time?”

What I soon realized, was that I could not remember even one “warm” person in my life.

Were people supposed to be warm?

The only thing that came to my mind was that during my very young life, we used to travel every Sunday to my Grampas house in the country.

While there, I would climb the apple trees in his orchard and visit the hay mow in the barn.

Life was peaceful if only for a short time.

After dinner, I can recall clearly, sitting on my Grampas lap in his big comfy chair, eating popcorn out of an enamel roasting pan and watching Lawrence Welk.

I believe that was the safest, coziest, warmest spot I ever knew.

When the show was over, it was time to load up and go home.

My heart longed for our return the following week.

Those visits came to an abrupt end, when there was a misunderstanding between my Father and my Grandpa that got me a beating that today would have landed me in the hospital and my Father in jail.

Father never apologized and Grandpa would not let him return until he did.

I never got over the fact that it was my fault that we could not visit any more.

My warm person/spot was gone.

Grampa came to town to live with us several years later, after my Grandma died, and my Mother and Father divorced, but our relationship was never the same.

I knew it was my fault.

I didn’t find out until much later why it had changed so drastically, and that was that I had grown up, and he didn’t feel that hugging or snuggling with a girl my age was proper.

So NOT my fault.

But the damage was already done.

So.  After class, I was compelled to come and go through the family photos left here by my Mom.

There I found snapshots of brief moments of family life.  Brief shots.  Brief smiles.

I also, sadly, noticed that in nearly all of the photos of that time period, the smile never went to the eyes.

That sounds strange maybe, but it was there.  I saw it.

Here are two photos I found of myself.  In one of them, my favorite one, I was four.  See the light in the eyes?  They twinkled.

I think this may have been before I found out I was defective.

See the second photo?  Age seven.  Sad smile.  No twinkle.

I’m still processing what I see.

I’m still examining every piece.

With God’s help, and His alone, I will be able to fully place the truth, and go on to another piece.

Ladies and Gentlemen; here is the truth;

YOU ARE NOT DEFECTIVE!

AND NEITHER WAS I!

Psalm 139:13-16 (NIV1984)

13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.  When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, 16 your eyes saw my unformed body.  All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

 

Do not be afraid of the process.

Join me in placing the pieces where they rightly fit.

Let us hold God’s hands together,

And believe the truth.

John 8:32 (KJV)

32 And ye shall know the truth, and (He) the truth shall make you free.

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