Revenge

We all know that we are going to experience the troubles of the world whether we are saved or not. Like it or not, difficult times are inevitable . The Bible indicates that is the truth and when those times come we are to give our trouble to Him and let Him take care of them and sustain us. (Psalm 55:22 and 1 Peter 5:7)

But what about those “troubles” that are particularly harsh and where the wounds and consequences run deep? What about those times when all you want to do is to seek revenge and retribution? If we are honest with ourselves sometimes there is no better feeling when you have been wounded deeply than to see that person receive justice. The problem is most times it is our style of justice and not Gods.

Perhaps it might serve us well to ask God to help us resolve those feelings of wanting to seek our own type of revenge. I have been known to say that the only job I wanted at the moment was the job of driving the Karma bus.

Somehow I don’t think that we are to cast our cares on the Lord at the same time we are obtaining our Karma bus driver’s license.

If we are seeking revenge any way we can get it are we really any better than those who have wreaked havoc in our lives? There is a huge difference in letting the court system work in the way it is supposed to or using company procedures to right a wrong than seeking revenge the way our hearts tell us to at times.

If we have settled the matter in our hearts by talking it through with our Father and we truly “cast” our cares on Him He well care for us. He won’t let us fall. He is ready and willing to be the strength that supports us.

So often our minds will lead us in a thousand wrong directions and we will let our emotions guide our actions. That is almost never a good thing. God will provide emotional support, He will strengthen us spiritually and He is just waiting for us to give Him that which is overwhelming and threatening us.

So instead of fixating on those feelings of revenge and retribution it might be a good time to start practicing “rejoicing” in our problems. Romans 5:3-4.  If we do that we are promised it will produce perseverance, character, and hope.

We tend to forget that no matter what, no matter the problem……………God is bigger.

Hold to that truth.

Dottie

……………….and so I rideRom5.3-4-Lock

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Spiritual Warfare

Spiritual Warfare, like so many other things I think Satan works overtime to keep us from taking the magnitude of this seriously.

Have you ever stopped to think that although this cosmic conflict is raging in the invisible spiritual realm it is given earthly details and becomes personal as it is played out here in the visible realm? In other words, although the roots of the war is played out in the invisible spiritual realm and you cannot see it, the effects of the war are all too often clearly evident.

Let me back up a minute however. Let’s look at Ephesians 6:10-12. We are all familiar with it, but let’s look again. Particularly verse 12.

Ephesians 6:10-12New International Version (NIV)

The Armor of God

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Paul says our battle is not against flesh and blood, but “against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

So it isn’t about our neighbor, our co-worker, our family, and our spouse, our health, or anybody or anything on this earth actually. Humans are simply the conduits of the battle raging in the spiritual realm. If I am reading this and understanding it correctly, if it is going on in your physical, visible realm, it is rooted in the spiritual, invisible realm.

It could be that we are fighting the wrong battle? No matter how hard we try or what we try, if we do not know how to navigate and connect with the spiritual realm and the help we can find there, we are not going to win this battle. If we try to fix our problems with worldly solutions it is not going to work for long.

It was also interesting to read Ephesians 1:3. It tells us that Jesus Christ has “blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.”

Sooooooo, everything God is ever going to do for us, every spiritual blessing, every promise, every gift, every hope is already deposited in the heavenly realm and is waiting with our name on it. If it is waiting in the heavenly realm means it is eternal and not temporal because they are from Christ’s spiritual realm and not this very temporary earthly realm in which we live.

Satan would have us believe this is not so.

Now look at Ephesians 1:19-20New International Version (NIV)

19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,

Oh praise God for His wisdom, not only are our blessings waiting for us with our names written on them, but guess what, Jesus is waiting there also.

So when we get bogged down in the fight, when we are too tired to go on and feel there is no winning this war, grab onto the little package with your name on it. Unwrap it and live it.

Dottie

……………and so I ride

God Does Give Us More Than We Can Handle………………….I Guarantee It

We have all heard the sayings, God doesn’t give us more than we can handle, if He brings us to it He will bring us through it and even in scripture it says that all things work together for the good to those who love God. We often kid that we have no trouble handing our troubles over to God but the troubling part is leaving them there. We are a people to love to maintain control over our lives.
I don’t want to be consumed by what I went through with my Father as he died and I don’t want to over focus on it but I do want to use the experience to point out some things that I learned from that experience.
Watching Dad die was like trudging through every level of hell in slow motion and at heightened sensitivity. It was all consuming and is still very alive to me. With that said, as horrible as it was, I felt God’s presence washing over me day after day, God was so present it was almost like I could reach out and touch him. The moment Dad died was not horrific, it was peaceful and God was fully present for both of us. Dad literally passed from my hands to Gods hands.
God does give us more than we can handle, I guarantee you He does. He wants us to need Him. He wants us to cry out to Him when we can no longer bear what is going on around us. The funny thing is even though I felt God so strongly there were times I was tempted to (and did) forget He was there. It was easy to ignore His presence and fall back into the struggle of handling things my way instead of letting the comfort and strength that was literally washing over me carry me through the struggles.
It is the control freak that lives inside me I suppose and now I know that to some degree anyway that control freak is guided by Satan. God had his ways of getting my attention back on Him however. When I was focused on what God was doing in that room I was content, comforted and supported. When I let my attention wander the days were torture and filled with chaos.
This might sound simplistic and let me tell you for certain…………………..it is simple.
“Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me………..for my yoke is easy and my burden is light. (Matt 11:28-30)
It was wonderful being surrounded by my family and the many friends who came in. They offered comfort and support in their own way. However none of them could substitute for the presence of God in that room.
It was a valuable lesson for me.
Dottie
……………………..and so I ride
Matthew 11

Going Home

DadHe is there in times of trouble and times of turmoil. There is lots of scripture to reinforce the fact that this indeed is true. In Deuteronomy it tells us that God Himself goes before us and will fight for us. Psalms showers us with an abundance of the comfort that God offers us. He is our stronghold, our light, and our salvation. He is our confidence and our unfailing love.
Well, I think that I got special training in pursuing the truth of these statements. It is a special kind of agony to watch a loved one wither and leave this earth. To need them here but to want them to go is a pain I wish on no one.
When the hospice nurses tell you to tell them that it is ok to go rest now, that they have your permission to leave and find the light, if you were like me, your first thought was………..no.
Then on second thought I found that an answer of “no” was more for my benefit and not for my Dad. Telling him it was ok to go meant that I had to come to grips with the enormity of what I was losing. But wait a minute, wait just one dog gone minute. Isn’t that discounting totally the enormity of what Dad was gaining?
My Dad is being taken home very, very soon, much to quickly for me. It is easy to get stuck in the sorrow and pain of living without him. I can’t stay in the sorrowful place, I am concentrating on the wrong thing. I can rest assured and celebrate the fact that he is indeed being taken home. The legacy he leaves us is priceless but the prize he is about to gain is irreplaceable, incomparable and precious.
So yes, I whispered those words in my Dad’s ear…………….”it’s ok to go rest now Dad. God is here with us and always will be, He will take care of us. Now you go rest my dear Father, God is waiting for you.”
Dottie

Who was this Child?

 Have you ever really stopped to think about what happened that night in the stable? I mean, really thought about it?

Who was this child who lay in the manger?               

Though all children are precious, this wasn’t any child. The realities of who this child was are quite breathtaking actually.

The child in the manger in Bethlehem was God  and he was man.  He was both the creator of our universe and He was God’s begotten son. This baby was an expression of the love our Father has for us. He was God’s master craftsman, He was grace and truth and beloved Son.

In short, that baby in the manger was the Light for a dark world.

Don’t think God loves you? Can there really be any doubt? God gave his very best to us who are nothing more than sinners of the worst kind. If you look at the gift of the Son, you will see the Father.

God gave me this gift, not  in spite of who I am, (and this is the part that makes me breathless) he gave me the gift of His Son, because of who I am. How cool is that. There was nothing greater He could have handed down to me. He sent this baby because He loves me.

This is not some celebrated fable, not some big screen fantasy. This is the real deal. Mary and Joseph were real people who walked upon this earth. The baby in the manger was God. I don’t think that it is possible to really know Jesus or to gain a meaningful relationship if we do not understand that He was real, He is real and He will always be real.

God gave His Son to us and for us. There is no greater gift.

DottieImageImage