Friday, November 30, 2012

Sojourn ladies retreat talks

Here is the link to the ladies retreat talks.   They sure were an adventure with Jesus for me to prepare for and teach. I hope they can continue to bless.

or if you are not on itunes

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Love God

This is just a little monologue I wrote a while back dissecting God's call to love him with our heart, soul, strength, and mind.  It is a sweet reminder of His grace in even being the one who helps us to love him in the first place.  With the Christmas season upon us there is a growing longing in my heart to know more of Jesus, to be near to him, and to celebrate his coming near.  Join me in the anticipation of it all.

love, Judy

Listen, O People of God! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone.

And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart,

(monologue 1)
My heart is beating so fast, full of passion, life, zeal, desire. For what, for who? Is it your compassion Lord that moves me to serve others, to weep with those who weep and to rejoice with those who are full of joy? Is it your heart O God that makes me more concerned with how I can bless you and others than how I can be blessed myself. Lord, is my heart a place where you dwell? Is it a place where you can take my self centered passions and transform them to reflect your desire? Honestly Lord, before I knew you, I was all about me. Pride, fear, self preservation were the ugly jewels in my heart. My heart was guarded and protected by my own devices. I had it under lock and key. It had been broken so many times. But in the brokenness Lord, you made a home, you made a dwelling place in my heart. You have filled it with love and joy, peace and passion, and hope, God you have given me hope. O God let me love you with all my heart

Listen, O People of God! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone.

And you must love the Lord your God with all your soul

Monologue 2
The breath of life in me. My will, my identity. It seems like it belongs to me. It is the depth of my being. I don't even understand it. I can't grasp the concept of who I am, even what I am. O the mystery of being body, and soul-- intimately connected, intertwined, yet even when my body fails, my soul will live on-- I will still be me. O God let me love you with all that I am. With every breath of life within me let me be a praise to you. Let my will be transformed by you. Let me love you with all my soul.

Listen, O People of God! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone.

And you must love the Lord your God with all your strength,

Monologue 3
muscle, flesh, bone, joints, body. The work of my hands is a joy to you. The sweat of my brow to you is a pleasing fragrance. My determination to work hard, to protect, to provide, is something you have placed inside of me. There is a strength inside of me which does not even seem like me. On my own, to be honest I often feel more weak than I do strong. I feel more like a failure than a champion. But you have promised, that even in my weakness your strength is made perfect in me. That strength that brings tenderness to my wife when she is hurting, or that faces up to a hard situations instead of running away. That is strength. It is your strength, Lord and with your strength in me I will love you.

Listen, O People of God! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone.

And you must love the Lord your God with all your mind

Monologue 4
Numbers, thoughts, names, grocery lists, News casts, my mind is filled with so many things. All day long thoughts make their way through my mind. Some linger, they become a concern, an obsession even. Some just pass right through on their way to somewhere else. From the moment I wake up in the morning to the moment I close my eyes my mind is working-- planning, problem solving, fretting, wondering. Even in sleep my mind goes crazy with dreams about trains, cars, streets on fire. My mind is a busy place. O God, do you have a place in the busyness of my mind. If you whispered to me in the midst of all those screaming thoughts would I hear you? Could it ever be Lord, that your voice would be the loudest thought I hear in my mind. Could it be Lord that your written word would so fill my mind that in the questions of life I would naturally think the truth of your word instead of relying on the wisdom of man. Oh God, Your Word is the truth eternal. Speak a Word over me to quiet the static of the world. Let me ponder the truth of your word with intelligence and diligence. Let me love you with all of my mind.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Dying Well

I just had one of the conversations that brings me hope and joy and tears and a sweet sort of longing for home.  One of my older brothers in Jesus had the amazingly tender and miraculous experience of being present with his Dad when Jesus called his Daddy home.  You never know what to expect when you call someone to check in on them when they have lost a loved one. You don't know if you should greet them with consolation or with gratitude that God has taken home a person who was longing for home.  I fumbled through a greeting and got to the heart of the matter, Kevin, how are you doing? 

Kevin was full of gratitude to God. He was full of the grace that comes from knowing that when death comes to a beloved Father that it is not an ending of a life but a beginning of a new life. He was full because in his Dad's final moments his Dad did what only a Man of God could do with his last breath.. He blessed his children...  He told them he approved of them, they were special to him, he loved them.  He poured over them in whatever bits of energy that he could muster that their father was proud of them.  He did more than just bless his children, He blessed His God.  He with struggling breath spoke the words of Amazing Grace.  He knew that God had saved a man like him, that he was lost once, but now he is found, and he is about to be in the very presence of the God who found him.  Tears rolled down my cheeks for the beauty of a man dying in Christ and leaving a legacy of grace to his children.

Kevin's dad welcomed death. He saw it as a homecoming.  He loved his family well and loved His God and was ready to trust his family into God's hands, and his own life into God's presence.  The bottom line is that really no matter what happens in your life, death will come.  No one really escapes death. There was a guy in the Bible who was taken up (Elijah) and didn't really experience an earthly gory death story, but other than him I can't figure on anyone who really dodged that bullet.    So the question is what are you going to do with the reality of death?   I can't imagine how horrifying it would be to face death without hope in Jesus.  The good news is that none of us have to face that kind of horror.

John 3:16-18

New Living Translation (NLT)
16 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.

 You have probably heard this verse from the Bible.   But why would we perish in the first place?  Romans 6:23 says  "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord."  The price we pay for our sins is death, that means to be eternally separated from God.  You don't know what that is like because even though we live in a messed up world the presence of God is still here. He lives in the lives of believers in Jesus. You still are living under grace even though you may not believe in Jesus. It is a common grace, a grace you experience vicariously through the church and through the beauty of God's creation.  

When it is all said and done and you pass away the folks who have accepted the gift of life from Jesus will be with God in heaven, and those who haven't will go somewhere without God.  I can't even fathom what that place would be like but imagine the very worst you have seen on the world, and take away the grace of God's presence, and input what the Bible calls weeping and gnashing of teeth and you may have a vague idea of the horror of it all.  

 Dear friend,  consider the changing of the leaves.  It is about a time of dying with beauty.  The leaves are losing their summer of life and soaking up the sun, but before they go they give off one final glorious display of color.  Dying is a part of creation, it is apart of all of our lives.  We don't have to fear death.  Jesus has opened a door for us to be adopted into the family of God and He will beckon you home some day.  Live life soaking up the radiance and beauty of God and then in your dying you will leave a legacy of grace and blessing.  You will meet death with a peaceful smile on your face.  You will be going home to the one who loved you so much that when you were His enemy he reached out to you and sacrificed His life for you.  Dear friend, when it comes to your death bed, know that you can die well because you have lived well in Jesus.  Let your dying days be a time for your family to celebrate your life in Christ and not a time of weeping and despair and fear all wrapped up into one package of hopelessness.  

Today my friend Kevin is celebrating his dad's life and his dad's death. He is celebrating with many friends and family whose lives were touched and changed by his dad's generous heart.   Be the one your family can celebrate when it all comes down to it.  Live your life with Jesus now and let your death just be a glorious continuation of abundant life.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Parenting, Fostering, and Enjoying the Journey

My blog is feeling lonely for inspiration. I have been busy this week and I would love to share what in the world I have been up to and why I haven't been writing.  Jeff and I are preparing our house for who knows what.  I know it sounds like a crazy thing to do and what in the world are we up to you ask?  We have completed our 10 weeks of classes through DHR so that we can become foster parents.  This week we had a quick CPR class that wraps it up. We are now officially ready for one last home visit and assuming we pass our inspection we will be licensed foster/adoptive parents in the state of Alabama.  We talked to a couple last night whose caseworker told them they could be licensed by Christmas. Things never move that quickly for us Webbs but I am thinking our home may be fuller with more giggles, more tears, more running around, and best of all, more children cuddled on our laps reading the Jesus Storybook Bible.  I so look forward to time teaching precious little ones about the love of God for them.

Our hope is that God would bless us with a toddler and baby we could add as permanent members of our family, but if fostering is a role we will play along the way then I pray that God would give us His supernatural love for each child He brings into our home and that when it is time to release them back to their biological family, that He would give us extra grace to let them go.  In all things, I pray God would give us what it takes to make the most of the time we have with the children in our care.

This is a lesson for all us Moms and Dads.  We must make the most of the time we have with our children.  I have repented of over-scheduling my fall.  Zack is in school M-W-F mornings and on Tuesday and Thursday morning I have been attending and teaching Bible Study.  I have missed my son.  We began to have discipline problems with Zack. We were having to put him in time out and he was throwing full up temper tantrums.  Then yesterday I decided I would stop attending one of my Bible Studies. I told Zack when he was waking up that today was our day and we could do whatever he wanted.  He woke up at his pace, had breakfast without hurry, and we went to Early Works Museum.  We had a blast and guess what,  I did not have to put him in time out one time the entire day.  We returned from our morning out, ate lunch and he went straight to his nap without complaint.  He was tucked in with love and he slept the sleep of a child at peace. 

I have found that on days that I spend with Zack, really with him, paying attention to him, enjoying life with him, that he is more than happy.  On days when I am preoccupied with other things he has a tough time.  It isn't that every day needs to be fully devoted to Zack's fun times, but I think some days do need to be set aside for him.

I am on a journey of learning the tension of being a teacher of God's word and being a Momma and Wife.  I am called to all of those roles.  I delight in all of those things. I love being Zack's mom, and Jeff's bride. I love them dearly and sit back and wonder at the grace of God to let a girl like me have such an amazing family.  I love teaching God's Word too. There is nothing else that I have ever really wanted to do than to teach God's Word to inspire others to know of the deep, deep, love of God.  Honestly, I am so thankful for the call of God on my life to be wife, Mom, and Bible teacher/discipler of women.  It makes me smile with gratitude just to write it all out. 

He is so worth it...
What has God called you to do and be?  Remember that today, and do that very thing.  Stretch your arms out in the wide open calling of God and embrace Him.  And if you pray, please pray that God would bring our family together, all of us, that the ones we have yet to meet who are out there somewhere would come home.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Another kind of War

My Pastor asks me and Jeff to lead corporate prayer about once a month.  Each time he tells us what passage he is going to preach from and Jeff and I pray to ask God for His direction in the leading of the prayer time.  Yesterday David was preaching out of Mark 6:14-29. It is the story in which John the Baptist loses his head to the axe of King Herod.  Herod had his wife's daughter come in to do a seductive dance in front of him and his buddies and he liked it so much he told her he would do anything for her.  She asked her Momma what gift to request, and her Mom said she wanted the head of John the Baptist.  Disgusting gift, but why you ask.  John the Baptist had spoken truth and she didn't like it. She was in an adulterous relationship with Herod and the Baptizer rebuked them.

I prayed about how to lead a time of prayer on this passage and God led me to the fact that John was the first Gospel Martyr. He was killed because of his life message.  He called out in the wildernesss "repent and believe, make way the path for the Lord". I know that for most of us today in our comfortable safe homes in America we can't relate to John's martyrdom.  The only persecution most of us feel is social pressure to not share a message.  Do we say Merry Christmas? Do we admit to people that we think abortion is murder?  Certainly the Gospel message in our country is a stone that makes men stumble and a rock that makes them fall, but are we really seeing people stumble and fall over our lives?

The overwhelming sense that I had in prayer yesterday was that God is calling us as His church to stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters around the world who are experiencing real persecution.  A friend of mine, "Jennifer" is about to travel to Afghanistan with the Gospel. She has colleagues in her mission organization who have been killed, kidnapped, and raped.  She knows the dangers of her trip and yet she goes.  We need to stand with our missionaries who go to these places where their lives are threatened.  We have brothers and sisters standing in front of brothels in South East Asia and praying the walls fall down to let the little enslaved girls go free. They are coming against evil men and the very gates of hell in a battle to rescue lives. 

My heart is not that we just stand with the missionaries we send, but that we see our connectedness with the national believers whose lives are threatened with torture and death.  Let God put them in your mind this morning so you can love them and go to battle in prayer for them today.  I am going to begin my morning with praying for Jennifer, and then I am going to ask God to lay on my heart the people she will meet, who if they convert to Christ from Islam may lose their earthly life days after they gain eternal life... but for them, it is so worth it.

I love you sweet family of God.  Yesterday we remembered our valiant soldiers who risked their lives to bring freedom, how about today we remember our missionaries and brothers and sisters who risk their lives everyday to bring freedom from sin and death.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Remembering the Past to Move on in the Future

When you are about to enter into a new challenge it is good sometimes to look back at past events to see how God showed up and showed off in your precious life.  You want to be like young David who stood before King Saul and said he wanted to slay Goliath.  When King Saul asked him how he could possibly do it, David assured Saul that God was with him, that together they had already killed the lion and the bear (1Samuel 17:33-37). 

So here I sit at my keyboard, I know there are Goliaths in my path and so I remember the times in which God has called me forth, and gone before me.  Here is one example:

I took a group of teens to the Czech Republic on a mission trip.  It was a time in which God was moving  in our little town or Hradec Kralove (sp).  We had been given the keys this formerly communist city where there were a handful of Jesus followers amidst a crowd of atheists.  The mayor of the town gave us the town square to share our skits and songs and to proclaim the gospel. It was an open hand to Jesus. This in itself was miraculous.

 Here I am in this picture standing up to make an announcement that we were going to take all of our American students back to the school where we were building a playground. Instead of the announcement the Spirit of God came upon me and I started sharing the Gospel.  My interpreter stood beside me, sharing God's good news of redemption with the Czechs in the square. It was not something I was expecting to do, I was doing a shift change. God was doing a life change.

You see this picture here?  It was what happened after I spoke.  My interpreters were asked questions and small groups of Czechs gathered to hear more of God's Word.  Certainly I have seen God move powerfully in the nations. 

Here is a happy little guy enjoying the playground my students built for his school.  Before we came they didn't have much.  We brought wood, nails, slides and swings, and mostly we brought what you see below. 

    We brought students who were willing to live their lives for Jesus. They gave God their Spring Break and they gave God their muscles and hearts and said use me.  My students erected this cross on a hill above the playground.  I don't know how long it stayed there but I do know that in the school in which we served there were 80 people who accepted the Gospel.   

Me and my friend Vicki climbing a mountain in Korea, actually we were being silly, we walked up a path to get there, but it does look harrowing. 

Dear friend,  when God is inviting you to climb mountains that seem impossible to ascend, remember that He stands at the top of the mountain, at the base of the mountain, and with you in every step of the way. Take a moment to look back in your own life and sit with God a bit in the memory of His faithfulness.  He has not changed. If He is leading you up a difficult road, He will show Himself strong on your on behalf,  He will show you that He has given you everything you need within Himself and within the Body of Christ.  And when it all seems too difficult and the walls of it seem to be caving in, repent of trying to do it on your own, get on your knees and invite God again into the middle of the journey.  He will inspire and strengthen.  He has promised to finish the good work he started in you (Phil 1:6)

A Task Bigger than me

I am about to embark on a journey that I know will be difficult. I have a sense that God is leading me to do something that will take years, tears, time, energy, creativity, and a willingness to lay it all down for the sake of Jesus.  I began writing a few days ago, my broken hearted story as Ann Voskamp challenged us to write.  When she first stood up there at the Allume Conference for blogging Jesus loving women and urged us to write out of the integrity of our own lives, out of the depth of our own story I felt a little disconnected and challenged. I was disconnected because I have never considered my story to be one of a broken heart (denial) and I was challenged to think that God might be wanting me to reveal a little more of myself in the writing of devotions. I have always wanted God to be the center of attention so not including much of myself was a very safe way to go about teaching God's Word.  I see Ann's point; I need to reveal what God has done in me, so that perhaps in the telling I will see His hand more clearly, and you will catch a glimpse of glory in the miracles that God is doing in my messy journey.

What is funny is that 20 years ago, when I was just a kid at 19 and living in the inner-city of Philadelphia, sleeping in a church basement with mice nibbling the food stores on the corner of our great room,  Bart Campolo said something that offended me no end. He said, "God takes messed up people to do mighty things".  I did not see myself as a messed up person. I saw myself as one of God's finest willing to spend a summer serving inner city kids meals and the gospel in the heat and stench of the streets where garbage workers would go on strike and leave piles of bags to pollute the neighborhood.  I was a discipler of women and teens. I was a leader of Bible Studies and a volunteer youth minister.  I was sleeping on a floor for Jesus, and there were bugs!  I was not a messed up person, I was a Super Jesus person...

With years the truth set in and I began to realize that indeed, in order to be used greatly by God you must be broken greatly by God, in order for a seed to become a plant and bear fruit, it must fall to the ground and die.  I am seeing more and more that I do have a story to tell.  I will tell God's story and how it is unveiled in my life.  I appreciate your prayers as I start the long journey of writing this book. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A Crisis of Faith

I remember being in High School and we would go off on a youth group trip and get all excited about Jesus. We would ski all day in the Swiss Alps (jealous?) and then at night was the big show.  A dynamic Young Life leader would stand in front of us and systematically, and often with great humour present to us the gospel.   We would laugh and cry and hug and sing the silly "One Tin Soldier" song that for some reason we all sang back then.  It was a Spiritual high.  After Club we would go back to our rooms to meet in a small group for cabin time. It was an opportunity to discuss the gospel, wrestle with it a little and pray to God that teens would meet with Him and want Him.  

I became a youth minister and then went on staff with Club Beyond (Young Life for military teens) in Germany.  I sat through many cabin times and have talked with many teens about the gospel.  I went on mission trips and witnessed youth get all fired up for Jesus and then return home.  Some how between the bus steps and their first day back to school, back to reality, they had forgotten the taste of Jesus.  I did see many youth follow Jesus through the years, and I have seen others who were enticed by the world around them.  Why is it that when the trial comes, we forget our God?

I was reading in the gospel of John the other day and noticed something about the Baptizer.  When he first saw Jesus he proclaimed him to be the "Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1: 29).  He saw the Holy Spirit descend upon Jesus in the miracle of Jesus' baptism. John confessed Jesus to be the Son of God (Jn. 1:34).  So why is it that not long after this great confession and supernatural moment with Jesus did John have doubts?  In Matthew 11:2 we see John sends his friends to Jesus to ask if he is really the Messiah or should they keep looking.  John's circumstances changed drastically, he was in jail and would soon lose his head to Herod's axe.  In the midst of the trial John began to question.  Was it all real? Is Jesus the one?  I love the response Jesus gave to John's disciples. He said 

 “Go back to John and tell him what you have heard and seen— the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor. And tell him, ‘God blesses those who do not turn away because of me.[b

 When doubts begin to sink into your mind and all the things you thought you once knew about Jesus seem to come to question, take your question to Jesus.  He can handle your wayward heart in even the most difficult circumstances. Jesus met John with love and grace. He was not angry or disappointed in John because of the questioning. Jesus reminded John of what He was doing. He encouraged John that the blind had sight, the lame man is walking.  When you begin to lose hope, ask Jesus to show you what He is doing. Ask Him to remind you of His hand.  

Today a friend of mine, Karen Burke had a divine encounter with a homeless woman she has been trying to reach with the gospel.  She just so happened to come upon Panera Bread at the exact moment this young woman was walking by. My friend just so happened to have a blanket, pillow, and extra clothes in the car for this same woman. Imagine the love of God to position Karen in the right spot in our city to bless a woman whom He dearly loves and desperately needs Him.  Are you wondering, is Jesus real? Is the Jesus I ran into as a youth still working miracles today?  Ask Him to show you.  Jesus is moving.  He will meet you in the midst of your faith crisis.  Invite him to show you Himself. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Real Issue

Sweet friends,  yesterday I was driving in my van and figured I had better start really praying for the election.  I began praying for a certain candidate to win and immediately felt like God changed my direction. Instead of praying for a man to become president, I began praying that God's will would be done in our country.  It is finally sinking into my well trained American brain that true success in life is not financial prosperity. I know there is a recession and folks are out of work and you may feel it is the fault of a certain political group, but what if it is an act of Grace from a God who wants our hearts?  He asks us for our wayward hearts that have been distracted and lulled to submission by money.  What if God is saying to us that we are not to trust in the almighty dollar, but instead to "In God We Trust".  That is a catchy saying isn't it?  "In God We Trust".  

Don't get yourself all worked up by election results today.  Don't allow yourself to believe that a man can change the destiny of a country. Remember it is God who raises up leaders and nations, and it is God who lets them fall when they forget about Him.  Everyone is saying that the real issue in this election is the economy.  Perhaps the real issue is a nation of people who God dearly loves and He is jealous for our hearts and he wants us to come home to him.  I am saying... yes Lord, do whatever it takes to bring us home to you.  Rock our little safe places, ruffle our well groomed feathers, and break our impenetrable hearts.  Remind us that you are our only hope.  Remind us that you are life abundant.

My prayer for today:
Lord,  let your church today communicate life and grace and love to our lost neighbours. Protect us from hostility with those with whom we are not in agreement, especially in the church.  Let your bride today keep her focus on You, knowing that no matter what happens in our country, you are on your throne. You are surrounded by your holy angels and the 4 living beings and day after day they cry out to you that you are holy, holy, holy.  Let our consolation be in you today Lord. Let our peace and hope be in you.  Lord,  let your will be done in our election. 

Thank you that we live in a country where we are allowed to vote for our leaders. Let the church take the call to vote seriously and let us prayerfully enter the polling places. Lord, let us follow your heart in all things.   And Lord, at the end of the day, let your name be lifted high in our country.  Let there be a true revival of the church in our continent, and let their be a great awakening of people to faith in Jesus Christ.  Lord, more than health care reform and more than welfare reform and funding for the military (which pays my man's salary) I want you to be lifted up in our country.  I want you to draw all men to yourself.  

How about it church, what if instead of focussing on the "issues" we remember the true issue. We belong to Jesus and He is asking us to love Him and love others in His name.  There are people who are lost and broken, and we get to share the supernatural love of God with them.  

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Believing Who I really am

I have a confession to make:  I know what it is like to struggle with the same things over and over again.  I find myself falling back into sarcasm when I get tired or disillusioned. It frustrates me. I would love for all of my words to be a blessing and bring hope to people. Sometimes I fear they are daggers.  What if I lived my life in shame that I blew it with my words again?  What if instead of remembering who I am in Christ I beat myself up and walked around defeated?  Tonight I lay down my words and I ask God to redeem them. I ask Him to remind me of my true identity and let me walk intimately with Him as His daughter.  I thank God for forgiveness that washes over even me, and for the grace extended to me through my brothers and sisters in Christ.

Sweet friend,  don't let those areas of life in which you struggle define you.  I am just burdened for you.  I fear you are walking around carrying a label that you are a disappointment, a failure, a waste, an alcoholic, an overeater, a bad parent, too shy, too "in your face", too broken. You know what your struggle is and the demeaning things you have spoken about yourself in the quiet of your heart.  

How about right now in grace and bravery and with confidence in God you laid down those lies you are believing about yourself and you accept the truth of what God is saying about you.  I wonder what we would look like if we just believed we are who the scriptures say that we are, who God says we are.  Here are a just a few of the bold statements God breathed.

1 Corinthians16 Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you?
2 Corinthians 5:17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
 Gal 3:26 For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 2:6 For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. 
 1 John 5:18 We know that God’s children do not make a practice of sinning, for God’s Son holds them securely, and the evil one cannot touch them.
Let that sink into your heart.  You are a temple of God.  God lives in you. He chose to make you a dwelling place. His presence in you assures you of your beauty.  You belong to Christ. You are made new, no longer caught up in the never ending struggle of sin and death. You have been given new life in Christ. You have the mind of Christ and God is working in you to both will and act according to His good purpose (Phil 2:13).  You are securely held by the Son of God. Jesus himself, holds you.  

Sweet friend, God adores you.  Ask Him today what His name is for you.  Take a quiet moment and ask your heavenly Daddy what He likes to call you.  I just got tickled because I stopped to ask and the words that made me grin ear to ear were "my beloved".  Oh to be called my beloved by my God.  

What is God calling you today?

*All verses in NLT

Friday, November 2, 2012

Redeeming Thoughts

My heart is full of a desire to bless you with this post. I want to speak a truth to you that will remind you that you are free.  I know that Satan has messed with your head. I know that he has spoken lies over you and you may be believing them in this very moment.  You may feel like you are stuck in this same revolving door of sin and you will never get out. Your head may be filled with lustful thoughts, violence, jealousy.  How could a good Christian have such ugly thoughts?   

I f you are thinking things that are contrary to what you know to be true, they may not be your thoughts at all.  The cat is out of bag--- the enemy of your soul may be speaking into your sweet redeemed head and you are confusing his voice with your own.  

I Peter 5: 6 So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.
Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith." NLT

I have struggled with my head, dear friend.  Insecurity, fear, and shame have all tried to make themselves at home.  If I start believing these thoughts are mine and that they are apart of me, they take more space and I find myself in a constant struggle.  When I stop to realize that the enemy is speaking lies, I can claim the victory that is mine in Christ. 

Satan wants to devour you, but you do not have to let him.  Stand firm in Jesus.  It is as simple as doing a James 4:7 "
So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."(NLT)  Claim the promise of victory right now.  Say to Jesus, "I submit my mind to you, and say to Satan-- you must leave in Jesus' name."  

Take back your thoughts and lay them at the feet of Jesus.  If you find your mind is continually stuck in the dump, get a brother or sister to pray with you.  

If you have a story, take a moment to comment on this post and share how Jesus has transformed your mind.  Your victory will encourage others... and me :)