The simple truth is that the God of all creation loves you. Not just a little, not just because and not without a full understanding of who we are. Many people struggle with this conception. Mostly through a good understanding that most of us have many unlovable attributes and most of us have done unlovable acts. Yet the truth still remains that…
the God of all creation loves you.
Why? Why would He love us? Why would he love me? The struggle to understand God’s love for us often comes from our understanding of earthly love which often turns up short. Most of the love we know on this earth is a self serving love. What some have coined “Fish Love“. A self serving love. If you are good I love you or at least love you more. If you are bad I will love you less. This is not the God kind of love. The God kind of Love demonstrated His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8) He died for us to remove the barrier of sin between us so that we can be with Him eternally.
Take some time today and really dwell on the fact that you are loved by the creator of the universe.
Deeper look: The cross and Starting a relationship with the Lord and Fish Love explained
During my Juinor/Senior year in high school I had a full plate. I needed money for college and had started saving late. I was working three jobs in an attempt to catch up. Then of course there was school and keeping up with homework. Additionally I had combined my Junior and Senior year to graduate early. I was determined and had my goals set, but it was a tough year.
One morning I was working at a pizza joint wiping down the salad bar. My mind was filled with thoughts of leaving home and going to college in Seattle. I would be moving halfway across the country from my friends and family to a place where I knew no one. If it had not been for the fact I knew for sure that God had said to go, I wouldn’t been brave enough to make this change. My mind flipped from what I would be leaving behind to thinking about all the things left to get in order before leaving. All the questions filled my mind as I daydreamed about what it might be like to be on my own. A nervous pit in my stomach grew the more I thought about it all.
I began to explain my thoughts and feeling to God. Explaining to Him how anxious, fearful and overwhelmed I felt. Halfway through wiping down the stainless steal salad bar the jukebox turned on. This caught my attention because this was the type of jukebox that wouldn’t start until you put quarters in it. I looked up to see if the cook had come out and turned it on, but no one was around. The song slowly came into my conscious and I noiced the words from a Tim McGraw song. It went: “Just to see you smile I’d do anything. I’ll never count the cost, it’s all that’s lost. Just to see you smile!” A smile crept up my face toucing my ears. I had just been telling God how I felt and expressing my nervousness about being out on my own so far from home. And here He was using an old Jukebox to to let me know there is nothing to worry about. That he will be with me and His desire is to see me smile, to be filled with His joy. I stood there in that pizza parlor randomly sliding my wash rag across the top of the salad bar. I got lost in thoughts of how much God loved me. This continued until I was brought back to my current surroundings by the cook, coming out of the kitchen. “Good Song”. He said. I couldn’t have agreed more. Thank You Lord for demonstrating your love for me.
It’s in these times that I remember that the Lord loves us and that He is interested in our everyday lives.
Psalm 136:26 Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever.
This is the season that many set aside to speak about what we are thankful for. So today I will start my own list.
- God: Specifically the God of the Bible. I owe Him my life and am in love with who He is and His unending love for us.
- My family: We are a cray bunch. We don’t see eye to eye on a lot but we’ve learn to love each other in all our craziness.
- My wonderful husband: (I know he’s also family but…). Our personalities and specific gifting create opportunity for much head butting, yet I wouldn’t trade a thing. Who else in my life will get off the couch where they are resting after a long day to do some random yoga pose because I’m curious about something?
- Church family: I am blessed to be with a bunch of people who love the Lord. I love the fact that we’re a bunch of down to earth people, who are living life together.
- My Friends: What can I say I don’t have millions but the ones I have I love.
- Basic needs: I am glad that where it matters, things in my life are covered.
- Music: Oh I love some music. From Rock to Jazz and everything in between.
- Comfy Pants: Late nights and early mornings are made comfy by these amazing gifts form the Lord!
- So much more! The beach, the mountains, the plains, road trips, traveling, good friends, comedians, campfires, sugary snacks, old trucks….Oh and TACOS!!
Take time during this season to reflect on what you’re thankful for. There are so many times in life we go through really tough situations and it’s most important during those times to count our blessings.
Time to Play! (Chance to Win)
Ok, your turn to share what you are thankful for. Each person who comments on and shares this post, or our Facebook post will be entered to win a free set of Christmas Bulbs from Bait Shop Decals. Bait Shop Decals will personalize the ordainments to what you want them to say. Contest ends 5pm Alaska standard time on November 22nd. Winner will be announced on Thanksgiving Day! Can’t wait to hear from each of you.
Jesus said to His disciples “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.” “And he said to them, follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” “My Sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow Me: (Matthew 16:24, Matthew 4:19 & John 10:27)
When Jesus called the disciples we see in Matthew 4:20 that “immediately they left their nets and followed Him”
This is the call of every disciple of Christ. Follow Me. It is easy to find yourself struggling to know all the ends and out of what your call is. Or if you should be doing this or that? What does the Lord want? How does it work? Christ is asking you to set aside all the anxieties and just follow Him. There are times when God reveals the details of His plans before they are finished but more often you find that He reveals the marvels of His plans as they unfold.
When Jesus called the disciples He did not give them a syllabus of their entire time with Him. He just said follow Me. The rest was laid out as they walked with Him. This is both simple and complicated. Simple in the fact that you just have to hear the Lord and follow His leading. Complicated in that there are so many other distractions and “noise” that has the potiential to keep us from hearing or following. Also sometimes the path the Lord walks us through can cause us to doubt if we are really following Him. We see this in Joesph’s story. God gave him a dream of saving his family and nation. The next thing he knows he is thrown in a pit, then sold into slavery, wrongfully accused, thrown in prison, and forgotten. You have to bet that there were days where he wondered what is going on with this path the Lord was taking him through. This is where most people loose faith. We find ourselves tempted to create a doctrine on why this must be happening. We wonder if we have missed the Lord. When we are following the Lord let’s just say He doesn’t always take the routes that we think He would. We always imagine roses, angelic singing and dollar bills everywhere. Just as in Joesph’s story, to walk with the Lord is to know Him along each step of the path. The Bible meantions several times that the Lord was with Jospeh and in the end Joseph was in a position to save his family and his nation from a famine that would have wiped them out. (Account of Joseph Genesis 37 & Genesis 39-48)
I want to encourage you today to cut away the noise and follow Christ. Ask for His help and He will teach you.
Follow Me… “immediately they left their nets and followed Him’
Hearing the Voice of the Lord
The Gathering Testimony: Joanna Gaines
***please feel free to contact me with any questions, comments or if you need prayer.
Today I want to share about a few things God was showing me through the story of Nehemiah when he rebuilt the wall around Jerusalem. There is A LOT in this story so I am only expanding on part of the story. (Nehemiah 4:15-23) We find in this story that the walls of Jerusalem had been burned in previous wars. In chapter 4 of Nehemiah we see that the Israelites were in the process of rebuilding the wall and they had enemies that were not too keen on the idea. Read full story Nehemiah 3 to 7) Nehemiah had each person responsible for rebuilding and defending their part of the wall. They had a tool in their hand and a sword tied around their waste. If they were attacked they would defend their portion of the wall, and with the blow of a trumpet to alert the rest of Israel of the attack and the need for reinforcements.
What I want to share about this story:
What’s your place in the wall? Each of us have a place in the Kingdom of God. After we have made God Lord of our lives. (Learn how here) It’s important to hear the Lord on what is your place on the wall? (Learn how to hear the voice of the Lord) God has a place that is uniquely yours. It’s crafted for you. When a person comes to know the Lord, but does not seek the Lord for their place in the Kingdom you’ll find that their passion and love for the Lord will wain. We learn in Proverbs 28:19 “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” We will find true joy being in the place that the Lord has for us.
What tool have we been given? God has given us each gifts and talents that we were created to use. The list is long. Someone’s tool could be their creativity, being a parent, being a friend, etc. The list really is so long I can’t even begin to do it justice. What is the tool that God has given you? What are the things that He’s placed in your heart? It is so common to limit what we believe God counts as a gifting or calling. 2 Timothy 1:6 says “For this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.” We must seek the Lord and learn what is the tools He’s placed in our hands?
Keep your sword polished. Ephesians 6:17 says “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God”. The Word of God is our sword of the Spirit. Please keep in mind we do not fight flesh and blood but the works of the enemy the devil. (Ephesians 6:12) It’s important that we keep ourselves sharp in the Word of God. Reading, memorizing scriptures, studying and asking the Lord to help us understand. As with a physical sword it is little use against the enemy if we do not know how to use it. If we don’t spend time getting familiar with the weight and balance.
Know that your part is important. We have a place in the wall, we’ve been given the tools and we are polishing our swords. We must also understand that the part we play is important. We are way to quick to dismiss ourselves as not important. I encourage you to examine that thoughts and see it for it’s falsehood. The God of all creation created you. Jeremiah 1:5 says “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.” He loved you enough to die to pay the price for every sin you’ve committed and will commit Hebrews 12:1-3 we learn that for the joy (us) set before Him He endured the cross. Christ counted you worth of the cross. Remember your part is important.
I encourage you take time and really take these points into your heart and mind. Seek the Lord as you learn: What’s your place in the wall? What tools have you been given? How to polish and use the Word of God. And allow your importance to truly sink in.
Have you ever searched and searched for an item only to find that it’s in your hand? Maybe a pair of scissors or keys or pen? When you realize it was in your hand you asked yourself, “How could I have missed it?” This is the same scenario a lot of times in our relationship with God “Where is my Joy? Has anyone see where my Joy went? Where’s my peace? Has anyone seen where my peace went? Health? Anyone see where my health went?” And yet God is right here with us and He is all of this and more. So next time you’re missing something in your life check your hand and if your hand is in God’s you will find that what you need is right there in your hand.
James 1:17 “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.”
Matthew 6:24-34 “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27 And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?
28 And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, 29 yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clotheyou? You of little faith! 31 Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ 32 For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
34 “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
I wanted to share a story I wrote about a random adventure my mom and I had a few years back. This post is a tribute to my mother, she is an amazing person. For those that know her please post a comment of a time you had fun together or she inspired you.
HAPPY MOTHER EVERYDAY!
Mom and I went on a grand adventure! We geared up at the house. We placed our helmets about our beautiful locks and pulled on our royal breastplate. After tucking our toes into our appendage protectors we headed to our chariot of warmness. We took off for our long trot down the wet winding road. A dome of silver about us whisking the windy, rainy weather form our faces. Through the darkness and fog a small habitation appeared. For love and bravery we left our chariot and entered the habitation. The tall keeper of the coins smiled and welcomed us to come. The older and wiser one called to me and I turned to behold the glazed gobbles of glory. “Your abode could be filled with the warm flow of energy producing fluid of deliciousness.” she said “If only we could find a way to persuade the tall keeper of the coins to let us travel onward with the goblets of glory in tow.” “I have not brought the tender of which he requires.” I replied “I have brought barter from afar” replied the older and wiser. “I will negotiate your future” The older and wiser stepped up to the counter placing the glazed goblets of glory on top of the sideways plank. The tall keeper of the coins requested shaved trees from the treasury of nations. The older and wiser removed the trees from her pouch of purpose and said “here are my spoils from my last conquest.” The glazed gobbles of glory will keep young eyes wide as she partakes in the brewed bean juice.” The trade was made, the future set. We walked out of the habitation and back into our chariot of warmness to continue on our journey.
After making a distance of a rock tossed by a turtle , we sent a bird a fly to request the desire from the Knights of Katlian. Upon the return of the tweet tweet we entered the castle of Mr. Donald and received the desire of the Knights. Through the deep of night we prevailed up to the castle to share our spoils and refresh our earthly homes.
This was our adventure. One like none other. (AKA we went for a drive, bought mugs and ice cream before returning home to our husbands.)
This is an excerpt from my kitchen journal.
Last post we talked about the Cross, where Christ paid the price for our sin. He made a way for us to trade our eternal death for eternal life. In this post I want to talk about the resurrection. The good news is that Christ did not stay dead We read in Acts 13:29-30 “When they had carried out all that was written concerning Him, they took Him down from the cross and laid Him in a tomb. But God raised Him from the dead;” He beat death! Revelations 1:18 “and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.” He defeated death and hell. In the garden we learn that sin came into the world (Learn More). The standard for heaven is perfection and we fall short. Christ came as the spotless sacrifice to pay that price. (The Cross). When He rose from the grave He upset the devil’s plan to hold captive all those who die. The power of the Cross is that God judged our sins and Christ paid our sentence for those sins. The power of the resurrection is where God by His spirit secured eternal life both in this life and in the next. Romans 6:4-5 “Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.” Romans 8:11 “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”
The resurrection of Christ is where our life began. It’s what gives us the power to walk in all that God has for us. Let it sink in that we do not serve a God who is dead. He is alive and He is an active part of our lives.
I encourage you to take some time and read about the resurrection. Luke 24
Verses about the Resurrection
Most of us are aware of the Cross. We’ve seen it everywhere. From a decretive piece on church pulpits to the backdrops for heavy metal bands. From the mountain tops to the adornments around our necks. But what does it mean? Truly it would take pages to write about the fullness of the meaning of the Cross. The cross was where love met sacrifice. When God created man, He created him with the purpose of relationship. Sin through disobedience separated us from that relationship. (see what happened) Now sin through our human nature passes that separation from generation to generation. There is no good deed, level of humility or amount of penance that can restore us back to fullness of relationship with God.
Romans 6:23– For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
There was a price for sin. It was eternal separation from God. But the Bible tells us in Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ He paid the price for our sins. He stepped in and paid a price we could not. The cross is about a love. The true pure love that Christ has for us. There has been so many things that have tried to distort the meaning of the cross. I wanted to dedicate this post to refocusing the the purpose of the cross. To refocus back to the fact that Christ loves us with a passion that caused the God of all creation to send His only son to die for us. To restore relationship again. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
If you have had a revelation of the
cross but have allowed the things of the world to dull the closeness of the Lord, I’d encourage you to call out to Him again and ask for a renewed passion and closeness.
If you’ve never had an encounter with the Lord or revelation of the cross. I encourage you to call out to the Lord and ask that He’d revel His love and the purpose of the cross. Begin to open the bible to the New Testament and learn who Christ is and what He’s done for us. (How to give your life to the Lord)
Know that the God of all creation sent His Son to die for you. So you could be set free from the wages of your sin. He loves you and He has great plans for your life.
The Cross Video
Stories of people who have had encounters with the Lord
Rappers – Lecrea – Dillon Chase
The bible says in Luke 12:7 “Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.” He had earlier stated that not one sparrow falls to the ground without Him noticing. It never ceases to amaze me that the God of the universe is interested in the everyday dealings of our lives. He has demonstrated this many times in my life. One such time was back when I was working as a Security Screening Supervisor in the Austin, TX airport. This particular day had been quite crazy. It had been a day of irate passengers and disgruntled employees. To top the cake I was working the 3am shift and started this crazy day exhausted. I found myself having a particularly hard time being cheerful. Let’s just say as much as I wanted to I was not exuding the love of Christ. I oversaw three checkpoints and would rotate throughout the day between each checkpoint. On my way to the next checkpoint I headed into one of the little shops to get a drink. While standing in line I noticed they were selling blue bouncy balls. Not just any blue bouncy ball but ones that lit up with each bounce. This was the level of desperation. I was all about anything that added a little light to my day. As a kid I would collect all types of bouncy ball. I was always draw to things that lit up and well the icing on the cake was that they were blue, my favorite color. No sooner had I picked one up then I heard God say “Don’t buy it.” I thought “Uh…What? I have the money and what does God care if I buy a bouncy ball? “ I asked the Lord “Are You really trying to hinder what little light I have in my day?” All I heard in reply was “Don’t buy it.” With a eye roll and a “fine!” I threw down the ball and walked out. That moment of light gone. I was really in a funk now. The day continued and it wasn’t getting any better. More work less resource was the outcome of my managers meeting. I wasn’t winning in the passenger, employee or management support departments.
Only a few hours left in my shift and I was heading down the concourse to the next checkpoint. As I neared the food court I saw a man standing by his gate. He was had his business suit on, computer bag slung over his shoulder and he was bouncing one of those blue bouncy balls. He was about 75ft away from where I was standing rehashing why God, my heavenly Father had made such a deal about a “stupid ball”. I muttered under my breath, “Nice Ball” The man somehow heard me and said “Yeah it is isn’t it?” With that he bounced the ball across the food court and right to me. “You can have it.” I stood holding the very ball I had intended to purchase earlier. My mouth dropped for a few seconds. I looked back up to where the man had been standing across the food court and by his gate. He was no longer there. In awe I continued my walk to the checkpoint. The rest of my day didn’t miraculously get better, but I didn’t care. The God of the universe, the one that hung the stars, doesn’t care about a “stupid ball”, He cares about me. He went out of His way to set me up to know once again that He loves me. He cares that I like little blue light up bouncy balls. He’s a personal God that takes time to demonstrate His love to His children.