He said, “Humility is not thinking poorly of yourself, it’s not thinking of yourself at all!” This sentence took a weight off my shoulders that I had been baring the majority of my life. A weight that would changed my life! For at least 42 years I had been carrying a weight on my shoulders and back of what humility was. I was gravely mistaken.
I grew up in a dysfunctional family and that is quite possibly where I came up with the idea that humility comes hand in hand with beating yourself up. You see at the age of 13 I thought that God would sooner forgive Hitler than forgive me. I know that God doesn’t play favorites but back then I didn’t have a well-developed understanding of grace. My family life didn’t have grace and mercy in it. So I understand why I didn’t grasp God’s grace because it was never displayed in my home life.
I now know that God forgives all that seek His forgiveness. Whether that be Hitler or myself or any other name you’d like to put in.
Sunday January 28, 2018, Reverend Curry Jr. spoke and said, “Humility is not thinking poorly of yourself, it’s not thinking of yourself at all!” When he said this it hit my sternum and went straight through to my heart. It was like my spirit came alive. Like I had been dead and was just called forth like Lazarus from the grave. My heart leap for joy! I don’t have to think badly of myself any more. I know longer need to berate myself every time I see or hear the word humble.
My countenance has completely changed. I’m being asked by everyone I see what has changed? I share this great revelation! That true humility is not thinking poorly of yourself but not thinking of yourself at all! Once you’re doing that you can focus on what is really important which is God and the things of God. That is what we are here to do. That is our purpose. To glorify God. What an awesome purpose to have! How great the Father is to give that to us! He could have glorified Himself. He didn’t have to use us. Yet He did. Aren’t we blessed!
Joy – A Woman After God’s Own Heart!
Today I’m grateful that I can change with the help of God.
Max Lucado puts it well in, “Grace for the Moment: A 365 Day Journaling Devotional” in January 21st entry called, “A Heart Like His”.
God wants us to be just like Jesus. Isn’t that good news? You aren’t stuck with today’s personality. You aren’t condemned to “grumpydom.” You are tweak able. Even if you’ve worried each day of your life, you needn’t worry the rest of your life. So what if you were born a bigot? You don’t have to die one.
Where did we get the idea we can’t change? From whence come statements such as, “It’s just my nature to worry.” or, “I’ll always be pessimistic. I’m just that way.”…Who says? Would we make similar statements about our bodies? “It’s just my nature to have a broken leg. I can’t do anything about it.” Of course not. If our bodies malfunction, we seek help. Shouldn’t we do the same with our hearts? Shouldn’t we seek aid for our sour attitudes? Can’t we request treatment for our selfish tirades? Of course we can. Jesus can change our hearts. He wants us to have a heart like his.
What a blessing it is to know that change is possible. If we are living with the cancer of bitterness we needn’t die with it. Jesus can give us a heart of love and forgiveness that will kill the cancer of bitterness. If we are hanging on to things of the past Jesus can help us to live in the present and let loose of the past that only hurts and interferes with our todays. As the poem says, you won’t find God in the past He isn’t, I was, and don’t look for Him in the future He isn’t, I will be, look for Him in the present because His name is, I Am.
I’m so grateful for where God has brought me from already and I look forward to where He is going to bring me to in my journey to become more and more like Jesus.
Let Jesus do the work He has in store for you to bring you into His likeness. We all must remember our place at the wheel. We are the clay and He is the potter, longing to mold and make us in His likeness.
Joy – A Fellow Sojourner & A Woman After God’s Own Heart!
In Proverbs 27:21 it says,
The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but man is tested by the praise he receives.
When I read this I got to thinking, what kind of life am I living? Yes I get some very nice words for my blogs on occasion but is that enough? What is God calling me to do? I’m to be a light at the top of a hill. A beckon that guides the way. That is something people are grateful for and may even praise. Not that I am anything of myself without God and ultimately all the praise goes to Him. But am I causing people to praise Him? I fear not.
I want my works to withstand God’s testing. I want my Heavenly Father to say, “Well done good and faithful servant.” I don’t want to be one that makes it as just one who barely made it through with what little effort put in burnt in the flames.
Lord, make me a powerhouse for You. I want to hear the praises rise to glorify You and cause people to come to You by the droves. Lord, give me a fire that burns within me that cannot be quenched. Cause me to call those who don’t know You to You. I want to be used mightily of You.
I know this is going to take work on my part and I’m ready to go into the hidden areas of my life and release them to You for healing and renewal. I give You every part of me, the horrible parts of my past, the things that scare me about the present and the hopes and dreams and fears of my tomorrows. They are all Yours Lord. I put them and leave them at the foot of the cross. Help me not to return to them unless You need me to to learn and grow, other than that I release them to Your mighty power and wisdom.
Joy – A Woman After God’s Own Heart!
God trusts you, do you trust God?
I’ve been a Christian for a long time and there have been times that have felt like a dry spell, times of refreshment, desert times, and honeymoon times, but through it all God has taught me one constant, that no matter how it feels He is always there and all I need to do is trust Him through whatever time I’m going through. Just as Mother Teresa has said there are times when, “I just wish He didn’t trust me so much!” But none the less God is faithful and He knows what is best despite our lack of faith and trust.
He will pray to God, and God will delight in him. That man will behold His face with a shout of joy. – Job 33:26
Now if ever there was a man who was familiar with difficulties it was Job but look at the promise God gives him for his faithfulness to God. God delights in our prayers, there is an awesome thought. That alone should get me on my knees more often. And if that weren’t enough we will behold His face one day the later seems to me like a well duh moment, of course we’ll shout for joy! What we’ve been imagining for all so long we will no longer have to imagine, we will actually be in the presence of our God. Hurrah! Hallelujah! And Amen!!
But on the way to getting to that place God calls us to grow in Christ. To become more and more like Him each day.
My journey has me on the discovery of past to overcome and move on in the here and now. I praise God that things that where once just suspicions are now actual memories and I no longer doubt myself but am doing the work I need to do to move on from here. It isn’t always fun, work rarely is, but it is necessary and freeing. For that I am so grateful to God. I’m making progress that I’ve never been able to make before and a heavy weight has been lifted off my shoulders.
You have begun to live a new life, in which you are being made new ad are becoming like the One who made you. – Colossians 3:10
As you go through the journey that God has in store for you to bring you to the perfect place that He has in mind for you, may I give you some advise to surrender to the Masters hands? He knows the pattern of the cloth that He is weaving you into. While you see the underside with all it’s dark threads of depression or deep red threads of pain, there are other threads you are less aware of that when it is finished in the Master Weaver’s hands will make a cloth so beautiful as you could never imagine. Trust the Master and allow Him entrance into all the areas of your life.
“For I know the plans that I have for you, ” declares the LORD, “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” – Jeremiah 29:11
You see God promises that His plans are for our good. So you can trust Him.
I have been through the dry spells and the desert times when you feel like you are all alone in what you are going through. I have cried out to God, “Where are You?” “Don’t You see me?” “Don’t You care?” You want to know a secret? I have even cried out, “I don’t want to die right now cause I don’t want to see You! I hate You! How could you let them institutionalize me! He won! If You came down here in the form of a man I would beat You!” I might have well cried it out it was what was on my heart at the time and God already knew it. I’m sure the nurses in the psych ward thought I was in the right place. I misunderstood and thought I’d been institutionalized when it was just another in many psych ward visits. You see my ex had gotten an attorney to see if he and my mother-in-law could institutionalize me, thus the rant when I thought I was. But God as always was faithful and saw me through. Another lesson in trust.
He will always be there for me, I know that now. My moments of doubt still come but they last far shorter than they used to instead of weeks or months they may last days or moments on a good day. Then I remember all my Father has brought me through and I laugh to myself that I even questioned for a second that He wouldn’t have this covered too.
Joy – A Woman After God’s Own Heart!
Yes we are a work in progress, but do we allow ourselves the pleasure of enjoying the journey? I don’t know about you but I’m a destination girl. I decide on a destination and once I get there then is when the fun begins.
But if I live my life the way I take trips I’m in for a miserable time. God is all about the process or journey if you prefer and I need to learn to enjoy the changes or growth I see along the way and not wait for the day of perfection to be happy. If I were to do that my life on earth would be one of disappointment and frustration needless to say a lot of anger at myself for being less than.
This is just where the enemy wants me. Feeling defeated because I’m less than perfect. When He knows that the only perfect man that ever walked the face of the earth was Jesus Christ and that when he comes again then is when He will be done with His work in us. As it says in Philippians 1:6
And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you. – Philippians 1:6
So I must learn to stop and smell the flowers both in my journeys in travel and in life. Life is too short to take for granted the growth that you’ve made and to beat yourself up for growth you’ve not yet accomplished.
If God in all His love and mercy and grace is patient enough to wait for the end of the journey, then so must I learn to love myself and be merciful, gracious and patient with myself and enjoy the journey.
I have two choices to be miserable through the journey or to enjoy watching my growth through the journey. Since God is the One working it to completion it is His job to see it through. I just need to do as I’m lead to do by Him and leave the rest in His very capable hands.
Joy – A Woman After God’s Own Heart!
If you had asked Lora she would have told you that there was nothing wrong with her. In her eyes she was perfectly alright and in no need of change. But if you asked those close to her they might have said, “She can be cold and prickly.” Or “Sometimes she seems rather hard.” Only one person really might have understood her. One who had been so close at one time that instead of calling each other friends they referred to one another as sisters. But Lynn had been out of the picture for over four years now.
Lora was a conscientious employee and worked very hard for nine years but in the past four years she had become more and more cantankerous, and critical, often blowing up over minor mistakes by fellow employees. In fact lately the other employees had started to avoid her. She’s noticed that she was spending more lunches alone. Puzzled by this, she couldn’t put her finger on the reason why. She had always seen herself as gregarious and outgoing and a lot of fun, all of which were true as long as you didn’t cross her. It was sometimes very tricky to pinpoint what she’s had done. She was very charismatic and cut you with humor while smiling all the time. While you’re left wondering what just happened?
Lora didn’t always abuse her charisma. In fact it is was what attracted Lynn to her in the first place, as well as her humor, playfulness, compassion, loyalty and empathy. Lynn’s heart broke when the friendship fell apart. She has been hoping that they could find a way to reconcile. Her nightly prayer was; “Lord, I know what I did was wrong and I have asked Your forgiveness, which I thank You for giving me. Father, I have tried to speak to Lora to apologize and ask her forgiveness but she won’t take my calls; she returns my mail and refuses to open the door when I go to her house. Lord, please soften her heart that she would be willing to accept my apology and that our friendship would be restored. I so miss the old Lora.”
The two women had been friends since that first day of first grade. They met on the play ground when bullies were taunting Lynn a spunky and feisty Lora came to her rescue. This sealed their friendship. Not that Lynn needed defending but even at that tender age Lora had a tender heart coupled with a take charge streak.
Time went on, and when the girls reached high school they blossomed into beautiful, popular, young women. They were both on the girls varsity volleyball team. Lora was of course the team captain. They were also very involved in the drama department. This is where Lynn shone. She got the lead in nearly every production, and Lora was always there to cheer her on.
In her junior year, Lynn fell madly in love with Curtis Madding the varsity quarterback. They started dating in November and things started getting serious by Christmas. She started feeling pressured to go all the way. Curtis had big plans for New Year’s Eve. When he let Lynn in on the scheme she felt half exhilarated but mostly terrified. She had visions of how the night would go; dinner at a fancy restaurant, going dancing afterwards, and then a romantic intimate encounter in the hotel room. Things were going just as Lynn had imagined. They had a lovely dinner at “Pierre’s” the most expensive restaurant in town. Curtis had arranged for fake ID’s for them and Lora and her date Tom. So after dinner the four of them met at the “Club Venice”. Lynn was apprehensive about this because she had seen Curtis overdue on alcohol before and really didn’t want to be around him when he was drunk. As she suspected the first thing Curtis did at the club was to order a beer and chasers. She went to Lora and said, “I’m getting scared, Curtis keeps drinking and he is getting more and more aggressive, and demanding. I tried to get him to stop but he pinned me against the wall. Can you and Tom please give me a ride home?” Lora was distracted by the party atmosphere had no desire to leave so she replied, “Oh, Lynn don’t be such a baby. It’ll be okay. He’ll probably just pass out and sleep it off.” Lynn asked, “Do you have your cell phone so I could call a ride home or some change for the phone?” Lora responded, “No I didn’t bring a purse with me I knew Tom would be taking care of everything. Buck up everything will be okay, your such a worry wort.” Lynn walked away feeling deflated and abandoned. She then realized that she had no money to call her mom and dad and left her cell phone charging; she realized Curtis was her only way home, perhaps she could reason with him. Deciding to numb her fears she ordered a rum and coke. She was still nursing it when midnight hit and Curtis pulled her toward him and gave her a sloppy French kiss then said, “Come on baby it’s time to go.” He grabbed Lynn’s arm hard and dragging her out of there, much to her dismay. Before she knew it she was in his truck on the way to the room. All the way she kept telling Curtis, “Please, no! I don’t want to anymore! I’ve changed my mind! Curtis, please take me home! Oh, please, please, no!” Curtis replied only once, “Look you stop being such a tease! I’ll take you home when the evening is over and it’s not over yet you bitch!”
Gab appeared in the hallway and stayed in the shadows where he observed as, Jack went on to first tell her how he had managed to not only loose the house in the fire but because of his ill temper as he put it he had managed to loose the business as well. How he had met Gab that night the last night of the business and all that they had done together.
Janet’s response surprised Jack. She seemed pleased that they had shared the food and his encounter with the homeless rather than being furious about loosing their livelihood. He went on to tell of Esther how peculiar she seemed in the light of that place and how her story had got him thinking. “Do you think that this Christ could truly do what this Esther woman claims He did for her?” he asked Janet. “What do you think?” Jack replied, “Janet if you could just see how Esther truly had nothing, not even most of her teeth anymore but the joy that she had seemed genuine enough. I can hardly believe that I’m finding myself envying a woman that has nothing but this Savior she speaks so lovingly about. I also need to tell you that I realize that I’ve been perfectly awful to you and Julie. I don’t understand how you could stand living with me. It’s like my eyes have been opened up to the man I’ve been and I can’t say that I like him very much, to be honest I very ashamed of the husband and father that I’ve been to you and Julie. I wouldn’t blame either one of you if you wouldn’t want to have anything to do with me. I felt that way coming here. I was hoping you would be asleep and I could just be near you with my thoughts. I was too ashamed to hope that you would want any part of me. I was bad enough when our life was perfect but since the fire I’ve avoided you and Julie when you both needed me the most.” At this Jack stopped he heard something he wasn’t sure his ears were serving him well, it sounded like tears and laughter. This is definitely not the response that he was expecting. Jack questioned, “Are you crying or laughing at me?” Janet softly responded, “Oh, Jack, don’t you know that this is what Julie and I have been longing for, even before the fire? The tears are tears of joy and relief that our life together might be all that I’ve been hoping and praying for, please forgive the laughter but it just hits me as funny that now that you’re becoming the man I’ve always loved, you think that now I would turn my back on you. Heaven’s no! God is finally granting the desires of my heart.” Jack was shocked, “How could I be married to you for so many years and not know that you were one of them, a Christian? You weren’t when we met and married were you?”Janet lovingly responded, “No, Jack, I did not deceive you when we were dating and got married into thinking you were marrying something other than what I was.
Not long after our marriage I got lonely. You were so distant and busy with the business. It seemed the only time you needed or wanted me was to parade me around and use me as a show piece at various events other than that you were content to have me stay at home and be a dutiful wife. You gave me everything but what I longed for most, you. Then a neighbor invited me to some teas at her church and at one of them I finally realized the emptiness in my heart could never be filled by anyone but God. So I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. It wasn’t that I was trying to keep it from you; I desperately wanted to share it with you. The problem being we never really talked and you were always so busy that this has been our first real conversation since my conversion decades ago. I asked my Christian sisters how best to approach you with my faith. They suggested that I do as the Bible says for wives to be submissive to their husbands and to always be loving to you and that through my actions not my words an opportunity to speak might present itself. Since the restaurant kept you so busy it was easy to fellowship at church with you never even knowing I wasn’t home because you were always at work. Then when Julie was born my sisters in Christ helped me to train her up in the Lord. At every meal she prays that her daddy might love her like her Heavenly Father. She will be so pleased to know that your heart has changed.