Hello!~~~

Welcome!~

It has now been seven years since I started this blog. How quickly time goes by! We are many members but we are one in the body of Christ. Therefore you do not journey alone! Hopefully through this site you will be encouraged by the fact that many things you are going through in your own walk, others are going through (or have gone through) as well. Sometimes we think we are "going through things alone." But we are not. God said that "He would Never Leave Nor Forsake Us." (Hebrews 13:5) and that "There is Nothing New Under The Sun." (Ecclesiastes 1:9). No man is an island. It's easy to forget that. May the words in this blog help you to think, encourage you in whatever spiritual state you are in and may the Lord use them to help us to grow in Him! He is the Author and Finisher of our faith!

I don’t want any readers to think that I am “promoting” being a prodigal. I definitely am not. But what I am hoping to do – is to encourage those of us who either have had or are currently experiencing a hard time in our walk to be honest about it. Personal conviction is a powerful thing, especially if you truly love the Lord. I think that sometimes the Body of Christ critiques and judges to the point where the person who is at the other end of that pointing finger feels ostracized, alienated and alone. I don't think that that is what Jesus intended. When I read through my Bible - I see a firm yet gentle restoration that Jesus ministered to those around Him. Look at John 21:15-19. When Peter who was at an all time low point in his walk - he was firmly, yet lovingly restored by Jesus. He didn't tear him down, or yell or make him feel any worse then he already did. He spoke to him lovingly and gently - and in doing so, Peter was able to repent and minister in a much more powerful, humble and confident way and it became one of the largest ministries ever.

Please note that I am only a vessel, my calling - to write. I dedicate this blog to the Lord and ask that He use it to reach out and touch whoever needs a special, loving, personal touch from Him. My hope is that the Holy Spirit allows you to see Him through the words (and not me). We go through things so that we can extend our right hand of fellowship behind us to assist and help someone else. Our Bible is the same today, as it was yesterday as it will be tomorrow. (I am far from perfect and do not profess to have all the answers...) but the good news is - Our Heavenly Father does! His love, forgiveness, grace and mercy is real!Nothing you are experiencing in your walk comes as a surprise to Him! May He be glorified through this blog and may God bless you at whatever stage in your walk you are in!~



I am a Breast Cancer Survivor

I am a Breast Cancer Survivor
I was diagnosed with early stage triple negative breast cancer on June 24th, 2010 - I have been cancer free for 7 years now. It was only a chapter in my life - NOT my life, but the impact is one that has changed my life forever. Its important for women to know that 80% of the breast cancer diagnosis come from women who don't have a history of it in their family (My family didn't). Early detection is the key. For more information please click on the pink ribbon above. It could save your life.

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November 10, 2017

God Loves YOU Special!

Where are you in your walk with the Father this day?  There is a question for you to really think about.  Be honest with yourself... You are only accountable to Him.  Examine your heart.  What motives do you have for what you are doing at this point in your life?  Does it line up with the Word of God?  Is it something that glorifies Him?  Are you asking Him what is it He would have you do or are you just going about your own merry way?
God has given us His Holy Word for a reason.  It is the living, moving word of God.  It is real... It's funny, because I have really been giving that a lot of thought.  God's Word is His living Word.  I have developed a deep new hunger for it and an aggravation that I have responsibilities that keep me from being able to just bask in it.  Read it, hear from God, reflect on it.  Chew on it.  Digest it....
It IS His living Word.  In fact the Bible says:

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." (2 Timothy 3:16-17). 

IT IS ALIVE!!!!!!!

What are you going through? What are you thinking of? What are the desires of your heart? What is God saying to you? Want to know? Turn to the Word of God.  I won't tell you that sometimes reading it doesn't smart and make me go, "ouch!"  Because sometimes it does... But I will tell you that there are times when I cling to it.  That as I read it the Holy Spirit holds it in my heart and brings it back to my remembrance when I need it.  I may not always be able to tell you where it is in the Bible but a certain scripture will come flowing out of my mouth - be it a promise or word of encouragement.  It is ALL there, written in the Father's Love book for US.  Very relevant for THIS day.

It is a love story.  It is a guidebook.  It is the book of life.  God used people to write it - because God often works through people.  And thank GOD He did.  How it must hurt His heart to see Bibles that He meant to instruct us and help us sitting collecting dust on some shelf or drawer in our houses.  He wants to speak to us, teach us, show us, love us but He has given us free will.  We can choose to allow Him to minister to us through His Word, or we can choose to continue to try other things to fill up inside of us what was only meant to be filled by God.

What Do YOU choose this day??? 

I'm going to challenge you.... It's up to you if you accept the challenge... But here it is:

Find yourself a Bible.  Come on there has to be one some where near you.  If not send me a private message and I will send one to you.  (See the side of my blog? There is a place for your to message or email me).  If you need a Bible message me your address and I will send you one.  REALLY I WILL!

Then, once you have found a Bible - pray this prayer:

"Father God, I long to know You better.  I want you to reveal yourself to me.  Make Yourself real to me Lord!  Show me what You have to say to me in this - Your living Word!  Holy Spirit minister to me! I ask You this in Jesus' name! AMEN!"    And watch and see what the Father does.  And then if you feel astonished by it all - send me a message and comment what God did!  Because the Bible also says:


"So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it." (Isaiah 55:11)

Believe it or not - GOD LOVES YOU!  He longs to hear from you!  He longs to converse with you!  A conversation consists of TWO WILLING PEOPLE!  He is willing - are you????  

Honestly there is nothing sweeter in this life than loving the Father and knowing that you are loved by Him in return.... Oh yes!!! That's right! GOD LOVES YOU.  He really does.

Test Him on this and see.  Find a Bible, Pray, open it up and discover what God would say to you THIS day.

I am praying for you dear reader... God is already speaking to you.  Do you think He brought you to my page by coincidence or in error?  Nooooooooooo.  He wants you to know Him.  He brought you to this page for a reason.  The reason? To tell you that He loves you and He wants to encourage you to grow in Him and find out MORE.  And the way to find out more is to open up His Word and get to know Him better.

"Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him." (Psalm 34:8)

When God has You Surrounded By Other Members of the Body of Christ Who Share the Same Gift as You!


What's in Your Cup?

I woke up this morning with a revelation, one that is worth sharing with you... 

We can do NOTHING in and of our own accord, we are vessels.  What are you filled with?  What have you been allowing yourself to be filled with each day?  Think about it... 

Every morning I like to wake up and make myself a good strong cup of coffee - dark roast.  The darker the coffee the more I find enjoyment in the taste... I open up the kitchen cabinet and get myself a mug, it is up to me what I choose to fill that mug with... What are YOU allowing YOURSELF to be filled with each day?  It is a choice, one that I realized I don't even think about - until today...   I have written about this before, but it is worth saying again - God created us with a tremendous need inside of ourselves for Him.  We were not made to be "self-sufficient"  we are not.  There is an inner part of us that cries out for God.  We were made for HIM and it is only when we realize and succumb to the knowledge of that need - identify it and allow ourselves to be filled up with something even stronger than coffee (yes there is something stronger than dark roast coffee)... It is the Holy Spirit.  When we realize that we were made with a higher calling in mind.  We were made to serve a purpose - God's purpose that we can experience no matter what life throws our way - the peace that passes ALL understanding...

This CANNOT be found with people.
This CANNOT be found with things.
This CANNOT be bought or purchased.
This CANNOT be manufactured.

This CAN ONLY come from God.  And here is the thing - He WANTS you to have it.  He WANTS you to walk in it.  He DELIGHTS in giving MORE of Himself to YOU.  You just have to recognize the need and want it.  Do you want it?  If so, this morning - pray this prayer alongside with me.

Father God, I love you this day!  I decide to FILL MY CUP with YOU.  I need You.  I love You.  I want MORE of You.  Please fill me up Lord.  You created me to be YOUR cup.  Fill me up Father.  If there is anything in my cup that is dirty, that is cracked and needs healing, I ask that You cleanse me.  I ask that You heal me.  I ask that You use me this day as Your vessel.

Father - if I don't know the purpose of why You created me - I pray that You reveal it to me.
If I DO know that purpose, I pray that You would have me walk in it.  I know that my steps are ordained by YOU.  Let my life give off a sweet aroma that draws others to You.  Let them see within me that that my cup is filled with Your Holy Spirit.  Let them desire what I have - and what I have is You.  I pray that You would be glorified THIS day Father.  I thank You for being my Creator.  I thank You that my life belongs to You.  Please be an ever present portion in my life today.  Help me not to miss out on ALL You have for me.  Be glorified. 

I thank You this day for ALL You are, ALL You are doing and ALL You are going to do.  I praise Your name.  You alone are the Lord of my life.  Be glorified this day as I keep my eyes on You.  My God, My strength, My portion.  My everything.  I love you this day Father.  Go before me.  In Jesus Name I pray....
AMEN

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)

October 9, 2017

The Fight Rages On - Even Though the Battle Has ALREADY Been Won...

Are you battle weary?  We often forget that we are in the middle of a spiritual battle... Even those that don't believe it are in it.  You are either on one side or the other. You don't have a choice, the choice has already been made.  You DO have free will to choose which side you will fight on.  Who do you choose this day?

Every morning that you have breath in your body you are able to renew your choice.  Who do you choose?  In not making a choice, you still make a choice. 

You think you see the "reality" of life but the real reality is that a battle rages on - and unknowingly or knowingly you are a participant.  The war plan?  God's Word, the Bible.  The days are becoming fiercer, who do you choose?

It is time to allow God to remove the scales from your eyes so that you can clearly see what is all around you.  See the reality of the spiritual realm, but see it in a position of victory.  God has won the battle, although the fighting is fierce - the battle itself has ALREADY been won.  What side are you on?

"I don't want to fight," You say - but this fight began long before you and I did.  It began even before Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.  Open up your eyes and see the reality set before you before your eyes close at the end of your life and what has always been before you becomes revealed - too late.  You are a participant, so be on the winning side!  His name is Jesus!  See His hand? It is extended to you - GRAB IT WHILE YOU CAN.  It is Not God's will that ANY should perish.  The witness of His being is ALL around you, but you haven't taken time to look!  Cry out to Him!  You are a Soldier!  Put on your fatigues! Wake up!  If we are to do what Christ did we are to extend our hand behind us and grab hold of the person and wake them up!

"God so LOVED the world that He gave His ONLY begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall NOT perish but have everlasting life!" (John 3:16) 

The days are numbered, they are getting shorter and your enemy is trying to take as many down to hell with him.  RISE UP!  You have a choice! You just have to believe that you have a choice and can make it!  If you don't make it, you are STILL deciding.  God loves you!  He gave His Son, Jesus to die on the cross for forgiveness of your sins.  We sin daily!  We cannot mend the bridge between us and God without the shed blood of Jesus which is the ONLY thing that wipes our sins away.  What do you need to do?

You need to accept Him as your personal Lord and Savior.  That means having a "personal relationship" with Him.  Talk to Him! Tell Him you WANT to believe.  Tell Him to help you!  Tell Him to reveal Himself to you!  And watch and see Him do it!  He is NOT a God that He would lie.  He loves you!  He cares for you! He died for you! He rose again!  The enemy has been defeated!  You only have to believe...

Romans 10: 9 says that “if you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” 

Dear God, I know that I am a sinner and there is nothing that I can do to save myself. I confess my complete helplessness to forgive my own sin or to work my way to heaven. At this moment I trust Christ alone as the One who bore my sin when He died on the cross. I believe that He did all that will ever be necessary for me to stand in your holy presence. I thank you that Christ was raised from the dead as a guarantee of my own resurrection. As best as I can, I now transfer my trust to Him. I am grateful that He has promised to receive me despite my many sins and failures. Father, I take you at your word. I thank you that I can face death now that you are my Savior. Thank you for the assurance that you will walk with me through the deep valley. Thank you for hearing this prayer. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

God has a plan for your life.  One that only YOU can do.  We need you and your gifts to go forward in Christ.  There are people that need to hear the Word of God and to have the scales removed from their eyes.  To come and know Jesus as Lord and Savior.  The battle is REAL but the victory has ALREADY been won.  Who do YOU choose this day?  I choose Christ.  He is the Author and Finisher of our faith. (Hebrews 12:2)  He is the way, the truth and the life. (John 14:6)

There are not enough words that can describe how wonderful it is to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.  Don't believe my words? Believe HIS.  The victory is ours through Him.  Choose this day who you will serve.  Choose LIFE.  Choose Jesus.  Taste and see that the Lord is good. (Psalms 34:8) See for yourself.  He is real.

September 5, 2017

Praise Him Through The Pain...



Praise Him through the pain, which is what the Holy Spirit whispered to me as I spent quiet time before the Lord this morning. As I prayed, a praise song "on Christ the mighty rock I stand all other ground is sinking sand. All other ground is sinking sand..." Came into my mind.

I thought about the scripture on how "the tongue is a double edged sword." and from Proverbs 12:18 “Thoughtless speech is like the stabs of a sword, But the tongue of the wise is a healing.” And I also thought about how everything is perception. How we can't get into the head of someone else and sometimes the biggest spiritual warfare occurs with miscommunication, misunderstanding and satan laughs from the sidelines because he is the author of confusion. The great divider and "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy." (John 10:10). That is what he does - and he does it best with the people we love the most. Family, friends - because it is only the ones you care the most about that can hurt you.

Think about it... I think that is also why the Bible says in Proverbs 4:23 "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil." (Proverbs 4:23-27). 

Division does not glorify God - it glorifies the devil. He sits back and watches as the seeds of anger, confusion, back stabbing, gossip causes division. Breaks a part families and friends. We refer to it as drama - but what it REALLY is is spiritual warfare. You choose if you are going to be a part of it. Sometimes we are pulled into it but we choose whether or not we are going to participate or whether or not we are going to pray through it. 

Jesus said 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:31) the problem with that is many of us don't know HOW to love ourselves. You can't pour out from an empty container. Also, there is no degree of pain. Your pain is not greater than my pain, nor is my pain greater than yours. Pain is not a contest. A kind word goes along way. We only see in part, but God sees in full.

1 Corinthians 13:12 says, "Now we see but a dim reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known." There for our trust MUST be in Him. How can we combat the enemy? SHOW LOVE. Christ is to be our example. Every morning we choose who we are going to give the glory of a new day to - the devil or the Lord. I choose the Lord. He has given us free will - so the choice is ours. Instead of being so concerned about the sty in someone else's eye - maybe the finger you point should be pointed inward. Towards ourselves. I don't know about you, but my sins and short comings are ever before me. I don't need someone "judging me" or "pointing their finger at me" because I am my own worst critic. I am too busy judging MYSELF to worry about what YOU need to work on. 

The Bible also says, "The measure you judge someone else is the measure you yourself will be judged." (Matthew 7:2). There is so much "imperfect" in ME that I am not concentrating on the imperfect in you. Quite frankly, I leave the judging to God who looks at the heart and sees the fullness of each one of us. You have no idea what "pain" someone else is going through. Should you add on to it or make a difference by a healing word or gesture? 

One day I was driving through the drive through of Dunkin getting my coffee and as I pulled up to the window to pay for it the cashier said to me, "You are all set, the man ahead of you paid for your order all ready." I was truly touched by his thoughtfulness. I couldn't even THANK him because he had already drove off. You don't KNOW what kindness and thoughtfulness and goodness does in the life of someone else. Shouldn't we be that way? "Paying it forward?" Not doing it so that it can be acknowledge by people. Some people do good works to SAY they have done good works - No - the Bible says "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as filthy rags." (Isaiah 64:6). We should do them because that is what Jesus would do. I have over the last 29 years of being a Christian, hidden God's Word in my heart. Because when I need it most - it floats right to the surface. The Holy Spirit uses it as a balm to help me through the pathway God has me on in life. I once heard the saying, "Be a fountain, not a drain." What are YOU being? Are YOU building up or tearing down? The choice and the responsibility is yours alone to make. I choose the fountain...

August 31, 2017

Hurt People = Hurt People



"A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh." (Luke 6:45)

Hurt people, hurt people.  We are finding that more and more in this day and age.  We have a choice, we can let the domino affect continue on with us or we can choose to reflect that we have a Savior who went through what we have gone through and even more.  If He was able to say, “Forgive them Father for they know not what they do…” Then we should be willing to do the same.
Now that doesn’t mean it is easy.  That doesn’t mean we don’t feel the sting or the smarting of someone’s meanness or actions – but what it does mean is that we have to be the one to “rise above it.”
Oh that is sooooooo much easier said than done… Everything inside us cries out to hurt back.  Why? Because hurt people HURT people.  Sometimes we have to look beyond the actions at the individual.  I think perhaps that is the example that Jesus has given us.  It is not any easy thing to do.

There have been situations that have occurred in my life where I have wondered HOW Jesus actually stayed focus on His calling.  He was ostracized, judged, critiqued, used, lied to, betrayed, physically beaten and STILL He stayed focus on His mission here on earth. How can ANYONE not see that He is God manifested on earth as man to make a way for us back to the Father?  We simply naturally do not have that ability to love THAT WAY without the Holy Spirit manifested inside of us.
I found myself thinking this week about how the crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, "Hosanna to the Son of David!" "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Hosanna in the highest heaven!"(Matthew 21:9)  These were the same crowd who cried out, “Crucify Him!” (Luke 23:21).

I find myself wondering time and time again why Jesus chose to love us.  We are such a stiff necked, hard headed people.  We are willful and prideful and full of ourselves.  Jesus could have called down legions upon legions to assist Him, but no – He chose to go forward and die on the cross for forgiveness of our sins.  A man who had done NOTHING wrong, to know Him and to love Him is to stand in awe of WHO He is… I know I don’t love like that.  Do you?  We need to look to Him as our example.  More of Him - less of us, even during the times when we may have to bite our own tongues until they bleed...
“God have mercy upon us.  Forgive us. Help us.  Indwell your Holy Spirit in us so that when people disappoint and hurt us we respond in the way You did.  Help us to look BEYOND the pain.  Hurt people HURT people.  Healed people HEAL people.  Heal us Father.  Help us to focus on YOU.” 

August 8, 2017

Maybe it IS Your Circus and Your Monkeys!


In having quiet time with the Lord this morning, I had a little revelation worth sharing...

I was thinking of a picture that I recently had seen of Humpty Dumpty.  In the picture Humpty didn't fall off the wall, he was pushed. It made me think about people who are "drama makers" how they seem to have nothing better to do than try to push buttons to try and make us fall - but here is the thing, when you serve a God who created you and removed the scales from your eyes to know Him, you realize two things - He allows those drama makers to push you in order for you to grow in Him. Also, you grow in awareness that HE is the ONLY One who can "put your pieces" back together (NOT the kings men, although God can use/work through people for that healing to occur)  and when He does (put you back together) - He makes you like the bionic woman - stronger, faster, better! So maybe we ought to not only thank God for being our God, but pray for and thank the drama makers for actually being used by God to be tools to draw you nearer to Him!

Praise Him!

July 26, 2017

Praise God From Whom ALL Blessings Flow...

Praise God that he removed the scales from our eyes and made us aware of what we needed - HIM. I am more than ever aware of the fact that I cannot get through this life without Him, that I NEED Him with a passion and a thirst that can only be fulfilled by knowing Him and trusting Him more. Everything around us gives proof to the fact that He exists. 
I have been going outside in the early morning hours for my quiet time with Him - trying to give Him the first fruit of my day and I have been amazed by ALL the nature around me - the different type of birds that are chirping and singing (are they singing praise songs to our Creator?); I noticed how they live so simply, God provides their food, which was so apparent to me as they would fly down from their trees into the grass of the back yard and find grubs and insects and worms - God's provision. All of a sudden I felt a bit jealous and wanted to be a bird, free from worry and cares. I noticed a rabbit coming up from it's borough - hopping around... I even noticed a skunk (which I made sure I kept a wary distance from) moseying about his day. 
The proof of God and His existence is ALL around us, yet how many of us take time to praise Him or notice Him for it??? Take a moment today and be still - and see the proof that He is God... We only need to quiet ourselves from ourselves to do so....
"Father I thank You for ALL You have created and All You do.  I rejoice in You my Creator, My Lord, My God.  Help me not to take You for granted.  All around us is proof of Your existence - my Soul hungers for more of You.  You are my all in all. I love You Father, please be glorified.  In Jesus' Name I pray, Amen"

July 11, 2017

Walk in the Light

The older I get, the more I realize how dependent upon the Lord I am. I have found myself wondering, “How did Jesus do it?” I think about the Scriptures and I wonder how Jesus kept focused, during the darkest time in His life.  Betrayal from within His inner-circle… Betrayal from someone who was one of His twelve…

I suppose you can say that because Jesus is God manifested in flesh, you would think: “Well, Jesus knew what was going to happen.”  Okay, but even so – betrayal is betrayal and nothing hurts more than it being someone in your inner circle, someone you deeply love -  yet still Jesus continued on.
And He was betrayed by a kiss…  A KISS!

We live in a world that grows darker by the minute but in living in it we need to realize how much brighter light is in darkness.
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said:

"I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." (John 8:12)

Are you walking in the light? Or are you walking in pitch black darkness?   God wants you to know that He has experienced your pain.  The Word of God IS the living Word.  We have it for a reason.  It is a guide to guide us through this life.  There is nothing that Jesus has not experienced that He cannot relate to you about - Walk towards the Light.
When someone betrays you, or lies to you or hurts you more often than not you cannot see past the pain.  There are so many songs that talk about “you always hurt the ones you love” but God didn’t mean life to be that way.  We live in a fallen world that grows darker and darker by the moment.  We cannot give people our faith but we can look to Jesus as our example and we can do what is the total opposite of what we feel like doing… LOVE THEM.  Everything inside of you wants revenge or to hurt them just as deeply as they have hurt you back so they can feel the pain you feel, in fact that is the way of this world.  Evening news is filled with violence, filled with “people hurting people” but that is not what God commands us to do.  He commands us to LOVE THEM.

LOVE THEM
Go against the grain.  Go against the tide of your feelings. Go against the crowd. DO the OPPOSITE of what your feelings are telling you to do – LOVE THEM. Are you feeling annoyed when you read that? It's okay if you are. Keep praying that God will change your heart.  Think about Jesus.  Think about how He felt as He was spat upon and ridiculed and jeered at by those He came to save.  Yet still He continued...  
When you can't love them - PRAY.  "Lord - I don't have it in me, so I need YOU to put it in me.  Help me Father.  Help ME to love them as YOU love me."  Because when you think about it - if you are to be honest and look at yourself you can see that there are times when you sinned.  You did the opposite of what God wanted you to do.  You went your own way.  You broke God's heart and still He loves you.  There are times when YOU may be the person who hurt someone else (either knowingly or unknowingly) and you may not even know how many people are having to do the same thing for YOU.  God wants us to love, and if you ask Him - He will put His love in your heart and show you how to see the person(s) that have betrayed you through His eyes.  That changes everything...

“But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them. ... “(Luke 6:27-36)
“For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?” (Matthew 5:46)
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” (John 15:12)

“If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.” (Luke 6:32)
“But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.” (Luke 6:35)

I’m not saying that type of love is “fake it until you make it” kind of love, I’m talking about asking God to open your heart and fill it with a genuine love for the person(s) who have betrayed you.  When the Holy Spirit has that love come flooding in it will take you by surprise.  It will flood you and in your mind you will be thinking, “How can I possibly be feeling this?” But it is an over pouring of the Holy Spirit filling you with a love that comes ONLY from God.   It may be that all you can do is pray for that person(s), but you will be doing it from a place of love.
That is the example that Jesus has set for us.  He is the One who we are to look to.  What would Jesus do?  What DID Jesus do? 

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)

“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
"Father God, there is nothing in this life that You have not experienced, that You do not know about.  I hurt Father.  I was betrayed! I have been "spat" upon by the people in my life that matter most.  Help me to love them.  Help me to live a life worthy of the love YOU have for me.  Help me to turn to You in my raw pain and ask You to help me to love and to forgive."   And He will...

Remember, John 13:35 says:

"By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

And they will...

March 17, 2017

Are You Walking In The Dark?


Faith walking – is when you find yourself leaning upon God and you feel like you are walking in the pitch black dark.  It is when you don’t see the way – but you know you know the Way, so you extend your spiritual arms out in front of you and you step forward in prayer, trusting that God has got you.

It is not believing what you are experiencing in the natural, but knowing that God is greater than whatever the situation is and He alone will see you through.  It is when you are shaking and crying on the outside but you know God wants you to trust Him and continue to go forward.  It is when you feel fragile and vulnerable and you have no more answers.  When you are at the end of your rope and you feel as though you are “bungee jumping” trusting that God will catch you.
I don’t have any answers except to tell you that He is the answer.  This is when the Word that is hidden in your heart takes root and the scriptures of all God’s promises come to mind. 

“He is an ever present help in times of trouble.” (Psalms 46:1)
“He has made You the head and not the tail.”  (Deuteronomy 28:13)

“Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart lean not to your own understanding.  In ALL your ways acknowledge Him and He will make straight your path.” (Proverbs 3:5)

“Greater is He that is in me than He that is within the world.” (1 John 4:4)
Your promises, God’s Word - He gave it to us for us to lean on.  We can only see part of the picture – but He sees it in total and faith walking is when you have to trust that God is in control.  That you belong to Him;  He is the Shepherd, you are one of His sheep.  The Shepherd will leave the fold to bring ONE stray sheep back to Him.  We need to trust Him.

It’s hard to trust in the spiritual, God knows that but that is where our faith comes in.  The Bible says, “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you can move mountains.” (Matthew 17:20)

Have you ever seen how very small a mustard seed is? They are tiny!  God is not a God that He would lie.  TRUST. BELIEVE. OBEY. God loves not as we love, sometimes it is hard for us to fathom God’s love because we haven’t experienced it with people in our lives.  God is not like the people in our lives.  He is faithful, He is trustworthy, He is true.  Our perceptions are different than His – this is where faith comes in.  We are not alone, He is with us and He cares. His Word is the same today as it was yesterday as it will be tomorrow. Trust.  He is the light in the darkness. He’ll make a way where there isn’t one.

March 6, 2017

Are You a Clinger?


I woke up in the quiet of this morning praying. 
I’m at a point in my life where I truly understand the scripture that says:
“If I didn’t praise Him the rocks would cry out.” (Luke 19:40)
I’ve come to learn that true worship really does come from your heart.  It is not lip service it is really recognizing and identifying the fact that we TRULY need God, that we can’t exist wholly without Him. 

Are you desperate for the Lord? 
Do you crave Him? 
Have you reached a point where you know that you know that you know that you are completely dependent upon Him?

The only comparison I have is one that pictures a child in His parent’s arms.  Someone comes to take the child out of his parent’s arms and the child in desperation clings all the more to the parent.  Are you clinging?
I AM.  My arms are in a stronghold around my Father’s neck.  My body digs deeper as I try to get closer to Him to feel his assurance and the safety I’ve come to know being His child.   He is a need.  He is substance to my soul.  He is my everything.  I know WITHOUT a doubt that I never want to be without Him.  That I can’t exist without Him.  That He IS my all in all.  I NEED HIM desperately, every moment, every minute, every day.

THAT is the point of true worship.
We were created for Him, to be in fellowship with Him.  Deep down inside of each of us is a place that can only be satisfied with making Him Lord of Our lives.  People who are spiritually blind try to fill this need with other things – but their hunger for the Lord goes unfulfilled and satisfaction cannot be obtained until that recognition is realized.

I can see how Heaven is a place of pure worship and joy, to see with my eyes what my soul hungers for – it is not difficult to sing with sincere meaning, “How Great Thou Art.”
My God – how I love You.  You are my everything and without You I NEVER want to be.  Thank you so much for loving me,  thank You so much for Your grace, Your forgiveness, Your patience, Your tolerance.  I’m sorry Father for the times I have taken You for granted.  See  me now with true gratitude pouring out through my fingers as I type these words on the page.  Thank You for who You are, please be with me this day and every day You give me.  I love You, Father.  Please remove the spiritual scales from peoples eyes so that they may see You and recognize their need for You as I recognize my need and dependence upon You.  In your presence is where I always long to be.  May You be glorified. In Jesus Name I worship You and I pray.

AMEN

February 6, 2017

GO LIVE


“The cancer is gone!  I declare you cancer-free! Go live!” The oncologist declared over me, the support staff applauding.  I simply stood there looking at them blinking.
The nightmare was over? The fight had been won? Go live? HOW.

HOW
For almost seven years I have tried to “Go live” but on the grounds where the battle occurred – the scar tissue of a fight hard fought and won unbeknown to me began to grow seeds of anxiety.

How does one live after cancer?  How do you put the fear and terror aside? How do you go forward knowing fully not only has your body changed on the outside, but you yourself has changed on the in? Your life as you knew it is not the same.  Almost seven years later I am still trying to go forward.

There are days when I just want to burst out in tears of frustration.   Feeling like I’m on an escalator and I don’t know where it is headed.  Feeling like I have no control.  How does one “live” when they are afraid?  Living with fear is a cancer of another kind.
Feeling the responsibility of being given a second chance at life but afraid to make mistakes… When you go through cancer you are more keenly aware of all the mistakes you made in life.

How do you get past the fear? Life has changed as you know it.  You are not the same person.  The cancer is gone – but YOU remain.  All you can pray in your head is, “God help me to live.  Help me to know how..."  I don’t KNOW how… And you think that the knowledge will come in time – but the truth of the matter is it doesn’t go away… You learn to live with it.  You choose every day consciously to become better and not bitter.  All of a sudden you feel like a different species of human.  Those who have gone through the battle understand.  Those who don’t – can’t, you haven’t been where we have (and thank God you haven’t). 
There are days when I wake up and I look around my life astonished that it has changed so much. It all seems so surreal... Like I'm living a very weird unexpected dream...  A failed marriage, millennium children who think differently than the children of my era; how do you get through it? By it? Around it?   You have become a different person.  The people you feel closest to are other survivors who have gone through it.  You cling to each other’s hands like a lifeline. 

“Don’t let go! I might sink without you!”
"I won't - don't let go of mine either!"
Strangers that have become closer than family.

You second guess every choice you make and you live in fear or uncertainty that life will ever stabilize.  You feel like you are looking around every corner because once you were taken by surprise and now that you know how that feels like, you sleep with one eye open.
You love deeper and more passionately - it happens naturally because of what you've been through.  I call it "bear hug love" - that's the only way you know how to those who are important to you and remain in your life... you try not to stifle or smother those you love because you are afraid of losing them or afraid of having them lose you... They can't fully understand...
Before life everything was in water colors – now, post cancer everything is in vibrant hues.
Such an oxymoron of becoming stronger, yet feeling so fragile…

How do I live this life with so many emotions warring inside of me?  The truth is none of us is promised tomorrow – but how can I NOT let that fear influence how I live today?
How do I fit all my living into each moment?  How do I not allow the fear of “what could happen” ruin my here and now? HOW?

Tick tock goes the clock... Not to be taken for granted... What's around the corner? Don't think about it! Walk by faith and not by sight... Okay... Tick tock - what's around the corner? Even unspoken the thought goes...

LIVE! LIVE! LIVE!

I'm TRYING.  I put my hands over my ears.. I hug myself closer to try and rid myself of the fear... I quote words of scripture God's promises to wrap around me... Picking up the shattered pieces of my life, trying to make sense of it all... Who am I? Why did this happen? How do I go forward?  Stepping out on faith.  If I take your hand will you hold it forever or will you simply let go? Tick tock...  7 years have gone by - how did they go by so fast? I'm on automatic pilot.  Life has changed so drastically.  Good things have occurred but still the uncertainty and fear and surprise of having had cancer never goes away.  It NEVER fades away.

And my body temperature is cold ALL the time... "I'm cold Father... Help me..."

Anxiety, fear, depression – emotions you didn’t expect to feel after the battle.  I don’t feel victorious. I feel timid.  I don’t feel like a winner, I feel small and afraid.  Like a deer who is caught in the headlights of a car and cannot move out of the way.
I look toward my Pink sisters, other women who KNOW.  Other women who understand.  We are a sisterhood of survivors.  We are a pink rover line holding each others hands we do NOT have the ability of letting each other go.  We simply can't.  We didn't ask to be in this line.  We were drafted.  The line is so long it seems unending.  We CRY out together in unison, "We NEED a cure! God help us and every survivor.  WE NEED A CURE."
God help me.  This is not how life was meant to be. Help me not to be afraid.  Take my hand. Calm my soul. In my head I know that NO one is promised tomorrow – but please don’t let that fear take away my joy of today.  If I allow that to be the case then regardless of whether or not the cancer is gone – it has won.  Because with it has gone my innocence.  My carefree sense of being, please renew a steadfast spirit inside of me and return to me the joy of my salvation and my healing; the joy of LIFE.

November 20, 2016

He's REALLY Real! Really He is....

We live in a time where we are hard pressed on ALL sides. I have been thinking a lot about the Israelites during the time they were under such oppression and slavery under the rule of pharaoh. When we read our Bible it is easy to forget that everything happened over a period of time, change did not happen overnight. Imagine what it must have been like for them, God's chosen ones to have to wake up every morning under the rule of a slave master and get through their day.  No doubt it was going through their minds, "Where is our God?  Does He hear us? Does He see us? Does He care???"  They were beaten and worked and hard pressed - these chosen people of God.  Yet STILL they held fast to their faith.  Still they kept their faith and continued to wait for the Messiah.  Still they waited...

In my eyes things have not changed much... Centuries later, we are hard pressed on EVERY side.  We are waiting for our Jesus to return.  We live in a society that does not acknowledge Him as King and Savior.  Many of us struggle and are weighed down by the burdens of this life.  The days sometimes feel so dark and we wonder if the God that we have read in our Bible still hears our cries.  Still cares.... And we wonder if He does, WHY does He care?  We are a "stiff necked people," we have denied Him from so many aspects of our lives. We have insulted Him, ridiculed Him, mocked Him - WHY would He care for us???

But He does...
He loves us still. 

Personally, I don't understand why... We don't deserve His love.  We don't deserve His blessing, we continuously willfully go against His Word (when we find the time to read it).  Often we forget that the Bible is a true record of history - not a book like Grimms Fairy Tales.  We don't pay attention to the direction or learn from the past experiences.  We continue on sinning in the same manner that "they did in the days of old."  Yet STILL God allows His grace and His mercy to pour down on us - a thankless, heartless, selfish people. (And oh yes, I include myself in that number)...  And we are unappreciative of ALL the blessings He pours down upon us, including the fact that He wakes us up each morning for a brand new day to try again.  We are NOT promised tomorrow - yet we act like He owes it to us.  He owes us NOTHING.  We owe Him EVERYTHING. We blame Him or all the mishaps in our lives - when most of the problems we have we have created for ourselves, yet we point our finger at Him.

He warned Adam and Eve in the Garden.  He told them what the consequence would be.  Yet still they chose to disobey.  We can't point our fingers at Adam and Eve because we do the same exact thing.  Yet still God loved us enough to come down from Heaven, manifest Himself in the form of Man by being born of the virgin, Mary.  He chose to die He chose to send His Son, Jesus to die on the cross for the forgiveness of  our sins - and even having given that sacrifice we either choose to reject that gift or to not realize the full sacrifice that was made by Jesus on our behalf.

Yet still God loves us...
Still His grace pours down upon us.

For those of us who have made Him our Lord and Savior, it hasn't meant that life has become easier - it has meant that we have meaning for our lives.  If we study His Word and learn His promises, we take comfort in the fact that we are not alone.  That He is with us.  In reading and studying His Word the Holy Spirit helps us during the difficult times bring to remembrance the promises and words of encouragement that Jesus has given us through the New Testament. 

Yet still there are times when we wonder if our God - who says in His Word:

 "Is the same Yesterday, today and Tomorrow." (Hebrews 13:8)

If He still hears us.  There are times when the worries and cares and the darkness of this world makes us question if God has given up on us.  If He still cares.  Ol' Slewfoot whispers in our ears, "He doesn't care about you anymore.  He's given up on humanity, He's given up on you... He doesn't hear your prayers.  He's disgusted by you and all that is going on in the word.  YOUR God is dead."

And there are times when we feel so defeated, we start to believe that God HAS given up on us.  We start to feel so hard pressed and discouraged by what we are going through or seeing occur around us - that we start to wonder if God cares anymore.  We forget that we are told in the Bible not to be led by our feelings or our circumstances.  We are to :

"Walk by faith not by sight." (2 Corinthians 5:7)

We are to:

"Trust in the Lord with ALL our hearts, lean not to our own understanding.  In ALL our ways acknowledge Him and He will direct our path." (Proverbs 3:5)

But you see, if we are hard pressed on all sides, if we are beset by problems, if we don't take the time to hide God's Word in our hearts and believe it to be true.  If we don't hold fast to what the Word of God tells us - than we can't walk by faith.  We won't be encouraged.  We WILL believe the lies of the devil.

Yet still Our God reaches out to us and shows us, by meeting us where we are at - that He IS here.  That He IS an "Ever present help in times of trouble." (Psalm 46:1).

There are times when we are going through such a dark moment that we lose focus off of Him, as Peter did as told in the book of Matthew, Chapter 14.  And we start to sink in our circumstances and we start to doubt, lose faith.  Then when we think we just can't go on any longer, or that God doesn't care or that we are sinking and there is NO hope.  He does something that shows that it is ONLY Him.  He rescues us.  He reaches His hand down to us and pulls us out of our situation and we realize once again, that God IS REAL.  That He is very much in control, that nothing catches Him by surprise.  That He is BIGGER than any of our circumstances.  That He cares and He sees us and He loves us and He works ALL things according to His purpose.  He IS God.

Maybe He allows us to go through those dark uncertain times to see if we will still trust Him. Maybe He wants to see if we recognize that we cannot get through this thing called "life" without Him.  We were not created to be without God.  There is something deep inside each one of us that cries out to Him, "We NEED you!!!"  The only thing is that the enemy has blinded the eyes of people and it is only when those scales are removed that we realize that there is NOTHING that can take the place of God in our lives.  Many try to fill that need with other sources (sex, drugs, alcohol, worldly possessions, etc.) but it is something deep within our souls that can only be filled by God and it is only when that need is recognized for what it is - the need FOR God that we can experience that "peace that passes ALL understanding." (Philippians 4:7).

We were created with a need for God, but because we have such a loving Father, He chose to give us free will - to choose Him or to not.  The choice has always been ours.  He IS real.  He is HERE.  He loves YOU.  He cares.   There is NO greater joy than knowing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and its not something anyone can fully describe unless you experience His personal love for yourself.

It doesn't mean that life will be easier - it means that He will BE there.
It doesn't mean that you won't have any worries or cares - it means He will walk you through them.

I am not living this life for what God gives me (although I continuously pray for blessings and bring to His attention through prayer the desires of my heart because I have learned that He wants me to share my desires and thoughts with Him).  We are in a "personal" relationship, which means He wants me to communicate with Him, even though the Bible tells me:

 "He knows my thoughts before I even think them." (Psalm 139:2). 

But when you are in a relationship with someone they want you to share what is on your mind.  I really think God likes it when we converse with Him (and that is what prayer IS a conversation with God).

I am in a relationship with Him NOT for what He does for me, but for what He did for me. 
"God showed His love for us:  He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might have eternal life through Him. This is real love - not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins." (John 4:9-10).

He REALLY is real.... We just have to believe and trust Him.  No matter what life throws our way... Because when this life is over.  We WILL see that the Bible WAS true and for those of us who chose to believe it - we will spend an eternity with a God who has loves us since the beginning of time.

November 10, 2016

How About That Noah?!



What a day we live in!  I have been thinking of late how we forget that the Bible was written to be a guidebook for us, to help us, to encourage us to teach us, yet often it is the last place we look for wisdom and for strength.  I think back to when I first became a Christian at the age of 21, not having grown up in a Christian family, once I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and was introduced to the Bible, the words would jump off the pages and I would be so into what I was reading there would be nights when my head would fall asleep with my face right in the Bible!  Twenty-nine years later I am chagrined at thinking how it has become difficult to find the time to read the Word of God and how, especially at this time in history it is the answer to so many of the questions we have because it is very much the LIVING Word of God and as the Bible says:

"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." (2 Timothy 3:17)

Also it is spiritual food for us and I have found myself discouraged, depressed, depleted and anxious when I don't take time to read it.  It is spiritual food for our soul.  It was written for a purpose and the purpose was for us to grow in our relationship with Him.

The fascinating thing I have found is how as I have grown in my walk with the Lord what I have read has been stored within my heart.  Reading the Word of God helps us to hide his Word in our heart and often time we don't even know that is occurring until a scripture just jumps out in our minds! I get tickled by this because it is the Holy Spirit bringing forward a word of encouragement to my remembrance when I am praying for answers.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not to your own understanding, in ALL your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path."  (Proverbs 3:5).

The Bible is also a map for us.  I was thinking this week about the days of Noah, how often we forget that that is a TRUE story, one that can be applied to our lives today.  As I have thought about the world today and how many do not choose to follow God's Word or believe it I think about examples of such times as are written in the Bible.  The people in Noah's time thought he was insane.  Building a boat when there wasn't any rain.  They laughed at him.  They mocked him, they made fun of him, they went on living, working, marrying, carrying on with their lives (such as we do today) not heeding God's warning or Noah's words.  Then the day of rains came.  Can you imagine the shock and horror of the people when they realized that all along what Noah had been doing was right?  It was too late!  The world hasn't changed.  The Bible talks about the days to come, yet still we go through life not believing, not giving it much thought that what God's Word says will come to pass.  Just as in the days of Noah.  Just as in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah. 

Even as a Christian I can see my own faults, weaknesses and sins before me.  It is so easy to get discouraged - especially during the times when God feels so far away.  Ol' Slewfoot and his dominions would have us really believe that God IS dead.  That He is not concerned with us, our needs or our lives.  He would have us doubt God's promises and turn away. He would have us be discouraged or disheartened.  But the TRUTH of the matter is that God LOVES us.  That He is NOT dead.  That He is very much alive.  That He CARES.  We live in a day and age where people are looking those of us who are Christians and struggling and they mock us and laugh at us and wonder WHY we would serve a God who clearly makes us suffer.  And sometimes, as a cancer survivor who is struggling to make ends meet for my family - I DO question God.  I ask Him WHY.  When it seems like what is such a big problem for us is a little "ant hill" to Him.  WHY doesn't He just alleviate the difficulty I have. WHY do I go through the things I go through when I have a Father who could just snap His fingers and take away my burdens like He was flicking a piece of lint off His shoulder and honestly there are times when I rage and I cry before Him and I ask Him, "Lord HOW do you receive the glory in my being burdened by A,B,C??? Why won't you help ME??? Your Word says, "If I being evil give good gifts to my children how much more so will you help ME?" (Matthew 7:11)  There are times when I cry out to Him, "Abba Father!!!!" And He seems quiet.  He seems distant and far away.  That is when the scripture promise I cling to:

"I will never leave nor forsake you." (Deuteronomy 31:6)

And I have to remind myself that regardless of whether or not I understand what I am going through.  The Bible also tells me:

"The steps of the righteous are ordained by God." (Psalms 37:23)

Remembering that my righteousness is NOT my own - that I have been made righteous by the blood of Jesus Christ - who loved me enough to die on the cross for forgiveness of my sins.

I know without a doubt within my soul - that also as the Bible says: 

 "He is the way, the truth and the life.  The ONLY way to Heaven." (John 14:6)

He is: 

"The peace that passes ALL understanding."(Philippians 4:7)

You see?  In reading His Word, I have hidden such scriptures in my heart.  The faith part comes with BELIEVING them.  STANDING on them.  Holding FAST to them.  Not to go by my feelings - but to know that my Heavenly Father cares.  He's There.  The Word also tells me:

"He is an ever present help in times of trouble." (Psalm 46:1)

He is:

"The lifter of my head." (Psalms 3:3)

I can trust Him.  He knows what He is doing.  Jesus even said:

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28)

We are living in a time where we have to choose who we are going to believe.  satan or God.  We have to decide who's voice we are going to listen to.  It is NOT easy.  It is so easy to feel as though God is far away - especially when we look around at ALL the things that are going on in the world.  There is NO common sense anymore.  There is NO common courtesy.  Even Christians are not living and walking in the manner that God intended them to walk.  The Bride is NOT ready.  We have become wordly - and we need to ask God to forgive us and to help us be ALL that He intended us to be. 

The Bible talks about the days to come.  The last days. 

"People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God--having a form of godliness but denying its power." (2nd Timothy 3:2 - 3:5)

It is SPELLED OUT right on the pages of the Word of God.  So WHY does it come as such a shock to us when we hear about it in the news, when we see it happening right before our eyes?  When we find OURSELVES acting in a manner that does not glorify God? 

When I look on my life over the last 29 years of being a Christian.  My answer to those who see me struggle as a cancer survivor, a divorced woman raising two of her three children on her own.  My answer is - don't look at ME.  Look at HIM.   I am not IN this life because of what God can do for me - although daily I hope He will help me with the burdens I carry and the things I go through in life.  But the fact of the matter is I love Him and have become a Christian not for what he can DO for me, but for what He has DONE for me.  He died on the cross for forgiveness of my sins.  He made a way for me to be able to enter into a relationship with God the Father because of His obedience.  He made a way through His shed blood for me to be able to go to Heaven when I die.  NOT because of anything I have done but because of WHAT HE has done.  I am in it because I love Him.  I am in it because I trust Him - even when I rage and have temper tantrums.  I am in it because I know that His Word (regardless of how in frequently I have taken time to read it myself of late) is TRUE and the Words written in God's book - The BIBLE WILL come to pass regardless of those who think is nonsense.  Just as in the examples He has allowed those God inspired men He used to write it, write it for us to read.  He wrote it as a love story for us - so that we would be encouraged.  So that we would SEE how MUCH God love us.  The choice (which he also gave us - free choice) is OURS.

As you look out at the world and the things that are occurring around you - what will YOU choose to believe?  Where is your hope? How do YOU go forward in life in a world that often times seems as though it is growing darker and darker.  (It is...) But if you read the same Word that I read - you will be encouraged to know that Jesus said:

"He is the Way, The Truth and the Life." John 14:6)

  We only need to walk in it... I'm going to continue trying - how about you?