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.


April 17, 2015

Bullet Dodging

"With Every Temptation God Will Provide a Way Out" (1 Corinthians 10:13)
Are You Taking It? Or Are You Dodging Bullets???
Careful Now... One Might Just Hit It's Mark...
I believe every Christian is able to relate to this at some point in their walk… Especially one that is having a prodigal experience…

I call it bullet dodging.  The times when we allow temptation to overtake us… Times when instead of walking away we give in to temptation.   It is during those times where we really need to ask ourselves, if it is (or was it) worth it.  The Bible tells us:
“With every temptation God will provide a way out.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)
But it is up to us to take that way out!  This is not always easy…  In fact, sometimes it’s just down right hard!  It is easy to justify actions, to give into temptations – if a temptation wasn't tempting, it wouldn’t be a temptation!  A temptation is a lure, an attraction, something that draws you and pulls you in.
Although it is difficult at the time of the temptation it is important to think about how this will make you feel after you have given in to whatever the temptation is.  Sometimes the cost can be much higher than the experience was worth.  Ol’ slew foot and his crew doesn’t tempt you with things that are not alluring or desirable.  But this is where we have to remember that the reason why God says *not* to do something is because He knows when something is in our best interest.  Remember,  living in the moment can change any future moments you have…  The Bible is a book on instruction.  God is not trying to be a *mean* parent holding back on you.  He knows the outcome of what certain actions and decisions can lead to.  He has your best interest at heart.

Think of it this way…

Those of us who are/have been parents can see the broader scope of things than our children can.  Our children see what they want, when they want it, especially if they are little.  They are not mature enough to “reason” like an adult.  That is why God has given them parents.   An example?  You are baking cookies and have put a batch that have just come out of the oven on top of the stove to cool off before using a spatula to put them into a cookie jar.  Your six year old child smells the wonderful smell of freshly baked cookies.  The smell leads her into the kitchen where she eyes them on top of the stove.  Ohhhh how she wants one… 
“Mummy,”  She says, tugging at your skirt.  “Can I have a cookie?”
 You smile down at her and stroke her head and say, “Yes, just as soon as they have cooled off.  Not right now.”

Perhaps you walk away to attend to something else with the mindset of coming back when the cookies have cooled.  But your child only smells that great smell and sees what she wants, and she doesn’t want to wait.  She wants one now… She reaches over to grab a cookie off the hot sheet and is filled with surprise when she burns her hand.
Or maybe she doesn’t burn her hand, but puts the hot cookie in her mouth and burns her tongue… Or worse, perhaps she reaches over to get a cookie and the whole hot tray falls upon her face.
There are consequences for all our actions.  Some consequences manifest in the physical, some emotionally.  The point is – God sees in FULL.  We see in part.  We can be just as willful and stubborn as that young child.  When we want something or when something tempts us, we often don’t think of what the consequences to giving into those actions can be.
Each one of us is guilty of that.  There are no perfect Christians.  There is no “degree” of sin with God.  Sin is sin, yet different sins cause different consequences depending on what they are.  There are times when we choose to play, “Russian Roulette” or we choose to take our chance and dodge bullets.
Nothing pleases Satan more… Can you hear him whispering the same lie he whispered to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden?  Remember the first lie that came about in the Garden of Eden? It is worth putting the story into this post.  The account below is taken from the Book of Genesis Chapter 2.

Adam & Eve

 This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, when the Lord God made the earth and the heavens. 5 Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground, 6 but stream came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground. 7 Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.8 Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. 9 The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. (Genesis 2:4-9)

15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” 18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”19 Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.  But for Adam no suitable helper was found. 21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.23 The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” 24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.25 Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame. (Genesis 2:15-25)
The Fall
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” 2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” 12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” 14 So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this,

“Cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly
and you will eat dust all the days of your life. 15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”
16 To the woman he said, “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”
17 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. 18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” 20 Adam named his wife Eve,[because she would become the mother of all the living.21 The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. 22 And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” 23 So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.” (Genesis 3:1-24)
Adam and Eve decided (in spite of God’s instruction), to give into temptation and to believe the lie of the devil.  God had only good in mind for them.  In fact, God had made a point of explicitly in detail telling them what the cause of their actions would cause.  That is something that He didn’t have to do. Yet still they believed the devil, gave in to the temptation and in return, dealt with the consequences.

We haven’t changed a bit since Adam and Eve.  We still do and respond to God’s instruction the same way…  It was never God’s intention for us to allow ourselves to live lives of “dodging bullets.”  Yet still we do…
How much it must pain Him when He sees we choose to do what we want and not what He has instructed.  And then, on top of everything – when we “get hit” with a bullet that we’ve allowed ourselves to stand in front of – we blame Him!  We blame Him for our own course of actions, when all along God told us NOT to do something.  We rage at Him, we yell at Him, we blame Him – for actions that are of our own doing…
And yet, still He loves us…  In fact, all the while God was planning a plan of redemption, because of His love for us.  He was formulating a “Plan B.”  His plan?  To leave His comfort zone (Heaven) and come down in the form of man (Jesus).

“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)
He was already planning a new way to give us eternal life… And He did that through the shed blood of His Son, Jesus on the cross.  Jesus made a way to correct the wrong Adam and Eve had done (and the wrong we do) and by accepting Him as Lord and Savior we are given a chance to have eternal life all over again.  Now THAT is love.

As long as we have breath in our bodies, there will be temptations that come in our lives.  God knows that.  It isn’t always easy to push those temptations aside or to choose not to “dodge” those bullets.  Sometimes the ramifications for giving into those temptations can be life changing.  What can you do when you are facing a temptation?  Try to keep your head together. Think about – “Okay, this is something that I REALLY want to do…  Oh this is hard not to give into..” Try thinking beyond the temptation, what will you feel like afterwards?  Will you be remorseful? Will it make you feel bad about yourself?  How will it affect your life or those around you?   How will it affect your health? Will the giving in to the temptation feel worth it afterwards?  And then PRAY.
“Oh God, this is soooooooo hard!!! I want to give into this.  Everything within me says to DO IT. But I know what Your Word tells me.  Help me be strong.  Help me to run from it! Help me not to give in but to do what YOU would want me to do.  Make it less appealing to me.  Make the desire for whatever it is go away!  You said in your Word with every temptation YOU will provide a way out.  Help me to take it! To walk away!  In Jesus’ precious name I pray! Amen!”
There will be times when you give in to a temptation. This is where ol’ slewfoot has got you in his trap and he is ridiculing you, accusing you before the Father and laughing his little behind off because he has got you exactly where he wants you.  He stands before the Father saying, “You see?! You see?!!! Look what she/he has done! I told you!!!!  You see?!!”  This is where (if you are a Christian) Jesus stands up before God the Father and says.

“Yes – its true. She/He has messed up.  But Father, I have paid the price for her/his sins.” And points out the nail scars in His hands and feet and reminds His Father of the blood He shed on the cross for forgiveness of your sins. Which shuts ol' slewfoot right up.
“Though your sins are scarlet I will make them white as snow.” (Isaiah 1:18)        

Your sins have been forgiven, if you have made Jesus your personal Lord and Savior. If you have prayed the prayer:
“Lord Jesus, please come into my life and be my Lord and Savior.  I recognize that I am a sinner.  That I have been saved by grace.  That You were born of the Virgin Mary, died on the cross and rose from the dead for forgiveness of my sins. Please forgive me for my sins, come into my life and be my Lord and Savior.  In Jesus name I pray. Amen”

And He will… HE WILL.  It is by His grace, His forgiveness, His love and His mercy that no matter the temptations we face or give in to – He loves you.  REALLY loves you.  There are still consequences to any actions we take – sometimes they show up in our physical bodies, or in our lives themselves, depending upon what those temptations have been.  But no matter what – if you bring those times you have been hit by a bullet of sin before Jesus, He will cover it with His precious blood and forgive you.  It’s called repenting.  With that being said, true repentance is recognizing when you need to turn away from something, just because you are a Christian does not mean that you should willingly sin because you are covered with the precious blood of Jesus.  Remember – God looks at the heart.  He knows you.  He knows what you struggle with.  He knows when or why you do what you do.  Confess that you are struggling with a certain temptation and turn it over to Him.  He will strengthen you and He will change you.  You see, our God is in the “restoration” business.  He is ALL about change.  You just need to be open to it.
God has a plan for your life. 

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
It all amounts to trust.  Who are you going to trust? Yourself or Him? Trust Him. Trust His Word. Trust that He has your best attentions at heart.  No one knows better than He does what is best for you.  Believe Him… Just believe...


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