I do not know who I am or who I am supposed to be. For so long I just am who I think others think I should be. I do what I think others think I should do. I fill my void with “doing”. I fill my unacceptance with “helping” even when I am physically hurting, or unable to do so. Sometimes, I feel like a robot, that I am just doing the motions but I am disconnected from the feeling. I am not sure why and frankly I am not sure it even matters why. Sometimes I hurt everywhere and am so tired and it is hard. But that feeling sometimes crosses over into my connection to YOU LORD. That scares me more than anything.
That was my prayer or plea would be a better word. While at work, I heard a song that had such an impact on me that I cried hard and long. Then, I felt HIM. In my exhaustion, the peace of JESUS flooded over me. This probably sounds like those Sunday, hat wearing, and bible thumping woman in the blue flowered dresses, screaming HALLELUJIA! And if it does, I am ok with that. Because THAT is what it feels like to be holding on to GOD in the midst of inner turmoil, it is like sinking into a feather bed; being held tightly in strong arms.
The day got even weirder. We have emails from customers that come into a central email account for work. And there it was… an email that went like this:
“Christians should be patient and rejoice in our sufferings for Christ, because we are tokens of divine favor; we promote the gospel and prepare for glory. As we rejoice in our sufferings of Christ Jesus, we set eternally triumphant and rejoice in glory, amen. 1 Peter 4:12-18”
Then I heard loud and clear……. Deni, rejoice, you are MINE, I paid for YOU with my blood.
It is okay if I am weak. It is ok if I cannot. It is ok if I fail. AND it is ok if I choose GOD over everything else. It is okay because HE SUFFERED for me. And I may hurt physically, and emotionally, but there is NOTHING that will or can rip me from my FATHER’s arms. HELLELUJIA!!
I have been struggling horribly with food all of my life. I am sure that I am not alone in this. I have yo-yo’d more than a champion yo-yo. (I probably should have warned you about the bad joke) In the last year I have been successful at losing a pretty good amount of weight. I have also been able to work through many health issues and become more active. Thank GOD!
Lately I am having a harder time sticking to my regime. Specifically, I have been having trouble with “binge snacking”. I am going to describe bingeing as it is drastically different than “cheating on a diet”.
It is a consuming desire of hand to mouth (almost subconscious) way of eating. It is non-stop, sometime almost to the point of being sick. It is a bit different than “not sticking to a diet”. It is similar to the craving of a drug, heck it is the same I imagine as the craving of a drug.
Let’s talk about temptation. That is what I have been talking about. Temptation comes in so many forms. The devil uses everything he can to pull us in; our weaknesses, our desires, our doubts, fears, and so it goes.
Mathew 4:1-11 Jesus was tempted. Ironically HE was tempted by food. HE fasted for 40 days/nights and the tempter persuades or tries to by saying to JESUS, “If you are the SON of GOD, then tell these stones to become bread”. JESUS holds steadfast, and replies “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of GOD.
And the recount goes on as JESUS is further tempted and averts every one of the temptations and then concludes this time in the desert of temptation by telling satan to “Get away from me! For it is written, Worship the LORD your GOD and serve HIM only.
For me, one of the ways satan tempts me is through food. He tries to tempt us all in many ways. But one of the ways I have a fight about is food. For whatever reason, it hit me like a ton of bricks last night, after a terrible binge session that I have not handed GOD my food. I have not laid down that struggle at the cross. This leaves me wide open for the devilish interference that occurs.
I am saying here and now that satan, GET THEE BEHIND ME, YOU CAN TEMPT ME BUT EACH DAY I SHALL GET STRONGER and MY GOD WILL LIFT ME ABOVE THE DESIRES. IT IS DONE! I AM A CHILD of the MOST HIGH – YOU HAVE NO REIGN OVER ME. IN THE NAME OF JESUS, I relinquish this to GOD and ask for assistance in resisting this temptation!
What is your temptation? Can you ask JESUS into your heart and HE WILL help you resist! DO you need prayer for this? Feel free to put in a prayer request and I will pray for you. Or if you want to be contacted and we can pray together, feel free! Let’s raise our hands against the evil and FOR OUR GOD!
Tax Day…… makes me shiver; literally. JESUS was asked towards the end of his earthly existence by a Rabbi about paying taxes to Caesar. It was actually a question that was supposed to trick HIM but of course it did not. HIS answer was basically, whose face was on the coin? The reply is of course “Caesar’s face”. And then JESUS replied, give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and give to GOD what is GOD’S.
Tax collectors back then were considered the lowest. Some view them today that way. Sometimes, I too am guilty of feeling that way, but truly, the tax collectors, federal IRS employees, etc… are doing their jobs. JESUS wants us to love GOD and love everyone else as ourselves. And yes, that means the good ol IRS.
The bible verse that sticks in my head is this: James 1:2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, (Count it all JOY)
It has been a bit of a rough day for me. I have not been feeling great myself, my husband is dealing with a possible cancer reappearance, I have tax and IRS issues at work along with my normal day to day stressors (I do thank GOD for my job and I do love my job) but it just makes April 15th a bit harder to deal with than it already is.
Count it ALL joy!
I know that GOD is holding me. I also realize that I am just a person with feelings, anxiety and worries. HOWEVER, the tough stuff does not have the impact it once had on me. It is so trivial considering the life and the after-life that JESUS provides. I CAN count it ALL joy because it is not IT! There is more to life than the tough times. I am richly blessed! Today a little more than yesterday, I keep my eyes upon HIM… and for that reason, I CAN Count it ALL joy.
I have been thinking about comfort zones. We create these for ourselves for many reasons. One because they are warm and fuzzy. Secondly, because of the familiarity. Lastly because we feel safe and secure.
Ironically though, these comfortable places can become more of a prison. When one gets too comfy, it is hard to move beyond or past or away from that comfortable feeling. As a little side note here, sometimes, even the negative can become “warm and fuzzy” or falsely safe because it becomes what we know.
GOD has always pushed those in the bible of greatness way out of their comfort zone into a place of complete faith. Think of Abraham. In so many ways he proves his desire to move beyond his comfort to please GOD; first by telling his family to pick up and follow him and then by almost sacrificing his son. Moses, also stretches way beyond any sort of comfort and leads the Jews out of slavery. Noah builds an ark and people ridiculed him (yep out of that comfort zone). Bring it forward a bit and let us speak of Mary, a woman who was “just a girl” who GOD speaks to in order to notify her she will carry the MESSIAH; talk about way out of one’s comfort zone.
The list goes on and on to each of the disciples and to many people living today. GOD pushes people out of their comfort zone so HE can do something outstanding. What if Abraham felt like he was afraid and he was just going to stay put and keep his family where they were?
Dueteronomy 31:6 says Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”
That is exactly how GOD inspires us to move past, step out, and do something different. Get out of that comfort zone!! Do not let a person tell you that you can’t because GOD tells you that you CAN! GOD will not provide you a path to travel without HIS support. Read, get to know HIM, acknowledge him, repent and allow him to stretch you past your comfort. After all, JESUS stretched his arms wide across, past HIS comfort!
Hiding…. With Easter upon us, the idea of hiding hit me. We make a game of hiding Easter Eggs and then scavenging around to find them. It is a fun game. However, how often do we hide behind images, money, drinking, bad relationships, drugs or ourselves? Most often we want to hide due to the big old “S” word. SHAME! There I have said it. Guilt is not so bad, it is an emotion or feeling that generally does not attach to your wholeness. Change a behavior and sometimes you can remove the guilt. Shame, though is different. It attaches and then starts to eat away at every fiber of you. The more you hide, the more you have to hide. IT is a viscous cycle. Most all of us have some degree of shame that we carry around like a two ton brick.
Today is the day we remember the death of CHRIST. Christ took our shame. It was hung on the cross with HIM. That is HUGE!!!! You do not have to live in bondage anymore. CHRIST was nailed to a cross in the most horrifying way so that we can have freedom. We can have freedom to live, to be forgiven and to have a close relationship with GOD. Are you seeing how BIG this is yet?
What is it that you love most in the whole world? What is the person, or even an item that you attach so much importance to that you believe you would die if it should perish. With that image of your prized and loved attachment in your mind; how would it feel if you to offer it up as a sacrifice so that someone else shall have freedom. Would you even do it??? GOD DID.
That is the kind of love that we are so freely given. GOD gave us his child. I have 5 kids and I have to tell you, I COULD NOT do it. The mere thought of it brings me horrid anxiety. Luckily, we are not asked to.
People all over the world are being brutally killed in the name of JESUS. And many of those saints are willingly sacrificing themselves because of their faith. I admire that kind of deep faith. I cannot honestly tell you how I would react in that situation. But GOD loves me anyway.
I Deni, have taken the LORD JESUS as my personal savior when I was 17 and generally re-commit that vow as often as I can. BUT…. GOD only asks us to do it once. That is all it takes for JESUS to enter your soul, and your heart and the change begins. The shame falls away. Will you have personal storms to handle? OF COURSE, will you have to handle them alone? NO WAY! Get it?????
Let me ask you this??? What do you have to lose?
1 John 4:9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him
I am Deni, short for Denise. I grew up in a Jewish home, in a Jewish neighborhood and a Jewish family. In 3rd grade we moved. We moved to a mostly non-Jewish area.... that is where JESUS found me. I say found me because I yet had not acknowledged it, but would find out later.......by grace, HE HELD ME ALL ALONG, just a lil Jewish girl from Philly.