I forget stuff! I can blame it on my age but that does not change it. My mind gets easily scattered all over the place. My senses take in sounds, smells and things I see while I write and off my mind goes. I look down at the paper before me and forget what I was writing. I may be in the middle of a very important project and my phone rings, I take the call and off I go to another project; completely forgetting the original task I was working on. I simply just do not remember. I have made calls on my phone and forgot where my phone was as it was attached to my ear (my daughter just shared this same experience with me); I will be in conversation with someone and forget in the middle what we were speaking about. AND names! I will be introduced to someone and seconds later, poof! That name leaves my mind to the land of non-remembered names. I forget stuff!
Forgetting these everyday jobs or concerns is a bit frustrating, however, what is more bothersome to me is how fast I forget my LORD. My day starts, duties swirl around me a mile a minute – problems arise, excitement abounds and I admit I forget who really is in control. I forget to thank the one who makes all things possible. I forget to pray when situations become fearful.
By the grace of the LORD, and because of my heart’s devotion to HIM, miraculously in my mind I refer to as the land of the forgotten, the remembrance of the LORD always trickles back. This is not of me I have to say, it is all GOD! Why? Because I forget stuff!
HOW GREAT IS OUR GOD! No matter what is happening, worry, busyness, trauma, delight, excitement – lest we forget, the LORD sure helps us remember. Amazingly, we are also forgiven for our lapse in memory. I know how I feel when I think I am looked over, taken advantage of or forgotten. It feels awful. Yet, I do this to the LORD and HE forgives me and still takes me into HIS arms like the prodigal son returning home from straying away.
Even though my memory is small and my tendency to forget is large, I always come back to the LORD. I eventually remember WHO IS IN CONTROL, WHO IS IN LOVE WITH ME and WHO SAVED ME!
Dear FATHER: Forgive me for not remembering to thank you for the food I eat, for the roof over my head, the love of family that surrounds me, the comradery of a church I love and the many, many blessings YOU provide each day, each moment. Thank YOU LORD for all the blessings I take for granted. I pray that today I remember to give YOU the honor that YOU deserve at the least. I pray that today I summon up the worship of YOU that is rightly YOURS. I thank YOU for leading my heart, my soul and my spirit in YOU each and every moment of every single day. Surround all those who may be struggling with their faith, with their health, with money problems, jobs and torn relationships LORD and let them know that YOU are the only solution. I pray for all of this in the name of JESUS CHRIST who went to the cross generously, in love for me so that I could live free from sin and death and be with my LORD in eternity. AMEN
Who is your Goliath? We all have a Goliath at one time or another. It could be a lack of funds, poor health, a challenging relationship, addiction, depression or perhaps you are your own Goliath?
We, like those in David's time could be looking at our Goliath and just feel defeated. How will I pay rent? Can I put down that drink or better yet not pick it up? Will my Diabetes ever get in control? Will my marriage last? What can I do about this unending feeling of doom? Will my business survive? These are only some examples of what may seem as insurmountable monsters in our lives.
1 Samuel 17:46 begins: David speaks to Goliath and tells him boldly that this is the day the LORD will deliver you into my hands. David was a small kid and Saul was leading the Israel army against the Philistines who bring this mighty giant to fight. This monster was the "sure thing"; their ace in the hole and those Philistines just knew they would not be defeated. They thought because of the size and the might of their weapon, called Goliath; they had nothing to worry about!
So tell me. Are you sitting there right now at your kitchen table with a cup of coffee in your hand thinking about your life and how awful it is or how bad the cards that you have been dealt is? Do you often throw up your hands in exasperation and utter the words "Life sucks"?
When David faces this monster he boldly tells him: Dude, this is the end of the road for you as he looks high up to this larger than life giant. And knowing fully by faith that GOD will deliver, David beats Goliath and wins. Not by his own might, strength or size but with a sling and a stone and GOD!
Whatever you are facing right now, tell that issue: I WILL deliver you to my LORD! So.... If you worry about the future; exclaim, "future, I shall deliver you to my GOD and therefore I win and you lose! If you are battling the bottle of JD sitting before you- place it down and scream- I will deliver you to the LORD today and I will win!
Are you ready? Are you ready to stop fighting with your strength? Are you ready to speak to your problem and yell, I shall deliver you to my LORD!
I have had many tough times in my life. There have been times of financial drought. Some of the worst of times were those when I was raising my daughters by myself. Rent remained unpaid, we had no oil for heat and it was right around the holidays. I remember those days like they were yesterday. It is like a recorded tape in each cell in my body. Those memories glued a feeling in me that I was not going back there. Interestingly enough one of my kids several years ago actually told me that they were fun times. TO them, yes, it was. When there was no electric, we made a game out of it. I never let them see me sweat. Inside I was a scared little girl, determined to figure it all out but those around me never knew.
Hungry times lead to desperate measures. I did things back then that I am not proud of. Every one of those things I did and told myself I was doing them to protect my family all came back to eventually haunt me. One leading to a visit from a Constable regarding a bad check I wrote. Ironically, I have never admitted that to anyone. SO you may be wondering, why on earth am I letting that cat out of the bag now? Let me explain.
I was or so thought I was a self-reliant person, who was strong and could over-come anything. I lived my life fighting my way through. I had help from my parents here and there but for the most part, I was stubborn and rarely asked for help. I had accepted JESUS in my life many, many years before. Yet, I still was extremely determined to show myself and the world that I could do it all on my own. In the back of my mind, I would chant: I don’t need no man, I don’t need anyone – I got this!
I did not get this. I made mistake after mistake. I dug myself deeper and deeper; all the while smiling and scheming my way through each situation. I actually lived in such a state of anxiety that hyper became my normal. I tried still to be sure that my kids knew nothing of this struggle. They still had gifts on Christmas (thank GOD for a helpful Church), food in their bellies and a roof over their heads.
My oldest daughter was going to school in the same pair of sneakers. It was winter and I could not afford snow boots. Her teacher graciously bought her boots. On the outside I pretended graciousness but inside I was screaming: “who does she think she is? Does she think she is better than me?” I felt that I was looked at as a bad mom.
I always struggled with that feeling deep inside that I was not a good enough mom, good enough daughter, good enough friend, etc…. Pretty soon I decided that I would be perfect, or at least appear to be perfect, when truly inside I was scared and angry. To be perfect I was at the world’s mercy.
Yet, as prideful and angry as I was, JESUS held onto me. HE always came through. I just did not realize it at the time. I accepted JESUS as a young teenager, lost and living on my own. Then I went out in the world and lived. I did not begin a relationship with JESUS until much later.
To shorten a long story… I started to relate to JESUS when things got bad. I rested in GOD and prayed that HE would get me through. There were some rough waters. I would take my eyes off of JESUS and then my world would come undone, and then I screamed out for HIS help.
Skip forward, present time. I now can say I have a close relationship with GOD. As a matter of fact, HE is a constant presence in my life. I do understand however, that it was those angry and stubborn times that brought me here. Does life still present me challenges? Without a doubt!!!
Psalm 36:5-6 (Msg) God’s love is meteoric, his loyalty astronomic, His purpose titanic, his verdicts oceanic. Yet in his largeness nothing gets lost; Not a man, not a mouse, slips through the cracks.
Well GOD never let me go. No matter what I was going through, when I was pushing him away, making bad decisions – running from HIS grace – “HIS largeness never let me get lost”.
Whatever you may be going through. It is never too late to ask HIM in and start relating to JESUS. HE loves you and cries when we cry, suffers when we suffer and rejoices when we rejoice. You may feel at the end; you may feel empty – you may hurt or be angry. You may feel that there is no one else who cares or understands… you are wrong!
A glimpse into the evil heart is not pretty. From it comes hurtful actions, gossip, laughing at another’s misgivings, caving into ungodly desires, immorality, deviate behavior, stealing, deception, lies, and the list goes on. I will admit something here that may be shocking. That is me. Frankly, that is all of us. We are all capable of an evil heart. Sin produces the evil.
I love JESUS and my life is HIS. I consider myself pretty devoted to GOD. I pray, worship and relate to HIM throughout each day some days more than others. I learn and read as much as I can. Nevertheless, a sinner I am still. That will not change. The only change is that I am a forgiven sinner and this by grace.
Today I exhibited behavior that I am not proud of. The conviction of my heart in this was strong and I had to repent. Seeing this behavior was difficult. At first, I wanted to deny it. After, I gave justification a whirl. Finally, I had to see the truth and repentance was the final answer. Someone I used to know and who hurt me was caught in a compromising position. I laughed and poked fun and even felt a sense of satisfaction at this person’s self-destructive behavior. Then I noticed something happen. I started to feel bad. It was not so humorous anymore. I began to realize that because this individual is lost, he is drowning in secrets, lies and horrid behavior. Me laughing at that horrid behavior is no better than the depraved conduct of this person.
I will not assume that everyone is like this but I will express that many of us are. We all sin on some level. When I think back to before CHRIST, I think it to be amazing that to rid oneself of wrong-doing included really difficult rituals. The law was almost impossible to adhere to then. WE needed CHRIST and GOD knew this.
We wage a battle inside of good and evil. Thank GOD that through CHRIST I am saved. I have GOD’s forgiveness even when I slip into a foul and malicious mindset. The urge for evil is real. And to lessen its effect, we must plunge ourselves into GOD’s grace and glory. I know this is just an example of where I fall. There are times when I am not even aware of it. If I weren’t a child of CHRIST and saved by the cross, I do not know where I would be. I shudder to even think of it.
It is astounding to realize that in the eyes of the LORD, I am wiped clean and my sins blotted out. All because my FATHER loved me. Not because I did anything! Simply because HE loved me first!
It seems like when I go through something, I do sometimes see it only from my perspective. That makes sense. This is not saying I am not empathetic because I am. As a matter of fact, I think I can be over-empathetic and then I become a rescuer. This has gotten neither me or those I love anywhere but here, stuck. I understand that the only change will come when a desire or a need occurs.
I am in need to downsize my home. I am used to living in a big home for about 20 years now with a lot of occupants and much hustle and bustle. Actually, to be honest I kind of like it that way. However, now I realize the older I get, the need for a more settled and simple life is becoming necessary; not to mention financial issues that contributes to this need for change. I am afraid. And, everyone who is living here that has to make this change, is fearful as well. It is very over-whelming. Sometimes, I just want to crawl in a little ball and just make it go away.
Not only do I feel like an ogre forcing everyone out into the world but I am also uncomfortable with the idea of quietness. I imagine that is part of why there is a huge facet of procrastination. I have made some huge decisions lately based on my reliance on CHRIST and here is another and there will be many, many more, I am sure. I have no idea what or where my LORD wants me to live. I imagine it will be perfect as everything is when it is through prayer and leaning on GOD. As soon as a dribble of unsureness seeps in my being, and I feel myself drifting heavily into the whirlwind of worry; I need to call on the name of CHRIST as my anchor.
I do realize that everyone in this house (and there is a lot of us) needs prayer. Each one is going through their own version of fear and resistance to change. That is the human way. Houses are not just buildings, they are homes and havens for us, a place where we are secure. No matter how bad the roof is, the plumbing, the mess and such – it is the warm and comfy place we become accustomed to.
I need to realize that just as the church building is not where CHRIST exclusively resides, that my house is just a building. It is the love that makes it a cozy place.
Change is not a bad thing, just a scary thing. I thank GOD that I can handle all things through HIM. I am not alone, none of us are alone in this big old house. We all are being guided by a much higher force than what building we are living in.
SO as we forge ahead, GOD has got great plans for each one of us individually and collectively. As my mom would say to us in the middle of many storms when growing up. “Deni, look at it as an adventure”.
So, here I go, hand-in-hand with JESUS to this new adventure!
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.