I was flayed open with a razor sharp knife

silhouette of girl during evening

Photo by luizclas

He was the only one there in that dark still night

I was flayed open with a razor sharp knife

He said are you ready to rise from the dead?

Through sobs and his blood yes was all I said

 

He said I am the love you are counting on

I am the only One when all  others are gone

I am the one who carries you when you fall

Through doubts and sorrow I’ve paid it all

 

He is the one who  gave His all for me

He fought for me to the bloody end

And on that day when He rose again

He said I am all I have ever been

 

He held me there as life seeped in

He is everything no one else has been

He is my champion, teacher, Redeemer, and friend

He is the one I will count on until the end

 

 

 

 

 

” Knowledge and Truth are not the same, never be deceived by that…” Dr. Hud McWilliams

alphabet class conceptual cube

Photo by Pixabay 

 

I am not anyone’s authority on what they read, or who they listen to or what blogs they like to follow. I just know that for me, a little caution bell went off in my head the other day about “rightly dividing the Word of Truth” and the heavy responsibility that goes with it.
Jesus said, “See that no one lead you astray.” Matthew 24:4
We often think of humility as an awareness of our faults, but humility is an awareness of our limitations.

Here is why I am discerning a red flag in my head and am being led by the Holy Spirit to “check” myself and who I am following.

Over 20 million women (conservative number) are known to follow someone like Glennon Doyle Melton, Jen Hatmaker, Beth Moore, Priscilla Shire, Jennie Allen (If:Equip ministry), Ann VosKamp, Shauna Nyquist, Lysa TerKeurst (Proverbs 31 Ministries) or a group of women under the umbrella of “She Speaks Truth” ministry, and many more on Social Media.
Most of these ladies started out sharing their stories via Blog, or by writing books, and speaking engagements. The things they have to say obviously resonate with women. Whether it is how to cope in marriage, Motherhood, single life, health issues, spiritual issues, sexuality issues or just light subjects like decorating your home or cooking healthy.
This type of teaching and leadership, if you call it that, is taking off in “The Church” culture for women but are often para-ministries meaning they are not under Biblical authority, or are they? You must choose for yourself with the guidance of the very real and present Holy Spirit of God. Just because you agree with some things a woman might say doesn’t make her a Truth speaker.
Truth stands alone,  “outside of us” in our humanity until we become the daughters of God through Jesus Christ the Truth then dwells in us through the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit. We must not lose our humility and always walk in the fact that we are God’s children and we, who follow Jesus, are under his authority. He is Truth, this God/Man is Truth. Truth is a person not an ideal. Truth is not a feeling.
Humility is not seen much in this world. We must believe what God says about us and that is that we were dead in sin. Hopelessly lost, now saved by Grace through Christ Jesus.
Wisdom is always needed.  Not earthly Wisdom but True Wisdom that comes from God.
I read in scripture that Jesus first gives us strong and serious warnings to be aware of anyone’s teaching and the way to measure them is by “whose authority” do they speak, lead, guide, or teach?

So, Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me. The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him.” John 8:28

 

In James 3:1 James implores us “do not run” to teach and/or lead…”Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.) These gifts are surely costly gifts and come with heavy accountability before God.

 

What does Wise Living look like? In James chapters 1 and 2 is a pearl for living well and whole and fleshing out what we believe…
The wise woman will persevere


She cannot stop praising God or referencing God in her daily life.

She is slow to speak and quick to listen.


She is gentle, gentle, gentle!


She is a “doer” of God’s Word.


She leads a life of purity, not innocence but purity. There is no malice in her heart. She is not trying to gain reward for herself only for Jesus. We are called to “know Jesus” (intimately), and to make Him known (by our words, actions, and the intent of our heart.)


She does not show favoritism.


She controls her tongue.I

So knowledge without Truth is evil. Truth stands alone without my opinion.  Who I let teach or influence me matters. I shall I my self and all friends out there to take the time to really read and know the Bible so you will not be led astray. I can only hold up each one to the test of God’s Word outlined above.

Thinking on the page…

 

 

 

 

 

Where does Comfort hide on nights like this?

dark darkness loneliness mystery

Photo by Engin Akyurt

Where does Comfort hide on nights like this

when I feel all the loss and the ones I miss?

Comfort dodges me like shadows on the wall

I know I must renew my mind or else I will surely fall…

 

Fall into doubt of my firm foundation

Fall into distortion of Evil’s confrontations

Fall into fear and lies of what lay ahead

 

So I will fight for my heart with His Sword of Truth

I will fan the flame of Faith I have had since my youth

I will rejoice that His Grace is sufficient thus far

and Grace will lead me on as I travel this star…

I will kneel at the foot of His Holy Cross

I will give thanks for all I have gained and not lost

So as the Comforter whispers His command of sweet Peace

The night shadows vanish and all shadows must cease

Now I will rest in the arms of my Heavenly Dad

and fall into the best sleep there is to be had

 

…and be renewed in the spirit of your mind…  (Ephesians 4:23)

Eroding survival default (letting the Spirit of God be my coping skill)

 

red human face monument on green grass field

Photo by Mike

Oh yes I learned at an early age that my face and eyes and smile could paint a picture of self confidence and a surety I could articulate all the answers expected of me. I am after all, my Father’s daughter and “no one” would get next to me…

For years I danced this dance of being strong and able. Of not letting by hurts show. Of being articulate to hide the pain. Of keeping it all together for the sake of…

By God’s grace over the years this survival mode of being all together began to erode away as I grew into the realization I wasn’t made to just survive and I wasn’t made to please others or be strong or lead. I was made in the Image of God to live my life in such a way that He would be known and glorified by it (my life).

Now when I see my self coping with life in that old default survival mode more often than not I can spot it and go to the Holy Spirit for guidance and He is always ready and present. God does not help those who help themselves. Nope. That is recorded nowhere in Scripture. God knows that we cannot save ourselves  which is why, of course, He saves us through His Son Jesus, by Grace, by Mercy, by His atoning blood shed for us. God saves people who think their coping skills are working until they aren’t. God saves us because of who He is not because of who we are or anything we have done. This is a great relief to me and probably any fellow believer in Christ. This truth gives me great comfort every day.

When Jesus told the disciples that He had to return to the Father’s house to prepare a place for us and said he would send us The One who would dwell in us, with us, guide us, and yes give us heavenly coping skills until that glorious day we go to our Father’s House forever.

How are your coping skills working for you? Eroding survival skills are a slippery slope that gives way to dying. God’s way is so much better. I choose not to go back to my comfort zone in order to avoid exposure, pain, or suffering. The cost is much too high so I choose to stand in The One who really did pay the highest price for me.

 

The first time I touched heaven…

sky sunny clouds cloudy

Photo by Skitterphoto

The first time I touched heaven I was a five year old little girl who knelt down beside her parents and prayed to Jesus, who loves me…The faith of a child was heaven…I touched  the face of pure love. I prayed to Trust Jesus.

A twenty one year old college girl alone in the sand and sea with Hope renewed. I touched the King of the Kingdom and I confessed all my fear and failure… and we walked anew.

A thirty year old wife and mother…tired and scared of what I didn’t know. I touched the Spirit of God and he whispered to me that He would never leave me…I rejoiced in Peace.

A thirty-four year old woman who was breaking her marriage and her life and had depression and despaired of the goodness of God…but he gave me a man who would not walk away and I touched a Faith restored in God’s goodness.

A forty-five year old daughter I put my Daddy in his earthly grave and a light went out of me in this world but the Light of the World kept shining and I touched the Power of the Resurrection in Jesus Christ.

A sixty-three year old grandmother of five…I kneel each day in gratitude for every breath and every family memory…I touch Joy unspeakable and full of Glory…

When I leave this body to go to my Father’s house…I will go to The One who died for me and I will touch eternity and live forevermore in His presence finally touching my Lord who is Heaven…

Not even scorpions will inhabit the desolate Judean desert…

 

flight pigeon twig

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Just declared to be God’s only Son. The voice and the dove announced it to the world. Driven straight out by God’s Spirit to the wilderness of Judea where not even scorpions will  live…

No food or water upon these forty days. He who is announced and ordained now lay weak, trembling near death only to now be approached by Satan…

Satan, the shining one come to accuse The Word of God. If you are the Son of God??? Compared to Eden the destruction of the Second Adam seems it might be an easy victory…

 

Fear is a wilderness where the devil runs around

He tempted Jesus there now he wants to take me down

Fear is a wilderness where death creeps up on trust

The water is polluted, hope turns into dust

Fear is a wilderness where Jesus walked alone

Oh but The King of Ages left the wilderness undone!

 

Jesus never once defended his identity or Godly position. He knew that Satan knew it well. For even Satan and all his demons tremble at His name. He the Second Adam would destroy all death and hell! For the living Word is his name and his Word is more powerful than any two edged sword!

 

It was the brightest sky in a hundred years

 

amazing astronomy background bright

Photo by Luck Galindo

It was the brightest sky in a hundred years

an ancient song that drew me here

There is no burdened that these stars will fall

I know you will answer when I call

 

Like a dazzling topaz you fill my sky

as you drift from me to that Holy high

I knew that you were glad to go

though selfishly I did not want it so

 

Then you spoke to me in that gentle way

There are worse things then dying you said that day

I cried and agreed but did not want you leave

but we both know the One in whom we believe

 

For He holds all our days and all our joys

although I can no longer hear your voice

Today I know you’re both watching over us

The family that you love so much

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Death begins with bad feet…”

man wearing military uniform and walking through woods

Photo by Specna Arms

The older experienced soldier watched as twenty new young men were milling about the base. He knew they had no clue what they were in for. The Korean “police action” at the 38th parallel between South Korea supported by the  United Nations  (largely the United States of America) against North Korea supported by China and The Soviet Union. The older soldier was still recovering from the unexpected and brutal Battle at Naktong River. That is where his best buddy’s feet went bad. The wet boots along with pouring down rain never allowed much time for drying out. His buddy didn’t even try to get his feet dry and by the time the battle ended his feet were black. Three weeks later he was dead. The Koreans have a saying, “death begins with bad feet.”

My take away from this wisdom is that I have learned to pay attention to where my feet are walking on this journey of life. The small things. My feet get soggy with the cares of the material world of what people think of me. According to scripture we are in spiritual warfare as believers who follow Christ…

For the follower of Christ Jesus  we are taught to put on the armour of God for the daily warfare with an evil , fallen world. Part of that armour described in Ephesians 6 encourages us to Shod our feet with the Gospel, the Good News that the Savior of the world has come.

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation…Isaiah 52:7

 

The Solution to your suffering is not what you think it is…

window church crucifixion church window

Photo by Pixabay

 

So Truth for me came as a shock. I grew up in a well meaning Christian and Bible following home and Church but I believe there was a message given (without malice) that if “we all just come give our hearts to Jesus, everything will be good!’…

And we who have lived very long know this is absolutely untrue. Being a preacher’s daughter I went to tons of youth events, revival, camp outings where this was the mantra.

I believe what these well meaning loving people were saying (be it naive) is that we all are in need of a Savior for we are born enemies of God and  dead in our sin without him. They were trying to present the Gospel but they left out one important Truth…suffering.

You see, the young girl who gives her life to Christ at your youth camp still goes home to her alcoholic mother when all is done. The boy on the football team that everybody loves still goes home to a Dad who tells him he is useless because he isn’t starting quarterback. So what occurs is the seed of their “moment” with the Lord (which I believe can be real but often is not) falls on the rocky, painful  soil and is quickly plucked away by the pain of this world!

I believe that Truth is a person. Truth is the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus even tells us he is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. The Truth is not pretty and tied up all in a bow. The Truth is not a Hallmark movie.

The Truth is a snot slinging, earth shattering  cry of repentance and pain and sorrow into a bloody, brutal battle and only Truth can win that sin battle. Only Truth has the Sword of the Words of life and that sword must pierce you right where you are but know this He, Jesus, Truth suffered more than your mind can comprehend. He despised the shame, our shame. He scorned our sin that he would have to bear for us to live in the presence of the Holy One! Truth got slaughtered and hung on a tree for us!

So if after you accept Christ you still have your alcoholic spouse, or a son on drugs, or a daughter date raped and pregnant, or a Church that hurts you, or a failed missionary vision…you see where my heart is going here…people Jesus came to save us from these messes we have made that have caused Him so much suffering. Life without Jesus is NO LIFE AT ALL but make no mistake Life with Jesus is the Way you get through the suffering of your broken sinful life and gradually you realize the suffering is how you really know who Jesus is and that your suffering is nothing compared to the Matchless Glory of His Grace! Do not be surprised by suffering friend. Follow closely beside The Christ, who is the Truth because he has walked this path before us. Follow Him.

 

Kneeling at the idols of burning dreams…

man kneeling in front of cross

Photo by Pixabay 

No I didn’t worship as the pagans do or did I? That realization was a rude awakening for a girl raised in the knowledge of Christ and the Bible. Hey, those false, other gods had nothing to do with me or did/do they?

I have always been curious and believe I now know why John the Apostle wrote in the last verse of his book “children, be aware of idols.”

I have read and read that Gospel of John’s and that verse always convicted me.

After bowing down to man made works (supposedly for God), after walking many miles in my journey with Jesus I have come to know that everything and everyone put before God in my life is an idol. Sounds simple yes but it is gut wrenching because my idols come in the love of grandchildren, love of admiration, love of being right, love of caring for the sick, the love of (fill in the blank)…

As a young woman I believe my idols were rooted in the identity given me by birth. Later I believe my idols were turned to the insecurity of fitting in so I would do what everyone else was doing. Just to fit in. I could list them all but the one in my older years that finally got my spiritual attention like no other was when my first grandchild was born. Oh how God has lavished his love upon those of us who are given grandchildren!  It is a good reward undeserved but  I began to put that love above everyone and everything. I didn’t even realize how deep I had waded into that “good” idolatry.

But God… in his purity and fury thundered through to me one sleepless night as I was telling him that he felt so distant lately. I had taken a gift of Joy and great love and delight and turned it in to a god!

How could that be I said? I am following you Lord. I felt His Spirit say, “if you follow me then you must put no other gods before me…”

So I knelt down before my Lord had one of those snot slinging, sobbing moments of repentance…

Paul wrote, “for what do you have that you did not receive? If you received it then how can you boast about anything?” 1 Corinthians 4:7