She Will Find Him

Isaiah 58:11 (NIV)

The Lord will guide you always; 

        he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land 

        and will strengthen your frame. 

You will be like a well watered garden, 

        like a spring whose water never fail.

As I read this scripture I am going to tell a story; she was looking for the one thing only the Lord could give her. She finds the strength she needs by finding unconditional love of her 3 children and a man the Lord brought into her life.

The Lord will guide you always;

She was young on the inside she always had so much turmoil. She always looked up to the only man she knew in her life for reassurance; her father. Whenever she thought she was on the verge of winning favor the little confidence she did have it was taken away. Apparently it was felt taking away confidence in a young eager to please child was a way to build character.

One day she would become a mom. She would  work hard to be a mom who builds character and not tear down. But what she didn’t realize was she wouldn’t be alone raising her three children; a very precocious eight year old would introduce Christ to her and her sons. By following her daughter’s lead she would learn to allow the Lord to guide her in life.

He will satisfy your needs in the sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame.

Tired and emotionally exhausted; every muscle ached, she had no where else to draw strength; three little ones looked so lovingly in her eyes eager to have some undivided attention. In this moment she drifts away dreaming of a time there would be another in her life; someone who was strong and would be an example to her children of what unconditional love really means. 

She was alone, no faith and her trust account was empty. Anyone she would or could turn to found one way or another to hurt her. When she looked into her she daughter’s hazel eyes; she would pray for the day she would be a strong young woman; she would find the true meaning of love. Her mom couldn’t teach her afterall, what did she know of love. She was broken; she would work day and night to provide to the point at times she would feel like the sun-scorched land. 

She would be saved, she learned to become the strong woman her children could look up to and be proud to call mom. The Lord knew she was tired; she knew the only place to draw strength from was the Lord. He was able to give her new life with this new found relationship. Now she remembers even though she is tired the Lord has given her renewed strength to rise above and trust him.

You will be like a well watered garden, like a spring whose water never fails.

As she continues to grow and walk in her faith; she reflects on the moment she is reminded that no matter the luggage life has brought her;  in her heart she loves her children and strives to be the best mother to those 3 little ones.

At the time she doesn’t realize God would introduce her to a man who would walk with her in her relationship with Christ and join her in raising her 3 little ones. He developed an unconditional love for her along with her children. He would become this example of what love looks like; through the good and bad. He would be the example to her sons on what love should look like for the day when they would decide to marry.  He would build character in her children; teach them the bible along with history. So on those long strenuous days he would build her up and pick up the slack. He eventually becomes a second rock in her life. He leads by example, reminds her of how important she is not only in his life but in the life of 3 little children.  The Lord allowed him to bring life back into her, finally she learned about true love.

No matter the road she was on, she allowed God to guide her. He made her stronger by satisfying her needs. As she continues to satisfy her thirst for the word of the Lord she will continue to be awakened and grow like the garden.

Ecclesiastes 4:12 (NIV)

Though one may be overpowered,

  Two can defend themselves.

A cord of  three strands is not quickly broken.

Hands wrapped by a piece of cloth reminds us as long as they are walking with Christ hand in hand no man can separate.

Pulling Weeds

One day I was sitting in Village Inn waiting for my car to get serviced at Wal-Mart, the condition set by Chris if I wanted to go to Lansing to see my father.

I was alone, and I just started writing. I always knew what the title of my next blog would be and the subject matter I just didn’t know the direction I was going to have it go in. So here it is.

Every parent has a goal for their children. Here are some of my goals:

  1. Having a relationship with Christ
  2. Falling in Love
  3. Know unconditional love
  4. Enjoying making memories
  5. Have a full and successful life

As parents we can help our children attain some of these goals. The one goal I am focusing on is making memories. Our children have childhood memories these memories can be good ones and bad ones.

I know growing up in a home with multiple children each child will have different memories of how they view the way they grew up. This especially happens when there is a generation gap.

In 2007 my mother passed away from a glioblastoma brain tumor. Having someone close you go through this isn’t easy, she put up a fight and I know in my heart she did this for our family.

Our relationship wasn’t always roses, we were after all, mother/daughter. There was nothing I wanted more was for my mother to just love me for who I was, everything I believed I did  to please her.

In the final days before she died, she told me I would be fine. I know she loved me, there was never a time she wouldn’t tell me she loved me even in a heated moment of anger or should I say disappointment, she would say “I love you, bye” not once did she hang up the phone without telling me she loved me. She told me she did this because if she died tomorrow there would be no doubt that she loved me.

But, it doesn’t change the negative-I remember the tantrums me storming out of the house not understanding why she didn’t like me, what did I ever do to be treated so badly I didn’t get it, these memories flooded my mind. Then I remember when I was pregnant with my daughter how mom was so loving, understanding and supportive.  Before she passed away she asked me what my favorite memory was, I explained it was the night I fell asleep on the living room floor and she laid next to me; wrapped her arm around me feeling Erikah kick. This memory resounds through my mind often; I hold onto this memory because I choose to remember the loving moments in my relationship with mom.

When I think of my mother I also remember how she drilled into my head, “Bad association spoils useful habits.” this is a scripture 1 Corinthians 15:33(NWT) Do not be misled. Bad association spoils useful habits. She always wanted better for me, I didn’t understand this I was a teenager seeking guidance and direction. I saw how strong my mother was when faced with adversity. Then I remember, Proverbs 31:25 (NIV) She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.

I didn’t always agree with my mother; however she was my mother and I respected her as my mother. I loved her the best way I knew how. I want to focus on the good memories so I can be free and enjoy those memories. I am working hard on pulling the weeds; the negative memories so I can focus on the good.

My children will have good memories and bad ones as well. My prayer for them is to one day realize I am human afterall, I did falter and fail often but, I did my best to raise them to become the individuals they are today. I pray one day they will reflect and decide to pull  the weeds, focus on the good times.

 

Becoming Priesthood of Believers

The world can be a challenging place to live in if we do not have a relationship with God. With God as our focal point He helps us cope when we are faced with difficulties.  Before I became a member of this congregation I was a victim of abuse; I was a victim, I remembered each anniversary like it was a birthday, I was lost and confused. Soon I learned that God will also place people in our lives who have strong influences on us. One person He placed is in my life is Pastor Helen, she has been influential in my spiritual walk and it all began with a simple phrase, I needed to stop being a victim of my past and become a survivor.

Sure, those words didn’t set well however over time this statement changed my life. Where was I going to begin learning how to become a survivor.   I needed to stop feeling sorry for myself and stop becoming emotionally draining to those around me so, by developing a relationship with Jesus I was able to turn my past over to HIM.  I then learned the meaning of true forgiveness so I would be free; by forgiving those who have caused harm to me in my life allowed me to find my true happiness in God and understand the healing grace of Jesus.

God wants each one of us to find true happiness and have a relationship with him.  As a result of Jesus’ death we have salvation; God used this (Jesus’ death) act of love to bridge the gap of sin and death which at one time separated us from God, and us from other people. God has called on ALL of us to become servants; we need to show others how to make the grace of Christ real in their lives but, first let’s start with our own lives.

There is a biblical concept of priesthood of all believers, it is important to understand the church and everyone’s role who serve in the church. All believers, laity and clergy alike are called and given the authority to be priests to one another. We have all been baptized in Christ and we are one in Christ. We all have a role to play by being a member in the body of Christ; in God’s eyes no role is more important than the other. Often times there is a misconception that pastoring/ministering is left to the clergy; when in reality it is left to ALL of us to be pastoring/ministering to each other.

Each one of us play a role in being a priest in our community. What is a priest?

  1. A priest functions as God’s representative in the world, communicating God’s word and shedding light on God’s will in people’s lives. A priest pronounces God’s word of forgiveness and healing grace.  As believers we give words of forgiveness by stating, “I forgive you” this demonstrates the healing of a relationship through forgiveness and grace.
  2. A priest also acts as the people’s representative to God. A priest intercedes for the people, going to God for the sake of the people, and offering sacrifices of love on their behalf. Each time we lift someone in prayer or we are giving of ourselves selflessly we are being the representative for them.
  3. A priest is not only the ordained clergy but anyone who has experienced the love, acceptance and forgiveness of God, and who helps others experience this grace as well. At one point or another we have experience the love God has for us and accepted Christ as our savior.  There have been several members of this congregation who have surrounded me with unconditional love when I have reached out to them. I refer to them as God’s vessels and I am reminded their words of encouragement are words from God.

There is one great high priest and that is Jesus, He is the supreme mediator between God and people. In Christ, the separation between God and humanity is overcome.

  1. There is only one representative to God and that is Jesus. He is the Word made flesh, mediating God’s grace and truth to us. The only way to the Lord is through the son and the son is Jesus. He is the one we develop a relationship with; which draws us closer to God.
  2. Jesus is our representative to God. He shared our humanity and loving sacrificed his life for our salvation. John 1: 29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”

All believers share this priesthood-in partnership with Christ. The members of the Christian community are a royal priesthood. As described in 1 Peter 2:4-5, 9-10

1 Peter 2:4-5, 9-10: As you come to him, the living stone-rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him-5) you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

9)But you are chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10)Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

  1. We are part of the priesthood of all believers, each of us is called to represent Christ and share his grace with others. We need to stand with Christ in the gap to help those who have lost their way with God or we have a friend on the outside looking in; God wants us to extend a hand by using our relationship with Christ we bring them closer to God.
  2. We also participate in Christ’s ministry when we perform loving, sacrificial acts and share the good news of God’s grace and forgiveness. Live by example, how are we demonstrating the love God has shown us; we also must be able to have grace and forgive as God did.

The phrase “priesthood of all believers” doesn’t mean every person should act as their own priest. What it means is we are given the authority to love to be priests to one another.  Christ laid down his life for others to make the grace of God real; we are also called to do this. Demonstrate the grace, love and forgiveness of God to each other and those in need of a relationship with Christ.

The church is the body of Christ a place where people come to experience the love, acceptance and forgiveness of God. The Church is also the place where we have also committed our lives to Christ and also to the ministry of sharing God’s grace with others.

We all have a journey we are on and are becoming more aware of our role in being part of the priesthood of believers. God has a plan; a mission for each one of us.  While I was on the walk to Emmaus (Which is a 72 hour retreat; to help you individually to develop a relationship with Christ. At the beginning of the walk we are assigned a table group. This group was our family for the next 72 hours, my table was the table of Rebecca.) By the time Pastor Helen told me to become the survivor my faith journey was just in it’s infancy by the time I participated in the walk to Emmaus. Well, I experience a brief argument with Jesus, he was urging me to share my story within my group. I resisted very hard and I even remember walking down the hallway and verbally stating “Why? I am no longer a victim, I’m becoming a survivor.” Little did I know at the time; if Jesus wanted my story shared it was going to be shared. So by the discussion got to me; the words were just flowing from my mouth. In that moment I was ministering to someone else and giving them the strength they needed to share a part of their past they had never shared with anyone in their lives not even their spouse. They were also a victim of abuse.  In that moment I realized, the Lord DOES have bigger plans for me and I may not always understand at the time but, how can I question his plan. I share this experience with you because:

  1. We need to make Christ real for people; we need to embody Christ in all things we do in life; personal, family, work and leisure. The building we come to worship in is not the Church, the Church is a ministry of love; we are a community of believers in ministry, the royal priesthood whoever are the body of Christ in the World. Not only do we belong to the Church; we are the church, wherever we are.
  2. We need to be a gateway of God’s grace, share love, acceptance and forgiveness with other people. God has put in our had the keys of the kingdom, we have the power to bind or unbind a person by the way we share or withhold the grace God has given us. Words from God can be expressed in many ways; when a person is in pain we can tell them “God Loves you,” “You are forgiven,” or a simple prayer. For someone who is overwhelmed with life, a simple touch of a hand on the shoulder, the company of a friend, or an offer to help also represents God. There are so many different ways to represent God in different situations.
  3. In the world today there is so much darkness that surrounds such as narcissism, cynicism, and hopelessness; so, we want to be the light in the darkness and also become a promise in the midst of problems to help others overcome these things.

Our journey/mission is personal. The only person who can guide you on your mission is yourself and the relationship you have developed with Christ. Just as Jesus struggled in the wilderness with his own temptations we are going to have our struggles as well. We need to be true to ourselves, look at ourselves in the mirror and remember our relationship with God is personal and avoid religious language and stereotypes. We want to be a Witness for Christ in a way that is natural to us.

Our journey is spiritual; spiritual doesn’t mean after we have passed on it is about how we live today to the fullest in this time according to God’s will. Just as Jesus worked for God’s deepest desire for people in this world; live in the fullness of God’s grace and truth. This is our mission from God once we have accepted being a part of the royal priesthood this will help us interpret God’s will for people’s lives.

Our journey is service oriented we are reminded we do not act on our own authority but we are a representative and our journey should be one that demonstrates serving as Jesus served.

We share our journey, we work together as a team we are one body of Christ in this community and we must remember; we cannot accomplish Christ’s ministries alone, Jesus called along 12 others to share his life and his journey with. (Just as I mentioned earlier) I have had several members of this congregation I have called on to help steer me in the right direction or just in a moment of needing a little reassurance.

Our journey calls for our best, each day when I wake I have the free will to decide what type of day is it going to be. Each day is a journey in strengthening my relationship with God by becoming closer to Jesus and in doing this I want to ensure I put my best foot forward in attitude, ability and action. After all, Christ did give his best for us in turn we should do the same for him.

I was saved on November 11, 2006; my mother passed away on July 17, 2007 I believe with all my heart; me being saved at this time was part of God’s plan. Hindsight is 20/20 after all; then my younger sister was asked, “How is Melanie handling your mother’s death?” her response was, “Not too badly, she has a strong relationship with Christ.”  At that moment when I heard her retell me the conversation I realized I was being used as a vessel of God’s to show how coping with difficulties of this world which cause heartache we still find comfort of the Lord’s arms.

God wants Christians like you and me to become active partners in our journeys/missions; he calls on us to be the church. We are blessed with an opportunity to write our own modern day version of the Gospels, telling our story and how being active participants in the body of Christ we grew in our relationship not only with Christ but with others within the body of Christ; we became messengers for God to those of little faith. We each have a responsibility, a mission, a journey and that is to continue each day to make Christ real in our lives; share his grace so that others may know what God’s salvation is really about. We have the ultimate responsibility to be the church right where we are; it is about our personal relationship with Christ and being the example to others who strive to have the same relationship with Christ. Be a vessel/or messenger of God in someone life today. We are all called to be priests.

Sing Praise to the Lord

It has been way too long since I last blogged.

Lately I have been thinking a lot about trials, storms, desert and just feeling alone.

My latest Facebook post was about who are we to questions the trials we come face to face with. I am reminded of the Apostle Paul when he was imprisoned the first time because he freed the slave girl Lydia of her demons. What did Paul and Silas do? They would sing Praises to the Lord.

Doing this is easier said than done. I am human after all. When faced with difficult situations I need to remember; don’t become emotional. Listen intently, find the lesson or opportunity I need to learn and always, give the praise and glory to the Lord because he has a message for me. By allowing these things to happen we are putting faith and trust in the Lord. We allow him to help us through any situation we may be faced with. I believe the Lord will carry me through the valley. He is going to find the way for us.

He knows of all our needs. This is why we need to learn and have more trust and faith in the Lord. Sure, we are going to fall but it is an opportunity to grow.

Phillipians 4:13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

Rely on him and remember give ALL THINGS to the Lord good and bad. Seek out the glorious gifts of life lessons the Lord has in store for each of us.

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Unconditional Love =Forgiveness

Young relationships have a lot to learn about forgiveness and unconditional love. The greatest gift any child could give a parent is when they call and say, “I get it, I understand what unconditional love is.”

So let’s talk about the truth, forgiveness and saying I’m sorry.

John 8:32 Then you will know the truth and the truth shall set you free.

The truth can set us free. I use this statement to discuss the importance of forgiveness. Asking for forgiveness and forgiving.

Recently I ran into my husband with a laundry cart at the Laundromat. First words out of my mouth was, “I’m sorry.” this statement was the nudge I needed to write about forgiveness and how this relates to unconditional love.

No matter the situation when you say I’m sorry you are asking for forgiveness. I have found recently I have been saying these words a lot because even though my words are unintentional I do not like to cause pain to a person. If I see someone hurting, I want to help by wishing I could absorb their pain. So I say I’m sorry you feel this way is there anything I can do to help ease the pain. This is a way of showing someone empathy and compassion.

I have also found that when you show empathy a person is more likely to trust you and will allow you to take a sneak peak into their heart. Unconditional love, allowing the person to have ownership of their feelings which leads to the beginning of healing.

In 2006 I wrote, “Often times this is how forgiveness works, having the power to forgive without being asked is a sign of unconditional love for others.”

Have you ever had to forgive someone with out them asking for forgiveness? For me this was the hardest thing to do in my life. I had a person in my life who was very abusive to me and one day with the help of my loving congregation I learned who to set myself free and I ended up saying out loud I forgive you.  There was a long list of people I had to forgive, those who disappointed me and not being there for me when they should have been. The ones who assumed they knew what I was going through and called me horrible names. I learn my normal was not normal at all, I was living the life of being a victim. one day my Pastor’s wife pointed out to me I was living my life as a victim and when was I going to allow God to take over the healing and move forward. The first step was to forgive my abusers. Once I did this I felt for the first time I was set free. I would make strives to serve the Lord and teach others the importance of forgiving.

Ephesians 4:32 Be Kind and compassionate to one another forgive each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Jesus is our example of mercy and unconditional love as our relationship with Jesus grows we want to become more like him.

Two Point

  1. Ask for forgiveness to be forgiven will allow us to unload those burdens.
  2. To give forgiveness is to be set free.

I building a relationship with Christ we want to be more Christ like. We become a better person by making changes . Remember what God did for us.

John 3:16 “for God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal love”

This example of God’s love demonstrates unconditional love and forgiveness.

We believe that there are sins that are so horrible and we will never find the grace of God’s love however in Psalms 103:12 As far from the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

Remember to Say I’m sorry and forgive just as the Lord would want us to do with a spirit of unconditional love.

Salvation

For some reason this topic has been on my mind a lot lately; I have also been reading a lot from the book of Psalms especially from Psalms 51. (David wrote Psalms 51) This is one of the critical points when king David has realized everything he had done was for his own selfish need. He sinned by having an affair with Bathsheba and then he also had her husband murdered and covered it up.

King David did horrible things but here is where he begins to ask for forgiveness:

 Psalms 51:2 “Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from sin.”

We are familiar with the story of King David and his short comings yet the Lord still used him for His purpose.  How? by showing us his mercy and love by forgiving King David for his sins.

So, thinking about ourselves; we have days we are just on top of the world; we don’t miss a step and keep on walking forward with the plan to please the Lord. Reminding ourselves of our true purpose. Then one day we will sin, sin is a little word with a huge impact, it means the same as doing something wrong which is against anything you believe to be righteous and true. I know I fall short on a daily basis; falling short could be as simple thinking a thought which is inappropriate or wishfully thinking harm would fall upon someone.

When we were born; we were born with sin. Our natural tendencies are for our own selfish ways rather than to please the Lord. When Jesus died on the cross he took on all our sin for our own salvation. King David didn’t have this at the time; he had to turn to the Lord himself. I can imagine him on his knees praying these words to the Lord.

Psalms 51: 10-12 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a stead fast spirit within me

11) Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.

12) Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me.

With our salvation; we ask for forgiveness by praying through “His son Jesus Christ.” We can become free of sin once we ask for forgiveness and truly want this forgiveness. God wants to have a close relationship with us and the only way to prevent the crushing wave of guilt is to ask for his forgiveness. By doing this we are also building our relationship with Christ and this is where the foundation for salvation begins.

So when we find ourselves distant from the Lord this is the time we want to remember:

  1. We turned away from Him (Through sin)
  2. God has proven time and again he will mercifully forgive us
  3. Salvation comes through accepting Christ as our savior
  4. Ask for repentance

Remember Jesus’ words

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only So, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Hello Family and Friends!! I am Here blogging!!

Today I was able to spend time with my oldest son. While I was with him I had the opportunity to discuss my first blog. So here it is a brief introduction:

I am a daughter, sister, wife and mother along with many other titles. First and foremost I am a child of God. On November 11, 2006 I accepted Jesus as my savior. This was my Easter. I remember the days leading up to this night; I was sprawled on the floor in front of the cross asking for Lord to change me from the inside out. The changes he has made and continues to make have been challenging and comforting. It has also brought me to have a closer understanding of my relationship with Christ and my relationship with my husband.

I am not an expert in theology however I feel with life experiences I’ve grown to have an understanding of my relationship with the Lord. This has allowed me to deliver a message of hope, inspiration, faith and trust.

I am so looking forward to sharing and being a vessel for the Lord’s message.

Philippians 4:13 (NIV)  I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

My next blog will be about why I choose “Waiting at the Well” for my page. Read John chapter 4 “Jesus talks to a woman at the well”