What about me??

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My silly grandbabies make me smile!

Woke up this morning with a question I have been hesitant to face; that question being, ‘What about me?’ I believe that some of the reason I have not wanted to face this question is partly because I have been a pretty selfish person my whole life; yet I have neglected the good for me most of the time. Being a part of the kingdom of God on top of it, the push to think of others better than yourself only adds to the confusion and guilt of even thinking for a moment about what is good for me; so I defer these selfish thoughts.

A little background about my life the last couple of years, I have been my husbands caregiver for the last two years since his stroke, and although I have been grateful to be able to do this for him, it has had some negative effects on him and me. For example, I have strangely enough come to see him as almost my child. I live in constant worry and fear that something is going to happen to him; projecting this pert near hysteria onto him does nothing to help the situation. He is a 57 year old man that can do almost anything and yet I act like he is going to get hurt at every corner and the impact it is having on both of us is not good.

Then comes the moments when I get tired of taking care of him; I get angry at him for needing me and I want to run away from it all. I am just being honest which I believe is important to my sanity. These thoughts come with incredible guilt, shame and horror for that is not who I am. I thrive when I get to help others; something that even through all the chaos of my life has always been there. The worst part about it I believe though is that he is my husband, not my child. This is already hard enough for him without me treating him like something he is not; and getting mad at him when he gets upset about his situation like he did it on purpose. Life throws some tough situations at us; and learning how to deal with those blows are a part of life that is definitely not easy; but every time I walk through them, the lessons are invaluable. I am just tired of learning. Yeah I said it. I sometimes wish that I could just jump in an RV and take off across the country and get away from it all!

Now that I have exposed all those ugly thoughts, I end up back at my title. I believe that part of the lessons I am about to learn have to do with finding a balance. I constantly hear in my heart, ‘What about you Lisa? You matter too. You cannot help him if you feel tired all the time and don’t set aside time from your busy life to rest your mind and take care of yourself!’ I fight back those thoughts with, ‘I don’t have time for that. My husband, my job, my whatever needs me all the time; so I can’t be bothered by that. Besides that is selfish; and that is not being a good christian woman taking time out for myself. Others better than ourselves right?’ Down they go until next time!

My husband and I are about to go through an amazing transformation yet again. It is not going to be easy by no means; but it is long past due. I need to be able to let myself do things for me that make me happy and feel better. It is not selfish but necessary to do that from time to time. Being a caregiver is a blessing in and of itself; however, being a wife is an even bigger blessing. As my husband and I are about to celebrate 15 years of being married, I have discovered that the longer you are married doesn’t necessarily make things easier, it just takes away a lot of the surprises in each others behavior. We are both transitioning into our golden years, and it is tough. I know our 50’s are still relatively young, but it still incorporates things into a person they didn’t have just ten years ago, which for some can be quite traumatic.

Being able to take care of oneself while being a caregiver/wife can be quite overwhelming and difficult, but I am willing to learn and figure out what is healthy and what is not. Self care I believe is vital to the care I give to my husband as it will keep me calm, patient and centered. My Lord saw the significance of getting off alone, and if I want to take any examples from Him it should be that. Sometimes I need to go for a walk by myself, or go grocery shopping by myself, or whatever. Vegging out in front of the TV is not a centering process; nor is it a place to rest my mind. I can’t say this is going to be easy for I have become somewhat set in my ways in regards to a comfort zone and program for life; however, thankfully I don’t have a really hard time with change and that is something to be grateful for.

Grace and peace,

Lisa

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Easy for you to say!

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Something that has been heavily on my mind lately, I had to share, because it is something I am seriously trying to stop doing. That is giving my opinion about how to handle life situations. My husband and I have been going through some pretty tough times in that we have put off truly dealing with the fact that he had a stroke for two years, and now it is coming to a head. Nothing is more unproductive in someone’s life than to give an opinion about an issue one knows nothing about. I am being forced to learn how to practice the power of presence for someone that is going through things I have yet to experience, and that simply just need an ear or a shoulder maybe. It is not a very easy task to do.

I believe a lot of it stems from a sincere desire to help someone out of whatever it is they may be suffering from; however, maybe that is a life lesson they need to learn, and by helping them escape it only prolongs the life experience outcome. It is easy for me to say do this or do that; try this or try that; but I see that as a way of dismissing someone from something they may need to experience or the shocker, ‘Would you get over it already!’ Of course without saying that directly.

I will use myself as an example: I am probably 65 lbs over weight; diabetes runs in my family along with obesity, and yet I continue on the path of self-destruction with my bad eating habits, sedentary life style and cigarettes. Now many people can tell me just stop eating like that; or you know cigarettes are gonna kill you; well duh! I didn’t know that! Bless my husbands heart I get to see what true love is really like. Every now and then he will speak up about my need to exercise or eat better, but for the most part, he is constantly telling me he loves me and is just quiet about it. He will encourage me to eat better things and get me to go for walks or hikes; but then I eventually reject all of that; get in a pity party about how many things I don’t get to do and it is off to the races. I start laying around; eating all kinds of crap, etc etc!

I have decided that life is a game with it’s rules being made up as you go. You play by the rules sometimes, and you might win with a long fun filled life then go to your grave with rave reviews in your eulogy about how much good you did while you were here; hence the reason you got to live such a long life. Then you have the lazy, trouble maker who had no chance from the beginning, and just never could quite get it right; but was quick to look into the eyes of another sojourner that most people hide their eyes from and tell them they matter until finally they succumb to their absence of bodily concern, and die alone without any pomp or glamour.

What is my point in saying all that depressing stuff you say? It is that until we get more in tune with each other and start once again looking each other in the eyes rather than a screen; (or behind one), this game of life is going to get tougher and tougher. It is not easy for me to say my life is one big ball of crap, as that is a sure fire way to send someone tuck tail and running away from me. No one has any time for gloom and doom these days! We get enough of that on the TV. I beg to differ in that it seems that behind every story, there is a soul that needed exactly what I am talking about. Those not so cool kids that everyone shuns may just be the next one that creates havoc in our local elementary school or club. Sometimes it’s not so easy to simply say, ‘I’m here!’ Rather than how can I help you fix it so we, or I can move on! Sometimes things take time which is what many of do not have enough of. It truly is a special time of rejuvenating the human interaction because I am concerned that if we don’t; really sad things are going to continue to happen that will have us all in a perpetual state of fear and distrust that we may actually turn into humans living by nothing but instinct.

It is like my own personal roller coaster ride in life; the one thing that I am discovering brings me into a state of excitement and encouragement is when I am participating with other humans! Especially those that just simple need an ear, or a hug! That is when I am able to care about myself too which is a good thing. Imagine all those that just need a reason to care about themselves. Is everyone going to respond to an open heart towards them, unfortunately not; however the response may be amazing if we each just start with one person at a time. It is not that cool or easy to care about other souls outside of our little bubbles; and for those who only see people as a potential church proselyte, please keep that stuff to yourself. Jesus never saw me that way, and I no longer see people that way either! I only see them as a beloved child of God that needs love and kindness; not a message of hope with a threat of hell attached on the other end.

Maybe then we will see some real change that lasts. When we start bringing some heaven into people’s hell right here, right now!

Thanks for listening!

Grace and peace,

Lisa

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Be still and know that I am depressed!

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It is a very difficult subject to discuss; and quite frankly most people tuck tail and run if someone even tries to bring up the subject. I think many people suffer from depression, yet somehow find a way to disguise it or act like it is not there. I personally don’t suffer from it, but I am a loved one of someone who does; and I gotta tell you, sometimes I am not sure who it is more difficult for – the person suffering or the one sitting helplessly with them as they work their way through it!

Depression is not something to be feared and certainly not ignored. It can strike anyone, even a child of God. It is definitely not something that can be swept under the rug, or treated as something that is not valid; for I know from personal experience that it is a very real, dark and scary situation for someone and their loved one. So many questions can arise in ones mind both on the sufferer and the caretaker. It takes a lot of patience and sincere love to learn how to deal with someone who is suffering from depression, but it is a much needed lesson in ones life to be able to ride it out together. Loving someone that suffers from depression is an incredible journey of learning what true love is all about. It is lessons of being helpless and yet needed; walking through hours or sometimes days of anger, frustration and tears waiting for something to give. Not knowing what the outcome of the session will be, it is a time of fear like none other; both for the sufferer and the loved one.

Over the years, one of the best lessons I have learned is how to be quiet, still and wait. The most effective assistance I can give is to be ready to rejoice with my loved one when it is over; however long it may take. Oh, believe me it was a hard lesson learned and many tears have been shed; many doors have been slammed; many pints of whiskey have been been drunk; only to come to the conclusion that the greatest triumph over dealing with a depressed soul is to be still and know that they are depressed. If they want to talk – listen! If they want to shout – listen! Sometimes nothing but an adoring look; a look of compassion with eyes that say, ‘I am here if you need me’ is the best we can do for our loved one!

People who suffer from depression do not need a pill, (some people may need that; I am not anti-medication), or to be fixed by whatever we can dream up to get rid of something that is inconveniencing us to be quite honest! What those people need the most in my opinion is assurance, patience, love and compassion. It is easy to offer advice to those that suffer if you do not experience it; however, it is not so easy to be still and walk through the darkness with them; holding a hand that may not want to be held; waiting for them to walk back into the light of their lives, and carry on!

If you know someone that suffers from depression, please next time you see them, give them a hug and let them know that you are there if they need you. Maybe together we can help change even just one life for someone who doesn’t think anyone is paying attention!

God bless you all and let’s keep our eyes open to those who need a hug! Who knows, maybe one day it could be you or someone you love!

Grace and peace to you…..Lisa

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A little sanctuary!

DSCN0016So even though I have not posted in a long time, I could not continue to ignore the Spirit urging me to sit down and write this morning. Last night, I was looking at something from the book of Ezekiel that I had heard from our brother Paul White, and next thing I knew, I just continued reading. I am so grateful that I am not confused about the God of the old testament any more, and I believe because of that, I can see so many amazing things about Him that just seem to get missed for some reason.

Take the title of this blog for example. As I was reading, I noticed the things about the wheels and the cherubim, and all that stuff that gets put to the forefront as a means to justify so many misinterpretations about what the heck is going on today, that the precious little meaningful nuggets get neglected or passed over. I am referring to chapter 11 of Ezekiel, verses 13-20. I will type it out, and then say a few more things about it.

Now it happened, while I was prophesying that Pelatiah the son of Benaiah died. Then I fell on my face and cried with a loud voice, and said, “Ah, Lord God! Will you make a complete end of the remnant of Israel?” Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, your brethren, your relatives, your countrymen, and all the house of Israel in it’s entirety, are those about whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, ‘Get far away from the Lord; this land has been given to us as a possession.’ Therefore say, “Although I have cast them far off among the Gentiles, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet I shall be a little sanctuary for them in the countries where they have gone.”

Therefore say, “Thus says the Lord God: ‘I will gather you from the peoples, assemble you from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel’ And they will go there, and will take away all it’s detestable things and all it’s abominations from there. Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statutes and keep My judgments and do them; and they shall be my people and I will be their God.

Whew! I know that is a mouthful, and there is a lot of context that would need to be discussed; however I just wanted to point out a couple things that had me laying in bed marveling at what a loving Father the children of Israel had, and we have today. Did you catch that part about ‘I shall be a little sanctuary for them’? That one little phrase touched my heart so deeply, I seriously could not go to sleep for quite a few hours last night. It made me think about the situation my husband and I are in, and how many would assume that we are out in the wilderness living a backslidden life of debauchery and wantonness; but how wrong they would be. We are encompassed about by that little sanctuary, (who is not so little btw), every moment of every day. My Father is always aware of when I perhaps need a little encounter with an incredibly tender dad, who is ready, willing and able to shoot a little nugget my way. The days of looking for justifying an angry God are way past over, and the ministry of reconciliation is long past over due.

The second beautiful part about this group of scriptures is the last verse. He comforts the prophet Ezekiel by telling him that when they return and get rid of all the distractions, He will give them one heart by removing the stony one, (indicative of the law), and giving them a new one along with a new spirit. Oh the amazing grace and mercy of our Father. It is only then that they can follow His statues and judgments which are not the big ten or the other 603 laws and ordinances. It will be a walk of faith and trust in the only one we can trust. Faith cannot be defined by a list of laws because as we should know by now thanks to the bible, the law only brought the knowledge of sin; it could not make us righteous or obedient. I love the analogy Andrew Farley used on a teaching about myths I listened to this morning. It was a picture of a sign that said no shooting allowed in a particular area of the forest. Can you guess what the sign was full of? Yes, bullet holes. A lot of good that sign did. Just like there were a remnant of Israelites that realized they could never fully obey that thing, and God saw their heart towards Him, and promised them good; so it is today with many saints that realize they too needed a new heart and spirit, and received it by faith in the one who defeated death, and rose again with abundant life for those who trust in what He provided for us once for all. Our Father is not to be feared even when reading the old testament. To be quite honest, when I read the stories of the children of Israel’s antics, I seriously can’t blame Him even if He did get angry.

I encourage every saint to read the old testament through the eyes of Jesus, and I promise that you will see a very different God than the angry wrathful one who has to kill something to be appeased. All He wanted was a relationship with His sons and daughters personally. He really is a very loving, patient, caring and amazing Father; and we can see that if we do not do what many of the children of Israel did and have eyes but do not see, and ears but do not hear. People can be wrong in their understanding all the time! I know I have been wrong about many things regarding my Father; but thankfully, He has been patient and kind enough to move me in the right direction so that I can see Him more and more clearly as we walk side by side each day!

Just wanted to share my recent encounter with my amazing God. Would love to hear yours. Leave a reply. I am going to start writing again as there are so many stories to tell, especially when they are fresh! Grace and Peace to all in Jesus Christ our Lord! Lisa

P.S. I am not trying to be provocative; I am simply trying to get people to think and read it for yourself. I don’t blame you for not wanting to read about a bunch of rules you can’t keep or an angry God who is ready to smite everyone and send them to hell; just to be contradicted by His Son. No wonder it is not interesting and hopelessly contradicting. The people that wrote the bible were real people going through real things, and they only had so much room to write about events taking place in their day. It’s ok to be wrong or misunderstand; however, it is not ok to shut people off or discount their take on things just because it does not line up with traditions of men we have put many years of trust in. Our Father is not put off by that. In fact, that is what it means to repent; change your mind about Him, and oh how He will open the floodgates of your understanding and you will truly be showered in the amazing grace and truth that came through Jesus Christ! Let the Holy Spirit lead! We can trust Him because we can trust Jesus right? Blessings!

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The captain!

 

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Hello all. Long time no blog! I have been incredibly busy with taking care of my husband post stroke; doing a career change into medical billing and coding; working a full time job; and made yet another attempt to go back into a building to try and hang out with brothers and sisters, only to find that nothing has changed. The sit down, shut up and listen aura is still alive and well much to my consternation. I must say what did happen through it all is that I have been reading my bible once again, and oh what a joy it is to be comforted not only by the saints of old, but by the Lord Himself in His amazing dialogue with the saints as babes.

So where does my title come from you may be asking? It comes from the book of Hebrews, ( an amazing summation of what God did for all of humanity in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ by the way; yet the least studied book I’ve noticed so far), and tucked in there are the words, “The captain of there salvation”! There is a lot of amazing context surrounding it, but those words sent me on a journey of what is it that a captain does exactly. I went to a picture of a sea captain, and what his duties entail on a ship. The captain is totally responsible for everything that happens on the vessel he is on; things like delegating the tasks to be done; who is to man what station; and should any emergencies arise, it is ultimately his responsibility to take charge of the situation and ensure a safe and effective outcome to whatever that situation might be. Can you see it? How beautiful the statement becomes when we think of our Jesus; and what an amazing Captain He is. What do the crew members do and the guests on the ship? The crew members have already been assigned their duties and once the ship is out to sea, they get to rest and take care of the guests and their needs. The guests just rest the entire time; enjoying all the benefits of what the captain has orchestrated for them during their trip on that ship. It is important to the captain of the ship to walk among the guests to check on them, and to interact with them to see for himself that they are well taken care of and enjoying their voyage; then it is back to his station of being a captain.

A good captain always knows exactly what is going on and has a clear and precise plan for how the ship is going to get where it is going and then return to it’s original port. He is not easily distracted from that plan by bad weather or problems that come up; and part of being a great captain is already having a plan for any issues that may come up.

This is the captain of my salvation that I have come to know. I will admit, I have not always agreed with or liked His plan of action for a few situations; but ultimately I have come to discover that how I would have handled it would have been far worse that His way. I have come to trust my Captain; and in that trust I find love and grace in any of my times of need. He is a good Captain; one of whom I am grateful to be part of His crew. Do you know this captain? If not then let’s talk!

Peace be with you and grace upon grace. You are loved!

Lisa

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Finding Thanksgiving!

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Well it is that time of the year again! And what a year it has been! Lots of life stuff happened that is making it kinda tough to find Thanksgiving; but here goes!

I am thankful that I still get to climb in bed with my husband every night and cuddle; and after 14 years together I still get goose bumps feeling his warm body next to mine! I get to play with my little dog noodle still who is going on 17 years old. Even with half of one eye being able to see, and ears that don’t hear, she still runs around like a puppy at times bringing great joy to a heavy, heavy heart! I am thankful that I get to cook for my mother in law another year, and make her the thing she waits all year to eat – ambrosia; and her heart is a happy one.

I am thankful for my grandchildren that bring me joy every time I get to visit with them; and teach me things about life and love only children can. Being able to be a part of them overcoming little fears in life, and sharing in their excitement when they conquer it is something that one will cherish for a lifetime. Teaching them things about life like being real, asking questions, and not being afraid to take chances is the joy of any grandparent for sure.

What I am most grateful for is having a friend and Father that has brought me to a place of comfort and relaxation I never thought I could have, yet searched for my whole life! It has been a season of truly learning how to trust Him; ask Him the super hard questions; and even be afforded the opportunities to be angry with Him. Extremely angry! Regardless of what my life experiences have been this year, I am discovering it has been a method I would not have chosen to bring light to some of the things I have picked up along my road of living. I was blinded and lost a few years; but even that has proven to be an integral part of my growing up; so much so, that I can not be blinded or the real me hidden under a basket ever again. I have been taught that I am a special, one of a kind creature that can and should only be me. People will either love me or hate me; but one thing I know for sure is: I can’t please all the people all the time, but I gotta be me!

So I reckon finding Thanksgiving wasn’t that bad. Just to let you know a little about this year, (and this is not to put a damper on everything I just wrote), my husband had a stroke, my mother-in-law had to have surgery in which cancer was found again, and my uncle just died. So my take away from these experiences is something my husband likes to tell me whenever things in life get hard: Chance and circumstance happen to us all, but those who trust in the Lord will find strength! My husband has been an amazing example to me once again through all of the trauma he just went through. Never once did he say out loud anyway, or ask: ‘Why did you do this to me Lord?!’ He is an amazing man even though he still struggles with believing it! And with that I will end this with a great big thank you Father for my husband and my life!

Happy Thanksgiving precious ones!

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Can you spare some change!

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Oh boy I haven’t blogged in quite some time; but I feel it would be a good idea to do it and get some more exposure for our charity page. See, on July 5th I came home from work to find my husband calling out to me from the bathroom. What I found was probably every spouse’s worst nightmare; that being my husband laying on the floor unable to get up on his own. The poor baby was soaking wet, and I have no idea how long he had been there, all I knew is that it was a situation in which I needed to call an ambulance immediately. Especially after trying to help him up and he just rolled on his left arm like it was not even there. It was a terrifying experience I pray not to deal with again anytime soon; as I am sure it was for him as well. I can only thank God that I got off of work early that particular day; because it could have been much worse.

It turns out that my very healthy athletic husband had a heart problem that landed him a stroke on the right side of his brain which affected the left side of his body. In hindsight, he was having some symptoms of it already, ie. numbness in the left jaw and a bit of uncontrolled drooling, to which we just kind of shrugged it off to being apart of some neck issues he was having. If I cannot say it loud enough and long enough, here it is:

NEVER IGNORE ANY TYPE OF SIGNS LIKE NUMBNESS, CONFUSION, ESPECIALLY DROOLING, BECAUSE THEY ARE A SIGN OF A BRAIN ATTACK OR STROKE!

There is a period of time that an ischemic stroke can be prevented, (an ischemic stroke is permanent and life altering), however, it is only like an hour window, so pleeeease if you have any of those symptoms, get to the hospital! You can either a little now for a false alarm, or pay a lot more later for not checking. Unfortunately, my husband and I did not pay attention to his body signals. I mean he is only 55 years old for crying out loud! who would’ve thunk he would have a major stroke at that age!

So, it is very difficult for both of us to be in a spot that we need to ask for some help, but unfortunately here we are. He does have his own business of which I am going to try and do as often as I can, but I also have a full-time job which is where our health insurance comes from. Thank God for that! I am taking off two months right now to take him to follow up appointments and things like that, as he only has the full use of his right arm. Another thank God is in order for that because he is right handed; however, go try and live using only one hand for a bit; then you will understand the difficulty and frustration such an able bodied man can experience.

So I have said all that to say this: We could really use some financial assistance right now in whatever amount you can spare! Sharing our page is also very helpful to bring it more exposure, and possibly some funds. It seems like a trivial matter in comparison to the flooding in LA right now and fires in CA; however just as an incredible need is to them in their lives, we have a serious one as well. I know somehow we will make it through; and as I said, even just a few bucks for toilet paper, or gas will be a huge blessing. I also have a paypal account if anyone does not want to go through GoFundme. So let me thank you in advance, and of course all prayers are welcomed and encouraged as well. Please, if you cannot contribute, then sharing our page and story will be awesome!

Many blessings of love and peace! George and Lisa Miller

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Fear of grace!

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In Him we live and move and have our being! He makes all things beautiful!

I clearly remember when a youngster brought us the understanding of grace some 5 years ago, and oh man! I accused him of having a demon; and felt such fear and terror that I would be responsible for causing people to go out and sin their butts off, (myself included)! Lucky for me I have a husband who already had enough discernment to realize that something about the way our relationship with God was going was in some way hindered by what we were hearing in a normal church setting; and Jesus totally used him to calm my nerves and together we searched these things out in the bible.

Verses like God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself, not counting men’s sins against them…For He made Him who knew no sin to BE sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God, (II Cor. 5:19,21), came alive to me and made me feel like I had been born again all over! The fact that there really is no condemnation for those who are in Christ became my reality, and the grace and love I experienced was amazing. I was so excited to discover that my Father was not ready to cast me out of the kingdom every time I blew it was very liberating; and of course I was eager to share it with those brothers and sisters who claimed the name of Christ! I truly understood the love of God was what I had been searching for my whole life the day I got saved; yet this was the icing on my spiritual cake I so desperately needed as well. To understand that it was His grace all along that was changing me from the inside out, and teaching me to deny ungodliness rather than my feeble attempts to be a good little christian fell by the wayside; and He filled me with that hope I had read about so many times, but never could quite get a hold of.

The sad part about this wonderful experience is that those who do proclaim the name of Christ are still stuck in that place I was in the beginning. Being responsible for people’s sin is a huge part of modern day theological teaching, which I completely understand it, as I was there. That is how I came to the conclusion that many people are afraid of teaching grace as it shared in the bible by brother Paul, yet grace and truth came through Jesus Christ! But what does that mean? Wouldn’t Paul, having been taught the gospel by Christ Himself out in the desert be able to say with confidence that His grace truly is enough? It’s funny how some people I have tried to speak to about it have come at me with the same statement that was made to brother Paul in Romans 6: Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Fully understanding grace can be scary at first, however, it can also freeing! Some folks may take advantage of it for a time and some may not! I personally found out the hard way, that when Paul said where sin abounded, grace abounded all the more, it was true! I would never encourage anyone to do that; however, whatever it takes to discover this amazing grace, so be it. It is important for me to clarify that when I am speaking of sin, I am not necessarily just referring to behavior, but at the same time my behavior was not consistent with my faith, and anything that is not of faith is sin. Our full discovery of grace brought a lot of heartache with it as far as unity with the brethren goes, and I have discovered that many a saint has suffered the same result. Not making excuses, but this is some of the reason I pushed grace to it’s limits; only to find out it really doesn’t have any! My husband and I are willing to talk it through with you if you need us! Prayerfully the brothers and sisters can pull together and help each other through what can be a long and painful process of having to unlearn all the bogus teaching they have endured for so long!

The Jews were given and interesting statement in the book of Hebrews that many have used and misinterpreted to scare the heck out of the saints; but once you really understand grace and what the sin is the writer was referring to, you will be able to see that there is nothing to fear in grace, but you can insult it. Even then, there is no condemnation if you are in Christ; hopefully just relief that you now understand what is being taught.

This scripture actually addresses the law the Jews had, and urging them to let it and the sacrifices go because the true object of faith had come. And since they were a special people to our Father that had many years of history with Him, they would be used to His straight forward approach with them through the writer of this epistle.

Let’s take a look at this very popular scripture and hopefully get some peace out of it together:

Hebrews 10:26-29: For if we sin willfully after we have received THE KNOWLEDGE OF TRUTH, there no longer remains a SACRIFICE FOR SINS, but a CERTAIN FEARFUL EXPECTATION of judgement, and a fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. Anyone who rejected MOSES’ LAW dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. OF HOW MUCH WORSE PUNISHMENT, DO YOU SUPPOSE, WILL HE BE THOUGHT WORTHY WHO HAS TRAMPLED THE SON OF GOD UNDERFOOT, COUNTED THE BLOOD OF THE COVENANT BY WHICH HE WAS SANCTIFIED A COMMON THING, AND INSULTED THE SPIRIT OF GRACE?

Now reading this scripture at face value, and some having a subconscious motive to keeping people in line, they can appear to be very scary. This is some of the reason that I strongly urge the saints to read the whole book in it’s entirety, always keeping in mind who the writer is talking to. Putting into perspective the sin he is discussing has nothing to do with smoking cigarettes, committing adultery, lying, etc. I mean looking at the verse, it should be obvious that it has to do with being made aware of the knowledge of truth, and rejecting it. How can you know if you are sinning willfully then? Because you have a fearful view of your Father. It does take honesty to admit this and to face up to it. The last thing our Father wants is for us to stay in a perpetual state of fear. There is no love in that! In fact 1 John tells us there is no fear in love, and those who do fear have not been perfected in love. Oops I am getting sidetracked, so let me get back to the verse. The writer is strongly encouraging the Jews to let go of that worthless law and sacrifices that could never take away sin, and enter into the New Covenant that Jesus brought in through HIS blood. Just as a person speaks differently to there children or other family members because of the familiarity they have, so the writer speaks to his brethren in such a manner. I don’t mean to be repetitive, however, I find it beneficial to try and pull folks into the reality of this book, that real people were reading when it came to them; so please forgive me if I tend to repeat myself.

Now what is my point in sharing this story you may be asking? My point is this: Just as the gospel was messed up way back in Martin Luther’s day, and heck, even some 50 years after the death of Christ, the gospel needs a redressing once again. It is time for pastors and teachers to go back into the main message of the bible and find out what it was really saying to those who were addressed in it. Jesus Himself gave us a hint when He was speaking to the guys on the road to Emmaus:

“O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things to enter into His glory?” And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded to them in ALL the scriptures things concerning Himself.

So there is no need to be afraid of grace. Since I have come to a fuller understanding of it by studying the scripture and trying to out sin it, it has brought me to a place of rest that is also mentioned in the book of Hebrews! Grace AND truth came through Jesus Christ, and if we want to be afraid of something, which I pray we don’t, let us be afraid of counting the precious blood of Christ a common thing with our sacrificial confessing and law keeping, rather than resting in the finished work of Christ, and letting His grace teach us to be an extension of Him living through us. Otherwise, we are just walking by the flesh and not the spirit! Hmmmmm! That is a good topic for next time!

Just to be clear, do I think behavior matters? Of course I do! But no manner of fear tactics, nor threats with loss of salvation or hell have caused me to be a different person! It has been nothing but the love and grace of a Father who adores me, and teaches me from the inside out that exacts change in my life and thoughts. Renewing my mind through love, patience, kindness and all those things written about Him in I Cor. 13 is what brings about the fruit of His spirit IN me and through me; not my little train that could attitude!

Grace and peace to you precious ones. You are dearly loved by a Father who really will never leave you nor forsake you no matter what! He gave us new life to be lived, not feared! Walk in that!

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Can you see me?

Iphone big bear 066

What is the first thing you see?

I have always tried to be one who does not complain much; and that is not what I am doing although it may seem so. I have spent a lot of time being angry over all that religion distracted me with. I have not felt like writing or even discussing things about God or Jesus because to put it quite frankly; they pretty much ruined my life.Or so it was easy to think. Why did I have to understand more about my Father and what happened when Jesus was killed, buried and rose again? How come so many beautiful people find it so much more comforting to be a lowly sinner that needs to be sure and watch their P’s and Q’s or else; rather than living a life of freedom in how our Father feels about them and their sin? How long God is it going to take for more people’s eyes to be open to the real gospel, and this amazing love they sing about at their weekly meetings so we can once again start having a hallelujah party together in unity of spirit and love? Why do I constantly feel that it will never happen and spend much of my days sad and frustrated because of the state of your body Lord?

It has been about 5 years since I have been out of a church building, and although all the above questions roll around in my head on a daily basis; another leg of the journey is beginning. I may never get my answers to these questions, however, those answers, although they are constantly pondered are none of my business. Apparently, or I am sure He would have shown me. As the title says, “Can you see me?’, is the question that I am facing myself. Many times in life, for me anyways, the most profound lessons had to be born from something critical occurring; such that it leaves me no choice but to examine what the lesson is to be. When I was younger, I quite frankly could care less about learning anything because I was just me and wild and free. Now that I am older, I have become this stiff overly cautious stick in the mud who actually gets on my own nerves! Can one still be wild and free yet still ponder the lessons to learn from taking risks? I would say yes; but how do we get back there once we have stepped into a paranoid schizophrenic ball of fear, yet still claim being a new creation?

I believe it starts with a question for my Father: ‘Can YOU see me?’ It is easy to say I am a new creation, and I don’t smoke or sleep around anymore; or whatever sin you might be able to manage easily; but what about the funny, sarcastic and unafraid person you were before you met Him? Are we all just supposed to be pious little holy clones, that never say a bad word; and only see others as another notch in our spiritual belts for the kingdom of God. The longer I am on this journey with my Father, the more I understand that none of that is or was His main ambition; but a living breathing relationship with Him even in the midst of my blunders. And how I look at people has changed dramatically as well. Most would be quick to ask me the same question, ‘Can you see me?’ There are so many people in the world right now that are committing suicide, just flat out giving up on themselves and the world around them and going out and shooting up schools because of the hurt and neglect they feel it is practically an everyday news cast. Why is this happening? Is there anything we can do to help or even prevent these things for God’s sake?

My answer is a resounding yes! The minute we at least make an attempt to start asking this question to each other, perhaps it will be the turning point when our eyes are open, and we can once again see each other. Not in the I cannot believe you are doing this or that and how can I help you to stop doing it; but an aura of how can I help if you need it, or man that is an amazing thing that you can do, will you share more with me?

My last little rant is that I am so appalled at what mainstream christianity did to me, that I came to the point where I did not even want to call myself a christian anymore! The Lord however has been letting me know that it is ok with Him to once again be me, and that He enjoys the silly me that He created me to be. And HE is bringing me back to that loving and caring person I have always been, even before I actually knew it was Him that I was talking to. To get back there, it will take time and patience with myself. I just want to be the real me again, so that when someone asks me without asking, ‘Can you see me?’, I will actually be able to say yes! Not by what they are doing or not doing, but because they are a human being like me, that my Father dearly loves more than I ever could!

My husband shared a story with me the other day, and I’ll tell you this little religious issue took a big toll on Him; but praise the Lord He is bringing us around together, back to being who we were created to be prior to being indoctrinated with false humility and a piety that has nothing to do with Lisa and George! He shared with me what a client told him when he came to her house to pick up some items she needed to get rid of because she was moving. She told him he was the kindest man she had ever met, and that my friends is the person God made George to be; and the man that I see hidden underneath a bunch of junk that is being removed even as we speak.

So for me these days, I am not really concerned with the actual behavior of folks, but what might be behind the behavior which may be causing them to do things that are not good for them, as well as the fun they are having that I long to enjoy with them! Life is short, and we do only get one go around; and this saint is tired of living a boring life of analyzing who gets salvation or not. That my friends is no longer my job; but to love as I have been loved is. It is when I finally walk by the spirit of Christ IN ME that I get to live and enjoy all that He has made me to be. One adventure, coming right up!

Just the pondering of a girl named Lisa! Lovin you precious ones!

 

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You’ve got an ‘A’!

I will supply all your needs according to my riches and glory!

I will supply all your needs according to my riches and glory!

What is life as a New Covenant believer like? A simple analogy to describe it would be proclaiming that you have an ‘A’. What do I mean? I can best explain it using my business class I took in college. After explaining to us the plan for the semester, with a big smile, my instructor looks at us all and tells us, “Congratulations ladies and gentlemen, you all have an ‘A’!” At first a feeling of excitement fills the room, and a few whistles and yay’s; but then he drops the bomb on us. Something that sounds too good to be true usually is, and this event was no different. His next line informed us that throughout this semester, depending on our test scores, it would be up to us to keep that ‘A’. The excitement quickly dwindled, and the hard work began. As the semester wore on, and the tests piled up, my ‘A’ didn’t last no matter how hard I tried to keep it. Life gets in the way of studying, and one bad preparation time for an exam, and BOOM! My ‘A’ ended up sinking to a B-. Which is not bad by many standards, but my heart still sunk. I worked so hard, (so I thought), to keep that gift of an ‘A’ only to realize that although it seemed simple, it definitely was not.

When Paul wrote to the Corinthian church that God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself, not counting men’s trespasses against them, and has given us this ministry of reconciliation; what He was really saying is that because of the New Covenant our Father proclaimed and ratified through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we all have an ‘A’. And as believers who understand this, and have received and understood our part in this ministry; it is our complete joy to tell all who will listen that they too have an ‘A’ from God. The difference between what happened in my class and our walk in the New Covenant, is that we do not have to work to keep that ‘A’! Hallelujah!

Unfortunately, what has happened though, is that because the Jewish law has been put in the bible, and many teachers believe it is God’s moral standard for all mankind, many a saint is duped into thinking that they can lose that ‘A’ so they have to work to keep it. This simply is not the case. Why you ask? Because upon careful study of the Jews relationship with the Lord under the law, you will quickly see that they couldn’t keep that ‘A’ under the Old Covenant, which is why He had to make a new one. They actually asked for a setup like the illustration I gave with my instructor and didn’t even come out with a ‘B’. Just like I imagined in my mind that I was going to keep that ‘A’, however well-intentioned I was at the time, the Jews told Moses, ‘All that He has said, we will do!’ Meaning they were going to keep the Ten Commandments! Sadly enough they didn’t even make it 40 days. Check it out and keep this illustration in mind; it gives me a chuckle to think about it.

Anyways, the beautiful thing about the whole situation is that our Father was not mad, He mainly wanted us to see that the eternal ‘A’ He gives us in our life in Christ only involves realizing that we can never lose it because it is His ‘A’, not ours! We are forever a teacher’s pet, if you will! Ha! And as ministers of reconciliation, we get the honor of running around letting people, (not necessarily just believers), that they too have an ‘A’ with the Father. Our great teacher Jesus Christ, tells us every day from the inside what an awesome student we are; and although we may not FEEL like we are living in an ‘A’ status with Him, or even like we don’t deserve one; He will always remind us that we do and will always have an ‘A’! Thank you Jesus!

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have BECOME new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was IN Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not reckoning their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin FOR us, that we might become the righteousness of God IN Him.” ~ I Cor. 5:17-21

That’s right saints! We are the righteousness of God in Christ, and He definitely has an ‘A’!

Peace out precious ones!….Lisa

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