Christian Mentors, College age women, Moms, Parents, Public Speaking, Stay at Home Moms, Teachers, Uncategorized, women, Women's Ministries, Writers

Weaponized Prayer…

“Weaponized Christianity” ~ This phrase has been spoken about quite a bit in the news lately, because of various outspoken people who also hold public office. There are a ton of Christians coming out against some of these people saying that their public prayers/actions are unbiblical and that they are “offensive to everyone”, Christians and non-Christians alike.
But the statement that pops out to me the most is with the phrase, ‘weaponized prayer’.
But isn’t that what prayer is supposed to be?
Prayer is THE weapon to fight EVERY spiritual battle.
A battle entails weapons and we have to have the right weapons to fight a battle. To fight a spiritual battle we must be fully dressed in the FULL armor of God.
The famous phrase from one of my all time favorite movies, Princess Bride, comes to mind here: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
To weaponize means: to supply or equip with a weapon or weapons; 
to develop for use as a weapon. 
A weapon is: any instrument or device for use in attack or defense in combat, fighting, or war, as a sword, rifle, or cannon. 
When facing any kind of battle, be it physical or spiritual, there can be a good amount of fear or hesitation. John 14:1 is a beautiful encouragement as we prepare to engage in battle.  “”Do not let your heart be troubled (afraid, cowardly). Believe [confidently] in God and trust in Him, [have faith, hold on to it, rely on it, keep going and] believe also in Me.”
As followers of Christ, we need to stand firm and not be intimidated by how the world says we should act. The world (and even some Christians) says that we shouldn’t be specific in stating our biblical beliefs and spiritual perspectives. That we shouldn’t run the risk of offending people by talking about Jesus. That we need to be inclusive of how everyone chooses to live and keep our ideas to our self.
It is truly not a surprise to me anymore that people simply come undone at the mention of the Name of Jesus! We all should! It has more power than we even have the ability to comprehend.
But let’s get back to the idea of weaponizing prayer!  Come on!!!  This is exactly what we do every time we are obedient to put on the full armor of God. Ephesians 6 gives us the tools that we need to be equipped to fight the spiritual battles arounds us and prayer is the supply chain leading us to the One who gives us the ability to attack our enemy, the Devil.
PEOPLE ARE NOT THE ENEMY!!  THE DEVIL IS THE ENEMY!!
There are so many people saying how Christ came to unite and not to divide. And I do not think there is actually anything biblical about that statement. The only unification that Christ came to bring was to unify a fallen world back to Him.
In the verse below, we see how absolute Jesus was about what we need to do to be saved. He does not talk about a variety of divergent paths that all lead to one single destination. His word does not encourage the reader to “find their own truth.” He is extremely clear on the ONE path to salvation ~ John 14:6, in Jesus’ own words make an incredibly strong statement. Just one of the many times He spoke truth in love, “Jesus said to him, “ I am the [only] Way [to God] and the [real] Truth and the [real] Life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.””
He came and died and rose again so that we would be reconciled back to Him. In doing so, He gave us the freedom to either choose Him and His way of salvation or not to choose Him and end up being eternally separated from Him.
Essentially, we are given the choice to divide ourselves out of His presence by not submitting to His plan of salvation. When Jesus was on the earth, He was absolutely the most divisive figure in history. And I think He still is.
He was divisive because He challenged people to lay down their own desires and their own ideas of how they thought life should be and choose to follow Him. To surrender ourselves to Him is to separate ourselves from the selfishness that a sin-nature brings out in people. In this way, Jesus was so divisive that people of that day, chose to have Barabbas (an extremely violent felon who had committed murder; Mark 15:7-15) saved from death on the cross and instead put Jesus there.
They wanted to crucify Jesus because he told the truth
and people couldn’t handle the truth.
We haven’t come too far from those people, have we?
Back in Ephesians 6, I counted all the words that even remotely have to do with weapons/weaponizing, and found at least 22 (depending on your Bible translation, you might find more):
* be strong  * strength  * be empowered  * power  * boundless might  * armor 
* heavily-armed  * stand up against  * struggle  * successfully resist  * stand your ground  * stand firm  * fully prepared  * immovable  * victorious  * face the enemy  * firm-footed stability  * protective shield  * extinguish flaming arrows  * sword 
* stay alert  * interceding
Here’s the key to all of these action words regarding our battle and the weapons we have ~ they are all found in the Lord. They are not found within us naturally. Ephesians 6:10 says, “In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [draw your strength from Him and be empowered through your union with Him] and in the power of His [boundless] might.”
Only through our union with Him, our obedience to follow His path for our life, and our determination to fight the spiritual battles that come our way alongside the Lord, will we be able to walk through this life victorious.
{If you have never read through Ephesians 6, especially verses 10-20,
please take a moment to do that today ~ it’s totally worth it!!}
As a follower of Jesus Christ, yes we are called to speak truth in love, and to love our neighbor as our self, to show kindness and grace to those around us. But we are absolutely called to be warriors for the Kingdom. And it is absolutely possible to battle lovingly! Ephesians 6:12 reminds us that the battle is a spiritual one ~ and believe me from my own experience…spiritual battles are real…they are no joke! That’s why we have to be aware!!
Just as we are not to use prayer as a disguise for gossip, we are not to use prayer against others. Ephesians 6: 18 instructs this, “With all prayer and petition pray [with specific requests] at all times [on every occasion and in every season] in the Spirit, and with this in view, stay alert with all perseverance and petition [interceding in prayer] for all God’s people.”
Stand firm in the faith of your salvation to speak God’s truth. Use the spiritual weapons we have been given through the Holy Spirit, and He will absolutely lead you into the battles that are yours to fight. And when you are tempted to back-bite against other Christians, check yourself, check scripture, pray about it…and more than likely, you will end up not speaking out. Remember, the battles we fight the most are spiritual. And what better way for the Devil to cause Christians to be divided against each other but to have us go to war with each other.
As Paul states in Ephesians 6:19-20, and it should be the same prayer for all of us, “And pray for me, that words may be given to me when I open my mouth, to proclaim boldly the mystery of the good news [of salvation], for which I am an ambassador in chains. And pray that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly and courageously, as I should.”
Blessings to you for boldness as you use your spiritual weapons responsibly!
~ René

Christian Mentors, Moms, Parents, Stay at Home Moms, Women's Ministries

Spiritual Amnesia ~ the struggle is real!

Do you remember cramming for those final exams?  Putting together material for a 10 page research paper?  Running bible verses with your little ones on the way to Awana so they get their patch? (Yes…I was “that” mom that would forget to help my girls with their Awana homework until about 2 hours before they needed to be at church.)  Let me ask you this….do you really and truly remember any of those things that you studied?  I think you can call that “Situational Amnesia.”

Or my personal favorite….after just a few weeks of driving 16 miles (which in SoCal speak = 35 minutes of drive time) on 3 freeways to get my girls to school (for seven years!), it didn’t take long for a certain type of “amnesia” to set in.  Fairly soon, I knew the rhythm of the morning and afternoon traffic, and my car seemed to “just know” how to get there and back.  It was actually a bit disturbing when on occasion, I would pull into the driveway back home and wonder, “How did I get here?”  EEK!

Have you or someone you know, ever experienced amnesia?  Or maybe just selective amnesia?  I think all young children fall into the latter category at some point in time.  A mom will ask, “Did you remember that I told you not to walk through the house with mud on your shoes?” And the child will answer, “No.”  Mom ~ “Well, I’ve told you everyday this month.  You don’t remember?” Child ~ “I don’t know.”  Good times!  Translate that to conversations we have with our Heavenly Father, “Do you remember that by grace you have been saved?” Our response, “No….I have to work hard to prove I’m worth it.”  ~ that my friends is Spiritual Amnesia!

Okay ~ we’ve read our bible during our morning quiet time; we’ve read over our scripture verse of the week to memorize; we have our time of prayer with the Lord.

Then….

…..we walk out the door to begin our day (and sometimes don’t even make it that far) when we are hit with a situation or person, which causes us to forget everything we just did!  WHY DOES THIS HAPPEN??? How can we so quickly forget the goodness and grace of God!?

I think partly this happens to me because I’m not really spending time in God’s Word, I’m speeding through it to check it off my “to do” list.  I’m being honest here.  I’m not proud of that and I don’t recommend it all.  Now, I don’t think there is anythign wrong with putting “Quiet Time” in your planner or on your iPhone calendar ~ but right now, please join me in choosing to enjoy this time spent with the Lord instead of as just something we have to get through to get on with our day.  That’s the attitude that causes spiritual amnesia.

Amnesia literally means: loss of a large block of interrelated memories;complete or partial loss of memory caused by brain injury, shock, etc.

**In no way in this blog do I mean to diminish the reality of amnesia that some people may have to live with everyday.  It’s very serious, and I do not wish to make light of it.**

That said, what could be a “brain injury or shock” that we can encounter as a Christian that causes us to forget who God is and who He has created us to be?

*You prayed for a loved one to be healed and they died.

*You lost your job and it’s been months or  years since you had full time employment.

*Your child disobeyed you AGAIN for the same reason.

*Your marriage suddenly erupts with the uncovering of years of being lied to by your spouse.

*Your child tells you that they don’t want to see you anymore.

*People you thought were your friends have been gossiping about you behind your back.

And I’m sure you can add a few more to the list.

But guess what ~ as horrible as those things are, they don’t have to define you.  These are the moments in time when it is imperative to have been having true time with the Lord and allowing His living Word to saturate your soul with HIS TRUTHS!  So that when we come across those incredibly mind-bending experiences of pain, grief, aggravation, or fear ~ we can call out to the Lord and ask Him to remind us of who HE is and who we are in Him!  But we also have to be mindful of keeping scripture first and foremost in our mind.  The only we can do that is to be reading the Word everyday!  We may not always be able to think of the book a scripture is in, but when we need to reign in our negative thoughts, turning to God’s Living Word is the only way to redirect our thinking to that of what is positive and pleasing to the Lord.

Here’s just a few of those reminders to get you started:

Isaiah 55:8-9, ““For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Right here ~ God is reminding us that what He thinks about is totally different than what we think about.  Meditating on His Words are the only way to make sure we are making at least an effort to think how the Lord thinks.

**Please know the context in which I’m using the word “meditate.”  If you have a picture of someone sitting cross-legged on the ground with their hands in a funky position, chanting….STOP!  That is NOT biblical meditation!  Eastern mysticism & meditation tell you to “empty your mind.”  That is the exact opposite of what God calls us to do when He tells us to meditate on His Word.  Biblical meditation calls us to FILL our mind with scripture and to think on how we can be obedient to the Lord by weaving those scriptures in and through our daily life, to live a life honoring to Him.  If you spend time emptying your mind, the enemy is waiting nearby to fill it with his version of the truth…and you will be led astray.**

I Corinthians 2:9-12,However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”—the things God has prepared for those who love him— these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.  For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.”

Hebrews 4:11-13,Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience. For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.  Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”

2 Corinthians 10:4-6, The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.  We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.  And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.”

I hope these verses are encouraging to you ~ they are key verses in understanding how and why we need to keep our thoughts focused on the Lord and not on the circumstances or situations around us.  Not to go blindly walking around saying, “The Lord will figure it out.” (He will by the way…but He wants to work with us!) Our Heavenly Father wants to join with us, His children, because He loves us!

When you are tempted to give into fear, sadness, or anxiety ~ make a choice to run to God’s Word.  Speak out loud the truths of scripture.  Give the devil his notice that he cannot control you.  Praise the Lord that He is good and that He has called us to be His own!  We are create in HIS image and He was happy and satisfied in His creation! You are royalty ~ all the negative think and feelings of guilt and condemnation are not who you are…so toss that all in the garbage!  Rejoice that He calls you by name and He loves you so very much!!

Hebrews 4 verse 12

Blessings,

René

 

 

Christian Mentors, Moms, Parents, Stay at Home Moms, Women's Ministries

Have you forgotten your worth?

Have you forgotten your worth?

Today, before you start reading, I would like to ask you to quiet your heart and your mind. Ask the Lord to speak to you and show you all the ways the enemy has tried to steal your royal worth.  Then ask the Lord to begin to repair all those hurts, to fill the voids you’ve been struggling with, with His love, grace, and joy.

Take a deep breath….let’s get going!

Let’s first look at a beautiful passage in Psalms 139:13-18 ~

13 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
    they would outnumber the grains of sand—
    when I awake, I am still with you.

All you need to know about your worth is right here ~ How amazing are your thoughts concerning methat’s a literal translations from verse 17.  We are precious to the Lord and He is enthralled with us, His children!

He did not make any kind of mistakes when He created us.  He didn’t get confused, or distracted, or annoyed.  He kept His eye on us the whole time while we were formed in our mother’s womb ~ and He continues to watch over us.  We are created in God’s image…He is worthy…we are worthy because we find our worth IN HIM.

There is a tremendous amount of distraction in our world today ~ tv, magazines, the internet, social media, neighbors, and people….pretty much everything we are surrounded by on a daily basis.  When you start to believe that you are worthless….why is that? What is happening?  What lies are you believing? What happens to skew our thoughts about our worth?

I John 4:1-3 is a picture perfect warning from the Scriptures: Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.”

I feel like I can trust you with my vulnerability here and share a few that I struggle with…

Not being good enough

Not being thin enough

Not having enough finances

Driving around in a scratched up, dented up car

Not being able to afford to pay for our kids college expenses

Not being able to afford to have my hair dyed professionally (the struggle is real my friend!)

Okay…that last one is a little silly, but in recent weeks, my hair was a catastrophically BAD color!  I dyed my hair VERY well…and it was VERY scary! In looking for sympathy, I turned to my youngest daughter.  In all seriousness, she looked at me and said, “It’s not like someone was standing next to you at the store telling you NOT to get that color Mom.”  Well….yeah…but come one!  Feel sorry for me!  My hair is burgundy and that is NOT a good look!! (btw…my husband drove me to the store at 10:30pm to get a box of dark brown to cover up the mess I’d made…we both knew I was in no condition to drive myself!)

In that moment of looking at my horrifying hair color (can you tell I’m still a bit traumatized here!), I felt worthless.  If this hair color deal couldn’t be fixed I was contemplating not going on a weekend trip with my husband that next day.  We had been planning this for months.  But I felt that I would be an embarrassment to him (and personally, utterly mortified at the thought of being in public!) ~ of which he wisely denied that would be the case. So not only did he drive me to the store, he stayed up with me until midnight when complete disaster was averted. He didn’t laugh at me.  He didn’t scold me.  He just love me and supported me through my crazy!  I love my man!!

How like the Lord is that?  When I have made a decision, all the while ignoring the still small voice of the Holy Spirit warning against poor choices, then realize the consequences I’ve created….ugh!  My sweet Heavenly Father doesn’t chastise me; He doesn’t mock me; He doesn’t make me feel guilty.  He stands beside me waiting for me to get off the bus to crazytown (a place of my own creation…you might know what I mean!), then gently guides me back onto the path He has for me.

Satan is the one who plies our mind with those distracting, and sometimes devastating, tactics to make us think we have lost our worth. God’s grace is sufficient to rescue me when I seek His face and ask forgiveness for those moments of weakness.

Matthew 10:30-32 is a great encouragement ~ And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.”

Do you realize that every negative thought that slithers in off the enemy’s twisted tongue has to be said IN the very PRESENCE of God.

There is nothing that the devil lies to us about that God doesn’t know.  In our humanness, we need to call on God’s strength in that moment to combat the lies.  Rest securely in the knowledge that we don’t have to muster up the strength or courage to beat down the devil on our own.  We only have to call on Him to help us!

Read this promise here in 2 Samuel 22:2-4 ~ He said: “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior—from violent people you save me. “I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and have been saved from my enemies.”

Oh those words from scripture are like floating along a delightfully cool river, feeling the soul quenching power of Living Water!  As a daughter of the King, I have the right and accessibility to call upon the name of the Lord and He promises to save me from my enemies…especially when that enemy is myself!

You are WORTHY my friend!

You have been set apart by a loving God who has an amazing journey for you!  You have the ability to make a difference, one person at a time, in HIS timing!  You are created to be a guiding light of God’s love and mercy to a world that is desperately lost!  You are beautiful! You are special!  You are loved and cherished!

Blessings,

René

I John 4 verse 1

{this photo was taken on that weekend away with my husband}

** For further study, check out these verses about how worthy our Lord is to be praised! **

~ I Chronicles 16:24-26

~ Psalm 96:3-5

~ Psalm 48:1

~ 2 Thessalonians 1:11

~ Revelation 4:11

 

Christian Mentors, Moms, Parents, Stay at Home Moms, Uncategorized, Women's Ministries

Grieving With Hope

There have many things I’ve seen & heard about in the last week that have centered around moments brought on by grief. Friends who are mourning the loss of a family member, the extreme tragedy in Paris due to the terrorist bombings, loss of life in various middle Eastern countries, friends who have loved ones dealing with cancer, and others who have lost jobs. There are a variety of ways we experience loss and just as many ways we grieve those losses.

Like you, I’ve experienced various losses in my life and haven’t always handled the process very well.  My first brother died of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) at 3 months old ~ I was 23 months old and I remember that day vividly.  I realize now that the way I processed my “2 year old grief” was to become the little momma…everyone’s caretaker to make sure everyone was happy.  I was blessed with several great grandparents and great aunts & uncles, and a great multitude of cousins ~ which meant by the time I was 18, I had attended about 10-12 funerals.  I remember when I was about 31, I attended my first funeral service where the person was not a Christian.  I almost came unglued during the service when this woman’s children looked up toward the ceiling of the church and said, “Well Mom, wherever you are, I hope you are happy and maybe I’ll see you again sometime.” I cried all the way home.  Deeply saddened for this family who was not only dealing with the loss of their sweet mom, but adding to that grief was the knowledge that they didn’t have the hope and security in Christ’s salvation.  I also cried with relief knowing that my daughters would never have to wonder where I was after my time here on earth is done.

This can be a very touchy subject for some, and I do not mean to offend.  What I want to offer you is Hope.  In Christ, through His salvation, we have a hope that is full of grace and mercy; and frankly, totally incomprehensible.

John 3:16-21 beautifully illustrates God’s promise, 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 life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.”

The latter half of these verses readily bring to mind the Paris tragedies that happened this past Friday.  The people who organized these heinous acts are evil. Pure and simple…they. are. evil.  Because sin came into this world (Genesis 3), satan became the ruler of this world.  Satan’s goal is to wreak havoc over the entire earth; to make every good thing God created into something twisted; to turn God’s Word around to make it sound legalistic and unattainable.

My friend ~ look to the truth of God’s Word here in Ephesians 6:12, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”

In the book of John, chapter 14, the truth that is celebrated on these pages of scripture fills me with great hope and great joy.  Verses 1-7, Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.”Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”” 

In verses 15-17 of chapter 14, John writes, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.” 

But I think my favorite part of John 14 is in verse 27,Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” 

Let me just say…the entire book of John is an amazing account of the life and teaching of Jesus Christ & I recommend that you take a moment and read the whole book.  It holds a brilliant light up to a dark world, proving that Jesus IS who He says He is.  He WILL do what He has promised to do.  We do have salvation through Him and we will be with Him again someday.

But sometimes you have seasons of doubt, usually as a result of some kind of grief you experience.  This is not a concept that is readily spoken about in the Christian church today, and I personally think this is part of the reason why so many Christians become disillusioned with the Word of God and His promises.  No one wants to take the time to walk that dark road of doubt with someone, encouraging them to persevere and make it out back to the light of truth.  God knew we would deal with this emotion of doubt.

One answer comes in Romans 3:3-4a, What then? If some did not believe, will their unbelief cancel God’s faithfulness? Absolutely not! God must be true, even if everyone is a liar,” Just because I may at times doubt in God’s plan for my life or for this world; just because I may at times have a hard time believing that God’s goodness will overcome ~ those human feelings do not in any way nullify the purity and surety that is God.

The NIV Bible version mentions the word “grief”, 32 times in scripture; the word “grieve” or “grieved”, 30 times; and “grieving”, 3 times.   Collectively, that is 65 mentions of grief.  But just like God, He wants to show us His heart and remind us what is true.  Guess how many times the word JOY is used in scripture?  50? 100? 150?  Nope….over 240 times!!!  And the word HOPE is written about 180 times! Mathematically, that’s EIGHT TIMES the amount of God calling us to focus on what is good and truthful, joyful and hopeful…..instead of focusing on the pain of grief.

Psalm 30:11-12 King David joyously declares, You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!”

 

For this blog post, I turned to my friends on Facebook and asked them, “What does the statement, ‘grieve with hope’, mean to you?”  Here are some snipits of what they had to say:

“The grief of Christians is very different from the grief of non believers because we have hope that all pain will pass away.” 

“I grieve with hope everyday knowing that my mom is with Jesus and I will see her again. Our view of heaven is very different when someone we love so much is there.”

“The hope that I have in Christ, brings me joy and I know that because of Jesus being my hope.”

“My hope is in that which I do not see … Which is a future with no more tears, no more pain. It’s literally too good to be true – and yet, miraculously, it is true, and there lies my hope.”

There are times and seasons when prayers go unanswered – and we have no idea why! When there are doors we so desperately want to have opened wide and God, in His Wisdom, keeps them closed – or slams them shut!! If we remain in Him, if we persist in prayer and stay in the Word – when our soul is anchored in the Lord, we will soon see His purpose and His reasons.”

“In life, it means to me that broken relationships grieve our hearts, but in the Lord there is hope for healing. In death, it means that when we lose another fellow believer we have hope of being reunited in heaven.”

 

Lamentations 3 verse 24

I am so thankful for the input of these dear friends who shared their heart.  My prayer is that through their words, and through the truth of God’s scripture, that you will begin a new journey of turning your uncertainty to surety, your sorrow to joy, and your grief to hope.  There is HOPE!

Blessings,

René

Christian Mentors, Moms, Parents, Stay at Home Moms, Uncategorized, Women's Ministries

Called to a Life of Order

Yesterday, I left SoCal to fly and visit a friend and her family, for a long overdue visit.  What a blessing it is to remain close in life even if we don’t get to see each other in person very often.  Heart strings are some of the strongest materials out there.  🙂

I have flown more times this year than I have in a long time and I’m thankful that plane travel doesn’t bother me.  But as I sat next to the window on flight #2…a Propeller Plane…my perspective shifted just a little.  Okay, a lot!

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Those little blades connected to the engine were going to keep this heavy metal plane up in the air for the 70 minute trip I was about to take?  Oh Lord Jesus, help me now!  Then right before take off, two people were asked to move up to the front of the plane in order to help balance out the weight distribution of people, luggage, and plane.  Um…yeah!  Eek!!!

I always pray as the plane begins to taxi down the runway and during take off…yesterday, I kept praying until we leveled off!

So I got to thinking of all the people who are involved with taking care of this particular plane and all of the tasks that they have to do ~ I had to put my trust in their hands and pray they were capable ones.  The high level of maintenance performed daily on this little plane had to be done in very specific order, so that the plane would be ready to fly and carry its passengers. There cannot be any “easy way” outs or cheats when it comes to making promises of safety and security.  And really, you cannot have safety or security in the midst of chaos ~ the presence of order has to reign supreme.

I believe with my whole heart that God is not a god of chaos.  

He is absolutely the God of pure order.

He created life out of nothing.  We see this proof in Genesis 1:2a, “The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep.”

When it came to Creation, God went in order:

He created light and separated it from the darkness (Genesis 1:4)

He separated the waters and created Heaven and earth (Genesis 1:6-10)

He created the trees, plants and vegetation (Genesis 1:11-12)

He created the seasons with specific purposes (Genesis 1:14)

He created birds of the air and the fish of the sea (Genesis 1:20-21)

He created the living creatures, beasts, and livestock on the earth (Genesis 1:24-25)

Then….

He created “man in our image.” (Genesis 1:26-27)

This was God’s plan from the beginning!  I’m so excited about what God is flooding my brain and my heart with right now that I’m about to burst, or cry, or both!  Again people ~ God’s Word is ALIVE and He is so good to reveal new aspects of His goodness to me when I truly take the time to soak it all in.

Looking at this very basic time line of creation, God was very specific and orderly in ALL of it!

Why didn’t the Trinity create man first?  Wouldn’t it have been just the coolest thing to watch creation happen in front of your eyes?  I mean really….beyond cool!

What I feel God is showing me in these passages is not just about an orderly creation, its about what God wanted to prepare for all of us ~ like a “Welcome Home” party.  He wanted to prepare the earth and the heavens just for us to enjoy.  God wanted everything here on earth to be perfect for us.  He wanted all the decorations to be “just so.”  He wanted the weather to be just right and the music of creation to be in sync at just the right time.  Everything He created, He called good and was satisfied with all of it.  He commanded all things ~ birds, trees, sea creatures, livestock, vegetation, light, dark, oceans ~ to be “fruitful and multiply.”  That phrase is only used about 11 times in the Old Testament and NINE of those mentions are in the book of Genesis. (ESV) I had never really taken the time before to let that sink in…God told all of these aspects to creation to be fruitful and multiply ~ and they listened!  Whoa!!

When the earthly Home He created was ready, that was when we were invited to move in, and not one minute early.

For the first time I’m seeing how God was setting the stage for us and showing us that all we need is what He has ALREADY provided.  Anything we can possibly imagine that we need or want, He as created it.  We have been given the immense gift, honor, and responsibility to take care and manage what God has put in order.  We have been given the authority over everything that lives on the earth and in the sea.  We are given daytime, nighttime, oceans, sky, and stars to enjoy ~ we don’t have to do anything to dominate those ~ if you will let me go so far as to say, those aspects of creation are our party favors.  The beauty of a sunrise, the magnificence of a sunset, the refreshing rain, the powerful waves of the ocean, the yearly seasons of winter, spring, summer, & fall, and the innumerable stars in the sky…these are all gifts that we are given every day simply because God wanted our Home to be beautiful!

Genesis 1:31-2:2 is the glorified culmination of the six days of Creation,

“And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.  Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done.  So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.”

“…And…behold…”

To behold means: to observe; look at; see; regard; gaze upon; view; watch; or discern.

The Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit ~ exhibited all of these qualities as they beheld the world they created and they declared it ALL good!

It was in perfectly good order!

“…So God blessed…” ~ These words pack a punch my friends!

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If you will please indulge me a bit and let me use my own words, according the dictionary definitions of these words written above, the following is what I believe God has to say about all that He had created and how He felt about it:

“With great certainty, God has divinely favored, sanctified, and brought a sense of reverent worship to the day of rest upon the accomplishment of all He had done to create the heavens, the earth, and the creation of the first man and the first woman.” (Rene’ Bancroft, 2015)

I wish we were sitting across from each other, pouring over these scriptures in Genesis together and finding other related verses showing us how much God is an orderly God.  How He intended for us to behave, live, act, and care for each other.  I want to encourage you that living an orderly life does not mean you live a perfect one.  That is never (and never will here on earth) going to be an option.  Perfection will come when we are standing before our Lord, in Heaven.  What I can tell you is that because you are made in the image of God, and if you have given your life over to Him and received Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you have already been given the gifts and power to live a life of order.

I would like to invite you to pray right now, wherever you are reading this, and ask the Lord to show you what is out of order in your life?  I’m right here with you ~ time management, relationships, tv or computer usage, health care, the piles of bills…and the list goes on.  Whatever it is in this season of your life that is not under the orderly ownership of the Lord Jesus Christ will never become what He intended it to be for you.  He alone is the God of order.  He alone can give you the strength and the abilities needed to have a life of balance.  And we all want that.  One of the greatest blessings of being a child of God…you don’t have to do it on your own.  Life will not be perfect, but it will be a life worth living for the Lord.  You have a King for your daddy and He wants good things for you!

In the Holy and Precious Name of Jesus ~ you are free to live an orderly life according to the goodness of our God.  So go out and do what God is calling you to do.  Go out and live an orderly life and enjoy the blessings He wants to pour out on you.

Blessings,

Rene’