Who Give You the Right?

no tresspassing

What gives people the right to trespass? Many do every single day. Many have no boundary line; they trample, stomp on and push aside others to get what they want. They somehow feel they have the right-of-way. What is the point of a “no-trespassing” sign if we are going to do whatever we want? What does trespass mean? It means to break a moral or social law and to commit a sin. (Bing Dictionary).

Let’s discuss a Biblical character who felt he had the right to trespass on Jesus. His name was Judas Iscariot; the betrayer; thief and yet a disciple. Judas deliberately took money from the chief priests to betray Jesus. He trespassed on Jesus even after he broke bread and sang songs with him. The result; Judas committed suicide because he couldn’t deal with the remorse of such a betrayal. As Christians, we are all called to be Disciples of Christ but we are all tempted to trespass as well.

A few modern-day examples trespassing on others, reminded me of this very person. There was a woman who felt she had the right to trespass on another woman’s life and it not only caused her a job but cause her to sink into a deep depression. Doesn’t the Bible say bring your issue before the person and if that doesn’t work, get the elders involved etc.? Who has the right to trespass like this?

A parking space is open under a car-port. There are assigned car-ports in the neighborhood but even though the sign says, “private-property” a person takes it upon herself to give that space out because the owner never parks in it. Who gives her that right?

A mother gets called into a school because her son has done something wrong. Instead of the mother taking action with the son, she jumps all over the principal in front of the son. Who does the mother think she is? Why does she feel she has the right to do that without any facts?

What gives us the right to encroach on someone or break a social law? We all do it to some degree. Why? Weather we know it or not, at the time, we are thinking evil thoughts. There are scriptures that focus on keeping our eyes on Jesus. Another words; if you focus on the evil; you will be tempted and probably will do evil. If you focus on Jesus; you will do good. The deep root of this is that we should be transformed by filling our minds with the fullness of Christ and thinking at the highest level of our potential in Him.

We don’t have the right to give out parking spaces; rat on co-workers for self-fulfillment; yell at a principal or betray a trust for our own purpose. Think of your words; think of your actions. Don’t be a Judas Iscariot by getting greedy and think only about yourself.

Words matter: you have more power over other people than you may have ever imagined. Your words can cause someone to get fired, someone to sin, and someone to go right down into the dark hole you’re living in. You have the power to either spark enthusiasm or to kill it; to build confidence or to destroy it; to foster peace or to steal it. Your words are not something you have to purchase either. You have the power to say what’s right. “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer?” Psalm 19:14.

Think about the Lord’s Prayer: “And forgive those who trespass against me.” He has forgiven you. The difference between Judas Iscariot and us is that even though he felt remorse for trespassing on Jesus, he never asked for forgiveness. We don’t have to do that. When we hurt others we can come before the throne of God and simply ask for forgiveness . But the next step is even harder; go to the person you’ve offended and ask for their forgiveness as well. It’s harder to do because they don’t have unconditional love for you like Jesus does.

 

Do you owe someone an apology?

 

Did you do something to someone that you should not have?

 

Are you afraid to ask for forgiveness?

 

You can go to Christ for help. He will forgive and then give you the strength you need to ask others for forgiveness.

 

TRESSPASS: You don’t have the right! Judas did not have the right? He didn’t ask for forgiveness; You can!!!

God today I ask that if someone reads this meditation and feels they need to ask for forgiveness, You will give them the strength. You will show them the way and the truth and the light. Lord, if there is someone that needs to take their actions further by asking another for forgiveness, I pray that they will carry your Spirit with them. God, if there is someone I need to go to please show me and humble me to do so.

Morning Texts

I wanted to post this earlier today but I had to take advantage of the most-needed date day with my husband, Dale.  Now that I am refreshed, our marriage has had a face-lift, here it is.

I quickly responded to the text this morning. “You are going to be okay in the Name of Jesus.” My heart went out to two very special women in my life this morning. I couldn’t get them off of my minds.

Sometimes we just don’t understand what in the world is going on with our lives. We lose jobs, we suffer chest pains, we lose a loved one, house goes on fire and so much more. So many questions for God and so many times we can’t help but get angry or frustrated with Him for not meeting our expectations.

In reality the heart of the problem is that we don’t really know who God is and we don’t understand His ways and His timing. When I text my friend this morning who is going through a most difficult time I honestly meant it. I said, “I wish I knew. Why was I diagnosed with a kidney disease? Why was I fired? Why are their tax issues with my husband? Why were there so many adjustments in my life and the list goes on and on. I have gotten to the point in my life that the “why” doesn’t matter but rather the survival does.” I further went on to explain that there are going to be times in our lives that we just don’t get it.

I’m not saying we should toss in the emotions and give up; just the opposite. God doesn’t want us to give up. I think we need to embrace the emotions but try our hardest to step over them and grasp God’s perspective on our lives. As soon as I remember, it’s HIS way or the highway; I’m in a better emotional state.

I don’t say that to in any way insinuate that God is this abrasive man who is smiting us. No he hasn’t left His sovereign throne and he has not changed the position of his out-stretched arms. You can be overwhelmed with grief, in such anguish, such despair; such confusion that you felt you couldn’t go on. It’s okay. Please dear ones, you can rest in the knowledge that even when bad things happen, God is always there. His is always in charge. Although he may not always deliver in the way you expect, you will find His grace sufficient.

Psalm 34:4-6…I sought the Lord, and He answered me,

And delivered me from all my fears.

They looked to Him and were radiant,

And their faces will never be ashamed.

This poor man (woman, Beth) cried, and the LORD heard him/her/me

And saved him/her/me out of all of his/her/my troubles.

Oh what a comfort to know that he’s saving me every day. Every day I can embrace God in faith. I know He cares and has unconditional love for me and for you.

PRIVATELY

 

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While I was re-reading chapter 11 of the book of John, I set my attention on vs. 28. There is always purpose in God’s Word, Always! I have gone over it again and again and there was ONE word that stuck out in my mind; PRIVATELY. When Martha, you know, the busy gal, alerted Mary of Jesus’ arrival at the house, Martha PRIVATELY spoke to her. The image in my mind would be this. Mary is grieving over Lazarus and Martha is respecting Mary’s emotions. She finds out Jesus is at her door, but instead of yelling from the kitchen while preparing the bread, “Hey Mary, Jesus is here,” she stops what she is doing and PRIVATELY goes to Mary. She gives up what she was doing for Mary.

With our society and technology now, there is no such thing as privacy. Everyone feels they have the right or need to share what they want with the world via, facebook, Pintrest or other forms of social media. I’m not knocking down social media because there is a lot of good there, however, what has happened to PRIVACY; between friend to friend, sister to sister, employer to employee? Do we always have to let the whole world know when something is happening? Are we seeking validation? Yes, we are.

Martha was respecting Mary’s raw emotions and was very private about the whole situation. I believe that each woman in their own unique makeup, were made to serve Jesus. One woman was more outgoing, more physical and ready to go, go, go while the other was to sit at the feet of Jesus and just listen. There are times that God is going to pull us into a ministry and although we feel unprepared, He is preparing!!! He may ask us to talk to a friend, send a letter, give a hug, make a meal, clean a kitchen, watch a child; the list goes on and on. But what we are to do with the assignment is to stay PRIVATE about it. Don’t shout across the internet or even across the room that you were somewhere to help a person because God called you and you were obedient. How PRIVATE is that?

Jesus loves the Mary and Martha in each one of us ladies. He loves when we are busy for him and when we are sitting at his feet listening to his word and praying. As women, how many of us go into Superwoman Syndrome; we think we should be able to do it all, all by ourselves. I have no idea if Mary and Martha thought that? My confession: I desire to stay home but work part-time because being home is not acceptable at my age. I’m not at retirement age! I MUST contribute financially but how can I write if I go to work? The syndrome goes on and on. Did Mary and Martha feel they had to rise about on the days when they felt sick or did they suffer from feeling weak, inadequate, and vulnerable?

There again, they were probably much more PRIVATE with each other and didn’t blab to other women that they had just spent the whole day with Jesus, and then asked, What did you do today? Look at us today gals. Are we comparing our self-reliance in what the public media dictates? As true servants of God, aren’t we supposed to be more PRIVATE and be okay with staying home or going to work? Mary and Martha saw their true worth and value in Jesus; not in putting pure oil on Jesus’ feet or preparing a meal.

The few points that I want to drive home to women, and did this in a round-about way is I want each of you to realize that you are unique, created in the image of God and He loves each one of you the way that you are. The other is that when you are obeying Jesus, don’t blab to your prayer group, your Bible class or your mother all of the good you did for the Lord. I so often have to remind myself that it’s not what I do; it’s what He does within me. I am only the messenger/vessel. I will close with John 12:26…Anyone who wants to serve me must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And, the Father will honor that.” Just be where God wants you to be, privately loving Him and serving Him.

  • Center yourself and meditate on difference between Mary and Martha. See how loved they were by Jesus.
  • As you breathe, simply allow the Holy Spirit to flow through you, reminding you that it’s okay to NOT be superwoman. Allow each breath to take you deeper into that long-awaited PRIVATE moment you are about to have with Jesus.

Oh Dear Lord, as I write this my eyes fill up, crying out for myself and other women who feel they are not complete when at home or worthy when they are trying to be a superwoman but are unsuccessful. Lord, I thank you right now that I am unemployed so that I may learn more about you and what you have in store for me. Lord, calm our anxious hearts as we try to hold onto the YOU in each breath we take. Amen.

Hurdles

 

hurdles

I was never a runner much less a hurdle jumper. I tried it a few times in high school but was never able to get my short stubby legs over the hurdle without falling. They gym teacher would make me continue to try over and over until I was able to finally jump one, then two, then several. Did I fall? Oh yes, several times. If it had not been for my gym teacher being persistent with me, I would never have succeeded.

Sometimes in our lives, we have to be persistent and jump some pretty high hurdles in order to succeed. Some hurdles are more subtle than others but this I guarantee; there will always be hurdles. Stepping forward, jumping hurdles for Christ may mean exploring some unconventional choices regardless of other people’ reactions.

Think about the hurdles that Jesus had to jump during His ministry. When He was in the desert clarifying His intentions, he resolved to take his mission into the world. He too probably asked how he would do this and where to begin. Pretty big hurdle and he had no formal education, no wealthy or influential family behind him and…some of his family appeared to have regarded him as somewhat volatile, even mad. Mark 3:21 “He’s out of his mind”.

Jesus was always clever on his feet, capable of withering remarks. Jesus continued to press against the boundaries of taste and received wisdom, angering many who heard him, which set the stage for eventual arrest and execution. The accounts of the trials of Jesus face into a textual storm, as the four gospels harmonize badly there. Hurdles, hurdles, hurdles.

Our quest is to move forward jumping hurdles for Christ. When we jump though, make sure you are holding onto the savior’s hand. Make sure the jump gives you a newly sought after path from Him. The hurdle is just the block, the path is the destiny.

What hurdle are you trying to jump? Is there something on the other side that Jesus is calling you to? Seek ye first the kingdom of God. Join us today as we discuss jumping hurdles of life at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Living-by-grace.

living by grace

At a Loss for Words

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As a writer, can I really ever be at a loss for words? My phrases and images literally come from God’s prompting. I think the art of writing for God means slowing down, listening and sometimes jotting down a phrase in mid-flight.

Words need to be clothed in phrases, phrases in sentences, sentences in paragraphs and so on. When I am caught up in writing, my spirit is at work verifying experiences that I’m prompted to share. One of the things I taught my kids when I home-schooled them years ago was to start your day with a journal. Write down your thoughts, prayers and images and to have fun with it. I do this every day.

Right now in life, I’m performing a balancing act. I am trying to write more, do less around the house, not work, spend time with friends and yet, I need to work. My emotions are balancing on my words. For it is surely a lifetime work, learning how to balance things as a woman. Now as I am taking time to regroup, the only real way I can hope to protect my feelings of euphoria is to write. I have unfinished dreams and desires that I need direction on; praying every moment for the next step to hit me in the face. If it does not, I might miss it because I sometimes don’t know how to follow my own advice.

Jotting down words is like entering into a warm home after a brisk windy walk. I settle in; my pages look at me as if to say, “fill me”… hum, funny thing is as I write I ask God to do the same thing, “Fill me.” Some people may look into a mirror and say that they don’t like what they see. I look into a mirror and see things that create words that well up feelings that get scratched onto paper. I have numerous life events to share and yet, that would mean I would have to dig into the low self-esteem bag, re-think of things that fell apart that I wished hadn’t and share them. But God has taken a whole lifetime of emotions and has turned them into a classroom for learning. Some days my plate is heaped high with words and expressions and I just can’t get them down fast enough. Will these words earn me a pay check? Oh a few paper goodies with dollar signs have trickled into my mail box a time or two, but how on earth do you make a living sharing your thoughts?

The easy way out to that answer is to say that you put it all in God’s hands and while I do agree with that, He also directs ours steps; we just have to follow.  Refuse to dwell on the negatives or to live in the land of regrets and if onlys. Be still and know that (he is) God, seek prayer support and counsel of other writers, Search for the truth that will be in your words, hang on to his promises and ask, “Lord, what are you trying to teach me?”

I have strength for all things in Christ who empowers me. I will write with “all the strength and energy that God supplies, so that God will be glorified through Jesus Christ.” (1 Pet. 4:11) For all of you writers out there, Ask yourself, “When Jesus returns, what manuscript do you most want to lay at his feet?

Hang On

 

letting go

 

 

There is a song that I love by Jeremy Camp entitled, I Will Walk by Faith and when it gets to the melody I start to bob and sway my head. This morning, I was bobbing and thinking about my faith. I personally think it’s a good thing to perform a faith check from time to time. Actually, when I really think about it, I think it’s important to do that often.

As I was bobbing my head this morning, looking out the window, I was thinking about my strife. I am for some reason right now meant to wrestle the earth, wood, clay, and marble into forms to seize the air into my own personal faith in Jesus. I am wrestling a lot lately with breaking down two words that are haunting my mind like a bad virus.

At church yesterday, I looked around at the arms outstretched and hands raised to the rhythms of God’s grace. The rhythms of worship were drawing souls closer. My arms, outstretched, realized that the soul within me was growing around the words causing me to grow closer. I dropped my wounds that have been replaying like a broken record. The passageways between what has been growing within me and what has radiated outward yesterday were dreams of truth and love.

Why do I shy away from surrender? Do I not know that I am merely floating around this earth allowing surrender to criticize me rather than comfort me? Ah yes, I do know. Have you ever been there?

If I may give advice, not that I am any kind of expert in life, I would not wait until later to refine the golden life that God has given you. If you could sum up to one word that you need to hold onto to right now, what would it be? Is it job, finance, brokenness, anger, or betrayal? Whatever it is, hold onto it. I know that is contrary to what we normally read. Give your cares and your burdens to God. Yes, I agree with that but I think we need to lean into the emotion that surrounds the word; then in its appointed time, we can then let it go. I want to make that very clear. God tells us to Let Go; Let God. But, how can you let go of something you have no idea of what it is burning within you?

What word is in your bag of words today? Study it! Confront it! Acknowledge it and surrender to it. Learn all you can from it. Let the emotions permeate throughout your body and then let it go. Give it to God and he will bless your willingness.

Where is your “There”

running brook

Life was so much easier back then. I thought as you aged, life was supposed to fall perfectly into place. I thought as you aged all of the pieces of the financial puzzle, the love puzzle and security puzzle were all placed delicately into position. Believe me, changing diapers and potty training was simple compared to aging and having pieces of the puzzle still not in place.

We spend so much of our time on Earth running after or running from…When we want to be loved, we run from the pain of betrayal and fear. When we go after a job and it’s given to someone else we cower and run from other opportunities. I have been writing for years and my hunt to get my thoughts published may look like victory to others but I can easily put my confidence in what they are saying rather than my own self worth.

For the past couple of years, I have pictured in secret, imagining my life as being better somewhere else because I didn’t want to stay on the path I was on. Whether it was illness, financial or relationships, I wanted to go somewhere else…but where is that there? When I visit this picture in my mind I allow the enemy to twist my thoughts. I wait for a person to alleviate all of my numbness. I can retreat to a safe zone but I can’t stay there because God has me here not “there.”

If we hide our desires and actions with the life we have created then we are who we ar through those experiences we’ve endured. Again, we ca’t run after nor run from anything without forgiveness and more importantly without God’s direction. That doesn’t mean that our failures and unhappiness is a reason to hunt for something better, but make sure in that hunt you are holding the hand of Jesus.

How about you? Does your life right now feel like you are captive in a strange land? Remember the Israelites’ heartache…fear…dread…despair? They could do little to save their own lives from their situations. But God had a plan and arranged Ester to be in a place of influence, a place of trust. Esther was placed into the Kings harem but even in that relationship, the King was an impulsive alcoholic. I don’t believe she tried to run away from the past nor try to run ahead of the future. Her time was right there and now with God. She followed his sweet Victory plan and it happened because she persuaded the King to let the Jews defend themselves against the onslaught and they were victorious. Please read the book of Esther and you will see that she honored the goodness of God and the working of His Spirit in her life.

Where are you right now? Jobless? Destructive family relationships? Terminal illness? Spiritually dry? God has a mighty plan for each moment of each day. Psalm 103:2 says, “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits.”

I am in a humbling mode, giving all of my faults and failures to God so that I don’t run from or run after anything without a clear direction. Lord, keep my eyes clear and ears open to what you might be teaching me through my circumstances. So often I want to run from the world around me but that would mean that I am letting the devil get the best of me. Encourage me God. I’m hungry and thirsty for You.living by grace Join us today as we discuss how we either run from or run after without God.