Christian Living

Riding the Waves

​Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice (ESV)

Wave: a burst of emotions, a swell along the surface caused by wind, a sudden occurrence of something

Not too long ago I was struggling with processing a lot of intense feelings. It spilled over onto a couple of relationships. I felt so low at one point. I was truly trying and yet I was sinking. I was told something by my therapist that greatly helped me. I’m grieving. And I need to grieve the right way.

Once you understand what grief is, face those feelings head on and address it, the process is healing and freeing. For me I have needed to learn in particular how to grieve my son’s disability (and normalcy he’ll likely never have) and plans for my life that God doesn’t have. I’ve lost people in my life too. I spent a long time pretending the grief wasn’t real or that it was no big deal. But it was. It is. I’m learning to ride the waves and rejoice in the Lord through it.

Grief:  deep sorrow

There are five official stages of grief but I have experienced 6: denial, bargaining, anger, depression, accepting the process and where you are at, and full acceptance. The last two have a peace that comes with it. I would say I’m in the 5th stage. But for the longest time I floated between depression and anger. I felt like I was going crazy until I was told one day, “Oh, it’s just the grieving process.” Ahh. An answer. Relief. Peace. 

I feel as though I’m living again, not just existing. God is nearer than ever before. There’s a fresh outlook on life now. I can look back at the pain from my past and even more currently and see hope. I know the past doesn’t have to be my future. Life is about seasons. And I’m entering a new one.

Today I want to speak to those who are grieving. Perhaps you don’t realize you are or that you need to. Busyness will not heal the pain. It must be faced. When you are healed, you can look at any scars that might remain and smile. Smile, not because the pain was once there, but because you overcame and have a testimony. God’s love and grace carried you.

Grief comes in waves. Ride them out. Know they come. Paint your surfboard and ride them with YHVH as your guide and healer. You’ll be OK. Truly.

Psalm 42:7-8 ESV Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your waves have gone over me. By day the Lord commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life.

Psalm 147:3 ESV He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

Isaiah 26:4 ESV Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock.

Hebrews 10:23 ESV Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.


Christian Living

When One Part Hurts, We All Hurt

​1 Corinthians 12:26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together (ESV).

Something’s wrong in Heaven tonight. You can almost hear them cry. Angels to the left and the right. Saying, “What about the love, what about the love, what about the love?”

Chorus from What About the Love by Amy Grant

The song “What About the Love” by Amy Grant has been playing in my mind. I sense the Father has been saying this, with a heavy heart, for a long time. Especially for the church. His believers. God is love. For those that don’t know Him, it can be expected that they won’t understand ahavah/agape love. Godly love. Real love. But there are many professing believers that are cold, selfish, self seeking, unkind, uncompassionate, impatient etc. People get tossed aside like one throws away a wrapper. With ease. Not even thinking twice. But we are one body. When one of us hurts, we all hurt. We all should.

1 Corinthians 12:12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ (ESV).

My husband and I have been through a lot in recent years. Believe me. At times we have felt gutted. Beaten. Ran over by a few trains. The enemy isn’t a fair fighter. Through it all we’ve been growing and learning. But with great pain. Lessons that have broken our hearts.

My husband and I lost a friend (for him of almost 20 years.) The other day he talked about it with tears coming down his face. We both know our flaws and sins God has dealt with us on. It seems like when you’re struggling, no one wants to be around. It is inconvenient. People want to love those that require little patience or effort. It is too stressful otherwise. Sometimes though, a person just needs the Good Samaritan. Someone that will be Yeshua (Jesus) and show them His love. There’s nothing more powerful or more healing than that. And when one part of the Body (of believers) is wounded, we all should be affected and notice. But we often don’t.

Today, I want to challenge you to love others, seeing them as a part of your body. After all, we are one. Be willing to get inconvenienced. Listen. Try to understand. Empathize. Be the Good Samaritan. So few walk in love. Your act of love, though it may seem small, might change another person’s world. Perhaps even for eternity. It is all summed up in this.

Matthew 22:37-40 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

1 Corinthians 12:13-26 ESV For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body.

And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be?

As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require.

But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.

Uncategorized

He is Sufficient

​2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me (ESV). 

This blog post has been churning in me for a while. I’ve been giving God my concerns and needs in prayer but yet was feeling no relief. I was puzzled by this. I spent most of Yom Kippur in prayer and Bible reading. During the fast God began pulling this message out of me. Yes, He’s working on the situations I’ve laid at His feet. But, God really wants me to know something. Something beyond “your answer is coming”. Many of you need to hear this too. He is sufficient.

God spoke to me twice recently, one through another person, that His love and grace is sufficient. Of course God will answer my prayers. But I can be at full peace knowing He’s what I need. I think most of us have a hard time discerning wants from needs sometimes.

There’s many things we believe we need. We need that new outfit, certain meal, a particular relationship, specific job, new iPhone etc. But, of course, those aren’t needs. They are wants. We realize when in a crisis what our needs truly are. We need food, but not a fancy meal. We need water, not coffee from Starbucks. We need healthy relationships, but not as many or as often as we realize. We need clothes. We may need a phone to communicate. First and foremost though better be our Heavenly Father. Anything we put before Him is an idol.

Today, I want to encourage you to seek God about your needs vs wants. You will get a lot of peace in your life when you lay down your wants and receive His sufficiency in your life. Pray. Give your requests to God. He does answer prayer. In the meantime, know He is sufficient to carry you through.

Psalm 37:4 ESV Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Psalm 84:11 ESV For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.

Philippians 4:6-7,19 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be mad known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

Christian Living

Jonah

Repentance: sincere regret or remorse

Jonah 1:2-3 “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.” But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. So he paid the fare and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord (ESV). 

Yom Kippur is almost here. It is Jewish tradition to read the book of Jonah. God told Jonah to go to Ninevah and speak against their evil. These were absolutely terrible people in his view who had been enemies for a long time. The book of Nahum provides some information on why the Assyrians were so bad.

Nahum 3:1 Woe to the bloody city, all full of lies and plunder— no end to the prey (ESV)!

They were noted for maiming, torturing, and murdering people. Many people. Atrocious acts of wickedness occurred from their hands. It would be likened to God sending you to speak to Nazi Germany. Not many, if any, would want to go. But sometimes God asks us to do things we really don’t want to.

It’s very uncomfortable to die to our flesh. We must be obedient. If we are serious about living for YHVH wholeheartedly, then complete surrender is important. Most of you know the story. Jonah tried to run the other direction, away from Nineveh, and ended up being swallowed by a whale. For 3 days. When the whale finally vomited him up on dry ground after praying to God, he went. Being in the belly of a whale is a pretty persuasive move on God’s part. What happens next is powerful.

Jonah 3:4-6 Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s journey. And he called out, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” And the people of Nineveh believed God. They called for a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least of them. The word reached the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, removed his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes (ESV).

And the people of Nineveh believed God. 

Nineveh did something totally unexpected. They repented. God’s response? Jonah 3:10 When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God relented of the disaster that he had said he would do to them, and he did not do it (ESV).

There will be times when God will ask us to do something we, with every ounce of our being, don’t want to. We don’t want to apologize to that person. We don’t want to forgive and reconcile with someone. We definitely don’t want to bless that enemy who cursed us. Praying for some involves a little teeth gritting. But we must to emulate our Messiah and honor our King.

Today, I want to challenge you. Is there something God is asking you to do (perhaps He’s been for a while) that you’re disobeying? You really would rather not do it. There’s been many excuses. Tomorrow. If this happens. Today is the day to do it. Come up higher spiritually and glorify your Father. Jonah I’m sure had no idea Nineveh would listen and repent. I’ll bet he was shocked. Sometimes we let fear and the what ifs hold us back.

Maybe you identify more with Nineveh. You feel awful, ashamed of your many sins. There’s forgiveness for you in Yeshua (Jesus). Repent. Receive His mercy and salvation. Eternal life.

What if God really does know what He’s doing? What if there’s a lesson for you, them, or both that will bring a great blessing?!

Go to Nineveh. Or that place. Or that person. Obey YHVH.

Jonah 2:1-9 ESV Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the belly of the fish, saying, “I called out to the Lord, out of my distress, and he answered me; out of the belly of Sheol I cried, and you heard my voice. For you cast me into the deep, into the heart of the seas, and the flood surrounded me; all your waves and your billows passed over me.

Then I said, ‘I am driven away from your sight; yet I shall again look upon your holy temple.’ The waters closed in over me to take my life; the deep surrounded me; weeds were wrapped about my head at the roots of the mountains. I went down to the land whose bars closed upon me forever; yet you brought up my life from the pit, O Lord my God.

When my life was fainting away, I remembered the Lord, and my prayer came to you, into your holy temple. Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love. But I with the voice of thanksgiving will sacrifice to you; what I have vowed I will pay. Salvation belongs to the Lord!”

Christian Living

Empty Pockets

​Luke 6:38 “Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you” (ESV).

This morning I was praying for a few different people and over some things I’m healing from in the past. I said at one point, feeling an ache in my heart, “Why couldn’t they just do this?” I felt as if they could have given so much but deliberately didn’t. As someone who likes to give and pour into people, physically, emotionally or spritually stingy people bug me. A lot. God gave me a picture. A person with empty pockets. Sometimes we ask someone to give us what they truly can’t and don’t possess. 

Let’s say, for example, you were in dire need of money. You ask a friend you consider to be close to you for financial help. You believe they have the means to assist you. They always seem well dressed, with a newer car and decent job. They do not help. You are wounded and offended because you have a great need they are choosing not to give to. You let the offense ruminate, reasoning that you would help if the situation were reversed. “How selfish, what a terrible friend”, you say. What if there was more to the story?

What if you found out your friend’s house was in foreclosure, they’re behind on car payments, deep in debt, their checking account has -$20 and there’s serious needs unmet? Would you look at them a bit differently? I’d hope so. You may have been offended at their apparent selfishness and greed, but now their limitations and needs are known too. The perception has changed. They have empty pockets. 

Today, I want to speak to those who are very wounded and offended by someone. Especially those who feel someone is withholding something from them. You may be right. They may technically have the means to help. To love. To encourage. However, realize that if they are refusing to help knowing there’s a need, a deeper issue is at play. This person just doesn’t have the love in their heart they should have. They may not have the same place of maturity as you. Be humble though. None of us are perfect. Pray for them. Let God work on their heart.

Conversely, you may be withholding something from someone. Maybe your pockets are truly empty. Or maybe it’s your heart that isn’t as full of love as it should be. Ask God to help you love Him and others. Loving others as He does and seeing people through His eyes isn’t natural. It’s not something of the flesh but rather of the Ruach (Spirit). Be open to His leading.

See others as God does. When someone doesn’t give as we want them to, pray for their empty pockets (physically, emotionally, and spiritually). Bless them. That is walking in Abba’s love and mercy. 

Luke 6:31-36 ESV And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them. “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? 

Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.

Ephesians 4:1-3 ESV I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Christian Living

Consuming, Devouring Fire

Hebrews 12:29 For our God is a consuming fire (ESV). 

This verse jumped out while reading scripture this morning. The word “consuming” is in my spirit. In the Greek the word used in Hebrews 12:29 is katanaliskon. This is the only occurrence of this word in the Bible. However, the Old Testament has a similar word but Hebrew, okelah, which means: consume, eat, or devour. This word is used a number of times. Probably the most well known usage is in Deuteronomy 4:24 For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God (ESV). I have been meditating here on the consuming, devouring nature of God. He is a consuming or devouring fire. 

What is a consuming, devouring fire? In my mind I picture flames burning up and destroying everything in its path. Another verse comes to mind: Exodus 33:20 But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live” (ESV). God, Elohim, is perfect, holy, and majestic. Our flesh in this fallen state is sinful, flawed, diseased, and so finite. 

There are worship songs people regularly sing with lyrics “let your glory fall” or “let your fire come down”. I’m not sure if the singers or the composers of the songs really get what that means. “So, you want to be consumed and devoured by Him”, I then say in response. This means impurities, sin, is purged out. It means you desire holiness. We should desire to be holy. But, it is costly. 

At this moment I’m thinking on what being holy really looks like to God. Is it how I dress? My hair? Jewelry? My usage of Christian or Jewish lingo, how well I know theology, my attendance at church/synagogue? Perhaps it’s how well I create a Seder plate, fast, or decorate a Sukkah? Those things are good and have their place. But, it’s really the weightier matters of the heart. 

Are you walking in obedience to God? Are you seeking Him first with a pure heart? Do you love others? Do you give to those in need with humility, expecting nothing in return? Are you patient? Kind? Gentle? Do you speak in love and fairness about others? Are you faithful? This is what it’s all about right here.

Today, and in this season of teshuvah and reflection, I want to challenge you to let God consume or devour what doesn’t please Him. Ask Him to remove any hidden sin and heart attitudes that are dishonoring. Our lives need to be lived in thankfulness to Him and for His glory. We are His and created for a purpose. His purpose. 

May we all be consumed until we emulate Him.

Leviticus 20:7 ESV Consecrate yourselves, therefore, and be holy, for I am the Lord your God.

1 Peter 1:13‭-‬19‭, ‬22‭-‬25 ESV Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 

And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. 

Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; for “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever.” And this word is the good news that was preached to you.

Christian Living

Teachers

​Romans 12:16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight (ESV). 

I posted a video recently on my Facebook account. It is regarding judging others righteously and humbly judging ourselves. When someone hurts us or wrong us, what should our biblical response be? Pray for them. Pray for ourselves. Let God search our hearts. Love them.  Focus on us, not them. I want to expound on this and bring up something else I learned that helps a lot.

Pain can be our teacher. Relationships have many lessons. Unless you totally isolate yourself, you will at some point get hurt or offended by someone, somewhere at some point. This is life. In some cases, we lose relationships. They walk away from us, we decide to end it, or they pass away. I know there’s many hurting from a broken relationship. That rejection can feel like you were hit by a two by four. It’s quite a smack in the face. But, we can grow from it and act, not react.

I’ll give an example I mentioned in my video. There’s a person that I have felt unfairly treats me and misjudges me. First, as a believer, I am praying for them. Second, I pray for myself to make sure I’m not doing something wrong. The last thing I want to be is a hypocrite. Third, I look for the lesson. Remember, relationships are really about how we make others feel. If someone isn’t validated, there will be eventual strain. Feelings do matter. Others remember how we make them feel-good or bad-more than our words and actions. We like to be around those that are uplifting, even if the truth hurts sometimes. Knowing someone has your best interest at heart is everything.

Continuing with my above example, I was specifically feeling unheard and improperly labelled something negative. I felt kicked when I was down. To be fair, I put myself in their shoes and how they would be feeling. These lessons were my takeaway: ask questions to understand before assuming, express concerns so it’s clear, respect others’ time, keep communication concise with a busy person, some things are just not worth it. Most of all, everyone has stress. We should seek to remove something or help someone carry something on their plate. We should do our best to build up, not tear down. Make someone’s life better.

Today, I want to speak to those in some kind of issue with someone else. Perhaps there’s a lot of hurt and bitterness. Forgive them. Pray for them. Love them. And look for the lessons. Not just the ones that make them look bad either. What did you do wrong? What could have been done better? Next time, how would you handle this scenario? Maybe it’s as simple as saying, “I’d say sorry…try to understand…not yell at them” etc.

Some will teach us what to do and others what not to do. Everyone has a lesson to bring. Many without realizing it or trying to. Certain lessons are painful, excruciating occasionally, but they serve a purpose. In the end, may they cause us to love God and love others more.

Proverbs 3:13-14 ESV Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold.

Proverbs 18:2 ESV A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.

Romans 5:3-5 ESV  Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Philippians 2:3-4 ESV Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Christian Living

Are You Covering?

1 Peter 4:8 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins (ESV).

This above verse was in my spirit this morning. I actually had a different blog subject to write on when God gave me this. He wants me to write on 1 Peter 4:8 today. I looked up the interlinear of the verse and camped on covers. The Greek there is καλύπτει (kalyptei)This word is used in one other place in the New Testament, Luke 8:16, though James 5:20 uses a variation of the same word. Luke 8:16 “No one after lighting a lamp covers (kalyptei) it with a jar or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light” (ESV, addition mine). 

This is interesting to me. Obviously we aren’t supposed to just wink at sin, condone it, or call bad good. Yet, love kalyptei a multitude of sins. If I read this word used in Luke 8:16, it is referring to a physical act of covering a light so it cannot be seen. Commentaries in general agree with my interpretation here that this is referring to forgiveness. Proverbs 10:12 has a similar message: Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses (ESV). One example of so many Old Testament statements in the New Testament. 

What does it mean to cover someone’s sin? What does loving one another earnestly look like? First, it means not to gossip about it. If my brother or sister offends me I do not run to the phone to tell others. That is the exact opposite of what we are to do. Gossip is uncovering, not covering. 

Second, give the benefit of the doubt and treat that person the way you wish to be treated. This is the heartbeat really of Torah and scripture in general. Make sure to hear both sides and understand all details before jumping to a rash decision. Act, not react. 

Finally, forgive. When in Luke 8:16 the lamp is covered, it is no longer seen. The light nor likely the lamp is visible. If it’s fully under a jar, it would be as invisible. Covered. At least in your heart through your actions, it never happened (this is not to say if you were very wronged that the injury isn’t there but that you choose to love them). Obviously we need to be wise and have boundaries when needed, but we leave the judgment up to God. 

I think forgiveness comes in different forms. There’s “I forgive but will never talk to them again” (occasionally needed). Then there’s “I forgive and I might talk to them someday if trust is rebuilt” or “I forgive, God you deal with them.” The highest place is where Yeshua (Jesus) and Stephen were when they said, “Father, forgive them…” You desire to have it totally covered. 

Today, during this season of fall feasts and teshuvah, really take inventory. Get before God in prayer and see if you’re covering others with love. An earnest love. 

Earnest: resulting from or showing sincere and intense conviction.

After all, it is all about love. No one is perfect. We all fall short. We all miss the mark. Truly, blessed are the merciful. 

Proverbs 10:12 ESV Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.

Proverbs 17:9 ESV Whoever covers an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.

Colossians 3:12-14 ESV Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

Christian Living

The List

**This is a poem I wrote after much time in prayer. During this season of fall feasts and teshuvah, I pray it reaches those who are meant to see it. I know it was for someone.

I wrote a list, gave it some thought and prayer, on what I should say, God help me convey…my heart, my pain, my hopes, my perception. It’s misunderstood and hit with rejection. So I wrote it all down, and I did it well, making sure not to miss a thing or misspell. Some things they did wrong are vivid and clear, other memories are fuzzy but it’s here to be clear. Clear that I saw, I felt, I understood. No matter how you say it I know it wasn’t good. 

No, I’m no doormat, my heart’s been broken and bruised. This list says I’m tired of neglect and misuse. I finished it up, it felt good to just say it. No one to say no, discount it or hate it. But then a small whisper, a still small voice. Called to me and said, “I’ll give you a choice.”

Right from the pen of my Maker’s hand, was a list, that seemed to be without end. It was my sins, so many, every time I was wrong. Every thought, every word, every action, every song. This list was perfect, with total clarity, on how I fall short, and I fell to my knees. When I made a list of someone else’s wrong, I became judge, and then the spotlight was turned on. 

Now Elohim, Creator, was judging me. Seeing if I’m worthy, to be judge or decree. Then I heard, “Wicked, unworthy, unrighteous.” The measure I used was judging my bias. So I cried out, “Please erase this list. I don’t want hell.” Once again I heard a voice, “I’ll give you a choice.

Hold on to the pain, the bitterness, every sin. Meditate on it, let it stew from within. But the same measure will be held against you. This list is long, and there’s nothing I can do. Sin is sin, and the wages are death. Or, you can choose this in your next breath.

Love, forgive, let it go. Let me heal you and then you will know. You’ll know how wonderful forgiveness is, when you release everything and learn to give. Love is an action, not mere sentiment. If you truly love, this is evident. Give mercy, give grace, for I gave it to you. And this is the only way to eternity with you. 

My child, I saw everything, all is laid bare. I know who abused you and who wasn’t fair. But I know your sins and failings too. Your pride is really clouding your view.”

So I ripped up the list, and threw it away. Then I heard Him say, “Now you’re loving my way.”

Leviticus 19:18 ESV You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.

Matthew 6:14-15 ESV For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you,  but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Matthew 7:2 ESV For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.

Ephesians 4:32 ESV Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Christian Living

Have the Funeral 

​Deuteronomy 34:8 And the people of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days. Then the days of weeping and mourning for Moses were ended (ESV). 

I have a message I feel God wants me to share. This is one I need to convey tactfully and with sensitivity. I’m touching a very tender subject. But, it needs to be directly said. Bear with me.

I got the phrase “have the funeral” in my spirit. This was actually for me. I had been praying for a few specific things. There was one common theme. Grief. I read an article recently on the grieving process. I’m in it for several reasons. Deaths, loss of friends, making peace with God’s plan, and my son’s disability have put me for years in the middle of the grieving process. It’s painful. Stressful. And yes, refining. Oh so humbling. Another piece of pride gets chipped away to God’s sovereignty. Grief comes in waves. Over time they’re less wild and frequent. But they come. When you lose something or someone precious to you, it’s not that you “get over it”. You learn to live with it (or without it). But sometimes, we need to have that funeral. 

Yes, grief sometimes involves physically attending a funeral. But, other times it’s figurative. We don’t allow the burial. We just don’t process it. Life is busy so we go along with it. Out of sight, out of mind. Or is it? No. It’s not. We shove it down, piling current stresses on top of the pain. But the ache is there. Being still enough causes it to manifest. So, we stay active. Busy, busy, busy. It’s not really dead to us yet. That was never faced. The person you loved so much that’s gone. The dream that fell apart. That person who walked out on you. Your health. Whatever it is. If you don’t have the funeral and let the pain be fully experienced, you won’t properly heal. Pretending is no more than a band aid (plaster) on an gaping wound. The funeral needs to happen, then you move on.

Today, I want to speak to those who are wounded. Something or someone died. You’re grieving, or you should be, but you never fully faced it. Perhaps the tears flowing so intensely is scary. But it’s needed. The days of weeping and mourning need to happen. Some of you, conversely, have been having that funeral for years. You are stuck in weeping and mourning. The people of Israel who mourned Moses (Moshe) were just that-people. They had feelings. Thirty days later they weren’t “all better”. But, they had the funeral, felt the pain, and now had to live on. The learning to live on after the loss. The pain is still there, but the process has started. 

I really sense there’s someone reading this that has stuffed their feelings on a big loss. You’re stuck in depression, feeling hopeless. Your healing will start to really happen when you have the funeral. It’s gone. Feel it. Give the pain to Abba. In some instances there can be a resurrection. Sometimes obviously not. That is up to God. 

Loss hurts. Have the funeral, then truly live. 

Psalm 30:2 ESV O Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me.

Psalm 147:3 ESV He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-4 ESV For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 ESV But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.