Tag Archives: abide

Garden of Gethsemane Moment{s}

Test

Just as the Father has loved Me, so I have loved you. So abide in My love.” John 15:9

God has a perfect will:

God has a perfect will

The problem is I have a will of my own that doesn’t always want to submit to God’s will:

I have a will separate and apart from God's

I have a will separate and apart from God’s

The problem can get worse when there are more wills in the picture (like my husband’s):

Three wills

Three separate wills

God’s perfect will for marriage is that “The two shall become one flesh” just as Jesus Christ and the Father are One (John 10:30)

It doesn’t stop there…God wants us to be One with Him just as Jesus Christ prays in John 17:

 “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.
 “The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.

(John 17:20-23)

Three wills become one

Three wills become one

I know what it’s like to be one with God and in the center of His will, even in the midst of a difficult trial, and it’s PEACE! I’ve experienced the peace that surpasses all understanding and I know that’s where I want to be…in the center of God’s will. This peace is an outcome not the goal. The goal is to abide in Christ which manifests His love resulting in obedience.

As my husband and I trust in the Lord and seek His kingdom and righteousness, the Holy Spirit helps us to pray according to God’s perfect will, and God makes our paths straight with His voice behind us telling us ‘the way to go’. We know we are on the right path when we both experience unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

We do not usually know the final outcome of every situation but we choose to follow God by faith not by sight for every. surrendered. step. After all, the righteous will live by faith and righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith through the gospel.

I must confess this is not always an easy process and sometimes my husband is yielded to God’s will and I’m not or I’m yielded to God and my husband is not, and there have been other times my husband and I were united in our wills and yet not yielded to God’s will as a couple. To be out of the will of God is the worst place to be and there is NO peace but conviction, turmoil and unrest.

My husband and I know the glorious place to be is in the center of God’s will! It is NOT always easy to surrender our wills but we are learning to say like Jesus, ‘…yet not My will, but yours, be done”. We are learning to have our Garden of Gethsemane moments crying out to God, ‘Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

We have learned we can’t be in the center of God’s will without:

  • Jesus Christ: “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” John 14:6
  • Love for God resulting in obedience: “Whoever has My commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves Me. He who loves me will be loved by My Father, and I too will love him and show Myself to Him.” John 14:21
  • Surrendering our wills: “Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.” John 16:24
  • The Holy Spirit: “In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” Romans 8:26-27

Saved and reconciled to God by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, wrapped in His righteousness and clothed with His Holy Spirit Power from on High we can now come boldly to God’s throne of grace and worship God in Spirit and in Truth. We give thanks to God! What joy and peace to know your purpose!

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love, He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In Him (Jesus) we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. In Him, you also after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation–having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.” Ephesians 1:3-14


Deep Rooted Love


“And after the sun had risen, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.” Mark 4:6

Tears of sadness filled my daughter’s eyes when I told her we had to throw away the flowers on the table. I was sad with her, and saw this as a divine opportunity to tell her what happens to flowers when they are uprooted, taken away from the one thing that gives them life and nutrients.

That’s how I feel…when I’m not hiding and abiding in the Rock, when I feel like I’ve gone ‘too far’ or it’s ‘too loud’ to hear His voice.  Those times I feel like a withered flower.

I don’t go by feelings anymore.

The Truth is I am already a branch on His Vine and nothing can separate me from the love of God that is IN Christ Jesus {period}.

I am not withered because I am rooted in the One that brings life through His Word, and Living Water.  I’m finding the more time I abide in Jesus Christ, God reveals just how deep His love is for me…how deep He has put my roots which strengthens the confidence of my faith IN the finish work of Jesus Christ {not my stinky flesh}.

As I continue to draw only from the Root I bring forth the fragrance of Christ…by His grace alone.

**The Scripture I kept hearing while writing is what I will pray for us:

“…I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:14-19

Every week Lisa Jo @Lisa Jo posts a writing prompt. You get 5 minutes to write. No extreme editing, or perfect grammar. Just write. This is my second time participating!

Five Minute Friday


R.I.P ‘Today’!

“Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen” Romans 15:33

Rest In Peace (RIP) is an acronym most often seen on tombstones at cemeteries.  The truth is we don’t have to wait until we are physically dead to rest in peace, we can have rest for our souls in God’s peace ‘Today’! Jesus Christ said:

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”(Matthew 11:28)

Rest is defined, “to cause or permit one to cease from any movement or labour in order to recover and collect his strength; calm, refresh

If we come to Jesus Christ and walk and learn from Him, we will find rest for our souls! Jesus uses the word picture example of yoking ourselves to Him.  A yoke is “wooden beam used between pair of oxen to enable them to pull together on a load when working in a pair.” Jesus says;

Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:29-30)

This rest for our souls is not laziness or stagnation or free from burdens, but rather resting in the finish work of Jesus Christ.

We join Jesus in lovingly plowing and preparing the hearts of others to receive the seed (God’s Word) and working alongside Jesus in the plentiful harvest.

If your souls are not resting in peace there are many possible reasons; here are a few:

“Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you…”Acts 3:19-20

  • You have not turned from your ways and to God’s ways and rested in Him (Isaiah 30:15)
  • You are not waiting on the Lord, asking for His path and walking in it (Jeremiah 6:16)
  • You have hardened your heart to the voice of God going astray in your heart and do not know God’s ways (Hebrews 3:7-11)
  • You are being disobedient and unbelieving (Hebrews 3:18-19)
  • You are not being diligent to enter into the Sabbath rest for the people of God; For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath (Hebrews 4:9-11; Matthew 12:8)
  • You are not connected to Jesus Christ the One True Vine that brings the fruit of the Spirit (John 15:5 Galatians 5:22-23)
  • You have a proud heart, haughty eyes, are involved with great matters, or things too difficult for you, and have misplaced your hope–you have placed your hope in yourself, other things or people and not in The Lord (Psalm 131)

I can share these Scriptures because these are the ones God has used to slice me open to show me the thoughts and intentions of my heart, to show me when and why I am not resting in the ‘Guardian of my soul’. I am praying we rest in God’s perfect peace on the finished work of the Cross; Not what we do but what’s been done! I rejoice my name is written in the book of life, love has been poured into my heart and I can’t help but mourn for those that do not yet personally know the One True God and Jesus Christ Whom He has sent.

By God’s grace I get to join my Savior in step with His Holy Spirit to be a worker in the harvest ~ that is a worker empowered by His Spirit knowing it is God who works in and through me for His pleasure for He also does not wish that any should perish but that all would come to repentance and enter into His rest.

Yoke yourself to the Lord of Sabbath and you will feel His presence inside and “By Your Side”.

“…the LORD longs to be gracious to you, and therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you.  For the LORD is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him.” Isaiah 30:18

“Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God.  But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end.” Hebrews 3:12-14

“So Jesus said to them, ‘Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you’. And when He had said this He breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’” John 20:21-22


Prideless Parenting

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8

We were having an enjoyable time at the beach when my daughter became frustrated because the waves kept washing away her artwork on “God’s chalkboard” {the sand}.  She was tired, hungry and her patience was slim, therefore she did the only thing she could do to express her irritation: she cried. And cried, and cried.  I discovered the quickest way to clear a beach is having a child cry for ten minutes straight. Now was the test…

What was I going to do?

My flesh wanted to satisfy the captive audience around me, and discipline her in public, my flesh wanted to scream. Actually, my flesh did scream {inside}.  Then I held her close to me and I prayed.  I prayed for God’s Holy Spirit to help us both in this witnessing opportunity.  I prayed we would both look only at Jesus Christ and not at each other or our sins.  I prayed we would be still and remain in Jesus Christ remembering God is already pleased with us because of what Jesus Christ has done, not anything we have or haven’t done.  I prayed we would take full advantage of this opportunity to give thanks to God even in this sanctifying moment.  I rocked her in my arms and felt as though everything and everyone else melted away.  I sang softly to her, and I remember I can act the same way inside when something I’ve worked hard on is destroyed or taken.

“Know that the LORD Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.” Psalm 100:3

I am on a journey of letting go. God is teaching me to let go of pride and perfection.  God is teaching me to deal gently with others, and to be compassionate as our High Priest Jesus Christ is able to sympathize with our weaknesses.  When these sanctifying moments occur I am learning to silently pray and look to God to comfort my children while restraining any temptation to use worldly things to threaten or console them.  I am learning to wait, be still…I’m learning to hide and abide in my Rock Jesus Christ. At one point my daughter disrespected me during her sorrow and I told her:

“you are not allowed to disrespect me, God says children must obey their parents for this is well-pleasing to Him.  I understand being upset for lost work but now you are crossing over to disobedience and that’s not the path you want to be on.”

She nodded her head. She understood.  Another five minutes of praying and allowing God to comfort her through me and the Hulk {in both of us} was gone.  I now had a calm lamb in my arms remembering the words of Jesus, feed my sheep and ‘tend to my lambs‘, reminding me we are all His sheep in His pasture and He is the one that restores our souls. When my children bicker, cry, fight instead of hearing a whining noise I am choosing to hear little lambs ‘baaaing’ because they are turned over and need help to be restored.  Before God can work in and through me I need to be abiding and hiding in Him so His Spirit can work in and through me for His purpose.

I am letting go of ‘striving’ to be a perfect parent and resting in His grace which is sufficient in all things, even a fit at the beach.  To God be the glory…again, His giving, His glory!


For Love, Not Legalism: Casting Down An iDol

“Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love.” John 15:9

 The other day my son and I watched a video clip of several intentional disciples and lovers of Jesus Christ casting their self proclaimed ‘idols’ into a consuming fire. My son immediately cried out:

“I don’t want to throw my Legos into the fire!”

I asked him, “well, do you love your Legos more than God?”

He looked at me strangely and answered flatly, “Of course not!”

I told him, “Well then it doesn’t seem to be an idol. An idol is anything that you love more than God or distracts or keeps you from your fellowship with Him. It is something that becomes a false god and you worship it instead of the One True God.”

I went on to share with my son if he ever does come across an idol in his life he can go to God’s throne of grace to help him get rid of it.

The Hebrew word for idol ‘eliyl  means, “of naught, good for nothing, worthless, false god.”

It is worthless because it can’t do anything, it does not bring true peace, joy or comfort that only God can fulfill.

The second commandment tells us we ‘shall not’ make idols and worship them reminding us nothing deserves our worship other than God.  I must admit casting down idols does not always come easy for me, but since I have placed my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ I am empowered by Him. John 1:16-17 says:

“For of His (Jesus) fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.”

It is true, I am no longer under the law but grace and  I am not condemned in what I eat, drink or do that is not ‘harmful’ to others–I am free in Jesus Christ.

However, I search and destroy idols in my life because I view them as encumbrances in the race of faith I am running. I’m on a journey with Jesus Christ, and as I walk closely with Him, and abide in Him, I love Him more and the things of this world seem to fade away. The times I struggle to unclench the worthless, He gives me the grace to let go. He also teaches me through the convictions of the Holy Spirit what potential encumbrances are in my life threatening to distract me from my first love: Jesus Christ; and my purpose: to glorify God.

I cast down idols not for legalism but for Love.

“Turn away my eyes from looking at vanity, and revive me in Your ways.” Psalm 119:37

This is one such confession I want to keep as a stone of remembrance so I won’t forget:

Along the way I got caught up in high tech communications like the iPhone leaving me feeling disconnected from the One in whom all good fruit flow from. This confusion and lack of peace had to stop!

My husband would jokingly say there must be a button on my car seat that lifts my phone to my ear the moment I sit down.  He was right.  I was distracted and hardly ever present and instead of prayerfully parenting with grace I saw my children as distractions to conversations I wanted to have. Then by God’s grace, I was convicted and I remembered why I’m here, and the assignment God gave me: to teach His statues diligently to my children all the time and the commission I have been given: to make disciples of all nations as I am going along.

In order to teach God’s statues they need to be on my heart and I need to be present. The Greek word for ‘abide’ menō is explained as, “to remain, not to depart, to continue to be present.” This is the same word Jesus used in John 15:5 when He said,

I am the Vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”

I am a conduit, not the source.

To teach my children I must be connected to the One who helps me to do ‘something’ of eternal value. Being present means to rest in Jesus Christ, wait on Him, and be content in the moment, not striving for the next moment to come, but seizing every opportunity to speak life into my children and those around me.

In terms of being a ‘present’ parent, that means being available to listen to the hearts of my children and to sow God’s Word into their hearts as He leads.  As He leads…this requires to be prayerfully connected to God in order to know the Words and right moment to speak into their hearts; after all, only He knows the hearts of all men.  He knows the words that will sustain my weary ones.

I have spent four years of my sons life and two years of my daughter’s life disconnected from God and from training them in His ways…I do not want to waste another moment, I want to bear much fruit, I want to be a worker in God’s harvest.  So one month ago I said:

Good-bye iPhone, it’s not you, it’s me.  I have already replaced you with a ‘track phone’ I nicked named ‘wise phone’ as it helps me count the cost, measuring the minutes, and words bringing to my attention any idle word I make. I desire to be a purposeful, present, prayerful, parent and I cannot do this unless I remain connected to my power source Jesus Christ. I want to live an intentional life of a disciple of Jesus Christ.  I must not forget why I am here and iPhone, you distracted me too much…A Dios!”

I lay aside this idol and weight not for legalism but for Love. I desire to be continually connected and present abiding in God’s love through Jesus Christ seeking Him with all my heart.  I desire a deeper love with God, enabling me to pour out His love to those around me in the power of His Holy Spirit, all for His glory and honor.

I’m on my knees for us…

**After this stone of remembrance was written in my heart a fellow blogger shared this song “Clear the Stage” and it is one of my favorite songs this moment**


Christianity is not about doing, it’s a state of being.

Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing." John 15:5

Which came first: the fruit or the Spirit?

I used to have a lot of artificial fruit.  What does artificial fruit look like? Well, let’s just say I ‘faked’ Christianity, I acted the way I thought a Christian would act.  Let me give you an illustration…

When I was 16 years old I received a scholarship from the Horatio Alger Association.  To me, it wasn’t just a scholarship; it was the beginning of a relationship.  These people who didn’t even know me invested in my future education and took me to Washington D.C. for a few days, introduced me to a lot of entrepreneurs, and told me how much they believed in me. The sad part is no matter how much they believed in me or encouraged me, I did not think I deserved this scholarship and it was hard for me to accept it. In fact I didn’t even use it for 7 years! Why? Because for those 7 years I tried my hardest to ‘earn’ that scholarship, believing I did not deserve it. This is exactly what I did with my salvation.

I was told by a number of God’s messengers:

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” John 3:16-17

OK. God loves me.  He gave His Son Jesus as a sacrifice to pay for my sins and now I can have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. A gift! In 1996, I ‘accepted’ this free gift but for 13 years I did not act like I’ve accepted it as ‘free.’ Instead, I did everything in my own strength and I tried to earn my salvation, revealing my lack of faith.

I tried to be a good Christian by being nice to people, changing what I say, I tried to stop drinking, I began to serve, and listen to Christian music…always talking the talk but not walking the walk—not walking in the power of the Holy Spirit.  Then in 2008 I began to read the Bible and on February 12, 2009 I surrendered. I stopped doing and started being.

Here are a just few things I’ve learned along the way:

So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits. (Matthew 7:17-20)

I produced bad artificial fruit for so long to try to earn my salvation, to deserve it.  It is true, I don’t deserve it, none of us do. It is by grace through faith I have been saved, not of myself…not what I’ve done or haven’t done, it is a gift of God. I am no longer blinded and now I see!

Do you see? Do you see the Spirit must come before the fruit?

Are you tired of powerless religion? By ‘power’ I mean walking in your strength and not in the power of the Holy Spirit?  I pray you draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

Thanks for reading but please don’t take my commentary for it…read the Bible and interact with God for yourself you will taste and see that He is good!


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