Tag Archives: children

Wearing Or Bearing A Cross?

This beautiful prayer necklace was given to me by my husband seven years before I "pressed on to maturity" in my relationship with God 

This beautiful prayer wheel cross necklace was given to me by my husband seven years before I “pressed on to maturity” in my relationship with God and began to bear my cross

For over 30 years I would wear a cross around my neck but I would not ‘bear’ my own cross.

All those years the cross was just a piece of jewelry to me. I had said I believed in Jesus Christ but when my faith was tested through trials, it was evident in my actions I trusted in my own self sufficiency and not in God.

I had a shallow superficial faith because I never read the Bible for myself. Even when I did hear God’s Word from others I used His Word as band-aids to my ailments, an emergency self-help kit I took out whenever I was hurting or needed something.

Then one day I met a woman radiating the love of Jesus Christ and she didn’t even wear a cross around her neck! She bears her cross…For weeks I quietly watched her intently as she would deny herself daily and yet be so full of love, joy and thanksgiving even in the midst of hard trials.

I wanted what she had more than any jewelry could offer. I asked God how I can get my own flame and love Him as she did. He told me, and I have never been the same since–that was the day I breathed my last the day I “committed to the cost of following Jesus“, that was the day I BEGAN to bear my own cross.

The Bible teaches us intentional disciples of Jesus Christ are to bear our own crosses not just wear one:

“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.”(Matthew 16:24)

The word ‘deny’ (aparneomai) means: “to affirm that one has no acquaintance or connection with someone; to forget one’s self, lose sight of one’s self and one’s own interests”

The word ‘take up’ in Greek (airō) means: “to take upon one’s self and carry what has been raised up, to BEAR; to BEAR away what has been raised, carry off”

If we wish to come after Jesus Christ we must ‘lose sight’ of ourselves and BEAR our cross and follow Him.

The day I committed to follow Jesus Christ I put myself on His altar and told Him I would go wherever He would send me, do whatever He would ask of me, and talk to whoever He wanted me to talk to. I began to let go of everything that is of myself and prayed He would increase and I would decrease.

My adventure of walking closely with Jesus Christ is a novel in itself but let me share the very first radical transformation in my life.

Through His Word, God told me to stay home and raise my children. You would have to know me personally to understand why this was a huge test of faith for me.

*I was raised by a single parent Marine Daddy

*I was paralyzed with fear and insecurities to be a mom since I wasn’t raised by mine

*I saw my children less than 15 hours a week and didn’t know what to do with them on the weekends

*I believed the lies that I made a better mom working outside the home especially since my high paying job would help pay for their future tuition

*I was the mom that dropped her children off first and was the last to pick them up {it hurts to admit this but He wants me to}

*I was the biggest persecutor and made fun of stay-at-home moms {and I said I would NEVER stay home}

*I had finished my Masters degree and was making a six-figure salary and absolutely ENJOYED my job

This was a test of my husband’s faith too. When I told Him about my encounter with God and that I felt God calling me to stay home full time my husband’s response was,

“It will never happen. It is impossible.”

It was impossible for us because we had a half-million dollar home, a Harley Davidson, Mini-Van, Truck and over $100K debt. We were the rich young rulers.

To get over my own insecurities, fears and desires was one thing, having the reality of the golden handcuffs of debt was quite another. I started to sink into an area of doubt and asked God why would He change my heart but not my husbands’? I then stopped asking questions and began to be still and serve God while I waited.

I would not forget the deep conviction God gave me. I knew He had asked me to stay home but I didn’t know how it was going to happen. I stood on His Word and chose to trust God.

I look back now and see God was teaching me submissiveness to Him and my husband. I did not nag my husband. I didn’t not bully to get my way {as I used to} but I submitted to God by submitting to my husband.

Instead, I would pray Deuteronmy 6:5 over my husband’s head while he was sleeping. I would pray with my spiritual mentor that my husband would love God with all his heart, mind, soul and strength. Then it happened!!!!

It just took five months from the time I encountered God for my husband to hear from God too! God told my husband through His Word:

…the righteous will live by faith

Five months from when my husband heard from God we were moved from the VA/DC area to Alabama and I began my full time ministry of motherhood.

I am empowered by God's Holy Spirit to be a momma to my children for God's glory!

I am empowered by God’s Holy Spirit to be a momma to my children for God’s glory!

I am filled with humility and gratitude when I think of the day I breathed my last breath and was filled with His Spirit. I am humbled when I think about how God was drawing me for so many years even when I had been pushing Him away and denying Him. I smile when I think of my husband’s words when I told him I wanted to leave my job and stay home with the children, “it is impossible”. I smile because I remember what Jesus Christ said of the rich young ruler who wanted to enter the kingdom of heaven:

“…with people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26

By God’s grace my husband and I have gone from rags to riches…from our filthy rags to God’s glorious riches!

By God’s grace I am growing in the grace and knowledge of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! I am learning, we bear our crosses when we genuinely say Galatians 2:20

“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”

And do you know what else I’m learning? We CAN NOT deny ourselves in our strength, we can not believe we have been crucified with Christ in our own strength and we can NOT press on to spiritual maturity unless God permits (Hebrews 6:3), we NEED His help, apart from Him we can do nothing (John 15:5)! My hope is in Jesus Christ alone, I know I can not hope to change myself or others, He is my all in all!

Yes, for 30 years I just wore a cross.

However, I realize I just ‘wore’ a cross and never bore my cross because the truth is I can’t bear my cross without the grace of God’s Holy Spirit.

It is by God’s Holy Spirit I am equipped to deny myself daily…whether it is leaving a job I enjoy, canceling ‘alone’ time because a friend is in need or pause my writing even at the climax of completion because a child wants a drink of water–His Spirit empowers me to do what He’s asked of me. I have learned the Spirit must come before the fruit.

Let God’s Word examine your hearts, are you bearing the cross or are you just wearing one around your neck? May we press on to maturity!

“For I am confident of this very thing, that HE who began a good work in you will PERFECT it until the day of Christ Jesus” Philippians 1:6

I am sharing my ‘Hazardous Faith Story’ as part of a synchroblog connected with the release of Ed Cyzewski and Derek Cooper’s new book Hazardous: Committing to the Cost of Following Jesus. To discover more about the book and to read other Hazardous stories, click here.

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10 + 3 = Redeeming Love

“He sent forth His Word and healed them; He rescued them from the grave.” Psalm 107:20


{A big stone of remembrance for my children}

Beloved son and daughter of my vow,

Give thanks to the Lord for He is good for His lovingkindness is everlasting! Today your Daddy and I praise God for the grace and mercy He has bestowed upon our marriage of 13 years for His Namesake.  Even beyond our newlywed years there were many things I didn’t understand about love and marriage and it wasn’t until the summer of 2009 when your Daddy and I became ‘one flesh’ that I began to understand.

That summer God led us to a marriage retreat at Scott River Lodge in Northern California where we went up a mountain as two and came down as one in Jesus Christ.  One of the most memorable moments is when we were baptized as a couple! When we came up from being immersed, your Daddy whispered in my ear:

The moment your Daddy took a stand to lead our family to live by faith.

“God has been talking to me this whole week, and everything we have is not ours; we are just stewards.  It is not our house, it’s not our car, and they are not even our children.  God entrusted everything to us! I am tired of this family investing in the things of the world, we are going to invest in God’s kingdom and it begins now….I want you to stay home full time with the kids so we can disciple them.  I don’t know how it’s going to happen, I don’t know how we will do it financially but the Word God gave me is in Habakkuk 2:4 ‘But the righteous will live by his faith’ and that is what we will do.”

Five months later God moved us to Alabama.

We can see now God was performing His Word in Habakkuk these past three years because we have been given many opportunities to live by our faith and trust in God: an overwhelming amount of debt, a drastic reduction in income, a call to home school, two car wrecks (one nearly fatal), pending foreclosure of a house and unemployment.

Through these trials, testing and discipline your Daddy has led us in praying:

Lord may we seek first Your kingdom and Your righteousness, may we trust in You and live by faith.’

In these fiery ordeals we continued to lift our hands praising and blessing God and God responded as He said He would! In just three years God has paid our financial debt, is teaching us to be content in all circumstances, is empowering us to disciple you, rescued Daddy and a friend from physical death, helped avoid foreclosure and sell the home, and provided a full time ministry for Daddy!! Today Daddy has a ministry not a ‘career’–as Daddy follows Jesus he has the privilege to ‘feed the homeless’ not just food that perishes but the imperishable food–God’s Word. Daddy is making disciples and is entrusting God’s word to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.

We are overwhelmed by God’s grace and mercy. God paid the debt of sin for sending His only Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross in our place and now He has paid our financial debt. And just as God rescued Daddy and his friend from physical death from the car wreck, by God’s grace and peace we have been rescued from spiritual death by the Lord Jesus Christ who gave Himself for our sins.

I am in awe of God! Not just for what He has done, but for Who He is. God is faithful, truthful, compassionate, abounding in lovingkindness, and righteous.

Sweet children, it is so important for you to know your Daddy and I are able to rejoice in 13 years of marriage not because we are perfect and good people—in fact God’s Word, the Bible tells us all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and there is no one good not even one.

We are able to celebrate this day because of the grace of God.  It is God who drew us to Himself and we did not harden our hearts when we heard His voice but fell in love with Him realizing He first loved us.  God’s love and Holy Spirit empowers us to love one another the way He has commanded us to love. Daddy is my closest neighbor and I love Him as myself, and He loves me as Himself.

Our hope is not having a perfect marriage, or a life without trials and pain, but our hope in Christ alone, we know from experience we cannot do this without Him.  We had 10 years of marriage without consulting or seeking God’s kingdom and it was very difficult to love apart from God…we even separated at one time. But God is the wonderful counselor and healer of all.  Just as we are made alive to God in Christ Jesus, so our marriage is alive in Christ Jesus for His purposes. God has made us righteous through faith in Jesus Christ, and that is how we are able to live by faith—to God be the glory!

My spirit can testify how I love Jesus Christ and I have a passion for Him that burns like fire within me, His purposes are my heart’s desire.

I love your Daddy too.  I love your Daddy more this moment then ever in my entire life. What I’m realizing is the more God continues to conform Daddy and I into the image of Jesus Christ my love for your Daddy grows because it is Jesus Christ in Him that unites us as One just as Jesus prayed, enabling me to love ‘my neighbor as myself.’ God’s banner of love abides over us and our lips shout for joy singing praises to God!

I must sow what I know in the hearts He’s entrusted me–yours…these are just a few things about love and marriage He continues to teach me:

Children of my vow, I pray for the day God will claim you as His own and you will enter into a covenant with Him–the the One True God.  I pray this not so you can have a wife or husband, or a ‘good life’ but so You will know Him for yourselves and You will serve Him and seek first His kingdom and righteousness all the days He ordains for you. I love you both.

Love your mama

**Psalm 103 is our 2012 anniversary song**


Repented of Salvation Ambition: Remembering We Sow, He Grows

Just as you do not know the path of the wind and how bones are formed in the womb of the pregnant woman, so you do not know the activity of God who makes all things.” (Ecclesiastes 11:5)

My son recently lost his first tooth! When it was first loose I asked him if he wanted us to pull it out and he gently replied,

“No mama, I want don’t want anyone to mess with it. I want it to come out when it’s time.”

Those last few words stayed in my heart: “when it’s time…”

I thought of how I usually don’t ‘wait’ for the appointed time whatever ‘it’ is.  I’m usually eager to get ‘it’ done! It is from this habit I have another confession…

Confession:

I can become easily distracted and try to rush the salvation of others.

I never thought witnessing could turn into selfish ambition but it can—I now call it “salvation ambition.”  I realize it’s harder with my family because I want them to know God and Jesus Christ so badly, I sometimes over step my boundaries by looking away from Jesus Christ to myself or to their walks with Him.  I anxiously want to know my role, my part in their salvation.

I receive God’s gentle correction when I read John 21:1-23:

Peter had just told Jesus he loved Him and was given instructions to tend and shepherd the lambs and sheep of Jesus Christ and to FOLLOW JESUS but Peter still asks:

Lord, who is the one who betrays You?….Lord, and what about this man?” (20,21)

Peter gets distracted…

What was Jesus’ response?

“…If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!”

God has been using these passages for the past 2 years to help discipline my walk with Him and stop looking at the walks of others.  Jesus is the path—the Way the Truth and the Life and I need to watch Him and do not look to the left or right but keep my eyes fixed on Him, the Author and Perfecter of faith.

Examining and ‘judging’ the walks of others in my flesh has been a temptation and distraction and I repent…that is one of the reasons I am off Facebook.  God has convicted me to put my face in His book and write about my faith in a book for my children {my journal} to share the stones of remembrances He has given our family.

God has reminded me my role in evangelism and making disciples is to share the Gospel, tend His sheep and lambs, and follow Him.

As I follow Jesus Christ, will there be distractions? Yes! They come in many forms; one for me is selfish ambition.  For example I want my children to be saved.  I ask Jesus, ‘will they be the ones to betray You?”  Jesus responds, “If I want {them} to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!”

I humbly say to my Savior since nothing is hidden from Him:

But I’m their mama and I love them, and their salvation matters to me because I want them to love and know You, I want them to live with you forever.” There was the selfish “salvation ambition”:

I. Want.

Jesus Christ reminds me the cost of being His disciple:

“…If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.”  Matthew 16:24

Did you catch that? BEFORE I can FOLLOW Jesus Christ I must deny myself…take up my cross (crucify myself) THEN Follow Him.  That means deny my ‘selfish ambitions.’

I ask God, “what about when you say to make disciples of all nations?”

He reminds me the making of disciples is not done in my strength but true disciple making is done in His power, the power of His Holy Spirit.  He can use me when I am obedient and empty myself and am filled with His Spirit.  When I am His vessel filled with His Spirit my utterances are His; I don’t move until He tells me to move.

I have a new perspective…

·         My vision is Jesus Christ

·         My goal is obedience to God

·         The strategy: The Holy Spirit

The goal is not forcing salvation on others like my children, the goal is obeying Jesus Christ by humbling myself everyday and following Him.

I must follow Jesus Christ, listen to Him, trust and obey Him so that I can tend the lambs (my children) He has given me and I can intercede and pray for them and ask God to give me opportunities to share the Gospel in deed and truth with them, knowing only He enlightens people, and shines into their hearts giving them understanding of His Word.  Only He draws others to Himself.  God does use human vessels (believers) but it is done in His strength so that the “surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves”.

So what is my assignment?

The truth is, God wants them to come to Him too {Matthew 18:14; 2 Peter 3:9;}. I need to trust in God, hope in Him, wait on His timing and be patient and pray. When the opportunity to be the hands and feet and mouth of Jesus Christ comes I am compelled to sow and water the seeds as He leads praying He will cause a growth.

Jesus I am resting, resting…

So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth. Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.” 1 Corinthians 3:7-9


Which Way Do They Go?

“Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.”Proverbs 22:6

We were at a closing ceremony for Vacation Bible School when God reminded me how He has blessed me with two entirely opposite children.

The impeccably dressed kids were parading down the aisle of the Church, when my daughter comes out in a beautiful dress walking with proper posture, smiling and going into her assigned spot in the far left corner.  My son on the other hand, wore cotton pajama shorts and a white T-shirt with flip flops and bounced down the aisle heading to his assigned spot in the far right side.  As he tried to move next to the only other boy, two girls created a wall and he joyfully accepted their refusal and turned around and nearly knocked over a huge vase next to him.

When they began singing my daughter sang loudly, doing the hand motions perfectly and smiling with the exception of when she found the time to tell the older girl next to her to scoot over because she needed more room.

My son. He was trying to keep up with the hand motions but you can tell he had a hard time hearing, and he turned around at one point and faced the children and began to pick his bottom in front of the entire audience.  When it came time for the team cheer my daughter said it in unison.  My son was oblivious when his team cheered and when it was silent jumped in the air and yelled, “Go Judah!” All. By. Himself. The audience roared with laughter.

My reaction?

Laughter. I am thankful I was able to laugh. I am thankful it was a day I was not prideful as a mother but humble.  It was a day I chose not to make it about me, or what others thought.  It was a day I chose to accept my children for how God uniquely created them.

I must confess that’s not always the case, but I’m thankful for God’s inspired Word that reminds me:

“Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.”Proverbs 22:6

This does not say to train up a child in the way I think he should go.  I have fought many useless battles with my son and daughter to try to conform them to the way I think they should go.  The majority of these battles derived from my pride.  I cared what others thought of my children and of me as a mother.  I let my insecurities of motherhood dictate how I raised my children, until I remembered: we all belong to God.  Since He is the Creator I asked Him, “which way do they go?”  Especially since I have two completely opposite children…how do I know which way is the ‘right’ way? Again, God answers through His Word:

The word “Train up” means:

“To narrow; discipline, to dedicate of a house or temple”

And “in the way he should go” means:

‘according to his way’

This means to train them, discipline them in the way God has uniquely designed them.

I have pondered what this means for my children and this is what God has revealed to me:

That has been the foremost training my husband and I have been focusing on for the past two years.  We have dedicated our children to the Lord and have made a vow to train and teach them as God commands in Deuteronomy 6:4-9. We are teaching them the primary ‘Way’ to go, leading them to Jesus Christ each day.

However, God has also uniquely designed them, and blessed them with talents He wants them to use to glorify Him.  He has created them with a purpose and He knows the plans He has for them, but how do I know ‘the way they should go’?

The best way for me to know how He uniquely created them is to pray for wisdom and ask God to show me.  I ask God for wisdom on how I can cultivate an atmosphere to encourage and help flourish the talents and gifts He has blessed them with. I ask God for strength to help me to ‘pay attention’ and be present with my children to listen, to watch, and be around them.

God has taught me, when I listen to my children, I am listening to their hearts because out of the heart the mouth speaks.  What is their heart saying about what sort of discipline they need? All of these are questions I ask my Father in Heaven and when I humbly ask, He gives me the grace to raise them.

I realize by the power of the Holy Spirit I can teach my children about God and Jesus Christ and show my children the ‘Way’ to go, and lead them to the gate and they may still choose not to walk in the way of the narrow path, but I have comfort knowing the Lord hears my prayers and the Words I share with them now, His Word will watch over them even in their sleep and one day when they are awaken God’s Words will talk to them.

My son, observe the commandment of your father and do not forsake the teaching of your mother; bind them continually on your heart; tie them around your neck.  When you walk about, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; and when you awake, they will talk to you. For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching is light; and reproofs for discipline are the way of life.” Proverbs 6:20-23


His Giving, His Glory

I was in the car handing money to my children to give for a Church offering when my daughter objected, “Mommy, that’s MY money! I don’t want to give that to anyone!” I gently asked her, “Who owns everything?” She responded, “God, but that’s mine and I don’t want to share it! I love my money.”

I could feel my pride as a Mother and tension rise up within me.  I had to remember, this is not about me.  I humbled myself and God brought to my remembrance His Word:

The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.”2 Timothy 2:24-26

I said a prayer and asked for God’s wisdom and grace for this moment and to help me not to be quarrelsome with her but to correct her with gentleness.  He reminded me how difficult it is for me to let go of things I call ‘mine.’  Empowered by His Holy Spirit I was able to speak to her with compassion:

Praying I can wait on God to prepare her heart for His glory

“Baby girl, it’s not always easy for Mommy to give away things she wants to keep but we can pray and ask God for His help and He will help us. You said correctly ‘everything IS God’s’ and God gave you that money through Grandma and you can do what you want with it and I am not going to force you to do something you don’t want to do.  However, I am going to pray for you, that God will soften your heart and give you the grace to give cheerfully.”

She just held onto the money tighter.  That was the end of the conversation.

Five minutes later she bounced up to me and with a huge smile and whispered, “Guess what Mommy? I want to give my money to the orphans.”  My soul sings out: To God be the glory!

Oh one more thing…immediately after my prayer for her heart was answered we walked into the sanctuary and the message was:  “When you need help, God is with you” and the key verse:

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1

How kind of God to allow my daughter and I to walk out that truth together…


Free To Enjoy the Butterflies!!

Photo Credit: Photo prise le 5 mai 2006 (© majamarko / Flickr)

Photo prise le 5 mai 2006 (© majamarko / Flickr)

Do you like butterflies? Do you know the colors you see on butterflies are not from pigmentation, but rather they are a reflection of light? It’s true! I was watching God of Wonders when I discovered this awesome truth!

Butterflies were created with microscopic bio-photonic scales and the colors you see reflect the light of the sun.  Does this sound similar to someone else God created?

Like you and me…we are created in the image of God and if you are a Christian you can reflect the Light of the Son (Jesus Christ).  The Light that shines in you is not from you but from Him.

It was through this revelation that God has freed me from something I had been struggling with off and on in my life…OK I’m about to be transparent so please give grace:

Envy. Jealousy.

There I said it. I confessed it and God has cleansed me and I repent-turn from my sin of envy and jealousy and turn to Jesus Christ, the One who is able to keep me by the power of His Holy Spirit. Now He wants me to share with you…

Because of my insecurities of being a Mother I would sometimes feel green towards other Mothers. I would compare myself to her. I can’t cook like that. I can’t draw like that. I can’t write like that. I can’t…the list went on.  Instead of enjoying how God created them I was stuck on what He didn’t create in me. I forgot that He already created in me a clean heart–but I acted as an unbeliever. I had an ungrateful, un-thankful and critical heart which made for a lonely journey.

It was lonely because I didn’t allow myself to get close to anyone and God had to protect the woman–He was not going to allow me to hold the heart of another woman if I had envy and selfish ambition.  He told me this in James 3:13-18:

“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.”

When God speaks, I listen.  His Words cut to the core of my green heart and now that I knew what the problem was, I knew how to pray.  I prayed for wisdom from heaven, I prayed I would be a peacemaker sowing peace to reap a harvest of righteousness for His kingdom.  I prayed I would abide and remain in Jesus Christ because I knew apart from Him I could only bear artificial fruit. I couldn’t ‘fake it’ I needed Him to surgically remove this root of bitterness and envy and help me to see other women as He does…then He gave me the butterfly. Wow, wow, wow!

As I heard how butterflies  reflect light I pondered all the different kinds of butterflies that are out there I realized they are doing what He created them to do and they are ‘being‘ what He created them to be…reflect light.  When I surrendered and gave God my green heart and when I prayed for His wisdom guess what happened?

I could see the hearts of other women (saved and unsaved)! I could be gracious and compassionate regardless how they reflected (or didn’t reflect) His Light.  And NOW I knew what I was supposed to do…pray.

Pray and thank the Lord for how He made those that reflect His Light–love them and thank them for their obedience and glorify God with them!

Pray for and LOVE those that do not yet shine His Light, or have green hearts toward me or are flickering.

In all cases, love and thank the Creator for the created.

So now I am free to enjoy the Butterflies…not just the ones outside flying around but the ones I see all around me. Women who love God and serve Him and share Him with others.  Women who are far from Him.  I now refuse to be used against God and I choose love.  I do this because I love Him.

You can’t sow what you don’t know.  Now I am ready to teach my children how to appreciate how God uniquely created them and others to reflect His Son. I’m glad I have this stone of remembrance that I can visit the next time I am tempted to look at others and not the Author and Perfecter of my Faith-Jesus Christ.

What about you? Do you appreciate the gifts, talents, creativity of others or do you let insecurities keep you from appreciating them limiting your ability to glorify God?

I’m praying for you dear reader. If you do not know our Creator, I pray He will draw you to Himself and open your eyes to see His glory and give you a new heart and put His Spirit inside you. I pray He will surround you with saints in Light that are loving you to Jesus Christ.

For my brethren I pray that we ‘may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that [we] will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.” (Colossians 1:9-12)

Praying my daughter is a wise woman who fears the Lord and sees herself and others as God sees

“But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.” James 1:22-25


A Dead Seed Blossoms

"But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive." 1 Corinthians 15:20-22

"But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive." 1 Corinthians 15:20-22

As we bent down to check the progress of a newly planted seed I asked my 4 year old daughter, “do you know the seed must die before it can have fruit and blossom?”

Her responding question was simple, yet profound, “Why mommy? Why must it die?”

I paused. I exhaled, prayed and listened.  Then I whispered,

“Because only God can raise the dead. Only God can cause something beautiful to come from something dead.”

During her nap I retreated with my Father to soak in the lesson from this morning about a dead seed. His word confirms what I shared with my daughter:

“…Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…”1 Corinthians 15:3-4

“For the love of Christ controls  us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.” 2 Corinthians 5:14-15

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal. If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him. “John 12:24-26

It’s true.  It’s true of the seed God has created for plants, and it’s true of the seed of His other creation…people.

We must put ourselves on His altar and die before we can bear fruit. We do it once at rebirth and continue to present ourselves as living and holy sacrifices, acceptable to God each day. How do we do this? It can look different for each person but do not compare because it’s only for God’s purpose and for His viewing.

Search your own heart…

Have you put yourself on God’s altar? Does the Spirit of God who raised Jesus from the dead live in you enabling you to bear much fruit? Do you care that others don’t see ‘your’ sacrifices?

I’m praying for us. Praying we have died with Jesus Christ and are living by faith through the power of Holy Spirit blossoming where He has placed us.

“Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.”  Romans 12:1

“But someone will say, “How are the dead raised? And with what kind of body do they come?” You fool! That which you sow does not come to life unless it dies; and that which you sow, you do not sow the body which is to be, but a bare grain, perhaps of wheat or of something else. But God gives it a body just as He wished, and to each of the seeds a body of its own.” 1 Corinthians 15:35-38

 “And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives in you.” Romans 8:11


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