Tag Archives: freedom

The Invitation

I received an invitation but didn’t open it right away. I was thankful to get it and carried it with me most of the time. I only spoke of it when others talked about their invitation, and I pretended I had already opened mine. I didn’t think I needed to open mine because I knew Who it was from and I knew I was invited.

There were many times in my life when I was lost and lonely I would pull the invitation out and hold it against my heart and long for the pain to go away, but I never opened it.

Then one day a woman shared with me her invitation…Word for Word.

She talked about it all the time, she spoke of the Invitee even more. She was giddy in love and full of joy and spoke of the Invitee as if she really KNEW Him. She shared with me the day she received her invitation and the day she gave her RSVP and she was alert and ready waiting for the event. The joy and enthusiasm in her voice and the love for the One who sent this invite intrigued and stirred me. I wondered if I really received the same invitation as her.

I could no longer stand it and I opened my invitation in the early morning hours and I saw where the joy came from…

I was invited to approach the throne of God! To be in His presence and actually speak to Him on a daily basis and be heard! I saw it was not an invitation for a ticket to heaven, but an invitation to enter into a relationship with our Creator, to call Him Abba, Father and be His child.

I was invited to a future wedding feast and He promised He would supply all my needs according to His glorious riches, not just for the day of the wedding but now. The only thing He required of me is that I love Him.

My heart raced and I cried. I saw my depravity on the backdrop of His holiness and I KNEW I did not deserve to be invited. My mind went back to all the sins I had committed, the idols in my life, and my inability to love God the way He asked of me. I was afraid I would stain the wedding clothes. That’s when I began to understand the meaning of grace–receiving something I didn’t deserve–it is a gift.

That February morning in 2009 I submitted my “RSVP” by placing my faith in Jesus Christ, the One Who gives me access to God the Father by One Spirit. That was the beginning of my transformation from the inside out. I am a citizen of heaven and my mind is set on heavenly things. I long for the day when my Savior, the One who prepared a way for me to Know God returns to receive me to Himself and I will have un-interrupted fellowship with Him forever.

***

Do you know we were made to have fellowship with Holy God? Our sin separates us from God, and we feel too ashamed to even mention His name.

But God rich in His mercy, grace and love provided a way for us to really KNOW Him, not just know about Him. This knowing is found through Jesus Christ. This knowing IS eternal life.

If you feel a drawing and a longing to know God, turn to Him and place your faith in Jesus Christ, knowing it is by is His sacrifice you are made right with God. He will clothe you with His robe of righteousness and empower you with His Spirit to love Him the way He deserves to be loved…this is a lifetime of sanctified learning full of Truth, grace and forgiveness.

Consider this your invitation….

RSVP in french means “please respond,” will you RSVP today?

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**I wrote this in remembrance of my re-birthday! Six years ago this February I became a new creation in Christ in the privacy of my home reading the Scriptures.***

 

 

 

 


Declaration of {In} Dependence

Today America celebrates ‘Independence day.’ A day when we declared independence from the British empire.  The preamble to our Constitution reveals our desire to ‘form a more perfect union’ and ‘establish justice‘ ‘insure domestic tranquility…’ It began as a noble effort with the acknowledgment of God, our Creator; Somewhere along the way we began to declare independence from God too, telling Him we no longer wanted to be ‘under’ Him nor did we need His ‘help.’  We have decided to make our appetite our god and glory in our shame setting our minds on earthly things, not on the things of God.

For too many years I celebrated the Fourth of July without any regard to God.  I placed my hope and thanks solely in our political forefathers and our military instead of seeing them as ordinary people with an extraordinary God. I know better now.

Daily I declare my dependency on God, and ask you to join me.

We need God but we can’t go to God without coming to Jesus Christ. It is the cleansing flow of the blood of Christ that allows us to call God our Father, and gives us fellowship and sweet daily communion.

To be in Christ is the most perfect union–a union with God the Father by His Holy Spirit. Jesus is the One that holds all things together, apart from Him we can do nothing. He is the One who establishes justice and ensures all tranquility.

I am praying God sends revival to America, only then will America have unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  We have ignored God for too long. Are you living in dependence to God or are you living independent from Him?In Dependence to God

God is not dead, He’s still alive and He is looking for contrite confessed hearts turned towards Him to cleanse and revive. Cry out to Him for your sins and the sins of our Nation Beloved and don’t stop…

“…now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” Luke 7:7-8 (Read Luke 7:1-8 for context)

“He (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.  For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.  He is before all thing , and IN HIM all things hold together.” Colossians 1:15-17

I am the Vine, you are the branches, he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruity, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 (Jesus)


A Heart to Hear Your Calling and See Your Purpose

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You have a calling and purpose in this life.

God has prepared good works for you to walk out.

If you don’t find out what they are, you will spend your life going ‘to and fro’ looking for ‘your place.’ You will be restless, frustrated, angry, joyless and without divine peace. You will try to be like those around you to fit in, and doing the good works God has prepared for others to walk out.

You will never feel that you are in the right place, and you will be filled with insecurity. You may begin to look at the lives of others and compare yourself to them, and your heart will turn green with envy because they are so peaceful and joyful and content and: You. Are. Not.

You will not walk out your calling and purpose in this life which includes the prepared ‘good works’ from God unless you have:

But you say, “where is God, I can’t see Him, I can’t hear Him? He must not exist.”

It is our sin that separates us from God. Sin is all the bad things we do and say, and we try to hide from God in the darkness ashamed because we know we do not deserve His love…not after all thing things we have done. The wages of sin is death, and that is what you feel like: the walking dead, physically alive but spiritually dead.

"And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God." 2 Corinthians 4:3-4

“And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” 2 Corinthians 4:3-4
*Image Credit: Fullofeyes.com

We have a pulse-less heart unable to know and love God, we have deaf ears and blinded eyes.

Beloved, it doesn’t have to be this way. God is real, and He has forGIVEN us, and helps us to walk out the ‘good works’ by giving us:

  • His Word (the Bible): to teach, reprove and train us in righteousness
  • Jesus Christ: it is by His blood we can draw near to God the Father
  • His Spirit: guiding us and sanctifying us in truth sealing us until the day of redemption

How do you have divine peace? How do you have joy? How do you have the security that gives you rest?

You must be born again of the Spirit of God.

Confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart God raised Him from the dead and you will be saved. Come to Jesus Christ, his cleansing blood will heal you. His love has covered all your sins and they are no more.

His Spirit will wash you and renew you, and you will be born again: given a new heart to love God, a pure heart so that you can see God, and you will hear a voice tell you the way to walk. You will have daily COMMUN{ion} with God resulting in deep fellowship and security. Then you will see the ‘prepared good works’ God has for you to walk in and others will see the divine peace, joy that rests on you and you will fulfill your calling and purpose: To. Glorify. God.

God is calling you…to give you a new heart for you to hear and see Him, He does this every day…is today your day of salvation? You can continue to survive in this world or be revived

I’m praying for you dear reader…God is real and He loves you!

Bread to strengthen the Brethren: Ezekiel 36:24-28; Matthew 11:28-30; Ephesians 2:1-10; Psalm 16:11; Psalm 50:15


Daily Holy COMMUN{ion}

This is a picture when I was eight years old. The day I made my first holy communion but it wasn't until I was 33 that I really had my 'First' holy communion with God!

“for through Him {Jesus Christ} we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father.” Ephesians 2:18

Do you prefer communication or communion with God?

Communication’ and ‘Communion’ have similar definitions. The first is the ‘imparting or exchanging of information or news’ and the latter is ‘the sharing of intimate thoughts and feelings…’

Communication can be cold and distant, while communion is intimate and relational and results in fellowship.

We were made to have unbroken communion, or fellowship with God.  Fellowship, or Koinōnia means: “fellowship, association, community, communion, joint participation, intercourse.”

Spending time with God in Holy Communion is a privilege we can experience because of what Jesus Christ has done (Ephesians 2:13; Ephesians 2:18; Ephesians 3:12).

For years I tried in my own strength to communicate with God; I prayed, I wrote to Him in journals, I even ‘completed’ my ‘first holy communion’. However, it was not until I was still and stopped talking, and started listening that I heard God for myself and had my first Holy COMMUNion with Him.

My religion turned into a relationship.

It was no longer a one way cold communication giving God my wish list of things I wanted, but became an intimate communion and sweet fellowship with Him. I wanted to know God. The more I sought God, the more I saw He is Holy and I am not.

God’s holiness shone so brightly I couldn’t help but see my own sin and undeserving heart to speak with the Creator Himself. But grace. God immersed me with His grace, and I understood what it meant to say, “Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” A phrase I memorized at eight to make my first holy communion.

In the Spring of 2009 my eyes were unveiled and I saw how the sacrifice and blood of Jesus Christ cleansed me from my past and current sins allowing me to draw near to God. I saw how the resurrection power of Jesus Christ gives me power to abstain from future sin.  That day I was taken out of darkness and put into God’s marvelous light, given a new heart and title of daughter–a privilege to call the Creator, My Abba…Father.

It was the blood of Jesus Christ that cleansed me and brought me near to God, and it is still the blood of Jesus that cleanses me and keeps me near God giving me the power to ‘master sin’.

No, I have not yet‘mastered’ sin perfectly but I know my role: I ‘practice’ righteousness and God ‘perfects. I am on a journey towards perfection called sanctification and my mind is catching up with how God sees me in Christ. I’m learning the faith, power and victory to master sin comes from God alone, He dispenses the seeds of faith, Bread of Life and anointing for each day, it is up to me whether I take it.

I have tasted the Bread of Life and seen for myself the Lord is good, faithful and righteous. I want this treasure of communion with God more than ANYTHING and I desire to be conformed into the image of Jesus Christ so that I may have unbroken fellowship with God the Father through His Holy Spirit to be used as a vessel of mercy and grace for His kingdom purposes.

I am learning we can’t have unbroken fellowship or commune with God if we are practicing sin; His Word says,

“If I regard wickedness in my heart, the Lord will not hear;” Psalm 66:18

He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion. How blessed is the man who fears always, but he who hardens his heart will fall until calamity.” Proverbs 28:13-14

I am learning to come to boldly to God’s throne of grace and begin the day in a God morning.  This is a discipline turning into devotion for me. With the many fatal distractions and noise in this world I am making it a practice to wake up early in humble prayer asking God to help me set my mind on the things above not on the things of this earth.  I am learning to cast all my anxiety on God believing He cares for me. I am also learning to put my agenda, expectations and ‘to do’ lists on the altar remembering my life is no longer my own. I am beginning to delight myself in my crucifixion allowing my death to precede His living breath.

This is something I must do every morning and I’m learning to do it more throughout the day. I welcome and cooperate with the Holy Spirit as He reveals and convicts me of any sin in my life helping me to confess and repent and walk by faith in His righteous ways. I am learning transparency is transforming and God heals what we reveal. God does not finger point or condemn me for my sin, but rather He is there to save me from my sin…even the future sin.

In seeking God’s kingdom and righteousness first I am learning about the things I do which grieves the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit convicts me of what I am doing (or not doing) I confess my sins, repent (turn from that behavior and turn to God).  I call this daily devotion: Retreat, Repent, Restore, Revive.

  • I Retreat from all physical and spiritual distractions to be alone with God with the intent to be still and listen
  • God’s Holiness reveals and gently convicts me of any current sin and I confess and He grants me the sorrow to Repent
  • God Restores me keeping me from condemnation encouraging me I am to walk by the Spirit He put in me
  • God Revives me according to His Words of life and His Spirit; I am made alive and I am giddy to have personally heard from my Abba—not through someone else’s devotion to God or book, or blog but from Him directly. This intimacy and love I have for Him gives me a desire to obey Him.

In this daily practice I have been experiencing revival by His Word and I have been receiving His times of refreshing that comes from his cleansing forgiveness and grace. I am learning to walk in the fear of the Lord and the comfort of the Holy Spirit.

The more time I spend with God, the more I know Him. The more I know God the more I love and trust Him, that is how I am learning to abide in Him–I am learning to rest in His purposes, His ways and His timing.

Why am I sharing this stone of remembrance with you? It is as John said under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit:

“…what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete.” 1 John 1:3-4

I am praying for you beLoved reader:

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Amen” 2 Corinthians 13:14


Not About Survival But REVIVAL!

Praying for my city

“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.” John 12:24

Survival: “The state or fact of continuing to live or exist, typically in spite of an accident, ordeal, or difficult circumstances.”

Revive: “Restore to life or consciousness…regain life, consciousness, or strength.”

For the majority of my life I would selfishly do whatever I could to survive in this world. This ranged from getting a higher education, making a six-figure salary and people pleasing. Whenever I encountered an adversity in my life I would ‘pull myself up from my bootstraps’ and press on to survival. It’s different for me now.

The closer I walk with Jesus Christ, the more is revealed about what is the hope of His calling, and the riches of His inheritance. I have learned my inheritance is not of this world. I am learning to set my mind on heavenly things and to release the white knuckle grip I’ve had on trying to survive in this world. I am no longer comfortable with survival because I want revival!

In order to revive something it must be DEAD first! That’s probably what my Lord Jesus Christ meant when He said:

“…If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.” Luke 9:23

The NLT Bible translates ‘deny himself’ to ‘turn from your selfish ways’. This is great news: with a daily death comes daily revival by the power of God’s Holy Spirit.

I am learning the more I surrender my will, which includes my plans, purposes, reputation and schedule, the more God can work in and through me for His purposes. I’m learning to turn from my selfish survival mode to God’s Spirit revival mode:

Survival says: Revival says
*I want to keep my life for myself *I lose my life for the sake of Christ
*I must save myself *I entrust my life to God
*I don’t want to get hurt *I will share in the sufferings of Christ
*I want others to like me *I will share in the persecutions of Christ
*I can’t lose *I will gain Christ
*Promote yourself *I will deny myself
*Hold a tight grip on material possessions *I will give generously and sacrificially
*Clench your fists *I will surrender with open palms
*Cling to the world *I will cling to the Word of God (Jesus Christ)
*Stay on the ledge of legalism *I will float in the depths of God’s grace
*It’s OK to have a callous heart *Pierce and soften my heart God
*It’s about me *It’s about God’s kingdom
*Seek money and things of this world *Seek God’s kingdom and righteousness
*Be a slave to the law *Live in freedom in Christ
*Live safe *Live adventurously yielded to the Holy Spirit
*I must trust in manipulation * I will wait on the inspiration of the Holy Spirit

I don’t want to survive, I want to revive!

But let me be purely transparent with you…it’s not as easy as I say it. My flesh cries out, “survive…it’s about what you want…” This ‘battle’ begins every morning.

Each morning I have the opportunity to be revived when my alarm goes off.  I have a choice: wake up, humble and die to myself and meet with my Father through my Lord Jesus Christ fixing my eyes on Him, to receive His anointing for His kingdom assignment He has prepared for me, or quench the Holy Spirit and sleep in because my ‘flesh’ desires it.  It’s my ‘free will’ choice.

By God’s grace, I’m learning to kindle afresh the fire within me and reap the rewards of crucifying my flesh while yielding to the power of the Holy Spirit, thus experiencing His life abundant!  It is as Jesus Christ has said,

For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” Matthew 16:25

Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the LIFE no one can come to the Father but through Him!

Authentic revival comes after our death and God’s breath in us. Only then will we bear authentic kingdom fruit, for the Spirit must come BEFORE the fruit!

May we the Church take up the cross daily and follow Jesus Christ not struggling to survive but surrendering and humbling ourselves waiting for God to revive us!

“And it shall be said, “Build up, build up, prepare the way, remove every obstacle out of the way of My people.” For thus says the high and exalted One Who lives forever, whose name is Holy, “I dwell on a high and holy place, and also with the contrite and lowly of spirit in order to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.” Isaiah 57:14-15


Recline Now, Or Later?

"It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery." Galatians 5:1

“It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1

Heroes are fearless and full of courage.  One of my favorite heroes is Harriet Tubman. “Born into slavery, Tubman escaped and subsequently made more than nineteen missions to rescue more than 300 slaves…”

 What amazes me the most about Harriet Tubman is what she did AFTER she was free….she went back to set the captives free!

Like Harriet Tubman, I too was born into slavery…a different kind of slavery: slavery to sin, but praise be to God I have been set free through Jesus Christ and now that I know Him and have tasted and seen the LORD is good I have the calling to set the captives free!

I’m learning there are a lot of things that can happen between now and my physical death, and my salvation is more than living in heaven with God…eternal life started when I was born again and I was given ears to hear God, eyes to seek His kingdom and a heart to know and love God. I have been entrusted with these gifts and now I am a steward of the mysteries of God. What I do with these gifts will determine whether I am a faithful steward…or not.

God says, “to those who have been given much, much is required.” I am enjoying my relationship with God, and this sweet fellowship through the blood of Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit is more fulfilling than anything I can explain.

But now what? Am I to recline with my Bible, listen and sing worship music and pray in one place only? Is that what I’m called to do? No! God has been clear: I must go and tell others the good news while clothed and anointed by His Holy Spirit, I must proclaim liberty to the captives and freedom to prisoners! (Matthew 28:19 Acts 1:4-5 Isaiah 61)

With a mournful heart I look out in this world and see:

  • People in bondage to sin, lonely and lost and yet do not know the remedy.
  • People in bondage to sin and yet do not want anything different.
  • People who have tasted and seen the LORD is good but have become distracted by the things of this world and quench and grieve the Holy Spirit living in them.
  • People who are free but are still standing in their jail cells with gates wide open unable to walk through the threshold because they lack faith and do not believe they have been forgiven because the accuser whispers lies to them.

With a joyful heart I also see soldiers for Christ clothed in the armor of God setting captives free through the power of the Holy Spirit.

I have been every one of these examples but the one I want to remain is a soldier for Christ filled with His Spirit setting captives free!

The only remaining I want to do is to remain in Christ. The only waiting I want to do is in The Lord, waiting patiently for the filling of His Holy Spirit because it is only by the anointing of His Holy Spirit that the captives are set free!

I embrace the responsibility to be a faithful steward of the ministry of reconciliation I have been given. I don’t always do this perfectly and I’ve had plenty of missed opportunities but in those occasions I fall on God’s grace and mercy and press on toward the upward calling He has given me.

I’m learning I must continually be in a position of humility taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, confessing my sins and remaining in repentance toward God so I can remain holy as He is Holy.

I must be careful not to quench or grieve the Holy Spirit Who lives in me…only then can God use me as a holy sanctified vessel for His use. He is the One who does it and He is looking for yielded vessels that will cooperate with the Holy Spirit, vessels of mercy and grace that will say, not my will but Your will be done...’

The love of God compels me to tell those in bondage they no longer have to be a slave to sin and death. Though sin has created a separation between us and God,  God has made a way to be reconciled through the blood of Jesus Christ who has taken the punishment of the sins of the world. Jesus not only died for our sins but He rose from the dead three days later and He is alive today and has prayed we would receive a Helper, the Holy Spirit Who guides us into all truth and gives us the courage to live in this world!

We must believe in our hearts and confess with our mouths Jesus Christ as Lord and yield ourselves completely to His Holy Spirit and walk in newness of LIFE! May God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven!

Recline now or later? I choose later…

Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find on the alert when he comes; truly I say to you, that he will gird himself to serve, and have them recline at the table, and will come up and wait on them.” Luke 12:37
More bread to feast on:
Luke 12:35-40; 2 Corinthians 3; 2 Corinthians 4
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A Stone Of Remembrance Never Collected…Until Now

“Then you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free.” John 8:32

 

This is a letter {stone of remembrance} to my 16-year old self:

Hey you, beautiful young lady—yes I called you beautiful.  I see you. I see you hiding in the family pantry contemplating death.  I see the wounds you cover up with anger, jealousy, hatred fueled by insecurities and perfectionism.  I see your sadness and perpetual feeling of loss from a broken home, not having your mama to raise you. I see your tear stained pillow. I weep with you right now.

My heart groans for your sadness and hurt and how you numb yourself and put on masks trying to be all you can be for everyone. There are so many truths I want to share with you but I only have time for a few:

  • Stop comparing yourself to others. You know that one girl that you have compared yourself since sixth grade? You know who I’m talking about—you say, ‘she’s everything I am not.’ Stop comparing…you will find out later at graduation day she signs your yearbook saying how much she admires you! Run your own race sweetheart—one day you will learn to keep your eyes fixed on Someone else.
  • Stop letting your insecurities keep you from loving others. See yourself and others as God sees you; God has gifted each of us differently, celebrate the differences don’t envy others or wish yourself away—someday you will be free to enjoy the Butterflies!
  • Stop trying to please others and force friendships. Don’t you feel like you’re trying too hard? It only makes you feel rejected and lost when they don’t respond to your friendly smile or notes.  God wants you to have friendships too—one day you will learn ‘The Gift and Purpose of Friendship’!
  • Stop being distracted by the things of this world. Yes, it’s difficult to be a United States Marine Corps  ‘base kid’ in a school full of students with wealthy two parent homes. That is one of the reasons you end up throwing yourself into making money…and you do make over $100K before you turn 34 but one day you fall in love and follow Someone very special exchanging worldly rags for glorious riches!
  • Keep Writing! You have written journals and stories since you were eight years old—don’t stop I enjoy reading them and seeing how God has transformed and made a redeemed life beautiful—I call them stones of remembrances.
  • Don’t live in fear. I know the near fatal accident of your Daddy when you were five left you living in fear of losing someone you love.  I know how you keep a distance from people because you know they will someday leave but sweetie, just let go and love without fear because God will give you the grace to go through any loss.
  • It is not OK. You learn some hard lessons at an early age. You are trapped by lies and insecurities and allow the first boy that showed attention to you take sacredness from you.  He berates and hits you eliminating any confidence you have. My heart hurts to remember this. He has hurt you real bad and you are like a worn timid puppy thinking there is nothing better than this—he tells you that but don’t believe his lies. It will hurt to leave but you must, and you do. You will see God helps you, though you don’t see it that way…at first. You do end up marrying a wonderful man and learn the true purpose of marriage.
  • Forgive. There is a lot you are holding in your fragile heart poisoning your heart, darkening it, you must forgive. In time, and with Someone’s help, you will.
  • God is real and He still speaks! You have heard about God and it is evident all around you. You finished your catechism, made your first holy communion when you were eight but this moment you are unsure.  You don’t believe there is a God–though inside you wonder if you could be wrong, especially after meeting several ‘different’ teenagers that seem to radiate a Light. But, right now your heart is so hardened and you think if God does exist He really wouldn’t want a worn out sinful teen as yourself—you’ve already messed up in so many ways.  But God does want you.  He’s drawing you right now.  All those people He’s sent into your life telling you the greatness of Who He is—but  you run the other way.  You make fun of these Christians. But He’s still with you. He’s with you right now. In three years you begin to seek Him hesitantly and in your own terms.
  • Don’t just wear the cross around your neck bear your own.

The ultimate Truth is you can’t do anything of these things on your own.  In fact it’s not what you know but Who you know that will heal you.

You need a Savior, you need Jesus Christ. Bring your brokenness to Jesus Christ. Sweetie, I know you make fun of Jesus lovers right now but you become one in seventeen years, and it’s the best decision you ever make. You will learn apart from Jesus Christ you can do nothing.  You will learn to know God the Father and Jesus Christ IS eternal life.  You will learn God’s Spirit must come BEFORE you can produce eternal fruit. You only need to believe on the Lord Jesus, turn from your sins and turn to Him and you will be saved. You cannot earn this GIFT of salvation, it is grace.

I know you are still reeling from receiving that Scholarship from Horatio Alger Association.  I also know deep down inside you feel they made a mistake.  You feel unworthy.  Especially after they flew you to Washington D.C. and you met all of those beautiful intelligent students from across the States—I hear your words, ‘Surely, they made a mistake.’ But they did not. “The lot may be cast into the lap but EVERY DECISION IS FROM THE LORD.” This was another gift of grace from the One that created you.

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom!” 2 Corinthians 3:17

But still you will spend many years trying to prove to others you deserved that scholarship.  Just like you will spend so many years trying to clean up and ‘be good’ to prove you deserve salvation—but the truth is, you don’t deserve the gift of salvation, none of us do.  We all deserve death, but Love came down—God incarnate, Jesus Christ came down and walked among us and died on the cross making the final sacrifice for the sins of everyone—the FINAL sacrifice. It is finished.

Aren’t you tired of trying? Draw near to God through Jesus Christ and you will taste and see the Lord is good and you will see how all this time God has been with you.  I know you want to do great things and before you were encouraged to make an ‘investment in America’s future’ but you will do even greater things…you will make an investment in God’s kingdom as you teach your children and sow God’s Word to those around you through your life of worship.

*One more thing…do you remember when your English teacher Mrs. Judi Conroy said, ‘Arcelia, you are beautiful, you are like an enclosed flower that is having a hard time growing but one day Someone would lift it and you will blossom.” Well, that Someone is Jesus Christ! You are free sweet one, your faith has healed you—now go and tell others!

**

This letter was inspired by Emily P.Freeman’s invitation to write a letter to my teenage self, in celebration of the release of her new book, Graceful, for teenage girls.

What would you say to yourself, as a teenager? This was very revealing and encouraging for me to write. I encourage you to do the same–even if you don’t share it with anyone else 😉


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