Friday, February 20, 2015

Why I Share My Abortion Story?

It was a typical day.  I opened my email.  Inside was an email from someone who had found my blog and read my story.

Her words conveyed desperation.  She had also chose an abortion.  She longed for healing, but hopelessness dripped off her fingers as she expressed her pain and regret through words on a screen.

We spoke on the phone that day.  I pray the words the Lord gave me pumped hope into her hopelessness.  It was a divine connection.  God had ordained every word spoken or typed.  I pray she saw how intricately His loving hand was involved in her life.  God was reaching out to her to begin her healing journey.  This is our God.  This is our Father.  How He longs to fill us with His hope and healing and wholeness! It is up to us to take His hand.

She asked me a question that day.  She actually asked me many questions that day.  The Holy Spirit guided me in every answer.  The questions were good.  This question was good...

"Why do you share your story?"  

The words lingered in the air for only a brief second as I thought about this verse..."Always be ready to give a reason for the hope that you have." (1 Peter 3:15)

"Why do I share my story?"

What a fabulous question!  The answer surprising rolled right off my tongue as if I had rehearsed it over and over again...

My passion is to see women and men set free from the bondage of the sin of abortion or any sin for that matter.  I want to see my brothers and sisters in Christ living in freedom!  The enemy lies and tries to tie our identity to an event or a situation and straps us down with condemnation, guilt, and shame.  He lies to us about who we are and it makes me plum mad!  My heart is to see those wounded by abortion set free to be a voice of truth to spread light on the harsh reality of the destruction it does to women, men, and families.  It not only ends the life of a living child with a heartbeat, it damages the heart of those who make that choice in ways that globally effect their lives. Abortion hinders marriages, mothering, fathering, and other relationships.  

The enemy's plan is to keep God's people locked up in silent defeat bound in chains that keep them from fulfilling all God called them to do.  The enemy doesn't even have to do much to accomplish his goal.  He just needs to get God's people to agree with the lie and they will keep themselves locked in chains.

God says in His Word, "And you will know the truth and the Truth will set you free." John 8:32

I share my story to share the truth that God not only forgives all sin, He removes all sin (Ps 103:12).  I am not identified by what I have done or not done.  I am identified as a child of the Most High God.  I am His beloved.  I am His handiwork created in Christ Jesus (Eph 2:10).  I am the righteousness of God in Christ (Rom 3:22), a new creation in Christ (2 Cor 5:17).

The truth needs to be told.  The more voices declaring the truth of the gospel and grace, the more free God's people will be, which will lead to more truth of the gospel and grace.  It is a beautiful cycle!

And the more voices spreading the truth of abortion, the more hope we have for this atrocity to end and those wounded to find healing and freedom, which in turn leads back to spreading of Jesus's love and grace.

The cycle of freedom can be compounding!  The possibilities are truly overwhelming when one grasps its gravity.

We need your voice.  Will you share your story?  It might be scary at first.  But then, it isn't.
And the more you share, the freer you become and the more freedom wins and the enemy is
defeated.

"And they overcame by the blood of the Lamb and the Word of their testimony." Rev 12:11  

You can start here.  Email me.  Comment.  Take a breath.  Then, take a step.

There is freedom and healing.  Your sin is not your identity.  It is not who you are.  You are His.

You are why I share my story.



(For more information on healing the abortion wounded heart, feel free to contact me or you can go to www.godeeperstill.org)  



Tuesday, February 17, 2015

What if I Pray and Nothing Happens?

"Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart."  Psalm 37:4

My 9 year old son lay in bed under his worn from lots of love "Cars" themed comforter.  I knelt beside his bed, as I do just about every night, and asked him if he wanted to pray about anything. Immediately the tears formed.

I inquired lovingly, "Why are you crying?  Is something wrong?"

Through sniffles, he said, "I want to pray about something but I don't think I should. I don't think it will happen. And you and God won't think it is important."

I patiently insisted that nothing is too small to pray about in God's eyes and He wants us to pray about everything. He still was sure his request was not worthy of God's time.  He was even embarrassed to tell me.

Finally, he relinquished and with a deep breath, said, "I REALLY want that Lego set.  You know, the one that is $300.  But, I know it is a lot of money and I don't think it will happen. I don't want to pray about it and it not happen."

Now, one might think he was acting in manipulation with the tears and pleas for the Lego set. However, I know my son and this was no act.  Besides all that doesn't work with me and he knows it.  $300 is still $300.

I understood my son's hesitancy.  How many times have I thought the same...What if I pray about it and it doesn't happen?  I don't want to pray about it and it not happen.  Isn't it better if I just don't pray about it then?  

Guilty.

I shared Psalm 37:4 with my son..."Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart."

However, this verse, requires an explanation, which I also willingly expounded.

The beautiful part about this verse is that when we are truly delighting ourselves in the Lord, the desires of our heart will line up with the Lord's desires.  Our will becomes His will as we are in His Word and delighting ourselves in Him.

When we are not delighting ourselves in the Lord, often our desires are very self centered and can become idols.  When our desires are bordering on idols, we can be certain the Lord will not grant that request.  His answer will be a loving "no" every time.  A baby might want to play with a rattle snake awfully bad, however, a loving mother won't give it to him!  She knows it will hurt him!

As our hearts change and line up with His, then the Lord does give us the desires of our hearts.  He can because as our hearts line up, our desires also will line up.  We may find the desires we once had have faded away and been replaced with new.

As I was writing Psalm 37:4, the word "also" caught my eye and I was curious about what the first part said.

I found the answer in the verse above.  Together, they read like this...

"Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart."  Psalms 37:3-4 [emphasis added]

Trust in the Lord. 

When we are trusting in the Lord, we are confident that He has our best interests at heart.  Even when we don't see the answer right away.

Even in the struggle, will you delight yourself in Him?  Even in the struggle, will you trust in the Lord?  Will you trust that He is faithful?  Will you continue to "do good" and love others even in the midst of being Lego-less?

His answer is coming.  He is never late.  He is always faithful.

When we don't pray because we are afraid it won't happen, we are really saying, "God, I don't trust you."  A better stance is to pray with the posture...God, I really want this, but You Lord know what is best and I trust you.  

When you are trusting in the Lord and your heart is in line with the Lord's, you can be certain that your requests are heard and will come to pass if it is best.  God always wants His best for His children, just as we want what is best for ours.

From something as small as Legos to as big as matters of life, God hears your every cry.  He is faithful.  Trust in Him.  Delight yourself in Him.  He will give you the desires of your heart.























Thursday, February 5, 2015

My Word for 2015

For the past few years, I have been asking the Lord for a word to represent each new year.  I first heard of this through being involved with Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies (which ROCK, by the way!).

In 2013, the Lord gave me the word Newness.  And BOY! Did that ever describe 2013!  The following posts share a little of how the Lord brought newness that year...

http://www.livingfreeinhim.blogspot.com/2013/11/god-what-are-you-doing.html

http://www.livingfreeinhim.blogspot.com/2014/01/continued-newness.html

In 2014, the Lord gave me the word Boldness.  In many way, I have seen the Lord manifest more boldness in me over the past year, which I may share at another time.

In December, I began to ask the Lord for a word for 2015.  Almost immediately, I heard the word, "Light".

At first, I thought this meant simply the Lord wanted me to be more of a light and shine more of His light.  However, over the past few weeks, I feel there is more to this word than I initially sensed.

Light can be used in many ways.  In fact, Merriam-Webster has fifteen different definitions for the word light!  But, I am less interested in Webster and more interested in the Creator of Webster for defining light.

The Lord uses the word "light" in many ways in His Word.

One way the Lord uses the word "light" is to contrast the darkness.  Darkness is...well...dark.  In the darkness, it is hard to see.  In the darkness, we stumble.  In the darkness, we are blind.

"If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice truth.  But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His son cleanses us form all sin."  1 John 1:6-7

To walk in darkness is to walk in continuous habitual sin, or keep sin hidden from God.  Please don't misunderstand.  We cannot hide our sin from God.  God knows about it already.  However, there are times that perhaps we, like Adam, try to cover up our sin with leaves and pretend there is nothing wrong (Gen 3:8).  

The good news is though that if we walk in the light, that is if we stop a habitual sin and then confess it to the Lord, then we can again have fellowship with Him and others.  It is hard to have real fellowship with other believers when one is hiding under leaves.

I don't think I was living in habitual sin, but as I mentioned in Shoot the Foxes, the foxes of compromise are sneaky and can creep in gradually.  I want light to illuminate any foxes I might need to shoot.

"He reveals the deep things of darkness and brings utter darkness into the light." Job 12:22

There are things hidden in the deep.  The Lord spoke to me one time about the things hidden in the deep places.  He took me visually down into the depths of the ocean where there are creatures lurking that cannot be seen from the surface.  There are living forces in the depths that are unknown to us.
They are unknown because they are in the dark and cannot be seen unless special equipment is used. They are unreachable due to their depths.  Even though cannot see them, they still effect the total ecosystem and the surface we can see.

Inside our depths are things that are hiding.  We cannot see them, but they effect the things on the surface.  We are unable to get to those deep places.  In fact, it is safe for us to go there.  But, the Lord can.  He reveals the hidden things kept in darkness and brings them into the light.

He reveals not to condemn, but to restore.  

"For God, who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness,' made his light shine in our hearts to give the light of knowledge of God's glory displayed in the face of Christ." 2 Cor 4:6

When we asked Jesus to be Lord of our life and invited Him into our heart, His light was implanted in us.  We don't have to strive to get His light.  We don't have to confess we are the light so many times a day.  We don't have to muster up faith to believe we are a light.  We just need to stay plugged into the Light source for His light to shine through us.  Just abide in Him.

The Lord usually surprises me and has much more in store than I can know.  For now, though, I  think the word "light" for me this year partly means:

 1.  The Lord is going to take me deeper in Him and reveal even more things hidden and bring them into the light and restore. 

2.  The Lord is going to help me be more of a light to others. (Please Lord!)

If you haven't asked the Lord for a word for 2015, it is not too late!!  I encourage you to get alone with Him and your journal and ask.  He has a plan and a journey for you this year that you don't want to miss!

Additional verses:

"The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. "John 1:9

"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." John 1:5

"For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light."  Eph 5:8


Reflection questions:

1. What does it mean to you to walk in darkness?

2. Are you willing to go deeper with the Lord this year?  Are you afraid of the deep? Do you believe the Lord can restore?















Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Shoot the Foxes


As I wrote about last week, my first New Years resolution is to declutter (physically and spiritually).

My second resolution goes along with the first.  Namely, shoot the foxes.  No, don't call PETA.  And I'm not taking up hunting. I saw Bambi one too many times for that.  :)

We still may not know what the fox says, and I have no interest in talking to it.  I am only interested in what the fox does...

"Catch us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines, for our vines have tender grapes." Song of Solomon 2:15 

There are foxes.  Sneaky and crafty little critters that seem insignificant.

The Hebrew word for "fox" is shuw'al, which means burrower.  A fox digs holes and dwells underground.

The holes it digs destroys the roots.

What are the foxes in your life that are digging holes?  What are the foxes that are underneath the surface, that have dug down deep destroying roots?  You can't see it.  You can't see the root being destroyed.  The result comes in the form of fruit shriveling up and dying.

The Hebrew word for "little" is qatan, which means little, insignificant or unimportant.

These foxes seem small.  They seem unimportant.  Watching a movie here (and I'm not even talking R! Some PG-13 movies are just raunchy!).   Listening to a song there.  Little.  Small.  But destroying the root one scratch at a time.  The scratches are so small they seem insignificant. But they add up.

I'm not trying to be legalistic here.  I am just tired of the compromise.  I am tired of the cussing.  I am tired of the sex.  I am tired of viewing the sin. And if I watch those movies, am I somehow saying I approve?  You don't have to agree.  I.  Am. Just. Tired!

I crave purity.  I crave innocence.  I crave holiness.

And it goes beyond media.  However, our culture is bombarded with media, so these foxes seem to be everywhere!

The Hebrew word for "spoil" is chabel.  Chabel means to bind, ruin, or spoil.  The little foxes spoil the vines.  They bind up our souls and ruin the fruit.  I am convinced they are anything but insignificant and small.

For our vines have tender grapes.  The tender grapes are where the fruit of our lives blossom.  Foxes also eat the grapes and devour the plants.  They either kill the root or just eat the fruit.  Either way, the vine is spoiled.

These foxes are not easily caught, which is why I say, just shoot the varmints! We want them gone, not in some cage to let out at a later time.

I am on a quest this year of decluttering and detox.  These foxes have to go.  We may still not know what the fox says, but as far as I'm concerned, he can just say, "Bye-bye!".    





Thursday, January 8, 2015

Declutter Me




Declutter.  This is one resolution for this New Year.

It didn't happen all at once.

We have been in our home for seven years.  Seven years of living.  Seven years of collecting.  Seven years of unnecessary items finding places to rest out of sight.

Clutter has built up over time.  Tuck this away here.  Hide that little trinket there.  Until the mess under the surface screams too loudly to be ignored.  Its voice beckons from under the neat facade.

I hide away clutter pretending it's not there until one day when I open the cabinet door and it all falls out onto my head.  In that moment, there is a choice: cram the clutter back into the cabinet and pretend it isn't there (this is the one I often choose), or acknowledge it, deal with it and toss it or give it away.

Our hearts are the same.  A little sin tucked away here.  A seemingly small compromise over in the corner.  It adds up.  Until one day it all comes crashing down.  There is a choice that must be made.

Keep it hidden or toss it.

We need to toss the clutter to the Cross.  We need to give it away to the One who can take it and use it for good.  He is the only One who can make any use of it.

If you were to come to my house, you might comment how uncluttered it is.  I. Cannot. Stand. Clutter.  However,  if you were to look into my cabinets and drawers, you would find a different story.  Everything might look neat and tidy on the outside, but what is on the inside?

"The Lord sees not as man sees; man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7 

And sin isn't always obvious.  Sin is often disguised as quite useful.  Worry.  Pride.  Self-righteousness.  Selfishness.  Those are the ones that often hide the best.

Clutter crowds out room for crowns.

When our cabinets are full of useless space-robbers, there is little room for what is necessary.

When are souls are full of useless nothingness, there is little room left for Christ.

And the only necessary thing is Christ.

The nothing allows for thorns to grow, choking out the Word of God (when it is heard) and robs our hearts of the richness of God's presence  (Luke 8:14).

Just as I won't know all that is in my cabinets that needs to be cleared out until I start going through them, I won't know all that is in my heart that needs tossed until I let Christ clean it out.

And I won't lie, the process can be painful. Sometimes digging into the deep corners takes some muscle. There may even be some smelly moldy bowls that need to be removed.

However, even if it isn't all pleasant, it is better to toss the mold than to have it hiding in your heart.

"Create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me."  Psalm 51:10 

Let that be our heart's cry.   

I pray that in this cleansing process, there will be a decluttering of me to make more room for Him.

It is an ever-going process that won't be completed until Heaven.

(Hopefully decluttering my cabinets won't take quite as long!) ; )

Lord, declutter me.





















Monday, January 5, 2015

A Week of Resolutions

Happy New Year Living Free in Him Readers!!!

This week as we continue our first full week of the New Year, I wanted to share three resolutions I feel the Lord gave me for this year.

They aren't your "typical" new years resolutions.

Before I share mine though, I thought I'd share a few of my nine year old son's news years resolutions.

His resolutions included:

1.  Drink less apple cider.  (He hardly ever drinks apple cider.)

2.  Not to use the bathroom past 5 o'clock.  (Ummm....that doesn't sound like a good idea.)

3.  To not blink for 15 seconds. (Let's not even try to understand why.)  

No, he doesn't quite understand the concept of New Years resolutions.  Upon further investigation into his reasoning for these "goals", I discovered that he thought "New Years Resolutions" were only for New Years Eve.  In his mind, these were goals for him to achieve that day only.  He didn't understand they were meant to be goals to improve his life for the entire year.  And by his choices, that is pretty clear.  {smile}

However, even though his understanding of New Year's resolutions was skewed, most people may approach theirs with the same mentality.  They set them with low expectations of follow through for the entire year.

I don't judge.  I've been there.   At least there is a goal in mind, even if it is short lived.

"Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith." Hebrew 12: 1b-2a. (emphasis added) 

The key words I want to emphasize are "looking unto Jesus".  

The main reason for failure, I believe, is our earthly effort and our striving to achieve in our flesh.  Our flesh is incapable of success.  Only the Spirit of God inside of us can achieve success.

Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, but let us do it by looking unto Jesus, who is the author and finisher of our faith.  It is only by looking unto Jesus that we can finish the race.

And there will be moments of failure.  However, when you keep looking to Jesus and not in your own ability, His grace gives you the strength to rise up and continue even after a fall.

One failure doesn't mean the race is over, it just means you have stumbled on the path towards the goal.  The race is only over when you quit running and get off the course.

This week and into next week, I will share my three resolutions for this year.  I am sure I will fail along the way this year, but my intention is to run the race with endurance looking unto Jesus to help me finish.  And I believe I will be closer to the finish line at the end of 2015.

I just have to keep running.

And unlike my son, I will be blinking my eyes as much as necessary with plenty of apple cider and bathroom breaks!











Tuesday, December 23, 2014

What to Give the Person Who Has Everything


"And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him.  And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh." Matthew 2:11






Hustle and bustle.  Retailing and wrapping.  Running and racing to find the perfect Christmas gift for everyone on our lists.

To show our love and affection, we wrap up treasures in brightly adorned packages.  We spend money and time and gas and energy to give to those we love.

What about Jesus? 

Please don't click away!  This isn't a message about how we should scrap all the fluff about Christmas.  It isn't a message to guilt you into taking down your favorite Santa figurine.  I adore Christmas and all that goes with it.  I love giving gifts and the traditions we hold dear.

The question I am asking is simple.  What will you bring to the King? What is your gift to Jesus? 

What do you give the Person who has everything? 

It's simple really.  You give Him back the gift He has given you.  You give Him your treasure.  

The wise men worshiped the Son of God and "opened their treasures".

What is your treasure? 

Worship isn't just a song sung on Sunday.  Worship is a lifestyle of giving to the Lord.  Giving our praise.  Giving our work.  Giving our gifts.  Giving our treasures.

There have been times I have felt guilty spending time writing thinking I could be spending it reading my Bible or worshiping in some way.  However, what I have realized is writing is worship.  Writing is giving the gift the Lord gave me back to Him.  It is giving Him my treasure.

Your gift may not be writing.  Gifts come in all shapes and sizes. Singing.  Selling.  Sewing. Styling.

But, it doesn't have to start with an "S". {Smile}

Building. Drumming. Decorating. Cleaning. Organizing. Washing. Teaching. Nursing. Painting.  

Whatever you do, whatever your gift is, it is worship unto the Lord.  The Lord has placed gifts and talents and abilities in each of you.  If you don't know your gift, it is there under the tree waiting for you to unwrap.

This Christmas and new year, it is time for you to open your treasures and present your gifts to Him in worship.  It is time.  He is waiting.  It is all He wants for Christmas from you.

Where your treasure is, there your heart is also (Matt 6:21).  When you give Him your treasure, you are giving Him your heart.  There is no greater gift for our King than our hearts.

Come. Kneel. Bring Him your gift. Worship. 

Father, I love you.  I honor You.  I come before Your throne of grace and bow down.  I lay my treasures at Your feet.  I come to worship you with my gifts.  I pray You would use these gifts for Your glory and that You would be glorified through them.  Lord, I give You my heart.  May it be ever pleasing to You.  In Jesus' Name, Amen. 

Merry Christmas!!  

May Your Days Be Merry And Bright!!










 
Designed by Sweet Peas Designs