The Only Thing That Matters

In the circle of dawn to dusk, man pursues many things. There is one thing that surpasses them all. Indeed, to lack this one thing makes all else vain.

Relationship with God.

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Better than anything this world offers, a relationship with God is like treasure. To find Him, is to lose everything, to have the only thing.

Prayer, fellowshipping with God, is backbone to relationship with Him.

The Bible says to pray constantly (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Prayer is both listening and speaking with Him. The Bible also says to be quick to listen and slow to speak (James 1:19). Ecclesiastes 5 says it is better to draw near to listen than to offer the sacrifice of fools.

I’m reading the Psalms now. It’s amazing how honest and raw they are. The Psalms encourage me to make my heart fully known to the Lord, while always remembering truth. Honest prayer.

Not to forget the Holy Spirit. Our Helper, spirit of Truth, Teacher, Guide, Comforter, and so much more.

It’s easy to think: if only Jesus were physically here with me.

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Jesus said it is better that He go and the Holy Spirit come! If we truly believe this, it changes everything! The Spirit of Christ is alive inside of us!! Woah!

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The best and only thing that matters, is knowing Jesus. I encourage you to go into  your room, close the door, and spend time with Him. No matter if you’ve gone to church for decades, or you’ve never thought of God before, He’s waiting to meet with you.

The God of the universe loves you. Go to Him, just as you are.

Yesterday’s post, How to Stay Out of Prison, discusses living out relationship with God, too.

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Fully Surrendered

Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
Matthew 10:39 ESV

Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
Philippians 3:8‭-‬11 ESV

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
Matthew 13:44 ESV

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done.
Matthew 16:24‭-‬27 ESV

To the Tired

Are you tired? Do you feel like you’ll never be good enough?

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About a year and a half ago, I was in a rehab program when God told me this verse. Exhausted & weary, carrying the weight of all my burdens and pain, I knew I needed the rest Jesus offers.

Where are you? Do you know that you need rest? Not just a physical rest–yes–but also a spiritual rest.

Christ is our rest. The good news is Jesus provided our way to be made right with God. No amount of striving or trying to earn salvation will do a thing. We can never be good enough.

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Jesus laid down His life for you. Believe Jesus loves you.

When you die and stand before God–just you and Him–and He asks you why He should let you into His Kingdom, what will you say?

Actually answer that.

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If your answer began with “I” and then a reason of your own “goodness” or deeds, it will not pass. Romans 3 says that no one is righteous. Not one. Going to church won’t save you. Having Christian parents won’t save you. Doing “good” things or trying extra hard to be good will not cover you. That’s called religion. It’s of the devil.

While Jesus hung on the cross, He said: It is finished. Rest in the finished work of God on your behalf. This is grace. There’s nothing you can do to earn your way to Heaven. Salvation is a freely given gift, to be received through faith.

God wants relationship with  you through Jesus. Not religion.

He wants  your heart.

The best part is Jesus died so we can be in covenant relationship with God right now. Yes, eternity with God will be awesome. This freedom, the Kingdom of God, is at hand. It’s now. When we truly know God, He transforms us from the inside out. Makes us reborn. Fills us with His Spirit. Sets us free. A relationship with God is not praying a prayer once to go to Heaven then continuing to live however you want. A relationship with God is total surrender and dying to self. Being made alive: a new creation. To live is Christ, to die is gain.

If you want to know God, you can! Go to Jesus.

God doesn’t “put up with you.” HE LOVES YOU. You’re His treasured creation. Go to Jesus. Enter God’s rest. Discover fellowship with God. He’s calling your name.

 

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God,

Thank you for loving us. I pray for each person that reads this blog. May they know you.

stop decorating your hotel room

“wanna see my green card?” she said. though weird, I consented. the slender stranger at the restaurant pried a small, green rectangle from her wallet, presenting it with pride. A picture of her, grinning wide with big sparkly eyes, framed the bottom left corner. beside it was her citizenship: Heaven.

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as I scanned the card, filled with scripture, my face lit up. she smiled too. “my Bible study leader gave it to me. I take it everywhere.”

like my new friend with her “green card,” Christ-followers need daily reminders: this world is not our home. this life is a mist; we are passing through.

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if a Frenchman came to America for a 1 week stay, would he purchase expensive paintings to adorn his hotel room walls? would he seek plush couches and elaborate potted plants, fancy rugs or satin sheets? other than his suitcase of a few outfits, a simple bed, and a noisy mini fridge with leftover pizza, his room would hold just what he needed–nothing more or less. afterall, it’s only a week.

why do we seek comfort on earth if it’s not our home?

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one of the number one idols in America is comfort. it’s what keeps many of us asleep. keeps us from pursuing God and pressing in. God promises we can know Him, when we seek Him with all our heart. what’s stopping you from going all in? what’s holding you back from knowing the God who made you and loves you?

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for those of us who do know Christ, we cannot have one foot in the world and one in heaven. we don’t “fit in” to this world.  we’re set apart and living for eternity.

we have hope!

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remember: this is not our home. we’re living for HEAVEN–God’s presence!  it’s going to be AWESOME! this life is a breath! eternity is forever!

if you haven’t received Jesus, your forever is destined separate from God. if there’s breath in your lungs, there is mercy available to you. turn to God and surrender all to Him. before it’s too late!

 

Whispers in the Woods

Though my throat hurt and my head throbbed, though my 33 week pregnant belly ached and I peed every 10 minutes, the sun was out and God whispered: go to the woods. Before my husband and I left, I noticed new, much bigger stretch marks on my belly. A barrage of old familiar lies disguised as truth flooded my mind. Stupid. Ugly. Gross. “Jesus, teach me my beauty and worth!” I prayed.

We hiked five minutes into the tall trees and feathery ferns. I sat down on a mossy log. Overwhelmed by God’s beauty all around me, tears welled and fell softly down my face. “You’re SUPER pregnant,” my husband said. I smiled a little. While hormones were definitely raging, these tears flowed from a deep hurt being healed. God was again whispering: “all this beauty? I made it. I don’t make junk. I made you in my image, you are beautiful.”

As I waddled up the short path to the overflowing port-a-potty, my heart swelled with joy. I am beautiful. I am worth dying for. I am loved.

So are you, reader.

Thank You, Jesus!💞

Creation’s Ovature

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
 Serve the Lord with gladness!
    Come into his presence with singing!

Know that the Lord, he is God!
    It is he who made us, and we are his;
    we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
    and his courts with praise!
    Give thanks to him; bless his name!

For the Lord is good;
    his steadfast love endures forever,
    and his faithfulness to all generations.

Psalm 100

 

juicy, ruby berries

vibrant emerald leaves

each bird song a melody of praise

painted paper butterfly wings

strong long octopus arms

curving antlers

decomposing logs supporting mushrooms

come, adore the Lord with me!

 

hidden roots

moisture licking air, hydrating plants, returning to clouds

the symphony of ecosystems

the mystery of stars

the beauty of each being proclaiming His majesty.

 

 

the breaking

icy waves crash. ravenous sharks circle. muscles fatigue, no longer able to tread water. losing consciousness. strength sapped. succumbing to the dark depths…

inevitable.

a faint light on the horizon. seed of hope. will it find me–the sea is hungry and huge, salty water fills my mouth as I gurgle and scream.

alone. helpless. needy. exhausted.

today I woke up to the realization I’ve been drowning for 27 years. after an hour or so of sobbing, snot, and desperately asking for Jesus… He quiets me, between the waves and heaves, with His love.

“Comfort, comfort. I’m  here. I’ll never leave.”

My feet, still kicking though He holds me, thinking I gotta tread water. My Rescuer patiently, gently, reassures me:

“I’m here.”

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11:28-30Screen Shot 2018-02-02 at 10.13.55 AMScreen Shot 2018-02-02 at 10.14.57 AM