Wednesday, November 7, 2012

5 Minutes 11/7/12

Dear Jesus,

I think my 5 minutes have been a little short lately, and somewhat unfocused. I need to do better. I just listened to Joyce today and she was saying, "Don't work God into your schedule, work your schedule around God." That is very sound advice. It's so sad how the everyday distractions, from family to technology, are so easy to follow/fall into. You are the Center of my life. You are the reason I am here, the reason I have use of all my senses, the Reason for every good thing in my life. I'm sorry that I haven't been better.
I am so thankful for another day. I am thankful to live in America. I am thankful that I have a voice! We don't know what will happen from day to day - politics, even if we will wake up to see another day on this earth. I have to make sure that I live accordingly. I will not take my days/hours/minutes/seconds for granted! I am grateful/thankful/joyful to have You, Jesus Christ in my life. I also pray for the people who don't know You, especially people who do things like "honor" killings. Lord, I pray that people willing to kill their daughters will instead find You. I pray that I can help people come to You. I want to be an example.
Thank You for all you have done and are still doing for me. I Love You. In Your name, amen.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

5 Minutes with Jesus 10/25/12

Dear Jesus,

I am really enjoying spending this time with You in writing and, also, posting it so that others may be able to gain something from it, or be inspired to spend at least 5 minutes a day with you. Thank You for the idea and for always being available. Thank You also for my life and all the blessings contained within it. I am so grateful for true, long-lasting friendships and for my wonderful family relationships. I don't believe I could have asked for a better family. I am so thankful that we all get along and, for the most part, don't hold onto bitterness, anger, and unforgiveness. Lord, please help me to do a good job of passing those traits onto my children.
You know I am having some struggles right now when it comes to school and I am wondering exactly what path I should take. I will keep holding onto Phillipians 4:13 (I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.). I know I can succeed. I wanted to give up, but I think it's just out of fear of failure/fear of losing financial aid and not being able to pay the difference. My husband just recently reminded me of a pastor he didn't even know prophesying to him to never make decisions based on finances. We also recently received a prophecy saying that God will take care of our financial needs even for five generations. Therefore, I must quit worrying, quit fretting about money. I will step out on faith and accomplish what You want me to accomplish and continue to believe You to meet my needs. Thank YOU. In Your Name, Amen.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

5 Minutes With Jesus 10/24/12

Dear Jesus,

     Thank You again, for another beautiful day. I love being able to see the fall colors and I love the fact that You usually give us a little burst of summer right before it turns cold for the next 6 months. Thank You for the gift of sight. It truly is a gift. There are many people and animals who are unable to see the splendor of the Earth, but I am thankful that I can. I am thankful for my husband and my children. Today I am thinking about the many things that I have been blessed with that so many others don't have. One of my Facebook friends posted about being lonely and how that was out of character for them. I felt so bad because that is out of character for that particular person and many people seem to think that person is okay with being alone because they seem to always be so positive. However, it is a reminder that it is hard to be alone sometimes. You created us to want to fellowship with You and with others so it is actually unnatural for humans to live completely alone. This explains why the punishment of solitary confinement is so hard on prisoners. Imagine, in such a gray, dreary, walled in place, full of hatred - even self-hatred, it is not a relief to be away from people in this situation. It is a punishment. We all need somebody. Not just for sex, but just to sit next to sometimes. Somebody to hear moving around in the other room, reminding us that we are not in this big house, or this little apartment, by ourselves. We need to know that we are not forgotten.
     Lord, please bless my friend and help them to know that You are always present. You will be their comfort. I pray that they will seek You first and that You, in turn, will send them the physical presence that they are longing for. (Mk 10:28-31) In Your Name, amen.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Five Minutes With Jesus

Dear Jesus,
     Thank you for the blessing of another day. I think of the young people, my age, who have died recently and imagine the thought of not spending one more day here on Earth. I know that one day in your courts is better than 1000 elsewhere, but I also feel there is much unfinished work for me to do here. I feel that if today was my last day, I would have let You down. Therefore, I am thankful that I get another chance to honor you. Lord, sometimes it is hard for me to honor You everyday. Not that I don’t reverence You, but I believe that honoring You would consist of some outward act. Something that shows someone else a little bit of Your love. Maybe I’m actually thinking of a different word if I need to have an outward showing. Anyway, even if I touch somebody in person, or through the Internet, I want to be sure that I’m leaving a little piece of You behind. I think that is mandatory for me to do each day, so I will be working on that.
     As far as finishing my work here, I don’t feel that I am 100% sure about my actual purpose in life – the purpose You have for me, but I think I have some clues as to the direction I should be going in. I think that You put a teaching spirit in me and I've realized that since I was a child so I believe that whatever my ultimate goal in life is, You would definitely have me be a teacher of some sort. I’m not absolutely sure if that means a school teacher, a Sunday School teacher, just continuing to teach bible studies, or something entirely different. I guess the next step is to work toward that end and see what develops.
Thank You for this time, thank You for listening, thank You for allowing me to speak to you. I love You.
In Your Name, amen. J

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Bumps along the road

Judges 7:2The Lord said to Gideon, “The people who are with you are too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel boast themselves against Me, saying, My own hand has delivered me.”

My Christian Journey has hit some bumpy roads these last few days. I believe the primary defining characteristic of being a Christian is to love God and if you love God, you must love His children. It’s so easy to love someone who is good to you, someone who shows you love. For me, it’s even easy to love a stranger, especially one who has a need, or a sad story. The most searingly difficult part is loving the way Jesus loved. Jesus prayed for His enemies. Jesus asked God to forgive the ones hammering nails into his hands, the ones pushing thorns into his head. I and my family are coming up against a person who is totally unreasonable and selfish. This person does not care anything about my children, they don’t even care about their own child’s feelings/relationships/wishes. This person cares only about their own feelings and about enacting revenge on someone who they feel hurt them more than a decade ago.

I am a Christian, I know I am supposed to love everyone, but 2 days ago, if I would have seen the aforementioned person there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that I would have …. (edited out due to legal reasons) I will say that it would not have been good for that particular person. At that moment, I had so much hatred, I was asking God to curse them and another person involved in this issue. Eventually I calmed down and asked for forgiveness. All I could think about was Jesus. I thought about how his pain, hurt, betrayal had to have been 1000 times greater than mine yet, he still forgave them, he still loved them.

Have you been brokenhearted before? I mean truly brokenhearted where you couldn’t imagine the next day, you couldn’t fathom your body being able to rise back up if you went to sleep that night, a pain so deep you thought your body would shut down on its own. I’ve felt that way a couple times, mostly as a teenager, and I never would have thought this particular situation would bring me back there – yet here I am.

So, as I attempted to cope with the knife twisting through my heart over and over, I thought about how much more Jesus didn’t deserve to suffer the way he did and how much harder it was for him. I just kept asking Him to help me. I finally reached the point where I was able to pray for the salvation of the hateful person I’ve been dealing with. I wrote out my pain and finally felt some peace. I came to the realization that God still has me – he still is holding me in His hand and still cares for me and loves me more than I could imagine. He is not letting me and my family go through this for nothing.

This brings me back to my chosen verse, Judges 7:2. We actually recently studied this chapter in Sunday school so it obviously came at the right time. In Judges 6 & 7, God is giving the Israelites a huge victory over their enemies, but He is doing it in such a way that will show everyone that the victory was only possible because of God. I believe we have suffered a setback now, but that in the end, everyone who knows of our situation will be able to look at it and realize that we won in the end ONLY because God was on our side. Either He will cause this other person to completely change, or they will receive a crushing defeat.

I am on my way to loving them. I am praying for them. I haven’t completely arrived yet, but I am on the way and I do believe I will get there. It’s funny because my husband is staying positive and he is not showing much pain even though I know he is probably more deeply hurt than I am, but he told me that if he didn’t get anything else out of this setback, he realized how much I am truly on his side. Of course he knew that I loved him, but going through this has brought us closer and shown him another level of my love for him and that’s something you can’t put a price on. I almost want to thank that person who put us through all of this for that reason alone. :-) I’m sure they were hoping that this situation would put us through financial stress, causing us to argue and be resentful, but it’s done the opposite. We have grown closer and look out for each other even more. Thank You, Lord, for using my enemies to strengthen my marriage! LOL (The sound of that LOL was the sound of me getting the last laugh! LOL again!)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Isaiah 55:12 "You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands." (NIV)

There is a large creek right near my office building and when the weather is nice, I love walking along the trail and admiring nature. Trees have always amazed me and today I looked up and saw the scene below and felt compelled to share it:

How, then could anyone possibly doubt the existence of God? These beautiful trees were not some accident of science or evolution, they were created by the hand of God. I’m so excited that soon I’ll be able to share these things with my son on a nice sunny day. I won’t be stuck in a cold office wishing my kids could take a nice walk by a creek, I will be taking them for walks by creeks! I give all honor and glory to God for making this dream become a reality. (There are some other thoughts that I wanted to share, but I can't think of them right now so I'll have to share when they come back to me.)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Malachi 3:10 - Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do," says the LORD of Heaven's Armies, "I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won't have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!
As I was driving home yesterday evening, I looked up and thought it might rain later because the sky was slightly gloomy.  Then, I looked the other way and noticed a bright spot.  As I was staring at the colors, it occurred to me that the bright spot was almost like an opening in the clouds.  I turned to my husband and said, “Look at how beautiful that is.  It’s like God is opening the window to Heaven!”  We were driving at the time so I didn’t think I would be able to get a good picture with my phone, but I decided to try it anyway.  When I finally got ready to take the picture, I realized that the vapor trails of two airplanes had actually formed a cross right in the middle of the window!  Amazing!  Now I’m sharing it with you so you may be blessed.

God showing me a window to Heaven