Seeing Ourselves in His Kingdom

My heart breaks when I see lives falling apart. Sometimes we make willful choices that lead to self destruction and damage to the lives around us. Those choices are sin, though we may not be aware of it depending on our relationship with Jesus. Other times we have no control of the circumstances that enter our lives. Very few of us make it far into adulthood without being touched by death, financial trouble or other events that can lead to emotional turmoil. This is life in our broken world. I am not saying anything new here, but can we concede that as we collectively as human beings grow farther and farther from God we are less equipped to handle these circumstances?  Which leads me back to the beginning; my heart breaks when I see lives falling apart.

When we don’t truly know God’s love for us, the choices we make to fill the void only He can fill can lead us to dark places we never thought we would end up. It happens so subtly we rarely see it coming. Over the years I have found that women tend to fall into the belief that we are second hand in God’s eyes. We come by these feelings a number of ways, more than what I could recite here. Often though, it’s due to our environment. If we are treated second hand repeatedly whether it has to do with our sex or not, we will project that behavior onto God; i.e. “Everyone around me treats me as if I am worthless, therefore God must think I am worthless too.” When we are, or perceive we are,  treated poorly because of who we are, where we live, how much money we make etc. it becomes difficult to believe God would treat us any other way. Others of us may not have known such extreme circumstances; but there seem to be subversive ways that doubt sneaks in. I don’t think many of us are immune to that.

Somehow,  our minds make conclusions about God that are not true. We are imperfect humans. We look at the grand histories of Abraham, Moses, David, Paul and many others and we overlook the equally grand stories of Hannah, Tamar, Deborah and Anna. Again, the list goes on. God loved and guided these women the same way that He guided the men.  I believe God designed and uses men and women differently; this is His order. But He loves us the same.

So, how do we allow God into the places in our lives where we are suffering? The dark places where we may be destroying ourselves with sin or self pity. How do we allow Him into the places we have no control, and really, how much can we control in our lives?

This is the way short version of salvation. Way short. If you have any questions please, please, please contact me and we can discuss it further.

Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Acts 2:21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

John 14:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

Once you have acknowledged that Jesus Christ is God who came to us in the flesh, paid the penalty for our sins by dying on the cross, then rose again and walked on the earth, thus defeating death; you want to know Him. We do this by reading the Bible for ourselves, finding a Bible teaching church and taking time to study and grow relationships with other believers. There is a great healing that will begin in your life from that moment on. I do stress that there is still life on this earth, and it can still be very hurtful, but our reactions to these situations can change. We can have God’s peace.

In the weeks ahead I intend to look at the lives of women in the Bible. Every word in the Bible is true. Every history that the Holy Spirit instructed the author to write is there to teach and encourage us. Even one scripture about a nameless figure has a purpose. There is plenty here to keep us busy, busy with a purpose to know God better by looking at the women that trusted Him or chose not to. Again, I share with you, I am nervous about this, it’s been done before by more qualified people. I do however feel that He has brought us together for a reason. We are here to travel this part of our journey together. I believe the right people will find me here, just like at our church women’s study. By “right” people I mean you. The one that can read this and hear God’s voice, not because I am eloquent, but because it’s His plan. He knows how to connect the right people together.

I am glad you are here. I intended to start with an actual study today. God had different plans today. I pray His words lead you to grow closer, to pick up your Bible and start seeing God’s love. Don’t compare it to what you think love is or isn’t, let Him teach you afresh.

~Blessings

Bonnie

 

 

 

 

 

Why Am I Doing This?

Why am I starting a blog again. Why do I think I have something  to say, or that I can even write? Of course the answer is so status quo that it makes me cringe, but I continue anyhow. I, like so many others, believe it’s a God ordained calling.

I’ve been miserable with the desire to put words on paper, to encourage, to connect. I have notebooks that date back to fifth grade with the beginnings of numerous fiction. I stopped somewhere in high school, too busy feeling put off because the teachers hurt my feelings paying more attention to the “it crowd”. So I cut off my nose to spite my face and followed my heart. Does that break enough writing rules for you? It matches that period of my life perfectly, maybe someday we will visit there. For now we will fast forward to the time where God settled me down with two young children, a second marriage, and salvation. I’m still in my twenties at this point! The quietness in my soul allows me to revisit my love for reading and writing. My focus shifted to the Lord and bringing Him Glory. Again, discouragement found me. I am not equipped to do this. There are too many out there writing that are educated and more gifted. The notebooks were tucked away.

I started to blog when my children were in middle school. They were more self sufficient and I was working part time at the school. This led to plenty of time to follow my interests. I was learning to sew and quilt and was thrilled to find women on line with the same interests. As a thirty something stay mostly at home mom I didn’t know anyone locally at the time that enjoyed staying at home and raising their family and delving into traditional arts and crafts. Though I was skittish at first I found  true community of like minded ladies. So as many of them did, I blogged also. It began mostly to showcase current projects or silly pet photos; a sort of pre face book vehicle. However, I eventually started sharing my thoughts as I grew in my Christian faith. I wasn’t trying to write anything brilliant. And then I stopped. Again. Full time job. Death of a parent. Kids’ college hell. (Sorry it just was. On the other hand I grew closer to Jesus…)

I kinda get turned off by Christian writers that are so polished it feels like they are just trying to sell another book. There was a lot of that then, there probably still is now. I do see the trend shifting more to allowing the reality of life show through. That is tricky for the author. Allowing bits and pieces of real life and real family members show through. How do I know if this is His will?

I have been born again since September of 1999. The first years I experienced earth shaking, life changing growth. I met the Savior of the world! It by far was not always easy or comfortable, but I for sure knew the freedom I was experiencing was from Christ alone. The last five years to date have been the next most significant years in my journey. Some of the best and definitely the most difficult. And I can honestly say they have been the best because of the hardships. I wish it weren’t so. I really do. I hate pain. I hate worrying about my family. I abhor when an event blindsides me and those around me.  The unimaginable barges in your door. However it is true, truer than true, that God is faithful. After one life altering event six years ago He plucked me out of one church of thousands, and lovingly planted me in a tiny group of believers right in my town. The pastor teaches line by line directly from the Bible and we sing sweet healing hymns. I have needed these people to walk beside me in a big way and they are faithful and point me to Christ. He knows our needs before we do; might sound cliche but it’s true. I am not saying one way or the other is the right way to worship. I am saying He knew what I needed which was small, simple and faithful to His word. We ALL need a church faithful to the Bible, and you’ll know if that is the case by reading your Bible at home for yourself. Daily.

I love my church. And if you ask me Sunday morning I will tell you I love my church because our pastor teaches the Word straight from the Source, never afraid to challenge us, and every hymn  we sing is my favorite. But if you ask me about our ladies Bible study, I am over the moon for this group. Real, authentic women, coming out of all sorts of situations. We have had as few as two or three ladies to now about ten to fifteen on a consistent basis. I’ll be honest, a few years ago all I could do was attend on a Monday night and bawl and ask for prayer. Our Pastor’s wife generally leads, but always leaves the door open for other ladies to lead. We work our way through books of the Bible often with attendees who have never read the Bible before. Occasionally we will use a Bible study that seems to teach on something we need to hear. It’s a good balance. Last year I was led to do a study on women in the Word. I heard a song about the woman who reached for the hem of Jesus’ garment and thought about the determination and need she must have had to step out. I knew we needed to study this and other women in the Bible. Not because of fairness and equality but because women, especially those with little experience with God, need to see how God loves them. Young, old, faithful, faithless, those “outside” the group, and those that are already included-God loves us all. We don’t have to sit in the background waiting to see if He will choose us, we can and should pursue Him. When we do that, He pursues even more. My desire is to fine tune what the Lord and I began last year. Though the voices in my mind say it’s been done, way better all ready, I believe like me, there is someone out there that desires to leave the crowded places and get back to the small, and the simple and I will try my best to be faithful to the word of God.

Some housekeeping before I go:

This was harder to set up than I thought (it’s me not WordPress), so please excuse the mess!

My intent is to keep this blog as an encouraging/study/testimonial arena. My photos of current projects and silly animals are on Instagram and all other nonsense is on Facebook. If the Lord wills and I figure this out I will get links up to at least Instagram.

I was not intentionally secretive about the messy/excruciating events in my life. They just did not fit in today’s post. If and when they fit, I’ll share.

I am not a counselor. Just a girl in love with Jesus who is The Wonderful Counselor.

2  Corinthians 1:3,4  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

May you grow closer to the One Who loves you more than you’ll ever know.

~Blessings,

Bonnie