Thankful 2B Thankful

 

Be Thankful!     The other morning as I was saying my prayers, I said “Lord, I know I tend to be thankful for the same things over and over again. I thank You for waking me up. I thank You for my life and allowing me to see another day.  I thank You for keeping my children, siblings and friends safe. I thank You for the followers on Broken-2b-Restored. I thank You for a roof over my head and food on my table.” I said, “Lord, I know I sound like a broken record and that I am always thankful for the same things.” But then I said, “Lord, I am just thankful to be thankful!”

Thankful to be thankful! This made me realize that I have not always told Him Thank You. As a young person in college, I would just get up and take everything for granted.   As I became a full time employee, wife, and mother, I would wake up and maybe say a brief Thank You, but then I would just go on about my day.  Reflecting on this and how He has kept me over the years, made me realize even more how thankful I am.

Like most, I have been through my share of  ups and downs.  I have had some major disappointments and personal challenges that weighed heavy on my heart, my body, and my mind. I have wondered how the bills were going to get paid: how was I going to free myself from a verbally abusive and controlling spouse, or how I was going to be a good mother to my children.  And today, when I look back on where I was and where I am now, I am so very thankful.  I am thankful to be thankful, because of how God has kept me.  He has protected me from the seen and unseen dangers.   He has kept me and my children safe; He has clothed and fed us; and He has always provided us with a roof over our heads.

As I grew closer to God and I learned to ask Jesus to intercede on my behalf, my perspective on being thankful changed. I stopped taking it for granted that I just woke up each morning.  I know that God’s mercies towards me are new every morning, even when I tend to thank Him for the same people and things over and over again. I know I can repeat these words of thankfulness and also add onto it as each day passes, because He waits to hear from me. I know He has always provided for me and that He will continue to do so.  Yes, I have continued to experience the ups and downs that come with living this life here on Earth, but I’m thankful for every day, every blessing, and every lesson learned.   I am thankful to be thankful.

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Dear God, thank You for keeping me and my family covered under Your mighty protection.  Thank You for continuously blessing us and showing us how much You love us.  Thank You for my life, health and strength. Thank You for allowing me to see how good You have been to me, and for teaching me the lessons to be learned from heartbreaks and disappointments.  Thank You for Your grace and mercy towards me. Thank You for Jesus and Thank You for The Holy Spirit. Lord, I am just thankful 2b thankful! In Jesus’ name, Amen!

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Because of the Lord’s great love, we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23 NIV

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17 NIV

Every good and  perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of fristfruits of all he created. James 1:17-18 NIV

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 NIV

Do not be anxious about anything, but  in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:12-13 NIV

 

 

Why? What has He done wrong?

In my quiet time the past few days, I have chosen to read chapters in the Bible that lead up to Resurrection Sunday. These are the final chapters that take us through revealing the plot to kill Jesus and then to The Resurrection.  This morning, I have been reading Matthew 27 which tells the story of when Jesus was handed over to Pilate.

As I was reading the part where the shouting crowd chose to release Barabbas over Jesus, Pilate’s 2 questions to them in verse 23 resonated from the page.   Pilate asked the crowd “Why?”  And then, He asked “What has He done wrong?”   These questions seemed to incite the crowd more and they shouted “Crucify Him!”, yet they never answered Pilate’s questions.

In Luke 23:34 after Jesus was on the Cross between the 2 criminals,  Jesus said “Father, forgive them, because they do not know what they are doing.”   When Jesus said to forgive them, He answered Pilate’s questions.  In my spiritual mind,  Jesus answered the questions in reverse order.

Pilate:  What has He done wrong?

Jesus:  I have done nothing wrong.

Pilate:  Why?

Jesus:  They have done wrong!  I am doing this for them.

Jesus’ dying on the Cross is the answer to what the people did wrong back then and to what we do wrong now.  On the day He was crucified, it was not about the wrongs that just occurred on that day.  Jesus’ death on the Cross was about our sins: the wrongs of our bad choices, the wrongs of our unclean thoughts, the wrongs of our sinful activities, the wrongs of our bad behavior and the wrongs of our bad attitudes.  Our sinful nature is the answer to the question Why?

Pilate’s questions were for that particular moment in time.  However, the reason the crowd did not respond with an answer was because Jesus had to get to the Cross for the answer to be revealed.   His answer was for all of eternity.   John 3:16-17 says “For God so loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send His Son into the world that He might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.  (HCSB)

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Dear Heavenly Father,  thank You for Your Beloved Son, Jesus!  Thank You for the love You have shown us over and over again.  Jesus, we thank You for the precious blood You shed for each one of us.  I pray that as we prepare to celebrate Resurrection Sunday, that lives will be changed and souls will be saved as we give remembrance unto You.  I pray there will be a true understanding for many to the question as to Why You died on the Cross.  I pray more people will come to believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Please forgive us of our sins!  It is in  His mighty and precious name, I say Amen!

A View Versus A Vision!

 

The Lord said to Abram after Lot had parted from him, “Look around from where you are, to the north and south, to the east and west. All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever. I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted. Go walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you.” (Genesis 13:14-17)

We do not see what God sees.  We see what is currently in front of us and God sees our future, our destiny and our purpose. We have a view but God has a vision.  A view is the actual extent or range of your vision.  Vision is the power of anticipating that which may come to be! In the scripture above, Abram had a view of the land in front of him. The vision was in the length and breadth of all the land and the offspring to come.  The view to Abram was that he and his wife, Sarai, were too old to have children.  The vision was the offspring that would be too numerous to count!

Our view is so much different from God’s vision.  We see our current situation and God sees what will come to pass.

The view is the struggle; the vision is the victory!

The view is the cancer; the vision is the healing!

The view is the unemployment; the vision is the new business!

The view is living from paycheck to paycheck; the vision is the harvest!

The view is the  problem; the vision is the praise!

Abram was a man of great faith.  He made a decision to trust and believe in God’s promises to him.  As he walked through the length and breadth of the land, he experienced some setbacks and some situations, but he kept on walking in faith.   Are you focusing on your current view right now? Or has God given you a vision?  Continue walking in faith.  God has plans to prosper you and give you hope for your future!

Don’t give up!

Don’t let the view distract you!

The vision is so much better!

To the persecutors of Jesus, the view was death on the Cross.  The vision was eternal life and salvation!

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Dear Lord, I am thankful that you have better things in store for me than I what I can see right now. I am thankful that Your vision will bring me through this current view that I have.  I am leaning and trusting on You, Dear Father, as I take this walk of faith to get to where You would have me to be!  In Jesus’ name, I say Amen!

Didn’t You Hear Me?

The past few weeks have been very challenging to say the least.  It seems like I get over one hurdle and before I can get one foot on the ground, another hurdle is before me!  Today, when I got home from work I had to get to my prayer closet to have one of those heart to heart conversations with God.  Our conversation went like this :

Me:  Lord, what is going on?  Why do I feel like I am in several battles at one time?  Why do I feel that I am under attack?  Why do I feel such a heaviness is on me?

God: My child, you feel this way because you have not laid your burdens down. You have not trusted me to fight your battles!

Me:  Yes, I did turn all of this over to You!  Didn’t you hear my prayers the other night when I was crying out to You?  I laid it all down, every challenge, every struggle, every disappointment.  I gave it all to You.  You must have heard me!

God: Yes, my child, I most certainly did hear you crying out to me.

Me: Well, what’s the problem?

God: My child, as soon as you finished your prayer and said in the name of Jesus, you went right back to worrying about everything you prayed about!

Me: Did I do that?

God: Yes, you did do that! In fact, you did not give me a chance to let you know that I got this! I am God all by myself! I can fight all of your battles.  I can lift every burden!  I can wipe away all of your tears.  I can mend your broken heart.  My child, I can guide you safely through every storm!

Me:  Wow!  I didn’t even realize I picked my burdens back up.  Forgive me?

God: Of course, my child, I forgive you!  But now I need you to do something for me.

Me:  What would that be?

God: Trust me!  I got this!

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Dear Lord, I am trusting You with everything!  (The good and the not so good.) I am trusting You to work everything out.  I release all of my worries and struggles to You.  I release every distraction and stumbling block to You. I  put all of my trust and confidence in You to fight all of my battles! I declare peace in every area of my life!   In Jesus’ name I thankfully say, Amen!

It’s As Simple As That!

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God is great; God is good!

Let us thank Him for our food!

Bow are heads and all be fed.

Give us Lord, our daily bread!

This is a simple prayer I was taught as a child to bless my food before eating.  This is the same simple prayer, 30 some years, later I taught my three young children.  A few evenings ago, I was blessed to see how this simple prayer had impacted my 17-year-old son’s life.

When my son, Isaiah, came home from basketball practice the other night he was tired and hungry (or better yet, hungry and tired!)  It was still some time before dinner, so he made himself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for a snack.  When he sat down to eat his sandwich, he bowed his head and blessed his sandwich.  As simple as that, he said a prayer over his snack!  I know that his prayers to bless his food have changed since I taught him the simple prayer cited above. The point is that he is still giving God thanks for his food, even if it was just a snack!  It touched my heart to see him bow his head and give thanks for something that most of us would take for granted, because it was of course, just a small snack before dinner.

1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 tells us to “pray continually and give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  This means in all you do or in all you may be going through, that you are to be in constant prayer and thankfulness.  It does not matter whether it is a snack or a full course meal.  It does not matter whether you are in a good place in your life or in a not so good place.  It does not matter whether all your bills are paid or whether they are all past due.  What matters is that you are giving God thanks for His current and future provisions to you.  What also matters is that you are taking all of our requests and needs to Him in prayer and being thankful as you wait for God to move in your circumstances.  It’s as simple as that!

My son was praying and giving God thanks for a snack.  He had an expectation that God was going to give him more to eat later on that evening.  However,  he gave God thanks for what he had available to him at that time as he patiently waited to receive the bigger blessing later on!  It’s as simple as that!

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Dear Heavenly Father, I thank you for always giving me the opportunity to come to you in prayer.  I am thankful that I can make my requests known to You and You are an ever present help in my life.  I thank You for the small blessings as well as the bigger blessings.  I thank You for all You have done for me!  In the name of Jesus, Amen!

It’s as simple as that!

 

Where Did The Time Go?

Just a few months ago I was eagerly anticipating my youngest daughter’s graduation from high school.  When that day and that moment arrived,  my heart was filled with mixed emotions.  I was a proud mother to see her stand before her graduating class and deliver the commencement address; but I also knew it was time to let her go.  I kept asking God where did the time go?  It seems like You just gave her to me and now. . .

And now, here  we are already in September and she has completed 2 weeks in college.  Where did the time go? I now have two in college and one beginning  his Senior year in high school.   I have watched my three children grow from babies into young adults and I can’t help but to marvel as to how the time has flown by.

It seems like it was just yesterday when I was taking them to  daycare and kindergarten.  I must admit the thought of my children not being home every night has been tough at times.  Over the years I have gotten comfortable in knowing they were safe and secure in their rooms and close by if I needed to look in on them.  Now,  I’m watching my son go out in the evenings to hang out with his friends knowing that within less than a year he will also be on his way to college.  There is so much going on in the world these days, that it’s only natural you want to protect your loved ones at all times, especially your children.  You want to keep them close by as if nothing could happen to them at home, school,  church or in places we call familiar.

The Sunday afternoon I had to leave Cecily at a college 4 hours from home, I had my emotions in check (or at least I thought I did!) I was so busy running around trying to make sure she had everything she needed before we left, that I did not have much time to think about getting emotional.  Just two years before I had taken her sister to school and figured I know how this works now; I can handle it! I’m a big girl! I’ve got this all under control!

Well, I’m sure you can guess what happened. As soon as it came time to give our hugs goodbye, I realized this was it. This was the moment of letting go!   Where did the 18 years go?  When I saw Cecily hugging her brother and sister goodbye, the tears just started to flow.  I could not stop them!  As I hugged her and the tears continued to flow, I said another prayer over my child and her new journey in life.  I gave thanks to the Lord for blessing me with her.  I  told Him that I was trusting Him even more to keep watch over her.

 You see, I needed this reassurance for me more so than I needed it for Cecily. For the past 18 years I’ve known this day would come. I’ve known that my assignment was to raise Cecily as best I could and to encourage her to have her own relationship with God.  He tells us in Isaiah 55 (NIV)

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

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Cecily Elise Matthews, although I am marveling at how fast the time has flown by, I know you are in God’s hands and you will continue to flourish.  He has a greater purpose and plan for you and it will be fulfilled.  Because of this, I am ok with the letting go and allowing you to grow and prosper according to His divine will. You are a blessing to me and I am blessed because you call me mommy!

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The link below is a post I had the opportunity to write when my oldest daughter graduated from high school 2 years ago. The words “Take Courage” still resonate within me today.  Thanks, to my sister Change Agents, Renee and Roslyn! Love you both!

http://doubleportioninspiration.blogspot.com/2011/06/take-courage.html

Why Does It Have To Hurt So Much?

Have you ever experienced an excruciating physical pain and wondered why it had to hurt so much?  This is the type of pain that goes beyond a mere “ouch”.   And what about the pain that digs deep into your emotions?  The pain that breaks your heart and pulls at every part of your physical and emotional being. This could be pain that comes from a serious illness, a failed marriage or the loss of a loved one.  And how about that deep pain we feel due to our own bad choices and subsequent regrets?

Have you ever cried out to the LORD and asked why does it hurt so much?

The pains we experience in life will sometimes cause us to withdraw from a particular activity and/or withdraw from people. There are some athletes who become injured playing their favorite sport.  However, if they experience a torn ligament or broken limb, they may not feel up to returning to their sport for fear of being injured again and feeling that same unpleasant pain.

If you have ever experienced pain inflicted by another person, this could cause you to withdraw from building other friendships and keep you from trusting others.  I have been in this situation a few times.  I have believed someone was my friend only to find out they were doing things and saying things about me that would not meet the definition of friendship.  I have fallen in love and been married only to feel the heartache that comes from harsh words and hurtful actions that caused my heart to break and my trust to be broken.

When you experience a deep hurtful pain, it’s only natural to wonder why does it have to hurt so much? With any pain, whether physical or emotional, there is a healing process.  When you seek medical treatment you have to explain to the doctors and nurses what hurts and give them a level from 1 to 10 as to how much it hurts.   You also have to follow the directions and orders given by the doctors and nurses in order to assist with the progression of your physical healing.

When you have experienced the pain that digs deep into your emotions, you can also seek counseling from a trained professional.  Most of us tend to shy away from counseling because we feel it sends a message something is wrong with us.   This should be a matter of choice for you and perhaps talking to someone on a regular basis is just what you need to help with your healing.  Trying to go it alone may not be the answer for you, so hopefully there is  a ministry or a person within your church that you can call on to help with your healing process.

When I have experienced that deep pain and wondered why did it have to hurt so much, I have trusted in the Lord.  I know the hurt I feel will eventually go away, but I also know that it has also made me stronger.  I have survived the abuse; I have survived the ridicule; I have survived the disappointments and I have survived the dishonesty. I have survived the brokenness!  I can talk to God better than I can talk to anyone else and I know He listens to me even though He already knows what I am going to say.   I know He cares for me and He wants me to trust Him with all of my heart and soul.

Psalm 51:17  says “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou will not despise.”

When I have wondered, why it hurt so much, I am reminded of Jesus.  I know that the beating He took, the carrying of the cross and being nailed to the cross had to hurt.  I know that the sneers from the crowd and the crown of thorns on His head caused Him some pain.   But, He endured that pain for me.  So when I am hurting and I am wondering why, I pull my strength from my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.  I know that although my tears are flowing, He will give me joy in the morning.  I can wonder why it hurts, but I know the pain is what will draw me closer to  Him.

I was broken and He restored me!

Celebrating Rosa Lee!

Today I am celebrating my mother, Rosa Lee!

  Today would have been her 80th birthday.

When my mother was still alive we would ask her how she was doing and she would say “Oh, I’m having a grand time”!  She would put such an emphasis on the word grand that you could not help but to smile with her.

There were many times in the last couple of years of her life, that she did not always remember who I was when I would visit her.  She would recognize my children and call them by name, but she would look at me and could not remember. She would even say that my children were Jackie’s children but did not realize that I was Jackie!  I would tell her that it was okay and then I would ask her how she was doing.  She never failed to say she was fine and she was having  a “grand time”!

Towards the end, when her memory and health were fading more and more, she would still continue to tell us she was having a “grand time” !

 I can only imagine that every day since January 5, 2011, the day the LORD called her home, that she has been having a “GRAND TIME”!

To God Be the Glory!

It is with much love that I am celebrating Rosa Lee!

Everything I Need!

Psalm 23

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; he leadeth me besides the still waters.

He restoreth my soul; he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil; for thou art with me;

thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies;

 thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;

and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

The 23rd Psalm is familiar to most of us.  We either learned it at an early age or we have just heard it so much that we can recite it without looking in the bible.  The past few days, in my quiet time, God has brought this scripture before me to meditate on.  In reading the 23rd Psalm, God ever so gently reminds me that He is everything I need.  Plain and simple as that, He lets me know that He is my shepherd and with him there is no lack.  He gives me peace, comfort, and restoration when my soul is anxious.  He gives me time and a place to rest.  He provides the beauty of nature for me to look at daily.  When evil is lurking near me, He tells me not to be fearful because He is right there with me to shield me from all harm and danger.  When others are  challenging me and even at times attacking who I am, He covers me with an anointed oil that only He can cover me in.  And then,  just like that, He blesses me!  In my best times and even in my broken times, His goodness and mercy is ever-present.

Plain and simple, He is everything I need!

Promises

We’ve all heard the old saying “promises were made to be broken”! I am not sure who first coined that phrase but it is obvious they were either on the receiving end of a broken promise or they broke a promise to someone.

If you have had any disappointments in relationships, you might believe this is a true statement.  Remember when you met that special someone, and all appeared to be going well in the relationship?  You tiptoed around as if you were walking on air.  You could finish each other’s sentences and you stayed on the phone just listening to each other breathe.  You promised to  love each other forever.  You promised to be true to each other.   It didn’t matter that you were only 16.  It was a promise! Then came the unexpected break up.  The tears flowed and your heart was broken!  You just knew you would never love like that again.  “Promises were made to be broken”.

Then there are those special friendships where you promise to be friends forever!  Today, the term is BFF (best friends forever). You shared secrets and promised not to tell.  The next thing you know that secret you told was  being broadcast all over town, on the school yard and even at your church.  You learn the hard way that the best kept secret is the one you just don’t tell.  “Promises were made to be broken!”

The word promise is defined as a declaration to do, to give or to arrange something.  A promise can also  be a declaration not to do something. It is a pledge or a vow. And oh, how it hurts when you realize a promise made to you will not be kept or was never intended to be kept!  How could you have been so gullible to believe the promises spoken to you were truthfully spoken?

When I was in my brokenness because of broken promises, I called on Jesus!  I wanted to know why. Why would anyone want to hurt me with false promises? Why would anyone tell me lies and still continue to look me in my face? Why would they not keep their promises to me?  Why?  I can’t tell you that I have ever found the answers to any of my whys.  I just know these were some experiences I had to go through in my life’s journey.

 When you enter into a relationship with the LORD, you will come to know that He will keep His promises.

 God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act?   Does he promise and not fulfill?    I have received a command to bless;  he has blessed, and I cannot change it. (Numbers 23:19-20)

He gives us instructions to do right and we can receive what the LORD has promised.

 Do what is right and good in the LORD’s sight, so that it may go well with you and you may go in and take over the good land the LORD promised on oath to your ancestors (Deuteronomy 6:18) 

He can be trusted!

Sovereign LORD, you are God! Your covenant is trustworthy, and you have promised these good things to your servant. (2 Samuel 7:28)

Even in times of trouble, He promises to sustain you.

Sustain me, my God, according to your promise, and I will live; do not let my hopes be dashed. (Psalm 119:116)

If we believe in Him, He promises us eternal life!

For God so loved the world, that HE agave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

And this is what he promised us–eternal life. (1 John 2:25)

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Dear LORD, Thank you for your promises!  Thank you for loving me when promises that were made to me were broken.  Thank you for sustaining me.  Forgive me, LORD, for uttering promises that I did not keep.  LORD, I thank You for being gracious and merciful.  LORD, help me to do right and to live right so that I may continue to receive your great promises in my life.  I thank You for the promises that have already been fulfilled and I thank you for the promises that are yet to be! Dear LORD, I thank you, that even in my brokenness, you were restoring me with your promises.  In the name of Jesus, I say, Amen.

Determined!

At the beginning of this year a dear friend challenged her Facebook friends to come up with one word to take them through the year.  I chose the word DETERMINED!   The word determined is an adjective that means having made a firm decision and being resolved not to change it!

I purposely chose the word determined because I have it resolved in my spirit that I am moving forward in this life and not backwards.  I am determined not to allow past hurts and disappointments take me back to a dark place or time in my life.  Galatians 5:1  In this freedom Christ has made us free; stand fast then, and do not be hampered and held ensnared and submit again to a yoke of slavery which you have put off!

I am determined to walk in victory no matter what people say about me or think about me!   I am determined to encourage myself even when no one else does.  I am determined to receive the blessings and promises God has in store for me!  Psalm 23:5  He prepares a table before me in the presence of my enemies.  He anoints my head with oil; my cup runs over!

I have made the decision to live each day as a blessing from God.  I am determined to find joy in each day that I am able to wake up, even when I know I will have to face some challenges.  Psalm 118:24 This is the day which the LORD has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it!

I am determined to spend more time with my Father!  The one who can comfort me like no other; the One who truly listens and understands me for who I am.  I am determined to draw closer to the One who  has given me purpose and direction.  Psalm 121:1-2  I will look to the hills from where my help comes from! My help comes from the LORD who made heaven and earth!

I am resolved to be a better person because I want to be more like Him!  Genesis 1:27 So God created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of God He created him; male and female He created them!

 I am determined to take better care of myself.  I am determined to make better food choices. I am determined to exercise more.  I am determined to live more healthy and more holy!  Psalm 139:14  I praise Him because I am fearfully and wonderfully made! 

I am determined to trust God more and more with all aspects of my life.  I trust him with my family, my friends, my career, my finances, my ups and my downs! I am determined to let go and let God, because I know how awesome He truly is!  Psalm 24: 10  Who is the King of glory? The Lord Almighty—-He is the King of Glory!

Even in my brokenness, I am determined 2b restored!

Even In My Brokenness. . . . .

1 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: 2“Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.” 3 So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. 4 But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.  Jeremiah 18:1-4

Take a minute and reflect  back on what may have been one of your darkest moments.  When and where did you experience your brokenness?  It may have been the loss of a loved one, the end of a tumultuous relationship, the loss of a job, or a financial hardship.  Could it have been a health issue, drug addiction, depression or eviction from your home?

You may have felt like giving up and running away from your situation.  Maybe you were tempted to drown your troubles by drinking  some wine or some other alcoholic beverage.   Or did the temptation of doing drugs try to lure you back in for a temporary fix? Perhaps  you were tempted to call someone who could only bring more misery and destruction into your life. Did you get so broken that you even considered taking your own life?

Now take a look at yourself today!  Do you see how God sustained you and covered you so that you could be restored? Although you might have felt alone and empty, He did not ever leave you and He surely did not forsake you.  Even in your brokenness, it was God who kept you from taking a drink from the bottle.  Even in your brokenness, it was God who did not allow you to succumb to a temporary high from drugs.  It was God who kept you away from the person or persons who would be of no good for the plans God had in store for you.  Your life was and still is in His hands!

There have been a “few” times in my life, where I was ready to give up.  I could not see the light at the end of the tunnel and I would become more discouraged day by day.  It got to the point, I did not even know what to pray for.  I would just say “God, I am still here”, but I would feel so tired and worn down.  I would try to smile on the outside while all the time I was a mess  on the inside.  Then God started to show me how He was moving in my life.  He moved me from one location to another.  He put new people in my life; people who did not mind telling me they were praying for me even if they did not know me! Then there were some people who had to be moved out of my life; the ones that thought they knew me.  The ones who would speak negative things over my life and try to steal my confidence and rob me of my joy.  Well, God took care of that, too! Sometimes just as quickly as He will move someone into your life, He will allow relationships to come to an end. Even in the brokenness that we experience, God has a way of restoring us and elevating us to a new place in Him.

Imagine the joy and freedom I felt, when I  started to realize that God was working things out for me.  He was restoring me even in the midst of my brokenness.  My restoration did not come suddenly; it was a process.  A process similar to the clay on the potter’s wheel before the pot is finished! During this process, I learned how my brokenness was making me stronger.  Today, I can proudly say, I was broken to be restored.  I give God all the glory and praise for what He has done in my life and for what He is getting ready to do.  You see, even in my brokenness, He was already making me into a better person for Him! I am restored!  Thank you, Jesus!

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Dear Lord, I pray for those who may be experiencing a brokenness.  I pray they will call on the wonderful name of Jesus.  Set them free, dear Lord, from the situation that has broken their hearts and broken their spirits.  Set them free from the addictions, from the depression and from the bad relationships.  God create in them a clean heart and restore them to be who you have purposed them to be.  God, I ask that You show them how mighty and wonderful you are.  God, I pray for healing in the mind, body and soul.  Where there is lack, I ask that you supply their every need.   God, I thank you for the restoration even in the midst of their brokenness! Amen.

What Will You Say To Your Mountain?

 

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Matthew 17:18-21(NIV) tells us ” Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed at that moment.  Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why, couldn’t we drive it out? He replied “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move.  Nothing will be impossible for you.”

A mustard seed of faith against a mountain?  Can you visualize that picture?  Do you know how small a mustard seed is and how big mountains can be? And when you look at what Jesus said, that is exactly what he meant.   Yes, a mustard seed is very small.  Yes, mountains are huge.  However, if you trust and believe just a little bit, you will be surprised as to how things can move mightily in your circumstances!

When challenges and frustrations start to overwhelm you, speak to them just as Jesus said to speak to the mountain.  When you feel you are under attack, rebuke the schemes of the enemy just like Jesus did over the little boy.  So often, we see how God blesses and/or delivers others and we don’t understand why our prayers did not manifest into the blessings and actions we spoke.  Could it be we have focused too much on our mountain and not enough on our faith? Today, I encourage you to focus on your faith, no matter how small or weak your faith may be, speak to your mountain and believe it can be moved. Sometimes the mountain is not as close to you as you think it is, and when you keep trusting God the mountain starts to get smaller and eventually disappears from your circumstances.  All you have to do is have a mustard seed of faith and believe that nothing is impossible.  Can believe in your faith in God enough to move the mountain? What will you say to your mountain?

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Dear Heavenly Father, I come before you today with just a mustard seed of faith.  And, with this tiny seed of faith, I believe that my situation is already better.  I believe that mountain of frustration is moved; I believe the financial obstacle is no longer in my way; I believe that all manner of sickness and disease in my body is gone. I believe the enemy is under my feet and no longer in my way. I believe you are taking my mustard seed of faith and showing me that nothing is impossible, and that I can speak to the mountain in my life and it shall move. Right now I am telling the mountain with my mustard seed of faith  to move!  In Jesus’ mighty name, Amen and Thank You!

 

 

 

I Thought The Chair Was Empty

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As I write this blog, I am visiting a location near Cleveland, Ohio.   When I left South Carolina the other day the temperature was 81 degrees, and  when I arrived in Ohio the next day, it was 39 degrees.  Driving through the streets to get to this charming apartment in Ohio, I could see what was left of a light blanket of snow that had fallen the night before. It’s always fascinating for me to see snow blanket the ground and rooftops, especially before it gets too messy.

I share this with you because this morning, I find myself sitting alone at breakfast having a bagel and coffee. (It’s cold outside and right now I am not ready to venture out the front door.)  There are only two chairs at this table and the “empty” one is directly across from me.  As I looked at the “empty” chair, I began to think what if Jesus was sitting in this empty chair and what would I say to Him?

Immediately, I began to think I would tell Him about things in my life I did not get right.  I would tell Him about the wrong decisions I made and how my thoughts and actions often got me into some messy situations. I would let Him know that my heart had been broken a few times and how I had struggled with forgiveness.   I figured if I brought all of this up myself, He wouldn’t have to tell me about how I mishandled things.  As I looked across at what I thought was an  “empty” chair, I heard Him say to me “I love you”.  There was no bringing up the past.  There was no making me feel ashamed. It was just those three words, “I love you.”

As I sat across from this chair with tears and rejoicing in the revelation it was not really  an empty chair, I felt so blessed. It is such a great feeling to know you are loved unconditionally.  Others may bring up your past and remember all the bad stuff,  but not God.  The Bible tells us that He knew each one of us before we were formed in our mothers’ wombs. He knows all about us and He knows what we are going to say and do before we even utter a word or make a move.  He loves us in spite of the mistakes He knew we would make. He is such a loving and compassionate God.

As I took another look at this chair, I began to thank God for blessing me today with His presence, His love and His amazing grace.   The chair in front of me was filled with compassion, strength, joy, peace, hope and most importantly it was filled with the love of Christ.  Whenever Jesus is seated at the table with you, the chair is never empty.

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“Lord, You know everything there is to know about me.  You perceive every moment of my heart and soul, and You understand my every thought before it even enters my mind.   You are so intimately aware of me, Lord. You read my heart like an open book and You know all the words I’m about to speak before I even start a sentence!   You know every step I will take before my journey even begins. You’ve gone into my future and prepared the way, and in kindness You follow behind me to spare me from the harm of my past. With Your hand of love upon my life, You impart a blessing to me. This is just too wonderful, deep, and incomprehensible! Your understanding of me brings me wonder and strength.”

Psalm 139:1-7 The Passion Translation

 

 

I Was Broken 2b Restored

I am rejoicing today because the Lord blessed me to wake up on my 57th birthday, and because this is also the 7 year anniversary of Broken-2b-Restored.

I shared my first post on my 50th birthday on November 2, 2011.  When I prayed about starting this blog the Lord gave me the title Broken-2b-Restored.  I knew I wanted to write words to share some of my testimony in hopes my experiences would encourage and lift up others.  I also knew I wanted to share with others how to love God while also, learning to love yourself in spite of experiencing brokeness.

I must admit that in my younger years I was not sure how to love God and how to allow Him to love on me. I would feel that I was not worthy of His love.  I would wonder how could He love me when I didn’t spend time with Him like I should.  I kept thinking I have to get myself together in order for Him to love me and to bless me.  Also, I resisted feeling His love because of how others who said they loved me mistreated me.

I have since learned that no matter how broken or hurt I was, God has  always been there unconditionally loving on me.   When others have turned their backs on me, walked away and mistreated me, God was always there to lift me up and keep me going. When others did not tell the truth about me to justify their own bad behavior, God was always there to comfort me and to not allow me to wallow in self-pity or unforgiveness. When my own choices and decisions caused me hurt and pain, God has always  been there for me to lean and depend on.  God would not allow me to give up, give in or give out!

How could I not see His love for me and how could I not understand that in spite of my brokeness, He was going to love me anyway?  No matter how many times I experienced brokeness, God never left me.  I thank God for His revelation and  transformation in my life!

I was broken 2b restored and I was restored because of His love for me.

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Dear Lord,  thank You so much for another day in my life.  Thank You for all the grace and mercy You have shown me over the years.  Dear Lord, I know  I would not be who I am and where I am if it had not been for your precious love for me.  I thank You for the precious blood of Jesus that was shed for me.   I thank You for the comfort of the Holy Spirit Who abides in me.   I am so grateful that in my times of brokeness You have loved me and restored me.   I was broken 2b restored and I am forever grateful! In Jesus’ name, I say Amen!

“Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies.  Your righteousness is like the highest mountains, your justice like the great deep.  You, Lord, preserve both people and animals. How priceless is your unfailing love, O God!  People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.  They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights.  For with you is the fountain of life, in your light we see light.”   Psalm 36:5-9 (NIV)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Am Worthy

I am worthy!  These  are the words I heard during my quiet time this beautiful Sunday morning and these are the words I choose to affirm over myself.  I am worthy!

I am worthy not because I have done anything so great or magnificent.   I am worthy because of God’s unconditional love for me.  I am worthy because of His grace and mercy towards me. I am worthy because He created me; He fearfully and wonderfully made me.

I am drawn to the scripture of the adulteress woman.  In the scriptures, her accusers forced her to stand before Jesus because of her part in adultery. She had to stand alone before Jesus accused of actions that required more than one person to commit.  Her accusers really wanted to see how Jesus would respond.  However, Jesus did not respond the way in which the accusers thought He would.  John 8:7-11 (NIV) says “When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”  Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.   At this, those who heard began to go away one at a  time, the older ones first until only Jesus was  left with the woman still standing there.  Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they?  Has no one condemned you?” She replied “No one, sir.” Then neither do I condemn you, Jesus declared.  Go now and leave your life of sin.”

I can’t begin to imagine how she must have felt after Jesus said that to her.  Did she run away in a hurry or did she back away slowly?  Did she even say thank you?  I am thinking she might have been saying “what in the world just happened back there?” What happened was that Jesus spared her life in front of all her accusers and He showed her love and compassion.   I wonder how long it took for her to realize how much He loved her.  When did she realize that she was worthy? In spite of her actions and in spite of her accusers, when did she realize her worthiness?

Your poor decisions and failures have a way of making you feel as if you don’t deserve God’s love.  The way others treat and talk about you will also make you feel as if you don’t deserve His love.  You may pull away from God because of your shame.  Or on the flip side, as you try to draw closer to Him, you may continue to  feel as if you are not worthy.   James 4:8 (NIV) says in part, “come near to God and he will come near to you.”  Then verse 10 says “humble yourself before the Lord,  and he will lift you up.”  To me, in these scriptures, God is saying  no matter what you have done, no matter the shame and guilt you feel, draw closer to Me because I love you and  you are worthy.  You are worthy of My love and you are worthy of My forgiveness.

Will you join me in this affirmation of “I am worthy” ?  Say to yourself  “I am worthy!  I am worthy! I am worthy!”  I encourage you to speak these words over yourself.  I encourage you to believe  you are worthy.  You are worthy of God’s love and all the blessings He has already Continue reading

Restored!

It’s been 6 years since I started this blog. In the past couple of years I haven’t written as much as I did in the beginning, but as “life happens”, I do have plenty to write about in the near future. I am reblogging my very first post called “Restored”! Thank you for your continued prayers and support these past 6 years! I was broken2b-restored!

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Welcome to “Broken-2B-Restored”!

Have you been to that point of brokenness where you felt you were alone in the world and felt you had no one that could help you get through?  God is able and He is ready to restore you from your brokenness and to give you new hope, new joy, new peace and new strength.

Just say, God, I  trust you!  That’s always a good start.  He will hear you and He is already working it out for you.  Your restoration process may take some time, but just envision what the finished product will be! Sometimes life will just back us in a dark corner and we can’t see our way out. Things will happen that will just cause us to crumble and feel like we don’t have the strength to go on.  Bad relationships,  loss of a loved one, addictions, financial problems, depression, divorce, health issues…

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