Saturday, 28 December 2013

More About Love

"I love you Maria." It was so clear, as if someone had actually spoken the words out loud. But this morning I found myself asking...

What is love?

The classic Sunday school  answer is from 1 Corinthians 13: 3-8 (The Message):

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.
Love doesn't strut,
Doesn't have a swelled head,
Doesn't force itself on others,
Isn't always “me first,”
Doesn't fly off the handle,
Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn't revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

Love never dies.

So when we say God is love do we mean he never gives up, cares more for others than for himself... keeps going to the end and never dies?

I suppose we do, but I suspect that since Paul is speaking to the Corinthian church about their behavior, and not God's, that God's love is far greater then the above description. Never the less I think we can learn a lot about God's character from it. please take a moment to read each line over slowly one by one:

God never gives up.
God cares more for others than for self.
God doesn't want what it doesn't have.
God doesn't strut,
God doesn't have a swelled head,
God doesn't force itself on others,
God isn't’t always “me first,”
God doesn't fly off the handle,
God doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
God doesn't revel when others grovel,
God takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
God puts up with anything,
God trusts God always (this one doesn't work all that well),
God always looks for the best,
God never looks back,
God keeps going to the end.

God never dies.

OK now be completely honest with yourself and God are there any of the above descriptions about God that you doubt?

I know for myself I honestly doubt whether or not God has or at least will soon give up on me. why wouldn't he? I so often have given up on myself! As I write this the Spirit reminds me of the story of Israel, how they were repeatedly disobedient, rebellious, turning from God, and yet God kept on loving them, He would discipline them (just another act of His love), and when they would repent, and turn back to Him, He would welcome them back with open arms! The Old Testament is filled with the narrative of a God who never gives up on His people! AND what does Paul tell the church in Philippians 1:6? I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ (English Standard Vision). Does this sound like a God who gives up on us? No, it sounds like a God who loves us till the very end. Moreover Paul writes to the Roman church that: 

I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39).

These couple verses are only the very tip of the iceberg; the running theme, the scarlet thread, the whole Bible is filled with God's never ever giving up love. Even though sometimes it can be hard to understand, or to identify as love, everything, absolutely everything God does and doesn't do is love, but please don't take my word for it, do your own Bible study, take the time to really explore God's love in the Bible, ask the hard questions, don't shy away from the painful and uncomfortable, dig deep, press in, read commentaries, pray, go to a Bible study, an Alpha group, whatever and wherever you can discover more about the love of God. Because I can promise you that as you go deeper into the love of God you will become more and more alive, you will experience greater freedom and joy, that is not to say life will be all sunshine and rainbows, but you will have a deep inner peace that will be better then anything you could think up or imagine (Philippians 4: 4-7).

So what you? What about God's love for you do you have a harder time believing? Don't be ashamed, we all have some doubts. the important thing is that you recognize them, honestly present them to your loving Father, and hear the truth (often you'll find the truth to the lie in the Bible, so open it up and start reading!). 

Let us follow Paul's example and get down on our knees and ask our Father to strength us in His Spirit, so that we may comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that we may be filled with all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:14-19).

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Come Let Us Adore Him

Oh come let us adore Him
all the days of our lives
into eternity... Jesus Christ the Lord

Jesus is the reason for every season. full stop.

The purpose, joy, the life, meaning of my breathing in and out
day after day...


Let us fix our eyes on Jesus
for He alone is worthy.

God is with us!
baby Jesus, Christ the Lord!

Oh come let us adore Him

Put aside your worries,
put aside you anger and disappointments
and come to the cross, come to Jesus, for He is with you.
He has come to set you free, to give you life, and life to the fullest.
So set aside your bitterness,
set aside the frustrations and the what ifs
and be set free to live in abundance
love, joy, and peace...

forever and ever...

Jesus, Son of God, Emmanuel, Christ the Lord.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Feeling Discourged

This morning as I sat down to return to my schedule of prayer and reading the Bible (after a nearly a week of vacation) I was overwhelmed with anger... this is what I began to journal... I am angry. I am angry at myself, I hate the world, I hate myself, I hate how unhappy I am, I hate how quickly I turn away... 

before I could go any further Jesus spoke into the darkness saying to my heart and mind "STOP looking at yourself dear one, look at my unfailing love for you, don't even look at your unfaithfulness"... and the the Spirit lead me to Romans 5:5 "and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." Looking up in front of me in large bold letters it said "For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground" from Isaiah 44:3. As the words of the song playing sung:

Come and fill this place with Your presence, Lord.
We need You.
We want You.
Our souls, they thirst for You.
You are the Water of life,
the Water of life, Jesus.
In this dry and weary land,
We need You.
We want You.
Our souls, they thirst for You. - Ryan Hall

The enemy was trying to discourage me with self condemnation  and self hatred... but by the grace of Jesus I was saved from that pit of hell, and placed on the Rock, Jesus Christ my Savior  Lord, and the Lover of my soul. I ended the time reading over Romans 5: 1-11 (it is really incredible  several times. and  sitting listening to the words of the song, opening up my hands, heart and mind to receive the love of Jesus for me. 

Romans 5: 1-11: Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

I'm blocked up!

This morning I asked Jesus (prompted by Chamber's devotional) "what is getting I between you and me?" Please tell me Jesus... Oh did he speak! Praise his holy and compassionate name!
My desires to be loved and to be happy... Which are of course meant to be satisfied by Jesus, but I don't really trust that he will...
Doubt and distrust are the big (old and persistent) blocks that are getting in between Jesus and I, and ultimately stoping me from receiving what I need and desire, namely love, peace, and joy! So instead of receiving these from Jesus I turn to other things in a desperate attempt to be fulfilled! Which needless to say for the long term (though often it feels like they do for the short term) they do not satisfy.
OK so next I asks my Jesus, how do I go from doubt to faith and trust?
And he answered me... 
One step at a time, Maria this will not happen over night, daily you need to chose to believe. A great start is for you to be reading your Bible, praying and worshiping every day. Meeting with other believes regularly for prayer and study together, as iron will sharpen iron. 
Be persistent Maria, don't give up, keep pressing in, knowing that you do have faith (no matter how small it is) and I AM the perfector of your faith, not you, so don't worry my dear one, just fix your eyes on Me.


Wednesday, 25 September 2013

The Supernatural

Good morning ya'll!

This sunny morning I was sitting in front of my window, with the sun shining on my face, and I asked the Lord to speak to me, and these are the words I heard:

"I love you and I am next to you."

I thought back "OK those are nice words, and so good to hear again, but do you have anything else?"

And He said to me "Maria that is all you ever need to hear, those are all the words anyone ever needs to hear, that I love them and that I am near to them. From these words will flow the supernatural, because My love and nearness empowers you."

Whoa! Amen! As I journaled the Spirit expanded on this idea...

"because with Me at your side what/whom shall you fear? Nothing and no one! So you are unstoppable as you trust in my love, as long as you trust me, listen to me, and walk with me (obey), which I have made possible because I am right next to you! In fact I am IN you! So dear ones see and believe that I AM the LORD your God who loves you and is next to you in this battle we call life."

WHOA! AMEN! YES! Jesus is right next to us, HIS SPIRIT IS IN US! Giving us the power and the desire to do what the pleases the Father! So dear ones, loved by God, draw near to Him, because He is already near to you, and He wants to give you the power, strength, joy, and peace of His perfect and everlasting love!

Monday, 16 September 2013

One Day at a Time

I'm not going to worry about tomorrow, because  Jesus has my back.

Whether  it is finances, a sin I'm struggling with, a dream I have, I'm not going to worry about it! 

I'm  going to focus on being faithful today, resting in Him today, living with Him today... Tomorrow and the next day and the day after that will all be taken care of by Him!

Praise Jesus that we only have to live one day at a time :) Amen

Monday, 9 September 2013

Rock n Roll

Please read through this scripture, slowly, if you have read it a hundred times before don't skip over it, read each word, don't draw any conclusion about it, don't think about all the sermons you have heard on this passage... just read it

And when a great crowd was gathering and people from town after town came to him, he said in a parable, “A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell along the path and was trampled underfoot, and the birds of the air devoured it. And some fell on the rock, and as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up with it and choked it. And some fell into good soil and grew and yielded a hundredfold.” As he said these things, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” And when his disciples asked him what this parable meant, he said, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God, but for others they are in parables, so that ‘seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.’ Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. The ones along the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of testing fall away. And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature. As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience. (Luke 8:4-15 ESV)

Now please thoughtfully think about and answer these questions:

What strikes you? What jumped out at you? Go back and read that part again... Why do you think it's jumping out you? What is significant about that part? How does it relate to your life? What could God be saying to you through it?

This is what jumped out at me (I even highlighted it in pink):

And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature. (Luke 8:14 ESV)

Am I good soil? It's doubtful... I think I'm pretty rocky, I let the desires and cares of this world choke me!!  What can I do? Ask the Gardner to come and do some gardening, remove those rocks (and foxes) so that my fruit can mature...

Right ok, Jesus you are the Gardner, please help me and come work in my mind and soul, I know you have and are, so thank you for all the work you have already done, I am trusting that you will continue to work in/on me Amen

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Why am I at Regent?

As I am about to start my second year (a year has gone by already can you believe it!!) at Regent College, I have been reflecting on why I am studying at Regent...

I am at Regent to study Theology (the study of God), so I am at Regent to study God... To come to know him more and more, so that I can teach others about who He is! And as I come to a deeper understanding of him, I know myself deeper as well, I learn what it means to be human, and a Christian... And then I can teach others what it means to be truly human and what it looks like to follow Jesus...

So I am at Regent to learn so that I can teach... Oh what a joy, what a great blessing, and what a great privilege and responsibility! Thank you Jesus, may it all be for your glory Amen

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

They Deadly Lie

The world tells us that being busy is the best way to be.

It is a sort of badge of honor. To be busy is to be productive, useful and successful, and being stressed comes with being a hard working and responsible person... anything less then this is to be lazy, a slacker.

And guess what, as I am sure is no surprise to most of you, the church has not only bought into this destructive, deadly lie it has adopted it and created its own "holy" version!

I have fallen for the lie. I love to be busy busy busy... I love feeling stressed out (just as much as I hate it!). It gives me a feeling of self worth, and purpose to my life. If I am not busy, then what am I doing? I am proud to be known as someone who can work hard and play hard. I truly attribute my ability to the grace of God, because there have been times where I didn't think I could go on any longer, and God gave me the strength. Yet, I ignore his commandments to practice the Sabbath and to not worry (stress)...

Recently my body has been screaming at me to STOP! REST! NOW! God loves me sooo much, and he knows what is the best for me, so he has implemented the Sabbath and a not worrying (stressing) mandate.

Just as my body is telling me, so does the Bible. To not rest, to not practice Sabbath, to be stressed out is an active act of disobedience against God.

I am not yet sure how to work (because I do think God wants us to be good workers) and to rest well in him, that is what I am going to be meditating on over the next little while... but what I do know is that God is commanding us all to rest, trust and be still in Him...

release us
into joy
into peace
into You

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Earnest? Earnest who? Earnest what!?

At the end of my devotional reading today the writer gives the exhortation to "... Show your gratitude [to God for his gift of life] by earnest, Christ-like lives, and as God has bidden you to live, see to it that you live in earnest." (By: Charles Spurgeon on Aug 8, 2013)

That got me thinking… what does earnest living look like?

So I googled it! (Because that’s what I do) and I found a great definition:

It means: -adjective 1. serious in intention, purpose, or effort; sincerely zealous: an earnest worker.2. showing depth and sincerity of feeling: earnest words; an earnest entreaty. 3. seriously important; demanding or receiving serious attention. -noun 4.full seriousness, as of intention or purpose: to speak in earnest. (from and you know it must be true because Wiki knows everything)

At the end someone has written (yelled): WHAT EARNEST MEANS TO ME: MY EVERYTHING... 

I am pretty sure they are referring to their love for another human and they kind of get off track, but what struck me as significant was the first thing they said: “MY EVERYTHING"… I thought yup that's it, that is what it means to live earnestly: everything, no part untouched, no boxes, no separation between sacred and secular, but ALL EVERYTHING we are, think, do, say, breathe, dance, sing... Is with/through/for Jesus!

OK that is simple to write and beautiful to sing about but what does that actually - hitting the pavement - look like!?

Great question…

Oh you think I might have an answer? Ha! Nope… I do have a few thoughts; obviously that’s why I am writing about it…

Thought number one: Jesus.

Great start right?

He is so much more than the Sunday school answer. He is our everything… and speaking of being earnest, Jesus is what it means to be earnest… think about, look at his living example when he walked this earth… there was no separation between sacred and secular with Jesus, he glorified his father in all he did, and didn't do… he spent blood sweating time in prayer, he partied with the sinners, he got tired, he served, he slept and rested, he cried, he threw a protest (the market place in the temple)… on and on, the point is when I look to Jesus I see a man who lived his whole life, his everything, all he did, for the love of his Father and other people…

I am going to stop at this first thought… because I need to get started on my homework, and it’s probably my best one any how…

To wrap it up: What does it mean to live earnestly? To love God and people with and in your everything… no separation between Sunday mornings and Saturday nights, every moment is for the magnification of His loving and glorious name! BE LIKE JESUS! He is after all the starter and perfecter of our faith, so we can trust and look to him to teach and help us to live earnestly…

Yup, that’s it… I’m going to get busy earnestly doing my homework for the love of my Father in Heaven and for the glorification of the name of Jesus Christ my Savior and Lord God Almighty…

Sunday, 28 July 2013

“NO, F#@K OFF!”

OK I have a couple thoughts bumping around in my head, please bear with me as I attempt to express them in one coherent stream of consciousness…

Is following Jesus as simple as saying “no” to death and “yes” to life? Yes, it is as simple, but this not easy… because often what is “death” looks to us like “life.”

For example: partying, drinking… you know sex, drugs, and rock n roll, look like a lot of fun, and they can feel so good, like you’re really living life to its fullest. But this is not true, it is a broken twisted version of living, and for many people they just don’t know any better, they have not experienced real living. Even Christians (like me) who have experienced true life, often get deceived into thinking that that they are somehow missing out on life (this is connected to the first deception and sin in the garden of Eden)… like Eve we often believe the devil’s lie when he says that God is holding out on us, that there is something bigger and better out there for us.

LIE!!! How do I know this? Because God is our Father who loves us and always has our best in mind, in all he does and says… and how do I know this? Well for me there are two pieces of evidences that are the strongest: 

First, he went through all the effort of creating this world, everything in it (including you and me). Why would he do that if he only meant for us to be miserable and die!? I don’t think he would, would you? If you have kids, do you do so with the intention of making their lives miserable and then watch them die off? Ah noooo! You love them, and you do and say all you can with their best in mind, well how much more would be true of God our Father who is not merely “loving” but is the very essences of love itself? 

Second piece of evidence: God came as Jesus and died for you and me so that we could have life, life to the fullest! This only makes sense if he loves us, and wants what is best for us. Jesus is the greatest proof that God really really really loves us, has only our best in mind and wants us to have life! (note: I am operating on several assumptions: a belief in the Divine Creator, and in the death and resurrection of the God Man Jesus Christ).

OK so far I have said that following Jesus is about saying “no” to death and “yes” to life, that this is simple but not easy, because we often get deceived into thinking “death” is “life”, and that God loves us and always has our best in mind…

So one of the ways we can choose “life” is to look at what God talks to us about in the Bible, in the way of his laws/commands/rules/strong suggestions… don’t freak out! These are not bad things, I’m not talking about “legalism.” I am talking about that same God who loves you, who created you, who died for you, all to give you life! This same God has given you laws/commands/rules/strong suggestions on how to live this abundant life.

For example: “Thou shall not kill…” pretty obvious how that is for our best, right? What about “Thou shall not covet…”? Maybe a little less obvious, but still God saying “hey I know that if you get envious of others, you will become bitter and angry, and that’s not really living, and I want you to live not be in the death of bitterness and anger.” In the New Testament Paul instructs us not to get drunk… why? There are so many reasons: biologically over drinking is toxic for our bodies, psychologically it is a depressant; socially we often do stupid things that damage relationships…

I could go on and on, but the theme is that God’s laws/commands/rules/strong suggestions are ALL for our best, they help us say “NO, F#@K OFF!” to death and “YES!” to life… they will not in themselves produce eternal life (that only comes from the Spirit of God) but they are an important tool in following Jesus (important to note: we cannot fully utilize them without the help and power of the Spirit). Therefore as we journey through this earth, in this still broken fallen age, we can trust the laws/commands/rules/strong suggestions that the Creator God who is our Father who loves us and always has our best in mind has given us as tools of(for) life.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Greater is He

Have you ever or right now do you feel God calling you to something, big or small, simple or complicated... But you just don't think you are the right person for the job, you can't do it, you don't have enough faith or patience or money or wherever it is that you need to do it is that God is asking? 

I have! In fact that is my current delima, this morning I was jut saying to God "Jesus I don't think I'm cut out for this... Because I..." And Jesus asked me one question "do you love me Maria?" And I said " yes, I do love you Jesus" and he said "then it's not a problem, I am big enough, strong enough, and good enough to take care of anything that you think may be an issue, you love me Maria, and that is truley the number one thing..."

It seems to good, to simple to be true right? But it's not! I started to think about all the men and women from the Bible who were not "cut out" to do what God was asking them to do, Moses, Esther, Jacob, Peter, Mary... But by God's Spirit (not by their might, power, or genius) God used them (and many many others throughout history) to do his work (the big and small, the simple and complicated) so guess what!!!?

He can and will use YOU to all you need to do is say YES!

That is my pray for us all that we would learn to stop looking at ourselves but instead that we would fix our gaze on our Father, and Maker, the Creator of heaven and earth and remember that He is great and good enough to work with us, even with all our hurts, habits, and hang ups! Because people this is about him, by him and for him... So let's once again put aside all our doubts, fears, worries and fix our eyes on Jesus the Author and Perfecter of our faith because greater is HE that is in us then anyone or anything else! Amen!?

Thursday, 30 May 2013

I Have the Problem of Shortsightedness

This morning I was asking Jesus what are the sins you want me to confess this morning? 

After a couple overarching sins... pride, fear of man... I heard him say...

Maria you get into temporal trouble because you think you need and/or are entitled to be "happy," to have "fun" (I am shortsighted)... BUT Maria this is not the point of your life... I AM! Yes, following me will include joy and peace, but they are different than happiness and fun, joy and peace are deep and everlasting, whereas happiness and fun are only shallow and temporal. Sooooo rather than living for the moment (getting drunk because it will be fun right now) why don't you think about trying to make choices that will bring joy and peace for the long term? I will help you, just ask me, this is in part why I have sent to you my Spirit so that you do not have to live in the ways of sin and death but so that now dear girl you can live in my ways of LIFE!!

This is a truth that I think is spoken to ALL of us, Jesus has offered us a better way, the way of everlasting life...

Jesus is asking YOU "what will bring you joy and peace in the long run?"

When I asked myself this morning the overarching answer I came to was: following Jesus, being in his perfect will for my life... Now to just keep asking this day to day, decision to decision...

Are you shortsighted? Do you only live for the moment, not looking to the everlasting? Shortsightedness is not only when you live to have fun right now, it is ALSO when you focus your life on working to achieve wealth, prestige or the like, rather then listening to Jesus when he says store your treasures in heaven (longsighted). This is not living, it is death, because the ways of the "world" lead to death, whereas Jesus' ways lead down the road of life...

I want to LIVE!!! How about you? 

Saturday, 25 May 2013

It Is Really All About Love

What is the point of living? I asked my Father God this morning, and this is what his Spirit whispered into me heart and mind... 

Other being loved by Me (God) not much Maria, that is kind of the point, Me and you being in a love relationship... Then as you accept my unconditional never ending love and learn to live in it you will start to love people around you, you will be my representative, my ambassador of love and reconciliation to other people and all of creation, by testifying what I have done in your life, seeking and acting in social justice, and bring order and flourishing into the creation by caring and stewarding the environment you live in. 

OK so I need to start by accepting and learning to trust in my Father God's love for me... The more I do this, the more secure I am in His love the more I will love others... So if I am not loving well then maybe it is because I am not secure in His love for me? Maybe it is because I am feeling a need to control (remember my idols) things myself and seek comfort (idol) in things other then Him?

Are you resting in your heavenly Fathers love for you? Or are you worshiping your idols (read yesterday's blog called Idols)? 

I confess I am still worshiping my idols, trying to control the situation and seeking comfort in things other than my good Father God in heaven... oh help me God, help me. 


Friday, 24 May 2013

Control and Comfort

  1. Isaiah 2:8
    Their land is filled with idols; they bow down to the work of their hands, to what their own fingers have made.
  2. Isaiah 2:18
    And the idols shall utterly pass away.
  3. Isaiah 2:20
    In that day mankind will cast away their idols of silver and their idols of gold, which they made for themselves to worship, to the moles and to the bats,
  4. Isaiah 10:10
    As my hand has reached to the kingdoms of the idols, whose carved images were greater than those of Jerusalem and Samaria,
  5. Isaiah 10:11
    shall I not do to Jerusalem and her idols as I have done to Samaria and her images?”
  6. Isaiah 19:1
    An Oracle Concerning Egypt ] An oracle concerning Egypt. Behold, the Lord is riding on a swift cloud and comes to Egypt; and the idols of Egypt will tremble at his presence, and the heart of the Egyptians will melt within them.
  7. Isaiah 19:3
    and the spirit of the Egyptians within them will be emptied out, and I will confound their counsel; and they will inquire of the idols and the sorcerers, and the mediums and the necromancers;
  8. Isaiah 30:22
    Then you will defile your carved idols overlaid with silver and your gold-plated metal images. You will scatter them as unclean things. You will say to them, “Be gone!”
  9. Isaiah 31:7
    For in that day everyone shall cast away his idols of silver and his idols of gold, which your hands have sinfully made for you.
  10. Isaiah 40:19
    An idol! A craftsman casts it, and a goldsmith overlays it with gold and casts for it silver chains.
  11. Isaiah 40:20
    He who is too impoverished for an offering chooses wood that will not rot; he seeks out a skillful craftsman to set up an idol that will not move.
  12. Isaiah 41:21
    The Futility of Idols ] Set forth your case, says the Lord; bring your proofs, says the King of Jacob.
  13. Isaiah 42:8
    I am the Lord; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols.
  14. Isaiah 42:17
    They are turned back and utterly put to shame, who trust in carved idols, who say to metal images, “You are our gods.”
  15. Isaiah 44:9
    The Folly of Idolatry ] All who fashion idols are nothing, and the things they delight in do not profit. Their witnesses neither see nor know, that they may be put to shame.
  16. Isaiah 44:10
    Who fashions a god or casts an idol that is profitable for nothing?
  17. Isaiah 44:15
    Then it becomes fuel for a man. He takes a part of it and warms himself; he kindles a fire and bakes bread. Also he makes a god and worships it; he makes it an idol and falls down before it.
  18. Isaiah 44:17
    And the rest of it he makes into a god, his idol, and falls down to it and worships it. He prays to it and says, “Deliver me, for you are my god!”
  19. Isaiah 45:16
    All of them are put to shame and confounded; the makers of idols go in confusion together.
  20. Isaiah 45:20
    “Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, you survivors of the nations! They have no knowledge who carry about their wooden idols, and keep on praying to a god that cannot save.
  21. Isaiah 46:1
    The Idols of Babylon and the One True God ] Bel bows down; Nebo stoops; their idols are on beasts and livestock; these things you carry are borne as burdens on weary beasts.
  22. Isaiah 48:5
    I declared them to you from of old, before they came to pass I announced them to you, lest you should say, ‘My idol did them, my carved image and my metal image commanded them.’
  23. Isaiah 57:1
    Israel's Futile Idolatry ] The righteous man perishes, and no one lays it to heart; devout men are taken away, while no one understands. For the righteous man is taken away from calamity;
  24. Isaiah 57:13
    When you cry out, let your collection of idols deliver you! The wind will carry them all off, a breath will take them away. But he who takes refuge in me shall possess the land and shall inherit my holy mountain.
  25. Isaiah 66:3
    “He who slaughters an ox is like one who kills a man; he who sacrifices a lamb, like one who breaks a dog's neck; he who presents a grain offering, like one who offers pig's blood; he who makes a memorial offering of frankincense, like one who blesses an idol. These have chosen their own ways, and their soul delights in their abominations;
This morning I was reflecting on my idols ...

Control - I want to control the situation so I make lists of what I can do about it, before even talking to God, I get busy, rather then stopping first and turning to God, asking him what he wants me to do/ not to do and/or how to do it. 
Friends - if I'm having a bad day, rather then crying to the Lord who promises to love and comfort me, I first turn to my friends... Food - same deal, I seek comfort in friends, food, I also try to escape into movies and TV.
Fun - I am desperate to feel "alive" and rather then living in Christ, I seek "life" in the things of this world, like drinking, parties, movies, clothing, and so on.

Note: This list is by no means exhaustive, it is only the things that first came to my mind.

I could call my idols Control and Comfort... any time I try to control a situation before first giving it over to God and asking him to guide me, and anytime I seek comfort in anything or anyone before first crying out to my heavenly Father, I am worshiping Control and Comfort. 

Think of all the idols you have in your life, things/people/activities that you put your trust in... When you are in need you cry out to them, you turn to them to help you to comfort you, before you turn to God... Does it work? Maybe sometimes, maybe for a short time, but they will all eventually let you down, where as God never ever ever will, grantee! 

Make a list of your idols... tear them up, burn them, stomp on them! Confess them to the Lord and he will be faithful to forgive you, ask him to help you not to turn to your idols, but to trust in him first and above all others. 


Thursday, 9 May 2013

Focal Point?

What's the point!?

This morning Jesus reminded me not to focus on the job or task, even if it's a good God project, but to focus on Him! 

I was getting discouraged, because I was thinking what am I doing? What is the point of my life? I study, I work, I play, but am I really making a difference? There are so many in justices, and should be doing something about them!!! Which is true, but the problem is if my focus is fighting the injustices I will always be discouraged because they are never ending, and I can never do enough or be good enough! So Jesus said "Maria do not focus on the yourself, what you are doing or not doing, focus on ME, please, because I AM you're source of life, peace, and joy. As you continue to get to know me, through praise, prayer, and study (all in community), your mind and heart will be transformed and you will bear much fruit, such as fight injustice.


What are you focusing on?

Saturday, 27 April 2013

An Amazing Exchange Rate

I have a big decision to make, a crazy busy summer, and anxiety about my finances!

This morning I was praying and The Lord pressed upon my heart

Today is a NEW day, focus on today, it has enough going on, I will take care of you today, and tomorrow!
- Do not be anxious about anything! 

Maria you are my DAUGHTER, I love you so much, I will never ever leave you high and dry, have I ever before? (Nope, never ever, actually the opposite, you have always provided for me in abundance.)
- OK so remember this, cling to it!

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6, 7 NLT)

Are you anxious about anything, anything at all, are you discouraged, depressed? Tell God EVERYTHING, absolutely everything, write it out, scream it out, do what you got to do but get it out, give it to him, really give it to him, give up the control, and guess what you get!!? PEACE! What an amazing exchange: anxiety, anger, saddens, bitterness... for peace! This is very very good news :)


Monday, 15 April 2013

Be a Zealot!

For the grace of God (Jesus) has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, (Titus 2:11, 12 ESV)
- The Grace of God trains us to be like Jesus!

Jesus gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds. (Titus 2:14 NLT)
- Jesus died so we can say NO! to being selfish ungodly people and instead say YES! to be his people that are zealous to do acts of love, to be like him!

But wait there is more good news...

Paul says that he is certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. (Philippians 1:6 NLT)
- the training grace of God that is at work in you will be completed, God will be faithful to transform you into someone who is like Jesus, filled with love and grace, not selfish but self giving! 

Praise the Lord! Thank you Jesus! 

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed... that exhilarating finish line with God! (Hebrews 12:1-3 MSG)
- we are running this race, with the Breath (Holy Spirit) of Jesus in our lungs, he has already finished and won the prize for us! now we just need to complete our lap...

OK so let's be zealots of love and grace, forsaking all selfishness. 
We can do this! I know we can because God will be faithful to see us cross the finish line! 

Saturday, 13 April 2013

What Do You Want From Me!?

This morning I cried to the Lord " what do you want from me!?"

He whispered  into my spirit "you, I want you my dear one, you are all I have ever asked for, I long for you to love me back, as I love you with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength."

Not my sacrifices or "good works", but my heart, my love, my focus, that is what Jesus seeks. 

Oh help me as my spirit is willing but my flesh is resistant. 


Monday, 8 April 2013

Look Carefully and Intently

Praying through a Decree prayer book, I came across this line:
I look carefully and intently at the manner of love the Father has poured out upon me.

I stopped and felt the Lord saying "yes, look carefully and intently on how I have loved you." Holy Spirit brought to my mind (through the devotional page I opened to, and the song that was playing) of God's saving love. 
Psalm 106: 1-4, 6-12... remember how God has saved me, take time to reflect on God's saving love HIStory in my life and the worlds.
Jesus has set me free! He has deliverd me out of the domain of darkness and now I am living in the Kingdom of God! No longer will I be oppressed by the enemy, for Christ has defeated him, and now I am more than a conqueror in Christ Jesus. Amen!

Take sometime to look carefully and intently on the manner of love that God has poured out all over you! It doesn't have to be His saving love, ask him to bring what he wants you to reflect on, his everlasting love, his faithful love, his transforming love...
Close your eyes and let his Truth fill your mind and heart, look into the Word, journal, and talk to Him, praise Him for His love! 

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Something Blue

Blue Tassels

"Speak to the people of Israel, and tell them to make tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put a cord of blue on the tassel of each corner. And it shall be a tassel for you to look at and remember all the commandments of the Lord, to do them, not to follow after your own heart and your own eyes, which you are inclined to whore after. So you shall remember and do all my commandments, and be holy to your God. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God: I am the Lord your God." (Numbers 15:38-41 ESV)

This morning Jesus brought me to this passage after spending time sitting, listening to music and letting His love and Truth wash over me . I pulled out a piece of blue paper and wrote in blue ink at the top Blue Tassel, then I wrote down the Truths Jesus has flooded my mind and heart with, such as I love you, and you are my chosen, beloved daughter.

I believe that Jesus is saying "Maria you are inclined to follow after your own heart and eyes, so take these 'blue tassels' remembering all the Truths I have told you, and remember that I AM the Lord your God who has taken you out of bondage and captivity to sin and death so that you can live a life of love in me, this is the commandment I have given you: love me with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength and love your neighbour as you love yourself." 

I think Jesus is also saying this to you...

So take up your blue tassels (spending time with Him, in praise, prayer, worship, the Word) everyday so that you can remember the Truths He has spoken to you, and so that you do not follow your own heart and eyes, which lead to death and destruction!

Oh how He loves us, and has so much good in store for us, if we would only take our eyes off of ourselves (our ways) and fix them on Jesus the Author and Perfecter of our faith! 

Praise His Blessed Name!