HOPE*ann*FAITH

Learning to Live , Again, On Purpose.


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HUMBLE EGO TRIP?


Which side of the Cross are you on?
The side of the Law? Or the side of Grace?
What is past is past … and the Law has been fulfilled, let’s get on the right side of the Cross: Grace.

juliesramblings

            I remember thinking, during a worship service, how grateful I was for the cross.  I was imagining myself standing at the bottom, looking down at his blood, and feeling so very overwhelmed with my own unworthiness.  In the midst of this tremendous emotional drama, I heard in my mind (in my own voice…like a random thought) the words, “You are on the wrong side of the cross.”  It caught me up short!  What?  What does that mean I thought, wrong side?

            At the time, I didn’t realize the importance of that statement.  I understood that it meant that I needed to get into the forgiveness side of things, but didn’t really know what that meant.  But, I knew it was the Lord.

Most of my Christian walk (since 1975), I’ve felt unworthy or less than.  When I was first born again, I didn’t…

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It was certainly our sickness that he carried …


Certainly our sickness he carried …

The Lord opened my eyes during a message at church 2 Sundays ago!

Revelation! I have gone a bit deeper into my relationship with God! And once again it’s about healing, and healing is for all of us!

We were saved by the Grace of God, through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus, who died for us, so we would be reconciled back to the Father, our creator. So much is revealed in that run-on sentence.

He was despised and avoided by others;
    a man who suffered, who knew sickness well.
Like someone from whom people hid their faces,
    he was despised, and we didn’t think about him.

It was certainly our sickness that he carried,
    and our sufferings that he bore,
    but we thought him afflicted,
    struck down by God and tormented.
 He was pierced because of our rebellions
    and crushed because of our crimes.
    He bore the punishment that made us whole;
    by his wounds we are healed. ~ Isaiah 53:3-5

Now I’ve known and truly understood, to the best of my human thinking, that at the moment of our salvation we were healed. Were healed … not going to be, not better when we got things right! Not something that would occur at some obscure future date; rather something that happened thousands of years in the past …

Our healing was; already.

So why do I still take blood pressure and heart medications; actually, why am I taking them at all?

Basically because while I understood the concept of our healing, I hadn’t grasped that my healing was already complete. I hadn’t grasped that the seeds of my healing were deep within my spirit only needing me to plant them in my heart and believe.

You see the Word is the seed ~ the Heart is the ground ~ the Believing is the water.

Oh and Jesus is the Son.

The revelation was simple really … If all ( and all means ALL) of my illness, diseases, aches, pains; ALL our, yours and mine, sufferings were carried to the cross upon the person of Jesus Christ, then all those sufferings cannot be upon me or you.

Just like our sins, upon Salvation, that gift given so unconditionally by the Grace of God, all our illness and suffering was swept away on the waves of Jesus’ shed blood.

By the wounds of our sins and diseases, carried to the cross by Jesus, we were healed. Never to suffer again.

And so I learned, in faith that Sunday, two weeks ago, that I just need to wrap my head around the fact that if Jesus carried my illness and disease to the cross and died from my afflictions, those same illnesses, diseases and afflictions CANNOT be on me!

Like my sins, those illnesses were payed for and all I have to do is wrap my head around it and be whole again.

No strict diet or exercise plans … no self inflicted regimes to follow and fail at.

Christ Jesus, on that cross so long ago, said it was finished and He meant it! Illness and Disease were finished!

So my Pastor gave us a task to follow. And like all those other lessons by faith over the years, it is a mantra … something to put in my heart, over and over again until it is simply a thing I know for sure.

My mantra for every ache and pain, for the obesity, for the heart and lungs, for the joints and cartilage … for anything that is in or on this body that is not of God:

Jesus died for this obesity so therefore it is not on me, it is not mine. By the grace of God I’ve been healed.

Jesus died for this headache, therefore it is not on me, it is not mine. By the grace of God I’ve been healed.

Now you fill in your blank …

Jesus died for this ________  therefore it is not on me, it is not mine. By the grace of God I’ve been healed.

I’ve been praying these things, and others for the last week or so, and I feel better.

My friend said I seem to be losing weight again, and it’s apparent in my clothing. Don’t get me wrong I’ve been making an effort to eat better, and I’ve used the stairs more, but nothing extensive and nothing near diet or exercise.

You might say that it’s those things, but I know this: By the grace of God I’ve been healed and why would I want to knowingly do something that would jeopardize that? And the word said I could eat anything that He has said was okay … and He says the food I eat is okay (Acts 10).

Jesus did this for all (and all means ALL) of us. And by the grace of God we’ve been healed.

It is done!

I encourage you today to delve into the Word and find your Salvation and your healing. Delve deeply into your relationship with God and just bask in that unconditional love He has for YOU!

Jesus died so we could enjoy this reconciliation.

Father God sent Jesus for us, because He desired to have us by His side!

So … what’s on your __________________. What have you been healed of? Let me know in the comments, I so desire to know you and your experiences with God the Father, Jesus The Son and Holy Spirit.

God bless you.


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Looking Forward to Spring … Venting vs. Complaining


Looking Forward to Spring

Looking Forward to Spring

The rough in our lives is abrasive these days and I feel like this blog has gone from being positive to a place where I complain in the guise of venting.

What do you think?

Seriously, let me know in the comment if you feel as though I complain too much here.

After all this is supposed to be about Living Positively On Purpose!

“Do all things without grumbling or questioning,”~ Philippians 2:14

That being said and asked what is the difference between venting and complaining.

Complaining and venting look very similar, however they are vastly different.

Venting is blowing off steam. The goal of the vent is to get rid of the negative feelings about a situation and can be done alone. Venting does not require an audience; many vent through prayer, music outlet and, or  physical activity, etc.

A good vent helps the person refocus on positives in their lives and keeps the mind focused on a solution. The result of a good vent is that the person feels mentally, spiritually and emotionally better.

Complaining, on the other hand, is a destructive pattern that requires a captive audience to dump on. Complaining has no clear goal for release and the person doesn’t feel better when they are done.

I am finding with this post that I am venting. Whewww! I was really concerned, because my goal is to find peace in this life, we have here in Hutchland, no matter what the circumstance. And I must admit, that at least within myself, I have felt some definite strife. Again, it’s a matter of controlling my natural desire for things to be about “me, me, me”, for once and calming that strife with the Word of God and good counsel.

My friend of good counsel does not allow complaining or self involvement. She does recognize that I need support, often, but does not allow the “woe is me” syndrome to take hold. And for that I am grateful.

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear” ~ Ephesians 4:29

So I vent … here and to my friend, and afterwards I can honestly say I feel better. I have worked with God and friends he has blessed me with, to get me to this place of venting and not murmuring and complaining about this life He blessed me with.

“Take good counsel and accept correction—that’s the way to live wisely and well.We humans keep brainstorming options and plans,but God’s purpose prevails.” ~ Proverbs 19:20-21

As the snow falls, yet again, here at the Jersey Shore, I am diligently seeking peace and quiet in my today. There are many who need my help today, I’ve already counseled 2 and while I feel a bit frustrated and put upon (because they are NOT venting!), I know that I have the tools and outlets to keep things in perspective.

How do you vent?

Do you feel better when you are done?

I encourage you today to examine whether you are complaining or venting. My go to solution for the circumstances here in Hutchland is prayer, worship and the Word, I find that these things bring both peace and solution to even the smallest of problems in my day.

God Bless.

 


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The Heart Breaks …


In the light.

In the light.

Today:
I said: “I hate to see your heart get broken again”.
He said to me “My hearts been broken so many times it can’t be broke no more”.
I said, “That’s not true … the heart breaks and breaks and endures more breaks and still the heart wakes one day to love again and endure”.
See that’s how God built the human heart … how He built the human being.
So proud of the work he is doing. So proud of his heart that is beating to endure and improve one more day. So proud of my boy, this man. He’s been through the wringer, life inflicted and self inflicted … and still he breathes and his heart beats another day and he fights …
Love this kid until my breath is taken!

He was listening to this song, and I was captive in the car at the time … it speaks to him, his desire to get his life back. The lyrics are harsh for some so don’t listen if you will be offended. See God sees Shane’s struggle and doesn’t care what he listens to if it moves him closer to Him. Praise God.


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Family, Relationships and Forgiveness


I started this post mid-morning, it’s now just about 5 pm est. and my day has taken this post in a completely different direction … on the same topic.

I sat on the couch this morning contemplating my responsibilities of the day, I found myself simply unmotivated. I feel as though I’ve been running on empty and I’ve become quite numb. Our life here in Hutchland has become a non-stop, runrunrun, busybusybusy blur, lately.

Family responsibilities replaced the runrunrun and busybusybusy of chemoradiation therapy’s schedule. So relaxation and quality time have not been freed up as yet, and quite frankly I am wearing thin and so is Hubs.

Boundaries were set many years ago, and they have begun to feel violated. The thing is we we’re the violators, our families are only responding to our increased involvement, and in their view things are normal.

You see, they are of the world, we are not. You know the scripture, right?

Romans:12 And so, dear brothers, I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living sacrifice, holy—the kind he can accept. When you think of what he has done for you, is this too much to ask? Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but be a new and different person with a fresh newness in all you do and think. Then you will learn from your own experience how his ways will really satisfy you.As God’s messenger I give each of you God’s warning: Be honest in your estimate of yourselves, measuring your value by how much faith God has given you.

Forgiveness:

We’ve forgiven the transgressions of the past and we forgive the future. They don’t understand, they don’t understand us, really, and that’s ok; we’re here to show them who we are and by example the way we live.

I sat last night (really, from early afternoon to the night) on alternating phone calls from my mother, grandmother and sister. A family situation has upset my mother to action that has caused her illness to flare up. She has subsequently become angry with my aunt, cousins and sister (for a completely different reason, that was a bi-product of the original issue). Now my mother is relying upon me, 3,000 miles away, to be her support. And my sister, who lives in the same state as our mother; she just can’t possibly see past her own life to include the needs of her mentally challenged mother into her life, beyond her days off. It’s a rough situation that they are going to have to figure out, with a touch of encouragement from me, because I won’t allow this boundary to be violated. You see I was the one who lost her childhood to care for my ill mother and siblings for close to 40 years. It is only in the last year that my sister has been charged with helping our mother after our step-dad’s passing.

Guilt:

I often feel guilt for the way I feel inside my head, and sometime my heart, towards the needs and demands of the extended family. I guess there are still resentments because thoughts pop into my thinking; unsavory thoughts that make me uncomfortable and convicted. Guess it’s Holy Spirit reminding me again that thoughts of resentment toward them are unacceptable in the forgiveness realm. Yet my flesh rises, wondering why I must be the one; my flesh doesn’t want to be the caretaker, anymore.

Frankly my flesh, and sometimes my heart (emotions), long, desperately to be important enough to my extended family that they would step up and care for me. I mean, my husband is going through cancer treatments (and winning, thank God!), my youngest is battling (and winning, thank God) addiction and my oldest is simply struggling to get his life and career in order. Life has not been easy on us of late, but then life is hardly easy on anyone, right … yet, still my flesh rises.

But …

God made me the caretaker of the family. It has taken A LOT of forgiveness on my part to be able to handle the issues without a need for control, and thank God, because without him and a good friend/sponsor I would not be capable of this, at all.

I remind myself, regularly, that they don’t get it. They simply don’t understand my close relationship with God. So I continue to gently encourage them toward an understanding; forgiving the thoughtlessness, the accusations and the unforgiveness on their end.

If I don’t continue to live within the bubble of my (our) relationship with God I can’t do this with them. Did I already say that? Yes, it is my mantra … without God I can’t _____________ fill in the blank.

So when it comes to my family relationships, especially when I am feeling overwhelmed by their needs, I enter into God and remember this is how he built me. Whether I’m good with that or not, at the time.

So the weekend looms with much to do, and many to care for, and I thank God again that he built me for this, sometimes thankless, job. And I forgive the transgressions of others and stand behind my boundaries, should they choose to transgress.

It’s about staying in God’s will. It’s about obedience to what He has called me to do. And like forgiveness, my call is not about what the family needs, or does, or making them happy. It’s about me being who God intended me to be.

At the end of my day I want to please God. Everyone else … not so much.

Blessings and thanks for reading to my erratic posts.


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Feeling Shattered & Scattered Today … But, I Will Not Faint


just me ...

just me …

I will not faint …

I think we, The Hubs and I, thought this wait for an answer might start a path to our normal, even if it was our “new” normal, but it hasn’t. Since the chemoradiation therapy ended he hasn’t felt “good”. He has a lack of energy, a lack of appetite and almost no tolerance for anything! It’s kind of rough.

There is a list of things going on for the check-up on Tuesday. And I worry. And I get fed up with the negativity and all the alone time. And I want to cry, often.

There’s a new song we hear regularly on the radio back and forth to appointments and trips to check The Hubs brother’s house as we wait for the sale.

It describes how I feel, often. I was lost until I was finally found in Christ … this is true of all of us, at one time or another. And I cry out in this trial of a life we are living right now, here in Hutchland. When I feel lost, again, I cry out and thank Him for being my God, knowing that if He was not here I would have shriveled and died or exploded or something messy like that.

Sometimes my very selfish flesh just wants my old life back … then it seems to occur to me organically, and it’s not, it’s Holy Spirit reminding me that I really don’t want my egypt back at all.

I do know that I want our US … the new US is fine, I’d like to cuddle into that, instead of wishing that if I sat by The Hubs, while he rested, it wouldn’t make him feel as if he needed to care for me; even though I so need that care.

I guess I’m just tired and lonely a lot. I want to not react when he’s irritable, rather I want to have it in me to comfort him when his nerves are raw.

So today I am relying on sharing and I’m praying these scriptures:

Isaiah 40:3

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

1 Corinthians 10:13

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

I got the 1 Corinthians reminder from a Favorite Blogger, check her out, she’s funny and hip and sensitive and wise beyond her years!

The Audacity of Trust


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Intentional Living … Prayer


My last post … a “Press This” posting of a Proverbs 31 Ministries by Lysa TerKeurst about praying for your marriage … just go to my last post and follow the link …

That being said I loved her piece. Actually I love much of what Lysa does! I no longer have a young family, but so wish she was around for guidance when I was a young wife and mother. However, I find even though my marriage and children are adults now (hehe) her wisdom and guidance confirm where I am in these relationships I have with my men, and points out some new skills or some areas that I need more work.

I pray all the time … mostly in tongues because I’ve learned that praying in The Spirit keeps me from complaining, manipulating and plain getting things wrong in my prayers. I purpose to pray scriptures, too, as this is a foolproof way for me to always be within God’s will for my life, family and relationships.

You see, I’m no good at relationships. There’s a ton of baggage and wreckage that I just don’t want to relive here that has caused this soul to be less than a people person. Thank God for God and His grace and wisdom! I am blessed to have an awesome (2nd) marriage and am learning to deal with my adult children each day.

I know they say that children get easier as they mature … this is truthfully not the case, especially when they remain in the household!

Anyway back to prayer …

After reading the Proverbs 31 Ministries Devotional I clicked over to Amazon and bought Lysa’s book Capture His Heart; and I chose two scriptures from the devotional to focus on in prayer for my marriage.

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. ~ Colossians 4:6

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? ~ Romans 8:31

I have Sticky Notes on my desk top and I’m going to post these two scriptures there so that they are the first things I see in the morning as I boot my computer and I’m going to pray them over my marriage each morning!

You see since the doctors said the “C” word to my husband things have changed and not all of the changes are easy. The Hubs is tired much of the time and it’s so hard to watch this man be ill and tired and irritable. I’ve found lately in my frustration, after 5 months of this journey, that I admonish him for being negative. I find myself wondering if he’s praying and why he won’t just count the blessings we’ve seen during this trial. Why looking upon what God has done along this path, that we never imagined we’d be on, doesn’t help him to be more positive. And then … I, of course, feel guilty for my lack of empathy and compassion when I feel like this.

But you know what … most people don’t ask how I’m doing. They don’t say, “hey I’ll be praying for you Andrea, you’re going through so much.” And while I feel guilty for even thinking about this, I want them to be praying for The Hubs. I want their prayers for him to storm the gates of heaven, I want them heard by the ear of Father God.

So today I purpose to pray for my husband. Not necessarily for the healing that we know is complete in Christ. But for our marriage and relationship. I never want to wonder again if I’ve done everything I should have done to honor my husband, like I did the day the doctors spoke the “C” word.

Lysa’s devotional reminded me that when I honor my husband I honor God, and I want to be That Wife.

When it comes to Intentional Living I want the #1 Intention to be prayer. In whatever area that prayer needs to be, intentionally for that day or hour or moment. I intend to pray on purpose, rather than by rote.

Do you pray intentionally?

What in your life, in your relationship, needs intentional prayer today?

Feel free to share with us … I’d love to pray with you!

Thanks my faithful readers … for reading and remaining with me.