A Leaf

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~Psalm 34:17-18~

“When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of their troubles. The Lord is near to the broken hearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”

The thing that bows my mind every time I think about and I hope it never changes is that God see’s, hears and knows EVERYTHING! The love He has for His children is beyond comprehension. He in near to me when I am broken, when I am crying because my heart has been shattered into a million different pieces and it seems like I will never recover, but He is  there. He is my refuge, the One I should take rest in. Vs 8, “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man that takes refuge in Him.” He hears my every cry, He feels my pain, He feels my every feeling, He see’s my every move, He hears my every word, He knows my every thought and He still loves me. He knows who I really am, He knows the sinners and terrible person that Autumn has been. I need Him because without Him I would be so lost, I would be nothing but a thing walking this earth with no purpose. Like a mother with her child He loves me no matter what, no matter how many time I screw up, He always welcomes me back with open arms. For years I took that for granted and now I see what it truly means to be His child. He saved me from myself. Only by Him am I able to live day to day without drowning myself in guilt. I have hurt people, I have sinned way to many times to count, I have done things that make me sick inside, but He has erased all of that. He saved me from me. When I was broken hearted and crushed in spirit, He felt my pain. When I was on my knees in my room balling my eyes out crying out for help, He heard me, He delivered me from my troubles, the troubles that Satan would use to tell me I was worthless and no good to anyone. The troubles that pushed me to do things that I never thought I would and think things that I never would dream of thinking. He saved me! His love is a symphony all around me, His love is a melody running through me, all I have to do is run to Him and His arms are wide open. I see His love when I walk and look at a leaf and see that it is shaped like a heart and it reminds me that He has little things on this earth like a leaf, the rain at night, and the smile on a child’s face to remind me how much He loves me. I don’t deserve this life I am living, but because He is there for me in my troubles, in my pain and suffering and to hold me when all I want to do is jump, I know that He has a purpose and a plan.

Lord, Thank you for loving me for me, for not giving up on me even when it seems I have given up on you! You are near to me in my pain and suffering. You are my shoulder to cry on, my best friend and the person I put my trust in. Thank you Lord for loving me more than I will ever deserve.

Application: I am going to find a leaf and put it in the back of my Bible to remind me that He is there when I need to cry, He is there when I am broken hearted and crushed is spirit. HE IS MY REFUGE and He loves me more than I could ever imagine.

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Only By God

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~Psalm 51:8~

“Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice.”

David has reached that point of completely surrendering to Christ. Oh that surrendering point is a bitter/sweet place to be. That point that you get to when all you can do is cry out to the Lord saying, “Lord please forgive me of my sins the things that I have done to give You a bad name, oh the many people I have hurt in the process. Lord I surrender.” The point of coming to complete surrender, throwing your hand in the air and saying I am done Lord take it, it is Yours now. The point that I should reach every day, not sinning to get there but completely giving it over to the Lord because He can do a better job than I could ever do. The decision to not have control anymore over my life and to decide to let him run my life was the best decision I could have ever made. There was a huge weight completely lifted off my shoulders and I felt free. Free as in no more chains strapping me to a log while I float down a river towards a waterfall getting ready to give up completely. I still remember that exact moment that I surrendered to the Lord and He saved me. I got this picture in my head of someone jumping into a dark whole and they just continue to jump and jump into the whole never dying, but each time they jump they comeback as a different person. I found it weird that I got this picture in my head but I realized that this was the Lord showing me that I would have to continue to get ride of my old self and put on Christ. VS.10 “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” He is the only one that is able to give me a new life, to be able to forget all the wrongs I have done and still love me through everything. He is the only one that could give me joy in the time of trials. And let me have gladness in times of sadness. I continue daily to find the joy of Christ in the people I’m with and the many smiles I see from children only the daily, only by God am I able to be blessed everyday with joyful smiles and to have people who genuinely care about me.

Application: For a few weeks now I have been missing my family and these last few days I have been getting really depressed about not seeing them and just being able to hug them, so I have decided that every time I start thinking about my family and how much I miss them I will make myself think of one thing that I am grateful to be here in Kenya for and thank Him for it.

Complete Surrender

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~Psalm 51:8~
“Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice.”

David has reached that point of completely surrendering to Christ. Oh that surrendering point is a bitter/sweet place to be. That point that you get to when all you can do is cry out to the Lord saying, “Lord please forgive me of my sins the things that I have done to give You a bad name, oh the many people I have hurt in the process. Lord I surrender.” The point of coming to complete surrender, throwing your hand in the air and saying I am done Lord take it, it is Yours now. The point that I should reach every day, not sinning to get there but completely giving it over to the Lord because He can do a better job than I could ever do. The decision to not have control anymore over my life and to decide to let him run my life was the best decision I could have ever made. There was a huge weight completely lifted off my shoulders and I felt free. Free as in no more chains strapping me to a log while I float down a river towards a waterfall getting ready to give up completely. I still remember that exact moment that I surrendered to the Lord and He saved me. I got this picture in my head of someone jumping into a dark whole and they just continue to jump and jump into the whole never dying, but each time they jump they comeback as a different person. I found it weird that I got this picture in my head but I realized that this was the Lord showing me that I would have to continue to get ride of my old self and put on Christ. VS.10 “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” He is the only one that is able to give me a new life, to be able to forget all the wrongs I have done and still love me through everything. He is the only one that could give me joy in the time of trials. And let me have gladness in times of sadness. I continue daily to find the joy of Christ in the people I’m with and the many smiles I see from children only the daily, only by God am I able to be blessed everyday with joyful smiles and to have people who genuinely care about me.

Psalm 18

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~Psalm 18~
This Psalm was written right after David was delivered from the hands of his enemies and King Saul.
vs.1-3
“I love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the Lord, who is worth to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.”

The Lord is my strength, The Lord is my rock, my fortress, my deliverer, my God, in whom I take refuge, my shield, the horn of my salvation, my stronghold, HE IS MY ENTIRE LIFE! Praise Him for His love and compassion because without it none of us would be here. I had to ask myself what the “horn of my salvation” meant, He is the beginning and the end, the Alfa and the Omega, He is the one who gave me salvation and He is the only one who can give it.
vs.4-6
“The cords of death encompasses me; the torrents of destruction assailed me; the cords of Sheol entangled me; the snares of death confronted me. In my distress I call upon the Lord: to my God I called for help. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to Him reaches His ear.”

In my distress, struggling and fear He will hear me when I cry. “…my cry to Him reached His ear.” I have a hard time fathoming that all I have to do is cry out to the Lord and He will hear me. The creator of all the earth, my Father is so willing to comfort me in my times of hardship that all I have to do is say, “Father help!” its incredible.

vs. 7-19

The power that comes from our God is amazing, so powerful, so incredible that we as just simple human beings are not able to fully comprehend. Yet, with all this power He is still gentle, kind, compassionate and wants to love us with everything and He wants the same from us. God has used a huge storm to deliver David from Saul. David was quick to acknowledge that it was God that delivered him. Often times God delivers us in natural ways. Like the child that is playing on the roof, starts slipping and cries out “God save me!” just then his pants get caught on a nail and he stops. The child says, “Never mind God, that nail saved me.” Often times we are this little child. We think that they are just coincidences when we all of a sudden are saved by a “nail” when it was God that delivered us in very natural way but we fail to see it and in return fail to give Him the credit and glory He deserves.
vs.20-24
“The Lord dealt with me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands he rewarded me. For I have kept the ways of the Lord, and not wickedly departed from my God. For all His rules were before me, and His statutes I did not put away from me. I was blameless before Him, and I kept myself from my guilt. So the Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in His sight.”
The Lord dealt with David the way He felt was necessary and with everything that David dealt with He didn’t turn His back on God. God blessed David tremendously for his faithfulness. This past week we taught the kids about Daniel and the Kings food(Daniel 1). Daniel also didn’t defile God, He rejected the kings food to stay true to God. I have to ask myself if I was given the choice to choose what would I choose. The meat wouldn’t be that hard for me because I am not a lover of meat but what if it was to choose between something that I feel I can’t live without and God. That choice has come and I chose God but what would you choose? When we stick by God and His word, we too will be blessed by God and even by the fact that we stayed true to Him should be a blessing. I look at where I am, I am in Kenya only because I chose to die to myself and stay true to Him and in return the Lord blesses me by bringing me to a place that I always dreamed about coming to and where I felt my heart drawn to.
vs.25-27
“With the merciful you show yourself merciful; with the blameless man you show yourself blameless; with the purified you show yourself pure; and with the crooked you make yourself seem tortuous. For you save a humble people;, but the haughty eyes you bring down.”
Become all things to all men. To the merciful God becomes merciful, to the blameless man He too shows Himself blameless, to the purified He shows Himself pure, to the crooked He shows Himself tortuous. Tortuous means full of twists and turns. When you walk with God your life is one big twist and turn but it’s a joy to be along for the ride. You may have plans and a guide line to how you want to live your life then God comes and shows His way. His way is always better than ours. No matter how hard it is to let God take control is so much better than trying to do it on your own. When you try to do it on your own it can get very tiresome and almost feel lonely but when God is in control it is satisfying and none burdensome.
vs.28-30
“For it is you who light my lamp; the Lord my God lightens my darkness. For by you I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall. This God—His way is perfect, the word of the Lord proves true; He is a shield for all those who take refuge in Him.”
He lights our paths, we are only going to go where He wants us to go and where He plans for us to go. For some of us it takes more going through the dark stuff to find the light. “…and by my God I can leap over walls.” Only by Him will you be able to leap over the walls that build up around you and block you in. He will lift you up and over. “This God-His way is perfect.” I know for me and probably for a lot of us we think our way is perfect until God comes in with His way and shows us His plan and we find out that only His plan is perfect and the right one for us. His way is perfect and correct! When we commit our ways to Him and give Him all of our plans we will be able to take refuge in Him because he worries of life will not be consuming our minds. He becomes our shield.
vs.31-34
“For who is God, but the Lord? And who is a Rock, except our God? the God who equipped me with strength and made my way blameless. He made my feet like the feet of a deranged set me secure on the heights.
There is no other true god than God Himself. He is our rock. He gives us the strength to get through it all, He equips us for whatever He has for us. He makes our way blameless. He will make us into whatever He needs us to be we just have to be wiling to allow Him to conform, transform and move us into whatever He wants.
vs.35-45
God gave David the shield of His salvation and His right hand supported Him through it all and His gentleness made him great. he allowed David to make mistakes and made a wide place for his feet, yet David didn’t slip ONLY because of God. David pursued his enemies and overtook them ONLY because of God. God equipped him for the battles and he won ONLY because of God. ONLY BECAUSE OF GOD will we ever be able to make it through this life in one piece. David became great ONLY because of God.
vs.46-50
Again David gave credit where credit was due. David knew he didn’t do it on his own, he knew that there was NO way he could do it on his own. God delivered him from the man of violence(Saul) and for that he is going to praise the Lord among all the nations and sing His name. Because of this He gives salvation to His king, and shows steadfast love to His anointed, to David and his offspring forever. God blesses those who bless Him. Give credit where credit is due and God will bless you for it. He is the one that gives us the strength to get through each day so why not praise Him for it and thank Him for His love.

Grace Upon Grace

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~John 1:16-17~

“For from His fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”

“For from His fullness we have received…” From Him and only Him, not anything else have I received His fullness, and from Him I have received grace. I know for me the many, many things I have done wrong and the many, many sins I have committed I could not be more grateful to have His grace upon grace. If Christ treated me the way that I treated Him for years I would be incredibly lost. I took Him for granted, I treated Him like my jeanie that I carried around in my pocket everywhere and only took Him out when I needed Him. He was just another person to me that I didn’t believe loved me for who I really was. A terrible sinner that was hurtful in her words and actions. Who honestly didn’t care if she hurt someone because she wanted them to feel the same pain that she was feeling all the time. Without His love and grace I would not  be able to trust anyone and would be caught up in so much more than what the Lord saved me from. Praise the Lord for His grace upon grace. He doesn’t just show me grace once but he continues to, every hour, ever minute, every second of EVER SINGLE DAY. I am only human, I need His grace upon grace. I have received so much grace from Him and His love has saved me from myself so many times. “Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” He payed the price for me on the cross and all of my many sins are gone because of His love for me. At the moment that I least deserve His love He shows me it , the moment that I least deserve His grace He shows me. God, at the moment that He gave His son for me, He knew that His son would pay the price for my selfishness and freshly desires that I gave into way before I was even born. The only way that I can begin to show how thankful I am for His fullness and His grace is by showing it to others and the only way I will be able to show that kind of grace and love is with Christ leading me and speaking through me. He has shown His love and grace to everyone and I being His child should try to as much as I possibly can to show His grace and love.

James 1:22-27

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~James 1:22-27~

“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (23) For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doers, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror: (24) for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. (25) But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. (26) If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this ones religion is useless. (27) Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.”

vs. 22 “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”

We are called as Christians to not just be hearers. When we are  only being hearers we are really only listening and not putting into practice what has been taught? I know for me personally if I just go to Church ever Sunday and Wednesday and don’t put into action what I have learned then It was pretty much useless for me. Although, I am a person that learn’s from seeing but also doing. To be a hearer and a doer is what we are called to be. Step out, be bold, and have faith in what you have learned.

vs. 23-24 “For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doers, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror: (24) for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.”

Have you ever gone into your room or the bathroom looked in the mirror and walked out not remembering what you looked like or have even cared to think about it. I do it ever day, multiple times a day. When I think of this I can’t help but examine how many times a day I look in the mirror. When I look in the mirror what do I see? I see and woman that at times has been hurt and has cried herself to sleep at points but then I see the joy in her eyes that can only come from being saved by grace. So I ask  you the question what do you see when you look in the mirror? Do you see someone who is living a life that is showing the joy of the Lord and what He has done or just someone who is going through the motions?

vs.25 “But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.”

  I love the word “But” in this verse, because it means that there is another choice. There is a second path to be taken, that can totally take you in different direction and it could be for the better. “..Blessed in what he does.” I have heard for years “that if you just give it all to Christ, and let Him lead, you will be incredibly blessed.” It has taken me up to this point in my life to see that that is 100% true. Yes, following Christ has ups and down but if you live your life with the love of Christ, for Him and let Him direct every single step you take, it is a life that has purpose, meaning and one that is a blessing.

vs. 26-27 “If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this ones religion is useless. (27) Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.”

As Christians we are called to be different. 1 John 2:15-17 “Do not love this world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world the love of the Father in not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—in not of the Father but is of the wold. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” When people see you do they see something different or are you just like everyone else. Are you making an effort to be like Christ or like the world? What are you dedicating your time to? Is it something that is going to make you a doer or just a hearer. I encourage you to put into action what you are learning. It is so much better to live this life for Him and His work instead of for yourself. This is not our life, take the time to put into action the thing of Christ and live like He did.

Just Take It

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~Proverbs 12:1~
“Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, But he who hates correction is stupid.”

“Stupid” quite a harsh word but it’s true. If you are not willing to love instruction and gain knowledge then you are a very stubborn person and just a very not willing to be taught kind of person. This whole chapter in Proverbs is about what you are if you don’t receive certain things. God is very clear about what you are if you don’t receive the instruction from Him and others. The Lord has put certain people in our lives to help build us. Take the criticism from others and the compliments. Take wise counsel from Godly believers, trust me it is beyond helpful. I have this friend that is always willing to tell me in a loving way wether I am doing good or not. For years I use to get really upset at her and not be willing to take what she said to heart and ask God to change me. This just revealed to me where I was in my walk. I have always been a super sarcastic, stubborn person but still willing if I want to, to take the correction. Growing up and having three other sibling and watching my two older ones be corrected in certain things I would take what they learned and apply it to my own life but when I was the one being corrected I would only sometimes be willing to apply it to my life. Over these past couple of months I really had to learn dependence. Depending on Christ in all things not just the things that I really need Him for but also depending upon others for spiritual guidance and practical guidance. This has really humbled me and shown me that a lot of the time people do know better than I do and it is not always my way. This falls into the category of being coachable. Christ was willing to be coached so if you are not then you are not building up Christ-like qualities. Don’t be dumb, just take whatever is said and ask the Lord to change your heart.