“Choose to Endure! Overcoming Discouragement and disappointments in the game of Life”

Is there a recurring problem in your life continually discouraging you?  Is it a relationship? A job?  An inconsolable grief?  Your marriage?  A financial concern? A child? Is it sin you can’t seem to overcome? Are you drowning in the consequences of sin?

Discouragement is a key emotion Satan pulls from his bag of tricks.  I know the feeling of discouragement oh so well.  I grabbed the dangling, tainted carrot as recently as yesterday and found myself flat on my back.

Satan uses discouragement to isolate us from GOD.

A recurring discouragement for me of late is health issues.  I had a long list of things I wanted to accomplish this weekend and nothing has been done.   I had errands I needed to accomplish but I didn’t feel like getting out….I even turned down a shopping trip with my sister….all because physically I didn’t have the stamina to go the distance. I thought I can at least work on a couple of writing projects….but my eyes were so blurry it hurt to even wear my glasses.  Nothing has been completed as per my expectations; therefore, it didn’t take long for me to get down in the dumps over my health.

So life happens…..it doesn’t go as we plan……and then………disappointment settles in our heart.

This isn’t where we thought we would be at this point in our lives right?

Why did this have to happen and change the course of my life?

The “what ifs and if onlys” bring no comfort as many of us can’t go back and change things…..we are stuck with a new path to navigate.

This perpetual state of discouragement is exactly where Satan wants us to live.

When he keeps us discouraged….he keeps us defeated…..hopeless….almost lonely in our state of misery.  We think no one could possibly understand how we feel….how we hurt….what we face everyday?

Some days it feels like we are just going through the motions….existing in a place where life may go on around us but we’re still stumbling around on the original path where it seems we lost it all.

Life is just plain hard isn’t it?

In all my physical misery yesterday…..I couldn’t focus.  I didn’t feel like doing anything….so nothing got accomplished and I ended up with a bigger to do list…..I ended up discouraged….thinking my health is slipping away from me.

Stealing our focus from GOD is what the Devil works so hard to do in our lives.

He will throw everything in our path until he hits us with the one thing ….that’s going to change it all.

How do we look up…when everything changes?  When we lose the job?  When we lose our health?  When we lose the loved one? When we lose it all?

How do we look up?

How do we keep going?

The bible tells us JESUS was a man of many sorrows….HE experienced our hurts….our fleshly feelings….our disappointments.

In my silly moment of doubt I asked…..how could HE have felt it all?  How could HE understand the utter feeling of deep despair where we feel we are loosing something precious or we’ve already lost it?

I’m ashamed of myself for asking questions like these…but I am so human…and GOD knows this of course.  So once again HE lavished HIS infinite mercy upon the silly child I am…. even with endless questions I have just like a three-year old…HE spoke very clear to me this morning.

When JESUS was hanging on the cross for our sin…HE cried out to GOD….HIS FATHER….

“My GOD, my GOD….why hast thou forsaken me?”   Mark 15:34

I can’t imagine the feeling of being abandoned while dying….can you?

Yet JESUS experienced the ultimate loss.

JESUS was separated from HIS father’s presence…as HE died…hanging by flesh torn hands….in unimaginable agony.

GOD turned HIS back on HIS only son.

JESUS was alone….utterly and completely alone……with all the sins of the world….yours and mine….ravaging HIS body with every drop of redeeming blood….. hitting the ground.

GOD smacked me on the head this morning….you silly child…..JESUS knows exactly how you feel…when your hurting….when you have lost your health….a child…..a job….a home…..a marriage.

HE knows all too well the feeling of loss.

You see the Devil wants us to doubt JESUS….so he sends us the life hurts that diminish our faith and throws us into a spiral of defeat….disappointment…..discouragement.

Satan wants to separate us from JESUS….just like the sins JESUS bore for you and me separated HIM from HIS father.

I now have no doubt……our SAVIOUR truly felt the loss of everything….and I feel comfort from this truth.

It’s in the times we are hurting the most ….we have got to cry out to JESUS….help me JESUS….HELP ME!  I don’t know what to pray or how to pray ……I don’t know what to say…..I don’t know how to go on….I don’t know how to live in this new place I find myself in? HELP ME JESUS, HELP ME PLEASE!!!

I have been so broken before, I didn’t have a clue what to pray or ask GOD to do in my life.

The bible says the HOLY SPIRIT will intercede on our behalf.

“In the same way, the SPIRIT helps us in our weakness, for we do not know how we should pray, but the SPIRIT himself intercedes for us with inexpressible groanings.”  Romans 8:26

“Inexpressible groanings”……WOW!!  Words that can’t express the pain of HIS heart….that’s how much HE cares.

Friend you may feel distant from GOD because HE allowed a great loss to come into your life.  Don’t let Satan fool you…make you think GOD doesn’t care…or even worse….GOD is mean.

Cry out to GOD and ask HIM to help you put your eyes back on HIM when you stumble into discouragement.

Don’t let Satan keep you defeated…..don’t let him steal your purpose in life…..don’t let him make you bitter and feel distant from GOD. 

Chose to endure your trials…..your grief…..your disappointments….chose to lean on JESUS.

We will never understand in this life why we are dealt the cards we have to play with…..but we have to keep our eyes on the game (GOD’S purpose for our life)….and the game maker (our GOD) ….and in the end….. we will win!

“Behold we count those blessed who endured.  You have heard of the endurance of job and have seen the outcome of the LORD’S dealings, that the LORD is full of compassion and is merciful.” James 5:11

“Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life, which the LORD has promised to those who love HIM.”  James 1:12

Hang on friend….hang on….

“Weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning.”  Psalm 30:5

Cling to the hope of our future with JESUS…. and the promise that he is always with us….even in our sorrows!

Hang on friend…..JOY IS COMING so CHOOSE TO ENDURE!!!!

choose to endure

 

 

 

 

“A big blow up over Smurfette’s passing” Its a true story….I can’t make this stuff up!

I mean no disrespect by my post today.  If you are a parent of boys you will appreciate and understand our method of mourning the late Smurfette. I had sent out the text of Smurfette’s passing in a group text to my sons, nephews and the rest of the family.  We were about to have some fun as we do so often in group texts. “Sad day….Lucille Bliss has passed away” my text read.  “She touched all of our childhoods in a very special way.”

The first reply was from my level headed, middle child, Aaron,….yea…the middle child….usually the child most easy going…yet he wanted to squelch the fun.  “Lucille Bliss the voice actor?” he asked.  “Yes son, Lucille was the beloved Smurfette,” I said.  “Smurf in peace,” my nephew Andy texted immediately. “She died last week mom,” Aaron replied.  I texted back….”You’re a wise guy Aaron, and thank you Andy for your smurf respect.  “Its a smurfing shame,” Andy shot back with speedy text agility. “You obviously understand the dept of loss we have here son unlike Aaron,” I replied to Andy.

“My phone is beeping like the roadrunner, did one of the smurfs die?” asked my husband.  My sister being the funeral home professional she is replied, “Wonder what funeral home she will be at?”  I’m pulling my truck over to have a moment of silence,” Andy replied.  Another said, “She was also in Cinderella and the Flintstones….among other things…and I do care, this makes me totally blue!”

The message was followed by Andy’s question, “Did she go peacefully or did Gargomell’s cat finally catch her?” One pledged to wear blue for the next two weeks in her honor. Andy texted he would be dropping off Kentucky Fried Chicken at Papa Smurf’s on his way home from work.

I could go on and on at the replies and gestures my group text had inspired but frankly it would take a while.  This group discussion of mourning Smurfette continued for hours throughout the day.  It was great fun needless to say.

With each new quip of humor or sarcasm we all got a good chuckle….until my phone rang and I answered it thinking it was my brother-in-law.  It was not.  On the other end of the phone was an old man not the least bit moved by Smurfette’s passing…. nor was he amused at our display of grief over his phone texts.  I accidentally keyed in one wrong digit resulting in adding the old man to the conversation instead of my brother-in-law.

Ooops… he was not a happy camper and wanted to know how old I was.  He was appalled adults could text such stupidity…and amazed so many were involved.  He thought we were a bunch of kids but when he found out we weren’t, his attitude soured even more.  “Do you work lady?” he asked me.  “Yes sir, I have been working all day,” I answered him.  “Well how did you get anything done with all that nonsense going on?” he asked.

Now at this point I was starting to get offended.  It was none of his business how or if I worked, how old I was or my work ethics….and if he was so annoyed why did he entertain it for over 8 hours?  Why didn’t he pick up the phone and call me the first hour or the second?

While we all thought the stream of texts were hilarious he was offended we had wasted his time and bothered him all day.   Not only was he clearly annoyed, hateful and rude but he was also void of any sense of humor.  I mean who couldn’t get a laugh out of  “smurf in peace” or “I’m totally blue.”

I started feeling a little annoyed.  Life is hard, sometimes boring and when you can get some cheap thrills from the Smurfs….well I don’t see why you can’t indulge a little for heaven’s sake!

I wanted to call the old man a party pooper or goober head….. and hang up…..but I refrained.  I heard that voice in my head ….”What if you were in his shoes Mel?”  Well if I was in his shoes I probably would have joined in….but no….he was having no part of it.  He let me have it and I was tempted to let him have it back…….until the HOLY SPIRIT reminded me of a shameful situation from long ago ….so I held my tongue.

I apologized for aggravating him and assured him it would never happen again….of which he then informed me it had happened several times.  He relayed to me stupid pictures, stories and comments I have passed back and forth to my crew over a period of about a year.

I was a little embarrassed by this revelation…..Oh dear….he was also privy to certain intimate conversations about things only my family knew about….even prayer requests I had shared.

Suddenly I felt a little violated….like he had been stalking me for months.  It was kind of a creepy feeling. Oy vey.

I managed to regain my composure after I picked my jaw up off the desk….and again I apologized to him for bothering him with months of my foolishness. To say I was embarrassed is an understatement.

How about you?  Have you ever been made aware of something you did or said that offended or annoyed someone? If so….how did you respond?

Thankfully I responded in humility to the old man. I was embarrassed to the point of being humiliated.  I kept saying….. I’m sorry sir……it won’t happen again sir…..we were just having some clean, innocent fun sir…..but I can’t say I have responded CHRISTLIKE in other situations.

In the heat of attack its so easy to respond defensively.  I’m ashamed to say I remember a specific time I catapulted the blame back, trying to pin fought on the other as well.  I engaged in the blame game resulting in verbal warfare….all because I did not respond in the right manner. I literally felt like a failure in the days to follow.

I grieved every word I hurled at the other party.

I am supposed to be a long suffering Christian full of love….how did I bark back like that?

Every action results in a reaction….with each blow the situation can get uglier and uglier….and destroy our testimony.

There is no going back when a spray of ugly words collide with the human heart.  The mind doesn’t easily forget while the heart deals with the damage.

Words matter.

Its a horrible feeling when hurtful words are set in stone.

If only we could go back….we would have handled it different right?

Words matter…..reactions matter…..being CHRISTLIKE in all conflict matters.

The Bible has much to say about the tongue, the temper and the wrong way to handle conflict.

“Do not let your speech cause you to sin.”   Ecclesiastes 5:6

“A fool always looses his temper, but a wise man holds it back.”    Proverbs 29:11

“He who guards his mouth and his tongue, guards his soul from troubles.”  Proverbs 21:23

But its the scripture in Matthew 12 that makes my heart hurt…..

“And I say to you, that every careless word that men shall speak, they shall render account for it in the day of judgement.  For by your words, you shall be justified, and by your words, you shall be condemned.”  Matthew 12:36-37

How many of my words justify me?

How many condemn me?

Oh goodness….what a heavy thought to bear.

If GOD’S GRACE didn’t cover me….I’d come undone.

Did the old man over react? Probably.  Did I deserve his berating, verbal rampage? Obviously he thought so. Did I respond in a way that was pleasing to the LORD?  I think I did this time….but only because I remembered condemning words from my past.

I was so relieved to delete the old man’s phone number …..but even more relieved there were no condemning words I couldn’t delete from my memory.

Oh GOD….make me quick to hear…..slow to speak….and slow to anger….so that I may be right with you.      James 1:19-20

RIP SMURFETTE

words matterlucillebliss

“Hard Lessons of Motherhood”

Hey moms……did the precious child you carried for 9 hard months post his or her undying love and adoration on social media for you this mother’s day? Yes? No?  My daughter in law posted a precious message….. girls tend to think of these things first and I am grateful to finally have a thoughtful female in my brood; however, it was my middle son that made me burst out laughing with his twitter message of mommy gratitude.

“Happy Mother’s day to @MelMel27.  Only woman in the world capable of what she puts up with.”

While raising 3 boys has subjected me to many happy, mommy moments, let’s just be honest…I have put up with quite a bit through the years…and it seems some days it is still ongoing.  Aaron’s post got me to thinking of not so happy times when I’ve been sure my boys were going to be the death of me.

To sit here and pretend we have the perfect family life with the perfect kids who have made the perfect choices in their lives would be fake.  I’m getting too old and impatient to carry on a ruse as such, besides…I can’t fool GOD can I? None of us can….he knows what we hide and how we tend to share only the perfect parts of our life.  I’m too exhausted to sprinkle my social media pages with rainbows and choice tidbits of perfection.

Raising 3 boys has made me keenly aware of failure, sin, and humility.  When they fail…I take it personally…but the fact is….my kid’s are sinners just like their mom and dad.  If being a parent doesn’t make you humble…I don’t know what will.

There are many victories on the long road of motherhood….but the truth is…..there are sad times, hard times, confusing times and times you just want to smack their little faces.

As I watch my boys in hairy, men bodies become adults, I am learning to resist intervening in their decisions, choices, and mistakes.  My husband and I will give GODLY guidance if they ask or not, but if we run interference….we may be hampering GOD’S will for their lives.  Our job is not to go behind them and fix it anymore….sometimes we can’t….therefore we have to let them walk through the fire.

Undoubtedly our kids are going to hurt, suffer and wrestle through the carnage of the effects…..the pain will be real….the lessons hard.  Our hearts may break while standing on the sidelines watching….but don’t just stand and watch…..fall to your knees and intercede on their behalf to GOD.

C.S. Lewis has a great quote about pain…

“GOD whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but SHOUTS in our pain; it is HIS megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

Pain has a way of teaching lessons even a loving parent can’t articulate…..and let’s be honest…they probably won’t listen.  GOD will use the pain in our kids lives to grow them…..guide them…..draw them to HIM…..and a funny thing happens in the process…HE draws mom and dad too.

Everything GOD allows us to go through in life is designed to make us more holy….more like JESUS.

To interfere when we shouldn’t can stunt our kid’s spiritual growth. While we want to spare them of pain….the truth is…..pain is what molds their character. This is an important lesson no matter how old your kids are.  There is going to be only one winner at the spelling bee…..only a chosen talented few will make the cheer squad or basketball team….he or she is not always going to get the job they want or even their dream girl or guy.

Life is not fair and there are going to be cheaters, bullies, prejudices, brown nosers and some people who will use them. There will be failures, irresponsible decisions, immaturity and sin with consequences along the way.

If this mother’s day has left you with less than warm and fuzzy feelings due to a child’s bad choice….or if you have a heavy heart because your child is in the midst of pain….. or possible danger……take courage!  Think of your big or little kid as an acorn….growing into an oak of righteousness.

So they will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that HE may be glorified.”                 Isaiah 61:3

Pray moms….pray….this is the most important thing we will ever do for our children since giving them life. Pray for their spiritual growth…and understanding in the midst of pain.

Resist the urge to fix things in their lives…..instead…pray….and seek GOD to be the ultimate fixer….and restorer.

Oh, GOD….grow our kids….big and little….to be GODLY men and women.

scripture picture holy

 

 

The Merry Life: "A Season To Mourn"

The Merry Life: “A Season To Mourn”: I stood at the graveside of my dear friend’s father today.  I watched the cold air sting her face as the tears clouded…

"Do I Trust You God?" #livelikeWill

The sadness hovering over our community this week has been debilitating to me personally.  The death of Will McKamey has dominated my mind and prayers. This beautiful young man was the type of kid the world needs more of.  Just doesn’t seem fair does it?  It’s just not the natural order of life to loose a young man with so much promise and goodness.

I have wrestled with so many questions this week.  Why things happen…tragedy, heartache, sickness and trials? 

The devil always throws a few more jabs when we’re discouraged……my husband had testing this week  revealing troublesome health issues.  Waiting with my husband in recovery as he slept……. I was miserable in spirit and I just found myself asking GOD….do I really trust you?

These are hard days Lord…..do I really trust you?

This life stinks Lord….do I really trust you?

It’s so hard to pray when discouragement bares down hard and you wrestle with life and death issues.

Getting down in the pit and rolling around in the discouragement is exactly what the enemy wants us to do because it throws us off our game…..focus….. and mission.  I’m sad to say I fell straight into the enemies snare.

I am amazed at the faith of the McKamey family……rejoicing in grief…..because they know where Will is.  I honestly don’t know what I would do in their situation?   I think back to the time my own son collapsed on the track after winning a regional meet.  It was his senior year and he had just won the KIL county championship the previous week.  He was preparing for his fourth visit to state, predicted to win it all in his division.

Doctor’s told us he had swelling on the brain from a bleed.  The swelling caused seizures and unconsciousness.  We were stricken with fear….I was numb.  He was a week away from graduating, we didn’t know if he would be able to walk across stage.  Diagnosed with a weak, leaking vascular angioma in the left frontal lobe of his brain, we were told surgery was too dangerous…..the risk for stroke too great…..and just like that…the scholarships were gone…..the athletic career ended …..it was over for our seventeen year old ambitious son. 

When I heard Will collapsed last Saturday morning, I immediately told my husband.  We stopped and prayed for him right then…..we knew what this family was going through.  My heart just ached for them.  I am still aching although I cannot understand the grief they are now in.  My son couldn’t compete anymore….their son is now in heaven……I can’t really relate to their loss.

How does a family go on in the face of tragedy?

How do we cope in times of hardship and discouragement?

Everywhere I have turned this week I have been reminded of the scripture in Isaiah 40. This precious chapter holds several of my favorite reminders that give me hope and remind me who GOD really is.

In verse 11 it says…….

          Like a shepherd HE will tend HIS flock, in HIS arm HE will gather the lambs…..And
         carry them in HIS bosom;  HE will gently lead the nursing ewes.

HE is our shepherd in all the seasons of life…..and death.   The shepherd keeps us from straying….in our deeds and thoughts.  Sheep are prone to stray, they are easily confused and frightened……. they are totally dependent on the shepherd for protection and guidance.  They listen to their shepherds voice and follow him…..they don’t lead……they follow.

If we know JESUS as our SAVIOR…..HE is our good shepherd…..and we can totally be dependent on HIM.  HIS voice won’t lead us astray.

In verse 18 it says………

             To whom then will you liken GOD?  Or what likeness will you compare with HIM?
             
Who in your life has been everything for you?  Man will let you down….even family…spouses….but GOD will never let you down.  Who in your life can compare with GOD?  There is nobody in my life that can restore me….heal me…..replenish me…..comfort me….. only GOD has done these things for me……nobody compares with my GOD.

Verse 26 reminds us that HE is our creator…….

 “Lift up your eyes on high and see who has created these stars, The One who leads forth their host by number, HE calls them all by name;  Because of the greatness of HIS might and the strength of HIS power, not one of them is missing.”

HE hung the stars, HE calls them all by name, HE knows exactly where each one should be, they don’t go missing.  HE knows and calls us by our name…..HE knit us in our mother’s womb…..we are not invisible to HIM….therefore; HE tends to our needs….our broken hearts….our souls…..HE sees us. 

The scripture goes on to say………

 “HE gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might HE increases power.  Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly……Yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.”

So here we are LORD…..we are weary.  Weary to the point that we lack might……so we wait for you LORD.  We wait for new strength…..we wait until you take our weariness away.  We need our good shepherd to keep us from going astray in our grief and discouragement…..we need you to call us by name and tend to our hurting hearts.

Who else can we trust?

Who else has been faithful the way our LORD has?

Only HE can be ALL and EVERYTHING to us.

Only HE can give peace to the McKamey family….only HE can give them a portion of healing to sustain them in the days to come…..

Only GOD can be their ALL and EVERYTHING.

No man or earthy thing can comfort them like our GOD can.

I honestly don’t know how people make it without JESUS?  How do they cope?  Who gives them peace and joy in tribulation?

I can’t function without my JESUS…..

We will experience hardship, loss, and pain in this life but the only one who can sustain us is JESUS.

JESUS is the only one we can trust.

Will McKamey’s life is powerful evidence of his trust in JESUS as well…….he knew him……he relied on him……he had felt his healing power before…….and now he is basking in his SAVIOR’S presence.

Tell me friends…….who do you trust?

 #livelikeWill

                               http://www.wate.com/story/19991699/will-mckamey-folo

          https://www.facebook.com/pages/Prayers-for-Navy-Will-Family-The-McKameys/289915881162967

"Rubbing Your Nose In the Past" He wants you to forgive yourself!

Well….I’m having one of those days where satan is absolutely trying to mess with me.  It actually started yesterday.  You ever feel like you are just so sinful….and unworthy…..and a disappointment to GOD?  Unfortunately I have many times.  I loose my temper…..I think a bad thought….I get stubborn and harden my heart.

 Its hard to lay our sin down sometimes…..but even harder to believe that GOD forgives us the first time we ask….so we keep reminding HIM and asking for forgiveness again and again….when really….if we are truly repentant….HE forgave us the first time we asked.

Anybody out there keep asking GOD to forgive you for something you’ve already confessed?

Satan is the one continually rubbing our nose in our failures……NOT GOD! 

Grace is such a beautiful concept that has always been so hard to graft to my heart.  I think insecurities…..child hood experiences…..even church experiences can have something to do with that as well….after all….Christians are hard on each other.  We want to recall or remember when our sisters or brothers wrong us…..yet we don’t want them to remember our offenses.

Feelings are liars……they make us think things not true….they make us believe the worst sometimes….when GOD has only feelings of love for us…..HE thinks only good for us.

I wish there was some kind of magic filter that I could just install in my psyche that automatically screened out all the feelings and thoughts that cause me to beat myself up….over and over.   “I shouldn’t have reacted that way…..I shouldn’t have said that…..I failed again.”

For instance…..when I felt GOD telling me to start a blog…..about three years ago….I kept telling myself….”Who do you think you are…speaking for GOD?”  Many of my friends know that I am a playwright for church…I even struggle with writing plays that are effective for the kingdom….I don’t feel worthy……up to the task…..clean enough……yet HE fills my head with all these beautiful pictures and stories that translate into characters on paper.

I fought the blog thing for a long time…..until GOD spoke to me and said….“Just share your struggles…..as real as you can.”  Relief is finally what I felt…because I no longer feel the burden of speaking for GOD.

  I am just trying to share my heart…..as real as I can….through words.  

Am I perfect?…..HEAVENS NO!!!  Do I struggle with sin?….ABSOLUTELY!!!!  All I can do is share how GOD takes this stubborn heart and prunes….jars…..grieves…..disciplines…. tenderly to the point of submission…. helping me think the way he wants me to think.

You see…..GOD just doesn’t want us to beat ourselves up over and over because of our failures……and as Christians….HE certainly doesn’t want us to keep beating up our brothers and sisters when they fail us….that’s just a tool of satan.

So when I fall in the ditch that satan has dug for me…..somehow GRACE sends just a bit of light….enough for me to stop….and realize…..GOD’S not rubbing my nose in my failures…..satan is. 

I deal with my stinking thinking and ask GOD to help me think his thoughts.  I recall some of my favorite scripture that encourages me…….

“As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”
                                                                                                                                       Psalm 103:12

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”  1John 1:9

“Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow: though they are red like crimson, they shall become as wool. 
                                                                                                                                        Isaiah 1:18

These are just a few of the many verses I love and write out from time to time just to let the words seep deep into my heart.  I encourage you to get alone and look up every scripture where GOD tells us HE forgives us….over and over. 

One of the tools I use to straighten out my stinking thinking is putting those thoughts through the Philippians 4:8 test.

      “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable….if anything is excelling or praiseworthy think about such things.”  Philippians 4:8

Put every thought of self loathing…..unworthiness……failure…….absolutely every thought that rubs your nose in your past……ask yourself…is it true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable?

Remember GOD doesn’t want us wallering in our past failures….but Satan does!

ALWAYS BE ON GUARD OF SATAN’S TACTICS TO MAKE YOU FEEL LESS! HIS MIND GAMES ARE STRAIGHT FROM THE PITTS OF HELL!!!!

I pray that someone …..somewhere out there in the big “blog o sphere” that totally confounds me…..will get the message….HE loves you….HE forgives you…and HE forgets it……and…

HE wants you to forgive yourself!

 



  

"Rainy Days and Monday’s Always Get Me Down" A battle for the mind and how to win!!!

Disappointment looms in the air today…….someone I love very much is struggling ……….I have friends that are down……..there is sickness…..aggravations…..regret……debt…….a heavy fog of grief.   Heck…..there’s a bunch of adult men that get paid millions to chase a ball around that are pretty blue today.

Monday’s are notorious for being bad days but I really hate to blame Mondays.  Mondays get a bad rap.  I think we are all just snapped back to reality after a two day euphoric reprieve.   Having the weekend to relax and forget our troubles is a welcome relief  until the clock goes off at 6:30 A.M. Monday morning and you’re catapulted back to the real world……it’s even worse when the rains coming down in buckets outside your window.

Days like today make me think of my daddy that’s in Heaven……my little boys that are big boys now.  I think about sunny days playing at the pool……..friday night movies……..cooking pasta so they could have a food fight outside.   I think of my mamaw Millsey in heaven as well……. she was my prayer warrior and understood my heart and my hurts growing up.  I’m tempted to mourne for the past when in reality….I wouldn’t want to bring my daddy or mamaw Millsey back from Heaven….they certainly wouldn’t want to come back……and while I miss the little boys that I so relished….this period where my nest is emptying is really a sweet place….and a divine appointment from God. 

In the past I have wallowed in my melancholy……sometimes the mindset would set in for a few days.  While it’s sweet to remember in order to escape……the LORD doesn’t want me to linger there to the point I loose sight of the future or it causes me to sin.  But gosh dang it…..when I think about the future…..it’s so overwhelming at times.  Fretting over worrisome problems, disappointments or things unsettled doesn’t help my state of mind.

So how do I handle these vulnerable…..worrisome…..nerve wracking….anxious…..melancholy……and dreadful days?

         You know…..that day where your heart is just raw…..unsettled…..aching in a sense?

We all have them for whatever reasons our lives warrant.  Concern for a child….worry for the future…..anxiousness for a problem…..health issues…..deadlines…. consequences from sin…..job pressures…..and the list goes on and on and on. 

            The important thing to ask when our emotions are tender…..where do we turn?

 Do we open the fridge?  Do we turn on the TV and let the noise drown out our thoughts? Do we hop in the car and go for a little retail therapy? Do we shut ourselves off emotionally from friends….church or family?  What do you do?  I have to confess that I have done all of the above in the past…….but finally…..I started to face those fragile times in my spirit because I wanted to deal with them…not push them back where they kept popping up…..causing me to digress to “stinking thinking.” 

 One day I finally talked to God about it…..”Okay Lord….I’m here at this uncomfortable place with this thing that I can’t change or fix…..what do you want me to learn from it?……what about this situation is causing me not to have truthful thoughts about everything and everyone involved…..including you Lord?”

When we get in these melancholy moods…..or mental states of depression or  negativity….it’s usually because we have allowed satan to use our problems against us.

I’ve always been a fixer….but it seems GOD has given me things in the last few years that I can’t fix in my human flawed state.  Have you got some problems that only God can handle or fix?  I used to pray for relief from things blatantly out of my ability to make better…….but now I do these little steps to get my mind in tune with the LORD’S.  I have found that I can face my problems a lot better when I have a GODLY mindset.

Step 1 I make myself write down a simple list of all the good things in my life that I am grateful for.  You will not believe how much better you will feel afterwards.  Seeing in black and white the good things I have to be thankful for….raises my spirits to another level.   Once I get to this point….my “stinking thinking” starts aligning with the “voice of truth.

Step 2 I rebuke satan and all the “stinking thinking”….. lies…..discouragement and negative things he tries to whisper.   You see….if you have accepted JESUS as your saviour….you have been bought with the blood that he sacrificed for your sin.  That blood gives you authority over satan and any devices, lies or problems he can throw into your life.  Claim the blood of JESUS and tell satan to go back to pit of lies and stay……he has no authority over you if you have been been redeemed by JESUS 

Remember satan is cunning….he comes to kill, steal and destroy your life (John 10:10) and your loved ones…..and the place he starts……. is by seeking to control your mind.

  Don’t let satan control your mind or thoughts through the problems you face on a daily basis!!!

Make a point to get rid of your “stinking thinking” because it’s from satan…..it will never be from GOD!  Any negative thought that comes into your mind is from the pits of hell!  

GOD will never give you negative …..condemning thoughts!

 THIS IS CRITICAL TO REMEMBER IN HAVING VICTORY IN YOUR THOUGHT LIFE!!!

 Step 3 The next step…… give it all to JESUS……every hurt…..problem……weakness….inadequacy… …..negativity……every burden……desperation…..past joys…..past sins….Give it all to HIM……pour your heart out to JESUS in honesty and humbleness.  

If you have a problem concentrating in prayer……that’s a ploy of satan’s as well so I suggest you sit down and write your prayers…… emptying your heart out to God.  Sometimes it hardest to pray and focus when satan has compounded your problems or hurts to a state of overwhelming thoughts.  

I have written my prayers so many times…..but it helps me focus and zero in on what the real problem is……which is usually my “stinking thinking.”  Oh the sweet relief when I give it to HIM…….it’s that very delicate vacuum of time…..where I have just confessed sin……given HIM my problems….and I am perfectly clean…..at least until I fall again…..but gosh….that sweet little space of time….where all is right between me and JESUS…..oh it’s priceless.

Finally sweet friends…..remember this……

                    “GOD IS FOR YOU!”

GOD is on your side!!! Though John 10:10 tells us that satan comes to kill, steal and destroy our lives….the rest of the verse says that HE came to give us abundant life!

      “The thief cometh not, but for to steal and to kill and destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”  John 10:10

HE has come to free us of all our burdens……set the captives free……heal the hurts……break the chains of bondage…….we weren’t meant to carry all this baggage……..that’s why HE died for us.  

When we become entangled in our “stinking thinking” because of our problems…..friends….that is NOT ABUNDANT LIVING!!!

Oh how I am so thankful to have a saviour to run to when the weight of the world is on my shoulders.

The next time you fall into one of those ditch’s that satan dug for you….just give these simple steps a try…..I promise you…..JESUS will pull you from the plunder.


I pray that this message…..goes out to those struggling with burdens that entangle to the point of “stinking thinking”…….oh how I pray that you find relief in that sweet delicate place…..where JESUS meets you one on one….and all is made right between you and your precious saviour.

Remember………

            GOD IS FOR YOU!


                                             “I know that you are for me”  by Kari Jobe





“A Season To Mourn”

I stood at the graveside of my dear friend’s father today.  I watched the cold air sting her face as the tears clouded her eyes.  Oh how my heart hurt for her.   Death….we are never ready for you, yet you come to us all….. eventually.   This season of Joy has been peppered with death.  On December 30th, a sweet girlfriend from high school observed the one year anniversary of the passing of her 23 year old handsome son. A tragic accident on Christmas night claimed the life of another high school friend’s niece.  A precious young mother at our church lost her hero….her daddy. Other dear friends of mine have lost loved ones as well in the last ten days. Such a sad event for such a wonderful season…the celebration of our Savior’s birth.  It will be two years on January 26th, I lost my father unexpectedly.   In the days and months following I became very depressed.  I had to take iron because I became anemic from not eating. I couldn’t write, read, or concentrate.  I didn’t want to do anything but curl up in my bed and sleep. There are so many thoughts runnin through our heads when we lose a loved one. The thoughts are usually flooded with “if’s” and “only’s”.  We recall the last coherent moments and what final words were exchanged. We think about the things that brought joy to our loved one.  We recall funny story after story offering a much needed moment of laughter in the midst of heartache.  Oh if only we could turn back time.  If only we could talk to them just one more time.  If only….if only….and so on it goes  

For months I clung to a verse that literally gave me just enough strength to function daily. 

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” 
                                                                                                                    Psalms 34:18

 I read this verse over and over, day in and day out.  Some days all I could physically and mentally accomplish was opening my bible to this verse.  “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, the Lord is close to the brokenhearted.”  I was certainly brokenhearted, so knowing the Lord was close to me, gave me the only comfort I could somehow muster.  I remember thinking how long is it going to take for me to feel normal again?  How long am I going to cry every day or look at his pictures? I became so agitated in my state of malaise, I was literally frustrated because I was still grieving the if’s and only’s months later. 

   I remember thinking what a terrible mourner I was. I specifically remember telling myself  I was lame and I had to snap out of it.  I questioned if I was mourning the right way.  I even talked to my pastor about my inability to pull myself out of the despondent state I was in.  But oh how thankful I am to have Jesus.  Oh how thankful. He was there on those dark days when I was so low at times I couldn’t look up. He was there even though I was so self absorbed I couldn’t focus on him.  I honestly don’t know how people make it through this world without Jesus?  It became ever so clear to me this time of deep mourning was exactly where God had placed me. There was no where I could escape this valley, no way around it….I had to walk straight through.  “Okay God, you have me here in this fragile place with a broken heart…..now what?” I started asking him repeatedly over the course of many months. And sometimes with a bitter tone.  And then I heard him specifically speak to me one morning during my quite time. I’m not sure how you hear from God but when he speaks to my spirit, I know it very well…..because he usually leads me to specific scripture and I can feel his presence heavily in the atmosphere and laying like a ton of bricks on my chest.  I heard his gentle voice speak to my frail spirit.             “It’s okay to cry child, but don’t forget to laugh.  It’s okay to lament, but don’t forget to smile.  It’s okay to withdraw, but make sure you fellowship too. It’s okay to grieve Mel, but don’t stop living in the midst of your grieving.  Don’t stop living in the midst of your grieving. Did you hear me? Don’t stop living in the midst of your grieving.”     It became ever so clear to me though my heart was still so fragile, the Lord wanted me to press on.  To let my faith kick in. To live. Immediately I turned to Ecclesiastes 3, scripture I had read many times but had no real significance to my life until then.  He sent this scripture just at the right time in my grief journey.   “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent, and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.”  Ecclesiastes 3:1-8  There is something so comforting in this scripture to me.  You see the way I look at it…..every detail of my life…… and your life is orchestrated to the detail.  Everything we go through….the good and the bad……it’s all filtered through his loving fingers.  We are all born into this world with an expiration tag and only the Lord knows when that expiration is up. We are all born into this world with a life to live, a song to sing, a hurt to heal, a laugh to share and a tear or several to shed. We are all born into this world with predestined seasons for our lives. We are all born into this world to live each day to the fullest even if it’s our time to mourn…..to laugh….. to plant……to dance…… to mend…..to be silent…. to love…. and eventually….. to die.  Knowing that he has my days…..and my life events planned out to the detail…. just for Mel Porter…… is mind blowing to me. This gives me incredible comfort because his agenda is so much better than mine.   Even though this old world is hard and we will all eventually experience every season listed in Ecclesiastes 3, our heavenly father gives the good and the bad…..but he never abandons us.  There is a time for everything….. He gives us both spectrum’s of life……the good and the bad…..there is a balance.  Forgiveness for sin…..mercy for disobedience….peace for turmoil….joy for sadness……..grace for unworthiness…..he gives it all….he gives it all with all the love that hung on the cross over two thousand years ago.     Trust in Jesus can be so hard when we are blinded with a broken heart……but trusting Jesus is all we got. My God has reminded me this week as I grieved with my dear sisters and brothers…. trusting him in every life event…every season….in everything….is his perfect will for my life.  In order to glorify him….I must press on and live….I must move on yet grieve….I must find joy among all the tears……I must praise him…in the valley’s….on the mountains….and especially by the gravesides….for these are the seasons of my life…..purposed by my God…..just for me.