What Does God Really Want from Us?

“We love him, because he first loved us.”
‭‭1 John‬ ‭4:19‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12 NIV

“But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭6:27‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Have you ever thought about what God really wants from us? The heart of religion is worship, and the heart of worship is sacrifice. God wants us to give our hearts to Him. Our Heavenly Father Loves unconditionally and provides us everything we could ever need. He wants us to worship Him by sacrificing “self.” He wants us to love one another as He first loved us.

It is absolutely amazing how much God loves us, and HE extends His LOVE to His enemies, too! He told us in the New American Standard Version of the Bible, 541 times. In the Gospel of John, love is mentioned 57 times. I believe GOD Wants us to forgive, forget, and, follow HIS example!

One of the most heartwarming things we can do is to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud. If you want to make a difference in the world, look for ways to help others. Whenever you have time and energy, try to give your dear ones emotional support, love, and care. Who is your biggest supporter in life? Have you thanked him/her recently? It only takes a moment to be kind and does not cost anything but the effort. Everyone likes a pat on the back, a hug, or even a smile or an “atta boy/girl”!

I know it is extremely difficult to have a forgiving heart towards someone who has hurt you. When I am feeling unforgiving, I remember Jesus’s Words,

“Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭23:34‬ ‭KJV‬‬

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Life’s Little Discoveries

My morning has been extremely interesting! I have discovered I have difficulty following directions. Now, I have spent over seven decades successfully following directions for everything under the sun, but my senior moments seem to be taking complete control of my existence! I turn left when I am told to turn right, and that is just the icing on my cake(life)! I believe my brain is telling me I am on information overload! I wonder if I could filter out the unnecessary tidbits of knowledge and keep only what I really need. With the little hints I have been receiving lately, that may very well be a huge mistake!

Well, one mistake I will definitely never make is to stop listening to My Heavenly Father! That line of communication will always be open and busy. God has answers to all questions, even the ones that have not been asked. I search for answers and solutions from multiple sources, knowing God has all the answers in His Infinite Knowledge, and all I have to do is have FAITH and BELIEVE! He will never lead me astray! I can depend on HIM. I do not have to live in fear. He Loves ME.

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18 NIV

I have learned when God wants me to step out of my comfort zone and do something for HIM, I need to get busy and do what he asks me to do. I have become that crazy person who sees someone, usually a stranger, and roll down my car window or walk up to them and say, “I love the message on your shirt. God Bless you, and keep shining for Jesus.” “You have a beautiful smile. It warms my heart. Keep smiling for Jesus.” “You have a God Given talent. Please share it with others for Jesus.” Clyde always told me I needed to be careful about sending mixed signals because I could get in serious trouble! I think if I can share my thoughts and feelings with others I can shine for Jesus. When I was teaching, I always tried to make sure my students and peers knew I cared and believed in them. Old habits die hard. Some habits never die; they just fade away.

Step out of your comfort zone and Shine for JESUS! Please pray for me and all God’s children, as I am praying for you!

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Are you Discouraged?

“Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy GOD IS with thee whithersoever thou goest.”

Many times I find myself in situations of discouraging feelings and unable to change the things that are happening to me and around me. This happens mainly when I try to understand and work through problems without first seeking answers from My Heavenly Father. God IS Faithful and always with me. I need to rely on Him. He never fails me. His plan for my life was created before He created me. Why do I continually think I can do life alone? Why am I weak? Why do I need God? I need to take my sins and God seriously, but I do not need to take myself seriously. Taking myself too seriously leads to pride and failures.

Our society/world is filled to capacity with people who only think about their own feelings, wants, and desires. Taking one of our childhood games to another level, WHAT IF each individual took self out of the equation and put others in his/her place. I can visualize a world which would be extremely different. No chaos, hunger, homelessness, abuse, war, or crime. WOW!! It sounds like Heaven! That is exactly what GOD WANTS For Every Single One of His precious children. He does not want us to suffer and be discouraged. How many times does He Forgive and give more opportunities for us to GET IT RIGHT?

Throughout the Bible God assures me, “Fear not . . .” 365 times in His Word. I need to obey God and spend the precious time I have loving and helping others. If I am busy taking care of God’s Plan for my life, I will not get discouraged or have time to worry about things over which I have absolutely no control. He is my Heavenly Daddy, and He LOVES me unconditionally just as He Loves all His children. As a parent, there were times I had to discipline my children, and even my grandchildren. It was the part of my job description, even though I did not enjoy it. I can now understand what my earthly Daddy meant when he said, “This hurts me worse than it does you.”

Please pray for me, as I am praying for you!

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Who Am I?

Recently, I awakened to a reality that shook me to my core. Somewhere in my journey of life, I lost me! The person I was has disappeared, and she will not and cannot reappear. I am not sure I would want her to come back even if she could. She would not recognize who I am today. I believe she would like some of the changes, but I am afraid she would be shocked at some aspects of my personality. I am the product of all my experiences, education, relationships, and most importantly God created me.

When we go through different stages, it changes us. It isn’t that we make a decision, and voila we are a new person. However, it does happen! Sometimes, it actually upsets me to see myself in a mirror. My first thought is, “Who is this old lady who has stolen my body and my life?” Then, I remember that living this life can take a toll on us. Loss, illness, relationships, and aging have negative consequences on our bodies, minds, and personalities. However, giving our problems to God and leaving them with Him can have positive influences for us. He WANTS us to be happy, successful, and a blessing to every person with whom we come in contact.

I remind myself each day I can make a difference. A smile, kind word, and a helping hand to others can change the world around us one person at a time. God’s Plan will inevitably play out, no matter what happens. He is my Heavenly Father, and He doesn’t make mistakes!

“We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah‬ ‭53:6‬ ‭NIV‬‬

My Heavenly Father IS always in control; however, He gives us the freedom to make choices. At times, I am guilty of making a bad choice and live to regret having chosen the wrong attitude, decision, or words uttered. I admit that I need to hit the pause button and rethink many decisions I make.

As I contemplate all the craziness happening in our world, it truly amazes me that God allows us to continue on the path we have chosen. In reality, He Wants all His Children to choose Him and His Plan. Standing on His Promises and Honoring HIM is definitely the right choice to make.

I am praying for you. Please pray for me.

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Reading and Living in God’s Word

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 2 Peter 1:3 NIV

The following message came in an email from a site to which I subscribe: “Reading the holy Scriptures confers two benefits. It trains the mind to understand them; it turns man’s attention from the follies of the world and leads him to the love of God. Two kinds of study are called for here. We must first learn how the Scriptures are to be understood, and then see how to expound them with profit and in a manner worthy of them . . . No one can understand holy Scripture without constant reading . . . The more you devote yourself to the study of the sacred utterances, the richer will be your understanding of them, just as the more the soil is tilled, the richer the harvest.”
— St. Isidore of Seville, p. 201
AN EXCERPT FROM
Witness of the Saints

Much of my time now is spent in God’s Word. I think about all the years when I was just living my life and not giving enough time to My Heavenly Father. It really makes me wonder why HE is so faithful to me when I neglected HIM so much. His Love is unconditional. He does not just have love. HE is Love. He created it, and it is His Nature.

I have completed my study of Jeremiah and Ezekiel. I must confess that I will need to do the study again because God gave me so much information, and it may have gotten a little mixed up in my hard head. The truth is every time I reread the Bible, certain scriptures stand out more with each reading. I believe that God leads me to different places in His Word for a reason.

I am studying the Book of Revelation now because it seems relevant to the things going on in our country and across the world. It is difficult to read and understand all the things that will surely happen because God told us through His Prophets what would be true. My constant prayer is that people listen and heed His Word. God IS Faithful and True to His Word. He Wants EVERY Soul to be saved. I am praying for our country to put God FIRST and turn back to Him.

Please pray for me as I am praying for you.

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Being Blessed and Being Thankful

Recently, circumstances have reminded me that personal relationships are vital to my life. My most important relationship is with God. He is the center and single most precious blessing. God enriches my life with people who love me and support me, and He is always with me. I cannot imagine a life without God.

I have been reading and studying the prophets Jeremiah and Ezekiel for the past couple of weeks. Wow!! The unconditional love of Our Heavenly Father is amazing! We fail Him, and He Forgives us over, and over, and over again! Jeremiah and Ezekiel gave prophecies about the temporary nature of all nations which were players in the ancient world and all have disappeared: Elam, and Edon, and Sidon, and even the Empire of Egypt. These are all just lines on a map. They are not eternal like the Word of God is. Some day, the world as we know it will no longer exist. We as Christians have to be careful that we do not place too much faith in human institutions and political entities. They are all built on sand and made of straw! I love my country, and I will try to make it a better place, but I have to keep in mind that this is not my TRUE home or country. That my allegiance really belongs to God, and my true home is with Him in Heaven. God and our souls are the only things that are eternal.

I have to ask the questions “Why do we waste our time and resources investing in earthly material things, ideas, and trends? Why don’t we go about Our Father’s Business and Follow Jesus’s Example?” Jesus is the Perfect Role Model for each of us. In the books of Jeremiah and Ezekiel, God’s Words warn His People over and over, each of us are responsible for living a life in God’s Will and telling everyone the Truth about His Promises to us. Teachers, Pastors, Parents, and all who are in any type of leadership position have a responsibility to not only live a life exemplifying Jesus, but also to teach about His Life, His Teachings, and His Unconditional Love for us. If we do not tell others and show it with our daily lives, who will?

What is our level of responsibility for continuing to evangelize to others, even after they themselves have made the decision to stop or never even start practicing the faith? Ezekiel, in Chapter 33, has this to say: ” if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, so that the people are not warned, and the sword comes, and takes any one of them; that man is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.” We are not responsible for the DECISIONS of others regarding faith, but we are responsible for making sure they know what exactly they are deciding. All we can do is keep blowing that trumpet. How the person responds to God’s call is his or her decision.

Heavenly Father, we give you praise and glory. Thank You for continuing to put wisdom as a goal before us so that we can have You as the one thing that our hearts are set upon. Lord God, in all the things we have to do, and all the people we have to love, and all the things that we care about in our lives which are gifts from You, they can cause us to take our eyes off you, the Giver. Please help us to have our eyes, hearts, and all our desires fixed on You so much that we desire nothing more than to live wisely so that we can attain you, that we can have you as the source and the center of our lives. In Jesus name I pray. In the name of the Father and of The Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen 🙏🏻

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Waiting and Praying

So many distractions and so much chaos seems to hunt me down, find me and sideline me temporarily. I have faith that all the interruptions will end one day, and life will resume at its normal pace! Of course, my life has never been what most people would call normal. My children and I have an understanding that we always expect the unexpected! After Clyde died, it seemed as though I was constantly facing problems I needed to solve which were often “firsts” or tasks I had never faced or had to do. It was necessary for me to learn what I needed to for my own survival.

Learning new things has always been part of my journey through life. It was much easier when I was young and filled with energy and the desire to tackle any and every thing that caught my attention and challenged me. I remember wanting to learn how to decorate cakes. I signed up for classes and began to pursue this new journey. I liked it for a while, and I made my sweet granddaughter’s first birthday cake. It was a clown themed cake, and it turned out beautifully (even if I do have to say so myself!). Emily’s birthday is August 5th, and as luck would have it our air conditioning was not working. Needless to say, that was one of those unexpected events. All I can say is I am truly thankful Chris married Lisa because she is the greatest blessing to me! ( She has the decorating skills down to an art! Of course, I loved her before I knew she could bake and decorate cakes.)

Last week, Pastor Larry told us about his professor and the assignment to draw what God looked like in the students’s minds. I have dwelt on that and pondered what God looks like to me. He told us in Genesis, Chapter 1, verse 27 how he created man. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” Genesis‬ ‭1:27‬ ‭KJV‬‬
Since He told us this, I have to believe Him. He never lies or tries to mislead me. Even though, all individuals come in different sizes, shapes, colors, and variations, we all are more alike than we are different. Based on that, my picture of God would be more one in words. He Loves unconditionally, Forgives over and over and over again, Comforts like no one else can, Protects when I do not even know I need protection, and His Faithful Presence is forever with me. He sends His Angels to lessen my loneliness in the form of family, friends, and even strangers. He knows my needs, desires, and my shortcomings, and yet He still loves me! I see Him as my Heavenly Father.

Heavenly Father, we thank you so much for all you do in our lives. We give you praise, Lord God. Thank you for this day and thank you for continuing to call us back to you. We get off course so easily, Lord God, but you are so gentle with us in bringing us back. Although, sometimes, You are not so gentle because we need to be awakened and sometimes you shout to us to wake up, and we thank you for that. We thank you for your gentleness and for your strength. We thank you that you are desperate, in some ways as you attempt to bring us back to your heart. Please do whatever it takes to bring us back to your heart today. Lord God, whether that be a gentle call, gentle correction, or whether that be something big, Lord God, do whatever it takes to get us back to your heart this day, so we can live our eternity and this day with you forever. In Jesus name we pray. Amen. In the name of the Father and of The Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen🙏

I am praying for you. Please pray for me!

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Facing Burdens

Time passes quickly except when things are not going well, and It seems as though time is just dragging when I do not feel my best self. I was truly blessed by several different friends and family members this past week. While I was handling some tasks that needed to be completed, I had a wonderful conversation with a lady, and I realized that we all are more alike than we are different. If we watch and listen, God will lead us in ways we can share other’s burdens. It is much easier doing life when you are able to embrace friends and family. The most refreshing event is when even strangers are able to make you feel better with just a smile or kind words.

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2 NIV

While we are doing our everyday chores, shopping, and even driving from place to place, we are exposed to many opportunities for blessing others. If someone is driving erratically, pray for them. Let someone go before you in a line, while you whisper a prayer. If someone pulls out in front of you in traffic, whisper a prayer for them and for you instead of getting angry or upset. We do not know what that individual has just discovered or learned. They will not know you prayed for them, but Our Heavenly Father KNOWS! I promised myself years ago I will never miss another opportunity to pray for any soul, incident, or reason. When we are talking to God, we are taking away Satan’s influence.

I know that the road to Heaven is narrow and filled with unsettling situations. However, I know that God is with me on that road. Jesus paid for our sins, and prepared us a place for eternity, and I pray that all of us will spend that glorious time celebrating God’s Amazing Grace and His Precious Son, Jesus Christ!

All of us, at some time, feel as if things are pushing us down, and we think there will be no end to the problems, chaos, misunderstandings, and challenges. When I begin to feel burdened and frustrated, I find time to just sit and talk to God. He listens, and I can feel peace because I know He Loves ME. If anyone were to see me, I am sure they would probably be thinking, “She has truly lost it, now!” His Presence always calms me even when the circumstances causing my concern do not change. God never promised my road would be easy and free from stress, but He Did Promise He Would Always Be With ME! I am praying for you. Please pray for me.

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Love Comes from Many Sources

All my life, I have lived with the idea that every single person who passes through our journey here on earth has been sent by God. Some stay for a reason, some stay for a season. If we are truly blessed, many of these people become friends, and many others become family. The awesome thing that happens is when friends become like family.

Our Heavenly Father gave us His Commandments as a Holy Map to guide us on our journey through our life in preparation for an eternity with Him. Jesus reminds us that LOVE is the greatest and most important factor in our relationship with Our Heavenly Father and with others. When Jesus was teaching, a Sadducee lawyer asked, “Master, which is the great commandment in the law?” “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭22:36-40‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Personal relationships are vitally important to all of us. However, the most important relationship we have is with God. It reminds me of a story I heard about a man who could be seen going into his church, staying a few minutes, and leaving quickly. He did this almost every day and sometimes multiple times during the day. When he was older and his health was deteriorating, he was hospitalized. The doctors and nurses noticed that the floor he was on had a different atmosphere among the staff and patients. He always had a smile and kind words for everyone. He visited around the halls spreading joy. When the time came that he was confined to his room, he had two chairs placed at his bedside. One day someone asked him about the extra chair, and he smiled and explained: “All my life, I would stop by the church as often as possible and go to the alter, and I would talk to God. I knew I could see Him everywhere, but I wanted to be in His House. I would say, “Hey, God! It’s me, Jim. I was just checking in with You!” Now, I am unable to go to His House, but that chair is for Him when He comes to visit with me.

The more time I spend reading God’s Word, the more I crave time with My Heavenly Father. Talking to God is very important to me, and I do a lot of talking. I have also learned to be quiet and listen for His Guidance and Encouragement! He is always with me!

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My Thoughts about Heaven

“Search me, O God, and know my heart: Try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm‬ ‭139:23-24‬ ‭KJV‬‬

I have been thinking about what Heaven will be like. I believe Heaven is a place of perfection and complete painlessness. There is no sin. There is not even temptation to sin. Given that entry into heaven takes some fleetingly enjoyable activities off the table, it is more than worth it. No amount of worldly pleasure would ever be worth losing out on the chance to enjoy perfect happiness and oneness with the One who made us all.

I have been blessed by a podcast and a television series this year. The Bible in A year with Father Mike Schmitz and Ascension Press Podcast has helped me understand the Scriptures and makes God’s Word come alive for me. The Chosen television series is about Jesus and His followers. This wonderful production has opened my eyes to the humanness of Christ. It has made me realize if a Perfect Man, my Lord and Savior, can suffer and die for my sins, any suffering here on earth is well worth being able to eventually be with Our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

In His Parables, Jesus painted a picture of Heaven. In this life, we are supposed to be preparing for that glorious day. A part of that preparation is reading God’s Word and living a life filled with forgiveness for others, loving our fellowmen, feeding the hungry, ministering to the lost, and practicing the commandments that were given to us. If we are busy doing God’s Will, we will not have time to be involved with the chaos around us. If we want to be good role models for everyone with whom we come in contact, we must follow God’s Will for our lives.

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