Unconditional Love

I have noticed a theme this week.  God seems to be reminding me that He loves me no matter what.

Sometimes I get so involved in work or commitments that I start to identify with accomplishment. I forget that God loves me regardless of what I do.  He loves me even when I make mistakes.  He loves me even when I try to do things myself instead of letting Him take care of it.  He loves me when pride gets in the way.  He loves me when I feel horrible about myself.

I’m reading a book currently called “Grace Walk” by Steve McVey.  In the book, he tells a brief story about a parent who tells a child to be good so that God will love him.

Many of us have probably felt that way, as if we had to earn God’s love.  But that is not how God’s love works.

The Bible says, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  Romans 5:8

All week, it seems that God has reminded me of His unconditional love in some way each day.

He is reminding me that He loves me always.  That He loves me beyond my doings.  He loves me because that is who He is.

1 John 4:16 – “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.  God is love.  Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.”

He loves me because He created me.

Psalm 139:13 – “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”

Nothing can separate me from God’s love.

Romans 8:38-39  “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

This is true for all of you out there.  God loves you!  He always will love you!  There is nothing you can do or not do that would change that.    His love is unconditional.  It isn’t something you can earn.  It is a gift.

Many of us have had earthy experiences that deter us from thinking this way.  Whether it is abuse, divorce, abandonment, failure, depression, anxiety, & so many other things that can get us to thinking how worthless we are.

But if we renew our minds with what God’s Word says about us.  If we read the Bible to see what it actually says & not what someone has told us it says, we will be amazed at how much God loves us.  Look up the scriptures I’ve mentioned above.

Romans 12:2 – “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will.”

I have dealt with a lot of depression & anxiety in my life due to things that have happened in my life.  What has helped the most is reading God’s Word & learning what He says about me.  Because what this world has to say about me ultimately doesn’t matter.  What God says about me does.

This is what renewing your mind is.  It is simply learning what God’s Word says & changing your thinking to line up with the Word of God.  It takes time, but it is worth it.

I’m not always perfect at going to God everytime I feel down, but I know that God is patient with me & He loves me anyway.



God’s Timing

I was reading about Lazarus tonight.  (John 11:1-44)

Jesus & Lazarus were close.  When Jesus heard that Lazarus was sick, He stayed where he was for 2 more days.  He knew it was the will of God to wait.

I can only imagine though, that His fully human side would have liked to go to Lazarus & heal Him or be near Him.

Ultimately, He knew better than all of us, that miraculous things happen in God’s timing.

We tend to want to rush in & take care of the situation in our own strength.  I know I’m guilty of wanting to do everything myself & just take care of it.

I have learned many times that God’s timing is best.  He knows what needs to happen.  If we wait on Him, miracles will happen.

Because Jesus was willing to wait, Lazarus was raised from the dead after being in the grave for 4 days.  Many people believed in Him that day.  So by waiting, He did so much more than just raise Lazarus from the dead.

What are you needing to wait on God for?  There is a miracle waiting for God’s perfect timing.



I was sitting here watching Star Wars – The Clone Wars (the animated series).    For those who have not seen Star Wars, it is a series of movies that focuses on good vs evil in space.  I used to be shocked when people said they had never seen any of them, but I understand it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.

This thought came to me, while I was watching one of the episodes.  God is extremely underestimated.  Both by Satan & by Christians.

Throughout the movies, the dark side always underestimates the Jedi.  When things don’t look good for the Jedi or at least from the view of the dark side, they always think they will come out on the winning side.

Darth Vader & others have said many times, “You underestimate the power of the dark side.”

Then soon after that, the dark side loses.

I see how God is highly underestimated.  Satan thought he could kill Jesus, which only ended in Satan’s defeat, when Jesus rose from the dead.  That defeat still stands today.  Jesus has overcome the world & Satan (John 16:33).

Satan also thinks he can defeat God’s children.  But that is impossible, because God is for us, therefore no one and nothing can be against us (Romans 8:31).  Even if we pass away from this earth, we don’t really die, we just change our address & we are with Jesus forever.

There are people who underestimate the power of the Jedi & put too much fear in the dark side in the movies.  They are even sometimes leery of being on the side of the Jedi for fear of the dark side.

There are times when we as Christians underestimate God.  We don’t see a way out or things don’t look good.  But God is fighting for us.  He is right here with us in the middle of it all (Psalm 23:4).  Satan can only cast a shadow & his power is nothing compared to the power of God.

The Jedi must use the force to defeat their enemies.  We must trust in God & believe that He will come through.  He is always right on time.  No matter what Satan tries to do, God is with us & He is fighting for us.  We just don’t always see the fighting.  When the time is right, we will see the outcome.

Now I’m not saying that Star Wars is biblical or anything.  But sometimes God shows me things in a storyline or something in a movie or book.  I am learning to write those things down & share some of them as I feel led to do so.






Tortoise & The Hare Revamped

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

A good illustration of this was found today on google.  There are always pictures or short video illustrations when going to google.  The video today was a version of the tortoise & the hare, but told a little differently.  They were in a skiing race.  When the race started, the hare was in the lead & the tortoise/turtle was going really slow, like in the original story.  In this rendition, however, the hare looks back & sees the turtle not going as fast, so he goes back & puts the turtle on his head & skiis on with him.  They cross the finish line together.

In the original story, the hare is full of pride & takes a nap during the race knowing that he will win.  Then when he wakes up, he is surprised that the turtle won.

What if we were more like the revamped version & looked back, put down our pride & went back to help others.

Our pastor, Pastor Rowdy, was talking about pride this morning in service.  It was an amazing message.  He used the following scripture, among others.

‘Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. ‘ 1 Corinthians 13:4

What would our marriages look like, if we were a little more like the revamped tortoise & hare story, as well as the Scriptures mentioned in this post?  What would our friendships or relationships with our family look like?  What would our relationships with our coworkers & other people we know look like, if we put down our pride & encouraged each other?  What would happen if we built each other up instead of tearing each other down?



Looking To Him

words that hurt.heal book

I have been reading this book as part of a women’s Bible study at my church.  It is a powerful book.  I highly recommend it for both men & women.  It is not gender specific.

As I was reading the chapter for this month, there was a profound thought that I wanted to share. It is at the end of  Chapter 9, which is about gentleness.

I have been rereading Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret, in which the missionary talks about the exchanged life, exchanging your life for the life of Christ in you.  He discovered that being faithful is not as much in trying to be faithful, but in looking to the faithful One.  Put gentle in there: Being gentle is not so much in trying to be gentle, but in looking to the gentle Savior – knowing Him deeply and intimately.  Being gentle is gazing into His face until you become more and more like Him.  God’s Holy Spirit will fill us with gentleness as we contemplate Him.

This statement got me to thinking.  I have reread this paragraph many times.  I try so hard to be exactly the way I need to be & fail so many times.  When it’s all in looking to the One who is the things I’m trying to be.  All of the fruit of the Spirit could be inserted into that statement.

Galatians 5:22-23 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  Against such things there is no law.”

He is all of these things.  If I look to Him & contemplate Him, who is all of these things, I will become more like Him as I continue to do so.


I Will Not Be Silent

Psalm 30:11-12,  “You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent.  O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever.”

These verses remind me of all that God has done for me.  He has brought me back from despair on more than one occasion.  He has delivered me from many horrible circumstances.  He has saved me from all my wrongdoing.  He has promised me a place with Him in heaven.  I am so grateful.  He is so much more than I could ever proclaim.  He is my God.  I will praise & serve Him all of my days.  He has never given up on me, even when I have given up on myself.  He is patient & kind.

I can’t get enough of Him.  When I don’t make time for Him in a day, I feel the emptiness & my soul cries out for Him.

I can’t be silent about my God.  He is everything to me.  I can’t live without Him.

The most glorious part of it is that I get to praise Him for eternity.  I am free to live for Him & give Him praise!

I need & want more of Him every day!

The Way Out

Exodus 14:14 – “The Lord will fight for you; you need only be still.”

Moses said this to the Israelites before crossing the Red Sea.  Then God did a miracle.

Sitting and waiting on the Lord can be hard.  We see circumstances looming much like the Israelites saw the Egyptians coming after them.  We see no way out, but God does.  He divided the sea in two, so the Israelites could walk through on dry ground. Then, once the Israelites were across, He drowned the Egyptians that pursued them into the sea.  And ultimately, God gained glory (v 17).

He makes a way where there is no way.  I believe that today.  There is away out of our circumstances that only God sees.  If we trust & rely on Him,  He will direct our paths in such a way that we will know it is Him.

Lord, I know you see all the situations we’re in.  You also know the way out.  Sometimes it’s up, down, over, under, around, & sometimes through.  Thank you for being with us in every circumstance.  You are there with the solution no matter the circumstance.  Help us to rely on you.  We love you, Lord.

Putting God First

Are there things in my life that get more fanfare than God does? I’m definitely guilty of talking about & giving things a higher place above God. There are many things throughout my life that I have put before God.  I know things such as food, sleep, books, tv, school, work, etc have been things that I put above God.  I also know that things such as fandoms, cooking/baking, purchasing things, etc have also been placed above God at times.

Some of these things have been recent & others things in the past, but they are all just things.  God has done more for me than any of these things have ever done. So, why do I put things above God?  I would probably say, because they give satisfaction, at least temporarily.

Now I’m not saying that any of these things are necessarily bad, but when placed above God, they become idols in our lives.  They can end up taking the place of God, which isn’t a good thing.

Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

Psalm 37:4 says, “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

So, if I put God first & seek after Him & what He wants, then He will give me what my heart desires.  I have always known this, but I don’t always put it into practice or I lose sight of it.  But He knows what I desire & He does give me the desires of my heart.  Some are small desires.  Others are bigger desires.

He also, knows what is good or bad for me.  So He isn’t going to give me something that is bad for me.  Just like a parent, who doesn’t get something for their child, because they know it will only hurt them or not be good for them.

Jeremiah 29:11-13 – “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

If part of my heart is with all the things that I want & part of me is seeking God, then I’m not really searching for God.  I’m afraid I won’t get those things.  And really, if I had those things, I would just want more things.  It’s a never-ending cycle.

If I seek Him with all my heart, then I will be satisfied.  He is more than enough.  Only He can truly satisfy me.  There is nothing & no one who can satisfy every part of me.  Only God can do that.  He will never let me down.  I may not always like an answer I get, but even when God says “no”, it is a good thing, because He knows what would happen if He said yes.

The song I have included at the end of the post, to me, is a great representation of what it is like when we let go of all the things we are searching for  & look to God for our satisfaction.

Lord, help me to trust you with my whole heart.  I don’t always do that.  My whole life is yours to do with as you want.  I am not my own.  I was bought at a price (1 Corinthians 6:20).  I need your help to recognize when I’m not seeking you.  Thank you for taking care of me.  Thank you for loving me!  I love you!  I want you to be first in my life & not second to other things.  In Jesus name, Amen!

3 Lessons From Saul’s Conversion

Acts 9:1-19 talks about Saul’s conversion, where Jesus met him on the way to Damascus & Saul was blind for 3 days.  One of Jesus’ followers Ananias followed Jesus’ direction & went to administer healing to Saul.

Lesson 1:  Be prepared for Jesus to challenge preconceived notions/ideas/beliefs.

When we give up our preconceived notions and follow God’s leading, amazing things happen.  Both of these men had preconceived ideas, but put them aside when confronted with Jesus.  Ananias had fears based on Saul persecuting the church & arresting those who followed Jesus.  Saul had preconceived beliefs about those who followed Jesus & that they were heretics against God.  Now Saul was indeed persecuting the church, so it is understandable why someone who follows Jesus might be afraid to go to Saul.  Saul was zealous for his faith as a Jew.  He didn’t want anything that didn’t adhere to his beliefs, so it is easy to see how he got to a place where he was persecuting Christians.

Ananias & Saul were probably both unsure of what was about to happen.

Then Jesus showed up & changed it all.  Ananias went & did what Jesus asked him to do by going to Saul & delivering healing.  Saul went & did what Jesus asked him to do by going into the city & waiting for direction.  Then Saul was healed of his blindness & filled with the Holy Spirit. Saul was baptized immediately.  Amazing!


Lesson 2:  Jesus fights hate with love.

Jesus loves His people.  He protects them & takes care of them.  He fought the persecution of Christians by sending Ananias, His warrior.  Jesus didn’t send Ananias in with a physical sword or negative or hateful words.  He sent him in with healing and love.

Saul then turned from His ways and showed love to others.  He stopped persecuting Christians & started following Jesus.  He became an example of what it means to follow Christ.

In Matthew 5:43-44, Jesus says, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

You never know when someone might turn to Jesus, because they were shown love.


Lesson 3:  We are God’s delivery people.

Healing & the Holy Spirit didn’t come from Ananias, it came from God.  Much like a truck driver.  The freight that is in the trailer does not come from the truck driver.  He merely went to pick it up from the sender & took it to the person who is receiving it.  That is what we are.  We are delivering what God wants to give to people.  He uses people to give to others.

Now God is capable of just making needs appear, but that is not how he chose to do things.  He wants us to be his delivery people.

Now we may not always like the people we’re delivering the package to, but as a result of bringing it, amazing things could happen.  Sometimes we see the results immediately like Ananias & the rest of the world did.  Other times we may not see it immediately or at all.  We just need to trust God & that He knows what He is doing.

Power in the Name of Jesus

John 14:13 – And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.

Lord, help me to write your words and what you have to say to me and others about this verse.  You know what we need to know.  I want these to be your words.  You said the words in this verse when you walked this earth as a human being.  Show us what we need to know about it.  In Jesus name, Amen!

There is power in the name of Jesus.  When we pray in His name, His power makes things happen.

There are things about myself that I need to change.  There are situations that need to be dealt with better.  Habits that need to be broken.  Better use of my time in certain areas.  Does that sound familiar to anyone?

When we pray about them and pray in Jesus name, His power is there.  It can break the chains holding us down.  Jesus sets us free.  He alone saves us.

Trying to do all of these things in our own power is so hard, we end up frustrated & giving up.  But when we do things with His power over the situation, it is freeing & easier to do.

Am I saying it will be easy always, no.  we have to keep our eyes on Him, especially in the storm.  If we take our eyes off of Him when things are tough, we tend to get negative & our attitude starts to stink.  If we stay focused on Him, we have a better attitude & stay more postive.  We also weather the storm better when He is in it with us.  He is always with us, but when He is in control, it is oh so much better.