Archive for December, 2014

Who was a little disappointed with Christmas?

December 27, 2014

Now, let’s be honest…

After all the present opening and seeing what we got from those we love and those that loved us, did we feel a little hurt? A little let down? As you think about the people, I bet some you didn’t have any issues with, but others you expected a little more?

I believe I can help…  Those you expected more from were those that knew you most. Well… do they? Just because they are relatives do you really “know” each other. Do you know what they like, what they enjoy, how they deal with situations, etc. Well, the truth is, perhaps they don’t know you at all, and it goes both ways.

So here’s what the Lord revealed:

1) As a giver for many many years, I have piled gifts in the car to deliver, only returning with a handful. This never really bothered me because I knew giving was to be more blessed. And it was just in me to do this. But this year something happened. All of a sudden it hurt. I asked the Lord about it cause it really hit my core being and it was painful. And this is what He said. When we give to others we are giving to Him, and He’s storing up all that giving in a bank account. So that when I need something, it will be there. But I haven’t needed anything yet… but there will be a time I do, and it will be returned.” What a revelation! It reminds me of “It’s a wonderful life.” George Bailey gave and gave and gave, and at his hour of need everyone he helped rallied together and gave what he needed and even more! This insight gave me peace. Because I’m really giving to the Lord!

2) The second thing is that I came to the conclusion that my family doesn’t really love me. I believed that “thoughtful” gifts indicated how much someone loved me! If I loved someone I would find something so special for that person. So I didn’t feel loved!! Because some of the gifts I received weren’t at all about what I liked at all. But then this is when I was given another revelation that changed that mindset. So here’s what I discovered that I believe is going to help someone. The gifts I was given wasn’t that they didn’t love me, it was that they don’t “know” me! BINGO! This revelation hit home. I found out later that one sister went out of her way to find me a special gift but I didn’t see it that way because it wasn’t something I liked!!

So here’s what happened that started this “discovery” chain reaction: I had received a gift bag from one of my sisters, it was full of nail polish and things like that, sparkles, etc.. and it so delighted me. I thought, “Wow… what a thoughtful gift, something I really liked.” I was so surprised this sister gave these things to me and said, “Wow, she really did a nice thing.”  Only to find out the gifts weren’t for me, they were for another Linda! For a moment I had thought my sister “loved” me…  So I called her. I shared her my heart as I’m saying it now, and she said, “I didn’t know you liked stuff like that.” And BINGO… that was it!! No one really knew that I liked sparkles, fun things, crafty things to make, music, etc.. They only see me as a minister, teacher, preacher…

Well, I talked to my mom and sister and said I am going to change things. I want to get to know my sisters, friends, etc., and we can only do that by spending time with them. We can’t possibly know anyone with a visit 2 times a year… which I had done with my sisters.

Through all this, the Lord was working. He wanted to get at something within me, and He did. He knew I was a giver and loved giving, whether I got anything back or not. But after 38 years of giving and not getting back, this year was a defining moment. Why was I hurt this time? It was because God was ready for me to see the real truth, which made me free!! That I needed to spend more time with my friends and family!!! If I want them to know me, and me know them, I have to make time to do this. It’s not about the presents at all!! Christmas was used by God to help me see this truth. The truth is that Christmas is about PEOPLE. Representing GOD’s unconditional love. This showed me I still have a ways to go in that area, but at least I’m heading in the right direction by being honest where I am at so God could do a work in me. I’m still growing and changing, even though I teach on loving and forgiving… I still get to take tests!! And this was a big one!

Perhaps I exposed a bit more than I wanted you to see, but truth makes free, and we are to confess our faults one to another.. to be healed. Well, I was healed yesterday as the Lord led me into the truth. Now I am enjoying all the things I received from everyone, because God used this Christmas to refine me even more!

GIFT GIVING TIP: If you find it hard to get someone a gift, it’s because you don’t know them! A great indicator to do something about it…

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Do You Take On Other People’s Responsibility?

December 17, 2014

This morning I was working on a book called, “Family Devotional.” It’s a weekly devotional that can be read with the family. It’s written so that a child can understand. Anyway, as I was doing some research in the Bible on forgiveness, I came across a scripture that I found very fascinating.

Exodus 32:31-33King James Version (KJV)

31 And Moses returned unto the Lord, and said, Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold.

32 Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin–; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.

33 And the Lord said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.

It is clear here that Moses wanted to carry the sins of the people and be punished for them! This is false burden bearing, because as you know only Jesus is the only one who can carry sins.

My oldest sister had so many illnesses to deal with and one day she told me, “Linda, I have all these problems because no one else in the family could handle them, so I get to.” That is wrong thinking. She thought she was handling things for us and  was paying for them through her health issues. The truth is, she was dealing with her own internal stuff, not anyone else’s.

Yes, we will have issues to go through, but we are to bare our own sinful nature and deal with God directly about it. We have to stop being someone else’s savior… Only Jesus is.

I just thought this was an interesting passage, because we also read this in Revelation 3:5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

We are all going to face the Lord and be judged by our own life one day, and will receive the blessings of God because we had our faith in Jesus. That is what it means to be an overcomer. We take Jesus at His word for us and believed it.

My “Remembering” Dream

December 14, 2014

Last night I had a dream. I’m not one to have many where I think God is telling me something, but I do believe I see some spiritual implications in the one.  Here it is:

I was in a classroom… and the teacher was talking… She had a pop quiz, but it was a verbal one as she called on people. I was the first one, and she asked me what the answer was…  and I said, “What was the question again?” She began telling me, and I just looked at her. I was in a fog, I couldn’t UNDERSTAND the question. I knew she was talking, but it seemed like gibberish. So I had her repeat it again, by this time, everyone in the class was staring at me. but I didn’t care at all, I wanted to answer the question, I’m sure I KNEW the answer, but it wouldn’t come into my mind. Then I said, “I’m having problems with my memory right now. There is something wrong with me, and I don’t know what it is.” Then she said, “You HAVE to give an answer, I am not moving forward until you do.” By this time she had tears in her eyes… it appeared she really cared about me. She wanted me to REMEMBER. So again I asked, “Tell me the question again.” And this time, as she did, I repeated it back to her. Then I was able to UNDERSTAND the question, and I gave a correct response.

This is what the Lord showed me when I woke up at 2:00 AM from this dream! This is like the Word of God. We may hear it over and over again but do we really UNDERSTAND to give a correct response. When I “repeated” the question back, that’s when it made sense. I grasped things when I spoke it out of my own mouth. This showed me that we need to speak the Word of God out of our mouth so that we HEAR it from our own lips so that we can understand.
Romans 10:17 says, “Faith comes by hearing… and hearing by the Word of God”. There are two “hearings” here. And in this case,  the first hearing is what is said and the second hearing is our spiritual understanding through the power of the Holy Spirit. So by speaking the Word to one another, even to ourselves… we are equipping our memories and thoughts to be healthy and whole. I have the mind of Christ, but not in my own abilities, but through the power of the Holy Ghost.
Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

Enjoy the Ride!

December 11, 2014

Many are waiting for that wonderful day to arrive. Where the kids move out of the house. When you have a better job. When you have a better car.  A new home. A new relationship. Whatever it is we are hoping for that will make our lives much happier. Well, you will NEVER be happy as long as you don’t enjoy the ride. The destination isn’t going to make you happy, because there will always be another destination after that. It’ll never be enough. But once we “enjoy” the ride along the way, we will truly understand this quote:

“Getting to the place of the known while going through the unknown.”

We can only go through things “well” when we have the faith and belief in God to do it. Then the ride becomes enjoyable. We can stop and smell the roses. I read the cover of a book called, “If I could do it over again, I would stop and smell the roses more.” It was written by an elderly woman! She didn’t enjoy the ride and was too busy going after that “next” thing to notice anything else.

So, for my gift to you this Christmas Time…  choose today to dig in your heels and stop the momentum from spiraling out of control, and enjoy the moment you are in right now!

Scriptures say to be content with where you are right now while getting to where you are going.

Philippians 4:11-12 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.

We are being blessed, too!

December 9, 2014

Have you ever wondered why everyone else is being blessed and you don’t seem to get what you need?

The other day I was talking to someone who said they wanted to know why others get everything handed to them on a silver platter. That they have to work for everything they have, etc.. when all of a sudden the phone rings. It was the bank asking for them to come in and refinance their vehicle saving them over a hundred dollars a month and on top of it, they could skip December’s payment. They both hit the floor and saw that they TOO got blessed. See, they didn’t have any money for christmas and this was an answer to their “somewhat” prayer. See, they weren’t praying, they were kinda complaining, but even in that God put things straight. He showed them that they ARE being blessed too!!  That God has NOT forgotten them. And this actually increased their faith and something that caused them to believe God even more.

I realized that we don’t “see” our own blessings sometimes because we are busy looking at what God is doing for others. We begin thinking things like, “Where is my blessing?” “I am glad for those getting blessed, but what about me?” When all of a sudden God intervenes and sets us straight. And if you haven’t experienced this “God intervention” perhaps you are blocking it? See, until these individuals spoke the truth in their heart about how they were feeling, they didn’t get blessed – yet! I found that when we acknowledge our own “sinful thoughts” etc., to each other or to the Lord, it opens our heart to receive. Because until these individuals “said” how they were feeling, they were stuck in their painful situation.

I understand this, because I too had something come up. But when I said the truth to the Lord with my heart, I got blessed more than I had in a long time! So be sure that if anything is not working in your life right now, or you are thinking God has forgotten about you,  that you confess your heart to the Lord about what you feel at the moment about it. Allow God to heal your broken heart so you can “receive”  from Him again.

So this season, take a moment to address any issues in your own heart so that you can clearly see what God is doing in YOUR life and what he has DONE for you already and be content with what you have now. You are being just as blessed as the next person. It’s when we take our eyes off what God is doing for us that we can get into jealousy and discontentment.

This Christmas, let’s be joyful. Let’s praise the Lord for all His many blessings towards us and stop comparing what we have with another. It’s time to clean up the stuff in our own minds and hearts as we enter into a new year clean and holy before the Lord. See, God is blessing us all… it’s pouring out and hasn’t stopped. We just need to open our heart to God in truth. Then you’ll be able to SEE what He is doing clearly, that you too, are being blessed.

1 Timothy 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain!

Our roles as Wives, Husbands, Friends and God – UPDATED!

December 7, 2014

(Updated part in Bold)

I wanted to share my heart on this with you. This is a hard thing to share, but I felt it may help someone.

Recently I had to make a pretty hard decision about something because my husband said it was for my good. At the time, it didn’t seem like it was because I liked what was going on actually.  So after I made the decision to end a friendship, my husband said, “Welcome back Linda…”

Not to go into all the details, but my husband was protecting me. He did  say that it’s still up to me to make the right decision for the good of all. One thing led to another and I heeded his observation.

This reminds me of Adam and Eve. But Adam didn’t protect Eve. She got “bewitched” by the serpent in the garden, but Adam didn’t know how to deal with it, and joined her. If he would have “manned” up and said, “Why did you listen to that serpent and eat the fruit? I certainly will NOT eat the fruit.” This world may have turned out a bit different.

When we are married, our men are to be our covering. They have a special gift of discernment that we women just don’t have. We are out there trying to help everyone… when the men say, “Cut your losses and move on” because they see something is not right. They may not be able to put their finger on it, but we women need to “heed” our husbands advice. Even if we don’t quite understand it. This is biblical ladies!! If it doesn’t go against God’s Word, we are to do it. I mean if your husband asks you to steal something, of course don’t! If he wants you to do something against the law.. of course, don’t!. If he doesn’t want you to serve the Lord, then of course, continue serving the Lord. Us ladies have to discern the Word too! I believe if Eve discerned better, she never would have been “duped” by the devil in the first place.

For women who don’t have a husband, Jesus is your husband… he is there to protect you and lead and guide you. Just as Tom did with me. Jesus will tell you things (especially in His Word), and it’s up to us to decide to do them or not. Like Tom, he put before me his thoughts and said, “but it’s up to you.” That’s exactly what the Lord does. We have a choice to make every day, and He is there to help you make the right one. But as you know, we don’t always do that, so that is why we have a Savior, for the times we make a mess.

Sometimes we have to make some hard and painful decisions and not only that, I realized I was in the way of God doing a work  not only this person but in me as well.  I realized the reason this relationship went awry is because of me! I had put too much importance on this person as they did me, and it turned into “consuming.” The truth was, God was trying to get me to see that I am  to be “consumed” with Him alone. That I had displaced Him, and put my friend in His place. I was actually idolizing her… perhaps she was doing the same back, but regardless, I was in sin! And because He loves us so much, He won’t let us stay in that type of situation. At the time I didn’t see this clearly, the only thing to do was remove the situation. I believe if I saw what God was trying to do, it would have ended quite differently.

It appears that Paul in the Bible went through something like this too. And if you read later, Paul ended up having a thorn in his side? I believe it was because he never resolved his relationship issues with Barnabus! 

See, they parted ways after a great strain in their relationship!

Acts 15:37-41 And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark. But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work. And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: And Paul chose Silas, and departed, being recommended by the brethren unto the grace of God. And he went through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches.

There is so much in this scripture we can glean from when forming relationships with people. First, Paul remembered how Mark stopped serving with them. So Paul didn’t think it was a good idea to have him join in their ministry again. But Barnabas wanted to give Mark another chance. I don’t know what the circumstance were or how deep it was, but Paul wanted to protect their ministry together, but Barnabas chose differently. So it caused a distention between them, and it was “sharp.” So it must have been pretty heated discussion. So instead of continuing this relationship, they split up. Paul continued confirming churches. I’m not sure what Barnabas did, it doesn’t say much about him and Mark, but Paul continued doing the Work of the Lord.

See, he discerned something wasn’t right with Mark, and couldn’t partner with it. He had to make a hard choice to split with Barnabas even though He and Barnabas were doing so much good in ministry together. If you read the previous chapters, they ministered a lot together and very effectively! But even in this relationship, God was there. He saw that if Paul continued with Barnabas and Mark, this would adversely impact Paul’s ministry. Perhaps some of the books in the Bible wouldn’t have been written?? Paul wrote a lot of it… God knows the deeper things in both hearts and allowed this “split” to happen… and I believe it was good for all involved.

I’m also reminded of another bible story where two brothers had some flocks. They grew so large that the herdsmen were starting to fight over the water and land rights. Well, it was decided they had to part ways “for the good of all.” So they did.  They were still brothers and still loved each other but couldn’t dwell in the same land.

This was actually a hard blog to post, but I felt it could help someone who is struggling with a friendship that you know needs to change or end. Or perhaps your friends are warning you or your spouse is warning you. Listen today… make a choice, because God will work with what you decide to do. God WORKS ALL THINGS FOR GOOD for all involved. He is no respecter of persons and loves us all. He is there to help us get along with everyone, but sometimes we have to “part ways” if only to get a CLEAR perspective on the issue. Sometimes we put too much on each other when that is reserved only for God! He desires us to desire HIM most of all, and when others get in the way, He may need to remove them…  I believe if Paul reconciled with Barnabus, not that they had to minister with each other again, but forgave each other and reconciled their friendship, Paul would’t have gotten a thorn in his side. But if you read on, it was eventually removed. I believe because Paul applied forgiveness (This is my interpretation anyway.)

So today I pray that you are wise as serpents but harmless as doves. To deal with things as a matured believer demonstrating love, mercy, forgiveness and compassion. Because those that you need to part ways with are also loved by God, and we are to keep that in mind. But if we mess up, and things don’t turn out so good, we have the Lord to help fix things out.  Confess any hurts in your own heart about it and trust God to work it out in the end. God is in the business of “reconciliation.” And I do pray one day, in my situation, that this relationship will be restored according to His heart, healthy, pure, and holy. Amen.