Love is patient,
Love is kind…
Hmmm…I wonder, What is Love to you?
Love is patient,
Love is kind…
Hmmm…I wonder, What is Love to you?
I am a woman who applauds other women who strive for career advancement and certain types of equality in the world. I spent many years doing so myself and loved it. And sometimes I really miss it.
Reading this study note this morning, however, reminded me that I am my happiest and my heart sings the loudest when I dedicate myself to helping others.
How about you?
This morning as I spent some time in devotion, I closed my eyes and let myself get lost in the beauty of the instrumental, as well as the words of this gorgeous song – New Wine, by Hillsong Worship.
Wow! Just Wow!
Do you know this song? My church sings this song frequently so I know the words, but this morning they touched me to my soul.
In reflection, my whole life I have struggled with fear of failure and fear of rejection, mostly because of the dysfunctional pattern and deep hurts of my growing up years. Maybe you have struggled with some of these too? Well, over the years I learned – by doing OVER and OVER, until I FINALLY did it – to lay down these #lifehurts that kept me tied up in knots and afraid. And last year I finally laid down the 20-yr old #deepgrief of losing my beautiful son when he was just 9 yrs old. My heart is renewed!
So now, with the beginning of 2019, after much prayer, my spiritual #WordfortheYear is Courage. Courage! Me? Little #MuchAfraid? (If you are not familiar with the character, Much Afraid, you might want to check out the soul-stirring book, Hinds’ Feet on High Places, by Hannah Hurnard). Oh boy!
So, this morning, in reflecting on this new #courage, along with this gorgeous song, this Verse also hits me hard:
No one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins. Luke 5:37-38
Woah! Did you get that?
Wow! I FINALLY did! What I finally get now is this: In the crushing, in the pressing of each #lifehurt I endured, as Jesus loved me through each one, he was making New Wine in me. And as an adult, as I laid down each crushing, breaking #lifehurt at the alter, Jesus fashioned a piece of my new wineskin out of each hurt. And as I finally laid down my last deep #lifehurt – my #deepgrief – my new wineskin was complete and ready for filling up with all that New Wine!
Whew! Oh! My! Goodness!
Now, with my spiritual new #WordfortheYear, Courage, I realize it’s time, yes, it’s time to pour myself OUT of my old wineskin and right INTO my new wineskin! Woohoo! And oh yes, it’s also time to embrace my true treasure, *Matt 6:19-20, which is helping women find healing from their lifetime of hurts. For me, this specifically means finishing my book #LayItAllDown, putting myself out there and getting it published! Do you know what YOUR true treasure is? Are you embracing it?
Oh my Goodness, YES! This is so exciting!
2019 is the year that I fully embrace being whole, complete, and courageously new!
I am NEW WINE and I live in a NEW WINESKIN!
Jesus, make me Your vessel, make me an offering, make me whatever You want me to be! Jesus, bring new wine out of me!
Dear Reader, how about you – are you still living in your old wineskin? Do you have life hurts you want/need to lay down so they won’t hurt you any more? Are you still wandering through the desperate journey of deep grief and don’t know how to climb up out of it? Whatever it is that might be hurting you, holding you back, I implore you to take it up with your Heavenly Father, who loves you to distraction, who wants BETTER for you. He is just waiting for you to come to Him, with ALL your heart, telling Him what you need. He already knows what you need and is just waiting to help you – He just wants to hear it from you. Beloved, He will help you through it. I know He will, because He lovingly carried me through all of mine.
I’d love to pray for you too if you’d like to leave a comment and I will lift you up to our Heavenly Father, our Jehovah Jireh, our Provider, asking Him to help you, to give you courage and strength and to see you through as He, our Jehovah Raphe, our Healer God, draws you into healing and your new wineskin! He can and He will if you will just ask Him.
Isaiah 41:10 Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with my righteous right hand.
Jeremiah 29:13 You will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart.
*Matthew 6:19-20 NASB“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal;
Love deep from my heart,
The last few weeks I have thoroughly enjoyed being part of the Launch team for Jerry B. Jenkins new novel, Dead Sea Rising, including having live video chats with him about this debut novel in his new series, Dead Sea Chronicles. If you’re not familiar with #JerryJenkins, prolific author, you may be familiar with his blockbuster series, Left Behind, which has been made into several movies. That series left so many of us biting our nails, up all night, voraciously reading until the very last page of each book. This new series may do the same, and the first book, Dead Sea Rising is in bookstores now, with more info and free chapters at DeadSeaRising.com. If you’re looking for a good book to cuddle up with and binge read, this is for you!
Here is my official review of #DeadSeaRising:
Dead Sea Rising is the new release from Jerry B. Jenkins (of the megahit, Left Behind Series) and Book One in his new Dead Sea Chronicles Series.
This book was a compelling read for me, at times thrilling, tense, and sweetly romantic in spots. Though not my normal type of read, I did enjoy it and particularly appreciated the archeological facts and Biblical history.
While reading, we flip back and forth between two main time periods, places and characters – modern day Manhattan and ancient Mesopotamia. A third time period from the Viet Nam War Era comes into play giving valuable background info on modern day Manhattan character, Dr. Ben Berman, and Charm, a young and beautiful Vietnamese woman.
The modern day Manhattan story line revolves around Dr. Nicole Berman, archeologist, and her quest to win a dig license in Saudi Arabia. Nicole believes she is on the brink of discovery that would change Middle Eastern history forever. But is it possible that there is someone out there trying to stop her at all costs, and is this person responsible for her mother’s injuries?
The ancient Mesopotamia story line finds Biblical character, Terah, in one hot spot after another serving his many gods, and as King Nimrod’s Chief Officer. It is remarkable here to see how Jerry Jenkins (with Biblical consulting from Dr. Craig Evans) takes the few Biblical facts we do know about Terah, the birth of his son, Abram, later known in the Bible as Abraham, and those around him and weaves them into an intriguing story of love, loyalty, conflict and loss.
I reminded myself as I flipped the pages, that this is book one in an upcoming series, which usually means the setup of characters and story lines that will be fleshed out and continued in greater detail in books to come. With that in mind, I thoroughly enjoyed Dead Sea Rising and look forward to the release of Book Two!
What does your desk or workspace look like?
At first glance mine looks like a total mess. Right? That’s what I thought. But as I looked around it to see what I could put up, I realized something. Everything on my desk was an uplifting, make me feel good item. As my eyes took in each item I found myself smiling and experiencing either a thankful feeling or a nice memory. Or a good teaching tool.
This is my space. I am happy in my space. I feel good in my space. I love my space, even if it’s a mess. Because it’s filled with feel-good to me stuff. And encouraging, uplifting, learning stuff. I happily realized that everything in my space inspires warmth and creativity – no wonder I look forward to beginning my day, each day, right here
So, what does your workspace look like? Is it filled with encouraging, feel-good-to-you stuff? Or, does it maybe need a #messymakeover?
There is definitely something to be said for dressing nicely, fixing your hair, and accessorizing it up to feel confident and pretty.
Some of my best days seem to be when I have on a feel-good pretty outfit that I know looks great on me, gorgeous notice-me heels, glittering jewelry, hair curled and flowing down my back, and a great bag on my arm.
However, because I currently live on a tiny tropical island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, where it’s drippy hot and humid every single day and the appropriate daily attire is shorts and flip flops, it’s not too often I get to dress up pretty like that. I struggle some days nose-diving right into low self-esteem – instead of the beautifully turquoise ocean – when faced with putting on those flat flip flops and boring pony tail AGAIN! My heart (and feet) yearn to put on those gorgeous, towering heels and that silky flowing dress, which are calling out to me from my closet. Ooooohhhh, to feel so pretty and vibrant again!
Yes, the struggle is real, folks.
But then I remember!
Yes, God made me and created me with a deep desire for beautiful things, especially when I can surround myself with them and WEAR them. This is a big part of my personality – of who I have always been. And oh how the world can chew me up and spit me out when I equate the ability to satisfy this desire in me with my ability to be beautiful. Let’s face it folks, to me, on ME, simple flip flops and boring pony tail do not = beauty!
But, yes, then I remember!
I remember these beautiful Words the Lover of my soul says over and over again to me:
Your adornment must not be merely external – braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses, but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and
quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. (1 Peter 3:3)
Ooooohhhhhhh that’s right – I don’t have to have on a beautiful dress, or sexy heels, or glittery, materialistic ANYTHING to BE beautiful! I don’t have to fix myself up with braided or curled hair and fancy jewelry and colorful, accentuating makeup (yes, I also love pretty makeup) to be beautiful, special, or precious.
Precious? Do you know what being precious actually means? Dictionary.com defines precious as:
Yes, that is what I totally want to be, don’t you? A dearly beloved person or darling to someone – just as I am, faults and all. Stripped down, naked. Bare feet! Beloved and precious.
That’s me. That’s you. Beloved and Precious.
Just as we are.
Without outward adornment. The One who loved us first, the One who loves us best, even with an everlasting love, does not care about those things. What does He care about? “the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit,” In other words, what’s in our hearts. What is precious to the Lover of our souls is having a true, soft and gentle heart that does good, even when others are not looking, not being loud and quarrelsome, but being peaceful, one that truly loves Him and continually puts their spirit in tune with Him. This is what makes us – me – you – precious and beautiful to God.
And I find that when I allow myself to be precious and beautiful to God, I feel precious and beautiful. I AM precious and beautiful. Even without those sexy, towering heels 🙂
So, next time you are tempted to dive into that sea of low self-esteem, remember, you don’t have to measure up to the world’s standard of being beautiful – you were created to be precious and beautiful just by having a heart that loves God and is spiritually in tune with Him. Just tell Him you want to feel precious and beautiful. Tell God, your Heavenly Father that you love Him and want to be close to Him, that you want Him to guide your life. Then open your heart to hear His soft and reassuring voice, open your eyes to see the things He puts in your life. Let your spirit talk with and connect with Him all day, every day. Then be precious and beautiful – because you are!
It takes all kinds of people and personalities to make our world sing. When you put a small group of them together, to do life together, it’s a beautiful thing indeed!
We care for and about each other. We share our good days as well as our not so good days. And there’s never a question of judging – we accept and love each other for who we are. That’s a community small group. Find one in your church or community today. Try it. You’ll be glad you did.
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