A Friend of God 

A Friend of God

“No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you (John 15:15).”

 My Charlee girl is a sweet, friendly, golden doodle. She’s the best of both worlds, a golden retriever mixed with a poodle. I’ve had her since she was 11 weeks old, and now she’s 11 years old. I know her so well: her habits, her desires, and her needs. When I walk through the door, she will always surprise me with a toy! I love my dog.

 Relationships with people work the same way. As we spend time with one other, we get to know one other. We develop special friendships that we treasure.
 Jesus said, “I have called you friends.”

 What does it take to know Jesus as an intimate friend?

I get to know Him through the Word of God. The Bible is His love letter to me. 

The best way to get to know Him is to invest time in learning about Him as He reveals Himself in His Word. I discover His character, His purposes for my life, and His provision. 

Yet as much, as I know about Him, He keeps surprising me! 

His ways are past finding out!

I am a friend of God.

Won’t you join me on this journey?

 

Rescued and Adopted = Wanted and Loved

Rescued and Adopted = Wanted and Loved

I witnessed the sweetest family moment.  

My friend adopted a 6 year old labrador retriever from Retrievers and Friends of Southern California. (www.RetrieversAndFriends.com)

The owners no longer wanted her and surrendered her to the retriever rescue group. (Put all judgment aside. We’re not going there.)

Ginger came home to her forever home with the most loving forever family. Wow!  She got a new bed, a new leash, a new collar, a new start, and lots of love from a new mom, dad, and two amazing children.  They love her so much. She is so sweet and gentle. 

How could someone not want her? And this is a sweet-tempered defenseless animal…

This happens to people too. It’s so sad when we think we are not wanted or loved.

It’s not true; it is a lie. There is a God who created each of us and loves us unconditionally.  

He knows us. He wants us to know Him.

He seeks us. He searches for us.  

But we have to do our part.  We must lift up our eyes to see him and answer him when he calls.

He sent us his love in the form of Jesus. This Jesus is Emmanuel, the Lord God made flesh.  

Jesus’s sacrifice of dying on the cross is to reconcile us back to God. Then we can begin that new life.

God wants to adopt you into your forever home with Him. New life with Him can start now.  

Each of us are his creation. We only become His child when we accept his act of love in the form of Jesus. 

“His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 1:5 ESV

He is patient, relentlessly loving us. 

He gives us 2nd and 3rd chances, and more, and again, and again.

He is gracious and forgiving, merciful in all His ways.  

He wants us to be his.

He loves us now. Already, just as we are.

He knows our hopes, our dreams, our desires.  

He knows our disappointments and failures.  

He knows the things we’ve done wrong. 

And he loves us still.  

He always will.

Will you accept his love today?

He is waiting for you to say yes.

Please tell me if you made this choice today.
For more information of how to be adopted into God’s forever family, follow one of these links:
http://www.cru.org/how-to-know-god/would-you-like-to-know-god-personally.html
http://www.gotquestions.org/know-Jesus.html
http://proverbs31.org/do-you-know-jesus/
http://peacewithgod.net 

Creating Quality Time with Friends

Time? Who has time? Let alone “quality time”?

Recently I was back in small town Iowa for my high school class reunion. The committee planned a scavenger hunt with cryptic clues to various places in town. We divided into teams and set off to take selfies at each spot, climbing in and out of our car or minivan at each stop. It was so much fun! It was a great start to a wonderful weekend of renewing friendships and creating new memories. Bonds and rekindled friendships took place.

I treasure the times with friends in deep conversation, sharing my heart while learning something new, a bible study, or discussion at a book club. I love learning how another person thinks, feels, and their perspective.
What is the common denominator in all of this?

Time spent together in a relationship that is focused, intentional, and without distraction, and sharing our hearts—what resides deep within. Good conversation can happen when running an errand or walking the dog. At bunco. After seeing a movie together. And many other times.

What is your favorite way of spending quality time?
It’s important as busy women to pay attention to what feeds our sense of healthy contentment and make time to do it. To have quality time it all starts with TIME.

And how do we find time? We all have the same 168 hours each week.

To get time we must: 1. Prioritize. 2.Schedule it. 3.Then Do It.

Prioritize. Is it important to you? Then put it near the top of your list of things to do.

Schedule it. Put in on your calendar in your schedule. Weekly or monthly or quarterly. If it’s important, it needs to be planned for. Yes, spontaneous times can occur but you can’t rely on if and when that will happen. If you really want it, schedule it.

Then Do It. Keep your agreements. If you’ve scheduled a time with friends, but you don’t “feel” like it, do it anyway because you said you will and your friends are counting on you.

Quiet time with Jesus Christ is quality time well spent. He is always waiting for you. He wants to hear your heart, even though he already knows what is hidden inside. He wants us to know him too, his character and how he wants to help us become our best selves. Be kind and loving, generous, and accepting of others, even if we don’t agree on politics, lifestyles, or philosophies. He is the most important relationship in my life. I hope my life gives evidence of this.

I need my girlfriends too. Dr Laura Schlesinger says don’t expect your husband to be your girlfriend. This has been so true for me in my life. I need my girlfriends for those long walks and talks, long lunches, and bible studies, or book discussions.

So what will you do with this information? It’s all up to you.

Prioritize creating quality time with your friends. Schedule it. Get it on your calendar. And Do It. Let the good times begin. It can soothe your soul and enhance your relationships.

Now, recall a favorite memory of sharing quality time with someone. Call or text her, or better yet, send her a note in the mail and thank her for the memories shared.

And then plan the next time you will get together.

Leave a comment (button above) and tell me what your next step is.

It’s Mother’s Day Again?

It comes around at this time every year… Mother’s Day.

Knowing it’s coming doesn’t make it any easier for some of us.

There are those of you who have awesome mothers who are still alive and you can’t wait to celebrate her. How wonderful!

There are those of you who are moms and your kids will celebrate you. Enjoy!

Then there are those for whom Mother’s Day is filled with mixed emotions for various reasons…

Their mother has died.

They don’t have a good relationship with their mother or mother in law.

Or they want to be a mom and aren’t yet because of infertility, or because they are still single, or their spouse doesn’t want children.

Or they had an miscarriage, or abortion, or placed their baby for adoption, or their child has died.

All of those leave empty places in our hearts that a”Happy Mothers Day” greeting hits hard.

There were some years as an adult that Mother’s Day was a good day, when my daughter as a child focused on celebrating me as her mom. Precious.

Most of the last 26 years have been tough. That’s how long Mom has been gone.

And double whammy. Her birthday is May 12. Always close to and even sometimes on Mother’s Day.

I had a wonderful mom. She loved me and I knew it. ( Dad too, but this is about moms.)

No, don’t misunderstand me. She was far from perfect. She had her flaws. We all do.

She had a temper that could unfurl at the drop of a hat, seemingly coming from nowhere.

We kids hated to see mom’s displeasure.

And Most of the time she was wise and kind and patient, understanding, and loving.

That’s what I choose to remember.

I miss my mom. Still.

Mother’s Day has never been the same.

There is an empty spot that just can’t be reached.

As a Christian, I firmly believe that my mother is in heaven with Jesus, waltzing and singing, and maybe playing her violin. This is good. No, this is fantabulous.

I believe I will see her again. This is comforting.

And I still miss my mother today. Here. Now.

As tears stream down my face, I think of other friends who have each lost their mother

More recently. This is the first year for many of them.

I wonder how they will face this coming Sunday of Mother’s Day.

Bittersweet. With tears of pain and sorrow. And joy for the blessing of a wonderful mother.

Time marches on and life goes by.

And we are the lucky ones. We had good mothers who loved us, and cared for us, guided us through life.

There are many children of mothers, both living and dead, who somehow neglected them. Children who have something essential missing in their growth and development.

I don’t know their stories. I believe it’s necessary to reframe it in a way that gives mercy and grace to those moms and imparts value and worth to the child.

Child, it wasn’t you. You are lovable. You have worth. You are a valuable creation.

It was your mother. Somehow she was incapable of seeing and providing what you so deeply needed. Whether she was so wrapped up in her own needs and worries of her life or just incapable , she failed you when you needed her. She did the best she could with what she had in wisdom, knowledge, life skills, coping skills, and finances.

It doesn’t make it hurt any less. And it might give understanding and compassion.

Each of us walking this earth had a birth mom who chose life for us. Whatever kind of mother she was or wasn’t, she chose to give you life. Now that’s worth celebrating.

Life is the best gift ever.

This Mother’s Day, choose to Celebrate Life. Now, Go. Live it well.

Good Friday


Good Friday. What’s good about it?
I don’t like Good Friday. I don’t like thinking about it.

I hate that Jesus died such a gruesome death on the cross.

I hate the way the Pharisees riled up everyone against him.

I hate the way the Romans let themselves be persuaded to crucify him.

I hate that the people who were cheering his entrance to Jerusalem on Sunday were so fickle by Friday.  

I hate that his mother had to watch him endure the excruciating pain and suffering that he went through.

Now don’t get me wrong. I am grateful… eternally grateful that Jesus The Messiah willing died on the cross to pay for my sins. 

And YES, I have sinned. Many times. I deserve to go to hell for my sins.

Thank God he made a way so that I have another choice.

I can choose hell, which I fully deserve.

Or….. I can choose life in Jesus Christ, the risen, living Son of God.

By choosing Jesus, I get forgiveness for my sins. He already paid for them. Why not? Seems like an awesome option.

In choosing Jesus, I also get eternal life in heaven with Jesus.

Heaven is not for good people. 

Heaven is for people who love God and love Jesus and choose to follow Him.

You just can’t be good enough to get into heaven.

You must be forgiven.

There is only one way to be forgiven…. Confess and Repent.  

Confess is simply to admit that you have sinned. ( and you know you have. You’re not perfect. No one is.) Come on, admit it.

Repent means to turn away from those wrong things, whatever they are. You know. Repent in your heart. Truly want to change. However, you don’t need to make those changes before you accept Jesus; He wants you to come just the way you are, warts and all.

Then accept what Jesus did on the cross for you. He paid for my sins there. He paid for yours too. It’s been paid, but you must accept it, or it doesn’t count.

It’s like having a ticket to the Super Bowl and not going. That’s just silly. (Clearly my opinion.)

So, did you say to yourself: “Yes, I see it now. I want that.”  

Then tell Jesus…

“Hey Jesus. I get it now. I have sinned. Thank you for paying for my sins. I want to spend eternity in heaven with you. I want to trust you and follow you. Help show me how.”

Welcome to the community of God’s children. Your eternity begins now. And go tell somebody what you did.

The Good in Good Friday is that it didn’t end there, with a gruesome death on a cross. 

The Good in Good Friday is that on Sunday the tomb was empty. 

He is Risen. He lives again, back then, now, and still he lives on.

We serve a living God, not a dead guy on a cross. That is why the crosses you see that are in remembrance of that event are empty. He is alive! I can’t say it enough.

Many men and women have died to protect our freedom in America and around the world. I am very grateful for their service and protection.

But Jesus died and became alive again to give us new life in eternity with him. Now don’t you want that gift? Come, just as you are.

The celebration of Good Friday for me is that Easter Sunday is coming.

Celebrate life. 

He is alive. 

He is Risen. 

Hallelujah 

Amen

Who Loves You?

I bet you know that today is Valentine’s Day. On this day we usually think of sweethearts, lovers, famous couples like Antony and Cleopatra, Romeo and Juliet, or Cinderella and Prince Charming.  We are looking for a love that will last “forever and ever amen.

WelI, I  have Good News for you.  You don’t have to wait any longer for a white knight to ride up on his horse and rescue you.

God is love. And He is here. Now.  Emmanuel means God with us. God is good, and perfect, and pure.

And He is crazy about YOU.  He loves you so much, just the way you are. And, He loves you too much to leave you that way. You don’t have to be any better than you are right this minute for him to love you. You have not done too much wrong for God to forgive you.

And He wants you to be the best you that you can be.  That’s why He sent his son Jesus in human form to walk this earth and show us how to love God and how to love others.

He even had Jesus die a horrible death as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins, a debt we could never repay.

Sin? Yes, that’s when we committ an immoral act considered to be a transgression against divine law.

God loves every person, sin or no sin, but he does not approve of everyone’s behavior.  Each one of us has made willful, disobedient choices that have separated us from God.

The Good News of Jesus Christ is that God loved us so much that he made a way to have a right relationship with God the Father by way of Jesus Christ the son.

If you accept Jesus as your Savior, shepherd, master, and lord and follow Him and His Word, you can have eternal life in Heaven with God and his family.

Do you think you’re good enough to get into heaven just by being good?  

Here is the bad news: Heaven is not for good people. Heaven is for saved people, people who have joined the family of God  by choosing Jesus as their LifeSaver.

Do you have Jesus as your savior? Hooray.  I’ll see you in heaven, if not before.

Do you need a Life Saver?   Follow any of these links:

http://www.everystudent.com/features/gettingconnected.html

https://www.gotquestions.org/Gospel-presentations.html

https://peacewithgod.net/

Or ask a question in the comments. I’ll answer as best I can.

May God’s peace fill you and comfort you. You are loved by The King.

Be Brave

I want to write.

I want to blog.

I think that God has taught me lessons in this life that he wants me to pass on to others.  How egotistical is that thinking?

The fear begins. 

The soul bullies say, “You can’t write.”  “You have nothing worth saying.”  “No one wants to read what you write.”

So this experiment begins.

I AM a writer.

I will write.