TEARS ARE HEALING

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“The indescribable grief I felt when I was forced to leave my father when I was twelve slowly turned into anger and bitterness. I felt rejected and unloved, and had no self-worth. When I was nearly fourteen years old, I realised I no longer cried. Alcohol was readily available, and with no parental supervision whatsoever, I began drinking at sixteen years of age.

In Susan Howatch’s book, Glittering Images, she wrote: “Which is better: to express grief and pain by using tear-ducts specially created for the purpose, or to express grief and pain by enduring a silent, secret hemorrhage of the soul?”

For many years my soul was hemorrhaging. As I grew older and began to drink, I discovered it was only when I was under the influence of alcohol that I could cry.”

EXTRACT FROM THE BOOK “God’s Promise for Families”

God, however, saw every tear that I cried and He lovingly “recorded all my tears and preserved them in His bottle! He recorded every one in His book” (Psalms 56:8)
How wonderful is that – God has seen and recorded every tear we have ever cried and with compassion in His heart has collected those tears and kept them, and us, close to His heart.
He is also the One who “will wipe away all tears” (Isaiah 25:8)

Jesus came into this world “to BIND UP the broken-hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, ….to COMFORT all who mourn, and PROVIDE for those who GRIEVE…to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of GLADNESS instead of MOURNING, and a garment of PRAISE instead of a spirit of DESPAIR” (Isaiah 61:1-3)

God is our HEAVENLY FATHER and Jesus our COMFORTER

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KEEPING OUR HEADS ABOVE THE PAVEMENT

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“Did you hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete? Proving nature’s laws wrong, it learned to walk without having feet. Funny, it seems that by keeping its dreams; it learned to breathe fresh air. Long live the rose that grew from concrete when no one else even cared. You see you wouldn’t ask why the rose that grew from the concrete had damaged petals. On the contrary, we would all celebrate its tenacity. We would all love its will to reach the sun. Well, we are the rose – this is the concrete – and these are my damaged petals.”

-Tupac Shakur

I came across the above quote on the blog site “takingthemaskoff”.   The blog is entitled LOST AND NEVER FOUND:  AN ALCOHOLIC’S UNKNOWN STORY.

It is an incredibly well written piece and if you, or anyone you know, suffers from a mental illness or an addiction – depression, alcoholism, cutting, anorexia, gambling etc – this blog is definitely worth reading.  http://takingthemaskoff.com/2014/08/19/lost-and-never-found-an-alcoholics-unknown-story/comment-page-2/#comment-982

Just realized what a superfluous statement that is “if you, or anyone you know, suffers …….”

I don’t think there is anyone in the world today who isn’t suffering or who doesn’t  know someone who is suffering.

The majority of us have bruised leaves and we are all striving to keep our heads up off the pavement.

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I look at the images above and marvel at the sheer determination and tenacity of these plants.  They have managed to grow and flourish despite the most severe odds stacked against them.

Despite the fact that they have no background, no knowledge of their parental seed, no grounding, no good role models they have still succeeded in growing into the most beautiful flowers that bring joy to most people who see them.

They have embraced the little they have – oxygen, sunshine and rainwater supplied by God – and have grown and flourished.

They have concentrated on growing every day instead of filling their days with regret and anger and bitterness as to where they have been placed!  Or constantly asking “why me?”  “Why could I not have been planted in beautiful fertile soil instead of just being dropped haphazardly onto the pavement and left there alone?”

I wish more of us could be like these plants and flowers.

Thanking God every day for what we do have and making the most of what we have been given. Continually looking up towards the Son.

Not looking at others and judging how they are doing, or being envious because it seems that they have more than we have.

But just striving to grow into the person God created us to be and in that way bring joy to those who pass us by.

Below is a link to a video that everyone should watch at least once in their life time.

learned to walk without having feet”

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10153154817558902&set=vb.672878901&type=2&theater

Photos courtesy of google!

THE LORD’S PRAYER – WITH A DIFFERENCE!

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Dallas Willard was once asked how he prayed.  He answered that he prayed the Our Father every morning before his feet hit the ground. I can just imagine Satan’s reaction whenever Dallas Willard put his feet on the ground in the morning.  It must have been something like this “Oh hell!  He is getting up – take cover!”

Prayer and faith go together.  You cannot have the one without the other.

In Biblical terms prayer is a personal communication or request addressed to God and faith is a strong or unshakeable belief in God without proof or evidence.

“Prayer is a necessity to man – it is a universal phenomenon; but while not exclusively Christian, it is most real in Christianity because the Christian life is a life of fellowship with God.  In Bilbical religion the relationship between God and man is genuinely interpersonal. Prayer is essentially communion;  God desires man’s fellowship, and man needs the friendship of God.1

What follows is an example of how Dallas Willard prayed the Our Father.  I am writing this from memory and have added a few of my own personal thoughts – this is basically a guideline of  how he prayed.  You can add your own relevant requests, praise, thanks-giving to the basic outline.  You can also spend a lot more time on each section!

Our Father

My God, my Dad, my Lord, my Pappa, my Father

whom art in Heaven

You are high above the earth. You are all seeing. You are omniscient.  You know all about me and yet you still love me

hallowed be Thy name

You are majestic and wonderful. I praise your Holy name. Your name is powerful and mighty.

your kingdom come

Lord, please fill me with your Holy Spirit. May I be your hands and your feet here on earth.  May people see your Kingdom in me.

your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven

I pray Lord that I, together with all other Believers, will be able to love others in a way that will ensureYour will being done here on earth through us.

Give us this day our daily bread

Thank you Lord for the abundance that you shower upon me.  For the home I live in – let me not take it for granted.  Let me share my abundance with others. Make me aware of the needs of those around me.

and forgive us our trespasses

Lord, please forgive me for not living a life of love.  For wanting my own way.  For judging others.  For repeatedly doing what I know is wrong in your sight.

as we forgive those who trespass against us

I need your help to forgive those who have hurt me.  Who have made me feel that I am not worthy.  Who judge and criticize me.  Help me Lord, to be able to forgive myself for the wrong I have done.

Lead us not into temptation

Please help me to be satisfied with what I have.  To be thankful for all I have.

but deliver us from evil

Lord, please break the chains that bind me.  Break the habit of me feeling worthless, angry, inferior, proud, judgmental.  Deliver me from addictions – be it alcohol, drugs, pornography, eating disorders. 

For Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever and ever

Thank you Lord that nothing can ever befall me that you are not aware of.  That no matter what happens you have already prepared a way out – help me to trust, grant me more faith to know that you are all powerful.  I glorify your mighty name.  I praise you.

Amen

So be it.  I go into this day with my hope and my faith firmly placed in You, my God, my Lord, my Saviour.

May each one of us be the kind of person that when our feet touch the ground in the morning, Satan says “Oh hell, they are up.  Take cover!”

1.  The  Handy Bible Dictionary & Concordance

Photograph courtesy of the internet.

DO LIBERTY AND GOD GO TOGETHER?

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Liberty is the “state of being free”.

In Isaiah 30:18 we are advised that “the Lord longs to be gracious to you”. The biblical definitions of grace are “the attitude of God toward men” and “the liberty that God gives men”.

If we bear in mind that liberty is the state of being free it stands to reason then, that if we accept God’s grace in our lives, that grace causes us to be free from the chains that have us bound – alcoholism, addiction to pornography or drugs, jealousy, anger, self-pity, pride, eating disorders, poor self-image. The list is endless. Graciousness is defined as being “courteous, kind, and pleasant”

“The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness…” (Exodus 34:6)

“But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate…..” (Nehemiah 9:17)

What an amazing thought: God longs to be kind, generous and courteous to us.

I pray as the psalmist prayed: “May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face to shine upon us….” (Psalm 67:1)

(photo courtesy of the internet)

IF ANYONE IS LOOKING FOR ME, I AM ON THE UPPER ROAD!

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I’m going by the upper road, for that still holds the sun

I’m climbing through night’s pastures where the starry rivers run;

If you should think to seek me in my old dark abode,

You’ll find this writing on the door,

“She’s on the Upper Road.” (selected)

We sit and weep in vain, while the voice of the Almighty tells us to never stop moving upward and onward. (Streams in the Desert)”

God is in Heaven and all is well with my world. I am walking on the Upper Road and before I turn to the right or the left I will stop and listen for God’s voice, saying “This is the way; walk in it”. (Isaiah 30:21)

Tomorrow I will continue my journey upward in the knowledge that it is through the trials, the hardships, the pain, the disappointments, the joy, the happiness, the blessings – that it is through all these things I am growing into a woman God can be proud of and rejoice over.

It is because of my past – the good past and the not so good past – that I have searched my soul and assessed my character and realized that I needed to change. I have more empathy towards others and judge far less. I am able to forgive easier (especially myself), I am able to write about His faithfulness. I am able to love deeper because the hurt and pain have somehow shaped me into a more caring person.

I have witnessed that He is a God who still performs miracles, that He is a God with the most wonderful sense of humor. I am able to be more open and honest with others. AND it is because of this past that I am able to look forward to the future with joy and hope and courage because my future is encompassed by Him.

Today, I just want to thank God for me and for you!

STRUGGLING TO BE A BUTTERFLY!

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I often think that my life and my walk with God is very similar to a caterpillar’s life!

A butterfly will lay its’ eggs on the leaf of a plant.  The egg will hatch and a caterpillar will crawl out. I have often had to ‘crawl’ out of certain circumstances in my life that have not been good for me! The caterpillar is very small so it starts to eat and eat.  It immediately starts to grow and expand.  (When I accepted Jesus as my Saviour I ‘devoured’ the Bible and grew spiritually.) Once the caterpillar is fully grown it forms a cocoon.  Inside this cocoon the caterpillar is undergoing a transformation known as metamorphosis.  Metamorphosis means to change your form and your character.

In Ephesians 4:23 it states that as believers we are to “…put off your old self …. be made new in the attitude of your minds, and put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness “

Just as the caterpillar changes inside the cocoon we also need to change and become more Christ like.

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Once the change is complete a beautiful butterfly emerges from the cocoon.  The butterfly then gets to fly and glorify God in its beauty.

I’m sort of still stuck in the ‘struggling to get out of the cocoon’ stage but every now and again I see glimpses of the creative, loving person God created me to be and it gives me hope that one day I will fly free in His love without any guilt, fear, doubts, failure or pain.

When the butterfly emerges from the cocoon it has to struggle to push its way out of the cocoon.  As it struggles the fluid is pushed out of its body and into its wings.  Without the struggle, the butterfly’s wings would not develop enough to enable it to fly.  It needs this struggle to strengthen its wings in order to fly and live free.

If I had not struggled with depression, marriage, raising children, addictions and a long list of other things I would not be the person I am today.  It is in the struggles that I have grown the most, have learnt more about who I am and what I am capable of and have developed empathy for others who struggle as I do.  It is also during my times of struggling that I have been closest to God because it is during these times that I actively seek His face and His comfort and His guidance.

My prayer  is, that as we struggle, we will develop stronger wings ……

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“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”.  Romans 12:2