Friday, July 31, 2009

Doubting Thomas

Doubting Thomas

It seems to me, that when most folks think about Jesus praying in the garden, the night of His arrest, they envision a Jesus excruciating over His own impending demise.

I had occasion, lately, to experience the very things I believe our Lord was actually concerned with.

Realizing that I, myself, could drop dead at any moment, my thoughts went straight to my children. Our family consists of 3: myself, my grown daughter and a grandson. These two depend on me, not for what I do, but for what I am in their lives. I am the rock of the family. They look to me for guidance and stability. What would this do to them?

I began to realize this is exactly what our Saviour experienced. What do you suppose was going through His mind, as He walked and dined with His friends and followers?

How many ways had He tried to gently prepare them and yet they remained oblivious of what was to come. Even the very eve of this new chapter in God's plan, as Jesus supped with His family, His followers, those who loved Him dearly, He approached the subject, knowing they still didn't quite catch on to what He was trying to tell them.

Jesus knew they would be lost without Him, that they would not understand. He knew they would eventually accept and understand but that interim period just after He breathes His last, they would be like lost children. These were His children.

His heart swelled with empathy for these innocent souls, knowing what they were about to experience. There was no possible way for Him to prepare them, although He had tried.

Just as you would, knowing that tomorrow you will die and your little children know nothing about it. They still play at your feet as though you will be there forever. They still punch each other and tease and whimper and tattle. You tell me. What would be going through your mind? What would you pray for? Would you be sweating blood?

Remember how each disciple reacted? Was Jesus right about them? Did Jesus know them, individually, more than any other?

While the others rushed off to see what Mary reported, the morning of His resurrection, Thomas remained. Why? Was it because Thomas' feelings ran deeper than the others? Was it because he was highly emotional and not wanting any more pain, refused to go look for fear of further disappointment? Had he not stretched himself beyond his capability to contend with the hurt?

Didn't Jesus demonstrate to us, that that was exactly the case? Didn't Jesus express more sympathy toward Thomas? Have you ever wondered why Jesus took the time to call Thomas to Him, and to cause Thomas to touch His nail scarred hands and actually pulled Thomas' hand into His own wounded side? Have you ever wondered about that? Did Jesus take so much time with the others? Was Jesus showing extra sympathy for Thomas' sensitive nature? Did Jesus understand something about Thomas that we today, miss?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Why is the U.S. not mentioned in prophecy?

The United States is going through a struggle that will only accelerate with time. It's a struggle between good and evil, between God and satan, between the believer and those who desire to demolish christianity.

Not long ago, the Lord brought to me a revelation that makes me smile about the whole scenario. They can burn the cross if they like but that won't change the fact that the United States truly is God's country.

I'll explain this revelation and you will find nothing but confirmation from the Bible. My ultimate test is to measure by the Word of God.

There's a reason why the United States is never mentioned in prophecy, never mentioned in the Bible and yet we know we are a christian nation. The fact is, viewing history, we are non-existant.

What are we? United Statesans? We call ourselves Americans but the fact is we are Spanish, Irish, Norwegians, Chinese, Japanese, Laotians,English, French. The United States is the representative of every nation, the world over.

God doesn't see us as Americans, He sees us as our roots, in a new nation. From the beginning this country has been known as the 'New World'. Why is that? You can't tell me that even when this land was first being discovered, that those people thought this was a new world and yet that's what it was called.

What the Lord revealed to me, is that this country, the United States, is something like a display. All the woes of history have been played out on this land, sort of like a stage play. We have, from the beginning, stood firm for those very values God desires. In every way, we have fought and won over slavery of every form. We detest slavery and so does God.

We fought for our own freedom and then turned on those among us who would enslave, fighting again for freedom. We fight for freedom the world over.

People ask why we poke our noses into other countries, as though we have any right to force freedom on them.  The fact is, we are doing God's will, like it or not.

This is God's country, His design, His plan. Those who come to join us, have joined much more than they have imagined. In their minds, this is the land of opportunity, the land of interprise and the freedom to own business and land. That's pretty amazing when you consider the whole world in comparison to the U.S. There must be something different about this country, wouldn't you think? What is that something? Idealism?

Those among us who battle against the believer, are standing on the land God preserved for His people for these latter centuries, for His own purpose. It kind of reminds me of the teenager battling his parents, while standing in their home and eating their food. The home will still be there after the teenager has run off.  He battles against the very things that give him an avenue for life. What can he do but make noise and disrupt harmony? He will never change the rules and never take over ownership.

Judy Sims

Free Will

Free Will
A revelation that came in a flash, while driving down a long highway through Wyoming, on a horribly windy day. One of those 'out of the blue'. It didn't take long before I was thanking the Lord over and over.

Hopefully I can explain it so that you can understand what He showed me.

In all that we do, as a nation, we revolve around God's perfect plan and don't even realize it. Our very laws back up God's will whether the heathen accepts it or not. They can scream and holler about 'Christians' in their faces, and do all they desire to wipe us out and all the while using the very tools used to carry out God's will.

Check this out. Every law is founded in the protection of free will. Example: What's wrong with rape? It's the fact, not of a sexual act, but of forcing someones will on another. Of course, in the case of rape, its the most vile way of doing it. Well, except for murder. But that's the basic point. "Forced against ones will". Right?

The same for murder. Dying isn't against the law but dying by someone else's hands is. We then die 'against our will' and certainly against God's will.

Without realizing it, that's what the law does. It protects our will.

If you have a job, what you're doing is selling pieces of your life, in exchange for something else you want. There's only so many hours in a lifetime, so every time you give an hour away, you are actually giving away an hour out of your life that you can never have back. It's gone. Sold.
So when you sell an hour, that money represents a piece of your life that you sold of your own 'free will'. So then when someone steals that money, what are they stealing? Actually, its your free will!!! That's why it feels so violating. They've taken the very object that you traded a piece of your life for, and did so with free will. You didn't 'free will' it to be stolen!

When someone kidnaps, what they are doing is holding someone 'against their will'. It's the free will that has been violated.

What is the enemy of free will? It's slavery. In slavery, there is someone lording it over others. Enslaving their free will. Causing them to submit to someone else's will. Totally perverse to God's design.

Eve, first caused Adam to be enslaved, by enslaving herself to the devil's will. She submitted. And she was half of Adam. It's no wonder Adam then submitted, as it was already a done thing. Just like that, they were slaves.

Think about it. What do drugs do to a person? It enslaves them. What does bitterness do? Enslaves. What does hatred do? Porn sickness? Lust? All these things cause the person to submit their will and that means slavery.

It makes sense to me (not that this was a part of this revelation) that this is the reason for war in heaven. Who was the blessed one? It was Lucifer and Lucifer thought free will was all HIS. So imagine what went on when it became clear that God was planning mankind and that mankind was to be given free will.

Gods perfect plan is free will (freedom). Only in freedom does love truly exist. Submitting against ones will is not love.

So it makes perfect sense that is the reason Adam could not remain all one unit, self procreating. The subject is free will. In order to create a being with free will, procreation also had to be in free will begetting others with free will and that can only be done when the ovum and the seed CHOSE one another. Of their own free will. So in free will, the two parts come together to create more free will. So Adam had to be separated into two. Free will cannot be exercised unless there is a counterpart.

When Adam submitted, it put a halt to God's plans. God then had to put into motion a whole new plan to again set man free. In the meantime, God's own people decided they wanted a king. After so many generations, the people had no knowledge of freedom and that's why God allowed a king.
Today, we are just as hard headed as those folks. We too need a king. We too have no understanding of free will. That's why we call Jesus, King of Kings. Only through Him, do we acquire freedom. That's why Jesus said He came to set us free.

All these years I've talked about love without realizing that the whole reason for our existance is 'freedom' and that without it, love does not exist. The whole subject, the whole reason for all our history and our being here, is free will. And the whole battle is over that very thing: freedom vs. slavery.

Remember the butterfly story? Let it go and if it comes back, then it belongs to you. That's what God is all about.

It's perfectly understandable, after receiving this revelation, that God still and will always, love Lucifer. After all, Lucifer was the first to excercise God's perfect plan, free will. The Bible never says that God will destroy satan, or kill him. It only tells us that satan will be cast into the bottomless pit. While its true that God will always love Lucifer, he sinned against God.

Why are we called the 'New World'? Ever think about that? So explorers found a new land and explored it. How does that make it a whole new world? There's only ONE world so how was it that this continent became known as the new world? And we are STILL known as the new world.

I now know why it is that America is never mentioned in the Bible. Because its the new world!! You see, representatives from every corner of the world, live right here in the U.S. Making it truly the new world. The fact is, America doesn't fit into the last day picture at all. But our roots do.

It's like this. Suppose you have a massive subject, you need to teach to others. The simplest way to explain it all would be to turn it into a stage play. Using actors to represent the diversity. That's what we are. We are the stage play of the world. All the problems and diverse peoples and struggles have all, and are, played out starting with a lesson in what God sees as the number one sin : slavery. When God thinks slavery, He's thinking about all things that enslave. We acted it out by actually using people and having a war. Who won out? And I ask you, what does the U.S. stand for? Freedom!

In all the world, in all that we do and strive for, all of history revolves around freedom vs. slavery.

When God's people had lost all knowledge of freedom and could not survive without enslaving themselves, God stepped in and enslaved them Himself. It was Him or the enemy and He sure wouldn't lead His chosen people into that kind of distruction. So He stood in, as the slave master, until Jesus could come into fruition. Thus the reason for 10 commandments, for laws of living, for rituals and sacrificing. All to give the people what they needed to survive. Much like a battered wife. They didn't know how to survive without it.

Finally, came Jesus. Jesus said He came to fulfill the law. Now I understand what He meant. The law was given in lue of freedom because the people didn't understand. Jesus had to become human because only mankind was ever given free will and God would have to put free will into action, in order to overcome what was submitted by Adam. By going to the cross of His own 'free will', Jesus set us free. Again, the subject is freedom.

For me, this answers all questions.
How can a God of love let such horrible things happen? Ans: God is perfection and His plan is free will.

The goal is to obtain the perfection of free will. And everything that crosses that plan is sin.

I don't know about you but this revelation, in itself, has given me freedom. And understanding. And peace. I understand.

There's Nothing Wrong with my Sister

There's Nothing Wrong With My Sister
a testimonial about healing
It has been 30 years since the day I returned to my first love. After having run amuck for several years, the Lord literally pulled the rug out from under me. There was no place to go but up.
For the next 3 years,with Jesus as my tutor, I was taken through a series of healings. Each healing brought a new understanding.
After a series of healings and huge growth spurts, in the Lord, He began to teach me how to walk in faith. He presented me with numerous practise sessions, each one more difficult or seemingly difficult.
Then came the day my faith was stretched beyond what I had thought possible. My mother called and asked me to pray for my sister, as she was on the way to the hospital.
My sister lived so far away from the city that when she was found to have a very bad case of pneumonia, and realizing how difficult it would be to get hold of a doctor over the weekend, they checked her into the hospital for safe keeping.
At the time, I had no idea this was something serious but I had promised to pray and so I did. The Lord had taught me to focus on a statement. With little true concern for my sisters safety, I decided to pick something generic and announced to the Lord that I would stand on the statement, "There's nothing wrong with my sister".
Whenever my thoughts wandered to my sister, I simply stated, "There's nothing wrong with my sister" and went about my business.
That following Monday, my sister was still in the hospital so I decided it was time to see what was going on. You see, I never fathomed that there was a serious reason for her being there. So it was pneumonia, so what? Take anitbiotics and knock it in the head. No big deal.
What I found, when I got to her room, most definitely had an affect on me, as my sister was looking pale and sickly. She told me that the doctor suspected she had a tumor in her lung.
I thought to myself, "Oh, yeah, right! A tumor. I doubt that", but I repeated my faith walk, "There's nothing wrong with my sister", anyway. To this point, I was still of a mind that everybody was being dramatic and I was attempting this faith walk out of practise. After all, that's what I'd been doing up to now and it really didn't seem to be a big deal.
The next day, I arrived at the hospital to find my sister in a wheelchair, out in the day room. Her best friend was kneeling down next to her and holding her hand. Again, my sympathy was about as flat as a dime and I couldn't help thinking "oh, dramatic!". I again voiced, "There's nothing wrong with my sister", and asked my sister, "Do you truly have a tumor?" To my surprise, she said, "Yes".
Where would I get such an idea that my sister was on the same plain as myself? Was there something wrong with me? I later realized that just because the Lord was teaching me, it didn't mean that the whole world was right there with me, learning the same things. I was on my own, with this thing. It was me and the Lord doing this faith walk thing. It began to sink in.
Wednesday morning, I went to see my sister and got the shock of my life. She looked worse than before and told me that the X-rays confirmed a huge mass in her lung. I felt the blood drain out of my head and almost lost it, right there but remembered something very important. Up to this time, I had been obeying the Lord and standing on a faith statement that I didn't even realize was important. I couldn't let up now. That's what the Lord had taught me.
Thursday, the whole family met in the waiting room while my sister went to surgery. As I sat there, what I call the 'fearbies', began to creep into my being. That growing panic, realization and fear that begins to climb right up your gut, reaching toward your heart, ready to squeeze the life out of you. "This can't be happening."
I focused on what the Lord had taught and said over and over, "There's nothing wrong with my sister". Now I had to hang on to it, it was that or fall apart.
The doctor came to us and sat down to explain what they had found and what they had removed. According to him, out of the 3 lobes, they had to take the top and middle, leaving only the tiny bottom tip. I said, "There's nothing wrong with my sister", but my mind was exploding. Inside was "No! No! This can't be happening!" but I knew, no matter what I saw, no matter what I felt, I had to stand on that statement and not let go.
We were allowed to go, one by one, into the recovery room to see her. When it came my turn, I walked up to her bed and held my eyes straight out in front, until I could muster the courage to look down. As I finally allowed my eyes to behold my baby sister, my heart felt like it was going to crush itself. Even with all that pain killer in her, my little sister let out a groa
n and I witnessed her struggling to breathe.
What felt like my last breath, seeped out of my mouth as I said, "There's nothing wrong with my sister". I had to hold on. I couldn't drop it now. I focused on Jesus, intently.
A week after she was released from the hospital, I was elected to go pick her up and take her in for her post-op checkup. We arrived at the multi-storied medical center, next to the hospital. She was to get an X-ray downstairs then hand carry it up to her doctor.
In the doctor's office, I waited outside while she went in for her checkup. A few minutes later, I looked up to see my baby sister, walking toward me, with a huge beaming smile on her face. She announced, "73%!". I asked, "73% what?" and she answered, "My lung has grown to 73% of its original size".
"What? What? Do lungs grow? Wait, do lungs re-grow?"
Another week and we had to return again for a checkup. She again hand carried a new X-ray, up to her doctor. This time she came back beaming even brighter while she announced, "97%".
"97%? Grown? Your lung has grown? More?!"
This is how I learned what it is the Lord wants of us. This is how I learned what it feels like to walk on water. I joked with my sister, through tears, saying "See? There's nothing wrong with my sister. You just don't have any baffles any more?"

The Rock Under the Water

This is actually lyrics that came to me in a flash. All from personal trials. The repeat, you see, is the chorus.

The Rock Under the Water
by Judy Sims

I stood broken, before the Lord,
under a full Autumn moon.
My life was in shambles,my pockets empty
and my body weakened and scarred.

 He set my feet on the water
 and I began to walk.
 Not knowing my tomorrows,
 just trusting in His love.

I cried to the Lord from
the ruins of my life,
“I have nothing, dear Lord,
nothing but to walk.”

 He set my feet on the water
 and I began to walk.
 Not knowing my tomorrows,
 just trusting in His love.
I walked through fire in form of lack,
through floods in the form of thirst.
I walked through storms of oppression,
the struggle often seemed to hard.

 He set my feet on the water
 and I began to walk.
 Not knowing my tomorrows,
 just trusting in His love.
Fear had to go, there was nothing to lose.
I stood naked of power, wealth and strength.
I held on tight, to the hand of the Father
I looked to heaven,as I walked on the water.
 He set my feet on the water
 and I began to walk.
 Not knowing my tomorrows,
 just trusting in His love.
He set my feet on the water
and lifted me up.
I couldn’t see that just under 
the water was a trusted Rock.

 He set my feet on the water
 and I began to walk.
 Not knowing my tomorrows,
 just trusting in His love.
My walk is now, a never ending story.
One day at a time, do I walk.
My stride now strong, for God’s glory
Tomorrow, I trust to the Lord.

 He set my feet on the water
 and I began to walk.
 Not knowing my tomorrows,
 just trusting in His love.
My head up high, now,
I soar as the eagle.
I walk on the water,
I walk on His Hands.

 He set my feet on the water
 and I began to walk.
 Not knowing my tomorrows,
 just trusting in His love.

Picture of Jesus

Picture of Jesus

I read the stories about Jesus and come out with a whole other picture from what is taught to us from childhood.

I'm sure we all see something different in Jesus, but do we ever truly see the epitomy of manhood? He was that, you know, considered a man among men.

He had to have been muscular, as he helped Joseph in wood working. They didn't have electric saws back then. He must have been a magnificent specimen. That's not what we see portrayed in art or even movies.

Jesus was quite the character, too. Imagine His gentle, authoritive voice as He spoke a curse upon a tree.

Remember the story of Jesus overturning the tables of the money changers? These tables were hardly light weights.

How much time had Jesus invested in His disciples, when a man brought his son whom the disciples had already tried to heal and yet the boy was still stricken with epilepsy. Have you ever noticed, in the scriptures, what Jesus' first reaction was? It sure wasn't an immediate healing for the boy because the boy had cast himself on the ground, writhing while Jesus turned His attention to His disciples.

Evidently Jesus was repeating something He had already taught them and then saying " long shall I tarry with you...". Jesus had only a certain amount of time to share knowledge and to teach His disciples, so every set back was actually wasting precious time. He was aggrivated with them. Not because they had done wrong but because Jesus was running out of time.

I see a commander. I see it worthy to be His soldier on many plains.

Before Jesus departed, He issued the great commission. These were orders from our commander, Him seeming much more the authoritive figure, in my mind.

Would it change the way you act and feel, if you had a more appropriate picture of your Lord? Instead of worrying about how and when you would follow out His orders, might you become the obedient soldier?

Soldiers carry out orders, don't argue with orders and don't doubt what they are expected to do. I call this 'training'.

While it is true that we push toward the mark, study His word and praise Him, it is also true that we are commissioned into His army and are to train to be good soldiers. Obedience is what He expects from us, doing without question, standing firm and hearing only One voice.

Freely He Comes

This, I wrote about 1996

Freely He Comes

Standing barefoot on the dew covered grass, still wearing her knee length, pale blue nightgown, she stood staring out across the garden.

Thoughts flooded her mind and then stopped dead as she realized that for the first time in months, she could hear the birds. She froze where she stood suddenly aware of the crisp morning air, the vivid green of the trees, the cool grass under her feet.

A long moment passed, as she just absorbed every sensation her body was capable of.

The thoughts having quieted now gave room for memory. "What is it?" she thought. "What's missing?"

Her life a shambles, fear having guided her every move for what seemed an eternity, thoughts of life had long sense faded away into the darkened fog of worry.

Now suddenly it was as if some super reality vitamin was charging her senses, causing her to ponder how she had gotten here and where everything had gone so wrong.

"What's missing?" Where had her peace gone? "Wait! That's it. Peace? Wait, wait! What's missing?" Her mind seemed to have become whispers of almost thoughts, dashing to and fro and she stood very still, letting her mind search.

"Lord!", she shouted out loud. "Lord, where are You?"
"Lord, it's gone! Where is it? Help!"

She had lost her grip somewhere along the way, lost a peace that now was a distant memory and suddenly she realized she wanted it back. Now it all came into focus and she wanted it back.

She threw her head back, facing skyward and shouted at the top of her lungs, "Father! Help me!"

Something invisible gripped her stomach and then began squeezing its way up to her throat. Like a volcano, a surge of something indescribable burst up through her being and out her mouth as a wail of exquisite agony, rumbled through her. Tears came to her eyes and she fell on her face, not caring that she was getting her pretty nightgown all dirty.

Never had she felt so broken hearted, almost too painful to endure. The tears over the past few years, spilled out onto the ground, as she cried like a baby. An hour passed, as she spent herself with tears. She just let it happen, she let it all go.

Then, as though a warm blanket covered her from head to toe, her tears all spent, she felt the loving tenderness she had so missed, being lavished on her by the Holy Spirit.

She lie there soaking it all up, not wanting to face the day, just lie there in His arms.

When, at last, she stood again the sun was well up. For the first time in many months, she could again experience the warmth on her face. Peace was once again right where it belonged - in her heart and soul.

Now suddenly the world slowed down, her mind was at peace and she remembered who she was. Life was ok, again.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

What is Sin?

Anybody happen to know, really, what sin means? What most people think of as sin, is actually the symptoms - not actual sin.

It's like when you have a cold. How do you know you have a cold? You have a headache, your eyes water, your nose runs and you feel like death warmed over. But is the headache the cold? Is your runny nose a cold? No, those are the symptoms.

So what is sin? Lying, cheating, stealing, coveting, idol worship, murder. No one of these items are the actual definition of sin. They are all symptoms, just like the runny nose. So if lying isn't a definition of sin and neither is idol worship, then what is the definition?

Sin is- get this - enslavement. Anything that enslaves, is sin. Ok, now stop, before you start calling me crazy. Think about this.

When Jesus was talking about His being here at all, do you remember what He said? "I come to set you free." What do you suppose He was talking about?

In sin, we are enslaved and must be set free. God hates slavery of any sort. You can see His attitude about it, by the story of Moses.

A few years ago, the Lord showed me this reality and it so set my mind free. Truly, the U.S. was God's will and His hearts desire, has been demonstrated in our history. Slavery existed and was abolished. Enslavement, simply by prejudice has been stomped on. The whole attitude of the U.S. citizens is that of freedom and there is a hatred of anything that enslaves. That's exactly how God feels about it.

One of the main reasons for the creation of man, was the expression of freedom that could be had, no other way. In all of heaven, freedom cannot be accomplished or won. One must experience and understand slavery, before one can experience and fully understand freedom.

Now let's go to those individual symptoms. Any one, will do. Thievery. What happens to you, when you steal? First, let's not forget the law of restitution. It is a universal law, set into motion, at the foundation of this world, just like the law of gravity. It's just as real and just as ever lasting. It is the author of 'what goes around, comes around'.

You cannot get away from the law of restitution, I don't care what anybody says. The backlash, is not God's punishment, it is the law we set upon ourselves. We pulled the trigger.

No matter how the outcome plays out, there is enslavement involved. Any 'sin' enslaves the 'sinner'. Tell a lie, and see what happens. Am I right?

Does covetousness, add to your life or does it wind up enslaving you? How about lust? Can you think of any sin symptom that does not, eventually if not immediately, enslave the sinner?

So you see, it's not the sin that God hates, it's what that act brings upon His children. Slavery. He didn't create us for slavery, He created us for freedom. So for us to fall into the pitfalls of sin, enslaving ourselves, is to pervert God's intent for mankind.

It's so foolish, for a non-believer, refusing to meet Jesus, saying 'I'll have to give up my happiness', to run from the only thing that can set him free. While he may see his drinking and carousing as fun, drinking kills the liver-gives you a hangover-pretty much wastes time and that carousing may just wind up paying back with some horrible disease. How is that freedom?

You can go into the Old Testament, and read God's instructions to His people and see, just as clear as day, His instructions to remain free. Sickness enslaves. Sin is enslavement. Fear is enslavement. Anything and everything that is not of God, enslaves.

Something for you to ponder. Don't steal because it will hurt YOU. Don't hate because it will hurt YOU. Don't lie because it will hurt YOU. Don't covet because it will hurt YOU. Don't worship the wrong god because it will hurt YOU. Every 'Do Not', is simply keeping you from stepping into a snare and keeping you from harm. That's all. That's IT. Plain and simple.

God is not a dictator, He is a Father. Don't pet the Black Widow. Don't play with that Rattle snake. Stay away from the cesspool. Don't eat that Poison Ivy. Is that dictatorship?

So you say, "How come God can tell us not to drink booze, when He created everything and it wouldn't be here, if not for Him". Whiskey is great on wounds. It not only sterilizes, it numbs. It's also pretty great when you're in pain. Drink the stuff. But to drink it, just to get a buzz on, is to set yourself up for others to take advantage of you, and most likely a horrible headache in the morning.

Drugs? God gave them to us. What do you think Solomon's garden, was all about. The difference, of course, was that Solomon was the pharmacist. The drugs from plants and flowers, had medicinal purposes. It's when man abuses those drugs, we get into trouble.

Glutony of any kind, kills man. Drugs can kill you, booze can kill you, food can kill you. It all depends on how you use it. In a sinful way (enslavement) or as God intented, medicinal and nutrition.

So it all boils down to this - what will harm you, what will enslave you. Stay away from those things. Pretty simple and pretty easy to swallow. Don't you think?

Be happy, be free.

Forgiveness-What is it?

Crack the old knuckles and limber up the fingers, it's time to write. :)

It seems to me, the subject of forgiveness needs a lot of in depth thought, right now. Well, not just right now but I think I sense a lot of unforgiveness out there, in the world and I feel the need to talk about it.

Who is the first person you need to forgive? I mean, before you can even think about forgiving others, who needs it first. You!

Mind you, not only am I fully aware that when I point a finger at you, there are 4 fingers pointing at myself -in this writing, I truly AM preaching both ways. You think I don't need it? Haha....nobody in the world, needs it more than me so come along for the ride.

If you're harboring bitterness against another, it's like a billboard pointing a finger away from you and at that other person. That's what takes over your mind - what they did to me.

But! And think about this. Why are you really mad? You know in your heart that if you hadn't allowed it, it wouldn't have happened and so you lose sleep. You toss and turn, some nights, fighting back at that enemy. That enemy doesn't even know it's bothering you, so who are you hurting? You! And why? Because you are mad at yourself.

"If only...this and if only...that". Every one of those 'if only's' is followed by 'I'.... You see, you know the truth you just don't admit it. You want to blame an enemy. Well, the enemy is you.

"If only I hadn't listened to him", "If only I'd followed my head instead of my heart", "If only I hadn't been so impatient", "If only I had married 'that other dream boat' ", "If only I'd never married at all", "If only I'd saved that money instead of blowing in all the wrong places".....and on and on and on. "I hate him" followed by "if only I....".

So who do you need to forgive? That 'I' person. So, ok, you made a mistake. You're not alone, you know. We all do it. Some of us will never let you know but we have our nights of tossing and turning.

First, you need to forgive yourself. Honestly and finally and forever, say to yourself, "I did it. It's over. Now let's go on from here." You need to look at yourself as nothing more than a human being with frailties. Perfectly capable of making huge mistakes. Learn from those mistakes and never do it again. That's called 'repentance'.

Unbelievers, think that word 'repentance' is some sort of ritualistic back whipping punishment, we bring on ourselves. It's not. Repentance is realizing where you went wrong, asking yourself and God to forgive you, then picking up the pieces and looking at tomorrow instead of yesterday. Tomorrow is there, it's coming, now what will you do with it? Will you waste yet another day, living in yesterday?

Flush it. Toss it. Dump it off on the lap of Jesus. He knows how to handle it, you don't.

Now look at yourself, through the eyes of God. What do you see? Another god? Or perhaps you rightly see, a dumb kid who needs the protection and guidance of his/her Father.

Talking to those who have children, can you look at your child and see all his future failures, every possible ugly thing about them? Or do you see a bright future and you cherish that child above all things? The latter, is how God sees His own children. They are His creation.

It's true, God filters His viewpoint with the blood of Jesus. Thank God for that, else He wouldn't be able to see us at all, for the covering of filth and sin. So you can thank Jesus for opening that door, for letting us stand upright and face God without fear. He bought you that freedom but He didn't pay the price, for you to turn your back on that freedom.

Jesus paid the price, so that you could have God back, as your Father and so that God could have YOU back, as His child. Rest in that peace.

Now back to YOU. If Jesus can forgive you for anything, how can you be so presumptuous as to NOT forgive you. Who do you think you are?

As long as you dwell on your mistakes, you can't see God and He can't get through to you because He gave you free will and He won't cross it. You have to willfully cloak yourself in your mistakes, in order to block God out of your life. So why hang onto it? It's in your way. Throw it at Jesus!

If you can't hear the birds singing and you can't see the green of the trees and the beauty in the clouds and if you can't see God's glory in the faces around you, then you are enslaved in your own personal prison, built by your own hands. That's no place to be.

Once you've accomplished forgiveness of yourself, then and only then, are you capable of forgiving others.

Now for the forgiving other's part. Until you do, that other person is ruling your life. You want that? They have a hold on you that nobody else can get rid of. You can get rid of it, in the snap of your fingers. Gone. Vanished. No power over you.

All you have to do is forgive. I didn't say forget. You go around forgetting the sins, others have committed against you and your up for another shot. You're not supposed to become stupid. You're supposed to learn. At the same time, forgive them.

You won't hold it against them any more. You also won't ever give them the opportunity to do it again. Your trust is in God, not man.

If you have someone in your life who constantly brings up the past mistakes, it's time to either straighten them out, or put some distance between you. That other person is constantly putting that weight right back on you, after you've managed to dump it.

If it's a situation where you can't put distance between you then it's time for a serious discussion. What you're going to say is, "I've forgiven myself. Who are you to keep repeating history and trying to burden me down with an old sin, that no longer exists? If I have to put that filth back on me, every time you open your mouth, I will have to find a way to distance myself because putting it back on me, is not God's will." They, in fact, are playing the devil's advocate.

My own daughter has carried ill will for ButterNut Ice cream, for years. Why? Because the past enemy always ate it. Just recently she bought some and said, "Praise God, I'm doing this in defiance. I'm free to make my own choices." I said, "Praise God, when the day comes you don't think about it at all". You see, she was openly admitting, the bitterness was still on her.

When the day comes that she can buy and eat Butternut ice cream and not have a single thought about that past bitterness, then and only then, will she be free.

When you dispose of bitterness, you throw it away. It's gone and has no more affect on you. THAT is freedom.

How to Make a Church Fail, by Satan, Prince of Darkness

How to Make a Church Fail, by Satan, Prince of Darkness

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