It has been a year since I started

It has been a year since I started going back to church.  It has been a good year, I am finally “home” after 24 years of wandering.  The outward is Church, hearing God’s word preached and worshiping Him.  I am part of the body of Christ, the members of this little Church.

Far more important is the inward changes.  I have a regular devotional time, reading the bible and praying.  I have a prayer partner and we have seen marvelous answers to our prayers.  I am responding to what I feel is God’s leading in my life.  I want Him in charge even though, I sometimes try to be in charge, I am learning to yield my will bit by bit.  It is a journey and changes do not happen all at once.  I heard someone once say, “we take up our cross, when we cross  our will”. My will is always fighting to stay in control.

I have started a great program called Celebrate Recovery, where we address our habits, hurts and hangups.  It is interesting the group I go to is in my former church.  I know healing is going to come out of this as I yield to Him and follow the steps and do a Spiritual Inventory.. I am not perfect but I serve a God who is.

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Love Beyond Human Comprehension

Today is the Central Holy Day in Christianity. What Christ has done by dying on the cross for my sins is unfathomable. It is mind blowing that Jesus act of obedience by dying on the cross, for my sinful nature and all my sins. All God asks is I only believe, that I may have everlasting life. What a gift!

Also, that I may know Him and have a personal relationship with Him now, right now on earth.
I’m so glad to be back in fellowship walking with God each and every day after so many years of broken fellowship with Him.

Why do I believe? I can only say that I have been given the gift of faith by His grace to believe that indeed, Jesus is the way, the truth and the life.

This I know, that if anyone truly seeks God, they will find Him. We all have need of a Saviour.

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What Do My Thoughts Focus On?

What is happening on my journey these days?  
 
Something felt not quite right.  I was not feeling in tune with God.  I had started to get an interest in computer mystery games.  Being the compulsive sort they were consuming my time and my thoughts.  I felt not as close to God.  Although, I kept thinking about a verse, “You cannot serve God and mammon.”  (Or two masters).  I refused to ponder what it meant.  I guess I really knew what this was referring to, the games.
 
Years ago, I heard someone talk about innocent amusements.  Activities we enjoy that are seemingly harmless but take our mind off things of The Lord.  As the speaker put it, “Others may, you may not.”
 
In my case the games were monopolizing much of my mind.  It wasn’t until I heard the message on Sunday morning that the change in me took place.  My Pastor was speaking on Revelation 3 where the church had become lukewarm, it was neither hot or cold.  I had started feeling a lot like that early church.  We broke up for prayer after the service and I shared with the group that I didn’t feel as on fire for The Lord as I wanted to be.
 
When I got home the first thing I thought of were those games.  I removed them all from my computer.  Since then I have had peace and even more of a hunger for the Word.  I have even 
started an Online Bible Study.
 
My heart has been at peace below the surface of the everyday rough patches.  I was thinking of a comparison of an ocean with the rough waves above but the quiet calm below.
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The Year 2012 The Start and the End

Today is the last day of a rather interesting year. I suppose this is the day many of us do an evaluation, a review of the past year. What was good about it and what was not so good.

This year has been one of much change for me. There has been losses , pain, gains and a renewal as well. A real mixed bag.

When the new year started I was vacationing in Hawaii. Due to pain I had been enduring for over 3 years my mobility was limited, yet I enjoyed the vacation to the maximum. The following month I was going in for my first hip replacement surgery and 3 months later, I was going to have my other hip replaced. I was optimistic that my life would get better after the recovery period.

Little did I know the ways that my life would improve! I was looking for physical changes in my body but as it happened, I had a spiritual renewal as well.

During those quiet days and weeks after surgery, I had more time to read and think than usual. I would get different ideas coming to me to read or reread certain books. I read The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan. This story really spelled it out about following and persevering in our faith along the Christian path. Had I been doing this, the past 24 years? The answer was an alarming ‘No’!
I next, read some of C.S. Lewis’ books about his conversion to Christianity and his subsequent walk with God.

Along with these books, I managed to find a book written about my former Pastor. As I read the first part of the book, I was mentally nodding along, remembering some of those incidents written in the book. Then I got to the part of the book where, I was no longer part of anymore. It was at that point that I felt such remorse and regret for all those lost years. I never stopped believing in the redemption in Christ but I had lost my relationship with Him. Oh what, grief I felt over turning away from Him all those years. I asked God to forgive me and recommitted my life to Him.

As soon as I was physically able, I started once again attending church and becoming joined to the body of believers.

Loss, this year was due to misunderstanding with a friend and her refusal to accept my desire to keep this friendship. Looking back now, I see this as part of God’s plan. She was opposed to Christianity and probably would have dropped me anyway. The saying, “When one door closes and another one opens” was so true for me this year. I reconnected with a dear Christian friend. This friendship has been a real blessing for both of us. We have seen miraculous answers to our prayers.

I have also gained some wonderful friends in my new Church. I am learning so much from this wonderful community of believers.

All in all 2012 has been a pivotal year for me, changes in my heart, where it really counts. What more could I ask.

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Who and What Has My Love and Affection?

Wow! So much has been happening in the last month. There have been marvelous answers to prayers and reconciliations in my family. I find that my focus is changing to things of the Lord. My desires are changing to be in tune with His.

Today at church we were learning about love and keeping it or going back to our first love.

We love because Jesus first loved us. Not by my own power but His alone. When I forget and get my focus off the Lord, I fail. My own love is imperfect but His alone is perfect. I seek to know Him better and be filled with His love. I’m so glad I’m back on the path. It is a journey that won’t truly be perfected until that Great Day.

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Thanksgiving

Today my heart is full with thanksgiving for the goodness of God in my life. In all the steps along the way He has been there protecting me. He had His hand upon me when I walked away from following Him and my steps took me into other places. So many times I could have ended up in tragic situations.

Even when I thought He wasn’t answering my prayers, He still did, because he had a greater plan to give me my heart’s desire.

I am grateful, He has once again drawn me back into fellowship with Him and other Christians. I am truly blessed.

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Desires of The Heart

It is amazing to see God’s work in my life. The fact that I have eyes to see this is in itself a miracle, considering where I was in my journey a few months ago.

Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give the the desires of thine heart.”

I take this as a promise that I will have all my desires fulfilled but I have been thinking about this. God is transforming me day by from the inside out and changes my heart’s desires.

I have been wanting a certain study bible, have been desiring it more than anything else recently. I found one at a bargain price and picked it up yesterday from a Christian bookstore. I could hardly wait to start reading it! My visit to the store turned out to have a blessing in store for me. I mentioned to the clerk that I had just come back to the Lord after 24 years and was trying to locate a dear friend. When I mentioned her name, he knew her well and we called her from the store. I left a message on her voice mail and she called later. This was an answer to prayer!

God is so good. He cares about the little things in our lives as well as the big things. Sometimes it is not easy to know why difficulties happen and God seems not to hear. The knowledge that He is ultimately and has a bigger plan that I may not see. Prayers are always answered even if they are not in the way we want.

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