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Archive for October, 2012

Staying in the game

from JO’s sermon tonight:

it’s easy to have a good attitude and pursue our dreams as long as everything is going our way, that doesn’t take a lot of faith, but what about the difficult times, when a relationship doesn’t work out, we get a bad health report, a friend does us wrong?  it’s easy to lose our passion when we’re hurt;  the disappointment, the business that didn’t make it, the breakup, that was painful;  many people are sitting on the sidelines of life because they’re injured, now they’re nursing their wounds, not moving forward,  because of what they’ve been through.  no, you may have a reason to feel sorry for yourself, but you don’t have a right;  God promised He will give you beauty for those ashes.  He said He would pay you back double for the wrongs, but you have to do your part and, if you’re going to see the beauty, the double, shake off the self-pity, discouragement and get back in the game.  every person has injuries, wounds, but you can’t let a loss, health issue, divorce be an excuse to sit on the sidelines.  sometimes in life, you have to play in pain.   if you’re going to become all God’s created you to be, you can’t let that injury, hurt, disappointment, cause you to sit on the sidelines.  bandage up what’s hurting, forgive the person that did you wrong, let go of what didn’t work out, and get back in the game.  “I’m hurting, but I’m here”;  that’s the kind of people God rewards, faithful people, people that are determined, people that get knocked down but don’t stay down, they get back up again.  you don’t let the hurt, pain, bad break, cause you to get bitter, to lose your passion, start blaming God, no, you stay in the game.  no matter what life deals our way, our attitude should be, “I’m hurting but I’m still here.  friend did me wrong, but I’m still here.  business is slow, but I’m still here. didn’t feel like coming, but I’m still here.”  you gotta have a made-up mind, you’re gonna stay in the game.

you’re not going to be faithful as long as you feel perfectly well, everybody treats you right, it’s sunny and cool outside, no, where are the people that have a made-up mind?   “I’m hurting but I’m still coming.  boss did me wrong, but I’m still getting to work on time, being my best.  I’m still being good to a friend that’s in need.  I’ve still got a smile.  I’m still giving God praise.”  listen, anybody can sit on the sidelines, find an excuse to be sour, to drop out, give up on life, I’m asking you to stay in the game. when you’re hurting, in pain, it’s easy to become ingrown to where all you think about is my hurt, disappointment, bad break;  all that’s going to do is bring more discouragement, self-pity, eventually even depression.  one of the best things you can do when you’re hurting is go out and help somebody else that’s hurting;  get your mind off of your problems, pain, and go help somebody else in need.  when you help others in your time of need, that’s a seed you’re sowing that God can use to change your own situation.  sometimes in life, you gotta play in pain;   you don’t feel like it, it’s not easy, every voice will tell you you’re done, there’s nothing good in your future, no, don’t believe those lies, God sees your effort.  it’s one thing to do the right thing, make good decisions, when everything’s going our way, that’s great, God rewards that, but when times are tough, and nothing’s going your way, you’re hurting, you should be on the sidelines nursing your wounds, but instead you’re still in the game, getting to work on time, being good to someone, expecting God to turn it around, that gets God’s attention in a new way.  God has a greater reward for people who are faithful in the tough times.  if you’ll move forward, God will take your scars and turn them into stars for His glory.

Isaiah 60:1-5 (AMP)

Arise [from the depression and prostration in which circumstances have kept you—rise to a new life]! Shine (be radiant with the glory of the Lord), for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you!

notice, if you want a new life, there’s something you have to do;  you can’t sit back in self-pity, wait ’til all your wounds heal and you feel 100%, you gotta arise from that discouragement, shake off what didn’t work out, quit mourning over what you’ve lost, quit dwelling on who hurt you, and how unfair it was, and rise to a new life.  when God sees you in the game, pain and all, bandages and all, when you show up with that attitude, “I’m hurting but I’m still here, I know God is still on the throne, I’m expecting God to turn it around,” that’s when the Creator of the universe goes to work, when God will pay you back for the wrongs that have happened to you.  some of you are in tough times, you’re sitting on the sidelines, God is saying, “arise and get back in the game.”  if a friend betrayed you, don’t go through life lonely, go out and find some new friends, the right people are in your future.  if you lost your job, don’t sit around complaining, go out and find another job, when one door closes God will always open up another door.  if you’re facing a health issue, fighting that sickness, don’t give up on life and start planning your funeral, arise from that discouragement.  when God sees you do your part, He will do His part, He’ll give you a new life; that means He’ll restore your health, give you new opportunities, relationships, a new perspective.  you will see even though it’s painful, it is not the end;  even though it was unfair, it is not over;  there is still life after the sickness, divorce, bad break, a full life is still in front of you.  Job experienced this;  he went through all kinds of tough times, everything that could go wrong did.  In the midst of that pain, Job said:

Job 19:25 (NIV)

25 I know that my redeemer lives,
    and that in the end he will stand on the earth

he was saying, in effect, “I’m hurting, but I’m still in the game.  I’m hurting, but I know my God is still on the throne.”  a year later, when he came through that challenge, God not only brought him out, but God paid him back double for what he had lost

Job 42:16 (NIV)

16 After this, Job lived a hundred and forty years; he saw his children and their children to the fourth generation.

notice;  after the trouble, the loss, the sickness, the business went down, the bottom fell out, his life was not over;  he didn’t end on a sour, defeated note, he went on to live a blessed, happy 140 years enjoying his grandchildren, accomplishing his dreams, fulfilling his destiny.  your life is not over because you had a setback;  God has an after-this in your future.  when we go through tough times, don’t be surprised if the enemy doesn’t whisper in your ear, “you’ll never be as happy as you used to be. you’ve seen your best days, this setback is the end of you.” no, let that go in one ear and out the other, God is saying to you what He said to Job, “after the bad break, disappointment, there is still a full life.  you have not danced your best dance, laughed your best laugh, dreamed your best dream.  if you’ll stay in the game, and not get bitter, God has an after-this in your future.  He’s not only gonna bring you out, He’s gonna bring you out with double what you had before.

when God sees you in the game when at least in the natural you should be on the sidelines nursing your wounds, everybody would understand if you were bitter, you lost a loved one in an accident.  we’d understand if you had a bad attitude, you’re facing a serious illness, raising a special-needs child, in the middle of a legal battle, nobody would fault you for being discouraged, that’s what most people expect.  but when you defy the odds and say, “I’m hurting, but I’m still here, the medical report wasn’t good, but I’m still giving God praise, the loan didn’t go through, but I still have a smile, I didn’t get that promotion, but I’m still volunteering in the nursery,” when you play in pain, the most powerful force in the universe breathes in your direction.  you may be in a difficult time, you could easily be discouraged, but God is saying, “it’s time to wipe away the tears, wash your face, put on a new attitude, and get back in the game.”

you may not be able to do what you used to, you’ve got some aches, limitations, that’s alright;  God is not necessarily concerned about your performance, He’s looking at the fact that you’re even in the game.  you could have a chip on your shoulder, you could be sitting on the sidelines.  some of you, just being here today, just flipping on the channel, that took an act of your faith.  every voice told you, “don’t go today, you’re tired, disappointed, you had a setback, that’s a waste of your time,” you had all these excuses to sit on the sidelines, but you shook it off, and came anyway.  let me assure you, God sees your effort, God knows what it took to be here, what it took to even turn the channel on.  nobody else knows the battles you had to fight to get here, the discouragement you had to overcome, they didn’t see all the opportunities you had to get sour and throw in the towel.  just the fact that you showed up, you’re saying to God, “You are still on the throne.”  you’re saying to yourself, “I’m in it for the long haul,” and you’re saying to the enemy, “you’re under my feet, there’s nothing you can do to keep me from my destiny.” the moment you walked in these doors, flipped on the channel, all the forces of darkness began to tremble, because when you honor God, especially in a tough time, when you could be complaining, but instead you’re praising, that gives the enemy a nervous breakdown, he doesn’t know what to do with people that just stay in the game.  God sees your effort, sacrifice.  Jesus felt every pain, every emotion that we would ever feel:

Hebrews 4:15 (KJV)

15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

when you hurt, God feels the pain, you’re His most prized possession, you’re His child.  when you arise in spite of the pain and get in the game, that’s the seed God will use to take the scar and turn it into a star.  it’s one thing to go through a difficulty and everybody knows about it, you’re worried, discouraged, you got your friends, your family members praying, there’s nothing wrong with that, we’re all human, we all have emotions, we handle things in different ways, but what really gets God’s attention is when you’re in a tough time, hurting, in pain, but you’re so stable, consistent, at peace, nobody knows anything about it.  you show up to  church each week with a smile, you go to work with a good attitude, you’re kind, friendly, compassionate, the whole time you’re fighting a battle that nobody knows anything about;  that gets God’s attention in a great great way.  Ruth’s husband was killed in a battle, she went through a time of great pain, she stayed in the game;  her mother-in-law Naomi said for her to go on and live her life, but Ruth took care of her instead;  even though she was in pain she reached out t somebody else that was hurting.  one day she was gathering wheat in the fields and she met Boaz, the wealthiest man in that area, they got married, had a son Obed, he had a son Jesse, he had a son David, who went on to be the king of Israel;  Ruth played in pain, she was injured, but she kept doing the right thing, and God had an after-this for her, after the loss, pain, God said “I’ll give you a great-grandson that will change the world”

you may be in pain today, you suffered a loss, been through disappointment, that is not the end, God still has a plan.  don’t sit around nursing the wound, don’t let bitterness and discouragement set the tone for your life.  God is saying arise, wipe away the tears, and get back in the game.  you may be injured, but dare to play in pain;  have the attitude, “I’m hurting but I’m still here.  I’m disappointed, but I’ve still got a smile.  They did me wrong, but I’m still giving God praise.”  if you will stay in the game, God will always have an after-this for you;  after the loss, you’ll meet the right person, after the layoff, you’ll get a better job, after the sickness, you’ll come out stronger, after the disappointment, you’ll still live a blessed, full, happy life.  in spite of the pain, adversity, because you’re still in the game, God’s going to make the rest of your life the best of your life, you will still fulfill your destiny and become everything that God has created you to be

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In “A chill to show He’s listening, and “angelic” hints” from 10-25, I said:

“I have embraced JO’s idea of starting out each day praising God;  there’s so little we can give God, both in general and compared to what He gives US, that it’s good to take advantage of every opportunity.  It’s a little dull-sounding to repeat the same superlatives every day, so to liven it up I sing a few lines from Tina Turner’s “You’re Simply the Best.””

I saw one of JP’s sermons today, and here’s some of what he said:

“another way of meditating;  the Bible says when you sing to yourself something begins to take place”

Ephesians 5:15-22 (NIV)

15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

(In “A chill to show He’s listening, and “angelic” hints” I reported that the Biblegateway  quote of the day was:  Ephesians 5:19-20.  !!!!!!!!!!!!)

“even if you cannot sing, you hum a tune, make melody in your heart, it will put you in the right perspective, it will give you wisdom, because you’re being filled, filled, ‘be being filled’ with the spirit” (in the Greek “filled” is in the passive imperative tense, you are being filled from outside, not filling yourself) and this will allow you to understand the will of the Lord because you’re being filled with the spirit.  When you sing and make melody in your heart you’re being filled with the spirit, the spirit of wisdom, and intuition becomes alive and you just know what to do, you become thankful, all this is the fruit of being filled with the spirit.  When you’re singing it’s easier to submit.

Why is there so much strife, envy, jealousy?  Because we’re not focused on Jesus.  The best way to focus on Jesus is by singing to him.”

Later:  He had a complicated explanation about how the names of the Hebrew letters making up the word for “praise” put together meant something interesting:  “Every time you praise you open the door of grace.”  This lead to:

Revelation 3:20 (NIV)

20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door,I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.

“Jesus said:  “If any man open, grace is coming in. What opens the door?  Praise.”

“When you praise God it’s the door to God.”  So, praise opens and is the door…  well, English is I think his 3rd language, so I’m guessing we can just take the concept and not sweat the small details.

Keeping in mind that JP’s focus is on Jesus, and mine, like JO’s, is directly on God…  it’s hard not to make a connection.  And the TIMING, and yes, this is the first JP sermon I’ve seen since I started singing.  Singing, praise, and a door to grace opening;  pretty intense.

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I had a dream last night in which I was supposed to be participating in an important ritual for a group of Native Americans (I don’t know what tribe they might have been from).  I have no idea how, or why, or what I was supposed to do. I did wonder why they’d want a woman who was too old to be believable as a virgin (which is the standard type of woman that’s used in spiritual rituals), not to mention not of their tribe, race or religion.  The main thrust of the dream was that they wanted me to wear small stud earrings (I can’t imagine why), and I had to try to find a pair small enough.  The REALLY freaky thing was at the end when I was telling someone that I was going to speak in a Native America language during the ritual, and what I said might upset and frighten people (again, no idea).  Last night, I looked up

Mark 16:17-18 (NIV)

17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons;they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

because I saw a program that showed a church that handles snakes, and I suspect the “new tongues” thing might have been behind the idea of my speaking another language, but as to why Native Americans would want a white woman, with or without earrings, to play any part in any ritual, or what I could possibly say that would upset them…  it’s extremely weird, but it’s spiritual so I’m recording it.

I had a bad fall in the storage room today, thanks to the unstable obstacle course my roommate’s set up in there.  I “somehow” missed a metal box, and old-time pants hangers with big metal angles pointing upwards.  Although I pitched into a stack of hard-sided boxes, I didn’t hurt my head or face.  I managed to fall into, onto and against a bunch of potentially injuring items…  with my only injury being bruising that was coming out on my ankle.  Amazingly, it is neither broken nor sprained.  The REALLY amazing thing is that it was turning black, and I do mean BLACK, in 3 different spots…  but in the hours that followed the black faded away and then disappeared entirely!!  I have NEVER seen that happen;  blackness usually means a weeks-long bruise.  I still have a little redness at the impact spots, and if I press them they’re a little sore.  The area is still swollen.  But, I can walk on it… and did I mention it was BLACK?!!  There’s no doubt in my mind that God protected me from seriously hurting myself, and reversed most of the damage I did do.

Edit 5-10-15:  Was this dream a foreshadowing of speaking in tongues?

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Just as I was waking up from a brief nap this evening, God gave me my 11th eyelid image (the other 10 being 11-1-10, 11-19-10, 11-24-10, 1-21-11, 3-22-11, 2 on 5-28-11, 10-5-11, 10-30-11 and 7-20-12).  I saw stars.  Not glowing dots like we see in the sky at night, but very clear 5 pointed yellow ones;  there were a bunch on a black background, not filling it entirely, there was a pretty decent margin, and randomly arrayed, not in lines or a pattern.  As I realized I was awake, they drew in towards the center a little before fading away.  The dream before I woke up didn’t imprint on my memory except that I said something like “… the counter from end to end.”  I suppose I said “clean” or “wipe,” but I don’t know to who…  probably my roommate.

It occurs to me that the last time I saw “photographic” eyelid images rather than just patterns or geometric shapes was images #6 and #7, from 5-28-11, which were 16 months ago.  That feels like a step backwards, or maybe I’m too stressed and exhausted to do better…  it might not be a coincidence that the last one I had was BEFORE the process of escalating my stress began.

As I was working on this post, I got my 2nd-ever hit to “Another waking image” from 1-29-11;  I didn’t remember it, as it was posted the day before my mother died…  and it turns out to be about a totally forgotten eyelid image that I’d had.  !!!!!!!!!!!!!!  (On what planet would THIS be a coincidence?!!)  AND, it mentions one from the previous day that I’d also forgotten and posted about in “A controlled waking image” from 1-28-11.  It’s great to reclaim these missing items, and to find in the former one something major about my mother that I’d forgotten:

“The bigger news is that my mother is in the hospital in serious condition…  and she says that she received a message to be strong, to fight, and to listen.  She was groggy from the meds but when I asked her if it was God she thought she was supposed to listen to she said “yes”…  and she’s NOT a believer.  So, she’s determined to fight.”

God took me back to that last positive thing before her death;  that felt good.

I got 70 hits today, my 2nd-best day ever…  amazing how that’s NOT the big news for today!!  And one of them was for a massive search term:

“life is short. there’s no guarantee of another day. so live everyday like it could be your last, or your loved one’s last. take time to love people. the greatest gift you can give is yourself. give your time, attention, friendship. you can’t do it to everbody but you can do it to somebody”

It led to “Giving the gift of yourself” from 7-23.

The random Bible quote generators gave me:

Psalm 32:1-5 (NIV)

Blessed is the one
    whose transgressions are forgiven,
    whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the one
    whose sin the Lord does not count against them
    and in whose spirit is no deceit.

Nice one!!

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During my final bathroom break before going to bed early on the 17th, I started to talk to God as I always do before bedtime, and suddenly I felt both the internal feeling of pressure/fullness (mostly in my upper body) that I typically associate with Him, but also a feeling of pressure pushing, not down onto my head or shoulders, but from around my body…  I thought “the hand of God” because I could imagine it coming from being wrapped in a giant hand.  In any case, it obviously WAS Him, and this was one of the rare occasions where He filled and affected me without my “asking” Him to.  I continued thanking Him for all He has done, is doing, and will do, and I think (I was kind of groggy) asked for the wisdom, courage, strength, compassion, etc, to handle everything in my life.

I don’t know why He gave me that new feeling, or entered/enfolded me in general, but I can only see it as a positive sign.

The quote of the day at Biblegateway is:

Psalm 27:14 (NIV)

14 Wait for the Lord;
    be strong and take heart
    and wait for the Lord.

I am.  I am waiting with expectancy, for as long as it takes;  my flourishing finish will amaze everyone with its power once it comes.

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from JO’s sermon tonight:

we all face disappointments in life and situations that we don’t understand;  it’s easy to get discouraged and think, “why did that happen to me, why did that friend betray me, why did I get laid off, why wasn’t I raised in a good childhood?” life is not always fair but God is fair

Romans 8:28 (KJV)

28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

the key word is together, you cannot isolate one part of your life, one divorce, one bad childhood, one disappointment, that in itself may not be good, but God is not finished, your life is not over because you had a bad break;  don’t get stuck where you are, there’s another ingredient coming.  that means the right people, opportunities are in your future, and if you’ll get your passion back, and start moving forward, you’ll see what God promised, it will all come together and work out for your good.  some people are bitter on life because they haven’t waited for all the ingredients to come together;  the scripture talks about how God has planned your days for good from beginning to end, God knows exactly what to add and when to add it, He’s not gonna leave out an important ingredient, He’s going to put in just the right amount, at just the right time, so you can become everything He’s created you to be.  sometimes in life, it may feel like things are flat, in your career, marriage, finances, but don’t get discouraged, there’s another ingredient coming;  all God has to do is add some of His baking soda and you’ll rise to a new level.

when Chef Emeril adds an ingredient he says “BAM”;  just imagine at the right time God, BAM, adds a little favor to your life, it’s not flat anymore, things begin to take off.  BAM, a good break.  BAM, a healing.  maybe your child’s off course, “I don’t know what I did wrong, I raised him in church, I just don’t understand it,” no, you didn’t do anything wrong, relax, there’s a BAM coming.  God knows how to get him on the right course;  at the right time God will add just the right ingredient that will cause him to rise up and fulfill his God-given destiny.  I don’t know about you, but I’m expecting some BAM’s.  you have not seen your best days, reached your full potential, God has ingredients coming your way that will thrust you to a new level, that are going to cause everything to make sense, when God brings it all together, and you see the fullness of what He was doing, you’re not gonna worry about who hurt you, what you lost, how unfair it was, you’re gonna look back and say, “wow, God, You’re amazing, You had it all figured out.  Your plan was better than my plan, You gave me beauty for ashes, You made a way when I didn’t see a way, You had just the right people show up at just the right time.”  why don’t you trust Him?  you may not understand something right now, but one day you will, it’s going to all come together

the mistake we make too often is we isolate one incident and it causes us to lose our passion.  I had a lady tell me recently how her husband of many years left her for another woman;  she was so devastated, she couldn’t understand it.  I know that’s hard, that’s painful, but that is not the end;  if that person leaving was going to keep you from your destiny, God would have never allowed it;  this may be hard to swallow, but if they left you, you didn’t need them, if they walked away, they weren’t a part of your destiny.  there’s another ingredient coming, somebody better, somebody that God ordained, somebody that will treat you like a queen or a king, somebody that will value you, celebrate you, somebody that cannot live without you.  there’s something called the gift of goodbye;  they may think they did you harm, but they’re doing you a favor, blow them a kiss, don’t ever look back, just keep moving forward.

now some of you, you gotta quit mourning over what you’ve lost, quit being discouraged over what didn’t work out, it’s not over until God says it’s over.  I heard somebody say, “God always ends on ‘all is well’.”  so if all is not well in your life, that simply means it is not the end;  keep moving forward, another ingredient is coming.  a lot of times people are soured on life because they can’t understand why something has happened.  everything is not going to make sense if you isolate it;   if you look at it just on its own, you’ll get discouraged;  you have to remind yourself it is not yet all come together, it’s not supposed to make sense by itself.  it has to all be mixed together.  you cannot isolate one part of your life, and think, “Oh, this tastes bad, I went through a divorce, I had a lousy childhood, look what I’ve been through.”  that’s not supposed to taste good by itself, you’ve gotta wait for God to bring it all together, He’s got another ingredient that He’s gonna add to your life.

that person that left you, that’s painful, that’s bitter on its own, but when God brings it all together, and brings you somebody greater than you ever dreamed of, you’re not even gonna miss that old goat that left you, all the bitterness will be gone.  it’s just a matter of time before it comes together.  the person that lied about you, tried to ruin your reputation, by itself that tastes bad, but that’s only one ingredient;  God knows how to vindicate you, make wrongs right, He can prepare a table before you in the presence of your enemies.  when it all comes together and you’re promoted, living your dreams, fulfilling your destiny, it will taste good.  when you’re facing that sickness, maybe having to take the treatment, it’s easy to think, “God’s not even concerned about me, look what I’m going through,” no, God has you in the palm of His hand, He said no weapon formed against you will prosper, weeping may endure for a night, here’s the promise, joy is coming in the morning.  God is saying, “it may get tough, you may face some situations that are bitter, but if you’ll stay in faith and not let the bitterness get on the inside,” God says, “I’m not at a loss, I have another ingredient that can turn the bitter into sweet”

we received an unexpected tax bill in the mail, the man that was doing our tax returns lived in another state, he wasn’t familiar with a certain tax law in this state. we owed thousands and thousands of dollars. over half of what we owed were in penalties.  I thought, “God, this is not fair, I hired a professional, he messed up, now I’m having to pay for his mistakes.”  we were discouraged.  we were a young couple, we were trying to save $, and this was going to take all of our funds.  we ended up finding this man to help us get it straightened out;  he was a tax attorney.  for several weeks he was at our house every night, going over the documents, filling out new forms.  we ended up becoming very good friends.

10 years later, I was working in the television department here, a man stopped me before service and said his cousin had a construction permit for the last full-power commercial television station for this city, he’d like you to be a part of it.  a TV station in a major market is extremely valuable.  I didn’t know where to start, I was young, I didn’t know anything about negotiating a contract for a  TV station. then it dawned on me;  I’ll call my attorney friend, the one I met during my tax problem.  in 3 months he handed us a contract-the station was ours.  3 years later, we acquired this place, we found out it was going to cost about $100 million to renovate, so we decided to sell the TV station.  we sold it for a huge profit;  it was those funds that were instrumental in us renovating this place.  when it all comes together it’ll make sense;  that tax problem on its own was very bitter, it didn’t seem fair, but had I not had that problem I would have never met the attorney and become good friends, without the attorney I would’ve probably never pursued the TV station, without the TV station we may not have been able to renovate this facility like we really wanted to.

God knows what He’s doing, He’s got it all figured out.  in life, you will face situations that don’t make sense, on their own it seems bitter, you may think like I did, “God, it’s not fair, why is this happening?” lemme assure you, God has a plan, there’s another ingredient coming, somewhere down the road, in a month, in a year, in 20 years, you’re going to see God work it all for your good.  when you face these situations that don’t make sense, it’s very powerful to say, “God, I don’t understand it, but I trust You.  God it doesn’t seem fair, but I know You’re fair.  I’m not going to get bitter, lose my passion, I’m going to keep pressing forward knowing that You are in complete control.”  nothing in life happens TO you, it happens FOR you.   God wouldn’t have allowed it if He didn’t have a purpose.  if that bad break was going to keep you from your destiny, God would have never permitted it.  the enemy is not in control of your life, God is in control.  the enemy can’t even touch you without asking God for permission.  keep the right perspective;  instead of getting bitter, discouraged, no, our attitude should be, “this is not happening to me, it’s happening for me.  God said He is gonna take what’s meant for my harm and use it to my advantage.  it may be bitter right now, but I know another ingredient is coming.”

sometimes what we think is a disappointment is God simply getting us in position to go to a new level.  God wouldn’t have allowed it unless He had a purpose;  it may not make sense right now, but one day when it comes together it will make sense.  there’s a proper time for grieving, but you can’t let a season of mourning turn into a lifetime of mourning.  Naomi means “my joy,” she lost her husband and sons and changed her name to Mara, which means “sorrow.”  you may have been through a loss, maybe a dream has died, don’t let life change your name, there’s another ingredient coming, God still has something great in your future, He has not forgotten about you, God sees every sparrow, every little bird that falls to the ground, how much more is God concerned about you?  the depth of your past is an indication of the height of your future;  the taller the building, the deeper the foundation.

you may have been through an unfair situation, lost a loved one, friend betrayed you, it would be easy to get discouraged and just settle there, but you have to realize God’s going down deep, because He has something big in your future, you may be low right now, but He’s getting you prepared to go high.  there are new levels of joy, influence, new opportunities, relationships, up ahead of you, don’t let what you’ve been through become your identity, don’t become known as the person that had cancer, the person that lost a loved one, that’s not who you are, that’s what you went through, you are a child of the most high God, created in His image, with a destiny to fulfill, your name is not sadness, sorrow, defeat, mediocrity, your name is victory, joy, favor, abundance, bright future.  no matter what life deals you, you gotta have the attitude “I am in it to win it, I may have been through a lot, but I’ve come too far to stop now, I’m not going to get negative, live bitter, I’m gonna keep moving forward, I know what’s in my future is greater than what’s in my past.”  God is not going to allow one event or person to ruin your life, your destiny cannot be stopped by a bad break, an injustice, an unfair situation, all the forces of darkness cannot stop what God has ordained.  yes, you’ll have to fight off the bitterness, self-pity, resentment, but if you’ll keep moving forward the right ingredients will come.

Psalm 31:1 (Aramaic Bible in Plain English)

I have hoped in you, Lord Jehovah; I shall never be disappointed; deliver me in your righteousness!

yes, we may have temporary setbacks, sure we’ll have temporary disappointments, but if you’ll keep hoping, trusting, honoring God, then you will see how God will work it all together for your good.  you will not be permanently disappointed.  God is saying. “even when life turns out bitter, even when it’s unfair, I’m not at a loss, I still have an ingredient that can turn your bitter waters into sweet”

Romans 11:29 (ESV)

29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable

you may make mistakes, you may go through some failures, but God does not change His mind, His calling is still on your life, He still has a destiny for you to fulfill;  if you fall down, you gotta get back up and get in the game, God has another ingredient that will turn your bitter waters into sweet.  some of you have gone through disappointments, maybe you’ve made poor choices, now you’re beating yourself up, no passion, no dreams, you’ve gotta get back in the game.  it starts by forgiving yourself, receive God’s mercy, quit listening to the condemning voices, that mistake did not stop God’s plan, shake off the self-pity and move forward, and you’ll see God add another ingredient.  as David said

Acts 2:26 (The Message)

26 I’m glad from the inside out, ecstatic; I’ve pitched my tent in the land of hope.

do you know God has another ingredient?  do you believe that together it’s all going to work for your good?  or, are you doing like Naomi and letting life change your name, can’t understand why something has happened?  if you want to see God’s favor, see God add new ingredients, you’ve gotta pack up your belongings and move out of the land of discouragement, it’s time to leave Self Pity Estates, move out of the “nothing good ever happens to me” subdivision, and come on over to the land of hope, faith, where you know BAM’s are in your future.  when life tries to push you down, and you face situations you don’t understand, don’t isolate them, don’t try to figure it out, and say “oh man, this doesn’t taste good,” remember, that’s not the whole recipe, that’s just one ingredient, God wouldn’t have allowed it unless He had a purpose.  it’s not happening to you, it’s happening for you, God’s going to use it to your advantage.  many of you have been faithful, you passed the test, done the right thing when the wrong thing was happening, you need to get ready, God’s about to add an ingredient.  that person you’ve been waiting for, BAM, they’re about to show up, that problem that’s dogged you for years, BAM, a breakthrough, BAM, vindication. that dream you’ve been believing for, BAM, a good break, BAM a divine connection, I want you to go out expecting some BAM’s this week.  if you will keep your tent pitched in the land of hope, God promises you will never be permanently disappointed;  at just the right time He’s going to add just the right ingredients,  together it’s going to all work out for your good

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Saturday quotes

Biblegateway’s quote of the day is a favorite of mine:

Romans 12:2 (NIV)

Do not conform 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.

My mind IS being renewed, literally made new;  I’m learning to transcend my nature and be the person He wants me to be, as I’ve always asked to be.  He is helping me to overcome my “10 eyes for an eye” nature and be willing to embrace a wrongdoer with love and forgiveness.

From the random Bible quote generators:

Psalm 147:3 (NIV)

He heals the brokenhearted
    and binds up their wounds.

The brokenhearted, that’s me, and He IS healing me.  I also got:

Isaiah 26:8 (ESV)

In the path of your judgments,
    O Lord, we wait for you;
your name and remembrance
    are the desire of our soul.

which I liked, which a search revealed is followed by:

Isaiah 26:9 (ESV)

My soul yearns for you in the night;
    my spirit within me earnestly seeks you…

which I loved.  Not a flashy day, but I’ve had plenty of those recently;  any day I find new scripture that I enjoy is a good day.

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