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When Ignorance Dances

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God’s Thoughts to Me

For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? (Isaiah 43:19, NLT)

Blind Faith

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I am lost in the lifeless lexicon of my life, straining to see words, striving to give form and shape to random thoughts drifting on the waves of confusion.

But letters seem to dance a mocking dance in a dry wasteland, taunting me to follow them into surrender, to trap me in transition.

The Lion whispers, “Come, taste and see!”.

My eyes are blind to see the Spirit of Love, entreating my faint, feeble heart to follow into an unfamiliar new milieu where my feet stumble through a maze of unfamiliar words telling the story of faith that doesn’t see.

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My desires are piqued, my heart besotted and smitten with love for the One pursuing me, the One whom my heart desires.

But I am trapped in a sticky web of a lonely, self-serving world where even my tears are captives. A world where the faceless ones get lost in a void of nonentity.

I strain to see beyond this nothingness where I cannot even perceive darkness … ignorant of the Host of Heaven harnessing my stubborn mind.

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I am blind to the unfolding of a new story leading deeper into the Resurrected Lexicon of Love … oblivious to the weaning of my fickle emotions … desiring to be fed with delicate, emotional confectionary.

The Lion whispers, “Come my darling, taste and see that I am good!”.

But still my heart clings to beautiful ideas how to transform my thoughts into soap bells filled with beauty, bubbling with laughter and joy, frolicking as in days gone by.

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I am hiding in my inmost heart where I cannot even see the twilight of the life I once lived … lost in stasis … unable to perceive the darkness of the role I used to play in the theatre of life.

My theorem of logic has vanished into thin air and skewed perceptions … finitely small … where snow angels defy reality …  in a world that continues to wake up in the mornings and slumbers at night.

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The Lion touches my eyes with His kisses of delight, showing me freedom embraced in His arms, whispering, “How beautiful you are, My darling. Come, taste and see My love, My treasure, My bride.”

Much love and sweet blessings xx

Mia

Linking-up with Lisa-Jo and the ladies of my Tea-Time and Link-Up page.

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The Last Dance

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God’s Thoughts to Me

Today, when you hear His voice, don’t harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled (Hebrews 3:15 , NLT).

Introduction

imageToday I have the honor of introducing a dear friend, Rachel Haas. My heart sings to the same tune as hers.

Rachel is the most talented writer I have met in a long time and I wish my introduction could have been accompanied by a drum roll.

Rachel’s blog is the only one my husband follows faithfully. Thank you, Rachel for trusting me with your words and all your patience. You are a special lady.

To visit her, just click on her photo. Over to you, Rachel …

My Bleeding Heart

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I grew up in the right places. I grew up a good Christian girl, the right kind of person with the right kind of friends.

I had a WWJD bracelet and I knew every step to the dance of Christianity.

I was one of “those people,” the kind that got saved before she started kindergarten, who never drank or smoke or partied.

I was a good girl.

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That is, until I started asking questions.

I had no idea what lay on the other side of that door. None. I had never dared even peek outside. They said there was fire and brimstone on the other side.

There were questions there, the kind that belied faith and stripped away the supposed surety I had in the parroted Christianity that I had been embracing since my four-year old lips had formed the Sinner’s Prayer.

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They didn’t realize that I was already asking questions.

They expected me to walk on water.

They placed emulating their picture of Jesus on a pedestal, gesturing grandly in the direction of their Jesus-shaped golden calf.

I had two choices: bow down and embrace the floor, where I belonged or turn around and walk out the door.

And so I stood up, dropped the facade, took my husband’s hand, and together we walked out the door.

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That was step one. It would be another two years before I even considered taking another step. That first motion of foot in front of foot had been frightening enough.

I had thoughts, a whirlwind of questions that churned inside me, but I had no idea what to do with them. So I wrote them down.

Privately, of course, never even dreaming of voicing them where anyone else might happen to catch a glimpse of my tumult. I mentioned it to this friend, or that, and the responses were always the same: be careful. You know better.

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And maybe I did know better. But that wasn’t exactly going to stop me.

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I stopped seeing the sanitized Jesus after that. I’m not sure when it happened, but something had started to break inside me.

There was a damn with water churning and frothing behind it, waiting for the moment when I would pull out my finger and let the levy break.

I had to drown.

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And I had to be the one who said yes.

I went under the water, hair tangled and mud on my feet. I came up drenched and messy. I found myself blinking in a new Light. I discovered a new kind of faith, almost the opposite of what I had been taught growing up.

There was nothing tidy about this Jesus. He was dirty and bloody and human, Word made flesh. I started seeing myself in a new way.

Yes, I have walked away from the name “Christian.” I can’t stomach the taste in my mouth right now. But that’s all it is: a name. Jesus is not defined by the name His children are called by others.

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I am the boy Shasta whispering in the darkness to the Thing unseen, “who are You?”

And the gentle roaring comes back, a whisper on the breeze, a sacred breathing on my face.

“Myself.”

Rachel

P.S. Thank you so much, dear Rachel, for allowing us to accompany you for a while on your walk with Jesus.

Thank you to everyone who supported and encouraged me this year and I wish you all a great New Year filled chok-a-blog with Jesus. Thanks for blessing me with  the honor of having you as guests at my blog. You are all so precious and loved.

Sweet blessings xx

Mia

Linking-up with the ladies at my Tea Time and Link-Up page.

Boys and Their Toys

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God’s Thoughts to Me

My child, listen when your father corrects you. Don’t neglect your mother’s instruction (Proverbs 1:8, NLT).

To learn, you must love discipline; it is stupid to hate correction (Proverbs 12:1).

Introduction

imageToday I am honored again by a special friend, Floyd Samons, who  is sharing dearly acquired wisdom from the school of life.

Floyd, thank you for all your support this year, helping me to keep my blog going when I was to ill to write. You are truly a brother of my heart.

Floyd blogs at The Regoi and I can assure you that his place is a treasure chest of wisdom and just plain good old common sense. To visit him, just click on his photo. Over to you:

Gifts from Christmas Passed

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As another Christmas rolls around I, like everyone else, remember the ones from my past and especially the ones from my childhood.

I remember the presents, the food, the gratified looks on my parents faces regardless how lean the year, and the words at Christmas.

I recall the old black Bible with spider web cracks in the leather from use and age that my dad opened to Luke and read from every year before any of us impatient kids could yank a bow or rip a wrapper.

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They were the words of God offered by my dad’s gentle voice. I fall into thoughts and lessons from just one of many I got from the man I miss dearly and  remember with honor at Christmas.

Money was burning a hole in my pocket, but it was my money to burn, or so I thought.

“Me and Steve want to buy a boat,” I announced to my dad.

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“A boat?”

“Yeah, like a canoe only better, we can fish and stuff,” I explained.

“How you gonna get it to the lake?” my dad asked casually.

“Steve’s dad will take us out there,” I answered, trying to hide my disappointment in his lack of enthusiasm.

“I don’t know if that’s such a good idea, son?” he answered and I knew was the beginning of a long way around the bend where we would eventually arrive at “no.”

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As a last resort I threw out the desperation declaration, “It’s my money!” My dad took it in stride and while I can’t recall his exact words, I do recall they had something to do with it indeed being my money.

Yet, it was his responsibility to not let me blow it or do something that didn’t make good sense… Like buying a boat twenty miles from the lake as a freshman in high school with a football buddy as my partner…

The four hundred bucks that I’d worked for was safe and out of my complete control as I poured sweat and some blood into construction jobs in Arizona.

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For the next two simmering summers I saved my money for the best thing ever in the history of the whole wide world, even better than all the Christmas gifts combined; my first car.

Add that first muscle car and the freedom that comes with it to the sweet taste of gratification that comes from earning something at great sacrifice, and a kid has the ingredients and discipline that they can use for the rest of their lives…

How does a person learn self discipline and self control if they haven’t been taught how it works? How does a person learn self respect if they don’t learn how to respect others?

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I remember being so angry with my dad that my throat ached… Here’s the kicker; I knew he was right.  Even at the time of indiscreet ignorance, I knew it was, but I didn’t care about tomorrow… I wanted to live for that day.

His lesson taught me that waiting and using discipline returned dividends that taste much sweeter than quick fixes for a greedy and impatient flesh.

The lust of our flesh can’t ever truly be satisfied without wisdom from our heavenly Father to keep in check.

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For now, only God knows which of us was more proud the day my dad drove my car for the first time with me riding shotgun…

Funny thing about wise people, they never have to say things like, “I told you so.” They say things like, “This is a nice car, son… I sure am proud of you…”

Wishing you and yours the best gifts and treasures this Christmas season, the kind that can’t be calculated by a number, the kinds that are stored in our minds, hearts, and eternal souls.

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Merry Christmas, God bless you.

Floyd

P.s. Thanks again, Floyd, you are a dear precious friend!

Sweet blessings xx

Mia

I am linking-up with the ladies at my Tea Time and Link-Up page.

The Faceless Ones

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God’s Thought’s to Me

“For he has not ignored or belittled the suffering of the needy, he has not turned his back on them, but has listened to their cries for help.” (Ps. 22;24, NLT)

“I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.” (Mat.25:43(b), NLT)

Introduction

imageToday I am so honored to introduce my friend, Joy Lenton. She is a very special lady who suffers from ME/CFS and arthritis.

Joy is a mother and wife to her husband, Phil. She used to work as a nurse before becoming chronically ill.

Joy and her husband live in Norfolk, United Kingdom. To visit her blog, just click on her picture. Thank you, dear friend, for blessing me by being a guest at my place. Over to you.

The Girl with Light in Her Eyes

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Sadly those who are too sick to work have to contend with issues of shame. In a society where we are “framed, boxed, categorised, sifted, found wanting in society’s eyes” as I wrote about in the poem here, we experience deep frustration at being pigeon-holed and stigmatized.

It all impacts our lives adversely, affecting our relationships and connections with others.

On the rare occasions when I am alone downstairs in the house and have to answer the door during a late morning/afternoon/evening period in my night-clothes, wearing  bed-head hair, a dazed, sleepy expression and a veneer of embarrassment, …

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…I either say nothing (for such a state is normal to those who know me) or mumble something like, “Please excuse me, I’m unwell today” to those I don’t.

Then I hasten to close the door as fast as possible to avoid curious stares from neighbours or passers-by who may wonder what they are seeing.

I just want them to understand I am sick rather than lazy. Does it always take a stick or wheelchair to convince people we are ill?

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As someone who used to be thought of as attractive, took a fair amount of time and trouble over her appearance, sought out clothes to enhance and suit my figure, it is a far cry from those days to be where I am now .

I am almost permanently pyjama-clad due to the time I spend resting in bed or too exhausted to make the effort required to get up and dressed,  and I’m far too weary to let it worry me as it would have done before.

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I have a body that doesn’t walk like it should, lists and comes to a halt after a very short distance, is riddled with and swollen-jointed by arthritis, sinks wearily under M.E fatigue.

I have a face marked by the effects of over 20 years of chronic illness, exhaustion, pain, medication-taking, as well as the natural ageing process. I feel ashamed of my appearance at times. It doesn’t reflect how I feel on the inside.

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Though I’m far busier these days trying to work on the inner beauty that endures and cannot be taken away. To feel ashamed just for being ill is an additional burden we don’t need. And, yes, there are other areas of shame that have a great impact on relationships.

One of those is having experienced childhood sexual abuse. To have precious innocence taken and adult things pressed on a mind and body too young to understand them is a horrible thing indeed.

Those of us who have experienced it feel that we not only carry a huge scarlet letter ‘S’ for shame hanging around our necks, but have it imprinted on our very souls.

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Many who carry this shame stigma also carry a burden of emotional trauma, often leading to mental and physical illness, whereby the acid accumulation seems to leach into our very frame causing deep emotional/physical pain and disorder.

It can take a great deal of time, wrestling, prayer, struggle, pain, counseling, and much Holy Spirit input and help to work through the devastating legacy it leaves us with.

Full emotional healing cannot be rushed. So why share these things? Aren’t they meant to be private? Well, yes, and no.

The minutiae of how people deal with these issues is something for them to work out individually and together as a couple. But the sadness and frustration they cause is something to make known if it will help even one other person to feel less isolated and alone.

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Actually, it’s the hiding, shaming and embarrassment that keeps us from feeling understood or getting the support we need.

When your daily life experience lacks most of the defining vestiges of normality, it tends to reduce life to a drive to appear normal in the midst of personal chaos. And to a drive to see lives changed, with health and wholeness restored….one day.

In our image-obsessed society and culture, all of us who fail to manifest the perceived ‘norm’ ideal can be left feeling totally inadequate and shamed. Much depends on where we place our worth and value and where others do too.

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“We are “normal” in God’s eyes when we demonstrate endurance and long-suffering, when we keep looking to the unseen things. This is the normal Christian life” ~ Joni Eareckson Tada ‘Daily Devotionals’.

Let me reassure you, my friend, we are ‘normal’ right now, even when our lives and bodies may feel anything but, no matter how well or badly we function, no matter our level of disability. Man looks at the outward appearance but God looks at the heart.

If, in naming and discussing these issues I can bring a greater degree of clarity, understanding, empathy or practical solution-finding to the mix then it will have been worthwhile.

We need to speak out. To air our concerns. To make invisible illness visible. To open up a forum for discussion so that others who suffer like-wise (and those who may follow after) will be assisted to live as fully and freely as God intended.

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For God the Father is not ashamed to call us His children who are restored, whole, beloved, precious and beautiful in His sight as He looks at us through the lens of Christ our Lord and Saviour.

Much love and sweet blessings xx

Mia

God vs Goodies

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God’s Thoughts to Me

The Christian understands God as the unique source of all good and himself as absolutely needy in relation to Him (Karl Barth).

So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him (Luke 11:13, NLT).

“Why do you call Me good?” Jesus asked. “Only God is truly good” (Mark 10:18, NLT).

God’s Good Father Heart

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There was a time when I used to have a totally inflated opinion about anyone carrying a lofty title like pastor, bishop, reverend, priest, prophet, evangelist and so forth.

I had a unique way of acting in the presence of any “man from God”. I think when we want to be honest, most of us are quite familiar with that hushed, pious tone of voice, quoting as much Scripture as possible.

We subtly recite our latest list of “good” deeds, using only high-sounding language, lavishly laced with all the latest religious jargon.

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In other words and just plain good old English: I was a humongous hypocrite trying very hard to impress our Pappa through this person!

And mentally I was tallying everything I should rather not talk about in this holy man’s presence. Oh, why do we do this kind of nonsense? But I had an even bigger problem.

Whenever I read Jesus’ words to the religionists who had a big goody-bag to hand out nice thingies like bread instead of stones, or an egg instead of a scorpion to their children, I thought that I had found the key to unlock the storehouses of heaven.

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My religious mindset was deceived into believing that being and doing good would result in health, wealth and prosperity.

Conveniently, I didn’t see the part where Pappa offers us His Spirit as His “good things”. Until it finally dawned on me that goodness according to the world’s and religious standards differs greatly from the goodness of God.

Paul does not beat around the bush when He tells us that no good thing dwells in man and there is no one who truly does good (Romans 3:11-12).

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In the Garden of Eden Adam already thought he could decide for himself what good and evil were. I don’t think he realized that evil existed only in the absence of God, for goodness is the exclusive attribute of God.

We, as mere mortals, are incapable of exhibiting the righteous, good character of our Pappa. When we look at the Law, we see that it is an expression of His character and His alone.

We are created as derivative creatures and we derive our spirituality from one of two sources: either the evil one, or our heavenly Father! In the Garden Adam had one of two choices: believing God or lending out his ears to Satan.

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Only in the absence of God’s goodness, do we find evil … in the absence of His love, hate … in the absence of His life, death … truth, lies … light, darkness. He alone is the preserver of life, content, personal and relational!

How absurd to think that we can somehow formulate a prayer as a sort of discipline or work with which we can get our Pappa to cater to our desires through our persistent nagging.

I sometimes wonder what happened to, “Into your Hands I commit my spirit. Father, glorify your Name!”.

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When we trust a law of prayer, especially when we put our hope in a proper prayer technique or words, we are back to trusting ourselves!

Those dear ones who are illiterate or those who don’t have a Bible, cannot pray the words from the Bible back to their Pappa; a new bandwagon on the religious scene!

They do not have the “advantage” of their educated brethren of using the written words of their God as a talisman to charm their Pappa into compliance.

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I often cannot even think two straight thoughts in a row due to Fibrofog, never mind remembering the rules of prayer. At such times, I can only sigh in His Presence.

Before the Truth had set me free of this folly, my inability to pray “important” prayers, would usually send me on a major guilt trip!

Oh, what a joy when His freedom dawned on me and I realized that in order to receive the good things of God, His sweet Holy Spirit, I only had to ask!! So simple … so uncomplicated … so incredibly childlike!

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Our Pappa God is the greatest friend of mankind. He loves us with an everlasting love. He knows all our needs and mostly ignores our greeds. Even “No” is sometimes the best answer!

When we are willing to rely on Him, and on nothing or no one else, as our sole provider, we are finally able to go to Him, empty-handed and without any religious garb.

James Fowler describes it so beautifully where he says, “I cannot; only You can. I have not; only You have. I seek; only You can supply”.

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Our Pappa’s father heart rejoices whenever His children come to Him, assured of and trusting His unconditional love and shamelessly, yet desperately admit their total dependence on His goodness, His love, His grace, actually, on Him and Him alone!

Much love and sweet blessings

Mia

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He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother

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God’s Thoughts to Me

I no longer call you slaves, because a master does not confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me (John 15:14, NLT).

Jesus asked, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” Then He pointed to His disciples and said, “Anyone who does the will of my Father  in heaven is my brother and sister and mother!” (Matthew 12:48-50, NLT).

My Friend, My Brother

In 1969 Bob Russel, who was dying of cancer of the lymph nodes, and Bobby Scott met in person only three times.

That was enough for these two guys to write the beautiful ballad, He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother. It was released the same year by the Hollies and topped the charts in both the UK and the USA.

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There was a time when I was totally bowed over by all the baggage of my past, desperately ill and totally alone.

It will suffice to say that I was totally, as in really totally, alone  and rejected by even my disbelieving husband and children.

Yet, my spirit was soaring on the wings of the Wind. He gently carried me, cradling me against His breast, while whispering softly to my heart, “You ain’t heavy, dear one, you are mine!”.

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When I was truly groveling in the mud of sin and self-contempt, with only a few hungry pigs as company, I could hear His words of comfort and love.

Not long ago I asked Him why He was so close to me when everyone else was looking down  on me with utter disgust because of my incredible load of sin.

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He gently informed me that He saw my heart, He knew my pain, He heard my cries for help.

Besides, He was in the business of binding up the broken hearted, setting the captives free and seeking and saving the lost.

He reminded me that He is my friend who is closer than a brother … a bridegroom giving His life for His bride … a God who is far above and beyond the ability of mankind to fathom.

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He is close to the suffering … He never leaves them, nor forsakes them … He is the Friend of sinners … He carries them close to His heart … He envelopes them in His Loving Embrace.

Much love XX

Mia

Linking-up with

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The Rest of The Have Nots

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God’s Thought’s to Me

At that time Jesus prayed this prayer, “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike. Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way” (Matthew 11:25-26, NLT).

The Childlike

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There was a time when I was a potbellied, gluttonous religious snob. The repertoire of my snobbishness consisted of a mountainous rubble heap of useless knowledge and education about the Scriptures.

Oh, and I had nearly all the current religious conventions and newest gimmicks under my belt.

I looked down my snobbish nose at the have nots, the uneducated, the ignorant, the prostitutes who annointed our Lord Jesus’ feet with their tears and the detestable tax collectors climbing trees to catch a glimpse of their Lord.

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The childlike who were open and honest to recognize and perceive their spiritual ignorance and need to run into the open Arms of their Pappa God and receive the rest our Lord promised.

I was marching to the beat of all the newest prophets doing the religious rounds and their innovations, but I could never find that much coveted rest.

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When I was thrown to the proverbial ground like Paul by a gentle voice from heaven, I heard no condemnation, no rebuke, no hatred or I-told-you-so. My Pappa knew I didn’t know what I was doing.

No, I heard the gentle invitation of our Lord Jesus to come to Him for He knew I was so incredibly heavily burdened and yoked beyond my ability to endure with the ways of the world. He offered me His yoke of love, grace, mercy and compassion.

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He offered me His life, His soft and easy yoke, His rest. Like a mother, He gathered me into His arms and fed me with pure spiritual milk as I learned to rest at His breast, cuddled in His Loving Embrace.

Much love xx

Mia

I am grateful to link-up again with a wonderful bunch of ladies at Five Minute Friday. Join us at

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Also with Sandra
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