Posted in Childlikeness, Emily Wierenga, Everlasting Father, Faith of a Child, God's Father Heart, James Fowler, Spirituality

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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Posted in Chronic Ilness, Constant Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Finding Heaven Today, Girl Meets Paper, God's Father Heart, Invisible Illness, Jennifer Dukes Lee, Michelle De Rusha, Monday Morning Meditations, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Playdates at the Wellspring, Shepherds, Soli Deo Gloria, Spirituality, Suffering, The Love of God, Walking with God

The Shepherd from Heaven

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God’s Thoughts to Me

He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will carry His lambs in His arms, holding them close to His heart. He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young (Isaiah 40:11, NLT).

He Feeds Us

Today is the beginning of the International Fibromyalgia/ME Awareness Week. Although research is only in its infancy, we look forward to progress and perhaps a breakthrough in the near future.

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Due to unbelief, many if not most sufferers, received very bad and hostile treatment from the medical profession.

But at least we are finally beginning to be acknowledged as human beings with a real and quite disabling disease.

Isaiah 40:11 reminds us so wonderfully of how well the good Shepherd from heaven takes care of mothers and their children.

He cares for the broken ones, the weak, the sick, the unimportant, the unwanted and the rejected of this world. They only need to come to Him.

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When my son, Simon, was in Grade 11, we had to buy text books for Grade 12 when the Grade 12 pupils were selling their old books second-hand at a much lower price than new books.

I recall the week when we had to pay about R600 (around $67) for two text books as well as payment for the initiation camp for the following year’s Grade 12 learners.

It was in the middle of the month and we were stone, cold broke with only a few pennies we had to rub together in any case. Yet, I knew I had a Pappa who promised to take care of all our needs.

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The morning the payment was due, we still had not received our Lord’s provision, but I assured my children that the money would be paid before the end of the day.

When they left for school, I had a serious talk with my God, reminding Him that today is D-day and we still were empty-handed (or rather empty pocketed).

He told me to go to the ATM, and of course I stubbornly had to argue a bit, for the previous day when I checked, I was taunted by a big, round zero. Oh, those trust issues!!!!

At the word of our Lord, in the famous Peter style with the fishing nets, reluctantly, off to the ATM I went.

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I found that double the amount we needed was paid back to us from the Receiver of Revenue. We were overjoyed and my children’s faith grew with leaps and bounds.

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One would think that I was now cured of my stubbornness. Oh no, not this one. As a Fm/CFS sufferer, I had my fair share of unbelief, rejection and neglect from doctors, church people and also family and friends.

To such an extent that I landed up in the proverbial pig pen; not because of my foolishness, but because I had no one to care for me when I couldn’t take care of myself. Nobody believed that I was really ill.

But I was never alone. I could hear my Pappa screaming in my pain and suffering. Faithfully He was working in His normal mysterious ways to perform His wonders in my life.

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The shepherds of ancient times would break the legs of the lambs that constantly wandered away.

Then he would set the leg and carry the lamb on his shoulder until the leg was healed. After that the lamb would remain by the shepherd’s side for the rest of its life.

Pappa knew of my stubborn propensities to be a master performer to earn everyone’s love and approval.

With my religious mindset, I just could not believe that I already was loved and accepted by our God.

Because of His amazing love, He did what the shepherds did with their stubborn, wandering lambs. Allowing Fm/ME in my life, He “broke” my legs.

With such tender care and love, He gently set it as well and carried me around His neck until I was healed of my stubbornness and insecurities.

I have learned how good it is when my Beloved Shepherd Himself feeds me with the milk of His love… His grace … His life and compassion.

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Fm/CFS has taught me how to always walk with our Lord and never ever to leave His side again.

Even though we suffer greatly at times, I am so grateful for the wonder and joy of walking daily with our God … for the privilege of living in His Loving Embrace.

Love and sweet blessings

Mia

We all have experienced how our Lord has provided in miraculous ways. Please, share His goodness with us!
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Posted in Fibromyalgia, Five Minute Fridays, God's Father Heart, Lisa-Jo Baker, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis

The Gift Of Pain

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God’s Thoughts to Me

He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others (2 Corinthians 1:4, NLT)

His Loving Embrace

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Philip Yancey and Dr Paul Brandt are the co-authors of the book, The Gift of Pain. Dr Brandt was born in India to missionary parents and became a missionary doctor in Vellore, India for fifty years.

He was the first physician who discovered that leprosy did not cause the rotting away of tissue, but it was the loss of the sensation of pain that made the sufferers susceptible to injury.

Dr Paul Brandt
Dr Paul Brandt

This dear man knew from experience the wonderful gift of pain. A year or two ago I discovered the truth of his words when I was in the grip of excruciating Fibromyalgia pain.

As the strongest pain killers could only dull the sharpest edge of this sword ripping through my body, I went to lie down.

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I was drawing near to my Pappa, asking Him to just hold me for I was unable to carry this burden alone. Like Jesus, I also needed someone to help me carry this cross. He mercifully hushed me to sleep.

Later, with my eyes still closed, I could feel my husband’s arms embracing me close to his heart.

I opened my eyes, only to find my dearest lying far away from me on his side of the bed, fast asleep. His gentle snoring told me that he was having a good time in the Land of Dreams. I was confused for there was no one holding me.

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Then I heard Pappa whispering that it was Him, not my husband, hugging me close, just as I had asked Him to do.

He was cuddling me gently against His breast … He was enveloping me with His compassion … He was comforting me in His Loving Embrace.

Much love

Mia

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Posted in Chronic Ilness, Constant Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Finding Heaven Today, God's Father Heart, Imperfect Prose, Jennifer Dukes Lee, Monday Morning Meditations, Relationship vs Religion, Tell His Story, The Love of God

The Sacrament of Living

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God’s Thoughts to Me

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward (Colossians 3:23-24, NIV).

Let a man sanctify the Lord God in his heart and he can thereafter do no common act … For such a man, living itself will be sacramental. As he performs his never so simple task, he will hear the voice of the seraphim saying, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of Hosts. The whole world is full of His glory.” (A.W.Tozer – The Pursuit of God).

The Housewife Syndrome

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The yardstick of this world is a mighty weapon leaving many, many casualties in its wake. A major disease that is a result of this monster, is the housewife syndrome.

This disease is as old as time and no cure has ever been found. No amount of psychology or common sense is totally able to heal this illness. It has ingrained its lies deep in the hearts of its victims.

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Most of us become skilled in the game of comparing very early in life and we soon measure our worth on the scales of performance. And this, at least, is one thing I used to be able to perform with excellence!

Ever since my boys were small, I used to be just a housewife, a wife and a mother. I considered myself to be quite low on the scale of importance and were plagued by feelings of guilt for burying my talents in the ground.

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Who will ever consider doing laundry, scrubbing floors, cooking meals, ironing, making beds, etc, etc, etc, to be a noble vocation! Definitely not me for I was quite snobbish.

Helping my husband to keep the pot boiling, I designed children’s clothing. I was an excellent seamstress and worked into the early morning hours sewing the most beautiful clothes. Yet, in my eyes this was still a common profession.

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Another cohort contributing mightily to this whole shebang is the world of religion. The religious elite is not innocent in this folly and most have their own set of performance rules and regulations to keep the wheels of the cart rolling!

I recall the time when the medical profession was unable to provide an explanation for my Fm/CFS. Well, my husband did not understand it either. In the beginning he was not supportive, believing this illness to be just a figment of my imagination.

This was a hard time for both of us for I was unable to fulfill my duties and he worked very hard. One day he even dragged me to the stove telling me to stop being such a hypochondriac and look after my family. I could only scream in pain and crawled back to bed.

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I needed help and support desperately and went to see my pastor and his wife. In a previous post I wrote about the catastrophic outcome of this meeting for their diagnosis was that my sorry state was actually the result of not serving the saints.

One day I realized that all my striving and comparing were just  as useless as chasing the wind and I heard a voice!! Softly and tenderly it wooed me like a fresh breeze of love to come to Him.

His cure for this foolishness was actually so incredibly simple, “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31, NLT). When our Pappa God wrote this cure on the tablets of my heart, I was overjoyed.

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My eyes were opened and I could suddenly see why Brother Lawrence considered washing the dishes at the monastry, a holy experience (The Practice Of The Presence Of God).

I realized that if humble duties like eating or drinking, things we share with our lowly animal friends, could be done to honor and glorify our Lord, there is nothing, except sin, that is not important to our Pappa.

Like all the blessings our Pappa bestows on us, the secret for this cure is hidden and available only in Him. As we learn to set our eyes on heaven and to store our treasures there where moths and rust cannot destroy, we soon find our hearts desiring nothing else, but the will of our Pappa.

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I often wondered why Pappa hasn’t healed my Fm/CFS until He told me that it is for my own good. This is just a thorn in my flesh to prevent me from surrendering again to this cursed life of earning approval through performance.

Much love XX

Mia

I would like to hear if I was the only sufferer of this performance disease. Please, let me know!

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Posted in God's Father Heart, God's Favor, Jesus Christ, Playdates at the Wellspring, Soli Deo Gloria, Spirituality, The Love of God

The Rooster Crowed

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God’s Thoughts to Me

“Then Peter denied it again, and immediately a rooster crowed.” (John 18:27, NET).

It is Never Too Late

I am delighted to introduce you to my husband, Andre. He has graciously agreed to write a guest post. Thank you, so much! Over to my Dearest:

My wife, Mia, asked me to look for a photograph that speaks to me spiritually. I immediately thought of the rooster that crowed when Peter denied our Lord the third time.

What is really significant to me is the way Peter reacted when he realized Jesus’ prediction came true! In Luke 22:62 (NLT), we read that Peter left the courtyard weeping bitterly!

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Can you imagine how Peter must have felt? He just denied his best Friend, the Man he spent three years with travelling the length and breadth of Israel.

They virtually lived in each other’s pockets as the saying goes. Was Peter not considered to be the leader of the disciples? Yet, at crunch time he could not speak up for Jesus, he denied Him.

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Proud Peter failed and the first one to realize it, to his credit, was him. Did he not boast a few days earlier that when everyone runs away, he will stay with Jesus? He did stay for a while, chopping a guard’s ear off when they came to arrest Jesus!

This seems quite brave, but he denied that he knows Jesus, not once or twice, but three time! Proud, impulsive, boastful Peter. Once again, pride came before the fall.

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In my language, Afrikaans, we have a saying: “Spyt kom altyd te laat.” Roughly translated it means that remorse always comes too late.

Fortunately for Peter, he did not deny an ordinary Man! He denied the Lord of lords and the King of kings in Whose book, remorse is never too late.

Just a few days after Jesus’s resurrection we find them on the beach of the Sea of Galilea. When Peter realized it was Jesus, he did not even wait for the boat to dock, but jumped overboard and swam to shore!

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After they all had breakfast, Jesus asked Peter three time if he loves Him. Peter was hurt that the Lord had to ask him the question three times. He kept on saying that Jesus knows the answer. Did he remember the cock that crowed?

However, after the third time that Peter answered that he loves Jesus, the Lord simply said, “Follow me” (John 21:19, NLT). This is the epitome of forgiveness!

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I mean, here is the man that denied Jesus and He asked Peter to follow Him and to look out for His followers. How many of us would’ve done that? Peter was once again restored.

I also deny my Lord daily, whether I want to or not! Life happens and before you know it, you have scolded a colleague or bad-mouthed the boss. Is that not the same as denying Jesus?

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Are we not supposed to love our fellow-man? Should we, as folks who have been rescued from the pit of hell, not live as an example to the rest? This is how we think.

But, we have a Spirit that convicts us. It does not condemn us, but simply reminds us in a gentle way that we have sinned.

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We don’t need a rooster to crow. This gentle conviction gives us the opportunity to go back to Jesus, ask for His forgiveness and His love will overcome everything!

It is never too late for remorse in Jesus’ world! Trust Him.

Blessings

André

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Posted in Five Minute Fridays, God's Father Heart, God's Favor, Lisa-Jo Baker

Baba Black Sheep

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God’s Thoughts To Me

“But Lord”, Gideon asked, “how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Mannaseh, and I am the least of my family.” (Judges 6:15,

“The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.” (Judges 6:12, NIV)

The Destroyer and The Shofar

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Gideon was hiding like a coward in the winepress, frightened of the Midianites, threshing wheat, when the Lord paid him a visit, “Good day, mighty warrior! Why are you hiding? No need, brave one, for I am with you.”

Startled and horrified, Gideon answered, “With all due respect Lord, but you must certainly be confused. How can you be with us when you have delivered us into the hands of the Midianites?”

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With a roguish smile his Pappa God answered, “My dear brave child, why don’t you go and destroy the Midianites instead of being a scary pants? After all, your name does not mean destroyer without a reason. When I look at you I see a mighty warrior!”

Appalled by this suggestion, Gideon asked, “Father, you must certainly be joking! Look at me; I am from the tribe of Manasseh, the son of Joseph, and you know what that means. Like Joseph, the other clans do not like us at all!”

After a pause, he continued, “The great-great-great-grandparents of the Midianites were Abraham and Keturah; not Sarah, whom you called princess. We are the descendants of Sarah, your favorite, and still you delivered us into their hands!! It is not fair.”

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Hastily he added, “Manasseh does not mean “causing to forget” for nothing. We are the forgotten ones, the least of the least, we are certainly your black sheep”. He used all the excuses he could think of to get out of this predicament.

(Five minutes are finished)

Patiently God sighed, “Gideon, I have no favorites. Besides, the other clans are so puffed-up with their own importance, that I have to choose the least of the least to deliver you all out of the strive and in-fighting going on amongst yourselves.”

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A flabbergasted Gideon still wanted to object when the Lord explained, “Gideon, the meaning of the name Midian is “strife and contention”.

Then our Pappa God became somber, “Although I want to destoy the physical threat against my people, those rumbustious Midianites, I want to eradicate all those stubborn roots of strife and anger in your hearts.”

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God smiled,”My desire for us is to catch those little foxes ruining the tender sweet grapes. They are destroying my beautiful vineyard that I have cultivated with so much love and care.”

Love and blessings XX

Mia

P.s. I was informed by someone that I had my facts a bit skewed. Instead of saying Abraham and Keturah were the Midianites’ great-grandparents, a few times removed, I only said they were their great-grandparents. And I had the descendants all mixed-up.

The spelling of Keturah’s name was also wrong; I had it “Ketubah” which is a Jewish marriage contract. I am sure Abraham never married a marriage contract! Hahaha!

They say it is not a shame to be poor, but to be stupid is quite another matter altogether! Please forgive, for I corrected it after my five minutes.

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Posted in Childlikeness, Faith of a Child, Five Minute Fridays, God's Father Heart, Lisa-Jo Baker, Spirituality, The Love of God

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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Posted in Childlikeness, Finding Heaven Today, Girl Meets Paper, God's Father Heart, Jennifer Dukes Lee, Monday Morning Meditations, Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood, Tell His Story

Taste and See

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God’s Thoughts to Me

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God (Psalm 42:1, NIV).

Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him (Psalm 34:8, NIV).

Panting Hearts

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I grew-up in a family who attended church faithfully every Sunday. It was quite a fundamentalistic kind of denomination.

Even then I could feel the faintest stirring in my heart for a God who was larger than the confines of the doctrines I was taught.

I remember thinking often of the Word who is alive and not imprisoned by the dead letters of Scripture; the One who is living high up in the sky looking down at me with love.

These thoughts developed through the years into a holy desire, a consuming hunger … a hunger for love … a hunger for God.

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In retrospect, I realize that my heart was only responding to the overtures of love fom the Lover of my soul as He was pursuing me, beckoning me,”Rise up, my darling. Come away with me, my fair one. (Song of Songs 2:10).”

At first I tried to quench this thirst in the loving embrace of my husband, the sweetness of my children and even studying the works of some excellent Bible teachers.

But all, to no avail. Nothing and no one could satisfy this proliferate hunger that was begging to be stilled.

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A.W. Tozer describes this hunger splendidly in his work, In Pursuit of God, when those with that kind of hunger are confronted by theologians who, for once, are expounding the Scriptures correctly,

“They will admit the force of the argument, and then turn away with tears to hunt some lonely place and pray, ‘O God, show me thy glory’. They want to taste, to touch with their hearts, to see with their inner eye the wonder that is God”.

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He mentions that the fragrant heart theology of a grand army of saints is rejected in favor of a smug interpretation of Scripture.

King David was a man after our Pappa’s heart. His psalms and hymnody are filled with the cries of a longing, thirsty seeker who longed and panted after our God who is Love. We have all experienced that longing he so poignantly described in Psalm 42:1.

And who can remain unmoved by his exuberant joy, praising our Pappa after he found Him. The finding is made so much sweeter because of following hard after God (Psalm 63:8).

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We find the same longing in the heart of Paul, who left all his religious credentials behind to follow his Lord Jesus.

The cry of his heart,  the all-consuming hunger was to know our sweet Lord, to be found in Him, to share in His sufferings and to experience the ressurection life of our Savior King.

At the crossroads of my life, I knew I was confronted, just like Paul and David, to choose; either the empty religious ways of the world or to follow hard after Him … to know Him … to taste and see that He is good.

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For me there was not much of a choice for where would I rather be than in Him. Luke paints this picture so beautifully, “For in Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28).

Where can anyone find love that is unmeasurable, love we can taste and see, where we truly KNOW the Lover of our souls is good, love that can only be experienced in His Loving Embrace.

Much love xx

Mia

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Posted in Common Sense, God's Father Heart, Monday Morning Meditations

Wisdom: Sanctified Common Sense

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God’s Thoughts to Me

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault (James 1:5, NIV).

Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you (James4:8, ESV).

A God Who Gives Generously

For a long time I have laboured under the potentially destructive religious teaching that we can be the masters of our own future, our prosperity, health and so forth.

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Wow, this sounded too good to be true, but I lacked Godly wisdom to discern the truth at that stage of my walk with God. If this was true, my selfish self was definitely not going to miss out.

We only needed to speak positive words and blessings daily, into our and our loved ones’ futures. And that would ensure health, wealth, financial prosperity, career success for yourself and your children, and so the list of blessings went on and on and on.

What a time consuming blah-blah-blah this turned out to be. Common sense then, seemed a rare commodity in my life. Looking at the verses that birthed these teachings makes it look all so plausible and possible.

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I remember how I cringed when my husband would use the saying that he was killing himself laughing.

Or even worse, when he would tell me how ill or discouraged or tired or just plain fed-up he was.

I am ashamed to admit that when he needed me to lean on, I would secretly try to break all the curses he was declaring over himself.

I think we are all familiar with the “Blessings and Curses”, the “Speak Life, not Death” teachings and the whole enchilada.

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Oh, and don’t forget the angels eagerly awaiting Pappa’s children to speak His words, ready to fulfill our every wish, protecting Pappa’s honor by ensuring that His words will not return void (Isaiah 55:11)!!!

How can we be so gullible? Our Lord Jesus and the Apostles repeatedly warned us against the savage wolves in sheep’s clothing, shearing the sheep for their own profit and gain.

But we eagerly gobble up every teaching that does the religious rounds with no concern for discernment, let alone a bit of common sense.

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Yes, we are repeatedly warned and encouraged to test the spirits, but only a few of us do! We are advised over and over not to believe every spirit we hear and that looks can be so deceiving.

And the famous teaching that was created by misusing verses like Proverbs 18:21, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit”.

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I know of a lady who was an alcoholic and received the good advice from her therapist at the clinic where she received treatment that if she wouldn’t stop drinking, she would die.

A highly respected and sought-after teacher and deliverance fundi in the religious community where she lived, told her, on the other hand, that the therapist had put a curse on her life and tried very hard to break that curse by speaking “in tongues” that not even he could understand. That lady was me.

With all due respect, I don’t think our Pappa God understood either!

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Needless to say, when I came to my senses, and that only through the grace of my Pappa, I knew I needed wisdom. Not just any wisdom, but the godly kind that I could only find by living and abiding in my Lord Jesus.

The letter of James gave me so much hope about a Pappa who loves me unconditionaly, a generous Pappa who would give me all the wisdom I needed, without finding fault!

And through experience, I found fault-finding and favoritism rampant in the congregations I attended. Yet, there are no black sheep in my Pappa’s family!!

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Well this to me, sounded, and still do, like very good news! For I was very, very ill and needed to consider this trial a great and joyful opportunity to have my faith tested and refined in our Lord’s refiners fire.

I had to allow my endurance to develop and grow, to become perfect and complete in my dependence on my Pappa for every breath I take.

This secret was unlocked through that wonderful invitation from the same letter, “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8).

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I have found that drawing deep into the life of our Lord Jesus, allows me to feast from the Tree of Life … to quench my thirst at the Fountain of Living Water … to hide in the shade and safety of His love … to rest in His Loving Embrace.

Much love xx

Mia

Linking-up with

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Posted in Emily Wierenga, Girl Meets Paper, God's Father Heart, Suffering

Rejoice in The Lord

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God’s Thoughts to Me

Israel’s watchmen are blind, they all lack knowledge; they are all mute dogs, they cannot bark; they lie around and dream, they love to sleep. They are dogs with mighty appetites; they never have enough (Isaiah 56:10-11a, NIV).

I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that is through faith in Christ (Philippians 3:8, NIV).

Striving in The Flesh

The first lie ever whispered to the human race sounded deliciously good and appetizing: man had the ability to live independently from his Creator … the ability to live according to his skewed perception of good and evil.

This belief, ushered all the children of Adam into a world lost in chaos and darkness, and caused the birth of the nearly 40 000 Christian denominations worldwide, too many trying to earn their way back into Pappa’s favor and Presence.

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I was no exception … until … the Truth started to pursue me relentlessly. I was lost and alone, stripped of my abilities to rely on myself to earn anyone’s love, let alone our Pappa God’s.

I had to experience my total inability to love myself, our Pappa God and others before I was able to let go of all my feeble efforts to prove that I had it all together. But, I did not …  not even remotely!

For a long time I suffered from the Paul syndrome described in the Epistile to the Philippians: all the religious works of the flesh.

Paul listed his repertoire of accomplishments and looking through the eyes of the world, it was truly impressive.

He was circumcised when he was eight days old and was a pure-blooded citizen of Israel, a member of the tribe of Benjamin – a real Hebrew.

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He was a Pharisee of the highest order who DEMANDED the strictest obedience to the Jewish law, which, by the way, he succeeded to obey without fault, according to himself!

He was the church’s greatest enemy and harshy persecuted her until our Lord Jesus stopped him in his tracks.

And from then on, he left all those noble accomplisments behind, calling it dog excrement! He used a much more descriptive word, according to the original Hebrew and he knew he used to be one of those dogs described by Isaiah so many centuries ago.

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He was the leader of the pack, barking and biting the poor, ignorant folk, urging human works in opposition to simple faith in our Lord Jesus.

But after his encounter with the living, resurrected Lord, he knew the folly and deceptiveness of religion.

He called the preachers of Jesus plus works, evil workers .. the Party of The Circumcision ,for they were renting the church, tearing her apart.

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Just like Paul on the Damascus encounter, our Pappa stopped me in my religious tracks by allowing a debilitating illness into my life.

He planted beautiful seeds of longing in my heart to know our Lord Jesus. It caused an unexplainable yearning that devoured my soul in its intensity … a glorious yearning to know the One whom my heart now desires above all else.

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But, just like Paul, I HAD to leave all my noble, impressive religious ways behind. I had to suffer not just physically, which I do every day, but more importantly, I had to suffer spiritually like Paul and our sweet Lord Jesus.

Our Lord was the only man who ever lived who was able to uphold the whole law in His own strength, but He did not.

He chose to trust our Pappa from the one moment to the next to do His works in and through Him, all to Pappa’s honor and glory.

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Just like Jacob, I had to cross my Jordan River, where I wrestled with God through the darkest night of my soul to be blessed abundantly with the privilege of living my life in Him.

A life where I daily have to deny myself and my feeble efforts … a life where I carry my cross like our Lord, not trusting in my own strength, but trusting the only Man who ever lived a life of complete dependence on Pappa, our Lord Jesus, to live His life in and through me.

For I know that apart from Him, I can do nothing.

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Just like Paul, I needed my own Damascus encounter where I was rescued from the world and its ways … rescued from the lie that I can earn my salvation with a lot of blood, sweat and tears.

And just like Paul, I know I have not arrived there yet, but the one thing I have learned, was to consider the futility of all my religious ways.

Just like Paul, I am leaving it all behind, pressing forward against all odds, for I want to know my gentle, kind, humble Lord Jesus. I want to share in His death to experience the power of His resurrection.

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I want to leave everything behind that hinders me to live in Him … to rejoice always in His Loving Embrace.

Much love xx

Mia

Linking-up with the Monday Morning Meditation Community.

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Uniting with Jen.
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Also with Emily.
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And a play- date with Laura.
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