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Where Freedom Dances

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God’s Thought To Me

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then and do not let yourself be burdened with a yoke of slavery (Galatians 5:1, NIV).

 The Freedom of Belonging

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When I belonged to all my yesterdays, my life was clouded with impenetrable, pitch black darkness. I walked in tandem with the phantom of sorrow … hand-in-hand with the lonely pain of abuse.

Condemnation relentlessly mocked me without repose and Rejection beguiled me with venomous prattle … pretending to be my mother … my only friend.

I was clad in filthy shadows of dirt and despair while its tentacles entangled me with its terrifying colors of deceit.

Lies were the only songs my ears could hear and hatred the only eulogy my mind could comprehend.

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Slowly but with such well-trained precision, the forces of evil cunningly smothered me into a lifeless existence.

My surroundings shrieked with the wails of mocking misery… there where the gibbous moon slyly sang of destruction and terrifying bolts of lightning composed the fortissimo.

I was forced to sing the allegro of loneliness with a grimace, only to accentuate my alleged hideousness and evinced my repulsive existence.

My heart was kidnapped and my mind abducted by the cruel composer whose death rock only belched hatred and reeked of putrid decay.

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Yet, the evil conductor of the orchestra of horror forced me to endure the torture of the screeching music with a smile, pretending my delight.

The cruel lyrics of his compositions told my story … a story of being the only mistake God ever created … a faulty slip of His mind … an unwanted afterthought.

The andante was slowly killing me so softly, annihilating my last tincture of hope as the last falsetto cried and wailed with terrified loneliness.

The King of evil convinced me that the fetters of his dungeons of death were the only habitat for the likes of me … the place where religious vultures feasted on human carrion.

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Yet, the Eternal Light, the Living Word, the Way, the Truth and the Life who already overcame the evil of the one who once owned the keys of death, destroyed this chains of deceptive incongruity.

His angel choir never for a moment ceased their songs of adoration, glorifying His Majesty, joyfully inviting me to join their jubilations to the One who alone is worthy.

His overtures of passion told the story of another World, of the goodness of the One who is the great I AM with love defying the reasonings of my humanness.

He showed me another Way … another long, long road a-winding into Freedom …

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… leading me gently from the tabloids of hypocrisy … showing me the exit from the bondage where I was once to be found … bound with the evil iron cords of religion.

He rescued me from all my old remembrances that were thronging and suffocating, trying to snare me once again in the fowler’s snare.

He held my hand and walked with me through valleys where only crystal clear winds of beauty sang love songs …  there where I could fly free … rescued from the Lie I once used to be.

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He gently invited me with great tenderness to sit at His right Hand in heavenly places … He gathered me into His Loving Embrace … there where His Freedom dances … there … the only place where I belong.

Much love and sweet blessings xx

Mia

Linking-up with Lisa-Jo and the ladies at my Tea Time and Link-Up page. Today our guest is the word, BELONG.

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The Lonely Desert

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God’s Thoughts to Me

And human hands can’t serve His needs – for He has no needs. He Himself gives life and breath to everything, and He satisfies every need (Acts 17:25, NLT).

Gratefully Dying Gracefully

imageWhen thoughts are drifters on the wings of confusion, gratefulness seems like a mirage in a dry, barren desert …

… always shimmering delightfully on the horizon …

… always  inviting, yet empty, broken cisterns that can hold no water.

As I have been wandering though the swamps of illness, caught in the fowler’s snare, an evangelical humanist, desperation has nearly been the victor as ungrateful thoughts played havoc with my mind.

Silly ideas and futile thinking battled to breathe just another little breath of stale, self-pitying air, causing unending, dreadful torment.

imageGuilt and condemnation were my hated companions as I was trying to navigate my way through the dense fog hovering constantly on the surface of my muddy mind …

… there where no two thoughts walked together as friends.

I battled to hear my Lord’s loving overtures … bidding me gently to come …

… just abiding in the cool shadows of His love.

There where I could stop striving to be His co-savior, albeit a prisoner of my mind, and just rest in the coolness of His limitless affection.

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He longed to gather me with unconditional acceptance, yet I stubbornly ran to and fro …

… seeking reason and rescue for my debilitating plight …

… fearfully fighting that sweet surrender.

He once again accompanied me faithfully to the end of my reasonings and self. Again He showed me the folly of that evil lie of independence …

… the fruit of the lips of the great deceiver, the father of all lies.

The uselessness of being useful and the usefulness of being useless became vividly apparent as I was limping on my last legs.

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My turmoil was gently quieted by the whisper of His voice as He reminded me that He is not served by human hands.

Gratefully, as free as a bird, my heart rose with repentance to new heights of joy and freedom as He softly gathered me into His Loving Embrace and seated me in heavenly places in Him.

Sweet blessings xx

Mia

Linking with Lisa-Jo at FMF where Grateful is the guest of honor and the ladies at my Tea Time and Link-Up page.

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A Turbulent Heart

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God’s Thoughts to Me

My soul followeth hard after Thee; Thy right Hand upholdeth me (Psalm 63:8 KJV).

She has heard about Jesus, so she came up behind Him through the crowd and touched His robe (Mark 5:27, NLT).

Behind The Veil

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The late Brennan Manning said in his book, The Lion And The Lamb,” You will trust God only as much as you love Him. You will love Him not because you have studied Him. You will love Him only because you have touched Him – in response to His touch”.

Divine wisdom wrapped in Truth. Jesus warned the Pharisees that they were searching the Scriptures daily thinking that in them they had eternal Life.

But they were oblivious to the Living Word, blind to the Eternal Life standing right in front of them and they were doomed.

I recall a time in my own life when I was stumbling through a severe winter season. My physiology and psychology were naked and lost in sinister, dark, lifeless forest of religiosity.

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The giant branches of the ancient trees of traditions gnarled its fingers around my turbulent heart, trying to steal the last shreds which were panting for streams of the Living Quiet Waters of freedom.

They locked me up with the chains of religious high-sounding words in the cruel grip of laws and rules and regulations at a time when my body was immobilized by pain and exhaustion.

But like the Pharisees, my spirit was the prisoner of the lifeless idol of Bibliolatry. Silent pitiful cries and despondent tears enveloped me with an unbearable longing to touch the Robe of the Beloved.

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For many years I was an avid student of Theology and had the fundamentals of the faith at my fingertips. I could almost quote the Bible, chapter and verse.

I fell in love with the idea of God’s grace and love, but this love affair was only a figment of my imagination.

It was a poor substitute for that almost magical reality of a spirit becoming one in union with the sweet Spirit of God; that intimate closeness that seemed so utterly unobtainable.

It was not for lack of trying; just the opposite. I was the master striver, striving earnestly to build beautifully crafted altars, begging God to consume my hand crafted offers with the fire of His Love.

I was from the old school who prided themselves in their strong work ethic and was perplexed by the absence of Holy Fire.

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No … it was because of my lack of touching Him as a response to His touch. My heart was bound with the cords of doctrines and creeds. I was experiencing the death of the letter of the law.

My lips were singing Hallelujahs, but my heart was far from my first Love, yearning for that mysterious something many saints seemed to smile so secretly about all through the ages.

At the same time, I was suffocated by an unhealthy fear of God. I was terrified of that relentless monster of self-condemnation and shame.

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This master of deceit taunted me day and night with sneering, damnable lies that my hand was already spoken for by the dark, evil one.

When I stumbled upon these words of Mr Manning, a new day dawned in my inmost heart. A passionate, burning flame pierced my soul and my eyes were opened to see beyond the veil of my mind.

I was swept off my feet, overwhelmed with a love that was at the same time beautifully disturbing and devastatingly delightful. I was in awe of the prevenient grace of our King.

imageThoughts of another woman from another time; the woman with the issue of blood stirred my mind. We were both at a very lonely and needy place; both at the crossroads of our lives; bankrupt and seeking the ancient paths of eternity.

With shame I confess that I hoped that our Pappa would to transform Himself into a genie in a bottle, where my wishes were His commands.

But this Genie surely seemed as deaf as a doorknob and as blind as a bat, very unappreciative of all my clever selfish maneuvers. Yet, He patiently and gently kept on drawing me into His Loving Embrace.

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When I finally came to the end of my tether, I had no other choice but to crawl on my spiritual knees, like the woman with the issue of blood, until my heart finally touched the hem of my Beloved’s heart.

He took the tatters of my brokenness and started to heal me from the inside out. Although my illness is still very much part of my life, He has brought me to a place of sweet acceptance.

A place where I can eagerly look forward to the day when I will leave this old coat behind to be clothed in a new glorious spiritual body.

I will not dare to trivialize the suffering of a chronic illness, but I do want to dare all to follow hard after our God, assured of His right hand upholding us.

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Crawl if necessary until you are near enough to touch our Lord Jesus again and again and again … and then still again and again.

Much love and 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

Courtroom of Heaven

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God’ Thoughts to Me

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of The Lord forever (Psalm 23:6, KJV).

Shirley, Mercy and Grace

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Heaven’s Courtroom was abuzz with breathless expectation! The three angels, Shirley, Mercy and Grace, were summoned by His Majesty, King Jesus.

According to the heralding angel who trumpeted the summons through the universe, King Jesus countenance was enveloped by the most beautiful rainbow of love and compassion.

Tripling with excitement the Triplet bowed down to their Heavenly Host in reverence, filled with brilliant delight to be in His Presence. The King was beaming with a glint in His eye when He informed them of His wishes.

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“I have chosen you to be My servants to a little baby girl who will be born nine months from today. She will be My gift of joy to her mother for I have heard the cry of her heart!

She will be called Mia for she will forever be Mine and I am lending her to her mother for only three years. Then her mother will return home to us.

Even amidst the darkest nights of her little soul, she will trust in Me. Gather as much star dust as necessary to baptize her as Mine the moment she is born.

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Shirley, wherever her little feet will tread during her sojourn on earth, your duty will be to make sure that she stays forever in the Shelter of My Wings.

You know from dear experience that these precious ones of Mine can be very stubborn, seeking their own way while listening to the deceiver’s lies!

Mercy, you need to make sure that My little darling will know that My mercy, love and goodness towards her are from everlasting to everlasting.

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But, I tell you in advance that she will suffer much and you need to be patiently persistent for at the right time, I will enable her to hear My voice.

Grace, you need to assist Me in cultivating a garden in her heart. You daily need to plant seeds of grace and enlighten the narrow path of Grace for her to find her way out of the dark, lost world.

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Some of these seeds will grow into mighty cedars of Lebanon. But some will grow by My design into a luscious orchard where she and I will feast together on the fruit of her love for Me.”

Much love and sweet blessings XX

Mia

Linking-up with Lisa-Jo and all the friendly hostesses at my Tea Time and Link-Up page.

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The Bang-Bang Club

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God’s Thoughts to Me

What sorrow awaits those who look to Egypt for help,trusting their horses, chariots, charioteers and depending on the strength of human armies, instead of looking to the Lord, the Holy One of Israel. In His wisdom, the Lord will send great disaster; He will not change his mind (Isaiah 31:1-2, NLT).

Hungry Hearts

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In 2010 the movie, The Bang-Bang Club was premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.

It portrays the lives of four photo journalists active within the townships of South Africa; Ken Oosterbroek, Kevin Carter, Jaoa Silva and Greg Marinovich.

They captured the low intensity war within the South African townships during the time of apartheid, especially during the period from 1990 to 1994.

The movie was the result of the political intolerance between the ANC supporters and the supporters of the Inkhata Freedom Party.

Greg Marinovich's Pulitzer Prize winning Photograph

Greg Marinovich’s Pulitzer Prize winning Photograph

In 1991 Greg won the Pulitzer Price for his photo of the murder of Lindsaye Tshabalala and Kevin was the photographer of that tragic picture of the little girl dying of hunger in Sudan while a vulture was stalking her in the background.

In 1994 Kevin also received the Pulitzer Prize for this heart wrenching photo. He was a man with a gentle, soft heart and in the same year he committed suicide.

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Ken Oosterbroek was caught in friendly fire from the UN Peace Corps in Soweto in 1994 and died in hospital. Greg was also wounded but survived.

in 2010 Joao accompanied US soldiers on a patrol in Kandahar where he stepped on a land mine and both his legs had to amputated below the knee.

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Being a South African, I was deeply touched by this movie. I want to honor these four valiant men for recording this specific period in the history of our country. I dedicate this poem to them.

Massacred

Am I poetically correct
Clinging to tatters of sanity
Deliberately distancing myself
From a Tokoza, Soweto, Boipatong
A genocidal, massacred Marikeng
From frivolous political commentary

From rotten broken bodies
Offering up their life blood
Gushing a solitary sticky river
Feeding the greedy god of death
Some already grinning eerily
The cruel, crying rigor mortis smile

From the heat and smoke of battle
From a thick, impenetrable wall
Of naked hatred, of tangible fear
An unlawfully occupied dust road
Built with granite rocks of terror
And tarred with human excrement

From assegais and machetes
Broken humanity, black and white
From fields being prepared
To serve as a dance floor
For rubber tyre necklaced dancers
Dancing the fire waltz of death

From puppets manipulated by Evil
Who clutches the strings of power
From the spiflicated mother hearts
Emaciated, drained of comfort tears
Mesmerized children dodging bullets
Flickering like swarms of fireflies

Will I be socially correct
When I hear the gentle voice of the wind
Sighing softly through pine needles
Singing subtly of my Beloved
Calling as I seek and I seek
And I’m found

Much love and sweet blessings

Mia

Please visit my Tea Time and Link-Ups page and meet all the friendly ladies I link with during the week!

Unlocking Mysteries

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God’s Thoughts to Me

And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 16:19, NLT).

It is time we find the Resurrection Stone, and discover the “key” to these religious mysteries, to interpret the gospel as it was intended (Resurrection:  The key to understanding the gospel – James Fowler).

Priestly Prattle

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The word “hieroglyphics” is a Greek word that means “sacred” or “priestly carving”. For more than a millennium, from the year 500 BC to 1822 Egyptian hieroglyphics were considered to be a secret code of priests and the key to unlock these mysterious writings was feared to be forever lost.

Until 1799 when some of Napoleon’s soldiers found the Rosetta Stone near the mouth of the River Nile. The same inscription appeared on this stone in three different languages: Egyptian hieroglyphics, Egyptian demotic and Greek.

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The Rosetta Stone

But it took the Frenchman, Francois Champollion, 23 years to discover the key to unlock these mysterious writings. In 1822 he translated the symbols and the mystery of hieroglyphics was something of the past.

From as early as I can remember, I was a member of some or other Christian Church, but I was still lost in darkness and didn’t really understand what the gospel was truly about. I was well into my thirties when I first heard about our need to be born again through the sweet Holy Spirit.

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Not unlike most of my contemporaries, I knew an awful lot about the gospel. I paid lip service, celebrated and paid homage to the gospel instead of the God of the gospel without ever really knowing or understanding what it was all about.

To say that the Scriptures were a lot like prophetic-apostolic hieroglyphics to me, is nailing the truth right on the head. I used to read everything I could lay my hands on, trying to find the key to unlock the sweet mystery of the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

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I was as blind as a bat and lent out my itching ears to a lot of priestly prattling of quite a few deceived teachers and blind guides.

But my ignorance proved to be no problem to our Pappa and in His usual gentle, patient way, He had to use nearly a full bucket of mud to open my spiritual eyes to the simple truth of Jesus. The simple truth we have made a monstrous complexity of!

Suffice to say that for a long time I was happily falling time and time again over the stumbling block, our dearest Lord Jesus, the Cornerstone of our salvation.

I valiantly got up again after every fall, nursing my wounded ego for a while, dusting off my behind and then tried again from scratch.

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Until the Rock of All Ages reminded me. “Anyone who stumbles over that stone will be broken to pieces, and it will crush anyone it falls on (Matthew 21:44)”.

When enough was enough, this Stone kindly fell on me, broke me into many pieces and took my legs from right under me through my illness. Gone were the days of my “self” being able to get up again and again.

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This became extremely difficult and I had to hoist the white flag in surrender. I knew I needed to start building cautiously on the only Cornerstone through all the ages.

The Master Builder gathered all my broken pieces and glued them all together with His tender love and gentle discipline until I was just a fragile jar of clay with many cracks to allow His Light to shine through.

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When one is blessed with a disabling disease, your time of dancing when the religious folk played wedding songs and crying when they played funeral songs, has passed.

I realized that I was not able to carry this burden of Fm/CFS on my own and I was soon knocking earnestly on Heaven’s Door.

True to His wonderful promise, He soon opened the Door to His Kingdom and gave me a wonderful key. This key unlocks the secret of our Resurrected Lord living His Resurrection Life in and through us.

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Once we truly realize our need to decrease like John did and we fill up and straighten the roads of our hearts for our King of Glory to enter, we come to know the joy of denying ourselves daily to experience the life in our Pappa.

Through the above-mentioned article of James Fowler, I discovered the Resurrection key; the key to unlock the glorious gospel of Jesus.

Scales fell from my eyes and my heart soared like an eagle that has been released from years of captivity in the prison of religious jargon.

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Many Bible verses that used to scare the living daylights out of me, became beautiful flowers in the garden of my heart. The Gardener, none other than the Holy Spirit cultivating flowers with the sweetest nectar to feed my thirsty heart.

The will of our God is one example of the secrets He revealed to my stubborn heart. I used to go on many a wild goose chase trying to determine the specific will of our Pappa for everything pertaining to my life; totally ignoring the sacred gift of common sense that doesn’t seem to be common anymore!

This glorious key unlocked many mysteries of our Pappa’s Kingdom and opened the doors of many prison cells where I was a captive for many, many years; a prisoner of the cruel jailer called Fear!

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In my next post, I would love to invite you along a few of the roads to freedom our Pappa has led me and few mysteries He lovingly revealed to me.

Much love and sweet blessings.

Mia

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