A Mother’s Day Prayer

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Heavenly Father, May EVERY woman reading this know, that she knows,…That. She. KNOWS…..She is enough. Not because of anything she can or cannot do…but because of what YOU have already done. Your grace fuels our enoughness. It is the catalyst that fuels the gift of peace and the ability to get back up when life kicks us down. For though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again (Proverbs​ 24:16).

May every woman, married, widdowed, or single, young or old… May every mother, through natural birth, adoption, or mentoring…May every homemaker or career woman….Father, May EVERY woman, no matter where You have placed her, or what circumstances she is currently in, may she know the grace that comes from You. When her tears overflow from within, when her heart has grown weary, when the deepest parts of her heart and her soul are committed and completely surrendered before Your feet at Your throne room of grace…Father, may she receive Your grace and lift her eyes to You as You gently hold her face in Your hands and speak life into her dry bones. Father, as You breath a breath O’ God, may she hear You say….”You are mine and I love you. I see you the way You were always suppose to be, and NOT the way you see yourself. Pick yourself up my beautiful child and take MY yoke. For I have bore yours so you may take Mine. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light (Matthew 11’28-30). Receive all I have for you. It is a gift.”

May we supernaturally receive this gift of acceptance, purpose, and enoughness. In JESUS’ name. Amen.

Bless the Lord, Oh My Soul….

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Bless the Lord Oh My Soul is a very well known song, and my go to in moments of temptation, but have you ever really meditated on what you are actually singing?

Let’s begin by reading Psalms 43 in the NIV. It reads:

1 Vindicate me, my God, and plead my cause against an unfaithful nation. Rescue me from those who are deceitful and wicked.
2 You are God my stronghold. Why have you rejected me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?
3 Send me your light and your faithful care, let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell.
4 Then I will go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight. I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God.
5 Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

As you read this Psalm, you can really hear and feel the sorrow behind this prayer if you take a minute to mediate on these words. This person is aware of the ugly all around that only God can save him from. He is desperate for his Savior, His light. He longs for his Savior’s direction and care to His altar. He is desperate for the joy and the delight that he knows he will receive once he reaches the altar of God.

This person is depressed, oppressed, and completely aware of it all as he is clinging to the word of truth that God has placed within this child of God BEFORE he has reached this moment of pain.

So first, let us examine the evidents that the person behind these words has been on this journey for some time now. It is evident because he is completely aware of the wickedness around him, the need for His savior, and is very knowledgeable of the things that God promises. You can feel through his words that he has already tasted and seen this goodness he longs for before. Further evidence that he is a long time voyager is revealed in verse five as his words switch from crying out to God, to then talking to his soul. 

So, let’s examine the soul he is talking to and why. To understand this we have to first acknowledge that when we confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord, that we are in fact admitting that we are naturally sinners (make wrong choices that are not good for us and can keep us from the goodness that God has for us) and are in need of Him (our Savior, our helper, our leader, our teacher, our healer) to clean these bad choices up because we have now recognized that we are not capable….no matter how hard we try, we are unable to do for ourselves what only God is able to do. What is this? Change our heart through the constant renewing of our mind as He reveals Himself to us more and more as we walk out OBEDIENCE. Not our will. His will. Not our wants, but His wants.

Lets look into this further. See, as children of God we are composed of our body, our minds, our soul (with the old sinful nature and the new nature now being formed until the return of our Messiah), as well as the Holy Spirit that God has given us through the excepting of Jesus as the Messiah and the allowing of Him to baptise us with His Spirit (see the beginning chapters of Acts to study this further). The Holy Spirit is from God and is fully God. He will help convict you of your wrong choices and at the same time give you power to crucify bad choices. We are not able to do this apart from God.

So what does this look like? How is this possible? Well, if you have walked out your sanctification in any stretch of time you can sense that battle.  Paul talks of it in Romans 7:18-24;

18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?

So now, how do we overcome and go from defeated to victors? How do we crucify self?  Pull out of our sorrow and pain? Allow mourning to be turned into thanksgiving and dancing? Well, my beautiful sisters and handsome brothers….we remind the natural sinful self within our souls of ALL of God’s goodness. We do what Paul tells the Philippians in verse 4:8 and what this Psalmest says in 43:5;

4:8; Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.

43:5 Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

So the next time you are praising and worshiping the Lord through the form of song and singing that all too familiar Bless the Lord Oh My Soul….remember that you are singing to the sinful part of your soul and telling it to Bless the Lord!!!! How beautiful is that!!! Oh, thank you God for Your wisdom and knowledge.

Praise You, Father, for Your goodness and love! Apart from You, we are not able. Come Holy Spirit… You are welcome in our hearts. Convict us, give us Your power that is in fact God himself working within us. The power to overcome sin. The power to overcome loneliness, loss of loved ones, depression, and oppression. Thank you for this! We get to love you only because You first loved us. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

 

 

Come What May Copyright © 2016 by (Samantha Keene)

The alarm clock rings; Where does one begin?

Some days fully prepared, but most days completely unaware.

Still, as my feet hit the floor, my heart cries out;

Come what may Father, come what may.

Your will, Your way, Your day… so come what may.

Sweet smells of coffee satisfy, as hopes for the day unfold.

As I hear the birds begin praising our Lord, so sings my soul;

Come what may Father, come what may.

  Your will, Your way, Your day… so, come what may.

With half the day now gone, and my soul downcast within…

These thoughts I take captive.

Some days with strength and some days too weak.

But still yet my heart desires to say;

Come what may Father, come what may.

Your will, Your way, Your day… so, come what may.

The day continues, the weeks pile on.

Days turn into months, months into years, and looking back, have involved tons of tears.

But through all these trials and tears…

Through all the sorrow and anguish….

And with overwhelming amounts of prayers and praise…

My mourning has turned into dancing,

My anguish into joy and thanksgiving.

So, as His mercies are new EVERY morning, fit specifically for that day,

Forever, my heart will gratefully choose to say;

Come what may Father, come what may.

Your will, Your way, Your day… so, come what may.

When in Waiting

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First let me say, I have missed writing on here like something crazy. However, I have found that during these times of silence….God shows up mightily and strengthens me beyond my belief. I am never who I was, but yet, one step closer to who God created me to be. Hallelujah!

One is not able to give what one does not have themselves.  Therefore, there are times we must be of good courage and wait on our Lord as He WILL strengthen us, AMEN!

I was not even sure if I was suppose to continue to writing on here, but as I proceeded to walk out obedience, the time away was more to gather my thoughts. See I LOVE to read. I mean L.O.V.E., LOVE to read. Anyone who knows me knows I have Jesus in my heart, coffee in my hands, and a book by my side always….but what I was completely unaware of, was my idolization of learning. I desired learning about God more then the experience of God. Oh, and ladies…the experience is so much more then the knowledge.

I like to call them my hugs from my Father. You know those moments? It is the warmth of His sun on your face at just the right moment. The miracle of a child’s life becoming stable after they have been fighting every breath to stay alive and you have diligently prayed daily for survival. Oh, or the smile on a face of someone who God encouraged through you. You know that tingly feeling, or light gentle breeze you feel and know it His spirit upon you. Oh, ladies…these ARE. WORTH. WAY. MORE. WAY more then pulling a part sermons and verses.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe that knowledge and the love of learning more of what is behind the verse is a part of my gifting to teach. However, He has lovingly revealed to me that He is going to reel it in, prioritize, and gently teach me how to balance my intellect. Oh, how beautiful my sister…how beautiful that HE cares for us as much as HE does.

I have always had such a busy mind, ladies..which explains why I chose to get my masters in Chemistry, but busy nonetheless. I can tell you, that the business of a methodical mind can become very dainty and exhausting. I could not even read one book at a time. I had to read five all on the same topic, with commentaries and dictionaries and a concordance, which again is not bad, but should be balanced. 🙂

See we take the first step, then the next. A person with a mind like mine was, this is not easy. It was, take a step, while thinking about the 15 after, as well as every way that could possibly lead to them, on top of the other ways possible if those did not work….are you experiencing this exhaustion just as you read. Shew we, I am.

Do you experience exhaustion? Maybe not by way of your intellect, but with tasks, to dos, crafts, or other thoughts. If so, then I encourage you to ask Him to seek your ways and heart, and to reveal what you might be idolizing that is causing the exhaustion. Is it knowledge, is it cleaning, is it perfection, is it performance, is it control, is it business….what do you desire more then God, my sister? Then begin to walk in obedience by crucifying it daily and replacing it with what He provided you to replace it with…peace, joy, love, self control, gentleness, patience, faithfulness, kindness, goodness.

There is nothing gentle, patient, joyful, or self-controlled about a busy mind or body. It stretches our rubber band and makes us vulnerable to snap and break on anyone, who we would otherwise enjoy loving in rather than yelling at. Can I get a hand raised with an amen?

Come on girls, ladies, women, and daughters of the most High God. Let’s lay it down and experience God MORE then that thing. AMEN!

God is so amazingly glorious and sovereign and mighty. Let us not zap the amazement right out of the experience because we have neglected to ask Him what is standing in the way. Let us be willing to go into waiting, so we come out refined and able to do that thing He’s created us for more diligently, faithfully, and affectively. I love you all so much! Be of good cheer, my sister! Our God is faithful and He will see to completion every good work He begins in us til the return of our Lord, Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6)

Prayer:

Father, may we get to experience you and all your goodness more. We cry out in desperation, “please reveal to us what is standing in the way of ALL you have for us today”. Thank you for your love and the grace that You provide so we are able to grow up in Your ways. Forever we praise and ask in YESHUA’s great name. Amen!

 

 

What Do You Desire

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13When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their OWN evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire had conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

James 1:13-15

I don’t know about you, but when this verse became evident and really resonated in my spirit, I was extremely overwhelmed with sorrow. See, after I first experienced this genuine longing and love for knowing Jesus more intimately, God revealed several areas in my life that He did not approve of, and for whatever reason, I had it in my mind that everything my old self did…all these nasty areas of sin in my life…would somehow disappear. My distorted view of reality really believed that God would make it all just go away immediately. However, several trials and TONS of tears later proved this theory to be false. Oh how our brother Paul got these moments right when he wrote so beautifully in Romans 7:13-25 about this war that wages within us to do what is good.

So, here I was a big ball of emotion, sitting in the midst of this revelation, when I finally discovered that what I should have been pondering was, and still is, what are my desires that are giving birth to sin? OOOOOOOOWWWWEEEEE, this side of reality was, and still can be, EXTREMELY difficult for me to receive. At first, I wanted to stomp my foot with arms crossed as I shook my head and told the Holy Spirit He was wrong!!! It was not me, wonderfully and fearfully made ole Samantha. I am too precious in God’s sight…. Do you hear this as you read it? I mean, in my mind, He was just going to make things all better. PRAISE GOD for wisdom and knowledge and mercy and grace!!!! AMEN!

Oh how comical and immature it sounds typed out, but fact of the matter is…until we fully surrender ALL areas of our life and humbly admit our inability to accomplish ANYTHING a part from Him and all He makes available to us through His word and Holy Spirit, we are faced with the truth that some of our actions still say this very same thing. Instead of stomping of our feet and thinking He is going to take it all away, we must meditate and reflect on His Word after prayer and repentance. We must taste and see that the Lord is good, Psalm 34:8.

We ask God…what is this ungodly desire that has conceived and given birth to sin and death? Reflect…are our trials producing maturity and endurance, or are they producing the same outcome of resentment, anger, jealousy, greed, gossip, drunkenness, adultery, idolatry, witchcraft or the need for control, etc.? What are we mourning and grieving?

On a more JOYFUL note, we should also ask God what godly desires has He so graciously afforded us to instead give birth to joy and life? What are the desires that can turn our mourning into dancing? OH HALLELUIAH! Then finally, we must ask Him for wisdom. For wisdom is knowledge in action. It is obedience sourced from discernment that God almighty will so generously provide without fault if we just ask without doubt (James 1:5-6).

So I now ask you…what do you desire?

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for every eye that sees this, and every heart that receives this. May it be seen and received in love. I praise you for Your Holy Spirit! For it is You alone that is good within us. All honor and praise and glory be to You my ABBA Father! With so much love and gratitude I get to ask in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Psalm 143

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A psalm of David.

1 LORD, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy; in your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief.
2 Do not bring your servant into judgment, for no one living is righteous before you.
3 The enemy pursues me, he crushes me to the ground; he makes me dwell in the darkness like those long dead.
4 So my spirit grows faint within me; my heart within me is dismayed.
5 I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done.
6 I spread out my hands to you; I thirst for you like a parched land.
7Answer me quickly, LORD; my spirit fails. Do not hide your face from me or I will be like those who go down to the pit.
8 Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.
9Rescue me from my enemies, LORD, for I hide myself in you.
10 Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.
11 For your name’s sake, LORD, preserve my life; in your righteousness, bring me out of trouble.
12 In your unfailing love, silence my enemies; destroy all my foes, for I am your servant.

Weekly Prayer; accepting where I am

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Proverbs 3:5-6

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.

This verse can be so hard for me at times. I want to trust Him with evrything I have, but when I am presented with the opportunity to live it out, it is not that simple.

During these faith building seasons, I become extremely quiet. Retracting from those around me, I sit to ponder and dish out all of my pain to God as He helps me identify all the feelings pouring out of my soul. It usually starts out with LOTS of ugly, then comes feelings of sorrow, followed by tears and the feeling of emptiness, but then the most beautiful thing happens…a peace come over me as my emptiness becomes not so empty anymore. Rather it becomes COMPLETELY full of God’s overwhelming grace and goodness because as much as I didn’t like myself or those around me in those moments…He did. He does. He always will.

Therefore, when we are given the opportunity to trust, we are given the opportunity to pour our souls out to God as He scrapes the ugly layer off and casts it into the lake of fire where it belongs. Oooooowwweeeee, then what is revealed is the MAGNIFICIENTLY beautiful layer that He could see all along.

Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.

I am telling you, weeks like this last week can be so lonely, but SO WORTH THE FULLNESS THAT FOLLOWS. He emptys me of me and fills me with the  great I am. Oooweee, therefore, I get to just be who I am. I am enough.

I urge you my brothers and sisters. Allow Jesus to meet you where you are. Accept where you are so He can take you where you want to go. Only He can. Amen!!!

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for allowing us to come and settle our matters with You. May we have the courage and humility to feel our feelings, identify them, and then replace them with Your truth until it reaches our soul and refreshes us as it give us much needed rest.

 28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Praise You my Abba Father! Who is worthy of ALL PRAISE, HONOR, AND GLORY!

In my Saviors name, YESHUA, I pray,

Amen!

ONE Cross, MANY Trials, ALL FOR HIS GLORY

Coffee brewing. Kids screaming. Dog barking. Dishes piled up. Laundry overflowing. I feel unappreciated, exhausted, constantly needed, and COMPLETELY overwhelmed. So basically, I am exactly where the enemy wants me to be. Tired, feeling defeated, and ready to explode. However, could I just say, that as a devoted follower of Jesus Christ, I am called up to a higher standard. I am call to discipline my children the way God disciplines me (which can I also say, would be far more effective than my screaming and making them feel completely defeated themselves), to lovingly stand alongside my husband by respecting him and giving myself completely to him, and to praise God through all of this in the meantime. WOW!!!! This is definitely my goal, but shew weee it just sounds exhausting typing it all.
However, I know that God would not call me up to something if He did not lovingly provide me the way to achieve it. The catch, I have to be willing to lay my pride down, lay my emotions down, and pick up my cross, daily, and exchange it for a supernatural power that God promises He will give me if I will just be still and know that He is God. That He is in control and not ME. Yeah…it is NOT me who has control. Huge shocker, hugh!
The closer I get to our Lord, the more and more I begin to detest the word me. It is a word that brings so much with it, that I just want to take it and physically strangle it into none existence, BUT, God says that will not be so until I leave this fallen world and take Jesus’ hand. So, until then, He gives me all the tools I need to get closer and closer every day.
So, here it is, 6 o’clock and all I keep doing is telling myself that “It is ok! God has got this!” As things continue to happen, “God HAS got this! GOD HAS got this!” After all of this trying, I realize that if one more thing happens, then POW….. I am going to light up like the Fourth of July ladies and gents because the fuse to my fanny will have been lit. Let the firecracker show begin as the conversation in my head suddenly changes from “Give it to God!” to “NO!!!! I’M GOING TO TAKE CARE OF THIS!” My voice explodes and then every word I was trying to take captive in my head flows out like a fiery flame from the pit of hell. My flesh becomes EXTREMLY satisfied and full of pride as everyone and everything around me (mainly my children and dog) stares, in silence, with an expression that communicates, “She is mad….AND crazy!” Nevertheless, despite their stares and sometimes defeat on their face, my pride is FULLY satisfied and justified to ME. Ugh…that word again.
Sound like you? Well, this is always me when I have become overwhelmed with life; when I have been trying to do everything MY way instead of HIS way.
I have been walking out my walk diligently and faithfully for a couple of years now, but just like the Israelites, I seem to be in the slow group in that I still struggle and find myself satisfying my flesh rather than choosing to nurture my sprit with God’s word in truth. It is not soon after, that I find myself completely convicted, in repentance, and completely heartbroken that I would choose my desire over His promises. It is a struggle. It is ALL our struggle. It may not look like mine, but it still has the same outcome….destruction, sorrow, and a need to be saved through grace, mercy, love, and acceptance.
My heart pleads for mercy, growth, love, and grace as I cry out, “My Father, change me, refine me, build my foundation on a rock. You discipline those You love. Praise You, Lord!” These words are all too often spoken within my prayers; however, when the trials begin, my flesh so quickly says, “AAAAHHHHHH!!!!! IT IS ALL ABOUT ME AND HOW I FEEL, NOT WHAT YOU SAY GOD.” Now I may not say this exactly, but my actions are what is saying this. Don’t you think?
I want to mature and be refined, but I have this twisted way of thinking refinement is going to somehow be easy, or the way I would have it. Sound like you? Are you willing to admit it?
As we stand still and know, our hearts cry out for His goodness. Then as the distractions begin taking place as we live in this broken world, we too quickly want to retrieve back into our holes. We constantly strive to want to focus on the cross, but trials come for His glory and we want to hide. It is as though laying that ‘thing’ down at the cross is a lot further away than it appeared to us in silence.
Our moments without any distractions are always ones that are empowering. As I am even typing, I feel a sense of hope, strength, and courage behind these words, but I have realized that hearing them, typing them, speaking them… well, is only minute compared to the parts of our faith that require REAL strength, REAL hope, REAL courage to live it out. Strength, hope, and courage provided to me by the Holy Spirit, not Samantha Keene, is where His glory shines. We are given the ability to accomplish things that otherwise we would not be able to accomplish. It is AWESOME!!!!!
It is quite comical to think of how cowardly one can be a part from his or her faith, but as I reflect on the way I live my relationship with Jesus Christ out, it truly is the expectation of many. We so quickly laugh at the Israelite’s disbelief after all God did, but I know I am guilty of doing the very same thing. The Bible is a warning. An example that gives us stories because we too will face them.
This life is a struggle. When we start to realize who we are in Christ, we simultaneously begin to realize who we do not want to continue being without Him, but we are still faced with fighting our ugly every day. We are given the chance to die to self, daily. It doesn’t just disappear. It is a call to get back up and fight harder the next time. Just like fitness. You don’t see instant results after one workout. Rather, it takes days, weeks, months, and years to realize that even though it didn’t seem like you were achieving anything on those days you felt defeated, overall, you have lost 15, 45, 50 pounds. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ Phillipians 3:8 We lose it all to gain it all. There is ONE cross, MANY trials…..but the bigger picture outside of ME…is that it is ALL for HIS GLORY. WHOOP WHOOP!!!!! (my hands are raised here in the air if you can imagine this in your head, lol)
Ladies and gentlemen, we are so quick to refer ourselves as God’s servants, now let us learn to be willing to be treated like one. That is what Christ did for us, isn’t it? Didn’t he humble himself and serve others so that we could serve? He loves us, and He has given us everything. His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 2 Peter 1:3 So there is nothing else He can give us. Why has He so lovingly given us everything? So we could love because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19 Praise be to God! Forever and ever, AMEN!

YOU ARE NOT ALONE

As I sit to type, I am grateful for this outlet. Whether others read this from start to finish, or it passes them by, it is still a gift…a gift to me. See I have this calling, gift, maybe a curse; I don’t know what you would call it, but I feel people’s pain. Sometimes it is revealed to me whose pain it is, either during or after I experience his/her emotions, and sometimes I am not given that opportunity.

Regardless, it is like a tidal wave of emotional pain. In my gut, in the deepest parts of my body, soul, and spirit, I feel emotional distraught, anguish, lack of hope, emptiness, unworthiness, meaninglessness; a sense of defeat. It is as though I can somehow see, in an out of body experience kind of way, through people’s facade and see rather, the truth of this battle we all face. The struggles pop out in ways that I cannot explain in words. They become so overwhelming at times that I cannot do anything else but fall to my knees in humility as I cry out to my Abba Father for comfort, strength, and release.

When periods like this occur, it can take days to shake it. As of today, I am on day seven of this. I wouldn’t call it a depression or oppression because I feel God working through it. It always is an eye opening experience for me. It somehow allows me to turn off my own fake facade so I am able to call myself out on my own crap. It is as though God says…..”Stop! STOP! Why are you trying so hard? You are doing through the works of your hand, not mine. Think, Samantha. Did I save your soul for you to preach, or to live it out? Judge or to love? ”

God has so graciously saved me from myself and the darkness of this world. In this, all I should want to do is tell others that there is hope, there is excitement and joy beyond what we see. When I see people truly struggling, I want to want to fix it. Right then, in whatever way possible. This sounds so passionate, beautiful, and ‘good’, but can I stop and tell you that this is something I want to want to do all the time and not just when I feel like it because there are times….when I wouldn’t be caught dead helping that person. I mean, they have been on that corner for weeks. Now, I realize that there is enabling also, so even though refusing to enable is ok, I still pass judgement, and that is not ok…EVER. Praying without judgement or loving without judgement might be the point of that person’s existence. To see them there…again, and to hear within,us pass judgement might be the point. To call to the surface and our attention to something in us that we must acknowledge is a struggle so we can stop unintentionally condemning those around us. God does not necessarily tell us to fix, or take away other’s pain, does He?

Rather, doesn’t He tell us to love them through his/her pain? To speak truth with love and tell them that it is ok? To tell them that there is a hope beyond this pain? He tells us to not forget where we once were, and to tell our story with compassion, love, and grace. He tells us to forgive. He tells us not to judge the motives of man’s heart because only God can change a man’s heart.

Oh how my brain knows this, but somehow, in the hustle and bustle of life, I can get so wrapped up with me…my actions, my desires, my accomplishments, my purpose, my house… that I cannot see past my own nose. Then, that which follows is the tendency to start looking around in comparison to others. Sometimes with envy and jealously, and sometimes with judgement. It is disgusting and I hate this part of human nature. It brings to light so deeply the verse of, we do what we don’t want to do, and what we want to do, we don’t. I mean, AMEN Paul. You nailed that one right on the head.

It is my birthday today. I am 29 years old. I am a stay at home mommy to four beautiful, God fearing kids, ages seven, six, four, and three. I am married to a handsome, God fearing, hardworking husband, who I have been afforded to love, be loved by, and live life with for almost 12 years. I have a Master’s degree in Chemistry. I have a home that I have dreamed about for years, and ‘stuff’ all around me. Yet, I still battle, daily, with “what is the meaning of all this? Am I evening ‘doing’ anything? I want more! What else can I ‘do’ that brings fulfillment to ME?” Because it is all about ME…ME…ME. Blah, blah, blah. I pray, you hear the sorrow, and sarcasm, I am expressing to this awful pit of selfishness.

I said goodbye to a high school classmate yesterday. Seven days ago I heard the news about what happened. I still don’t really know what happened, and quite frankly it is none of my business, but in the midst of hearing this news, I couldn’t help but question his salvation through judging him. I mean, the man is dead, and here I was, judging him. REALLY SAMANTHA!

Later that evening, as I was worrying about the flowers I was hanging in my kitchen, it hit me. That HUGE wave of emotion I was telling you about at the beginning. It came over me all of a sudden and continued to grow and increase until the very early hours of the morning. I recognized what was happening as this is an experience I experience often, but this has definitely been the longest it has ever stayed with me. This one has been long winded, but most effective thus far. It has lit a spark inside of me that I can only pray God keeps lit.

In seeing his life on the screen during the memorial, by reading his page on FB, by hearing the words of others and how he effected them…. has somehow effected me so deeply. I cant fully express in words, but I cannot help but recognize the short snip it in time God allowed him in my life, but the long term effect this will have on me forever. By feeling his pain this past week, it just reminded me… I am not God, and praise God I am not God because if I cannot handle even today, my own self, why in the WORLD do I want to take on others stuff, but yet, at the end of some days…I still do.

To realize, that the purpose of his life, for me, was to allow this past week to really resonate in my spirit as it has renewed my mind, and to be my next tool to help combat this selfishness, as well as the fact that he will never know the effect it has had on me and so many others, until we get to heaven, is such a beautiful reminder of who God is, and an answer to my recent prayer.

I have been praying for God to keep my heart tender towards Him; to help me accumulate another tool of knowledge to sever these thoughts of selfishness because I recognize the selfishness in me. I try to take captive my thoughts, but some days I win the battle, and others I don’t. When I pray, the outcome is not always what I think it will be. Rather, it is always WAY more effective than anything I could have EVER thought up myself, and this answer to prayer has DEFINIATELY been that.

I am so in LOVE with my faith and in Jesus Christ of Nazareth because it is personal. It is a personal relationship that I am afforded through the blood Jesus shed for us.

So here I am, day seven of this wave of emotion, and I can already feel the peace of God in my spirit as He comforts me with every word that I type on this page. So, what was the point of my writing this? The point is, is that you are not alone. We are ALL selfish. We are ALL looking for our purpose and meaning in life, but can I extend the words I felt resonate in my spirit from our Father. “Stop! STOP! Why are you trying so hard? You are doing through the works of your hand, not mine. Think, (fill in the blank with your name). Did I save your soul for you to preach, or to live it out? Judge or to love?”

The reason I extend this to you is because every day other’s life can appear to be more appealing, or less appealing than ours. More meaningful, fulfilling, purpose driven, or not so much. However, regardless of how their circumstances may ‘appear’, I guarantee you that past the facade, they would tell you they struggle with the very same things you do.

So as we strive so hard to do more, may we continuously be reminded to accept and love the place that God has us. If we can love where we are at, then we can love others where they are at. We can hand them more than just a sandwich. We can hand them a hope….a true GENUINE hope. A hope that says, there is something different about me. What is it? His name is Jesus. That is who is loving you through me because He is love. It is not me, my beautiful sister, or brother. I am simply the vessel, but He is the source of all you see.

I don’t EVER want to forget where I came from because no matter how much more God gives me, I will always have to fight my selfish ways.

Thank you God, for Your never ending grace! Your grace is enough. You are in control, Lord. In the middle of this daily war, You guard my soul. You alone are the anchor, when my sails are torn. Your love surrounds me, in the eye of [my] storm. (lyrics by Ryan Stevenson; Eye of the Storm)

Weekly prayer; tears of sorrow

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Dear Heavenly Father,

My heart weighs heavy today as so many lives continuously are claimed by the darkness of this world. So much pain circles around us. The inner struggle remains real and continuous for all of us.

For some, the pain is too great. The war within is far too much to bare and the only way is to silence the voices once and for all. Pain overcomes the battle and the joy within is suffocated by the trials and tribulations of this world. Hope is no longer tangible, but fear of tomorrow drowns us in today.

My God, my God…please do not forsaken us. Please do not leave us! Wake us up to our worth, Father. Allow change in us, so others are uplifted by the hope we find in You to overcome the darkness.

Love is the driving force, not judgement. Forgive us of our hypocrisy and lack of compassion. May we seek your love and leave out the fingers pointed towards others.

May God have mercy on all of us as we learn to stop focusing on our achievements, and start remembering how much pain still floats in a world ruled by darkness.

We are the city on a hill. We are the salt and light of the earth. We have to stop sneering at the homeless and hand them a sandwich. We need to stop judging the addicted, the prostitute, the poor, and start recognizing that their pain outweighs their joy. We need to hug them. Love them. Pray with them. Tell them they are WORTHY and LOVED and EQUAL and NEEDED. Tell them that the hope may currently be drowned by pain, but through lots of hard work, the joy will begin to produce air bubbles through the pain of recovery, and that air is awaiting at the top of this pool we call pain.

Our assignment is to allow others to recognize their worth through the redemptive work and saving grace of our Savior. Let us not forget this! We must love our brothers and sisters. God loves every single person in this universe! EVERYONE.

My cry is for everyone to know they are worthy and matter!!!! May the light of this world become brighter than the darkness. Awaken!!! Awaken!!!!!!!

In Jesus’ mighty name do I humbly and repentantly come,

Amen!!!!

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