Let Go. He Has.

Today’s reading is Judges 15:9-20 as we read about Samson for a second day.

Yesterday we read in Judges 13:5 where an angel told Samson’s mother before he was born that God had big plans for Samson, and He would begin to save Israel from the Philistines who were against God and who suppressed them. Reading through today’s verses tell us he did just that. Although they took him as a prisoner, we can read in chapter 16 he killed many of them taking down the pillars of the building he was in with them.

In reading about Samson in the book of Judges we can tell God did with Samson just what he said he would and fulfilled His purpose through him. We can also learn Samson did not always do what was pleasing to God. He did not follow many of the rules he was supposed to as a Nazarite. He also fell in love with Philistine women who were against God including Delilah. Some would also say that while God did say he would fight against the Philistines he was also over-zealous and too bent on revenge and violence.

If we think about what the angel told Samson’s parents about the plans God had for Samson, we might realize that he did not say Samson would live a perfect life without sin, or God would only do big things with Samson if he didn’t make mistakes or behaved in a certain way. God was going to fulfill His purpose for Samson despite his mistakes and mess ups which He knew Samson would make.

Did you know God said the same thing about you?

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

Psalm 139:13-16

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 2:10

These verses in Psalms tell us not only did He make you fearfully and wonderfully and know you before you were born, but He knew all the days in your life and what would happen and the mistakes you would make. Yet, the verse in Ephesians tells us you are not only His workmanship, but you were created for good works which God prepared before hand for you to walk in. You were created for good works He would do through you despite your sin.

From the time sin came into the world, God knew you would sin and had a plan to defeat it. Genesis 3:15 tells Satan Jesus would come “crush your head” beating sin. Romans 5:8 tells us while we were still sinners Christ showed us His love and died for us.

God has had a plan for you all along to not only save you from your sin, but to use you for His purpose.

He’s forgiven you and will use you for His purpose despite anything in your past.

Since He’s forgiven you, what do you need to forgive yourself?

What do you need to do to remember daily that He will use you for big things despite your sin and past?

In fact, He’s using your past and your story to create your future and bring His greater story of grace and forgiveness to light so that He may be glorified and so that others may know Him and know His love and what’s possible through you and your life.

Blessings on the way

Today’s Reading: Psalms 45 

I have a confession: I really read and focus on the first 75% of the psalms and most readings on my first read through.  This leaves the remaining 25% of the passage as a skimmed portion.  Because I have recognized this in myself, I have made it a practice to read through passages twice on the first time through and then I have to commit to reading the passage several times that week to fully gain the information and knowledge in the passage.  

With this preface, I read the passage for the blog several times and now I am able to understand several messages in the passage and see how it reflects what I believe.  The two main ideas that have been revealed are:  1.) Blessings are on the way and 2.) We need to get out of the way of the blessings. 

In the beginning of the Psalm, the author is writing about the beginning of a celebration and festival.  The first ten verses are setting up the splendor and the amazing things that are at hand. 

Psalm 45:4-8

In your majesty ride out victoriously

    for the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;

    let your right hand teach you awesome deeds!

Your arrows are sharp

    in the heart of the king’s enemies;

    the peoples fall under you.

Your throne, O God, is forever and ever.

    The scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of uprightness;

    you have loved righteousness and hated wickedness.

Therefore God, your God, has anointed you

    with the oil of gladness beyond your companions;

    your robes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia.

In these verses it shows the goodness and mercies that God has in store for each of us.  God delights in the preparation and celebration that we can enjoy being in union with Him.  It details the protection and the blessings that are ready for us in this union.  

As we read further, it also demonstrates that we are at risk of not allowing ourselves to enjoy the fullness of the blessings.  I have seen this in myself, I have not allowed the richness and fullness of the blessings to be accepted because I allow the past to dictate the future.  The things that are in my past continue to try to remind me of who I was and not who I have become in this new union.  But as I have grown in my relationship with God, I can forget the past and look toward the future. 

Psalm 45:10-11 ; 16-17 

Hear, O daughter, and consider, and incline your ear:

    forget your people and your father’s house,

    and the king will desire your beauty.

In place of your fathers shall be your sons;

    you will make them princes in all the earth.

I will cause your name to be remembered in all generations;

    therefore nations will praise you forever and ever.

These verses are not saying to negate the past experiences that have created the circumstances that have made you available to this blessing, but to allow them to help you grow into the new creation that He has in store for you.  

I believe that God is always ready to give us more blessings and he has them ready, but we have to not allow the past or other influences to hinder the manifestations. Two of the mentors that I look to for direction in the fullness of blessings are Peter and Paul.  Both were plagued with their past lives before and with Christ, but through His Love and Patience they became founders of the Church.  Stay prayerful and be blessed.

Imagine – God’s Promises

Today’s Reading: 2 Chronicles 6:12–42; 1 John 5; Habakkuk 1; Luke 20

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.  And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.  1 John 5: 13-14

This past weekend so many people were blessed by an amazing day that included spending time together and sharing life stories as they shopped together for Christmas. It wasn’t only the shopping, wrapping, and food baskets provided. It was the opportunity to be in the house of the Lord with so many believers and hear God’s words shared. God moved many hearts this day and in addition, we were blessed by four baptisms. This event called Imagine, hosted by Eastview, truly fills the hearts of all involved. Which are many!

For myself, the opportunity to listen, encourage, share, love on, and talk about God’s promises is priceless. Our stories of pain can often be surrounded by loss, rejection, anger, abuse, lying, insecurity, selfishness, and a feeling of being alone. These were just some shared and some of my own. As I heard these stories I listened and truly felt empathy, not just sympathy, because I could relate based on those same feelings at many points in my personal life.  After some tears, hugs, laughs, moments of silence, and gestures of affirmation between us we were able to talk about God’s eternal promises for us.  That in the midst of all that goes on during our earthly lives God has a plan and He loves us.  That in our pain and moments of feeling alone, He is always with us.  One friend of mine I shared the morning with recalled a time where her mother was in the hospital. While sitting next to her ailing mothers bed she cried out to God because she had the fear of losing her mother. In this moment Darla said she heard a voice saying,  “I’m here”. After hearing this, she had felt a sense of relief as her mom passed away that evening.  We agreed that when and if we listen hard enough and believe, God is saying, “I’m Here” to all of us whenever we call.

A few scriptures that we shared this day and I carry around with me as reminders of this promise are listed below. These verses help me in time of need when I’m struggling with how to handle my past, current challenges, and future worries. Sharing God’s word is hard sometimes, I’m not sure why?  Maybe, I let my own insecurities get in the way? But, when you share His words and promises they are affirming and possibly life changing for those you share it with. They change your own life as well. Here are a few of the verses we shared;

PastI do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14

Obstacles – Count it all Joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfected and complete, lacking nothing. James 1:2-4

Hope – the LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love. Psalm 147:11

FutureFor I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

During this time of the year this is so much Joy in giving, time together, and the remembrance of the birth of Jesus. There can also be so much pain in loss, family struggles, and feeling like you don’t measure up.  In our moments of pain and struggle we can’t allow these earthy worries take us over. We need to call out to God and ask for his strength and love. When you feel like you can’t call anyone else you can always call to God.


I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.  John 8:12


Past, Present, and Future

This week we were asked to reflect on our:

I was________.

I am__________.

Today’s Reading Link:Exodus 40; John 19; Proverbs 16; Philippians 3

I do not consider that I have made it on my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining toward what lies ahead. I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14

I know something about each and everyone one of us. Guess? We are all different. You are a masterpiece! There is no one in the world like you. We all have a different set of fingerprints. This unique and humbling information is also accurate for our lives. For myself,  I truly wished I would’ve been in the word more earlier in my life, but I wasn’t.  I also understand now that God has a divine plan for everyone and everything.  As we recently come off the official celebration of Jesus’s resurrection I reflect also on our past, present, and future in Him. I love thinking of what Jillian said yesterday as starting my New Year in Christ.  I’m excited for it! I love this opportunity to be in the Word with others daily. God knows our past and He plans our future.

For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you. To give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

Past: Often we can catch ourselves trying to compare, copy, or just want things that others have.  This can include a certain lifestyle, relationship, and of course physical or material things.  This was definitely evident for me growing up. An upbringing that included much adversity in home dynamics and living in poverty to our American standards.  I would do anything to get or make others believe that I had some kind of perfect life.  Acting in one way where on the inside there was an insecure kid who would try to impress others through lies. I was truly selfish in all things doing whatever to look and act a certain way no matter who was hurt. It was all about me.  This was all the center of my world and God wasn’t visible in any of it, and it showed.  We tend to want what someone else has or the next best thing. Not until some rock bottom experiences did I realize I needed to have a closer relationship with God.  I wasn’t able to do any of it.

God grabbed a hold of my heart and put some brothers and sisters in Christ in my life. I started to give more of my own life and desires to Him. So we press on knowing that Christ has made us his own and that is his desire for us.In order to receive this life you need to repent and open your eyes, answer the door, let Him into your heart. Repentance can be a momentary confession but is a lifelong process.

  • The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, Acts 17:30 (We could dwell on the past and point fingers but we realize that isn’t the answer, Jesus is.)
  •  If anyone would come after me , let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.  For whoever would save his life will lose it, but lose his life for my life, will save it. Luke 9:23-24

Present: We live in tension between who we have been and who we want to be. Faith in God allows us to let go and look forward to what he wants us to become. Not to hang onto our past, but grow in the knowing of God and a building of your relationship with Him. We have been forgiven, so we can look forward to a more purpose guided life with God. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32

Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us

Future: God knows our final plans but in doing God’s will along the way our efforts in this partnership need to center on Him and not ourselves. We need to use our minds and heart. As we live for him, pray for guidance as you plan, and act in faith when working your plan.

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. Proverbs 16:9

What’s your:

I was________?    

I am_________? 

Dear God,

I was selfish now I am changed while still a work in progress.  Thank you for the change in my life. Please continue encourage us to  put our Faith in you and not ourselves. Release us from the weight of our past and allow us to focus on our eternity with you.  We don’t deserve the sacrifice you made for us but we know you are a loving God who gives grace.  You know our past, you know or future.  I pray you keep us attentive to your lifeline in your Word that  you have provided and remembering the perfect example of your son Jesus. We lift this day up to you.  Let Your will be done.