Friday, June 29, 2012

Stand By Me

The more I study the life of Jesus,
the more my perspective of things changes.

As I seek to understand
the things going on in my life
(and in the world),
I, once again, realize
that everything revolves around

I have tried, in the past, 
to understand things
in my own strength
and have come up empty.

True wisdom comes from
knowing Him.

In as such,
seeing things from
His perspective
has become life-blood
for me.

Seeing things through His eyes
gives me

My attempts and failure
at forcing myself into
being content
with circumstances
has actually forced me 
deeper into Him.

I now realize that 
doesn't intend for us to be content
in circumstances.

How can we be?
To be content with
governments & suffering,
poverty & evil
is perverse.

He isn't content with these things
so why do we try and convince
each other that we should be?

God desires for us,
to be content in Him.

As I was pondering all of this,
Holy Spirit reminded me of
Jesus' time in Gethsemane.

Here is Matthew's telling of it:

"Then Jesus went with them to the olive grove called Gethsemane, 
and he said, 
“Sit here while I go over there to pray.”  
He took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons, James and John, 
and he became anguished and distressed. 
 He told them,
 “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. 
Stay here and keep watch with me.”

 "He went on a little farther and bowed 
with his face to the ground, praying, 
“My Father! If it is possible, 
let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. 
Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”

  "Then Jesus left them a second time and prayed,
 “My Father! 
If this cup cannot be taken away unless I drink it, 
your will be done.”  

"So he went to pray a third time,
 saying the same things again"
(Matthew 26:36-39, 42, 44)

You see,
Jesus wasn't content with His circumstances.
But he was content with the Father.

He wasn't content with
what He was about to suffer.
But He was content with knowing
 that in spite of
(and because of)
His suffering,
God (He) would prevail!

How comforting to know
that despite 
evil, corruption, poverty & perverseness,
GOD prevails!

Knowing this 
fills me with

Though my world may be crumbling ,
I am content,
knowing that Jesus 
is standing by/with me!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

God Thoughts No. Sixty Four

If we aren't constantly changing & growing,
we become stagnant & stunted.

To demand of others
what we deem as correct;
(impose our will upon others)
is proud & arrogant.

Even God does not do that.

Certainly, there are absolutes;
God is good.
He never changes.
Jesus is Messiah;
the Way, the truth & the Life -
the only Way to the Father.

Yet, even still,
He has given us

He has already chosen us
provided the path to His glory.

And He, 
ever so patiently,
waits -
for us to choose Him back.

Why, then,
do we cast each other off
if we choose not to conform
to one another's thinking?

Even God does not do that.

He waits,
ever so patiently,
for us to choose
to be transformed;
by the reality of His
His tyranny.

I have chosen
to be continually
from the conformity of the world,
into the wonderful creation which
He has designed for me to be,
rather than into what
others think
I ought to be.

I choose also,
to allow you
to be transformed,
by Him,
into what He
has designed for you to be.

For truly,
Father knows best!

Friday, June 22, 2012


This morning I was reflecting on my children and on parenting.
And as the saying goes, 
"I wish I had known then what I know now..."

As I was musing, I began making a list of the things that I have done
and of the things I have learned.

Certainly, there are some things I wish I had done better/more.
But there are also some things I have done well.

In the hope of encouraging someone,
I have decided to share my list.

Bear in mind that it's in no particular order.
I simply wrote it as I thought it.

Lavish your children with Love & affection.
Spend (quantity) time with them.
Make loving & nurturing them a priority.
The housework can wait.

"Spoil" them with love
rather than material possessions.

Teach and discipline them,
but only in Love;
never in anger.

Determine to raise them as best as you know how.
And realize that your parents probably raised you 
the best that they knew how.
Be gracious-
full of Grace.

As they grow up 
and may place some distance between themselves and you,
remain steadfast.

Don't get jealous or hurt
by others whom they have grown to love.
be thankful that there are others who choose to love them
and want to be a part of their lives.

Be there for them
but don't hover;
no "helicopter" moms!

Recognize when you need to step back 
and allow them to make decisions.
Guide but don't suffocate.

Recognize generational sins & curses in your family line
and determine that it stops with you.
Declare that they do NOT affect your children
and be willing to stand in the gap for as long as it takes
to break it!

Choose your battles wisely!
Instead of simply saying, "No" to purple hair
because you don't like it,
find out why they want purple hair.
Maybe purple is their favorite color and they want the
world to know it just by looking at them.
Maybe it's a sign of rebellion.
Finding out the root is much more important
than demanding your way simply because you can.

Allow your children to express themselves
through hair, clothing, art, music, etc.
Who cares what anyone else thinks as long
as you understand what's going on inside of them?

If you want your children to learn to make good choices,
then set the example by making good choices yourself.
And allow them TO make choices.

Cuddle more.
Criticize less.

Listen more.
Demand less.

Don't expect your child, "tween" or teen to act like an adult.
They are in a different place hormonally and emotionally than you
if you treat them with the same respect that you expect as an adult,
they will mostly likely surprise you!

Whisper words of affirmation & love into their ear
for as long as they allow it.
They grow up way too fast!

Married couples,
love your spouse well and openly.
If you don't respect your spouse,
how can you teach your children to respect theirs?

Stop nagging.
Explain things to them.
They are smarter than you think!

Make your home their "Safe" place.
They need a place that is safe from the world
which is all too ready & willing to hurt them.

If your home isn't safe, 
they will run from it first chance they get
and likely seek safety in the wrong places!

If your children are grown 
or you feel like you've already 
"blown it" 
and that it's too late -
think again!
It is never too late to 
repent, apologize and ask for forgiveness.

Communicate with them...
children, teens and adults alike.
Remember communication is two way.
Listen first.
Speak second.

And most importantly of all,
keep in mind your heavenly Father.

He is always loving,
patient & long-suffering,
 there for you.

He has given you free will 
and allows you to make choices
but is always willing to give guidance & counsel.

He is not a tyrant
and loves perfectly and unconditionally!

He is the perfect model
of the ultimate parent!
The ultimate model
of the perfect parent!
(hee hee)

Focus on Him first
and the result will be 
children who are loved, nurtured
and able to cope in life.


Thursday, June 21, 2012


"...don't worry about your life - 
what you will eat or drink: 
or about your body - 
what you will wear... 
can you by worrying add a single hour to your life? 
Your heavenly Father knows your needs. 
Seek first His kingdom and 
His righteousness and 
all these things will be given to you.
 Don't worry about tomorrow -
 tomorrow will worry about itself! 
Today has enough of its own troubles."
Matthew 25, 27, 32b-34

So far, in my life, 
this has proven to be the most difficult lesson
 for me to learn.

Having been stripped of nearly everything,
  I have had ample opportunity 
to work on it though.

In the process
I have learned much,
both, about myself
and about God.

I have learned that 
there is still a lot of work to be done - 
in me.

And I have re-realized
that knowing 
(or getting to know)
is a life-long adventure.

Every day I am coming into
the fullness of His glory.

But somewhere along the way,
I realize, that I have misplaced
Hope & Joy
and have lost my zeal for

In Philippians 4,
Paul talks about learning to be content.

And, in fact, for years
I have quoted verse 11 to myself,
over and over again, 
in order that I would
"remember" to be content.

But this morning,
Holy Spirit revealed to me
that I have been misquoting this verse to myself 
~ for years!

You see, Paul says,
"I have learned to be content regardless of circumstances."

But Holy Spirit lovingly pointed out to me 
that I need to follow that verse through with the next two verses
which actually finish the thought.

Here's what verses 12-13 say,
"I know what it is to be in want, 
and I know what it is to have more than enough -
 in everything and in every way 
I have learned the secret of being full and being hungry, 
of having abundance and being in need. 
I can do all things through Christ who gives me power."

The secret is ~
being content 
~ in HIM - 

All this time 
I have been beating myself up;
attempting to be content
in my circumstances - 
good or bad...

When all along
I should have really been 
learning to be content 

In Jesus there is Hope.

In Jesus there is fullness of Joy.

In Jesus there is Life.

Now that I see more clearly,
for the sake of my family
and for my health,
I pray that I can quickly return to


Thursday, June 14, 2012


Soft pillow
Welcomed sleep



Heart wrenching

Alarm sounds
Arise from bed
Begin on auto pilot

Real tears
Dried on the face

The Dream
And real life
Are one and the same

Monday, June 11, 2012

God Thoughts No. Sixty Three


This morning the Lord reminded me of something I read quite some time ago.
It went something like, 
“Use what you need of the resources which God supplies,
 then give the excess to someone else in need. 
As you do, you will find that your cup will never run dry. 
You will receive a continuous flow. 
As you give, so you will receive.”

This line of thinking goes against everything our culture teaches 
(even within the “Christian” community)
 and that fact strikes me as flat out wrong.

As I was thinking on it this morning, 
I also had this thought;
“I bet if every Jesus follower actually did this,
we could end poverty.” 

Poverty isn’t only financial lack.
Poverty is physical, mental/emotional, and spiritual. 
It affects the whole person.
All too often, when we encounter those experiencing poverty, 
we automatically begin making assumptions. 
Assumptions about how they got there,
 why they remain there and 
how we think they ought to get out of it.

We forget that each situation is unique. 
We assume too much without actually knowing that person’s story. 
And we judge without bothering to get to know them.

As I have previously shared, 
I am well acquainted with the affects of poverty.
I thank God every day for the persons in my life who have faithfully, 
 for the past several years,
  put into practice, giving part of their resources to us -
 For truly, without them, 
we would have been homeless a long time ago.

And since we are in the midst of this adverse financial situation, 
some days I am hard-pressed to figure out
 what I can give to someone else.

But this morning the Lord reminded me that 
I have myself to give to others. 

Holy Spirit has equipped me with 
the gift of encouragement 
and as such, I am to encourage others. 

And since school is “out”,
 right now I have an “excess” of time. 
So, I am to give my time to others
 through phone calls, text messages and visits.

And since these are the resources I, indeed, 
have on hand right now, 
I will give myself and my time. 

Jesus said it plainly,
 “Give and you shall receive.” 
 “With whatever measure you give, 
it shall be given back to you; 
pressed down, shaken and spilling over.”

It really is that simple.

What a loving, gracious God we have. 
For truly, He has given us the answers to all of life’s dilemmas.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Kindred Spirits

In Psalm 143 verse seven, David says,
“Come quickly, Lord, and answer me, for my depression deepens. 
Don’t turn away from me or I will die.”
David and I are kindred spirits.

When I got up this morning and asked God for some encouragement,
He led me to the above mentioned verse.
My initial response was,
“YES! That’s what I’m talking about. 
Thank you David and thank You Lord!”
Then, my old religious self said, 
“Now, you can’t admit that publicly 
because feeling depressed is giving into sinfulness.”

But after some self-loathing and a nap, 
I decided that I was going to embrace that verse 
and publicly declare it, 
because, hey, despite my perfection in Christ, 
I am still prone to human emotions…
just like everyone else.

Our situation has been so difficult for so long 
that some days I simply feel depressed.
To admit this publicly is a huge step for me.
It has only been the past few years that
I have learned to allow myself to experience true Grace
-God’s grace.

I had been steeped in performance-based religion 
for so long that when I fall back into those old habits,
I get extremely frustrated with myself,
thus, focusing on performance rather than on grace.
What a vicious circular web the enemy tries to weave.

This afternoon, Holy Spirit said to me,
“Lysa, I am not obsessed with sin the way (some) people are. 
I’m obsessed with Grace. 
I am ALL about Grace. 
Remember, Jesus is the fulfillment of Grace. 
And I prefer your honesty much more than I judge your performance.”

What an amazingly Loving, Gracious God!

And you know what else? 
When I shared that verse on another social media platform, 
a few people responded; 
some with encouragement 
and some with the admission 
that they too have been experiencing a difficult day. 

I hope that this time I have learned (truly) 
to not underestimate the power of honesty, realness and Grace! 


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