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WellWithMySoul

Independent Fundamental Baptist
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Everything posted by WellWithMySoul

  1. These are very needful and encouraging messages! I only had time to listen to the first one this morning, and I look forward to hearing the rest of them. With sincerity, I pray that this passage of scripture and the other scriptures used would not only "stir" me up, but hopefully "change" me! II Cor. 10:5 is very much a verse that we need to commit to "writing down on the tables of our hearts", and applied in our lives! Being a "good soldier of Jesus Christ" is a wonderful thing, and ought to be an absolutely delightful desire for us to strive for - by His strength and workmanship. This morning, I'm very INcouraged by these messages!
  2. I wrote this "letter" to my sons for Father's Day...with a genuine heart, I hope it is a blessing of God's grace and mercy to any readers of it! ****** My dearest sons... Yes, tis me yet again...the blessed Spirit has prodded me to share with you once more. I've said most everything already in the past, but just wanted to reiterate because my heart is full with it. You are each one wonderful dads, and unique in your own way with your sons. I have a lot of respect for the love that you have for them. My precious, precious grandsons! My son's sons! I'm so proud of all of you, and pray continually for you. My pride and my joy! What can I say more? I'm very grateful to the Lord for each of you! What can I say more - well, just that I long to be of encouragement to you, and to edify you. The world has long been growing darker and darker, and yet its pulls of temptation have subtly and yet strongly been enticing. The saved are not exempt, but God's grace and longsuffering is glorious! He is so very patient with each one of us, and full of amazing love and kindness to us. Sigh...however, regardless of the world around us, we are still accountable before God Almighty. Each one of us must answer for ourselves, thankfully not for our sins...for they've been covered on the cross...but for how we are walking with the Lord Jesus. I cannot express seriously enough, that "what goes around, comes around"! There is no avoiding that truth. All throughout scripture are what I call the geometric "ifs and thens". IF we live according to the Word with our hearts and consciences clear before the Lord to the best of our ability, THEN the Lord will work ALL things together for our good. He always has our best interests in mind. But! IF we live and walk in disobedience to the Word, THEN it is to be accepted that the consequences will most likely be painful and we will definitely know the chastisement of the Lord. It says in Ezekiel 7:10 - "Behold the day, behold, it is come: the morning is gone forth; the rod hath blossomed, pride hath budded." Our dear God loves us so much that even by His wondrous grace, He will chastise us according to the disobedient ways that we have chosen. As you have read in my testimony that I sent to you...I made some of my own foolish choices, and the consequences have not been at all pleasant. The sinful ways that I chose were NOT productive or fruitful for anything good...period! There might have been some kind of what I thought was comforting or pleasureable, tho' totally temporal...but they ended in ways that produced shame and guilt and embarrassment. To this day, I still reap some of the consequences of the sinful choices that I sowed. As your mom, I naturally want to warn you and to protect you so that you don't suffer the same needless kind of consequences that I have. However! You are each a man in your own right. I've had my time as you were growing up to teach you and to bring you up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and so I can only hope to encourage you to walk in the ways that are pleasing to the Saviour. One of the biggest reasons that I am sharing with you....isn't so much for you, as it is for your sons. Whether you like it or not, as men...the Lord has given you the role of being the leader of your family. Being a leader might come naturally or it might not, but it doesn't really matter what kind of a personality you have....that's the role that you are responsible for. That means that you must be a Godly example and illustration to your sons. The past is not an excuse for the present. By the way, even though I'm addressing this to you...there isn't a child of God that isn't accountable for the role that God has given them; male or female. "That thou mightest fear the LORD thy God, to keep all His statutes and commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son's son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged...that it might be well with thee...And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might...And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up...And thou shalt do that which is right and good in the sight of the LORD: that it may be well with thee..." (Deut. 6) I've quoted some Old Testament verses, but regardless of the dispensation of law or grace...God changes not, and so He still "feels" the same way about obedience or disobedience. I dearly hope that I come across as trying to encourage you to walk with the Lord. There is absolutely nothing in this world that is productive, lastingly successful, or that will bring true JOY and PEACE like living for the One that created us, loves us the most, the best, and gave Himself for us! The world and the ways of the world will only promote failure and misery...and we must understand that with wisdom. So, my beloved sons...your responsibilities as dads are tremendous because of the alluring ways of this world, but try not to be discouraged! Keep your hope in the Lord, and desire His ways, and you'll truly begin to understand that glorious abundant life that He longs for us to have even in the midst of such darkness. Yes, I'm "only" mom...but please be patient with me, for the Lord has impressed on my heart the absolute importance of walking with, in, by, and for Him. I never really had a "dad"...Gpa just wasn't there for me. I missed out on so much learning, and I didn't have an example of the kind of love and acceptance that a child needs. It was such a deep source of hurt for me...but words cannot express the gratefulness that I have that the Lord showered and filled my heart with the comprehension of His love for me. HE is my Father...and I sincerely hope and pray with great love, understanding, and compassion the importance of God's love flowing in and thru you to your precious sons. I know that I write "novelettes"...but I truly hope that you will seriously consider my words in light of the Word and the gracious Saviour. I can truly say that in spite of my many failures, YOU...my sons...are wonderful, wonderful men. I adore each one of you! I love you, my beloved sons! Mom
  3. All four of our children have served in our Armed Forces (and two of them still serve). As each one of them walked out of the door of our home headed for boot camp...I handed them a personal letter that I'd written to them...to read as they flew across the country. The following is a copy of the last letter that I wrote...to our oldest son. It was so very difficult for this momma to watch her "babes" go off and far away from home with the potential of being put in harm's way. Indeed, we endured thru seven or eight deployments between them. I found this copy folded and placed in a little Bible that I had tucked away in a drawer. ***** Son... I never dreamed that I would be writing one of these "going off into the military" letters to you like I wrote to your siblings. I'm very proud of you, and always have been. You have been such a wonderful gift from the Lord...my first born. My heart threatens to fail me at times for the maternal need to somehow protect you from all the dangers and the evil foe. However, you are a man and you have your own wife to cleave to, and your son to raise up in the nurture and the admonition of the Lord. Yes, I've let you go on the "outside", but I cling to you in my heart and pray for you in ways that only a mother can. As of today, your life will change forever. You will never be the same. You will be exposed to this world in ways that you've never been exposed to before. You will see things, hear things, and experience things that will most likely shock you at first. The best advice that I can give to you, is to keep praying without ceasing. When you are being yelled at, called names, put down, and basically trashed...keep praying. Whisper silent words up to the Saviour, and never forget the very Foundation you have in Him. As they drill into you and work on breaking your own will, as they push your flesh almost past endurance, keep remembering who you are and where you came from. Let them break your will, but don't let them affect your spirit. It is their job to make you a soldier...and that you shall become...but remember, you are first in the "Army of God". It's true..."Onward Christian Soldiers"...and you can be a shining light no matter where you are or what your situation is. Dear Son...words fail me though my heart is ready to burst because of all of the emotions and feelings that I have. There's so much that I want to tell you and warn you about, yet I must simply entrust you to the Lord, for in His hands and in His will is the very safest and best place to be. We've been in the"last days" for a long time, and so now I wonder if we are truly now in the "last moments". "Everyday with Jesus should be sweeter than the day before": as we live on for Him regardless of where we are or what is going on in our lives. Everyday presents new opportunities to testify of His indwelling presence whether it be thru word, deed, or in our very countenance. Everyday we should be desiring that He would renew our minds, and transform us more and more into the likeness and image of the Son. Though every single minute in boot camp will be controlled, you can still silently whisper calls of help to the Saviour. He is the best Friend that you will ever, ever have and He greatly desires to be there for you in every way. I've personally memorized the following verses...and I hope that they will also become very dear to you: "Now thanks be unto God, which ALWAYS causeth us to TRIUMPH in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by US in EVERY PLACE. For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved..." (II Cor. 2:14, 15a) My beloved son, my tears ever flow as my heart desires the very best for you and for your family. Know my love, which is like no other love you shall receive...that of a mother's love for her child. I carried you, I bore you, and even thru many mistakes and failures I've raised you the best I can to love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength first...and then to love your family, God's family, and the people of this world as yourself. Know that I shall yet continue to thicken the very callouses on my knees for the kneeling in prayer for you. As I told your siblings...when you are far away and feeling alone and you just need a hand to hold...."here is mine" (my handprint on the other side). I love you, my son...my son, my son! Go with God and Godspeed...and don't forget who you are and always remember home. Love, Mom
  4. Yes! This is a wonderful and muchly needed message! Yet again tears of gladness water my eyes because of the truth presented here. A couple of years ago I memorized John 3:16-21....(I noticed you included John 3:19 in the message)...and I've referred to that passage countless times since then. What a blessing and encouragement the other scriptures are in this message also! In and of myself is no good thing, but with my Saviour's indwelling presence...I'm a child of the King! The more I'm aware of my depravity without Him (including the times that I fail to include Him and attempt to venture at anytime without His leading), the more I can comprehend and know the vastness of His love for me! O what a Saviour!!
  5. What a blessing...and a very timely one too! I had just read this account in Mark 6 this morning! Yesterday, I had been praying specifically about some trials that I've been struggling with, and so I believe the Lord has comforted, reassured, and encouraged me with this account of Jesus in both Matthew and Mark today! Truly....praise Him from Whom all blessings flow! It's so very exciting to me when there is no question that the pecious Saviour has answered my prayers. Proof positive...AGAIN...that He is ever there for me! I'm praising Him for working in and thru you, Alan....to put forth this devotional! I'm blessed beyond words, and greatly encouraged! Thank you!
  6. Love "The William Tell Overture"...and attempt to play it on the piano... When our children were pre-teens, we would all gather together and listen to symphonies such as Alan posted. We all listened very carefully and tried to imagine what the story was behind the song...and then shared our own "versions" with each other afterwards. It was a fun family thing to do and gave all of us an appreciation for music. It is also a wonderful thing to read the history that is behind the writing of many hymns.
  7. I found one of the verses that has been a blessing concerning this - David is referring to his child that died in II Sam. 12 - "But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me" (II Sam. 12:23). Is. 7:15-16 are also worthy of considering - "Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good. * For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings." In my above post I mentioned "God's character" and principles. The more that I read the Word, the more that I not only hear it but also try to obey it, and the closer that I grow in my walk with the dear Saviour....the more familiar I become with His thoughts and ways. Of course, they are much higher than mine will ever be as it says in Isaiah 55...but the more that He progressively conforms me into His likeness...the more that I draw nigh to Him, then the more He draws nigh to me. Since the Lord is never contradictive, never inconsistent, but always the same ("Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever" - Heb. 13:8), then as I walk with Him loving Him with all of my heart, soul, mind, and strength (the best I can)... the more that I then can recognize His ways/character. I John 4:16 speaks of how "God is love", and He clearly holds "children" in a special place in His heart ("But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven" - Mt. 19:14). I dearly do not want to take any verses out of context, and I certainly don't want to make them of any private interpretation...but I do believe that these verses illuminate a lot of God's character to us. In response to the difficulty you've mentioned having as far as babies being whisked away from unbelieving women...even though the baby is developing within the womb...it is still an individual life that...as you said...began at conception. I'm struggling to verbalize my thoughts...so summing it up overall...the spiritual status of the mother does not determine the status of the child.
  8. I have pondered and prayed about my response to these questions. In the early 1980's I "lost" two babies, and in 2008 I "lost" my granddaughter. I believe that they are with my Lord Jesus. It is very comforting to know that they are safe with Him. Over the years I have been blessed with a couple of verses that confirm their presence with the Lord...but I'm a little slow remembering the references. God's "character" and other principles in the Word also give me confidence. Again without references off the top, I also believe that babies in the womb will also be whisked away and caught up to meet Jesus in the air.
  9. One of the most freeing things I have ever experienced was to forgive a family member for committing a crime against one of my children. Only by God's grace, mercy, and workmanship could the act of truly forgiving take place. Indeed we should love, pray for, and bless our "enemies" (including family members) out of obedience to the Word...and to be pleasing and glorifying to our Lord. When the Lord Jesus worked forgiveness into my heart....He also filled me with His love to such depth for the one that had committed the crime...that it's nothing short of miraculously amazing! Even though my relationship with that family member was never the same after that....because of that forgiveness, I was free to love that one without reservation. A quote that I shared in my testimony is a good one to remember: "Forgiveness is not forgetting, forgiveness is remembering it forgiven." I'm sooooo glad that the Lord is so wondrously forgiving, and I want to grow to become more and more like Him!
  10. Dearest Rosie....has there been anymore news about Seth? I hurt for both him and his family and friends. To be so upset as to leave like he did is clear indication of the depth of pain and insecurity he is experiencing. I long for him to know the absolute comfort and security there is in our Saviour! I long for him to know in his heart the glorious love that our Lord has for him, and how the Lord's longing to bring healing to his mind (and more so, his heart) is infinitely greater yet! I will continue to pray for Seth.
  11. I will also pray for you and for your family...that you will know without doubt the Lord's leading and will concerning your present circumstances. My heart goes out to you because of your recent loss; I just lost my dad last September. As I lift you up in prayer, I shall ask that you will also know how the Lord wants to use you to His glory through the trying times. May you know the comfort and greatly sense the Lord's presence and love.
  12. Hello, Trent! There are some real fine saved folks at this site, and so I hope you are greatly blessed as you come here. Welcome!
  13. This was originally written in 2008 when my youngest son was deployed to the Middle East. His family stayed with us for the 18 months that he was gone. I just found it in my binder and re-wrote it, and so I hope it is a blessing to others. Springtime Today is a beautiful day. The sky is blue and there is nary a cloud in sight. I'm sure the sun will shine a nearly perfect temperature on us again. I do love springtime! I love how bright green the new grasses are, and I love to daily watch as new leaves first bud on the trees, and then as the days go by they begin to unfold. Pretty soon they are clapping their hands, and waving to us in the breeze. My bright red tulips have opened up and are so beautiful and cheerful to look at just sitting there in my yard reflecting the sweetness of our God. Bees and flies and ants and other insects also begin waking up and become busy buzzing and scurrying about. While walking down the street, one can hear all sorts of different kinds of birds tweeting, whistling, chirping, and singing. They fly from tree to tree or soar up high in the sky. They flash hues and speckles of brown and orange and yellow and blue as they fly overhead. My grandson and I picked out some "Pussy Willow" seeds from a tree and brought them home. We filled a pot with some soil, planted the seeds, gave them a drink, and then placed them in the warmth of the rays of the sunshine. So far...I think a weed is beginning to sprout...but that's okay, for my grandson was very excited about watching the little green sprout poking its head up out of the dirt. I don't know if we'll actually have "Pussy Willow" buds or not, but it has been fun to watch for them. We've already had the pleasure of watching little baby black-wooled lambs wobbling around after their mommas in the pasture across town. Lil hereford and white-faced angus calves have played peek-a-book with us out from behind their mommas too, and it's fun to watch them frolic and play with each other. Yes, spring is a season of beginnings...new God-created life truly springs up and it encourages the opportunities that we all have to spring foward for our Lord Jesus as we press on in this earthly life. Everyday is a new day, and yet at the end of each day...I hope to rest content in having lived the whole day to its fullest. We will never have this day to live again, but we do have today. Each minute of it counts in its own way being precious and valuable as the seconds tick by. Each breath we take is a miracle, and so we should exhale each with much gratefulness to the Lord by "being and breathing" and living each moment desiring to be pleasing to Him. Sigh...what shall this day bring? Are we noticing the occasions that God sends our way to share Him? Are our minds stayed on Him? What a joy it is to "lose" ourselves to Him each day, that we might be softened and moldable and that He might have the free reign to continue to shape us more and more into the likeness of His own image. Being chiseled, pierced, and tried through the "fires" of this life are not things to trifle with, but are to be taken as seriously as each breath that we breathe. The pain can be almost unbearable, yet even in a weakened state we can yet embrace it and cling tightly to it loving Him and looking for and claiming God's promise to work all out for our ultimate good and according to His purpose. When we view the grievous pains and trials of this life through the Saviour's eyes, we know that we can be more than conquerors through Him. Even the adverse tryings of our faith can be the very means in which abundant joy can be born. We must be careful not to heighten nor give strength to the painful trials by focusing upon them, but instead we must look towards the Saviour and the workings of His blessed sweetness and charity and mercy through it. By shedding the poverties of this old life, we can bud and spring forth ever growing in the light of His countenance. May this beautiful spring day be pleasing and profitable to our precious Saviour's glory!
  14. Rosie...I've already lifted Seth up in prayer, and I will continue to. Even though he is missing, our precious Lord Jesus knows right where Seth is at as you know, and he knows exactly what Seth needs. It's such a comfort at difficult times like this to cling to and trust the Lord. Indeed, this sounds like a heartbreaking situation, and I know that the Lord will hear our cry to Him on behalf of Seth.
  15. Hi, PinkFlowers! Welcome to OLB! I'm glad that after hearing discussions about the different Bible versions...that you chose the KJB. I'm also in California (way up north), and I truly hope that you will be greatly blessed by coming to this site.
  16. I most whole-heartedly agree with you, Pastor Markle. Children need a Godly daddy in their lives! These days it's pretty easy to spot those who don't have a daddy after God's own heart. At the same time, it's also easy to spot those few who do! Sadly too, these days....it's getting more difficult to find Godly moms.
  17. Welcome, Jim...as a new moderator! It's obvious that you love the Lord, and desire to glorify Him in all that you say and do! As others have said...you are a very good choice to have as a moderator here in OLB. We will have to really "behave" here, because now we are almost smackdab in the middle between two moderators...you and Ukulelemike...geographically speaking. We're on the other side of Mt. Shasta. 'So glad you have joined the ranks of being a mod here!
  18. I posted this a few years ago in the former lady's forum before it moved over to here. We have lost 2 of our own precious little ones and our granddaughter, and it's very comforting to know that they are with our dear Saviour in glory. ***** Precious Little One There was something that fell so short...when my whispered words of love to her went unheard since death had stolen her away...I know I kissed her and I had the taste of her upon my lips...and I took it in and savored it.... It is obvious by their soft little foot imprints in the snow, that little snowbirds and snow bunnies are watching out for our little Kate's resting place. Lilies, compassionately given by the soldiers in Kate's daddy's unit in the war-ravaged land of Iraq, lay sweetly fringed in ruffled frost, gently atop the small grave. The bitter cold wind from the northeast blew across the valley, yet the sky was soft blue, and it allowed the sun to shine and to reflect little sparkles in the snow around my little granddaughter's grave. Those twinkling little sparkles were each as tiny precious little angelic kisses reminding us of our Father's love. Each Baby's Breath that was sprayed amongst the lilies brought to mind the promises of God, that the sting of death has been conquered... and that at precisely the right time, the angels had taken charge and ushered our Kate into the glory of Heaven. When our baby girl opened up her eyes for the first time, and drew her first breath...she knew the very essence of Love, our Saviour, for she saw Him face to face. He was framed about with the vivid colors of divine glory, and there was a scent of purity that enveloped precious Kate in unspeakable sweetness. Tho' it is only maternal and natural we need not fear the cold of that northeast wind, nor worry about protecting our baby girl from the elements of this earth... for our beloved tiny little Kate Lemoni is victoriously and very much eternally and unequivocally alive in the very presence of our blessed Saviour. Gramma M
  19. Today Ps. 37:24 - "Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand." John 10:28 - "And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand." What a wonderful thing it is that as His dear children He keeps us! Have you ever considered the power of the small word "keep" when it is our omnipotent God doing the "keeping"? For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken" (Prov. 3:26). Praise God who "kept" me from being utterly cast down, because He had saved me to the uttermost! (Heb. 7:25) Along with my testimony in the thread "Saved And I Know It", I'd like to "briefly" testify of how the Lord is working in my life today. Spiritual growth comes about by His workmanship; because in and of myself I can do no good thing. Our God longs to "grow us up" in Himself, but we must surrender to Him and avail ourselves to His work. For years I held back total surrender and submission to Him because I believed that, that meant I was going to have to make some sort of terribly painful sacrifice. I was afraid to trust Him completely, which really is quite silly for He always has what is for our ultimate best in mind. The Lord has indeed been growing me a lot in this area since that wondrous time that He so miraculously blessed me with the depth of understanding and comprehension of His love. As I've aged and have also gone through some life-threatening health issues, I've found that time is of essence! I could've just collapsed and died with the health issues that I had, but the appointed time for my earthly demise was not to be then....for the Lord had more for me to do here. Every single day is precious and I dearly want to live it to its fullest to God's glory. My Lord has taught me much about how to trust Him and to surrender submissively to Him. Matt. 16:25 says, "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it." He has taught me these things, but I am still in the process of learning them. He has more than adequately proved His truth to me that if I would but trust and surrender myself to Him, then I will actually FIND that by doing so I will experience the abundance of life with blessing, peace, and with joy. He first loved me, but by the reasonable "sacrifice" of losing myself, my very life, thoughts, and ways to Him - that it would be an utter delight to respond and return my love to Him. Our precious God is so full of mercy, grace, and longsuffering! On occasion, I have tried to understand and view more of God's perspective of me by using ants as an analogy. Since we live in a very rural area we have all kinds of ants busy around us. What a blessing it has been when I've stooped down and watched the ants and considered their ways. I've seen them very busy and working sometimes alone, sometimes in long lines with a "b'zillion" other ants, sometimes where there are only a couple of them working together, and I've seen them in huge nests. I would stoop down and while watching the ants, I would consider that perhaps my perception of them was likened to the way God might stoop down and see me. Considering the ants caused me to wonder with amazement and awe that "What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?" (Ps. 8:4) Ants seem to be so insignificant compared to human beings, but then again - next to God Almighty if it weren't for His majestic and divine glory and His gracious love, we'd be swallowed up by our own insignificance. Observing ants ought to be humbling to all of us. I'm so very glad that the Lord is mindful of me! Hand in hand with teaching me how to trust Him, the Lord has incorporated the lesson of learning how to be thankful both in and for all things. Indeed we can be thankful for all things as well as in them, for each circumstance of our lives gives us opportunity for growth and for proving His indwelling presence to the lost. We can be thankful that even though the devil means things for evil, our God can and will work them for the good of those that love Him, and according to His purpose. Fears, fretting, and stress are three areas that I continue to struggle with. I'm so very glad that the Lord knew from the beginning that all of us would struggle with these things, and so gave us encouragement, comfort, instruction, and commmandment concerning them. As it says in Jer. 17:9, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" (Verse 10 tells us that it's the Lord who searches the heart...) The Lord has indeed granted me several victories in these three areas, however I refuse to deceive myself into thinking that I'm "more than a conqueror" of them. As I continue to grow in my level of trust in Him, I'm assured that He will bless me with yet more victories through Him on the way to becoming "more than a conquer" of them... as I journey along in this earthly life. There are many, many more lessons that the Lord has been teaching me including learning how to "wait" on Him while also "resting in Him. I can be very impatient at times, and so waiting on Him can truly be a challenge for me. There are so many things that I wish that I'd learned already yesterday! I'm so very glad that my precious Saviour discerns my heart and the thoughts and intents there, and is so just with me, yet full of loving kindnesses when He chastises me. I have a very long, long ways to go in being transformed more and more to His likeness, but it's wonderful that each day is new and that I can still rejoice in Him. I'm ever so glad to know and to be fully persuaded that in spite of myself, He will continue to "KEEP" me, and that always all things are truly "well with my soul"!
  20. Saved And I Know It (Part 5 Conclusion) With that flooding in and comprehension of God's love for me, my heart soared with longing to turn from and to mortify the deeds of my flesh. I dearly wanted that gap between the Lord and me to be bridged with His forgiveness. With His wondrous love He forgave me and my walk with Him was restored. However, there was still one more thing that needed to be done before all would be right between the Lord and me. I needed to forgive those that had been so grievously offensive to me. I had no idea how to do that, so I ran to Him in prayer trusting that He would show me what I must think, feel, and do. I'm not sure how the Lord did it, but He put it into my mind to begin praying that HE would help me to see those that had been so hurtful THROUGH HIS EYES as much as possible. I prayed for that numerous times, and within 2 or 3 days....the Lord responded with just what I needed. A great pity such as I'd never experienced before filled my heart and mind for the 2 that had hurt me so horribly. Tears readily flowed, as the Lord gave me the perspective of the love that He had for THEM as well. I began to see and understand their own hurt that had been the root to hurting me. It was then that true forgiveness took place, and the Lord also granted me an amazing love for them. My own painful wounds began to dissipate and His love washed in and through me to them. The pastor of the church that we had been attending years before shared a quote with me that finally began to make sense after those years that I had strayed. "Forgiveness is not forgetting, forgiveness is remembering it forgiven". As human beings we don't have a "delete button" that we can hit and automatically delete offenses and memories, so only by the sweetness of God's workmanship within can memories be overridden. "Every choice or decision we make vibrates into eternity", and so there are always consequences that follow...whether for good or not. It is such a joy and privilege when the Lord helps me to "lose myself" and to seek His will, for tis then that I "find myself" in Him! Along with the pity and forgiveness was the realization that truly God loves each one of us just as much as another; He plays no favoritism. Likewise, Jesus died on the cross to pay the price of sin for each one of us. That was a glorious balance for me to understand. It brought perspective into my life, and it made both the First and Second Commandments of the New Testament (Mark 12:30, 31) beautiful! When the actual act of forgiveness took place within my own heart, it was then that for the first time the Lord also gave me that "PEACE that passes all understanding". Oh how sweet it was! I just knew that I could "fly", for it was such a time of freedom from the cares of this world and twas His love that lifted me! It was as if before all I could see in this life was black and white, but then He gave me blessed "sight" that filled my perspective with beautiful and vivid colors. My thought processes and self-belief system were wreaked with bitterness and hopelessness and disparagement, but then JOY softly and tenderly yet surely swept over me. My ears had been constantly bombarded with the negative dark and foreboding messages that I constantly told myself of worthlessness, but then He opened up my ears to hear the symphonies of His LOVE. For so many years I simply could not sing "Amazing Grace" because it was too hard to yet again be reminded of what a "wretch" I was. I also could not sing "It Is Well With My Soul", for I was certainly a very troubled person. I'm so very glad that now I can be reminded of my once depraved state and sing with much gratefulness about His awesome and amazing grace! Now it doesn't fail that tears fill my eyes whenever I sing, "It will be worth it all when we see Jesus, Life's trials will seem so small when we see Christ; One glimpse of His dear face all sorrow will erase, So bravely run the race till we see Christ". Regardless of the circumstances of my life, He has blessed me with the understanding that as His child it is always "well with my soul"! It is well because I'm Heaven bound, sanctified, redeemed, regenerated, justified, accepted in the beloved, sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, plus a myriad of the other glorious things that took place the instant I was saved. None of the circumstances of this life can change any of those acts of God....for I am "saved, saved, saved by His power divine"! I love to speak of His glorious works, and I could go on and blessedly on....but for now I will conclude this portion of my life's testimony. Yes! I am Saved And I Know It! (As the Lord leads I will share more about how the Lord is working in my life now... in the thread, "Please Share".)
  21. Saved And I Know It (Part 4) In July of 1989 my whole "world" came crashing down on me. Within two weeks time I was absolutely crushed with wounds that threatened to overwhelm and destroy my very life. Just like that, my life was completely "topsy-turvey". I won't go into detail, but included in the grievous hurt was a crime that needed to be dealt with. Within a few days of discovering this crime, we reported it to the sheriff's office. The one that had committed the crime claimed to be a child of God, and that made it even more difficult to report it to the authorities. That meant going to the law against another Christian, but as it ended up the choice was actually taken out of our hands. That along with the other crushing blow led to a time of utter estrangement from both my family, and my inlaw family. I went to our pastor at the IFB church we were attending at the time (we faithfully commuted 160 miles round trip to attend that church), and he did his level best to give Godly support and counsel. I cried out to my Saviour with tremendous sorrow and weeping, and I did my best to remain faithful to Him. The crime and the other wounds weren't at all easy to talk about, and I truly didn't think anyone would believe me if I shared about them. Thus, I didn't really have any kind of support system even from fellow Christians, and so after a few months of such pain and rejection, I fell. I fell headlong back into a life of sin, and I turned away from the Saviour. My marriage was a shambles, and my children were also suffering from the effects of all that had taken place. I stopped going to church, and I looked to whatever I could to try to ease the horrific painful wounds that had been inflicted upon me. The almost unbelievable amount of rejection had pierced to the core of my very being. I was the one that had been so crushed and wounded, yet I was the one that was blamed for it all. It got to the place where death seemed to be my only option for relief. What was I to do? Nothing that I had turned to helped. I started going to secular counseling, and that did "educate" me a bit, but that only went just so far. I really didn't understand why these things had happened to me. For the next few years, I eventually learned how to "survive" with my broken heart, and to "sear" my conscience from the guilt of my sinful reactions to the hurt. Then! One day as I laid on my bed reading a secular article about "shame", a most profound thing happened! There was NO writing on the wall, and there was NO audible voice! Neither was there anything there that the eye could see! In the Gospel of John 14:18 it says, "I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you." I had been so more than foolish to turn away from my Lord Jesus, and I had strayed such a long way from Him. I was in such a weakened state that I didn't have the "ability" to turn back to Him, but I sincerely believe that my blessed Redeemer with His gloriously merciful tenderness - "came to me"! His timing was perfect; impeccable! I had been merely existing on this earth; a nothing and a no one worth even living. Other than for my children, I had no reason to continue to even breathe. Yes, my God's omniscient timing was precisely planned! As I lay on that bed reading that article, quicker than the twinkling of an eye....He flooded my devastated and broken heart with His love. It was extraordinary and miraculous! For the first time in my life I knew what it was to truly be loved! All of the painful sadness of my childhood, all of the devastating wounds as an adult that were so crushing, the grave emptiness, and feelings of worthlessness....is exactly what it took to open up the "door of my heart" to His love for me!! All of those great, gaping holes in my heart had left all the more room for His love to fill! Indeed, His love filled my sore heart and overflowed! It was told to me later, that it was quite obvious that something had taken place in my heart. His love took me from dull almost lifeless eyes, stooping shoulders, defeated attitude, and hopeless tone of voice....to a shining countenance that plainly had been manifested outwardly from within. The heavy burdensome chains and shackles from the void of love and acceptance in my life were broken, and I literally felt the heaviness slide from my shoulders, and I knew a freedom such as I'd never felt before. It must've been then that my eyes sparkled, and my posture straightened, and my voice radiated out with the hope that God's love had given me! (Once again, I must cut this short for the time being; Part 5 and the last part will be following soon.)
  22. I'm not very knowledgeable about scientific things though I find it all fascinating...especially from a scriptural perspective. Lately, I've been curious about the sun. How come it doesn't just "burn up"? God created it for "the light that rules the day", and so it will be there for the time God has appointed it to be...but I am curious as to how it does not consume itself.
  23. Saved And I Know It (Part 3) A few months after graduating from high school this particular PK and I were married. His dad performed the ceremony, but I must say that neither my new husband nor I were walking with and living for the Lord as we should've been. Before we were married my soon to be husband had enlisted in the military, and was stationed in Germany. A few months after our marriage I joined him overseas to begin our first home there. It was a very "enlightening" time so far from home, and we were so very young. We were both quite naive about financial matters even though we had both worked, but that naivety was enhanced living in a foreign country off-base. Needless to say, we struggled to pay our bills and so the next year I flew back to "the world" (the military overseas called the US this). Soon after returning, it was confirmed that we were going to have our first child. It was then, that I sensed the urgency of making some major changes in my life. I was so very happy and delighted that I was in "the family way", but in my heart the convictions to return to the Lord weighed heavily. Indeed, I saw the utmost importance of forsaking the sinful life that I'd been living... not only for myself, but for this brand new life that the Lord had blessed me with. With a renewed mind and repented heart, I "charged" into living for the Saviour the best that I knew how to, and could. I took the Bible very seriously and desired to be obedient to it. Faithfully, I attended church and did my best to "study to shew myself approved unto God". I started reading the Word, and I began to grow in knowledge and understanding...be it rather slowly, but at least surely. Not long before our little one arrived, my husband had returned stateside and being on inactive duty from the military, got a job to support our new little family. Our first born son arrived and as I laid in the hospital bed, I will never forget the thrill and wonder of my thoughts and the reality that now I was a mom! More than ever I knew the utmost importance of the need to be walking with my Lord so that my child would grow and learn of Him and to choose to be saved. Within 7 years time I had given birth to 3 more babies, and had lost 2 other precious little ones. Teaching my babes about the Lord was a definite priority, but there was still something that wasn't quite right in my heart. As I read the Word and gleaned knowledge from it, I still had no understanding of God's love for me. I also didn't understand truly what joy or what that "peace that passes all understanding" was. I began praying and pleading with the Lord to "please show me these things that I would KNOW them in my heart". I desperately wanted to know what they were (notice that they are the first 3 "fruits of the Spirit"), so that I could not only verbally teach my children about them, but to also be a living example of them. Through the years I continued to grow and learn about the Lord, yet that understanding about love, joy, and peace didn't come. I prayed, and prayed that the Lord would grant understanding. The love I had for my husband was amazing, and the "mother's love" I had for my babies was almost unspeakable. Yes, I prayed and prayed for years concerning this great sad void that still permeated my heart. Why wasn't the Lord responding to me? I knew it was His will that I should understand these things, and He blessedly answered so many other prayers, but He seemed so far away concerning these wondrous gifts of the Spirit. Why was my Lord holding back? Why was He so silent in this area? Little did I know.... ***** (Part 4 will follow soon.)
  24. Indeed, Pastor Markle...2ndTimothy is one and the same PK that I spoke of in the 2nd part of my testimony. He doesn't always have time to come in to OB, but I will let him know that you asked so that he can respond to you directly.
  25. Saved And I Know It (Part 2) I was a very sad and lonely little girl, and my heart was so full of confusion and hurt. Often on summer evenings, I would go sit on the nearby meat market steps and toss pebbles and watch the cars go by on the highway. We lived in a dinky little town with a population of about 325, and so even though I was pretty little I still recognized most of the cars that would go by. There was something comforting about sitting out there and watching people go by. I would sit there and think about I don't know what, and my heart would just ache...but I really didn't understand why. There was a lot of sadness in my family, and a great deal of dysfunction which included abuse. As a little girl that's all that I knew, and so I thought it was all normal and that, that was the way home life was for everyone. A wonderful highlight during those days however, were the visits from my Great Aunt Mary! She had been a school teacher and she loved children. I always felt "safe" around her, and I sensed that she loved me. I knew that my folks cared about me in their own way, but I never felt secure in that care. In essence, the visits from Great Aunt Mary were way too few and far between, and so I never really understood what it was like to truly know that I was loved as a child. Two of the most basic human needs in this life are to "be loved" and to "be accepted", and my childhood had a huge void of both. Thus...I didn't have an understanding of the love that God had for me. My teen years were fraught with troubles and misery. My hurt ran so deeply that at the age of 14, I tried to take my own life. I ended up in the hospital for the night, and was embarrassed and ashamed...but only my future mother in law came to visit me there. She didn't know what to say, but did her best to "be there" for me. Other than her visit...I had no comfort or support or help from anyone else. No one talked about it even though I could feel the tension beneath the surface. I felt so very, very alone. After that, I turned to alcohol and smoking and whatever I could to help drown and numb my aching heart. It's amazing that the alcohol was so available to teenagers at that time. I was so "messed up", my mind was in constant turmoil, and I was very depressed. Though I still attended church, I just didn't have the personal encouragement and teaching and help that I so needed to trust and depend on the blessed Saviour to fill those gaping holes of emptiness. I knew there was something desperately wrong with me, but I kept everything all bottled up inside. As I type this, tears are beginning to fill my eyes as gratefulness is flooding in yet again for my precious Jesus, the Spirit, my God....because during all of those years, He never left me. He never forgot about me, and He never stopped loving me. He was so full of longsuffering and mercy, and He was so tender hearted towards me in spite of my sinful living. At the age of 17, and before my senior year in high school...I was engaged to be married. I had the strong feeling that my fiance's family didn't at all "approve" of me because of the unGodly state of my life. My future father in law was the pastor of my church, and that enhanced my feelings of not being "good enough" for his son. It was the opposite with my family! They were delighted that I was engaged to my fiance because they actually thought he was too good for me and yet still that I was "moving up" in the world. Being engaged to this boy made me feel a little bit better about myself however...because after all, I was going to marry a PK! Once again, I will conclude this part of my testimony by saying that I still had no understanding, no comprehension of God's love for me at that time of my life. As the Lord leads and opportunes me, I will continue sharing my testimony again soon.  
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