If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, here is a list of things you are when you live out of your true identity in Christ

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  1. you are a totally new creation
  2. you are in Christ
  3. you are totally forgiven for EVERY sin you’ve ever committed, are committing now, or ever will commit in the future
  4. you are totally righteous
  5. you are totally reconciled
  6. you are redeemed
  7. you are sanctified
  8. you are justified
  9. you are totally accepted
  10. you are an integral part of the body of Christ
  11. you are a citizen of heaven
  12. you have eternal life and you’ll never die
  13. you are unconditionally loved
  14. nothing you could ever do would ever make God love you less than He does now

Our identity in Christ–If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, here is a list of character traits when you live out of your true identity in Christ

  1. you are a totally new creation
  2. you are in Christ
  3. you are totally forgiven for EVERY sin you’ve ever committed, are committing now, or ever will commit in the future
  4. you are totally righteous
  5. you are totally reconciled                                             
  6. you are redeemed                                                
  7. you are sanctified
  8. you are justified
  9. you are totally accepted
  10. you are an integral part of the body of Christ
  11. you are a citizen of heaven
  12. you have eternal life and you’ll never die
  13. you are unconditionally loved
  14. nothing you could ever do would ever make God love you less than He does now

How to feel accepted

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We claim  here on For His Glory that acceptance is  mankind’s greatest need. We are all born with it.  In fact none of us can function very well in this life without it.  Many of us enjoy acceptance if we’re fortunate enough to grow up in a healthy home and family environment.  Some of us enjoy acceptance in close friendships or business environments.

 Then there are those without the benefit of healthy families or relationships. Consequently acceptance is often lacking in their lives. They still need  to feel acceptance, but in order to gain it they feel the need to manufacture it themselves.  This is acceptance by self effort. It doesn’t work and often leaves the person feeling frustrated and more unacceptable.

 One way we try to force acceptance is with our appearance. They think if they dress the part   and wear the right clothes  and impress people with their outside appearance they’ll be accepted.

 Some try to gain acceptance with their behavior.  They think if they follow all the social conventions and go to all the right parties and act with social norms they’ll gain acceptance.

Some have  family heritages or business success they can flaunt to make  them appear acceptable.

Unfortunately all these things we do with self effort do not work.

We find are acceptance, needs and self-image met only in God. This is the person God accepts.  In God is the only place we can find who acceptance. And God’s acceptance is true, unconditional and eternal.

Rejection

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As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him. 2 Peter 2:4

Contiue reading below

Forgiveness

Psychologists and psychiatrists today generally agree that forgiveness is a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance or anger toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness.

Dr Tony Evans in his book Detours  divides forgiveness into two categories: unilateral and transnational. If  we forgive someone unilaterally we don’t expect a response. We forgive and forget.  That doesn’t mean we were not impacted by the  or words by the  ocean we are forgiving; it just means we are no longer allowing What they said or did to take up residence in our  minds and thoughts.

If you choose transnational forgiveness you will try to reconcile the relationship with the person  whose actions or words caused you to harbor resentment and  unforgiveness.

Our greatest need of all

 in a previous post we said our two greatest needs are love and acceptance and work and value you probably noticed I mentioned four needs,  but we lumped  love and acceptance together   and worth and valiue together. But (in this writer’s opinion), acceptance is the greatest of all our needs by a country mile.

Acceptance is the nucleus of all our relationships, from the most intimate of marital relationships to our acquaintances on  the fringes of our sphere of influence.. 

As a curious adolescent teenage boy I craved my dad’s acceptance. I don’t believe I ever got it. There were isolated  incidence where he showed pride in some accomplishment of mine that I took as acceptance but those times were few and far between. Our relationship was adversarial until after I’d become a father myself.

My friend Daniel (Webster) describes acceptance as a “state of being desired or wanted, belonging, or having worth.” if we don’t feel acceptance in our lives, we may try to find it  in a gang or a cult. We may seek acceptance in unsavory places or with unsavory people or social outcasts–anywhere or with anyone who engenders those feelings that make us feel desired or gives us a sense of belonging no matter how toxic or unhealthy the relationship,.

My friend Daniel (Webster) describes acceptance as a “state of being desired or wanted, belonging, or having worth.” if we don’t feel acceptance in our lives, we may try find it  in a gang or a cult. We may seek acceptance in unsavory places or with unsavory people or social outcasts–anywhere or with anyone who engenders those feelings that make us feel desired or gives us a sense of belonging no matter how toxic,unhealthy, or harmful the relationship is.

Feelings of acceptance from friends and loved ones is central to our true identity in Christ.  Feeling truly accepted by Christ and accepting others as Christ sees them are essential for knowing and living out of our true identity in Christ.

More on acceptance in future posts.

Good people don't go to heaven, bad people do

Lot’s of good people believe that the way you get to heaven is by being good. After all, God is a good God and heaven is a good place and going to heaven will be a good thing–if we’re good.

The problem is: that’s not true.

Good people don’t go to heaven.  Bad people do.

Bad people who have done bad things WHO HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN go to heaven.

And there’s only ONE WAY to be forgiven–to accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. And believe that when He died on the cross, who we WERE died with Him. And we became new creatures in Christ. Born again. From above.

That’s the only way we get to heaven.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16

Therefore, if any man is in Christ, he is a new creation: old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
2 Corinthians 5:17

Good Christians don't exist

Lots of folks who want to improve their lives (e.g. to be accepted by God, to get closer to God, to be loved more by God,  to gain God’s favor and blessing) try real hard to be a good Christian. The operative word here is “try“.

But “good” Christians don’t exist.In addition, if someone is declared a ” Good”  Christian  that means somewhere there has to be a bad Christian and a superior Christian and a poor Christian. Do you see the judgmental comparison trap we’d get ourselves into?

The moment we “try” to improve our lot as a “Christian” we take the focus off God and place it squarely on our self effort.

In God’s Kingdom what we do on our own doesn’t count for anything.  The only thing that counts in God’s Kingdom is surrender to Christ’s life allowing him to live His life through us. Christ wants to live His life (not ours) in us, through us, and as us to bring Glory to God. Period.

I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remains in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5

What do you need?

If we are going to understand who we really are–our real identity, we need to go back  to the very beginning. Everyone of us was born with two innate needs.: a) a need to feel loved  and accepted, and b) a need to feel a sense of worth and value.

Once you discover that we have these two innate  needs,  figuring out how to meet them becomes the motivation for how we’re going to do just about everything else in life. Our value system,  our priorities, our character, our life choices, and our personality will all have their roots and how those two leaves met

Let’s see, we can get married and hope our spouses love us and care for us. We can work real hard at our jobs  and put in extra hours and hope our bosses will accept us and tell us we’re worthy and are a valuable employee.

The truth is nothing we can do ourselves is going to meet any of the innate needs we have,  or any other need in life. Those innate needs are gifts to us from God. Not only did he create us with those needs but God is the only one who can meet them

We can fall in love, be in love,  love others be loved, feel like we’re in love, we can be married for 50 years but  none of those things guarantee real love.

First in Adam, then in Christ

It is hard for some folks to believe that Mankind’s biological father was Adam.

 Every man woman and child every born was born into the lineage of the first man. The only way anyone can ever not be a member of Adams Family  is to be adopted into God’s family. We get accepted into God’s family the moment we accept God’s precious gift of salvation bought and paid for with the precious blood of Jesus on the cross.

Once we are transformed and leave Adam’s family and join God’s family we can never go back to Adam’s family.. And once we belong to God’s family we can never leave, even if we want to. We’ll belong to God’s family for eternity.

Our true identity in Christ

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During  the month of February .we’ll be discussing our true identity in Christ.  We’ll discuss other topics too but primarily we’ll be discovering what our true identity in Christ is.  First of all we’ll look at what our true identity is. Then we’ll explore what it means to live out of our true identity in Christ every day.

I'm gonna worry anyway

The Bible tells us over and over again not to worry. Jesus  commands us not to worry,

 One night this week I couldn’t get this late because I was worrying about a financial matter I thought I had forgot to deal with. I tossed and turned for hours, not praying about it, not asking God to handle it. I almost got up in the middle of the night bowring to try to resolve it on my own so I wouldn’t have to “worry”  about it anymore and get some sleep.

After tossing and turningfor hours, I finally dozed off for a few hours of fitful sleep. The next morning I got up and went right to the paperwork I needed to resolve the issue with the company with which I had the issues.

 After looking at the paperwork, I discovered it wasn’t even an issue. There was no there there. So I wasted viable hours I could have been sleeping worrying about an issue that wasn’t even an issue. God gently reminded me that he will take care of things like that if I just stop worrying and let him handle things like that.

Will I ever learn? Will we ever learn? The admonition, the command, “Don’t worry”  is in the Bible so often for a very good reason. The things we assign worry to,  the things we think we should take case of ourselves, God wants to handle. Will we ever trust God enough not to worry and allow God to care for us the way He wants to?

The eternal now

And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

 “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39

I don’t know about you, but sometimes when I think about our awesome God,  I get overwhelmed. I just can’t imagine how awesome he is and how much he does  for little old me. The thought that he’s never not with me blows me away. For God there is no past, there is no future, there is only  “now”  when God speaks the things that happened or will happened in the future He frames that Word so are finite brains can understand it.

God never takes a lunch break. He never says, ”  Excuse me they need me in Singapore I’ll be back in a few minutes.” Or ” That’s the silliest thing I’ve ever heard. You need to figure that out yourself.” Or ” Let me think about that awhile and I’ll get back to you.” Or ” ” it’s been a long day. Don’t you need some sleep? Or ” Is it okay if we talk about this tomorrow after I’ve had a good night sleep?” ” I’ve been trying to help you through this trial all day and half the night.”

NO!

God  never gives excuses.  All he ever gives us is his love. Every moment of every day.

 Every response, every bit of wisdom, every  answer, every instruction, every word, every guiding hand, Every Blessing,  every bit of favor, empty bit of love you still up right now.

 Just think of that. God is never not with us. He is everywhere at once loving us in His eternal NOW! 

Who are we really?

 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.I have identity issues. Ephesians 2:10

You have identity issues. I have identity issues.

 In fact we all have issues about who we really are.

 Fur instance: Do people accept me for who I am?  Am I good enough? Do I need to make more money? Am I in the right job? Could I be doing better for myself and my family?  Do we get along with others? Do I have strong moral values? Do others get along with us?  Can other people trust us? Do we trust other people?

If we’re honest many times many of us walk around in a cloud of confusion wondering what our true identity really is.

For many of us our identity is born from our self-image– what we think of ourselves.  And what we think of ourselves determines our attitudes and our behavior.  Some self-help books tell us to build a better self-image we need to accept ourselves and love ourselves more.  This is a world view–and patently false

God has other ideas about our true identity. During February we’ll be exploring God’s Word  and his instructions about  our true identity. And it has nothing to do with the world. So keep reading For His Glory (.  Prayerfully we’ll be discovering what our true identity in Christ is and how we can learn to live out of it.

Is your head in the clouds? It ought to be

A person with their head in the clouds is said to be spaced out or distracted or on another planet. But what if we put a Biblical perspective on having our heads in the clouds? What if putting your head in the clouds  was a good thing?. What if putting your head in the clouds is where God wants our head to be?

" Set your mind on the things above not on the things that are on Earth for you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God."  Colossians 3:1-2. Where is God? In the clouds. Where is Christ? With God in the clouds.

So how can we set our minds on things above?  You may want to consider some of these sure fire ways to get and keep your heads in the clouds:

  1. Reject everything that comes into your mind or thoughts not fr:om God. Rebuke Satan at every turn.
  2. Develop a consistent, continual and fervent practice of prayer. Prayer always motivates you to thoughts of God and heavenly things.
  3. Love someone today.
  4. Put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6)
  5. Ask for his help and input often
  6. Read his word daily
  7. Thank him everyday for the work he’s doing in your life Stop reading this and thank him for one blessing you’ve received in the last 24 hours.
  8. Develop healthy relationships with other Godly believers.
  9. Take all the thoughts and instructions from God and commit to make them obedient to Christ.
  10. Memorize and meditate on Phillipians 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. 

What brand of nacre do you use?

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No, it’s not misspelled. What brand of  n-a-c-r-e  do you use?

 Of course that begs the question,  what on earth is necra?

Nacre is the filmy layer of goo an oyster secretes to cover a grain of sand that has embedded itself in the oyster shell and become a nasty irritant.  The necra eventually hardens around the irritating grain of sand and exerts so much pressure on the  grain of sand  that it over time it becomes a beautiful diamond.of inestimable value.

Back to the main question– what brand of necra do you use?  Of course we don’t have any necra laying around when things irritate us to the point of distraction. Walmart doesn’t carry it. either. And there’s no limit to  the kind or severity of irritants we experience. The irritant can be is pesky as a snoring spouse or a banging toilet or a neighbor who parks two of his wheels on your grass.

Admit it. Things and people  irritate us almost every day.

Unlike the oyster we don’t have any goo to make the irritation go away or turn it into a sparkling diamond. If we don’t dispatch that pesky irritation, it will continue to fester and gnaw at us and make us miserable.

Let me  share  a two-step process it is guaranteed to minimize or completely eradicate any irritation you might experience.

Bathe yourself  in Psalms

It doesn’t matter which Psalms you read.  Just open your Bible and start reading Psalm after Psalm. . The Psalms will begin changing your attitude and lifting your Spirit.  Reading Psalms will give you an entirely new perspective of your irritations and give you God’s perspective and scriptures on how to handle them.

Remember, recite and meditate on Romans 8:28

Romans 8:28 is not just a promise God makes to us. It is something God does for us in our daily lives.  First of all every choice we make and everything we do gets filtered through God’s love and grace for us. And he uses our choices, decisions and actions for our ultimate good.  So if you are dealing with irritations in your life keep in mind  that God is going to turn it all into something for our good.

And bye bye irritations .If you don’t believe this method will work for you, try it and prove me wrong.

Horoscope Hijinks

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What’s your sign, man?

Horoscopes used to play an important role in my relationships–especially with women.. This was during my prodigal son romp through my recently divorced mid-life wilderness. 

When I became interested in a woman, the first place I went was Linda Goodman’s book Sun Signs to see if the woman and I would be horoscopicly (my word) compatible.If our signs didn’t cross and our stars didn’t align I was history. No way was I going to spend time, energy or money  on a horoscopic misfit.  

 It took me almost a decade and some serious Bible study and a boatload of God’s grace to figure out that I was born under a very different sign.  It read, ‘”Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.”

And I was adopted that moment by my Heavenly Father and became a son of God with all the riches in glory through my Savior, Jesus

Later it was hard to believe but for several years I looked to Satan’s lies in those horoscopes. That I would allow something Satan authored to help me make life choices and influence  some of my  personal relationships with so much Satanic bunk.

“So do not listen to your prophets, your diviners, your dreamers, your fortune-tellers, or your sorcerers, who are saying to you, ‘You shall not serve the king of Babylon.’ For it is a lie that they are prophesying to you, with the result that you will be removed far from your land, and I will drive you out, and you will perish.”.  Jeremiah 27:9-10

“If a person turns to mediums and necromancers, whoring after them, I will set my face against that person and will cut him off from among his people .Leviticus 20:6.

I don’t think any serious believerr and disciple of Jesus Christ can justify astrology or horoscopes. Dare I say, you can’t believe in or follow Jesus authentically and follow astrology at the same time? I have known people claiming to be believers who check their horoscope in the morning paper religiously.  they read their horoscopes more religiously than they read their Bibles.

 If you are reading horoscopes now or relying on astrology to influence you at all let me encourage you do a word study on astrology. Find out what God’s word says. God’s word is truth. Horoscopes and astrology are both based on lies straight from the pit of hell.

Space has always fascinated me.

The heavens declare the glory of God;  the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech. Night after night they reveal knowledge. Psalm 19:1-3

 I’ve always been overwhelmed by God’s power and his creativity.  It’s not hard, it’s impossible, and beyond my comprehension to grasp the majesty of the heavens and the stars and  outer space and know that He created it all and it all functions perfectly and exactly like it’s supposed to function  according to His purpose and His will. Consider some of the  things scientist and astronomers tell us about the awesome, incredible power of God.  If you can’t tell me you are amazed after you read  about God’s awesome power  I’m going to cross you off my Christmas card list.

The Sun’s power

  • A million earths could fit inside our sun.
  • It takes only 8 minutes for a single beam of light to travel the 93 million miles from the sun to earth.
  • The temperature on the surface of the sun approaches 10,000 degrees.
  • Every second the sun produces enough energy to power human civilization for almost 500,000 years.
  • The sun has enough nuclear fuel to burn another five
    (5) trllioni (with a T) years.
  • The sun never shuts down.
  • It is a gascious ball of continuously occurring nuclear explosions radiating energy in all directions throughout the solar system.
  • So far, astronomers have found more than 500 solar systems and are discovering new ones every year. Given how many they have found in our own neighborhood of the Milky Way galaxy, scientists estimate that there may be tens of billions of solar systems in our galaxy, perhaps even as many as 100 billion. And God’s power through His spoken word has created each one of them.

I watch the Hallmark Channel

 I watch the Hallmark Channel and its sister channel Movies and Mysteries regularly. I catch all kinds of flak from the guys at church. They dismiss those  movies as chick flicks.

But I don’t care. In these movies no one ever gets shot or stabbed or strangled. Nobody commits adultery. No women or children are ever abused. No characters ever fly into a fit of anger or rage. Conflicts between the characters are few and far between. Any conflicts that arise always get resolved at the end of the movie.

What I like most about Hallmark movies is that God and Christ  are woven throughout the movies.  Pastors, priests and rabbis appear in some movies as characters who impact the story lines.  They sometimes play influential roles in the movies. Churches and synagogues  often serve as scene settings for the dramas. Scenes often include families praying together and fellowshiping around the dinner table talking about God and spiritual matters. Families are all a mainstay in every Hallmark movie. The underlying theme of every Hallmark movie is helping and serving others.

Marie and I don’t care much for TV at all. I watch college football. We have a few select shows during the week that we’ll watch.  Survivor and Dancing with the Stars among them. Marie likes 20/20 and some cop shows.Some nights we go without watching TV at all.

But we’re always up or a Hallmark movie.

Let it snow, let it snow. . . please

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 I grew up in Shenandoah Iowa  where it snowed off and on all winter. Maybe only a couple inches. Or it could be several feet. But off and on we had snow all winter.

 Now we live on the outskirts of Atlanta where snow is a figment of The Weather Channel’s imagination. 

 I miss the snow. I really miss the snow.

  One of my fondest memories growing up is about snow. In our laundry room off the kitchen was a window  overlooking our yard. Every time It snowed I would go to that window and marvel at the snow filling up our yard.  The silence was intoxicating.  I never experienced peace  and quiet like that at any other time in my life.  I still like to imagine myself standing at that window and breathing in that serenity.

 I may never capture that beautiful silence again.  As I write this post it’s 57 degrees and sunny outside (December 30th)  with little if any hope for the slightest precipitation in the foreseeable future. 

 God, you’re in charge here. If you can send some of that beautiful white stuff our way before summer gets here.  What a blessing that would be. I.would even take a flurry or two. . . .PLEASE! t

Betty Jean Davis where are you?

Picture this:

 It’s 1954.  Central Elementary School. Shenandoah Iowa. It’s third grade recess. We  boys are playing kickball. The girls are standing around acting silly. Off to the side standing alone  is  Betty Jean Davis wishing some of the girls would talk to her or ask her to join them.  Betty Jean hoped some of the girls  might laugh with her instead of at her.  She’s wearing a pair of thick lens glasses  and she talks with a lisp. Her hair is a mess. It’s late October  and Betty Jean is wearing  a dusty, disheveled hand-me-down short sleeved dress.  She doesn’t own a long-sleeved dress. It’s 41 degrees. The girls teasing her were merciless and hateful.  The teacher was nowhere in sight. I wanted to say something to make them quit  teasing Betty Jean  but at the time I wanted to remain popular with the boys so I kept quiet.

 Once a week  we had story time in class. Betty Jean always told some outlandish wild story about our family. Everyone knew her stories were  made up. I think Betty Jean wanted beyond hope to just be accepted and liked. We thought she hoped Her stories would give her some measure of credibility and popularity among the rest of us.  They never did. 

 The first day of fourth grade Betty Jean didn’t show up. No one including the principal or teachers ever knew  what happened to her or her family. 

  God used my experience with Betty Jean to begin teaching me the gift of mercy. It is my primary spiritual gift today.  I was heartbroken even in third grade at the way some of the girls treated Betty Jean. We all know how wicked and cruel little girls can be. I regretted for years, even today,  not coming to Betty Jean’s defense over 60 years ago.  Betty Jean, I wish I knew where you were today.  I would ask you to forgive me and hug your neck and tell you how much Jesus loves you. Hopefully you already know.  I would love to be brother and sister in Christ with you.

Betty Jean if you’re out there I hope you’ll contact me here on my blog. If you leave contact information in a comment  I will surely follow up with you. We have 65 years of life stories to catch up on. 

Tune into For His Glory  tomorrow for John Ed’s latest post and Friday to see what God’s been sharing with me. May God richly bless you. 

Are you dead yet? Jesus loves dead people.

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In fact the Bible teaches us that Jesus would much rather work in and through a dead person than a live one. 

For you (every believer) have/has died and your life is hidden in God with Christ Jesus. (Colossians 3:3) And again in (Galatians 5:24) Pau teaches us, ” And those who belong to Christ Jesus have put to death their human nature, with all its passions and desires.” But we don’t have anything to do with the process. Jesus does it all.

 I had a woman in my adult Sunday school class several years ago ask me one day, ” But don’t we have to do SOMETHING to put on on that new self?  she was genuinely surprised when I told her “o. Jesus does it all.”  I don’t know to this day whether she ever grabbed that truth.

In  the Bible many times the living  are associated with worldly living,  gratifying the flesh,legalism and getting our own needs met first. Like a snake sheds its skin we need to take off our old corrupted rotting self and put on our redeemed-by-the-precious-blood-of-Christ new life in Christ.

 I had a woman in my adult Sunday school class several years ago ask me one day, ” But don’t we have to do SOMETHING to put on on that new self?  she was genuinely surprised when I told her “No. Jesus does it all.”  I don’t know to this day whether she ever grabbed that truth.

This doesn’t happen overnight. You won’t wake up one morning and say, ” I think I’ll start living out of my new man/woman today. It’s going to happen bit by bit  and grace by grace and it’s going to take years. In fact we won’t ever live totally out our new body here on earth in these earth suits. We’ll have to wait for Jesus to take us home for that.

So how does Jesus transform our old selves into  these redeemed new lives? Keep watching For His Glory for some cool how to’s 

For His Glory blog is coming back

For HIS Glory two-dot-oh (2.0) is back in the blogosphere.  Beginning January 6th you will see posts  appearing 3 times a week. We will also feature blog posts from pastor John Ed Mathison. 

 I am excited about my return,  and getting back with all my blogging friends and followers again.

 In case  you’re wondering where I’ve been the last two years I’ve been recovering from a hemorrhagic stroke I suffered on February 3rd 2017. I get around now in a wheelchair  and a hemi walker.  

 But I found this awesome voice-to-text app that lets me dictate the content and the app converts my speech to text. How cool is that? So if you’re not busy or otherwise not occupied on January 6  stop by and check out my For His Glory blog for some refreshing encouragement from our awesome heavenly Father. 

God has me right where he wants me  and I’m eager  to share all that he shares with me with all my friends and bloggers and followers in the blogosphere.

This is my last post on “For His Glory”

Today marks the end of an eight-year blogging run for me on For His Glory.
This will be my last post.

As I watch God’s plan for me unfold, I sense Him moving me in a new direction, with new priorities and challenges. But blogging doesn’t show up on His agenda.

I will miss everything about blogging.

I love to write. I spent my working career writing. I’ve been writing paragraphs since I was in second grade.  I taught writing and composition to middle school, high school and college students for years. I was a newspaper reporter, newspaper editor, sports writer, ad agency copywriter, technical writer and more.

Blogging gave me opportunities to meet and make friends with lots of dedicated bloggers and very gifted and talented writers. I will dearly miss my camaraderie with them and our many friendship moments.

I couldn’t give up my blog without sharing my deep, heartfelt gratitude for the thousands of viewers who have visited FHG and come back time and time again. The folks who shared a “like” or written such wonderful, encouraging comments have all kept me writing blog posts year after year.

Probably the richest blessings I’ll miss are those comments from folks who tell me how blessed they were to read the words God gave me.

But most of all I am grateful beyond words for Almighty God and the opportunity He’s given me to share His words and His love and grace with others on my blog. It has always been His blog and everything I have written has been for His glory.

my answer

Several years ago I fell just shy of making my blog my god. Everything I read in God’s word, every sermon I listened to, every devotional, every blog someone else wrote–all of it became grist for my next blog post. I committed to publishing a new blog post Monday through Friday. Occasionally I revived a post to publish from my archives. Sometimes I published posts written by some of the great spiritual writers I followed. But most of my posts were original and fresh. I was spending two to three hours a day writing posts or reading and researching material for future posts.

During the past few weeks God has shown me He had a lot to say to me in His word and in those sermons and devotionals I read that others wrote.  I haven’t the foggiest notion how much I missed that God was attempting to tell me and teach me. But I was too busy focusing on and gathering all that material for my next blog post.

I prayed about my blog and talked with Marie about what I think God was showing me. So,  I decided to stop. The same day I made the decision, God blessed me with a peace I hadn’t known for most of the past eight years.

He is showing me He wants my relationship with Him and my relationships with my family to become first and second on my list of priorities.  I am getting back into God’s word regularly FOR ME, not for my blog. I’m spending more time with my family and my brothers in Christ in our church men’s group. I’m learning deeper surrender. I’m meditating on Scripture. (Now I’m giving myself time to do that.)

I’m growing closer to my Father, and Marie and I are happier together now than we’ve ever been. I’m investing my former blogging time and energy on impacting my beautiful granddaughters and serving Marie.

Thank you, Heavenly Father, for showing me my new direction I’m taking and the new path I’m on to allow You to work in me so everything I say and do and think and feel will be For Your Glory.

How can we avoid the DYI syndrome?

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She learned trust in the pool

She was five. Already brave and outgoing. And, like her dad, a type A who never met a stranger.  But she tip-toed around water.  She was okay walking around in the shallow end wearing her swimmies. Those kept her head above water.

I thought it was time she lost her fear of the water.  We moved down to the waist-high area of the pool.  I stood in the water a few feet from the edge.

“Jump in, Leah,” I said.

She would have no part of it. She stood on the bank with one of those 5-year-old “No, I’m not going to” defiant objections.

“Oh, come on. Daddy’s right here. I’ll catch you.”  I spread my arms wade apart. “I’ll catch you.”

“No! I’ll get water in my nose.”

This war of pleas and objections went on for 10 minutes. She finally worked up the courage to walk to the edge of the pool. “Hold your nose and jump in,” I said. “I’ll catch you. I promise. Just trust me.

She finally held her nose and jumped. I dunked her head under water for two seconds. She survived! She thought jumping intotrust and obey the pool and daddy catching her was a blast!

So, my five-year-old jumped off the edge of the pool and daddy caught her . . .again and again . . .for the next 45 minutes! She never got tired. Daddy did. Or we’d still be at that pool.

Once my daughter learned her daddy would do what he said he would do, she trusted him.

Isn’t that true with our Daddy? When we learn once that we can trust God to do what He says He will do in a circumstance we surrender to Him, isn’t it easier, the next time to trust him with another circumstance or trial or dilemma?

Adversity–friend or foe

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Can you count your spiritual markers?

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Lessons God teaches us

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What’s the answer to this riddle?

What do we have Continue reading

The blessings of comfort

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Is change your friend or foe?

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The Cone of Uncertainty

cone of uncertainty 2They can’t tell you where the storm will strike, when the storn will strike, or how bad the storm will be. Weather savvy meteoroligists at the TV station draw this wide cone on the screen hedging their bets with their best scientific guesses. It’s called the cone of uncertainty. It’s used to describe where weather experts believe the eye of the storm could possibly travel.

Despite all the sophisticated high-tech weather stuff, their “best” guesses are still uncertain. Continue reading

Shhhhhhhhhh!

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Culture or Christianity? Which side are you on?

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When God said “No”.

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Finally! The true answers to the “How do you know your true self?” true-false test

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Answers to “How do you know your true self?” true-false test delayed until Tuesday

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What is truth?

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The real “How well do you know your true self” true-false test

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Christian Meditation – Its a Beautiful Thing

Beautiful, effective scriptures for meditation all day long Pick one and go!

Healthy Mind Ministry

Meditation is not just for eastern religions as some may assume. As Christians we are instructed to meditate on Gods Word daily. But what does that mean? Meditate? It means that we spend time in stillness, reflecting on what a scripture means or the wonderful things God has done for us with a thankful heart. It’s often during my own meditations that I hear God speaking to my heart most clearly about things I had earlier prayed about. When we fill our minds with Gods Word it becomes very hard for the enemy to get a foothold in our lives.

Meditation brings balance and focus on what is truly important above all else – God the Father. Jesus Christ came to tear the veil that had separated us from having an intimate personal relationship with God and he succeeded. No longer must we seek out an earthly priest in human…

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How well do you know your true self?

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The Root & The fruit

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Who are the “dead in Christ”?

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What do doors do?

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When DO we all get to heaven?

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Your reservation is ready

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 Let Him Set You Free

What powerful imagery. You can be free indeed. You can walk out of your dark, lonely prison today. Let Jesus take your place and set you free once and for all.

Wordsmith's Desk

 “Therefore, if the Son makes you free, you really will be free”

~the Gospel of John, Chapter 8, Verse 36 in the Common English Bible~

Picture someone in chains and shackles in a small prison cell with no hope of ever getting out. Now picture this prisoner as you. Imagine the torment, the solitude, the darkness of this small forgotten cell. Feel the cold cement against your skin. Sense the hopelessness within as you cry out with screams that cannot be heard.

Now, see a man standing at your cell door, not the guard, just a man. He has done nothing wrong, but here he stands, willing to take your place so that you can go free. All you have to do is accept His offer; all you have to do is accept responsibility for the wrong you’ve done; all you have to do is ask Him to…

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What if the gospel is fake news?

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God’s Words are Simple

Butch Dean is one of my favorite bloggers. I read his posts regularly. This post is just another example of Butch’s gift for conveying his thoughts and words from God in simple-easy to understand words and thoughts. Enjoy.

Wordsmith's Desk

Diagnosis: Human nature is stuck on itself. It likes big words and big ideas. The presentation of “sophisticated and educated” is important to human nature. Can you see how smart I am? It’s not important that you understand what I say, but that you realize how smart I am using such grand words.

Human nature prides itself on being smart, but manages to do things the hard way. If it was simple once, human nature will complicate it. Human nature was born blind and dumb, yet exists in denial. Human nature is its own worst enemy and is doomed to Eternal death

Though God’s thoughts and ways are different from ours, His words are simple and easy to understand. He has no hidden agenda. He only wants to save you from yourself, from your human nature. He wants to call you His child…to give you Eternal Life. John 3:16

For…

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