Talk about the “Big Bang”, talk about a life changing man

Happy Easter, what a glorious day of celebration.  After Friday and Saturday where death and uncertainty were rife, we now come to a day of excitement and rejoicing that our Lord Jesus is raised from the dead, he is risen, glorified, lifted high.

Luke 9:22 – And he said, ‘The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life

Psalm 16:8-11 – I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay. You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

Romans 8:37 – No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us

BIG BANG

Talk about the “Big Bang”, talk about a life changing man, this the greatest day in history, the day Jesus bought victory over death and sin, the day Jesus changed everything, “he is not here, he is risen”, yes death has lost its sting, death could not contain him, nothing could keep him away from us, no love could get more serious, he had to suffer many things, but was not shaken, my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices, my voice sings out in praise and worship to my God who considers me worth the ultimate sacrifice, laying down his own son’s life, so that I will never be abandoned to the realm of the dead, he will never see me rot or decay, because he has led the way and conquered sin,  death could not contain him, he has made known to me the path of life, I turn my eyes towards him and am filled with joy in his presence, today the evidence speaks of victory, resurrection of the Son who died to save me.

Just say No, easier said than done in an age where worldly pleasures are celebrated

Was praying this morning and have been praying for a while about my calling and how God wants to use me and God gave me Titus 2.  I read this through a couple of times and found it a bit odd, like here I am an ex “Gay” woman reading about teaching right and wrong to women and men in their Christian lives, almost felt like giving a lesson in good marriage practices which I am not qualified to do.  However, read again a couple of times and verses 11 – 14 came out at me:

Titus 2 11-14- For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope – the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

So this was more me, I know that God called me out of ungodliness and worldly passions, I know about this and am passionate about my story because I believe it’s a story that can help others come to know God, I believe that the Bible is our guide and our tool for living and want to help others struggling with their lives to see that God loves them regardless, God gave himself to save us and no-one is beyond his help, no-one is exempt, he loves us all, we just need to see that and turn to him for help in changing, he will do the rest.

SAY NO

Just say No, easier said than done in an age where worldly pleasures are celebrated, where some interpret the Bible to suit their current situation not reading into the depths of God’s word, but turning the word to suit their desires, not seeking 100%  to live upright lives or at least lives that would be pleasing to God but twisting his words or shying away from those verses that just may cause concern or make them just that little bit uncomfortable, like verses that cover sexual behaviour, immoral practice and I have lost track of those who say being gay is only wrong in the Old Testament, like HELLO, just say no, I get that it’s hard I live by the sword and every day face battles and temptations but with God on my side he’s given me my redemption, he gives you the power and the strength of mind to continue the fight, he will not give you more than you can handle so step up to the mantle, read the Bible yes both Old and New Testament, your time reading a valuable investment as you wait for the blessed hope, you know the saying give yourself enough rope and you’ll hang yourself, take your bible off the bookshelf, pray to God that you can be true to self, he will show you the way it’s all there in his word, I pray that you will see the light and understand how you can live your life right, it’s not easy and may sound glib when I write just say no, I know, I really know but once I recognised it was the right way to go God showed me how, he paved the way he gave me mentors and friends who stay right by me, help me and guide me and would God lie to me, he seeks the best for me and has made it abundantly clear in his word that I must say no, die to self and rise with Jesus, his promise of eternal life enough for me, his sacrifice a plus for me cos I was dead to all he offered me until I stepped out of the sinful me, gave my heart completely to God above and felt his amazing, unearned love, God came to redeem us from all wickedness, to purify us, are you eager to do what is good, to serve him as you know you should?

Why I can say with certainty Jesus wants you now

Today I was thinking about Psalm 107 v 1 – Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures for ever.  

Then I read the rest of the Psalm which made me think a lot, yes give thanks to the Lord for he is good, but then when you see how loving and great God is and how he reaches out to us in our darkest times it resonates so much more, I give thanks to the Lord for he IS good.  And as a redeemed sinner I must take verse 2 to heart

Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story.

REDEEMED AND RECLAIMED

I am redeemed, reclaimed by Jesus, you see before I became a Christian I was gay, and that’s the way I thought I was meant to be, the way Jesus made me or so I thought but I ought to tell you that being Gay is not all it’s cracked up to be, gay defined as happy or joyful, when reality is gay meant I was full of self-loathing, forever roaming restlessly, trying to find the best of me, trying to accept my morality, understand my lack of respect for me, a struggle, a constant battle against me (and some of society) and Psalm one hundred and seven speaks to me, a reality check, Jesus loves me, his love for me lasts eternally, and he saw my enemy, understood the need in me, saw the unsettled soul and reached out, offered an escape, a way to become whole, and as I cried out to him in my distress he reached in and pulled me out of my mess to a place I could settle, he freed me from my own prison, a prison of distress, oppression and an obsession with me, no it’s not all about me anymore, God broke down the iron gates, he cut through the bars of iron that conspired to keep me down, in my storm he rescued me, took me to a safe haven, a place of safety where I could see through my affliction and my addictions and rejoice in being free, his loving deeds have humbled me, he never wanted me to be oppressed, distressed, he wanted nothing more than to bless me, and now I’m free I turn back those blessings to praise, I raise my arms high to the Lord most high, he heard my cry, he rescued me, he alone is worthy of my praise and all my days belong to Jesus, and whatever your history, whatever battle you are fighting, he is there, lighting up the path that you walk, ready for you when you’re ready to talk, Jesus saved me he will save you, just open up, cry out in your sadness, it’s madness not to, take it from me he can do anything, no sin too big for him to cope with, nothing you’ve done that he hasn’t noticed and dealt with, so quit stalling the sooner you hand this to your Saviour the sooner you benefit from his favour and believe me adjusting your behaviour will be simpler with God on your side, OK it may be a bumpy ride at times, but I’m telling you straight, please don’t wait till you hit rock bottom, God hasn’t forgotten you, hasn’t abandoned you, God is there for you, loves you and aches for you to see that the love he has is real, it lasts forever, it never stops, never fades, never fails, check out his hands for the marks of the nails, that’s what you mean to Jesus, that’s why I can say with certainty Jesus wants you now, allow him to show you the way, don’t leave it even one more day and here’s what I say, “give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his love endures forever” and have I mentioned redemption? Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story, may the redeemed of the Lord give him the Glory.

I will not look back in anger

OK so truth is had a tough day yesterday and it’s so easy when looking back at the past to then dwell on it and what might have been, almost got to a “sliding doors” scenario in my mind last night, what could have been, what might have been, and also (sorry God) but I did get a bit angry about the past and maybe didn’t listen to my own advice or really absorb God’s word, but this morning God has flooded me with messages and I pray to work on this and really listen to God so that I can move forwards once more.

First message, woke up with this on my mind from God

Psalm 23:4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me;

Second message (I have a number of laminated verses and like to carry one with me, picked up one at random this morning)

2 Chronicles 15:7 – But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.’

Third message from a friend messaged me in a conversation first thing:

Philippians 3:14 I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus.

Fourth message posted on our Church Facebook page (sort of like a weekly thought)

Romans 15:13 – May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

I WILL NOT FEAR

Even though I walk through this dark valley, I will not fear, for you are with me, you are near and I will not look back in anger, will not look back in pain or sorrow cos tomorrow is a new day, a new beginning and gradually I am winning back my confidence, my determination to build on the foundations of my faith and God does not waste anything, I am not defined by my past, I am prepared by my past, I am a product of God’s love and has he not commanded me, be strong, be courageous, do not be terrified, do not be discouraged, for I am with you wherever you go, and I know he holds my future in his hands, my God is enough, what more could I need, so I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God called me, through all this confusion and pain I remain strong in the fact that God called me, he saw me floundering, saw me struggling and reached out his hand to me, so I have to see that God is good and would not abandon me now, however hard, however painful I know his angels watch over me, I know he shields and protects me, he fills me with joy and peace and that sure beats relying on your own understanding, stumbling along as your life falls apart at the seams, whatever God brings you to he will bring you through, whatever life throws at you you can beat it with God’s guidance, love and completeness and you can stay strong, you belong to Jesus and your work will be rewarded, he has thwarted the enemy, death is defeated, your salvation completed by his death on a Cross, so count not your losses or your failures, your Saviour offers you favour, fills you with hope by the power of his Spirit and now at this pivotal time in my life I turn my back on the strife and pain of my past, what do I gain through looking back, I press on towards the plans that God has laid down for me, I claim victory over my mind, death is defeated, conquered and crushed, I am an overcomer, a winner, and a redeemed child of the ultimate victor.

I am a product of my past but not a prisoner trapped inside it

Was reading Isaiah 43 today and realised just how many amazing verses and promises it contains which are wonderful promises and reassurances from God.  Leads on from my post yesterday which was thinking about worrying about the future. However Isaiah 43 also spoke to me about my past, because part of my concern for the future (as referred to yesterday) is about a counselling session due next week which I know will concentrate on a particular issue from the past and I believe God wants me to get a perspective/balance between needing to address these issues without becoming a prisoner to my past and to then forgive and forget and move forward on my Christian journey.

v1 – Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.

v2 – When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned;

v4 -You are precious and honoured in my sight, and I love you

v5 – Do not be afraid, for I am with you

v18-19 – Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!

v25- I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.

REALITY

I summoned you by name, you are mine, this is reality, God calls us by name, reclaims us for his own, I may be a product of my past but I am not a prisoner trapped inside it, for God does not simply renovate the past he makes all things new.  He has known me and loved me for all eternity, God has never made a person he didn’t love, never made a person he didn’t want to bless, we are all precious and honoured in his sight and he, yes he the light of the world loves us so much, he doesn’t hold grudges, in fact once we repent and turn from our sin he blots them out, never thinks of them again, think on, everything wrong that you’ve ever done, gone, he doesn’t think of your faults again, so stop going over old history, stop rewinding and revisiting your old story for in his mercy you are saved.  I know! how crazed does that sound, it keeps going round and round in my head, God died on the cross, yes he was dead, but after three days he rose from the grave, he rose from the grave so that we would be saved from the consequences of our behaviour, yes he died to become our Holy Saviour and as his favoured children we are freed from our earthly prison, see he is doing something new in you, brand new, be alert, be ready, be present in the moment, you are no longer broken, God has spoken and his words are infectious, fear not I have saved you, you are mine, I love you and when you go through deep waters I am with you, in the heart of the storm I am beside you, when you walk through the fire I protect you, so grasp this new thing, this great plan for your future, be fearless, cos worry changes nothing, trusting in God changes everything, he is doing a new thing in me and since the day he set me free he has been building me, preparing me for his purpose, and I for one can’t wait to see the wonders he has in store, to never more look back, dwell in the past, to look to the future and serve God as he demands.