Bitter or Better

Bitter or Better

•Moment of transparency•

There are many areas in life that I could apply this verse to. Many areas where I need to apply this verse. Here is what I’ve learned and finding this verse is a result of looking for an answer in His Word.

In life there are seasons and not just seasons of people. There are people that come and go and seasons that are high and low. There are people who stay. There are those who hurt us and who we hurt. Some accidentally, some on purpose. You learn that you can only fix you and you can only change your heart.

There are those who are like sandpaper and those who we mesh with. But we don’t get to choose who we should be kind hearted to… even when they hurt us. Then there are those who are oblivious to the fact that they pour salt in our wounds over and over. But we can’t live in a bitter state and rise above at the same time.

Bitter or Better. I remember Granny Shiver saying: “You can let it make you bitter or better.” when sharing about life issues. It’s always stuck with me. In the back of my mind. And praise God that His Word is always available to me. When I want to wallow and try to figure out why… I can just turn to the Word and find “why not” or why to not wallow in my feelings. Sometimes it takes longer than others. Sometimes it’s my last resort instead of first instinct. That’s real life.

There’s more to this thought of mine that I’ll be sharing here on my blog. Until then, maybe you needed this reminder, too.

People will let us down, but God NEVER will. Grace. He gives it to us abundantly.

The seasons and people in our life can grow us, if we choose to let them make us better and not bitter. I’m working on becoming better. It’s only possible with God.

Seeking Him,

And I Am Sure Of This

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And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. ~ Philippians 1:6 (ESV)

 

Ever feel like a FAILURE ? An outright no good can’t do it right failure ? (yes, I am aware that I just wrote a run-on sentence )  Yeah? ME TOO. 

Examples of feeling like a FAILURE  (may or may not be MY personal examples..just sayin’) : 

– Trying to be obedient and encouraging and then not being very “encouraging” with your (my) spouse.

– Having a negative attitude.

– Not sticking to what you said you weren’t going to do anymore.

– “Falling off the wagon”

– Not being as successful in your own eyes as you want to be.

– Not shining Jesus.

– Not meeting the expectations that others place on you.

– backsliding

 

You get the point.

 

That is when I am even more grateful for the mercy and grace my Jesus FREELY lavishes on me! Ahhhh! Don’t you agree with me?

SO. DO. NOT. DESERVE. IT.

 

That is BEAUTY my friends. Real life down to earth BEAUTY.

Grace is beauty.

Mercy is beauty.

Forgiveness is beauty.

I’m sure of it.

 

Satan says (I am guessing) : “You have sinned and you fall short. Take your ‘damaged goods’ stamp or sticker or tattoo and give up sister (or brother). Just lay down and have yourself a good ole whiny pity party. Better yet, stay there.”

 

God says (as is written in HIS Word, THE B. I. B. L. E.  and what scriptures say and yes I am paraphrasing,  *scripture reference below)  :“All have sinned and fall short. Accept my GIFT of forgiveness and redemption and walk WITH me. Take your ‘REDEEMED by the blood of JESUS’ stamp and STAND my child. You are loved. You are precious. You are MINE. I am not finished with you yet. Trust me, nothing you have done or will do surprises me.”

 

* For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ. ~ Romans 3:23,24 (ESV)

 

I don’t know about you, but I prefer God’s truth over Satan’s lies.

 

When you fail, and you will, don’t lay down and roll all around in it. Get up and brush your self off and start over. Stand up.

 

AND I AM SURE OF THIS :

HE IS NOT FINISHED.

HE keeps on keeping on and offers us mercy and grace that is so stinking beautiful. Like rainbows on a cloudy day beautiful.  Like the sunshine peeking out after days and days of thunderstorms beautiful. You get the picture.

It is almost too hard to believe it.

Failure is only failure when you give up. Failure is only failure when you don’t learn something from it. Isn’t that how we learn? By making mistakes? (I am not saying that you should fail on purpose. No, not giving you permission to do that.) Just don’t lose HOPE and do NOT give up. STAND UP and rest in JESUS.

 

You might want to listen to this…

07 Redeemed by Big Daddy Weave :

 

 

Striving to SHINE,

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What Are You Filling The Voids With?

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As promised, today I am sharing with you all the message that I shared with the girls last weekend at the “Girls Night Out” event. Of course, this will be more of a summary of the entire message. In fact, there will be two parts to this post, and I will post Part Two tomorrow.

My husband  let me know that I spoke for 40 minutes. EEEEK. I so did not even realize it! They were actually paying attention too! It was God’s message, so I spoke as long as HE let me and when it was over, it was over. 🙂  {and I thought I wasn’t a speaker 😀 }

So, here goes.

What are you filling the voids in your life with?

  What do you worship and obsess over?

Here is a list of “things” that I listed and that they told me that night:

Twitter ~ FB~Instagram~VINE~Texting~
Food~Shopping~Cheerleading~
Fashion~Clubs~Keeping up with the latest trends~Boys (because I was speaking to girls)~Girls (because this is a message for boys too) ~Friends~Internet~TV~Netflix~YouTube~Music~Tennis~Sports~Clubs~
Alcohol (I said this) ~S*x (I said this because YES inappropriate relationships happen) ~ Drugs (another one that I listed because they won’t say it but the reality is that drugs are in this world) ~Books~Hobbies~School~Work~
Getting the MOST Likes~Getting the MOST followers

You get the picture.

The above “LIST” does NOT just apply to teen or college age girls. It applies to us all. The reality is that we all have too much junk or have had too much stuff packed into the voids in our life that only JESUS was made to fill.

After they saw the visual of JESUS being covered up by all of the things on the list, they were able to see that JESUS couldn’t SHINE through with all that other stuff in the way. HE gets crowded out or covered up.

He gets crowded out when we don’t put him first and center. Filling up voids with meaningless junk or even good stuff leaves little room for Jesus. Then we wonder why we end up feeling so empty and alone or stressed.

When you are really close to someone you normally know their likes and dislikes, what they hate and what they love. Why? Because you spend time getting to know them. You MAKE THE TIME to get to know them.

The thing is, NO person, NO drug, NO friend, NO food, NO social media, NO hobby, NO relationship will EVER permanently fill the void. They may be a temporary “fix”. They may dull or ease the pain, but it’s like trying to fill a heart-shaped hole with a square-shaped piece. JUST WON’T WORK.

You start expecting those things and people to fill your voids and they can’t! Only God can.God created you. He knew you before you were born. HE loves you the same today as HE loved you yesterday and HE will love you the very same amount tomorrow. HIS love doesn’t change.

God made you for a purpose and with purpose. YOU were NOT an accidental creation. God made you, but he made you to love HIM and to SHINE for Him.

PSALM 139:13-16 ~ For you created my inmost being. You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

God loves you and me not like our friends and “followers” do. His love is not based on anything that we can or cannot do for HIM. His love is not based on who your “friends” are, how many you have, what you wear, your style or lack there of, or what your talents are.

His love doesn’t change. It can’t.

HEBREWS 13:8 ~ Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today and forever.

Nothing in or of this world will ever bring you lasting and true peace, because you were not made for this world.

If you are a true follower of Christ, an AUTHENTIC Believer, then this earth is just a pit stop on your way to HEAVEN.

He will never let you down. He will never abandon you. He will never unfollow you.

We tend to let others down, abandon things and people, and we get let down and abandoned as well. Not by GOD.

TRUE PEACE. TRUE FREEDOM. TRUE LOVE…. Is found in Christ alone.

To know HIM you have to spend time with him. There is a HUGE difference between head knowledge and heart knowledge. Even the demons knew who God was.

JAMES 2:19 ~ You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that – and shudder.

Do you know HIM? Does HE know you?

I’ll leave you all with that for now. The rest of the message will be on the next blog post, Part two. I hope you’ll be back for the rest. 🙂

UNTIL NEXT TIME,  

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Philippians 4:13 ~ I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Philippians 4:13 ~ I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

How Will It Ever Stop

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Ever been the NEW person?

The only person in the room who doesn’t know anybody?

Ever felt like everyone was staring at you? Judging you?

Ever judged anyone?

Ever been judged?

Fairly or Unfairly?

I think it’s safe to say YES to all the above.

There’s a difference in judging and being wise and making wise choices. We MUST judge situations that we are in and weigh them against THE WORD. We must be wise…But we CAN’T play GOD!

To judge another person based on our opinions is wrong. To judge someone based on our feelings is wrong. To judge someone based on the opinions of others is wrong. To judge someone and label them before we have even given them a chance to show us who they are is wrong.

Matthew 7:2 (NLT) ~ For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.

When are we going to stop? Stop judging whether someone is CAPABLE or WORTHY,  in our opinion. How will it ever stop?

It starts with you. It starts with me. One person can make a difference.

The difference between a weed and a flower is what? Perspective and JUDGEMENT.

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Until Next Time,

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Looking In The Rear View

~ Short and Sweet Simple Truths ~

I have a question for you.

Are you living life looking in the rear view mirror ALL.THE.TIME. ?

We really can’t truly LIVE in two or more places at the same time. I mean LIVE. Not just survive. But, LIVE, in a way that is pleasing to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Our past mistakes and failures should be remembered.. But never dwelt on.
Dwelling means what? To dwell.. To LIVE there. Dwelling on the past means living there. Is it even possible?

If we are constantly looking in a rear view mirror, we miss the view in front of us. Have you ever just really focused on all the beauty that can be found right in front of your face? You will miss it, if you aren’t living in the present.

photo: HDawkins copyright 2013
photo: HDawkins
copyright 2013

Our past is an important part in our testimony. Our testimony should only point to God and how HE changed us. So, it is important to REMEMBER who we were…. and then press on.

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

Blessings my friends!
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Not Good

~ Short and Sweet Simple Truths ~

I had my mouth set on it. A NEW hot chicken salad casserole. I went to the grocery store (which I don’t love doing), and prepared it. I’m telling ya…it looked and smelled so good! Shoot, I got the recipe from a “trusted” site..a pretty famous chef. What could go wrong?

We sat down for supper. Our youngest had already taken a bite and she sat there with a smirk on her face. I automatically respond with: “Let me guess..you don’t like it. Well, guess what? If you don’t like this, YOU can fix yourself something.” My husband backed me up…except he was even more strict.. He said: “No, you won’t get so much as a bowl of cereal.”

AND then….. The moment of truth. We prayed. Our youngest still smirking. Then my husband and I both took a bite at the same time. Oh My Word. What in the world was that strange…distinct taste. Almonds? Too many almonds maybe? Maybe too much cheese? Needless to say, little sister got a bowl of chicken noodle soup. It was HORRIBLE. It was a waste of our money and my time. It was NOT good.

Never trust that just because it looks good and smells good and sounds like it would be good..that it is good.

I can’t help but relate this to SIN.

It looks good sometimes. It may even smell good. Shoot, it might even taste good. BUT, it isn’t good.

It wastes our time. It tricks us. It entices us. Even looks easy and harmless sometimes.

But the aftertaste … Oh boy that aftertaste… It’s NOT GOOD.

Ephesians 6:11 (NIV) ~ Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.

Blessings my friends!
Heather 🙂

Just Passing Through

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. (Psalms 34:18 NLT)

There are things in this world that happen, that I’ll never understand. I won’t claim to understand.

This I know, My Savior.. My Redeemer, is GOOD.

The truth is that this world that we live in is broken and sinful. So much so, that God sent His one and Only Son, JesusImmanuel.. To save us.

John 3:16,17 ~ “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. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”

Jesus means, The Lord Saves.

Immanuel means, God With Us.

When trials come.. And they will…

When circumstances are sometimes awful.. And that’s a guarantee…

When bad things happen to good and innocent people and children, we can rest in the fact that this is NOT our home. If you know Jesus, and most importantly, if HE knows you… This broken and sin-filled world is only temporary. Our real home is HEAVEN.

John 16:33 ~ “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

While we are here though… Let’s live right. As my father in law shared at Granny Shiver’s funeral; When asked if she had any advice for us on living our lives.. She said : “Just Do Right..Do right.”

That’s pretty good advice if you ask me.

Just do right. Just forgive. Just live. Just let bygones be bygones. Hold the ones you love close. Tell them you love them.. Show them that you love them with actions. And.. JUST DO RIGHT.

Even when you don’t understand the why’s… Just Do Right.

And remember… We are just passing through. There’s two final destinations.. Heaven or Hell. Although those are great words of advice.. “Just Do Right” won’t get you to Heaven. Truly knowing and following HIM will. So, do you know HIM and as Granny witnessed.. Does HE know you?

See, when asked if she knew for sure about her place in eternity, she said “oh yeah, I know Jesus and HE knows me.

Trust HIS promises that are found in The Word. Rest in HIM. “The Lord Saves” AND “God With Us”

Hebrews 13:6 ~ So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”

We don’t have to understand.. We just have to trust God.

Until Next Time,

Heather

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