God loves me? So what? He loves everyone.

My daughter once said this to me, “There is nothing special about God loving me, because He loves everyone.”

The thing is, however, that is a falsehood. It is not true that He loves everyone, because love is a verb. Therefore, He can only technically “love” (give His love to) those who have said yes to Him.

So when someone actually believes the good news and receives the salvation that He has spent thousands of years preparing . . . It is so thrilling to Him, that He and all of the angels rejoice over you!!! They throw a party!

🎶

And once you have accepted the free gift of the Gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ, then our God is absolutely delighted in you. He delights in you — He loves you — because you have trusted Him. Your faith is so pleasing to Him. He could not be any happier with you; you are perfect in His eyes because of your faith. 

He is a God of deep emotion, and He is madly in love with you, if you have believed in the Gospel and received His Holy Spirit inside of you; we could almost say that He is infatuated with you.

Your belief in the Gospel pleases Him so much because it proves to Him that you have chosen Him, and no longer reject Him. Sadly, our Heavenly Father is quite familiar with rejection. He knows what it feels like to have His heart broken.

But we are not among those who have broken Him heart. Especially those of us who rest in His finished work on the Cross. We who have been set free from religion, are especially pleasing to Him because, now that we have entered the new covenant, we can grow to know Him and He can know us too, and that’s really all He cares about:  

a close, personal, intimate Relationship with you!!! ❤️

The Good News is so good!!! Let’s smile, and laugh and rejoice with Him today!  

MENTAL ILLNESS, ADDICTION, AND MY CHRISTIAN LIFE

Before I became a Christian at age 22, I had it easy. I had never truly experienced pain and suffering. After a fun and fulfilling childhood and then a parent-funded Bachelor degree, I was ready to embark on the journey called Adult Life.

Life wasn’t perfect, but BOY, had I been sheltered! I just had no way to fathom what the next three decades would bring my way. A life where sadness, neglect, emotional abuse, mental illness, drug addiction and suicide attempts would enter my life’s path. Basically . . .

“Your Worst Life Now” could become my anti-Joel-Osteen bestselling book.

Do I regret anything that has transpired? Do I wish I had taken a different path? Do I raise my fists in anger to God?

No Way!

Dang, I’m GLAD for the emotional muscles that God has built in me. I am thankful for the tribulations . . . really, in all honesty.

It’s not fun to go through difficult times — mental illness, addiction, suicide attempts that require weeks of hospitalization; all of these things have hit my immediate family — and I have endured major heartache, but, because Jesus has been with me and because He has used difficult times to draw me closer to His heart, for that reason, all the pain and suffering has been worthwhile.

Jesus has been there with me through it all. I had nowhere else to turn, so He literally became my ROCK.

Interviewing for a teaching position at a large homeschool co-op in 2014, I was extremely nervous that I did not possess the desired credentials. But this was a Christian ministry with their head on straight; the first question the panel asked me was, “What does Jesus mean to you?”

Are you serious!?

I immediately started bawling my head off!

Now THAT was a credential I possessed in excess. I began to tell the ladies how Jesus meant EVERYTHING to me; how He had held my hand through many difficult trials, and how I had learned to depend on and rely on Him alone.

Teaching at that co-op for the next five years, was fruitful and successful . . . in a spiritual way. To this day, I still get together with some of my ex-students, high school age, for coffee, chatting and a Bible Study (heavy on the chatting!)

My heart rejoices in the Lord! I am writing this post to testify that He gives us JOY in the midst of pain. It’s a heart-filling, overwhelming sense of peace, safety, security, love and acceptance. NOTHING is better than that.

Yes, my life is still difficult. We had another huge, terrible family emergency just four days ago; an event that could have been devastating . . . but that God had His hand in nonetheless: He works all things together for good.

Christian brother or sister, hang in there! Cry if you need to! Pray and yell and fret all you want to our Father God, He can handle it. Pour out your heart to Him at all times. Cast your cares upon Him.

For He cares for you. ❤️

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December 17, 2020

The New Life – outside of church

woman walking on pathway while strolling luggage

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I was pretty shocked when I began to hear the Lord speak quietly to my heart that it was time to quit church.  “Not so, Lord,” I said, in the spirit of Peter from Acts 10 and 11.

But I finally relented.  . . . Although it seemed as though I was having an inner temper tantrum in my “obedience” to my Lord and Master, Jesus the Messiah.  (Good job, Lisa.)

The following Sunday, it was a huge surprise to me when Jesus made Himself known.  His presence was manifested to me. “Oh!!  Jesus!”  I said.  “Well, hello there!  It’s been so long!”  And His glorious joy was poured out to my spirit.

Of course He had never left me nor forsaken me.  But I had forsaken Him.  For 15 years.  Why?  Well, heck, I was trying to be a “good Christian.”

Before quitting church, the Lord had been stripping me of a belief system that was based on rules and regulations.  I was all about, “you have to do this, and you shouldn’t do that.”

He led me to quit church in 2004, and by 2006 the only ‘law’ I was still holding on to tenaciously was that we  “have to ask forgiveness for our sins.”  Finally, the Lord gently removed that one last requirement through learning the proper meaning of 1 John 1:8&9.  Simply put, John was speaking to unbelievers (most likely the Gnostics in his audience) in verses 8 and 9 of chapter 1.

So, I came to understand that I did not have to ask for forgiveness; that His death on the cross had already accomplished my forgiveness, and I simply had to believe that “it is finished.”

Realizing that I no longer had a Christian To-Do List, there was simply nothing left for me to do.  Except to love Him back.  To trust Him.  To rely on Him.  To depend on Him.  I began to live my life in a totally different way.  I trusted Him to lead me and guide me.

The way I parented our three kids became completely different; the way I viewed God began to line up with reality; I began to give my husband grace, and stopped trying to change him into a repentant and obedient ‘godly man.’  The TREE OF LIFE became my daily food; I had left behind the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  I now live every day with Jesus, worshiping Him in spirit and in truth.  It’s a glorious life.

And if you’re wondering, no, I don’t go to “church.”  Well, I never went back to “formalized” church.  Yet to this day, I do gather together with believers on a regular basis, and there is more true fellowship in my life now than there ever was in the days when I went to church four times a week.

Written March 10, 2020