An excerpt from Made New…

…the essential question for somebody who’s been
abused: ‘How could I possibly forgive my abuser, especially someone
who abused me for so many years?’”
In the last few years, I’ve discovered that I can truly trust what
God’s Word promises to those who call him Savior; namely, that Jesus
loves his children unconditionally. He knows we’re sinners in need of
his mercy and grace, and without him, we’re completely lost.
Jesus relates a story in Matthew 19:26, following his encounter with
the rich young ruler. Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is

impossible, but with God all things are possible!”

Most of us have heard the poem “Footprints in the Sand” by Mary
Stevenson. The poem recounts a conversation when a child of God asks
something like this, “God, why is it that during the hardest and most
difficult times of my life and during my most painful experiences there
are only one set of footprints and not two?” God lovingly answered,
“Because, my sweet child, that was when I carried you.”
Come back with me to the difficult years of my life as I recollect a
tragic, heart-wrenching journey, as well as many celebratory moments,
when I was becoming Made New…

Do you have a story about the moment God stepped into your life, literally

transforming you into a person you never thought you could be?

My testimony is proof positive that God still changes lives! If he could

take my messy life and make it into a life that seeks to glorify and honor Him

with the days he’s given me, that’s what I’m going to do.

Praise God from who all blessings flow,

Praise Him all creatures here below,

Praise Him above ye Heavenly Hosts,

Praise God, the Son, the Holy Ghost.  

Please share your story with me. I would love to hear from you.

It’s Not About Me!

A friend, named Cheryl Lutz, posted this on her blog the other day, and as I read it this morning, I was reminded of the fact that this is how God wants each of us to live our lives. I pray that you enjoy it, and it touches your heart, as much as it has mine.

It's Not About Me!.

The Desires of Your Heart

Psalm 37:3-4

Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.

Delight yourself in the LORD; and He will give you the desires of your heart. (NASB)

I don’t know about you, but sometimes, I find myself questioning, “What really is my heart’s true desire?”

This morning, during my quiet time, I was focused on this scripture, and as I read I sensed the Holy Spirit saying ‘Do good, that I should be happy with what I’ve been given, and that it’s important for me to keep growing in my Christian walk. A walk that portrays a life journey where my heart and soul know that I can win, in this race called life, and I can do it for the glory of my Lord, Jesus Christ.

I’ve been a Christian long enough to know what that means. But, continue asking, “Why do I always seem to be just going through the motions and not surrendering all my choices to fully embrace God’s word? And, “What is it that seems to get in my way of having the heart for more intimacy with Jesus?”

How have I become so apathetic to ignore His pleas only to take delight in what’s temporary and rationalize that ‘I’ll be okay when I get that old-familiar feel-good feeling of a real job to pay for what I think my heart’s desire is, a new car, hardwood floors, furniture, or a new mattress.’ We Christians like to call this materialism. Then, I think, is this old worn out orb that we all live on, along with all its evil, child abuse, civil disobedience, suffering, and torture, worth it? Is this all we have to live for? God’s word says,

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”John 16:33 (NLT)

I do believe that my struggle with this question is just one of Satan’s ploys to keep from basking in the intimacy that only Christ can give me. My relentless adversary likes to smack me down with “He doesn’t want anything to do with you! Or, “You’re not good enough. Remember when…It’s a waste of your time! Get busy with something else!” The list of assaults goes on and on…

…that’s when it’s time to close my office door and insert my CD of Mercy Me’s, The Hurt and the Healer. God meets me in the words of that song and my soul gets lost in complete surrender at the awesomeness of my Savior. My spirit is renewed and finally, I’m at peace because I know that I’m kneeling at the feet, or resting in the arms of the One who gave His life for me.

You know what? He’s given His life for you too!

Sharing our testimony for God’s glory

I absolutely love it when hubby picks up our evening devotional, Morning and Evening, by Charles Spurgeon.

He began to read, “I have yet to speak on God’s behalf” from Job 36:2, and I knew this reading would be exactly what I need.

We should not desire to be known by others for our virtue or for our zeal. But at the same time, it is a sin to always try to hide that which God has bestowed upon us for the good of others. A Christian is not be to a village in a valley, but a city set upon a hill. He is not to be a candle under a bushel, but a candle in a candlestick, giving light to all. (See Matthew 5:14-15) Retirement may be lovely in its season, and to hide one’s self in modest, but the hiding of Christ in us can never be justified. The keeping back of truth which is precious to us is a sin against others and an offense against God. If you are of a nervous temperament and retiring disposition, take care that you do not indulge in this trembling tendency too much, lest you become useless to the Church. In the name of Him who was not ashamed of you, decide to ignore your feelings. Tell others what Christ has told you. If you cannot speak with the sound of a trumpet, use the still, small voice. If the pulpit is not your platform, if the press does not carry your words say with Peter and John, “Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have give I unto thee” (Acts 3:6). Talk to the Samaritan woman by the well if you cannot preach a sermon on the mountaintop. Utter the praises of Jesus in the house, if not in the temple; in the field, if not in the city; in your own household, if you cannot speak in the middle of the great family of man. From the hidden springs within let sweetly flowing streams of testimony flow forth, giving drink to every passer-by. Do not hide your talent. To speak for God will be refreshing for ourselves, cheering to saints, useful to sinners, and honoring to the Savior.

This devotional seemed to impart words I hadn’t considered in quite some time, yet I’m so thankful for the reminder that sharing my testimony doesn’t mean keeping silent and hiding out of fear. Instead, it means that wherever God directs my steps I’m to share the testimony that He has blessed my life beyond measure.

What about you? Do you boldly proclaim God’s praises in your house, in the field, in the city, or on the mountaintop? Speaking for myself, this devotional is a true wake-up call and a feast for my soul.

Worship Must Go On!

Worship Must Go On!.

Seeing Myself Through God’s Eyes

The last Women of Faith Conference in 2014 was almost over and I felt bummed that I was attending it alone. My publisher, Westbow Press, was front and center of the concourse, with its ebook stub gallery and a stack of Made New – A Hippie Chick’s Journey of Forgiveness, available as free eBook download, displayed amongst other aspiring author’s ebooks.

I walked over to browse one of several Women of Faith book booths, and this title caught my eye;

Seeing Yourself Through God’s Eyes, written by June Hunt. One of the speakers I had heard the evening before. I thought she was such a courageous woman, a woman with a beautiful spirit of God’s love, and a woman who, undoubtedly, had more wisdom than me.

I couldn’t help but think that reading it might help bring me out of this downtrodden rut I’ve been in, but I argued with myself, ’should I spend the money just to add to my growing collection of little books I still haven’t read?’

I picked it up and flipped it over, “Do you see yourself the same way God sees you?”

I mumbled, “Are you kidding me?” “No!” But, I knew I was desperate and made my purchase.

I just finished reading the fourth day and contemplated whether or not God was using this book as a catalyst to get my attention and to take a good long look at myself and realize who I really am, in God’s Eyes.

My prayer is to not use too much of June’s content, yet in some ways, as you’ll soon see, it’s hard to not follow her lead. So here it goes,

Day 1: I Am Secure because my very life and soul has been adopted by God. Wow! What an awesome thought! Consider the promise that each and every one who is a child of God has been adopted into God’s family! It seems impossible!

Yet, God made a way.

I’ll give a personal example regarding why this is such a profound truth for me right now. A very close relative is in the process of adopting a precious little girl, one whom we have all completely fallen in love with. I show her picture with people I meet and her little smile melts hearts. I love her as much as my biological grandchildren and I can’t help but comprehend that the love I have for her is but a brief glimpse of how precious I am to God. I don’t know about you, but that makes me burst into tears of thanksgiving.
After recently coming out of a depression when I felt like my life had no meaning and I was of no worth to anyone, let alone God, it makes me love God so much more.

Romans 8:15 states that “we have not received a spirit of fear, nor are we slaves to fear. But, each one of us has received the spirit of son-ship, or daughter-ship, to cry out “Daddy, Father!”

Let’s go further; Galations 4:5-7 declares to believers that God sent Jesus – born of a woman, to redeem me, so that I have full rights as a child of God. Because, I’m a co-heir with Christ, God has sent the Spirit of Jesus into my heart and spirit can call out “Oh, Abba Father.” I’m no longer a slave to sin, but a daughter, and God has made me an heir of His kingdom.

These promises make this Christmas season so special.

As I type this, I’m sitting in a 3rd story apartment loft in downtown Portland. It’s a nice day and the windows are open to a noisy Grand Avenue below. The Portland skyline is strewn with zigzagging cars entering and exiting Hawthorne Bridge. Beyond, that, it’s a jungle of broken, dirty streets, strangers walking by, or the screech of a streetcar. It’s funny how I find myself, at times like this, falling in love with God, all over again.

So, where does all of this lead too?

I don’t know about you, but it leads me to surrendering to the fact that through my heavenly Father’s eyes I can see that Jesus has freed me from fear. He has redeemed me and I am His daughter – an heir – and I’m free to trust my Lord, forever.

My Autumn of Discontent

Deuteronomy 31:8

It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”

I have to honestly ask myself, come on Judy, what were your expectations for this cross-country trip? Did you expect to have another endearing summer, like last year? I can’t help but recall an encounter I’ll always cherish on the day when I met God in the middle of the desert and felt His presence so deep within my spirit. When I consider that day, my heart still fills with tearful gratitude of praise and delight.

Yet, this autumn of discontent began at the beginning of my trip, the moment I unexpectedly encountered the mother I lived with as a rebellious 17-year-old teenager. I have to admit that on the first day I knew it was going to be one of the longest nine days I would experience, especially when her words rang with the proverbial tones of annoyance and hatefulness I always despised. Mom was in a state of deep depression and it wasn’t hard to recognize that she was utterly disconnected with life. I probed for answers to another one of my unending list of questions; questions that go off in my mind like fireworks on the 4th of July. We all knew that it was nothing short of a miracle that Mom was still alive and for some reason I wanted to know more about why she was in such a miserable state. So I asked. I was completely taken aback by her response of “I just merely exist”, followed by, “I don’t care about anything”.

From where I was in my pursuit of wanting this trip to rock and change my world, her statements hit me like a ton of bricks! I found myself reliving my teen years, back in my secret seventeen-year-old mindset. I wanted to scream at her, “Really, Mom? Did you not care about the onslaught of continued sexual abuse I endured as a teenager either?” I wanted to screech, “And, you stood by and let it happen because you were too weak to defend me from my own father!”

I wanted to grab onto her, hard, and shake some sense into her feeble mind.

And, I prayed, “God, please, never let me get to the point that I don’t care about anything.”

However, despite that prayer, for the next several weeks, overwhelming feelings of insignificance swept over my soul like a waterfall gushing over a cliff.  I begged to just fall over the cliff and drown as her old familiar words repeated in my mind, “You’re nobody!” only to be followed with, “You’ll never amount to anything!” They were words of devastation, not fit for a wounded teenager to hear.

Then, I allowed the enemy to use my unending questions to beat me into a state of deep depression too and I found myself struggling with some of the questions we all strain against, “Why am I here, God?  You’ve brought me so far in my faith journey, yet I’m toiling under this cloud of depression, feeling as if I’m just trudging along life’s ups and downs, feeling  alone, and afraid that I’ll never escape this torrent of discontentment.” I want more from this life: more money, more beauty, more of this, more of that; All the while feeling so annoyed at God for not giving me more, when He’s given me so much!

But wait! God’s word says that His grace is sufficient for me! My heart leaped to life as I became keenly aware that these feelings of insignificance and discontent are wiles of the enemy, used to keep me from being used by God to defend the abused and using my God-given talent and abilities to teach others that if God can change my life He can change any life.

God is so good and I can’t help but praise him for the divine appointment I encountered last weekend at the Women of Faith event in Portland, Oregon. I take comfort in knowing that He has brought me to a place such as this.

This morning, I’m reminded of His love for me as I read the two books I picked up at the conference, Seeing Yourself Through God’s Eyes, by June Hunt, and The Storm Inside, by Sheila Walsh. I rejoice in knowing that I’m secure, I’m His child, and no circumstance, or no person, has the power to diminish the fact that God knows the plans he has for me.

Romans 8:16, paraphrased in my own word says that the Spirit himself testifies with my spirit in that I am God’s child.

And, Ephesians 2:19 reminds me that I am not a foreigner, or a disbeliever, but I’m a fellow citizen with God’s people and I’m a member of God’s family.

Through God’s eyes I can see that I am His, I’m loved and accepted, just as I am.

How about you? Do you know that you’re secure because you’re a child of God?

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