Power Washing

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Eighteen years of accumulated algae, mildew, dirt, and moss resided in the shallow pits and crevices of my cement drive. I hadn’t noticed as I hurried across it, coming and going in my SUV, fetching mail from the mailbox, or lugging water to my little garden behind the garage. Yet when I finally looked at it, it was oh-so-obvious.

It took most of three days this week to dislodge the grime with a power washer. Little by little. An inch at a time. Hovering the wand the longest over the most stubbornly-embedded areas. It was slow, careful, tedious work.

Today my driveway and parking slab are like new. Clean. Free of algae and mildew and dirt and moss — liberated of all grime. It shines white in the noonday sun.

People collect years of grime, too. We barely notice as we hurry through life. We don’t know we could be made clean and new. We don’t imagine our lives could be better — richer, purer, more peaceful, wiser, clearer, more victorious …

We have a God who is willing to spend the time required to cleanse us. Little by little. An inch at a time. Hovering the wand of his divine power the longest over our most stubbornly-embedded areas. He is careful. He takes his time. He doesn’t mind the tedious work.

He wants us to have the best possible lives. To be like new. Clean. Free of guilt, wrongdoing, wrong-thinking, wrong-teaching — liberated of all grime. When we ask for his help, and let him cleanse us, we too will ultimately shine white in the noonday sun.

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Give Me Jesus

 

In the morning, when I rise
In the morning, when I rise
In the morning, when I rise
Give me Jesus
Give me Jesus, give me Jesus
You can have all this world
But give me Jesus
*
*
And when I am alone
Oh and when I am alone
And when I am alone
Give me Jesus
Give me Jesus, give me Jesus
You can have all this world
But give me Jesus
 *
*
And when I come to die
Oh and when I come to die
And when I come to die
Give me Jesus
Give me Jesus, give me Jesus
You can have all this world
You can have all this world
You can have all this world
But give me Jesus

Springtime

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For behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. Song of Solomon 2:11-12

Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord; his going out is sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.” Hosea 6:3

For as the earth brings forth its sprouts, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to sprout up, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to sprout up before all the nations. Isaiah 61:11

 

 

 

Promises Fulfilled

This post was plucked from obscurity by someone, somewhere, in recent weeks, and is getting reads again internationally. I’m taking it as my cue for a reblog. Hold on to your hope!

Cindi Gale

What happens when we’ve heard God’s word and promises, and believed to the point of great hope for our lives, but the promises remain unfulfilled?

Proverbs 13:12 – Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.

After a long time hearing how good life is going to be someday, we need to see it happen. I’m not talking about wanting it to happen — we did from the first talk of it — we need it to happen. An unmanifested promise eventually elicits pain from the place it used to evoke hope.

Imagine a business promised its employees improved salaries and benefits. As months passed, the employees’ thoughts and emotions underwent change when the talk failed to become reality. After years of hearing promises that weren’t fulfilled, they felt foolish for their naive enthusiasm early on. Even the most loyal employees grew suspicious that the…

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Always Only Love

Jesus roll away the stone
Breathe your fire into breathless bones
Raise to life this weary soul
My weary soul

Jesus fix this mess I’ve made
Whisper Lord and still the waves
Bid me come I’ll move in faith
I’ll move in faith

Faithfully Lord you pursue me
Arms wide open you run to me
Always gracious Always Holy
Jesus you are
Always only love

Jesus you forgive forget
Trade my rags for righteousness
Redemption comes with no regrets
No regrets

Faithfully Lord you pursue me
Arms wide open you run to me
Always gracious Always Holy
Jesus you are
Always only love

Sing it from the highest Mountain
Echo in the lowest hell
God’s great love and boundless mercy
Never falters never fails

Faithfully Lord you pursue me
Arms wide open you run to me
Always gracious Always Holy
Jesus you are
Always only love


Recorded and owned by Cindy Ratcliff

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Zoom In

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The power of evil to slowly, imperceptibly rob us of our identities is real in all settings. We are unlikely to be a threat to evil as long as we remain subjugated to ungodly people. Satan knows what he’s dealing with as long as we are predictable. He knows the rules of religions, the demands on underlings to conform. If we swallow the pill of mindless compliance, he is assured of our passivity. We will be passive to injustice. We won’t learn of our God-given rights. We won’t express our true personalities and develop our God-given insights, gifts, talents, and strengths. We won’t be capable of overcoming evil with good.

If you’re suppressed and your identity is muddled, let’s do something about it. Let’s flip-flop the situation, and free you to be capable of overcoming evil with good.

Pray. Expect and listen to the Holy Spirit’s perfect counsel. Reflect: What is your true personality? Is it spirited? Is it strong? Does it debate with majority thinking? Does it fight against untruths? Does it seek ultimate harmony? Does it rise to defend victims? Does it rise to defend YOURSELF, if you are the victim?

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Do you fear that your independent thinking will break the rules? WHAT RULES? WHOSE RULES?

Did Martin Luther King turn people off? Did Abraham Lincoln? What if they had been shortsighted, and given up their right to think, debate, and resist common public opinion, because they feared being considered disruptive? So, they temporarily ruffled some feathers, they disturbed some people — who said we are born to make unrighteous people comfortable? Who created you for that destiny?

Where is the person God created you to be? You can throw off every demand and expectation that hinders, and be that person.

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Will you be accepted? Were Martin Luther King and Abraham Lincoln accepted?

Look beyond the nearest faces of disapproval as you defy their unrighteousness, and look to the purpose and goals for which Christ calls you. Get past the forceful people in your face spouting their policies, and discover it’s very different away from those people. There IS a world beyond your immediate world. Just beyond the few disapproving faces is a world of people who will accept you.

Be bold. Be strong. Be wise. When you are acceptable to God, you are also acceptable to a whole lot of people.

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2 Corinthians 10:18 (NIV) – For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.

Who Is In Your Mirror?

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What determines a person’s unique identity? What is constant about him? What changes about him? Is he morphing under the climate, attitudes, perceptions and expectations of certain groups of people?

Most of us have experienced this morphing sometime in our life. We kick ourselves after taking on the group attitude when a discussion erupted. We voice or nod agreement, when it’s not what we agree with at all. We vow to not let ourselves become what others have pegged us, then go to a gathering and act exactly as they expected. It’s a strange power.

Is it possible to be consistent in our identity? Is that what integrity is? Who can hold their own amid the pressures of society, influential people, loved ones, the blitz of heated opinions in an election year, or in some cases the conflicted theology of a church, and not flex so much that we sell our souls?

When we compromise our integrity, is it worth it? Who gains from our loss? Often we morph to be agreeable, and the person or group demanding it takes. And takes. And takes. And takes some more. They aren’t appreciative or respectful of our sacrifice, only glad to have it go their way.

How far have we sold out our identities? Do we know anymore who we are, or who we would have been had we not morphed for others?

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God offers to help us regain our intended identities. He will quarantine us (metaphorically or literally) to keep pressures to conform at bay, then educate how the outside influences wrongfully shaped us. He will restore the identities we lost. But we must recognize our opportunity for restoration — it’s common for people to reject his intervention. We can be so indoctrinated that we remain bound to imaginary chains, needlessly restricted. We too often continue our old thinking. We go through the motions, unmindful. We fail to pause, question, contemplate, debate, and resist our status quo.

If we never ponder what others ponder, does that capture our attention? Are we often robotic, hollow, or “Stepford wife-ish” to others? Do we consider ourselves the ones to change, or do we stand firm as being “right”, and dismiss thinkers as “too analytical, too deep, too philosophical”? Sure, it saves time and energy to continue as is, but only for the short term — in the long run, our failure to alter our thinking wastes immeasurable time.

Consider this: Are there people in your life denying your right to pause, think, resist, ponder, question, and struggle with concepts? Who has a right to do that? Should any individual or group claim sovereignty over your mind?

Our counselor doesn’t operate that way. He grants us full freedom of will. He is an educator, not a manipulator. He engages in healthy relationships, offering ideas, not imposing them. He encourages dialogue and honest expression of self. He knows our thoughts anyway, it’s illogical to believe he would forbid or reprimand us for being honest with him.

So let me ask:

DSCN0477Who are you? What do you think? What is your innate personality? Are you afraid to express your honest thoughts or true personality, convinced they are unacceptable in your sphere of society?

Do you ever wonder why some people get away with authentic self-expression and have no repercussions for it? Have you noticed people like that get their freedom and groups tend to step back with respect to that person? Yet, the more compliant and agreeable you are, the more the group moves in closer and further restricts your rights and individuality. Give them an inch, and they take a mile.

When did it happen, this slow, subtle, giving way to group think? How can you get it back? Can you get yourself back?

DSCN0529You can. If you’ve lost your identity, may you be filled with wisdom and courage for the cause of retrieving it. You must be wise if you’re in unsafe surroundings; even then, your thoughts are yours and yours alone.

Matthew 7:6 – “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.

Do what you must, but don’t let your soul and spirit be trampled — be discriminant of who you throw the pearl of you to. May you have clarity, wisdom, and courage to reach safety. May you find a haven where people are like God, where there is no rejection, where you are respected and free to express yourself honestly.

When you do, be prepared to be well-received. The world is thirsty for trustworthy, grounded, independent thinking. Those who suffer under stifling demands to conform to their unrighteous environments are losing hope — they need to see confident, caring people living freely and without limits. Trust that when you become able to express yourself consistent with your God-given, God-approved, true identity, you will certainly not turn others off, but will instead draw others to you.

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Sing for joy, you heavens, for the LORD has done this; shout aloud, you earth beneath. Burst into song, you mountains, you forests and all your trees, for the LORD has redeemed Jacob, he displays his glory in Israel.Isaiah 44:23