The truth is that we will all be hurt by the words and behaviors of people who are hurting. Christians are human and we do “feel” the sting of rejection, but because our hearts have been changed, we choose to respond with love and forgiveness. If we watch the news or just read headlines, we know that there are a lot of lost, empty, miserable people on this planet. For this very obvious reason, Jesus has entrusted us to win them over with a kind of understanding that surpasses what those outside of Christ can fathom. Those who carry His Joy are a threat to people who are comfortable with their state of misery. Their attempts to snuff out our light is their standard method of operation, it is not personal. We trust in the Word of God and we respond with His love. Who we once were, and how we used to react, is dead. (Galatians 2) We have chosen to surrender our ways to Christ so we must NOT give our feelings too much authority! Once again, the true story of a jilted country boy reminds me NOT to place my trust in people, but in God. For centuries, people have let others down, but God remains faithful to those who revere His Word. We are reminded in the Bible that the heart is deceitful above all else, and so our feelings must not dictate our actions. Like many under attack these days, we must anchor our faith securely in the ways of God. The facts tucked in this Bible story cause me to remember that God does confound the wisdom of the world. (1 Samuel 16) The runt of a litter of sons by a man named Jesse was left out in the field while his brothers were brought forward to possibly be chosen as king. To his older brothers, David was probably just a pest. To his father, David was the least of his sons. To onlookers, he appeared to be an uneducated, lowly, stinky shepherd boy who would never amount to much! But then in comes God and He chose David as His perfect choice to be king of Israel. And not just any king, little David was from the bloodline from which Jesus would come. David’s father Jesse did not see greatness or any leadership potential in his son, but our heavenly Father did not consider David’s appearance, for God knew his heart. God warns us that we will be overlooked, forgotten, rejected, persecuted, hated and judged in this world. He also hopes that we choose to see each problem as an opportunity to trust His Word and walk worthy of His supernatural equipping. Rejection has no authority to make us feel hopeless or defeated, unless we allow it. We do not pretend rejection does not hurt, and we are honest about our limitations. Wisely we take His promise to heart, “I will never depart from you, I will not leave you as orphans.” As I am a full time believer in Jesus Christ, that means that I no longer live, but Christ in me lives 100% of the time. As a full time employee of God on earth, my citizenship and destiny are secured in heaven. According to (2 Corinthians 5:11-21) ALL Believers are called to trust God and obey His command to persuade others. As much as my heart seeks answers as to what I did wrong, or why I am cast out, the superior question remains; what do I need most? Answers … or more of Jesus? Jesus already answered “Why do bad things happen to good people?” by His example. He was innocent, yet hated and crucified. A persistent line of defense as to why I do not deserve such treatment deafens my ear to hear what the Holy Spirit is saying. The trickster attempts to blind us to what God is doing in our midst as he suggests that we have every right to hold onto a grudge, or bitterness for our unfair treatment. When we plead with God for answers to WHY this is happening, His response is often to simply remind me that He has already given His life for me. “Trust and Obey” and forgive as you have been forgiven. Ah, yes I stand in the holy Presence of God. ♥ While some peeps trimmed trees, sang songs, and gathered with family, others were struggling to abound in Joy at Christmas. No tree was trimmed in 2019 at our casa on purpose. Rationally it was because we were travelling. In or out of the Xmas season, in 2020 I intend to continue to slowly savor His pleasure as I tenderly unwrap the unsurpassed, eternal 💘 love of Jesus. As I recount all He has provided and promised, I can boldly walk in the power of God through the doors and opportunities that He presents me with. AMEN. This post was delayed so that i could push through with prayer to His side of Peace. After the New Year streamed in, it was time for me to make my mark and pen my truth. My Beloved knows my heart and what is left unsaid. He alone understands my deep yearn to be connected to those who have gone before me, and in their honor, I journal transparently. Jesus is never disappointed in me as I honestly struggle to fully surrender and embrace His Joy in this chaotic world. ♥ “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed” (Luke 5:16). Nobody truly understood the loneliness Jesus felt in a crowd. He sought sacred spaces to cry out before He surrendered to His Father’s will. Consider Mary at the foot of the cross, a mother’s heart cracks and tears spill uncontrollably. As a swinging grace monkey i know that I hit and miss the Vine to obtain more fruit of His Spirit. Some days i merely survive, other days i thrive in His grip. He has used my lows to woo me into a deeper trust “in Him”. When I acknowledge my limitations, my deficiencies, only then is when i seek HELP from the Holy Spirit and His power. My dependence on His Joy is my strength. The truth is that my humanity is fraught with pain, ship wrecked plans and reoccurring problems which are simply more opportunities to trust God. The Deceiver will offer detours away from my reliance on God, so with my eyes focused on Jesus, I am NOT self-deceived, but fully alert. Reading about other believers who have struggled and wiggled between His fingers, permits me to be raw and honest. Deeper intimacy and trust in God is born in the pain of its very birthing. I feel the pain, I know hurt people hurt others, I acknowledge my limits, and I return to His Word to be inspired by the truth about how big, how faithful, how powerful my God is. He is my Super Hero, more powerful than a locomotive, faster than a speeding bullet, stronger than any military army, more effective than any of man’s human ideas! My God causes me to Gasp in AWE as tears fall in His brilliant Light. Peace enters, comforts and says “REST, I got this”. His grace and mercy gives me room to swing high and low and then land in His ever welcoming lap. The apt words in the psalms of the shepherd boy chosen as king, comfort me and I walk with great expectation through this new decade. ❤️ Continuing with a flow of honesty in 2020, today i humbly agreed with a post by Lysa TerKeurst! 🎯 Sometimes I allow the “one thing funk” to get my mood all messy! “When one thing goes wrong and it clouds me from seeing all the other GOOD around me, then I am in “the one thing funk”. Then before I know it, I’m edging out God as my “grumpy funk” darkens the Light in and around me.. Hello growth opportunity.” 🤓 SPEAKING with AUTHORITY: “Grumpy, you’re not getting me today!” In the powerful name of Jesus I command the funk spirit to go! Lord I confess my bad attitude and ask that You forgive me and saturate my mind with all the good that surrounds me! Whatever is good, whatever is praiseworthy, draw my attention to these things! Lord give me fresh eyes to see all that You are doing in me and through me. Joy breeds joy so let’s have more of that in 2020. 😀 This is the day that the Lord hath made and I will rejoice and be glad in it.🎼 WHOA as I sang in church today, tears of JOY rolled down my cheeks as we sang “You are a GOOD, GOOD Father, that is who You are, and I am loved by You, that is who I am, yes that is who I am.” As His obedient servant, I forgive all offenses. “Here I am Lord, use me.” For me, the last decade was victorious because of my God and the tribe of friends He selected for me. I affectionately refer to them as my personal “God Squad”. The greatest GIFT is love and their loving prayers and wise words remain a valued treasure. God bless us all with increasing faith and favor in this exciting new decade !