somebodylovesmeblog

Sharing God's love with the world, one heart at a time.


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Make the Decision to Forgive

For the last week or so, the Lord has been filling my mind with the word “forgiveness.”  It seems forgiveness has been the theme of many recent blog posts I have read, and the need for forgiveness is evident in many lives around us.  All you need to do is open your eyes and heart to the pain that so many are suffering, and you will see that the source of that pain lies in the refusal to just let go.

Satan is happily and cleverly deceiving us.  We are being fooled into thinking that we are “punishing” those who have offended or hurt us when we tightly hold onto the sadness, bitterness, anger and confusion.  We are living under deception when we hold grudges and wish harm on others because of their transgressions.

I have even heard Christians loudly proclaim that they hope a person “burns and rots in hell” because of the nature of their crimes.

Only the Lord knows a person’s heart.  Only the Lord knows the journey that person has traveled and where his journey will lead.  Only the Lord will make the Final Judgment.

Are we forgetting the conversion of Saul, the persecutor and murderer?

Meanwhile Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any who belonged to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. Now as he was going along and approaching Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” He asked, “Who are you, Lord?” The reply came, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But get up and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” The men who were traveling with him stood speechless because they heard the voice but saw no one. Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; so they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. For three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.

10 Now there was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” He answered, “Here I am, Lord.” 11 The Lord said to him, “Get up and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul. At this moment he is praying, 12 and he has seen in a vision” 13 But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints in Jerusalem; 14 and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who invoke your name.” 15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is an instrument whom I have chosen to bring my name before Gentiles and kings and before the people of Israel; 16 I myself will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” 17 So Ananias went and entered the house. He laid his hands on Saul and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on your way here, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and his sight was restored. Then he got up and was baptized, 19 and after taking some food, he regained his strength.  For several days he was with the disciples in Damascus, 20 and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is the Son of God.”    Acts 9:1-20

Until a person’s last breath is taken, there is always the possibility of conversion.  There is always the hope that they will open their heart to the saving grace of Jesus.  That is the reason why we must pray for those that have wronged us…pray for and love our enemies.  We must be blessings to all, and love all.

Why are we so afraid to trust the Lord and His love for us?  We claim that we love Him and recite Bible verses;  however, we stubbornly and greedily hoard a list of wrongs in our hearts.  Those wrongs may have been horrendous, hateful actions or words against us, or maybe perceived offenses that we carry within ourselves.

Let it go!

Forgive those who hurt and offended you, no matter how grievous it was.  Forgive yourself, for whatever it is that Satan constantly accuses you of.  If you can’t find it in your heart to forgive and let go, confess that to the Lord, and give the whole situation to Him.  Ask Him to fill your heart with His love, and to help you pray for that person who hurt you.

Satan knows that when you keep your heart filled with resentment, hate, anger, bitterness, sadness, and confusion, there is little room for the Holy Spirit.  Stop feeding into Satan’s lies and deceptions that keep your heart and life in darkness.

Take a true step in faith.  No matter what your feelings are, no matter how deep the pain is, make the decision to forgive.  And pray that The Holy Spirit fills your heart with light and love so intense that it spills over to the souls suffering in darkness.

 

 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.   Matthew 6:14-15

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.   1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.  Ephesians 4:31-32   

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Your Greatest Blessing

“Sometimes your heaviest cross to bear is your greatest blessing.”

These words were unexpected.  I was talking with my priest about an inner struggle I was experiencing, and the pain and frustration I was feeling.  Although I prayed for The Holy Spirit to heal me and work through the situation, I kept failing miserably over and over again.

My impatience and selfishness definitely called for  a miracle, however, I just wanted to wish the whole experience away and not have to deal with it or carry it anymore.

I looked at Fr. Jeb and said, “I guess it’s just my cross to bear.”  And then I expected him to wallow in my situation with me and tell me how happy he was that I was hanging in there.  I wanted a pat on the back.

What he said to me jolted my heart and thought process.  “Sometimes your heaviest cross to bear is your greatest blessing.”

How could this be?  What did he mean?  How could he think that my situation was a blessing at all?  I was being stifled, and felt trapped, like I was in prison.  How could this troubling situation be a blessing?

Fr. Jeb prayed over me and  I felt comforted, but I felt a little confused as I left his office.

Over the next few weeks, his words kept coming back to me.  I was starting to realize that God’s most wonderful blessings are not always  what the world would see as blessings.  His most generous blessings are sometimes the crosses to bear that we can not work through ourselves.  Those crosses that we finally choose to accept, and when we realize that we can’t continue carrying them on our own, we finally throw ourselves at the feet of Jesus, and offer our struggles to Him.  We learn to join our suffering with the suffering of The Cross.

In that way, we become one with Him.

I also found that once I accepted my cross, The Holy Spirit started changing me and working on my weaknesses.  Although I still fall short, I see His work being done in my spirit and soul.  And THAT is the biggest blessing!

What is that heavy burden that you are carrying?  What is it that is hindering your spiritual growth and relationship with Jesus?

Is it financial?  Are you out of answers?  Do you feel hopeless because you don’t know where to turn?

Is your marriage struggling?  Is your heart breaking because you yearn for a holy and happy relationship with your spouse?  Do you even think a happy and joyful marriage or relationship is possible?

Are you living a lie, and hiding abuse?  Physical, emotional, or verbal?

Do you have an addiction that is overwhelming you and the lives of those around you?

Are you holding on to painful and debilitating memories from your past?  Atrocities that you endured as a child and/or through your life?

Are you overcome with the pain of having an abortion or participating in abortion?

Maybe you are sorrowful due to not being able to conceive the child you so desperately want?

Are you suffering through disease, depression, or incapacitating pain?

Are you lonely and living in despair?

Do you feel trapped…maybe a job that you feel is going nowhere? Maybe a family situation? Or just feeling trapped in your day to day life?

Remember, your heaviest cross, can be your greatest blessing.  Give your whole heart and your burdens to The Lord.  Ask The Holy Spirit to fill you with His mercy, love and wisdom.  Ask Him to guide you and teach you what you need to know.

And then listen for His answer. 

He will soften your heart and  let you know the changes to be made.  Align yourself to Him in all the ways you know; offer Him the best of you.

And when you get to the point of knowing that it is impossible to continue carrying that burden on your own, offer your struggle and suffering  to the Lord.  For He wants ALL of you…He loves you that much.  And He wholly understands the blessings that come with the heaviness of The Cross.

May God bless you and fill you with His Holy Presence.

 

 

8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies. 11 For while we live, we are always being given up to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be made visible in our mortal flesh. 12 So death is at work in us, but life in you.  2 Corinthians 4:8-12

For the Spirit Himself giveth testimony to our spirit that we are the sons of God. And if sons, heirs also; heirs indeed of God and joint heirs with Christ: yet so, if we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified with Him. For I reckon that the sufferings of this time are not worthy to be compared with the glory to come that shall be revealed in us. Romans 8:16-18

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Never too Late

Do you feel that little tug in your heart?  No matter what you do, no matter how you try to ignore it, there it is.

There is something waiting in your heart, words and thoughts that you are holding tightly in place with pain, bitterness, and fear. As long as you can block those little thoughts and whispers that call to you every so often, you feel in control.

After all, you are the one who was hurt. You are the one who has suffered all this time. You are the one who was wronged.

Even so, your heart tugs at you to let go, be free, FORGIVE!

Forgiveness will free your spirit and fill you with the joy of the Lord! Let the pain, bitterness and fear go…don’t allow those feelings to steal your joy any longer.

You’ve carried this burden for so many years that it feels comfortable to continue to hold it close.  You almost feel as though it is too late…too much time has passed.

It’s never too late.

Whoever that person is that is holding you bound…even if the person to forgive is yourself – know the freedom of letting go and allowing Jesus to carry your burden for you. He  is patiently and lovingly waiting for you to let go.

It’s never too late.

Just forgive.

 

And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.  Mark 11:25

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.  Ephesians 4:32

 

 


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Present Moment

Yesterday I was blessed to spend some time with a close friend, and her two daughters. We took her five year old and ten month old to an indoor playground. Being that my sons are now adults, and I don’t have grandchildren yet, I had never seen a place quite  like this.

It was wonderful watching the children play, and interacting with them. This child’s wonderland was filled with children having loads of fun and most of their parents enjoying their time together. All in all, it was a joy filled time!

There was one little scene between a young father and daughter that saddened me. I am sharing it because in this day and age we are all that father at one time or another. We all miss important, everyday moments.

The little girl was about three years old. She was so cute, dressed in her little sundress, and her brown hair was a little tousled from playing. She was rocking on a little toy horse, and her face was glowing. Her father was standing directly in front of her, and she was beaming at him. Her smile was pure and contagious, and she did not take her eyes off of her daddy the whole time she was rocking. She wanted to share her joy with him.

He never saw her…he was engrossed in his cell phone and never looked up at her. My heart broke in that little minute.

How many minutes, how many opportunities to love and grow in our relationships do we miss each day because we are not living in the moment? How long will we allow ourselves to be lured away from real life by our electronics or entertainment?

This encounter yesterday reminded me of something that happened many years ago between my father and me.

I was probably around seven or eight years old I think. My father was reading his newspaper, and I was lying on my stomach on the living room floor, reading the Sunday comics. My father meant the world to me, and I was chatting happily with him. When I was speaking, I looked up at him while he was answering, “uh huh”…I realized that his attention was on the newspaper and he was just saying “uh huh” every now and then even though he really didn’t know what I was saying. With my young mind I comprehended what was happening, and felt embarrassed and sad.

Funny, how I still remember that.

So, let’s focus on each moment and the precious people that the Lord places in our lives. There are hearts and minds in need of the love, acceptance, and affirmation that only we can give them.

And when we truly learn to live as blessings in the present moment, loving the Lord and his children, we will also be blessed abundantly in our own hearts and spirits.

 


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Flash of Light

This is a different kind of post today.  I am looking to you for your interpretation or ideas regarding an unexplainable event that my family experienced.  For some reason, it has been on my mind lately.

About 17 or so years ago, my husband and I were at a place in life that was full and extremely busy.  We were living in Burke, Virginia while raising our teenaged sons, working fulltime jobs, and also investing many hours a week building a business.  Many times after work, we would check in with the boys, and then head back out for meetings.  These meetings would last late into the night.

On one particular night, right after returning from one of those meetings, it was very late and very dark outside.  I was in the front yard, on the driveway, walking our dog.   I was never afraid being outside at night with Taylor (our dog) because he was a good guard dog, and I knew if someone was around he would bark and warn me.

This night would be a little different.

While I was moving toward the grassy area, suddenly I felt an extreme evil presence.  I can’t really explain that feeling, except to say that all at once I felt a dark, heavy presence around me, the hairs on my neck and arms stood straight up on my body, and I just kind of froze on the spot.

I had never before felt oppressive fear like that until that very moment.  

At the same time I was thinking, “the dog’s not barking it must be ok.”  As soon as these feelings and thoughts manifested within me, out of the blue,  I was surrounded by a bright flash of blue and white light.  The kind of light that comes from a sparkler.  It was like a flash of light that kind of just whooshed and engulfed me in the middle of it.  In a second it was over…I just stood there in shock for a moment, and then just walked into the house.  I don’t remember telling my husband, and I know I did not tell my sons.

I am not sure of what it was, but I do have my thoughts about the experience.

But it gets weirder.

A day or so after that experience, I was backing out of the driveway.  My youngest son was in the backseat.  I was turned around, checking to make sure all was clear behind me as I backed out.  All at once, that same flash surrounded us.  I was a little in shock that it happened again.  Slowly, I turned back around, not saying anything to my son.

He then said, “mom, what was that?”  Ok, I wasn’t crazy – he saw it, too!

That brings me to a few nights ago, when my hubby and I were out for dinner and a drink.  He shared with me that when we lived in Burke, he saw that same flash TWICE.  At the time, he had no clue what it was, so he told himself it must be heat lightning.

One thing I can tell you…it was not heat lightning.  And even if it was, what would be the odds of heat lightning occurring in the same place on four separate occasions?

So, there you have it.  One of the many “paranormal” or just plain unexplainable events of my life.

Any thoughts?