I Have A Dream

i_have_a_dream_by_aners56-d3kx6ucToday is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  The holiday is in honor of Dr. King, a Baptist preacher who was a prominent leader in the American civil rights movement.  His dream was for a future where blacks and whites, among others, would coexist harmoniously as equals.   In 1964, at age 35, King became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his work to end racial segregation and racial discrimination through civil disobedience and other non-violent means.  He was assassinated in 1968, before he saw his dream become reality.

Today is the Inauguration of America’s president, Barack Obama.  He is beginning his second term in office,  the very first African-American to hold this position.  I can only image what Dr. King would be thinking, if he were alive today.

I just dropped Carson off at school.  He is marching in the MLK Parade today with his JROTC team.  He has a desire to go into the military, the Navy, to work on a submarine and to become a nuclear scientist.  I don’t even know what that is, but Carson has a dream.

David tells us in Psalms 37:3,4, Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.  Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.

God wants us to have the desires of our heart.  He has a plan for us, and it’s a good one.  Jeremiah:11:29, says: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Ultimately, regardless of what goes on in the here and now, we have hope and a future – eternity with God, through our acceptance of his son, Jesus Christ, as our Lord and Savior.  That is our ultimate goal,  our dream for eternity.   As Paul explains:

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.  Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.  (Philippians 3:12-14)

What’s behind might not have been so good, but what’s ahead, well, that is a dream worth pressing on for!

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Abortion Kills

Today, I want to talk to you about abortion, This isn’t a debate on pro life or pro choice. This isn’t a biblical discussion. This isn’t a spiritual controversy. This is from my heart to yours. I lived it. I have first hand experience. Twenty seven years ago I found myself pregnant with no husband or boyfriend, and I made the decision to become unpregnant. I made the decision to kill my baby.

That decision ruined the next seventeen years of my life. The shame and guilt of the realization of what I did haunted me. I spent many years trying to drown my past in drugs, alcohol and meaningless sex.

Even after I met a wonderful man, married and gave birth to two special little boys, the offense of my past kept me from living in the reality of my present.

I had a hard time connecting to my boys. I loved them dearly, but I just couldn’t seem to develop a relationship with them. I didn’t know that my inablity to be a ‘normal’ mom and wife was a by-product of the abortion. In fact, I had so many by-products that I really didn’t know if I would ever be okay. And I didn’t understand why I was so disfunctional. I never forgot the abortion, but I didn’t know that all the negative in my life stemmed from it.

They didn’t tell me the day I killed my baby that the rest of my days would be filled with numbness, because I would stop feeling life because of the pain of what I had done. They didn’t tell me that I would remember that day for the rest of my life, that even today, twenty seven years later, it is engraved in my mind.

They didn’t tell me that I may have trouble carrying a child. Yes, I have two wonderful little boys, but I also experienced two miscarriages and a still born baby. Babies that were greatly loved and wanted and never able to even breathe their first breath. And with each loss, my heart broke even more.

I am sharing this today for one reason. Someone out there is considering having an abortion. It may be you, it may be your sister, it may be your friend. I don’t know who it is, but God does.

Don’t believe the lie that it isn’t a baby. It is. Don’t believe the lie that it’s the right thing for you to do. It’s not. Don’t believe the lie that you will soon forget, you won’t. Don’t believe the lie that you can always have more babies, you may not. Don’t believe the lie that this is the only option, it’s not.

Yes, today I am free of the guilt and shame, Jesus healed my heart and my hurt ten years ago, but remembering what I did, allowing myself the emotion to truly think on what happened that day can still bring me to tears.

I want to say to you today, abortion kills. It kills that little life inside of you. That little life that didn’t choose to be there. That little life that deserves to live. And it kills your spirit. Don’t think you will be the one that isn’t affected by it. That is a lie as well.

And yes, Jesus is the great healer. If you are suffering from the hurt and pain of your past, he will heal you. But how much better would it be to not have made that choice? If you still have the option … please please please choose life.

The One Thing

One_Thing_Series_Preview_587x327One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.  (Psalm 27:4)

This was written by King David.  The guy has had an amazing life.  Some really good.  Some really bad.

And yet the one thing he asks of God is to spend time with him.  David could have sought gold and silver or more power or really anything he wanted. But all he wanted was God. God loved David, he called him a man after his own heart.

I believe this is why.

I want to be like King David.

Lord I want you to be my one thing!

Dry Bones Come To Life

ezekiel37In Ezekial 37, we see the story of the dry bones. God put Ezekial in the middle of a field of death and asked him if life could come forth? Ezekial’s answer is perfect, “O Sovereign Lord, you alone know.” And then God asks him to speak to the bones, to let them know that God would bring them to life, and then they would know that he is God.

And he does and they do!

I love this! What a perfect example of our roles as followers of Jesus.

Only God knows who will receive his truth. We are not to pick and choose who we share the good news with. Rather, we are to speak to all, proclaiming that God can bring life back to those whose spirits are dead, whose lives seem without hope.

I want to be like Ezekial …

Etch-A-Sketch For Life

etch a sketchWhen I was a kid, I played for hours on this toy. I was never very artistic, and I would draw squares and circles and lines hoping beyond hope that a picture would come forth, but it never did. And then with a single shake, the slate would be clean and I’d start over again, sure that a picture would spring forth this time. Over and over and over I’d play on that toy, knowing that a beautiful picture was just one shake away. I loved the fact that I could never really mess it up, because all I had to do was turn it over, shake it and I had a fresh start.

Throughout my life, as I made mistake after mistake, I thought about that etch-a-sketch. I wished I could turn my life upside down, shake it and get a fresh start. But every day, I awoke with the same issues. The same insecurities. The same resentments. The same struggles. Year in and year out. I felt like my slate was full and there was never going to be a way to erase it.

Then one day, I accepted Jesus into my life. I simply realized how much he loved me, how he only wanted good for me and I received his love. I didn’t have to do cartwheels or stand on my head. In fact, my part was simply saying yes to him.

And I realized that Jesus did for me what I could not do for myself. My slate became clean. His word says:

For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more. (Hebrews 8:12)

Even if you are stained as red as crimson, I can make you white as wool!” (Isaiah 1:18 TLB)

I am so thankful for the new beginning he gave to me. Today is the begining of a new year. A time of fresh starts. Maybe you are worn out from life? Maybe you are tired of the struggles, the issues, the junk? Maybe today is the day to allow Jesus to wipe your slate clean!

… but the greatest of these is love. (I Corinthians 13:13)

His Love Conquers All!
Joyce