Not the Damn Expert!

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Photo from: From The Dairy of a Strong Woman

Don’t listen to them, they have no clout…

Damn voices inside my head!

Telling me this, telling my that

Filling my heart with dread.

“You’re no good.” “Did you think you could?”

Reverberates my mind.

“Hush now…” it says, “You know you should…”

Negatives of EVERY kind!

“You lie!” I say. “I can do it!!”

In your face, I kick the dirt.

“To Hell!” I say.  “Into the pit!”

“You’re not the damn expert!”

***

Participation in today’s Daily Prompt:  Expert

 

Obvious Mercy

A Conversation with God 8/25/16

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Gracie, hoping more spaghetti squash seeds fall to the floor.

Me:  Well God, I woke up this morning to three big piles and a puddle.  Had to steam mop the floors-of which- I finished the living room, kitchen, dining room, and hallway-ALL- before 7:30 this morning!

God:  Some days are definitely better than others, but…

Me:  Yeah, and some nights are better than others too!  Gracie barked most of the night.  I had to get up and take her outside at least 3 times…  pfhh…probably more than that…I don’t know, Lord…I kinda lost count.  Corinne and have nick-named her Monster.

God:  During those times, whisper my name and…

Me:  Well, I kind’a recollect s…s..saying your name, but… it may n..not have come out as reverently as I would have liked…I’m sorry, Lord.

God:  Lisa, because of my Son, you are forgiven and I will think of it no more.  Remember when I said, “As far as the east is from the west, that far have I removed your transgressions…?”

Me:  Yes Lord, I remember King David writing that.  He sure had a load of sins…huh, Lord…?

God:  None less than yours…

Me:  Yes Lord…I’m sorry.

God:  You see, Lisa, it’s not about the sins you commit-sin is sin-and all have sinned.  The most important “take away” here is that Jesus died and rose again, and because of that your sins are forgiven.  I would much rather you dwell upon Christ and what he’s done, than upon all the mistakes and “bad things” you’ve done.  My mercy is gracious and plentiful, and I want this to be obvious and personal for everyone.

Me:  Lord, thank you for your mercy.

God:  It makes me happy to forgive my children and my arms are always open….regardless of what they’ve done.

Me:  (bows head)  Dear Lord, what a wonderful thing Jesus did for me.  Thank you, my Jesus and please help my mind to rest upon You all day today.

God:  I will help you, Lisa…remember my Spirit goes everywhere you go.  That means I am an ever-present help…ask you shall receive.

Me:  Thank you, God.   Um…God….

God:  Yes Lisa?

Me:  It sure is a lot of work taking care of a puppy.  Do you think I could, maybe…um…lose some weight?

God:  Hmmm…not if you keep eating the muffins that are meant for the  JMU students.

Me:  Oops…guess you saw that the other night…

God:  Remember, I –am- with you always.  (God smiles)

***

The Lord is merciful and gracious,
Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.

 He will not always strive with us,
Nor will He keep His anger forever.

 He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
Nor punished us according to our iniquities.

 For as the heavens are high above the earth,
So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;
As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

 As a father pities his children,
So the Lord pities those who fear Him.

 For He knows our frame;
He remembers that we are dust.

 As for man, his days are like grass;
As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.
 For the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
And its place remembers it no more.

But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting

Psalms 103:8-17

***

Written for participation of today’s daily prompt:  Obvious

 

A Seed of Faith

A Conversation with God 8/24/16

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Me:  Hello God.  Are you there?  Are you really there?

God:          (silence)

Me:  Do you, really, hear me, or are my words like dandelion seeds, dangling in the air?

God:  (silence)

Me:  God?

God: (silence)

Me:  Do you hear when I pray?

God:  (silence)

Me:  You see, Lord, there are those who think my words never break the barrier of the ceiling.  They smirk at my offer of prayer.  They point to “things” in my life and knowingly claim, “Because of these “things” a righteous God will never hear you pray.”

(silent pause)

Me: So God-You tell me-do you hear me when I pray?

(silent pause and then…)

God:  Lisa…Do you have faith?

Me:  Yes Lord, I have put my trust in you.

God:  Then-your faith- and -our relationship- is none of their business.

Me:  Yes, Lord…but sometimes I can’t help wondering if they are right…

God:  Lisa…Do you have faith?

Me:  Yes Lord, I’ve given you my heart….but they…

God:  Lisa, do-you-have faith?

Me:  (closing my eyes in despair I utter) …but…

God:  Lisa, do -YOU- have faith?

Me:  …yes Lord…I do…

God: Then don’t fret what others say.

Me:  (silent)

God:  Lisa, your faith in me, is between us and no one else.  Your faith will grow stronger the more you come to me…and the more you come…the more we talk… the less other opinions will matter.  Listen to my voice by faith-even if that faith is small as a mustard seed-then everyone else’s voice will fade into nothingness.

Me:  Thank you, Lord.  I sure needed this talk today.

God:  Lisa

Me:  Yes Lord?

God:  You are mine and I am yours-there’s no one in-between.

***

 Do you have faith?  Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves.  Romans 14:22

A Quiet Place

A Conversation with God 8/18/16

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Beth, my daughter, looking out over the Shenandoah Valley.

Me:  God, my world is too noisy…sometimes I just want to go to the moon!

God:  You don’t have to go all the way to the moon…just rest in your quiet place, it’s always waiting for you.

Me:  I would but I don’t know the way.

God:  Well, that’s the beauty of it, you don’t have to go anywhere because it goes everywhere with you.  You’re always standing by the door.  Just open the door and walk inside.

Me:  Huh…?

God:  My presence is the resting place and your awareness is the door.  When you become aware of My presence, in any given moment, there is peace and an extra boost of energy to carry you through.

Me:  God, it’s so incredible that YOU, the God who created all, lives inside me.

God:  I know it’s hard for your human mind to understand, so don’t even try…just rest in knowing, with me, all things are possible.

Me:  Thank you Lord.

God:  Faith is the key that opens your door of awareness.  Believe me and I will meet you there.  In our secret place you’ll rest in the coolness of my shadow.  I will gather you as a mother hen gathers her chicks and you will rest under my wings.

Me:  What if there’s no time?

God:  Even in the briefest of moments I will give you strength…just say my name and know I’m there.  Quote my word in your mind, that always helps too.

Me:  Thank you, Lord.

God:  Remember, you’ll need many rests through out your day.  So, open the door and come inside, often.

***

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty…
 He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge.  (Psalms 91:1,4)

Jesus looked at them and said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.”  (Mark 10:27)

Outside Looking In

A Conversation with God 8/16/16

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Me:  God, I’ve been thinking about those who’ve shunned me.  Sometimes I feel all alone.  I feel their world is going on without me, and I’m on the outside looking in.  I have this visual of a dirtied hungry child, hands and nose pressed to a store’s window, watching shoppers buying goods to carry home to their families.  The dirty child always has my face.

God:  Unfortunately, my child, sometimes family and those we think love us will treat us that way. Some do it for spite, anger,jealously and numerous other reasons and then there are those who do it in my name.

Me:  In  your name, Lord?  How?

God:  My word is misunderstood and often it is used to hurt people.  I have many do’s and don’ts in my word and those do’s and don’ts were written for a specific people at a specific time in history.  The problem is, some take a scripture passage from the middle of my story and use it to justify their judgments of others.

(God slowly shakes his head)

God:  How often I’ve asked my children not to judge…  They can’t see the heart of the person they judge, but I can.  Also, judging others can be very dangerous because the way you judge will be the same way you will be judged.

(God pauses)

God:  Lisa,this makes me sad.  I would much rather my children err on the side of compassion.

Me:  Lord, I have been guilty of judging others.  Please forgive me.

God:  Your sins are forgiven, Lisa.  Jesus has already taken care of every one when He died on the cross.

Me:  Thank you, Lord.

God:  And Lisa…

Me:  Yes, Lord?

God:  Remember this…Jesus first came to his own and his own received him not.  You have a savior who understands the hurt you feel.  And Lisa…it doesn’t matter who forsakes you-even mother or father-I will never forsake you and will always take you in.

Me:  I love you, God.

God:  I love you too, Lisa.

***

When my father and mother forsake me then the Lord will gather me up.  Psalms 27:10

He (Jesus) came to his own, and his own received him not.  John 1:11

“Don’t judge others, and God will not judge you.  If you judge others, you will be judged the same way you judge them. God will treat you the same way you treat others…Why do you notice the small piece of dust that is in your friend’s eye, but you don’t notice the big piece of wood that is in your own?”  Matthew 7:1-4

Depression Really Sucks

A Conversation with God 8/13/2016

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Me. Sadness at the Holocaust Memorial in Boston.

God:  God morning Lisa.

Me:  Good morning Lord.

God:  How are you feeling today?

Me:  Well, Lord…you know I’ve this “depression” thing going on and sometimes it’s almost more than I can bare.  Depression really sucks…

God:  So, are you depressed today?

Me:  Not so much today…although I do awake every morning with the thought, “Am I going to be depressed today?”

God:  And how do you answer yourself?

Me:  Most of the time I just ignore myself and head for the coffee pot, but then I see my fur babies and take care of them first…letting them out to pee and bringing them back in to eat.  (I smile)  They are so happy to see me in the mornings!  It truly warms my heart.

God:  Yes they are happy to see you in the mornings; I’ve seen the wags of their tails.

(God smiles, and pauses)

God:  Lisa…

Me:  Yes, Lord?

God:  It is my hearts desire for you to be just as happy as Danica, Dolly and Gracie.  My heart always warms when you smile.

Me:  Yeah…I suppose smiling would be best…it might be kind of hard  to wag my tail.  (I laugh at the visual image)

(God chuckles)

God:  I long to see smiles on the faces of all my children.  So many Christians walk around with faces so long they stumble over traps of judgment, hate, bitterness and all things sour.  Unbelievers witness this and are turned away from me.   This makes me so sad.

(God pauses to let the thought sink inside me)

God:  I know life’s not all roses and lollipops and you can’t always be smiling from ear to ear.  When life is painful it’s normal to go through times of anger, loneliness and despair.  I certainly don’t want superficial Christians running around, trying to convince the world that life is one big party and then you die and go to heaven.  Instead, I want genuine Christians who feel and express their pain but at the same time experience deep seeded peace at the knowledge their God is still in control.  This kind of peace draws others to me, and I desire that all come to me.

Me:  I’ll try, Lord, but sometimes it’s hard when I’m so depressed.  I need you to refresh my mind often of your love and peace.

God:  I understand, Lisa… like you, so many of my children suffer depression, even my Son went through times of great sadness.  I love everyone single one of you who suffer and will never leave you comfortless.   I’ve sent my doctors, counselors and medicinal therapies and they have served to help.  More important I want them to know I walk beside them and yearn to give them my peace.

Me:  Thank you, Lord.  Please help me to live and radiate your peace.

God:  I will help you.  Always remember, I sent my Son that you may live and live life abundantly.  That truly is my desire for you.

Me:  Thank you…thank you for Jesus and his life…may I be more like Him.

God:  You have His Spirit in your heart…listen and follow your heart.

God:  And, Lisa…

Me:  Yes, Lord?

God:  Go ahead and grab that coffee first thing…you’ll be better off as will the fur babies.

    (God winks)

***

Jesus wept.  John ll:35

…And they shall call his name Emanuel, which being interpreted is God with us.           Matthew. 1:23

“I will not leave you comfortless:  I will come to you.”  John 14:18

“I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”  John 10:10

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that brings good tidings, that publishes peace; that brings good tidings of good, that publishes salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigns!  Isaiah 52:7

Yes Lord…but…I’m Gay

A Conversation with God 8/11/2016

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Me:  God, as I tarried in your garden, I heard the words of a verse that has given me comfort for many years.

God:  And what words are they, my child?

Me:  They go something like this… “…everyone the Father gives Me will come to Me, and those who come to Me I will by no means cast out.”

God:  Ah yes…I remember exactly when they were first spoken.  My Son was teaching in the synagogue at Capernaum the very day after he had fed a great multitude of people some fish and bread.

(God pauses in thought)

God:  Seems like yesterday…

Me:  Uhm…I’m not quite sure when He said it, but those words have meant a lot to me in my life, even from early on.

God:  Tell me, child…how have they comforted you?

Me:   Well, sometimes I feel I’m not good enough…I mean, it seems I mess up all the time.

God:  All my children stumble…you are no different.

Me:  Yes, Lord…but…I’m gay…

God:  I know all things, my child.

Me:  Uhm…yes Lord but I’ve struggled with being gay since a little girl.  I kept it a secret from my family because I thought they wouldn’t love me if they knew.

God:  That could well be the case with man but with Me, there are no secrets and with Me there are no limits to my love.  I love you with an everlasting love.  I have called you, Lisa and in faith you came to me and believed.  Neither I nor Jesus will ever cast you away…and no one can ever pluck you from my hand.  My Son’s words were true thousands of years ago and they remain true today.  Trust me.

Me:  Yes, Lord…but…I’m gay…

God:  Lisa, I knew it before you knew it and still my words beckon you to come and drink freely from the water of Life.

Me:  Yes, but others say…

God:  But, what do I say?

Me:  I know Lord…but…

God:  My child, I called you and you came.  Remember my words, “Whosoever, shall call upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved.”  Lisa, whosoever means you, too.  Nothing can ever separate you from my Love.

Me:  God, can it really be that simple?

God:  I made it simple because I want all to come to me.  I loved the whole world so much that I gave my only Son, Jesus, and whoever believes in Him will never perish; instead, they will live forever.  Lisa, Jesus paid a heavy price to secure your salvation and because of what He sacrificed I will never no never turn you or anyone else away.

Me:  Lord, how can I even begin to thank you.

God:  Well, I never grow weary of your thanksgivings and praises.  They make me happy.  So go, live your life in grace and share the good news of my love with everyone.  ALL are welcome…no ifs, ands or buts.

(God smiles)

Me:  Lord, take my life and let it be all for you and for your glory.  Glory to you forever!

***

And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely. Revelation 22:17

All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.  John 6:37

 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 8:38-39

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  John 3:16