Inspiration

Can We Trust God?

How do you know that someone is worthy of your trust? Most likely it’s because they have proven themselves to you: they are dependable, they have kept your secret, they are loyal and supportive of you.

It takes time, usually, to establish trust in someone. And a kind of “testing”. 

God knows that it isn’t easy for us to trust Him. We are weak-hearted and easily disappointed by people and the events in our lives. We are constantly being let down.

But God is faithful. He is trustworthy.

He cannot lie:

God is not a man that he should tell or act a lie.” Numbers23:19

He who is the Glory of Israel will not lie, nor will he change his mind, for he is not human that he should change his mind.” 1 Samuel 15:29

He does not change:

I the Lord do not change.” Malachi 3:6 

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8

There are so many scriptures that talk about God’s faithfulness. However, this is an area that often takes personal experience to believe, not just taking someone’s (or the Bible’s) word for it. God’s faithfulness is proven during the course of our life, through provision or protection, and especially deliverance. To me, that one is the first and best proof of His love and faithfulness.

He delivers us:

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”1 John 1:9

We can have absolute confidence that God forgives us. If he couldn’t he wouldn’t be God. Perhaps it takes faith for you to believe that. But let me say that I have experienced His forgiveness, the cleansing of my heart, and the outpouring of his love. It’s not all in my head. It’s a precious way of life that brings me joy.

As far as God’s proving his faithfulness?

He shouldn’t have to because he is God and God is faithful. Period. But yet he does. Over and over to us. There have been times when I don’t even realize he delivered or provided or protected until years later. And when I have those “ah ha” moments it’s pretty incredible.

I think, “Oh that’s what was going on behind the scenes. That is what God was doing!” And my heart fills with gratitude and praise. There are many instances in our lives like this (for example, when I didn’t marry the person who turned out to be of questionable character). We don’t even realize that God has touched a moment in our lives and taken care of something for us. Or sometimes we DO! Like when I was able to pass between two cars that were destined to collide at an intersection. Whew! I praised God for sure while I was shaking in my boots!

You CAN put your trust in God.

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17 

I hope you will risk it. Try him out and see if he doesn’t prove himself to you. I dare ya!

 

Inspiration, Keepin' It Real

11:11

There are many, many concerns on my mind these days. They kind of swirl around in the background as I go through my day. I’m not especially so worried that I can’t do all that I need to, but yes, this list is ever-prevalent, just a thought away from giving me stress if I allow it to.

I know that my ways are directed by the Lord. I know that He will provide for my needs and will accomplish all that He desires. I do turn my “list” over to Him. But some days the items on that list almost suffocate me.

Because God loves me and is concerned about my welfare and the condition of my brain, I believe He gives me signs to assure me that He is handling everything I’m concerned about. One of the ways He does this is by “helping” me to see the time of 11:11 on my clock.

For a long time now I’ve been seeing 11:11 on clocks around me (and my phone) and I believe it’s God telling me He loves me and that He is present in my life. I tell Him I love Him too whenever I see that time.

So these past two weeks I have been more concerned (stressed) than usual. The list continues to grow and things mount up. And guess what? For two nights in a row, no matter what my routine has been, when I crawled into bed and turned off the lamp, 11:11 was the time. God really does make me laugh!

I couldn’t have timed it. God is just saying that He is with me. His attention to, and providing of, the details that reassure me are precious acts of love. It’s such a sweet way of letting me know of His presence. He knows I love the visuals!

And then? The next morning I opened my Bible to read and it fell open to this verse I’d already underlined…

“Because you have delighted in Me as my great lover, I will answer your cry for help every time you pray.

And you will find and feel my presence even in your time of pressure and trouble.” 

Oh the timing of God’s hand in my life!!

 

Love and hugs, 

Passionista Mimi

Scripture quoted is Psalm 91:14-16 (excerpts) using The Passion Bible translation.

Comment below and tell me what YOU think the 11:11 on the clock means.

 

Inspiration

Wrapped In His Heart

Guide me in Your truth and teach me,

For You are the God of my salvation;

For You (and only You) I wait (expectantly) all the day long.

Psalm 25:5 Amplified Bible

The Passion Bible translation has this footnote that knocked my socks off:

“The Hebrew word most commonly translated as “wait”, qavah, also means “to be tied together by twisting, to wrap tightly, to entwine”. This is a beautiful concept of waiting on God, not as something passive, but entwining our hearts with him and his purposes.”

Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance says “a primitive root; to bind together (perhaps by twisting)”.

So when I read this verse in the Passion Bible and it gave me the illustrative words,

“I have wrapped my heart into Yours”,

I was just swept away by the visual image these words presented.

Oh my, what better place to be but wrapped together into God’s heart?

THIS. This is what I desire. I want to be wrapped up in God’s heart. Especially when I am waiting for answers. To feel as He does. To love as He does. To know that I am in His heart, being held, as He prepares His answer. And to “know in my knower” how very much I am loved by Him.

How about you? Do these words resonate with you? Please do let me know!

And as always, I’m sending you love and big hugs!

Passionista Mimi

Inspiration, Keepin' It Real

Life Ain’t Always Sunshine and Roses

So here’s the deal.

It’s NOT always sparkle and shine in my life.

There are days like this week when I am burdened for a precious friend and feel helpless in the situation. When I am a bit tired of working, parenting alone, being this age with kids, being indoors, wanting something fun, loneliness, just the keeping on keeping on.

And there are some days when the only prayer I can form is, “Oh God, oh God, oh God!”

That is the real truth, folks. I get in those places too.

I thought maybe you should know.

I never want you to feel as if I downplay your pain. Or suggest that your difficult situation can just go away “poof”.

But I post the positive things I do because SOMEONE needs to read them.

And in my inner spirit those things are ME. They are what I do to keep doing.

I smile, I pray, I spend time being thankful, I reach out to others, I help others if at all possible….

All these things help to center me and bring the “yuck” back into perspective.

I do know that when we fill our brains with positive thoughts,

we attract more positive energy to ourselves.

And that is what being thankful is about.

That is what “speaking to the mountain” (see previous post) is about.

We actually DO have a choice in how we spend our focus/energy.

And when I’m in a funk, I choose to spend mine by rejoicing in all the good I see around me.

Being thankful for the many, many good things in my life.

And realizing that these funks don’t last forever.

Two things I know–God is always faithful, and the sun will eventually shine!

 

This is re-posted from three years ago! Really applies to today. 

Be well, safe, and blessed in these crazy time!

Much love and big hugs, 

Passionista

Keepin' It Real

Doubt is Unbelief

Stop doubting and believe! John 20:27

Jesus’ disciples had just been through the worst time of their lives. Jesus, their  teacher and friend, had been killed and placed in a tomb. Three days later when some of the disciples told Thomas they had seen Jesus as the risen Lord, Thomas told them he had to see it to believe it. He wanted proof that Jesus had indeed risen from the dead. Jesus, being, well, Jesus, and loving Thomas deeply, appeared again to the disciples when Thomas was present. When Jesus showed Thomas the scars from his crucifixion, Thomas immediately believed that He was the Lord and had returned from the dead.

Are we like Thomas? Do we have to be shown something that is written in God’s word (for example His faithfulness or His promises) to believe it’s true? But what happens to us when we haven’t seen yet? What happens when we are still struggling and God hasn’t provided a solution? Do we begin to doubt if He will? Do we doubt His love for us and His faithfulness? Or even if He can provide what we need?

We are a society of gratification—the quicker the better! But God is not interested in our societal expectations. He loves us and wants us to grow in Him. He knows that adversity can bring us closer to Him, to His heart of love, to closer communion with Him. Even if that communion consists only of, “Oh God! Oh God!” (The Holy Spirit intercedes for us and God knows the cry of our hearts.)

How can our faith grow if it is never tested? It’s often through these hard times of testing that God is able to prove His unfailing love and attention to our needs. Don’t you know that Thomas was at the end of any faith he might have had in his dear friend, Jesus, who claimed to be the Messiah. That “Messiah” had been killed, and in the worst, most agonizing and humiliating way possible. Thomas was in deep, deep grief, and perhaps feeling a bit of anger too. “This is not how it was supposed to go. Where is the kingdom, the reign, the wonderful life I thought Jesus was talking about? I saw him die. You say he’s risen, but buddy, I gotta see it to believe it. I believed once and now I’m paying for it.”

You gotta love Thomas. He said what a lot of us think, really. Jesus commended those who believed without seeing him first (verse 29). But we can ask God if He will prove to us that He exists and give us the faith we need to believe in Him. 

By now in my life, I have firm convictions and believe in God—period. During some intensely difficult times I began seeing items in stores with the word “believe” on them. I picked up a few and it became my “word” for the season. I embraced this word, not because I lacked belief in God’s ability to take care of my problems, but because I chose to believe He would. Those words were affirmations of what my heart chose and reminders for my brain. Around the house whenever I’d see one, I’d breathe the prayer, “Oh yes, God, I believe You will provide.” 

I grew up in an environment of belief. (Many times, my parents had to believe for food on the dinner table that night. And God, being the faithful one He is, provided for our family of five.) I’m very thankful for the foundation that belief provided me. AND the gift of faith that God has given me. Did you know that you can ask God for the very thing He requires from us? That blows my mind. It’s like He says, “Child, I want you to give me your faith, lots of faith. I want you to fill this big box with your faith in me. But first, let me give you a warehouse full of faith so you can give me a box full of it back.”

I know this is very elementary, and probably not exactly scripturally accurate, but faith is a gift from God. And the more we are in difficult situations where our faith in God is tested, the more we choose to believe in His ability and desire to help us, the stronger our faith becomes. Because He will always come through for us.

Lest you think that I’ve had an easy life so it’s easy to talk about God’s faithfulness, I’ll share some of the most dramatic ways God has proven His faithfulness. (Believe me, there’s more!)

Shortly after marriage when our total income for the year was minimal to say the least, the refrigerator broke, my husband’s contact (which was necessary for him to see since he was legally blind) tore, and our car was stolen and joy-ridden until it was totaled (two cars were necessary because I drove 45 minutes one way to work). We had no money in reserve and no way of getting any. But, God came through and provided not only a car, but for our financial needs as well.

When my husband was attacked and chemicals thrown in his face and eyes, not once but twice, God came through and healed his eyes.

When I was left totally alone, betrayed by most of those I’d been closest to, God came through and not only healed my heart toward them, but as a result of that emotionally bereft time, came into my grief with more and more of Himself. I wouldn’t trade those times for anything because He drew me even closer to Him than I’d have ever known. I didn’t much care for the excruciating barrenness and alone-ness at the time, but I say now that the experience was worth knowing deeply, and personally, of God’s faithfulness and love in a way I’d never experienced before.

When I went through another devastating time–this one ended in divorce, God came through and provided a place of safety for my children and me to stay. He provided for all of our physical needs, and also healed my broken heart, helping me to parent my two very hurt and confused seven-year-olds. He knitted us together in a stronger bond, making a sweet, loving family from the three of us. My children were content, even in the midst of their grief.

After a period of years during which I was stripped of all my “identities”—wife, daughter, sister, teacher, pastor’s wife, worship leader, home owner, person with good credit—through the deaths of my family members, my divorce, my retirement, and bankruptcy, I had no idea what to do next. I didn’t have a clue “who” I was anymore, had lost most of my support system, was adrift in emotions, and felt weighed down. Over a period of about two years God and I did a lot of work on me. He came through with direction, provision, and so much love to flood my grieving heart. He set me on a new path that brings fulfillment and allows me freedom to be the person He created me to be.

I have many experiences of my own to prove God’s faithfulness and love to me. I know He has our best interests in mind. Do I ever get willful and try to do things my own way? Of course I do. But I’m better at relinquishing the reins these days.

I choose to believe. I choose to seek Him. There is no room for doubt in my life because to doubt God means that I’m believing the lie that God is not able. And I have learned and know, deeply in my “knower” that:

And you can know it too. Carry this verse with you, say it throughout the day and ask God to help you believe it. In a culture that glorifies the self-made person, it’s reassuring to know that it is GOD in us that is carrying out His purpose and satisfying the desires of our heart—way more than we could imagine.

Be blessed beyond measure, my friends, and thank you for stopping by. 

Love and big hugs, 

Passionista Mimi

 

Inspiration

He Will Heal The Brokenhearted

A friend of mine is going through a heartbreaking time. I made this for her today, and thought I’d post for anyone else who needs to hear it. The “He” in this quote is God, and the words are from the Bible.

Several years ago, when I was enduring the same kind of emotional devastation she is, knowing this promise kept me sane. I reminded God often that He said He would heal my broken heart, and that He promised He wouldn’t break me (by allowing more than I could bear, or by making me walk through it alone).

On the other side of it now, I will testify that God indeed healed my heart and has given me joy. He walked with me through every difficult decision and day of weeping. And today, He used me to encourage another sister who is where I was. He is there for you, too.

I haven’t posted in quite a while, so someone needs this, or I wouldn’t have put it here today. 

for Katee

If it speaks to you, feel free to print it off and put it where you will see it as a reminder. God will see you through.

Much love and hugs, Mimi

 

Inspiration, Living With Gusto

Life Ain’t Always Sunshine and Roses

So here’s the deal.

It’s NOT always sparkle and shine in my life.

There are days like this week when I am burdened for a precious friend and feel helpless in the situation. When I am a bit tired of working, parenting alone, being this age with kids, being indoors, wanting something fun, loneliness, just the keeping on keeping on.

And there are some days when the only prayer I can form is, “Oh God, oh God, oh God!”

That is the real truth, folks. I get in those places too.

I thought maybe you should know.

I never want you to feel as if I downplay your pain. Or suggest that your difficult situation can just go away “poof”.

But I post the positive things I do because SOMEONE needs to read them.

And in my inner spirit those things are ME. They are what I do to keep doing.

I smile, I pray, I spend time being thankful, I reach out to others, I help others if at all possible….

All these things help to center me and bring the “yuck” back into perspective.

I do know that when we fill our brains with positive thoughts,

we attract more positive energy to ourselves.

And that is what being thankful is about.

That is what “speaking to the mountain” (see previous post) is about.

We actually DO have a choice in how we spend our focus/energy.

And when I’m in a funk, I choose to spend mine by rejoicing in all the good I see around me.

Being thankful for the many, many good things in my life.

And realizing that these funks don’t last forever.

Two things I know–God is always faithful, and the sun will eventually shine!