My Sword : Adderall. What’s yours?

“If you are willing and obedient,
You shall eat the good of the land;
But if you refuse and rebel,
You shall be devoured by the sword”;
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

At first, Isaiah 1:19-20 can cause one to think of God’s wrath. It can cause a person to question all the other things that they have heard about their savior.

I thought Jesus was all about grace, mercy, and forgiveness? I thought only the god of Islam devours people who do not submit! What god is this verse talking about..my God?

Isaiah’s ministry was during a time when God’s people had forgotten him. The kingdom of Israel in the north and the kingdom of Judah to the south had both fallen to pagan worship. God’s people had gradually fallen into a state of serious moral and spiritual decline. (Does any of this sound familiar?) Isaiah’s voice was calling for the people to abandon their evil ways and to come back to God. Isaiah was warning Judah of the coming struggles if they did not change. Isaiah was used by God as a last effort to call his people back to Him before His coming judgment. They did not listen. In this verse, the “sword” spoken of would come upon them in the form of a Babylonian sword in the years after Isaiah was written. Judah was taken by Babylon in 607 BC. The Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar led his armies against Judah, killing many people and destroying the Jewish temple. Babylon took captive many thousands of Jews and left Jerusalem in ruins. What would history be like if the Jewish people had listened to God’s message through Isaiah?

What will history say of you after you leave this world?

Let us look at this verse in a fuller context to get some answers. Starting at Isaiah chapter 1, verse 18, the Lord says to the Jewish people,

“Come now, and let us reason together.”
Says the Lord,
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
They shall be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They shall be as wool.
If you are willing and obedient,
You shall eat the good of the land;
But if you refuse and rebel,
You shall be devoured by the sword”;
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

Wow. and THAT is why our God – The ONE AND ONLY true and living God – IS a God of LOVE.

His judgement does not come swiftly. His judgement does not come after giving little. His judgment is a consequence of rejecting the most beautiful gift..a gift that will CLEANSE you..that will make you WHOLE. The rewards he will give you if you are obedient to him are great. He does not ask you to obey him so that he can make your life miserable. No. He asks you to be obedient to his voice so that He may bless you. So that you may have LIFE. So that you may eat the good of the land.

My sword is Adderall.

Adderall is a prescription medication for attention deficit disorder. I was first put on this medicine as a teenager in high school. Adderall is nothing but legal speed. God has spoken to me very clearly during the last few months. In many more ways than one, God has told me to lay Adderall down. His voice came at a time when I found myself addicted to it. His voice came during a time when Adderall stood between me and HIM. At a time when I called Jesus my savoir but at a time when I could not say,

Lord, you are my LORD.

this is how I look at the verse above:

Briana, if you are willing and obedient to me and lay Adderall down,
you shall eat the good of the land. Briana, I will bless you so! Don’t be afraid.
But, Briana, if you rebel and refuse to give your addiction to me –
You shall be devoured by Adderall. Adderall will destroy you, Briana. If you continue down this road Adderall will beset you and you will tread dangerously close to the land of blaspheming the Lord, your God.

What is your sword?

What is keeping you from being led to the heart of God?

Anyone who doesn’t love me will not obey me. – John 14:24

This song really touched me. I urge you to watch it. Look at the path Jesus followed when he obeyed God. Let us lay all our weights at the foot of the cross.

Father YOUR will. Not mine.

on when God grew skin. email # 2. a child from a barren womb

Response to my question, When did you know that God was real? Email # 2:

I stopped doubting God the day my husband and I found out that we were expecting. We had been trying to conceive for 3 years and my hope to have a child seemed like something that would never happen. Every pregnancy test that I took was more painful than the last when I saw that negative result. The pain and desperation from not being able to have a child caused me to go on a search for something more. In my search I stumbled onto the book, The Power of a Praying Wife. I had always known about God but my relationship with Him had always been very childish. The book showed me how to be the type of wife and mother that God wanted me to be. It taught me how to pray and how to be patient. I knew that I was pregnant the night of my 10 year anniversary. I prayed that night for the first time EVER for God to please give me a child.  That night after my husband and I made love  the peace that I felt after praying to Him is a moment that I will never forget. Shortly after I found out that I was pregnant. During all the years of heart-break I never prayed. Only after giving it to God did I receive the answer that I hoped for. I believe that the wait was all apart of God’s plan because my daughter has had a lot of health issues and if she would have been born earlier, I do not think that my marriage would have survived the first year of her life. God is real. I have a beautiful daughter as proof.

Maybe it is not a child that you hope for but other areas in your life that are barren. In biblical times, a barren woman was thought to be cursed. It was a disgrace and to be barren brought a woman great shame. What is it that has cursed you? What is it from your past that has disgraced you? What is it that you cannot get past on your own?

There is a hope for the barren spirit. Just look at Sarah from the bible..

 Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. Genesis 6:1

She was barren. In those days, she was useless. After God stepped in and after she opened her heart to Him and to His will for her life..the bible goes on to say.. (God is speaking to Sarah’s husband in this verse)

As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. I will bless her, and moreover, I will  give you a son by her. I will bless her, and  she shall become nations; kings of peoples shall come from her. – Genesis 17: 15-16

But Sarah shall be her name. After you let God step in He will change you.. He will give you a new name. All the curses and shame from your life before God will be erased, for He will give you a new name.. He will make you a new person. I will bless her, and she shall become nations; kings of peoples shall come from her. Not only will he erase the darkness and shame of who you used to be, he will also cause great things to come from your new life in him. Giving your life to Jesus will change the course of history..it will change the path of your family.

Maybe all that you have done on your own has been fruitless and without reward.. but, with God all things will flourish. With Him, all things will be given according to His beautiful plan for your life..for He is the God who gives life to the condemned. He is the God who gives joy to the hopeless. He is the God who gives the barren womb a child. How long will you remain Sarai? How long will you run from becoming Sarah? The new life of becoming Sarah is only a prayer away.

He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. Praise the Lord! – Psalm 113:9

The most beautiful thing that has ever been shown to me.

what do your harness bells say?

Today I have really struggled with trying to find something to write about. It is usually something simple that will happen in my life that sparks my mind into writing..but lately, my life hasn’t been simple enough. The void sitting before my mind definitely attests to how busy Ive been lately. Today, however..my bible became a bridge that I used to cross that void. I asked the Lord to please help me find something through his word. Go figure..when I opened my bible my eyes fell upon Zechariah chapter 14. At first when I read the title of the chapter, “The Lord will rule the Earth,” I was excited about writing on the topic of Jesus’ second coming. I was amazed at how well things work together when you are in God..the end days, the rapture of the church and the second coming of Jesus are topics that I am incredibly interested in. The Lord leading my eyes to this chapter also strengthened my belief that these prophecies should be very relevant to the generation in which I live. On a side note..I really do believe that we could be seeing Jesus very soon. Now, getting back on topic..as I began to read Zechariah chapter 14, with each verse that I read, my excitement began to dwindle. With utmost faith, I believe the things in Zechariah 14 will one day happen..but still, the challenge of writing about something that is so significant and something that I am not bright enough to confidently share with others made me say, “Really Lord?” I kept on reading though. As I neared the end of the chapter I read verse 20..and I understood it. The relief that I found from being able to understand that one verse made all of the other verses that i hadnt been able to understand seem far less important.

Just like the confusion and doubt that I faced while reading through zechariah, so our christian walk can be at times. This same confusion and doubt are also what can keep many away from becoming a christian. The confusion felt from trying to grasp all of the complexities in the bible gets the best of me often (very often), and I was born into a family steeped in the bible. It’s hard for me to imagine how a person who has never been exposed to christianity might feel when trying to figure it all out. I mean, where do you even begin?.. I doubt my ability to conform into being “good” enough for Jesus all the time, and much of my 27 years here on earth has been spent seeking to find confidence in my faith. The doubt that a person who is looking into this whole “Jesus thing” for the first time or that a new christian must feel has to be monumental.

There is good news though.. Even between the lines of ancient text written by men who lived thousands of years ago the simple answer can be found. Even in the midst of things that you dont understand God’s unfailing love for us and the path to freedom that he has already paved for us is made clear. It has been laid out right before our eyes..and when we see it.. the relief that it brings  will make all the other stuff that we dont understand..all the other stuff that has kept us from seeing Jesus..it will make all that seem far less important.

“on that day even the harness bells of the horses will be inscribed with these words: Set Apart As Holy To The Lord. And the cooking pots in the temple of the Lord will be as sacred as the basins used beside the altar.” – zechariah 14:20 

In the old testament the words, “set apart as holy to the Lord,” were engraved on the plate of gold worn on the head-dress of the high priest. The high priest was appointed by God and was the only person ever allowed to enter into His presence. The high priest, in some ways, represents our feelings of doubt…our feelings that we will never be holy enough to have a relationship with the Lord. The symbolism of the high priest shows an untouchable God who has separated himself from humanity because of their sin..it shows how truly unworthy we are and the sentence that we deserve. In the old testament, the only way to go before God and find forgiveness was to sacrifice an animal. In those days animals were needed to survive, from animals families had food, milk, transportation..life. And it was only by slaughtering something so crucial to survival that you could be worthy enough to be forgiven… animals who were innocent of sin..their blood was the only hope for a man to be saved.  Zechariah was written during this time..it was written before the ultimate sacrifice was sent to earth to atone man from sin and to bridge the gap so that ALL men could enter into the presence of God.

on that day even the harness bells of the horses will be inscribed with these words: Set Apart As Holy To The Lord..

Dont you see? This is the answer that people seek..that I seek. On that day..on the day when Jesus gave his life on the cross for us..even horses are worthy. What was once written for the only soul allowed to go before God was now available to everyone. The blood that Jesus shed on the cross poured to cover EVERYONE..no matter how much sin.. because of His blood shed for us we can go before God empty handed..it’s not what we have to sacrifice before God that brings us forgiveness anymore. Because of Jesus we can be “set apart” by God..or, we can be made holy by God.

..And the cooking pots in the temple of the Lord will be as sacred as the basins used beside the altar.

If doesnt matter how dirty you are..it doesnt matter how ordinary you may think you are..because of Jesus, God looks at all of us as sacred vessels.. vessels that He can fill with happiness.. vessels that he can use to work in the lives of others.  Because of Jesus we are clean..because of Jesus we are worthy.  If you can just understand this then you understand the foundation of christianity.. all the other things will eventually be shown to you or maybe you’ll be like me and live your whole life not understanding everything in the bible. As long as you continue to see what is important .. all the other things that once made you question your faith will become less important. Keep your eyes on Jesus, for it is by knowing him that you may know life.

For God is not of confusion, but of peace.. 1 Corinthians 14:33

out of the darkness comes light. out of hate comes love

..He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. – john 8:44

And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. – 2 corinthians 11:14

an entry from my journal dated September 3, 2004:

With the day falling rapidly before my eyes, I sit here wondering.. pondering a couple of things. When the sun rose this morning so much lay ahead. Now, I sit in sadness; is it life that I dread? The sky’s purple haziness is all that’s seen. The beautiful morning light of earlier was a waisted dream. A dream that I spit out..not caring of how I feel now..low. sad. waisted. dark. Id feel so much better if i’d just taken part of all that couldve been given to me today. But I passed it by hissing a curse into the sky. I hate being lonely, so occupied with regret..drowning in sorrow, suffocated by forget. The sky’s purple is now black. Night has come. Like the light, all that couldve is snuffed out as well..on this couch..in this room, ive entered some kind of hell. The flames dont really burn me, they just laugh and singe the only part that’s left of me. I’ll wake up tomorrow just a little more burnt, but maybe tomorrow I’ll be able to reach this roads end..this road i’ve paved for myself..this neverending road of hurt.

The moment in my life when my hand scribbled those words into being was ohh so dark. My mind was like a run down movie theater with a broken reel that only played the same dreary preview over and over. There was no joy in my life. A future of hope and happiness was kept just out of reach –  I could never get past the previews – I could never make it to the movie. My sin had programmed my soul to believe that I was not worthy to ever experience anything of substance..anything that had purpose was just a dream that I truly believed I would never reach. Every time that I would get close to that happiness..the happiness that I so longed for, I would mess up..I would involve myself in something that just dripped with sin, and it would cause me to start over further than where I had begun. Thats how satan uses sin to ruin your life. It’s not going to be some sudden change of heart..it wont be some quick decision you make that will change your course. As it says in the verse above, he can transform into an angel of light..he isnt going to dangle ugly things before your eyes to draw you away from the Lord – he is going to make the things that could destroy your life look beautiful not like something that will send you to the grave.  It’s his mode of destruction to bait you with small sins that don’t seem so bad..these small sins will keep sending you back a little bit more further from the purpose filled life that God created you for until one day you will be so far away from happiness that you will lose hope in ever reaching it..just like I was when I wrote what it written above.  In your silent defiance you will slowly push yourself farther away from believing that you are even worth the change required to reach happiness. The beginning of this descent may seem innocent at first..the bad decisions you make will seem to be no big deal..but, let me tell you, from someone who has fought (and is still fighting) her way back from it..it is indeed a big deal – a life or death crossroad. Once you have completely placed yourself on satan’s path of deception you will not be able to remember the innocence it was at the start. All the little sins that once seemed so harmless will eventually lead  you to a place where you cannot remember how to be good..you will not be able to identify with the person you once were. The idea of having a meaningful life with a divine purpose will have been completely wiped away from your mind and you will hate who you have become. I say all this stuff with such confidence because I have been there. It is only by the grace of God that I was given the chance to redirect my course. Even now, satan tries to fool me into falling back into the pit of despair that I found rescue from only by the blood of Jesus.   If you don’t allow your eyes to be opened then you will one day reach your end just like satan wanted you to. To reject the change that living for Jesus can only give.. you will pave your way into a land of empty dreams and worthlessness. Just like the sad testament of my life that’s written above, you will find yourself chained in a life where you can never see the beauty of daylight.

There is an answer though..his name is Jesus Christ. He will take the wasteland that your life has become and turn it into a fruitful orchard. He will sweep you from the destructive path that your sin has placed you on.. He will lovingly guide you to the path which leads to beautiful things. He will turn the hate that you have in your heart into a love that you cannot explain. He will take you out of darkness and show you the light of dawn. If you surrender your life to Him you will begin to love your life.. you will begin to love yourself, for he will show you all of these things. Finding Jesus is not difficult..

 And you shall seek me, and find me, when you shall search for me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13

For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. – matthew 7:8

even if you have no clue who He is or how He would make a difference in your life..if you are desperate to find an answer and everything that you have tried on your own has failed you..i urge you to give Him a chance. If you ask with a true heart he will show you who He is. In Him is life ..happiness ..hope ..redemption ..forgiveness ..love.

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. – romans 10:13

As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. – psalm 103:12

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new – 2 Corinthians 5:17

you are not the father

Today has been rough; Rory has a stomach virus..I have been blessed with a healthy child.. except ear infections this is the first time he has ever really been sick. wow, having a sick baby is not fun! (even though it is nice for him to cuddle with me so much..lately i try to make him be mommy’s little baby again but he just bucks like a wild bull) Earlier today, after hours of him screaming and me trying to force pedialyte down his throat, he finally dozed off. During a final fussing fit before he thankfully succumbed to his afternoon naps call, he managed to kick the remote off of the couch..and there was no way I was going to move after finally getting him to sleep. So, I had no choice but to watch whatever it was that was on TV. Just my luck…it happened to be the Maury show. I used to watch Maury almost everyday..I loved it.  Recently though..Maury has not been allowed in my house. Its just a personal conviction, but i just don’t want the little ears and eyes running around my house to hear about the negative mess that the Maury show consists of. The time when trinitee looked up from a coloring book (that i assumed she was so involved in) to ask me, “why is that boy dressed like a girl?”..that was when i decided no more Maury. Well.. today as i took a stroll down lovers lane with my dear old pal Maury, it made me realize that i haven’t been missing much. Of course it was a “whose my baby daddy” episode (paternity drama is the only topic that Maury covers other than shocking videos or the occasional cross dressing parade) ..that show makes it blatantly obvious how corrupt our society has become..seriously..shows that get good ratings are repeated and we all know how good ratings happen. Apparently daytime America absolutely loves stories about fatherless children..i, however, do not. All the uproar and hoopla over two adults fussing about a subject that is so very sacred and important blows my mind. What seems to really get the crowd going is, “you are not the father”..that is disturbing. Yeah..there goes the once  demanding woman running off the stage..”ohh she’s trashy”..the man once accused of having a child dances around with glee. Seriously!? We like this? What about the child sitting backstage..they don’t care about drama and back-flips. All that matters to them is that they still don’t have a daddy.

Maury might not be all bad though.. it was suffering through his show today that made me think about a little girl that I love dearly. I had the privilege of becoming a part of this little girl’s life a few years ago; she is a beautiful child. She has a good mother..a mother who loves her very much and does her best to provide. This sweet little girl also has a father who refuses to acknowledge her..a man that she has never even met. He lives around here but his exact location is a mystery. The only way that her mother can try to contact him is through facebook..and when she sent him a message there was no response..he simply blocked her. What a selfish coward he is..hiding in silence from his own flesh and blood. He is robbing an innocent child (HIS innocent child) of a relationship that she desperately needs..that every child needs.

and he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children… – Malachi 4:6 

To all the fathers reading this..take a few seconds and really think about how important you are to your children. Your presence will forever be a mark upon their head..mark them with love..mark them with integrity..mark them with worth. Be a Godly force within your home and within your children’s lives. How old your children are matters not, if you look back on the time when your children were small with regret, don’t agonize over it..start now. As many of you know, my husband was not in trinitee’s life until she was three..it was a complicated situation that now, is of little importance. What is important is the present..he takes her to church every Sunday..day in and day out he strives to be a Godly influence in her life..regardless of the past, trinitee now knows that she has a daddy who loves her. If standing up and accepting the responsibility of being a father is something that scares you..don’t run from it, doing this will only lead you to a lonely deathbed filled with regret. Instead, look to God, if you seek, you shall find the strength and courage needed to be a father who will impact your children for the good. For all the Godly men without children..i urge you to not let your influence go to waste. There are countless fatherless children out there who need your guidance and prayers.

He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young… He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.  Isaiah 40: 11 and 29

To all the single mothers out there struggling day in and day out..don’t be discouraged. Don’t ever feel alone..don’t ever give up. Stand firm in the Lord for your children.. teach them about Jesus..let your actions BE Jesus. The absence of a loving father in the lives of your children is not something to worry about..it is a challenge for you to show them who their heavenly father is. A child who knows their heavenly father has a future full of love..full of guidance..full of hope. Don’t put the well being of your children at risk by being in a relationship that you shouldn’t be in. Don’t compromise yourself. .your worth far exceeds this..you are beautiful. you are priceless. If you are are in a relationship with a foolish man..run. Don’t let a man that bears bad fruit influence your children’s future..their salvation. Make your relationship with Jesus Christ the most important thing in your life..let him gently lead you. Pray that if he wants you to have a relationship, then please would he send you a Godly man..a strong and righteous man. A man that will lovingly direct your children down the right path. Regardless of any man..if you give your children Jesus you give them the most loving father that they could ever have..you give them a future full of promise.

I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. – John 14: 18
And I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty. –  2 Corinthians 6:18

I have touched every aspect of this equation but one..finally, let me write to the fatherless children that may be reading this. Maybe your father abandoned you, maybe he passed away..maybe the father you grew up with hurt you. The situation you were born into does not have to define who you are. No matter how alone you may feel in this world..you are not fatherless. You do have a father. You have a father that molded you..a father who knit you together with intricate care. A father who put you on this earth for a purpose. Like i said before..how old you are isnt important..if you have never met him you still can. He is patiently waiting for you.

In closing may i please ask that you pray for the little girl i mentioned above. I sent her father an email a few weeks ago and i am just praying that it touches his heart..nothing i can say would be enough to soften his heart..it is only the Lord who can..so please say a prayer that God will work in this situation.

 
 

a letter from a prisoner

My father has challenged me to write in my blog everyday for 60 days..I was (and still am) a bit nervous about it. Writing is something I have always found joy in doing..but it is also a task that drains me..it requires a great deal of thought as well as time..the level of concentration it requires transforms me into an extreme introvert. I dont like to write about things that are pointless or shallow; for me to be able to “scribble things to life” (as i like to call it) I have to be passionate about the subject, and with a 5 year old running around and a 7 month old demanding my time constantly, as any of you who are raising or have raised children know, it can be pretty stinkin hard to find passion even for your husband, let alone for something to blog about. How am I supposed to work something, that asks so much of me, into my daily schedule without compromising it..When I voiced these concerns to my father..he simply said, “it’ll come to you”..and.. Like always, my father’s advice has, thus far, been right.

I was talking to a friend of mine today, when she told me an odd story..thankfully she shared this with me, because until she did, I had no idea what I was going to write about today. She told me about a letter she received. The letter was from a person that she has not spoken to in quite some time…it was from a guy who is now in prison. In the letter he asked her to please call his parents..he wanted her to tell them how sorry he was and that he loved them..he wanted her to ask his mom to please come and see him. My friend can be somewhat shy at times and she told me she was nervous about calling them. My advice to her was that she should do it. The next text I sent her read..thats sad that they havent gone and seen him..shame on them. No matter what your kids do you dont give up on them. If Rory was in prison for murdering someone i would still love him…as I pressed the send button..I knew what I would write about today.

When I look down and see the beautiful face of my son, I forget that one day from his smooth little chin whiskers will grow..as Jonathan hangs Trinitee’s towel up to dry after giving her a bath, Im sure that the last thing he thinks about is how this nights completed bathtime is just one more check on a short list…before he knows it daddy’s little girl wont be so little anymore. No matter how much we beg for the clock to stop and for time to exclude our children it cannot be done. The little hands that reach out for me..the tiny hands that hold onto mine so tightly..this lays upon my soul such sadness to say..but, one day these sweet little hands could become the hands that take a person’s life. If this dark scenario were to one day become reality, my love would not lessen. No amount of evil or wrongdoing done by my child could ever cause me to deny him..I would never fail to be there when he reached out for me..no matter the amount of sinful blood dripping from his hands..I would never let them go.

For almost a decade, I was the constant tears that flooded my mother’s heart. I was the pain that cut into my father’s soul. I was the constant prayer on their lips. My parents never gave up me..they never stopped praying for me. They never gave up on the promise they were given by God. Ive failed my parents more times than I can count..but to them, I have never been a failure..and in the back of my mind, I always knew that. If any parents are reading this who have children that are running from God..dont ever give up on them. Let their name be the constant prayer on your lips..regardless of the evil that has them blinded..dont ever stop being there when they reach out for you. No matter the distance into a pit of despair that they have fallen..never let their hand go. The progress and the change that the Lord has made in me shows the power a mother’s prayer can hold.

If the love of a mother and father can be so unconditional…think about the love that God has for us. If you are reading this and you realize that you are a prisoner trapped in the despair of your own guilt and self hatred..just know..there is no distance that one can travel to that God cannot reach. There is no amount of sin that God cannot cleanse. Even if you are unsure of who God is..in written words or spoken words write him a letter..tell him that you are sorry..tell him you love him (or that you want someone like him to love)..and if you ask him to come and see you(or for him to help you understand who he is)..i promise that he will. The darkest most disgusting crimes will not stop God from answering your letter..The thickest bars and the highest razor wire cant stop the love that God has for you.

I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. – Jeremiah 31:3

on sadness and redemption part 2

Before I go any further I must make a few things clear..first off, I am not a bible scholar. I am speaking from my heart..from my own personal experiences. I pray that the things I write are pleasing to the Lord and that they match the direction that He would like me to follow..be it so, I’m sure that some of my lowly mortal ideas are not one hundred percent on target. Please do not hold any of my opinions as being undeniable truth unless, of course, it be a direct quote from the bible or a statement obviously made with biblical truth to back it..for example- ”Jesus loves you.” How I interpret things may be completely different from how you see it..but now, that is why I started a blog..so that I can say what I feel like saying. The second thing, which I’m sure my writing thus far has already proved..I am not an english major,if I was id probably be failing terribly. My grammar is ”briana grammar” and if you know me..then you know nothing about me is proper…ever. I may need to copy this onto the front page of my blog because I’m sure that the need to say this will be a repeated one. So now..after all that is said, let me move on to why I am really here..sadness and redemption part two.
When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, LORD, and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple. – Jonah 2:7
The story of Jonah and the whale is a story that children who are taught the bible (which unfortunately is far too few these days) are fascinated by. The idea of a man being in the belly of a whale is an exciting concept for children and i was reminded of this the other night. Trinitee and i have an illustrated childrens bible that we read every night before her bedtime..i think i enjoy it almost as much as she does..but, a few nights ago we read the story of Jonah. She clung to every word..her eyes grew wider with excitement the more i read. It got me thinking..as an adult,you really don’t hear about ol’ Jonah too often. Could it be that the idea of a giant fish throwing up some dude on a beach somewhere is just too far-fetched for a sophisticated adult to believe? This is a perfect example why the Lord urges us to come before him as a child would. The story of Jonah is breathtaking..it is a story so many hurting, lost people need to hear. The bible does not lie. The truth it holds is so concrete that even the catastrophes of Armageddon could not (and will not) shake it. It grieves my heart to think of all the souls that are blinded by pride or by scientific “reason” who curse our Lord and spit hatred onto the sovereign word of God..it will take these catastrophes of Armageddon mentioned above to finally open their eyes to the bibles truth..and sadly by that point, it will likely be far too late for many of them to recant their stubborn choice to refuse the Lord’s invitation to lifesaving redemption. Why so many hate christianity i just can’t understand. It is a message based on selfless love and nothing else..so many people skew the word of God to make christianity into something that it is not..but it is simple..God loves us so much he sent his son to die an agonizing death so an evil humanity could have the choice to believe and to be freed from the chains of sin. He loves us so much he had his son butchered just so we could choose to have life.
If i woke up tomorrow morning to news reports proclaiming the outbreak of a virus that, without exception, was deadly..a virus that every baby born on this planet would have and every person alive would eventually catch, i would be devastated beyond description. But what would be even more devastating would be a knock on the door from men telling me that Rory was the only human on this planet that possessed the supernatural antibody needed to create a cure but “unfortunately mam, the child will have to sacrifice his life for us to have access to the antibody, this is humanities only hope of survival..the child will feel no pain..it will be like he is going to sleep.” I cannot even imagine the affliction that would drown my soul..but i would have to say yes. i would first make sure that my son’s life would not be taken in vain..i would mandate that this miracle cure be given to EVERYONE, whether they want it or not. If my son is going to give his life to save humanity then this virus shall not make a mockery of his life! Not one person shall die from this virus if my son gives his life! Any parent who reads this i’m sure can understand. Think about God..God is not some all controlling dictator who forces us to accept the cure that the death of his only son has granted us. He loves us so much he allowed his son not to be painlessly “put to sleep” but to be mercilessly slaughtered just so we could have the choice to live. And Jesus.. before his resurrection he was a mortal man..he could have chosen to walk away. The night before he was crucified he was scared..our Lord was scared..he cried and begged God to let his fate be different. but, it could not be different..Jesus gave himself as a sacrifice for us. The blood that dripped down the cross..the cross that Jesus died an excruciating, agonizing death upon..was filled with the selfless, pure antibody that is our only hope for life..the only cure..yet so many reject it.
Just like Jonah, my life was being chiseled down..almost to nothing. I was so barred beneath my sin..but through that black void of my life i continued to cry out to God..even though i was sure that i had gone too far to be recovered..even though i believed that i was too torn and dirty to be refurbushed..i knew he was there. My cries..the prayers that came out of my filthy mouth – He still allowed them to enter into his presence – He heard them. That selfless, pure blood of Jesus.. it reached down into the hopeless pit of death that i was in and it cured me from the certain death that i deserved.
 WORTHLESS. HOPELESS. INSIGNIFICANT. ABANDONED.  BARREN. DISGUSTING. DIRTY. FULL OF SHAME. EMPTY.
 Jesus does not discriminate..he does not reject one who asks him to save them..no matter how filthy they are..no matter how dark their sin. The redemption that has brought me back to life is available to ANYONE who asks. Jesus loves you no matter how much you belive that you don’t deserve it. What he has done for me he will do for any who asks. Because of Him i am now
WORTHY. HOPEFUL. SIGNIFICANT. FOUND. FRUITFUL. DELIGHTFUL. CLEAN. FULL OF LIFE.

on sadness and redemption part 1

To begin this entry I am going to share a very private journal entry from my past. It is from a time in my life that I am not proud of…a period of somber darkness. The date I wrote this was December 18, 2008.

What do you do when you feel as though I do? Heartbeats stop all together. The severity of this situation has consumed me entirely. I am a mess, truly damned beyond return. My world is nothing but a crumbling Atlantis. The never-ending fiery arrows of hate and worthlessness have maimed my being beyond repair. I will never again be worthy. Oh! how I pray to be still worthy. At what moment in this whirlwind of happenings, that i call my life, did i wave a solemn farewell to my Lord? Does He remember my face? Is my name still moist upon his lips? Or has he cast me aside like the unwanted trash that i have allowed myself to become… The tides of survival have washed my sand castles of hope into oblivion. The true disease of my well-being is something that my pen cannot breathe life into. But still – I mark into this book a stamp of my current mind.

WORTHLESS. HOPELESS. INSIGNIFICANT. ABANDONED. BARREN. DISGUSTING. DIRTY. FULL OF SHAME. EMPTY.

I have composed this mortal symphony of waste, and now in this mournful requiem i must reside.

When I opened my old journal the other day, to say that the things i read were shocking would be an understatement. The declarations of despair held between the leather bindings of that book is my life – or better said – was my life.

The soul who sins shall die…the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself. – Ezekiel 18:20

It is hard for me to pinpoint when I decided to walk away from my faith. Through the years i have tried to figure out what happened to me – what caused the drastic change…i have always failed to find the answer. It definitely was not like the stereotypical scenario that many think of – a child stands in the candy isle, a pack of sweetarts clutched tight in a shaky hand..the child has no money..but no one is watching. On one shoulder a little man in a red cape dances around – above the other shoulder floats a beautiful blonde lady wearing white. It definitely wasnt like that. I was raised..or better said..i was born into loving Jesus. The example shown to me by my parents empowered me to have a deep relationship with Christ at a very young age. I loved the Lord – He was the joy of my heart as a child. The dark force whose one goal is to drag you and me to hell (aka satan) was far too smart to try and derail my salvation overnight – it was a gradual descent. It was a slow deception that led me into the bleak wasteland that nearly became my grave. I remember on multiple occasions crying out to God..begging him to allow me to just go back – to find myself – to find that little girl who had once loved him so. Sin had blinded me to the point that I, with great sorrow, accepted my self-imposed sentence of irreversible damnation. I was dead. Emotional death, mental death, spiritual death, the only one that the grace of Jesus allowed me to dodge was physical death. Even though there were many times I pleaded with God to end me – to snuff me out. Thankyou my most merciful Savior! He had other plans for me.

My rambling mind is far too long-winded for me to finish this tonight. I will continue tomorrow, Lord willing…until then I will leave you with this:

In my distress I called to the Lord,
    and he answered me.
From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help,
    and you listened to my cry.
 You hurled me into the depths,
    into the very heart of the seas,
    and the currents swirled about me;
all your waves and breakers
    swept over me. 
 I said, ‘I have been banished
    from your sight;
yet I will look again
    toward your holy temple.’ 
 The engulfing waters threatened me,
    the deep surrounded me;
    seaweed was wrapped around my head. 
 To the roots of the mountains I sank down;
    the earth beneath barred me in forever.
But you, Lord my God,
    brought my life up from the pit. – Jonah 2