Finding self control

From the writing of Matthew Henry

“Those that have so much power over others as to be able to oppress them have seldom so much power over themselves as not to oppress; great might is a very great snare to many.” Commentary: Genesis 6:4-5

Words are easy weapons. Vulnerability makes for wide targets. Controlling the tongue is like herding cats. Controlling the heart, the source from which words flow, like holding back a bull from the charge.

We’re a formidable race, giants in the land. We’ve gone from being one nation under God to a house divided, a people who are judge and jury. We are the offended offense, yet we claim defense.

I’m actually at a loss for words. I’m pondering and stumbling. I’m seeking wiser words, words of old. Words not spoken in haste and hate, but carefully studied words. Thought out words and thought provoking words. Time tested and Proven words.

I’m weary from this week, but I can’t find peace to sleep until I seek peace for a soul far more wearied.

So, here we are, deep in commentaries and words. Seeking wisdom.

Stress and Knitting

Lately, I’m so drowned in news and crises, that I find myself sitting and seeking stress relief.

Here it is. This is my go-to evening wind down. It’s better than drinking, which I can’t do. Knitting and drinking don’t mix- in case you’ve ever wondered.

This is actually loom knitting, and afghan knitting in particular. I can knit with needles. But this loom thing is my new hobby and has become addictive. I’m learning to mix colors. Changing stitches is still very new, and I’ve got a ways to go.

What’s your stress hobby? What takes you away and helps you cope? How do you get through the day you just finished and fall asleep with a clear head? Share in the comments if you’d like.

I pray for the day.

I have to admit something. The first day I turned on the news, I didn’t expect the news. I was distracted, busy. But I heard the general noise and looked up to see the marches.

I turned up the volume and focused my attention on the scene. At first, the mass of voices overwhelmed the message. Slowly though, the words came clear. And I heard the cry. “Say his name!”

My heart lept, but maybe not for the reason you may think. My head knew the name coming… And despite the grief of this day, my soul still longed for another name.

You see, I pray for the day we march through the streets crying out “Say his name!” And the response is– “Jesus!’

I long for that day. Long for that day.

I hope you can understand. There is no other name higher. No other name greater.

And he was an innocent man. Beaten. Mocked. Whipped. Hung on a cross. Many have died for a purpose. But he was the only one who came to die for us.

Death was His purpose. He knew that we would need saving. He died to save us.

There are cries for justice. There are cries for change. There are cries for mercy. These cries come from courageous, aching souls. But truly, there’s only one name who can bring any of this to pass.

For truth. For justice. For true heart change. For mercy. For peace. Say His name. Jesus. I pray for the day.

Watch “We The Kingdom & Tasha Cobbs Leonard – Holy Water (Church Sessions)” on YouTube

*If the video won’t play here, please go to YouTube to watch from there. It’s truly worth the effort.*

Focus in the midst of change-

Can I just say that it’s been difficult these past few months to stay focused? These last few days have challenged us, but have they changed us? Time will tell. Time always tells truths.
But here’s the thing, in the midst of all this unknown, fear, striving, and chaos, there have been moments of total clarity. For all the questions about what grace and mercy and forgiveness look like–there’s still just one answer.
I think Heaven will look and sound like this, but about forty million times over. Holy Water – We The Kingdom

#fortheleastofthese

#hewentaftertheone

#lostsheepstillbelong

Truth you need this morning

https://youtu.be/V0eXYR65Z2w As You Find Me – Hillsong United

Some days, I just need to hear some things. I need the reminder. If you’re like me, you need it too. So here’s truth.

It’s difficult to see disappointment in the eyes looking back at you, but you’re not reflected there.

Don’t let someone else define you. You’re not them.

What you’re going through isn’t irrelevant. It’s so not.

Don’t discount small moments, painful moments, or difficult times.

Don’t discount the process. It’s real. Struggle has far greater value than we want to admit.

Fear has absolutely no value. Yet the cost eats away at self worth.

Remember this: There is no darkness in light. Fear can only hide in the shadows, and You don’t belong in the shadows.

Hear me now:

Verbal abuse is abuse. It’s a vocal attack filled with lies. It’s mentally destructive, physically destructive, relationally destructive, and soul destructive.

You are battle weary, not worthless. Get help. This is a fight you need to win.

Whoever told you that you’re unlovable- lied. Flat out lied to you.

You are loved with an all consuming love by a God who sees you, who knows you, who created you.

There’s an enemy of your soul, and he’s become transparent. His lies have become visible, clear, evident.

You are worth so much more. See the lies for what they are.

Lies are not, cannot, and never will be truth.

It’s time to wake up. It’s time to walk. You were made for this life. You were made to live. Perfectly designed. Perfectly crafted by a God who sees you. A God who knows you.

Take down the pictures. Those walls can’t hold you captive anymore. You know this to be true. It’s why you’re here. Right here. Right now.

You are so much more than you’ve ever believed.

God is so much more than you’ve ever believed. holier, greater, kinder, just, loving, forgiving, compassionate.

It is time for change, and you’re ready. You know this. Look how far you’ve come already.

You’re not the person you once were. You’re so much more.

So, get ready. And yes, there will still be difficult days. You’re going to need the handbook.

Dig deep into the Bible. The Message, the amplified version, ESV, NASB, NIV. Look for the letters. They’re written on the binding– Just like your name is written on the back of His hand– where He can see it everyday.

Last thing for now: When you leave this place, make sure you’ve walked so close to the fire, you smell like smoke. And bring someone out of the fire with you.

Words unwritten

https://youtu.be/VzGAYNKDyIU Redeemed – Big Daddy Weave

You have so much worth, so much value- I wish I could just tell you that.

You are not the lie you hear first thing every single day.

You are loved.

You are not the sum of your parts.

You’re amazing.

You are not that worthless, accused, victimized soul whispering your lack.

You are precious treasure.

You are not rejected, exposed, and vulnerable.

You are a gift.

You are not a lost cause, salvage, discarded.

You are worthy.

You are not a failure. The choices you’ve made, the mistakes you’ve made? They don’t have that much power.

You’re a believer.

Listen, I’m the voice of experience. I’ve heard, listened to, and been thoroughly deceived by the lie.

I’ve come out on the other side, and you know what I’ve learned?

I’ve learned that there is a God in Heaven, and despite what everyone says, He is good.

I’ve learned that I’m a warrior. I HAVE fallen, and that’s where I found my knees.

I’ve learned how to pray.

I’ve learned that I fight harder in struggle.

I’ve learned that my best self has been broken and healed.

I’ve learned that I don’t have to live as a vict-im. I’m a Vict-or.

I’ve learned that I gain by sharing and truth telling.

I’ve learned that light creates a shadow. That shadow reminds me that I’m not that person anymore. I’m free.

Your story isn’t finished. You’re only partially written. Turn the page. Meet the author. He’s not finished writing.

God bless.

Different

A year ago, I broke down as I half-spoke, half-whispered secret fears into the ear of a trusted loved one.

My what-if’s came tumbling out- the broken, the ache.

What if there are consequences for sin? I know He forgives, but what if there’s still a price to pay?

What if I’m just a little less forgiven than some? Different.

I’d understand. Because maybe my sins were a little too big for even God to just white wash away?

What if I’m a little more worthless?

Maybe my forty-some years of secret sin left me… Less than. Different. Maybe?

Grace gone. The price of forgiven sin became a thing, an obstacle. The lie returned from the dead. Consequences. Condemnation.

Gnashing teeth. Red-eyed lying monster. Stalking. Stealing. Crushing.

Dreams died. Shadows replaced hope. Darkness had crept into all my peaceful places. Different became a stone wall.

But truth. Remember truth?

Truth came in with Scripture and words of hope, faith, and love. Reminders of lie crushing truth.

There is no sin so great that God can’t…

Forgive. Restore you from. Take you beyond. Move mountains through. Bring you back from. Take you up and over. Use in your life to heal, restore, and allow you to be a witness of Grace, Mercy, and Forgiveness.

When God forgives, change starts. Like water cutting a new path.

You’re different all right. You’re no longer a slave to sin. You are forever changed.

Don’t give in to the liar. You Are So Much More.

Slow down. Breathe it in. You. Are. So. Much. More.

Truth.

Be blessed today and be the blessing today.

One more song. An artist local to me, Micah Tyler with Different.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUT4trsrBCw&feature=share

Losing control isn’t all its cracked up to be

For the past five years, we’ve lived in a house I’ve hated, in a town I love, or at least I did love until we lived here.

I never saw myself as a controlling person. I’m a youngest child. Control was rarely given to me. But over the years, that lack of control quietly created an environment of need for what I could not grasp. I’ve been grasping and grabbing at control now for some fifty plus years.

The husband and I are soon to to be moving from the unloved town. We’re leaving the coastal area of Texas and going north, deeper into the lakes area. Yet, despite all my desire to pack and move on, I’ve lacked the motivation. In fact, I’m fatigued by the very thought of moving.

As I’ve wrestled with the emotions tagged to uprooting our lives, I’ve had the out of body sensation of watching myself lose all sense of control. Then, in the middle of tonight’s anxiety-filled wakefulness, it hit me. I need to submit. All my wrestling is wearing me out.

Living in the hated house, I’ve gone through five years of a process of change. I’ve struggled with integrity. I’ve confronted loyalty head on. Faithfulness took some real time to grow into. And I thought surrender might be my undoing.

Out of context, those are just words. In a frame, over the last five years, it seems words have defined the lessons I’ve been learning. Like chapter titles, I’ve watched words become attitudes, and I’ve seen attitudes become part of my daily mantra.

Now here we are with more change, and apparently, less control. I think a new list of words is coming, and by my best guess, we’re starting with submit.

This has nothing to do with car crashes.

I think the thing that stills me, that slows my breathing, and catches me most off guard is when someone doesn’t absorb another’s emotional break.

How can we drive past a collision and feel nothing? Yet, at the same time, how do we stop, snap a Facebook moment, and drive away? Just drive away. A moment captured. We feel enough horror to document the moment, enough shock to confess we “had to share,” but not enough empathy to stay. Not enough compassion to help.

We do that. We document and drive away. We see the emotional break, gather the details, absorb information, and move on.

It’s easier. Life is too… Fill in the blank.

I’m broken. I’m full of my life and so full, I’m overweight. I no longer need.

When did this happen? Each day. One slowly on top of another. Shedding the excess life is just like shedding gluttonous pounds.

We’re broken as a society. We’ve lost our sense of compassion. We’ve lost our unity, our oneness, our sense of bring me your poor. Parties be damned. How do we find ourselves?

Maybe it starts with outrage. Maybe it starts with concern. Maybe with common sense. It’s time. It starts with each of one of us.