Joy no matter what. A blog by Deanne Nelson.

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Letting Go Just A Little August 3, 2017

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The first time I heard the term ‘helicopter parent’ I was dumbfounded. I had to inquire on what it meant. The definition implies an overly protective parent who hovers over and tries to control almost all areas of their child’s life. The result is a lack of resilience and grit in the heart of that child. The thought sure seems a bit repulsive doesn’t it? I certainly am not one of those mothers…or am I?

My Gracie-girl is turning 17 in just a few short weeks. The thought makes me dizzy in the head. She is entering her senior year of high school and I feel certain that I just sent her off to kindergarten. Oh if I could only turn back the clock to those early days of pig tails and pink bows, but then again, that would mean reliving the middle school years, and I for one am not up for that. Fast forward we go then…

She reminds me that I turn almost every life situation into a ‘learning moment.’ I have easily given the ‘power of your words’ talk enough times that she could recite it backwards. I have a hard time letting things go when I feel certain that more must be said. Why is it so painful to just put that punctuation mark at the end of a mama sentence?!?

I suppose the message I am trying to convey is that timing and balance in parenting and in life are so very critical. I have no hope within my self to gain wisdom or insight into such truths, but the Lord God is faithful to drop precious pearls when we need them most. We simply need to ask, and listen.

Well before The Byrds made popular the song with the lyrics, ‘to everything turn, turn, turn,’ the Israelite King Solomon was filling the pages of scripture with reminders of the necessary times and seasons of life. “A time to tear down and a time to mend. A time to be silent and a time to speak,”…Ecclesiastes 3:8 (amongst many others). The Lord God wants us to discern the times we are in as parents and walk accordingly. Most of all, He wants our children to ultimately learn to rely more on Him, and less on us. Are we giving them room to make mistakes? It is only through hardship and pain, that they can really learn to trust that the Lord will always be there for them through the storms and beyond. We should not be too quick to intercede at every sign of impending trouble.

In Matthew chapter 14 we see a bold Peter stepping out of a boat in the midst of a raging tempest. His eyes are fixed on Jesus when he gets the gusto to go through with this. What an incredible moment. The world around him was in utter chaos and destruction, and yet something in his heart and spirit urged him to believe beyond the fear and grab for Jesus. He stepped out of that boat, and for a miraculous and awesome moment, he was walking on water!! Yes, he took his eyes off of Jesus and sank, but more invaluable truths and life lessons were revealed when the savior Lord reached down and pulled him up to safety. Peter’s faith grew that day. But what if Peter’s mama was there at the sidelines? Perhaps she might have been waving her arms in the air and shouting words of extreme caution..”Don’t go son! It is too dangerous!!” If it was my child, I can picture frantically throwing out a life jacket or preserver as a safety back up plan. It is agonizing to watch a child walking head on into danger, but there are times we must back away and let the Savior lift them up when they fall. How else will they learn to call on HIS name?

Now don’t get me wrong…no way should we let go of the controls entirely, but every now and again that helicopter needs to come in for a landing.

Ssshhh, don’t tell Grace I am admitting to any of this! That pic of her is the face I get during one of my exhaustive lectures!

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Let There Be Light July 8, 2016

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I cannot sleep. I find myself pleading with the Lord God to calm my heart’s greatest fears. My faith is so little right now. And yet I know that my Savior lives, despite the chaos that ensues in our world.

There is an enemy to us all. His name is Satan. He is the one who comes to steal, kill, and destroy. Our war is truly not against one another, but with the dark powers of Satan. He takes great delight in bringing division among and through people. He is throwing our nation into utter confusion and chaos. The current events in Dallas, TX are a result of his handiwork to bring hatred into the hearts of people. He is nowhere near being done with his evil schemes to bring division and death.

Yet in utter darkness, there is always hope. No matter how great the darkness becomes, it can be extinguished with light. Consider a pitch black room, where nothing can be seen. It is impossible to navigate through such a room. One can only hope to grope through, grasping for something to hold on to. But once a single light illuminates that room, the darkness that was once there proves to be powerless and eradicated. The light fills in every nook and cranny of darkness, so that none remains. I see our nation blindly grasping on to anything in order to survive. Where is the light switch?…

Jesus Christ is the one and only hope of the world. He has already conquered the powers of hell and darkness, and no amount of evil on this earth can undo the victory he obtained on the cross. We are all heirs to eternal life, if we trust in His death. Yes, He had to die, so that we could truly live beyond this temporarily life. May Jesus Christ be the light switch that humanity clings to, as only He can shed light on the darkness that seeks to destroy us all.

My husband is sound asleep right now. I am grateful for his peaceful sleep. He is not yet aware that eleven of his fellow police officers have been shot upon, as they showed up to perform the duties of their sworn position. He does not know that five of those have been killed in the line of duty. He will waken soon, probably around 4:30am. He will begin to get ready to start his twelve hour shift as a sergeant for the police department in our town. I would like it if he would just stay asleep longer, in a peaceful place of comfort and safety in our bedroom. Perhaps he will feel ill when he gets up, but then I remember that he shows up for work even when he is weakened physically. Perhaps he will hear of the tragic events of the night and start to consider that maybe police work is no longer what he needs to be doing. But then I remember that he is passionate about serving and protecting his community, and that such news will only serve to make his resolve to being a honorable police officer even stronger. Perhaps if I cry and plead that he take a desk job, that he might consider it. But then he just might ask me why my children and I pray for him as we do, if those prayers for safety and protection are not believed in. He would then remind me that he loves being a police officer, even though many hate him when he puts his uniform on. He will not let fear, violence, or hate control his life, and neither will I.

And so I will stop playing out in my head the ways in which the love of my life should live the rest of his life. He has sworn to protect and serve, and nothing will deter him from doing that. I will simply wait for him to arise any minute, and I will tell him of the tragic events in Dallas. I will kiss him and hold him tightly, say a prayer over him, and send him out in his patrol car for the start of a new day. And as he pulls away, I will know that the light of Jesus Christ goes with him everywhere, and even death has no power over him.

Yes, may the light switch in his patrol car remain bright, no matter what.

 

But the greatest of these… May 25, 2016

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I start off by sharing that I am not an expert on anything. Oh, there have been areas that I once thought I might have known more than a little something about, but one thing that the years have given me (besides poor eyesight and an extra twenty-five pounds) is humbling revelation. I find that humility is the absolute best teacher, if we are willing to receive and be trained by it.

That all being said, there is no question that darkness and sin abound in our world. One does not need to be a scholarly theologian to come to that conclusion. What is so disheartening is the ever growing collateral damage that our sins are leaving behind. Sin has dire and destructive consequences to be sure. We live in a time where pain, violence, and offense have become the norm, but is it too late to find hope in this world? Our nation? Our workplace and neighborhoods? How in the world do we fight the sin and darkness that come to destroy ourselves and each other??

Now, I again reiterate that my word is not one of any power or authority in this matter, but I believe that the Lord God speaks truth into the hearts of those who seek Him. We are all but one prayer away from His advice, counsel, and direction. I am only sharing what has invaded my heart as I pray and ponder over all that is around us.

The answer starts with something that we all have open access to, but will we receive it and use it? The starting place creates the entire foundation, but will we skip over this step to get to matters that we believe are more pressing or crucial? Oh yes, many people believe that they have the keys to knowledge and understanding, but have we forgotten the most critical and basic of all requirements for hope and restoration to abound?….

LOVE.

It is a word we use in excess. We love coffee, the beach, Disneyland, our families, etc. We love to sleep too! But genuine and deep love comes from the Lord God. In the Greek language, there are multiple words to define varying types of degrees of what we know in English as ‘love’. One such word is ‘agape,’ and it refers to love that is everlasting, unconditional, and transforming. It is this type of love that can take a blameless man to a brutal death on a cross, and leave behind not a single shred of irritation, blame, or offense. Not only that, it is a love that offers total and complete forgiveness to anyone, no matter how much of a sinner they are. Let’s face it; we are all just a mess. This love does not need you to get ‘cleaned up’ or ‘right’. It is there for the taking. It comes from the Lord God, through way of Jesus Christ. He was the one who battled the shame, sin, and death for us on the cross, and what did He leave behind for us?…LOVE. Will you receive His love? I promise you this, it is the answer for your every need, question, and longing.

To the broken sinner…you are loved.

To the struggling drug addict…you are loved. God loves you right now, just the way you are. He loves you as you are injecting, snorting, smoking, or ingesting, and He loves you as you plead and fight through the pains of withdrawal. He loves you as you fall one more time to the beast of addiction, and He loves you as you try to convince yourself and others that this time is the last time. He loves you just as much as He loves any human being who is and ever lived. Will you surrender to Jesus and receive His love?

To the homosexual, bisexual, transgender, lesbian, pornographic partaker, prostitute, and all others…you are loved. God has formed every part of you and loves His creation. He knows you better than you know yourself, and so today, just know that you are loved totally and completely, just the way you are. The walls of shame and anger that you might feel in regards to God were not placed there by Him. Jesus Christ extends love and hope to all, and will not turn you away. Please do not turn Him away. He did not love you more when you were living ‘better,’ and He will not love you any less when you make choices and decisions that don’t align with His ways. His love is constant, no matter what. Will you surrender to Jesus and receive His love?

To the murderers, rapists, pedophiles, terrorists…yes, Jesus’ blood shed on the cross is that strong. You are loved in complete measure. The God who created you is merciful beyond human comprehension, and His love can be your true source of life and hope. It is a love that washes every stain, and leaves behind a new creation. God’s love for you is just as powerful and alive as His love for Billy Graham, Mother Teresa, or any of the spiritual ‘greats’ as we might perceive them to be. The foot of the cross is level ground, with a full and equal portion of love to all who come. Will you surrender to Jesus and receive His love?

To the atheist, agnostic, new world guru, Mormon, Baptist, Lutheran, Buddhist, Muslim, Jehovah’s Witness, Hindu, Catholic, Christian, Jew, and ALL other religions…you are loved. God has never been bound by our religious boundaries. His unconditional and total love for mankind crosses right over all of them. He loves you today, no matter what ‘religion’ you happen to be practicing right now. When Jesus died on the cross, a way was provided for each and every individual to come to God. No need to earn certain theological or advanced knowledge, or to pass through a series of ritualistic steps of worthiness. You have an open pathway to His perfect love through Christ. He sees you, He knows you, and most importantly, He loves you. Will you surrender to Jesus and receive His love?

Hhhmmm, any others?  Have you ever lied, cheated, stolen, grumbled, or complained? Have you ever been envious, prideful, jealous, angry, bitter, selfish, or self-righteous? Ever felt that someone of a different race, political affiliation, or religion was beneath you? What about offended? Have you ever held an offense against another and harbored unforgiveness in your heart for them, for any reason at all?

I could go on, but I believe I have touched on every human being who has ever lived, and who ever will. If you take issue with this, I would refer you to the preceding paragraph, and hope that you do not take offense.

The apostle Paul sums it up under guidance of the Holy Spirit…“Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners- of whom I am the worst.”… 1 Timothy 1:15. 

Why in the world would Jesus Christ do such a thing? The answer has always been there since the foundation of the world…LOVE. God loves you. He loves you magnificently. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son. That whosoever believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life.”…John 3:16.

The question is, will you now take that love and pour it out into others? If  the love of Jesus would  flow freely out from those who have been willing to receive it, our world would literally have a love explosion! It would be colossal. We would see unity, restoration, healing, and joy across our land.

I suppose I could have cut straight to the chase and said that God loves all sinners, but there are some groups of people that I specifically mentioned in which some people feel might be disqualified. Not so. We are all sinners, plain and simple.

To my precious Christian brothers and sisters, we are truly free in Christ Jesus, but it was nothing that we earned or deserved. May we use that freedom to love all the more. While we certainly have the right to protest and boycott things we feel strongly about, let’s be sure that we are not boycotting the love He so strongly wants us to spread. He just might be sending you to the very people or places that you feel certain you must exclude. Be prayerful and willing to open your heart to where the Spirit leads, knowing that He might be speaking a different plan and purpose to another. May mercy and grace abound in these things.

“Three things that will last forever-faith, hope, and love-but the greatest of these is LOVE.”  1 Corinthians 13:13

Let’s get busy fighting the darkness of this world with agape love for one another. It is a powerful weapon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May I Ask a Favor of You? September 2, 2015

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Would anyone mind doing me a huge favor? Before you answer, please consider carefully what I am going to ask of you, as these words come from the deepest part of my heart. Only agree to this request if you have every intention of following through…

Will you keep a watchful eye out for my husband? Will you have his back if needed?

You see, my husband wears a police badge proudly across his chest. The day he placed his hand on a Holy Bible before his family, witnesses, and fellow officers; he swore to uphold the law of the land to the very best of his ability. He swore to guard and protect the citizens under his care and influence, even to the point of his own possible demise. He took on a career path that would lead him straight into harm’s way, and he did it with a sincere and willing heart.

Will you keep a watchful eye out for him? Will you have his back?

He will be the one in blue, showing up wherever you call him, in your time of distress and need. He will always answer, and no call is too great or small. If you are in danger, he will literally put himself in your place to keep you safe. Your age, race, gender, socioeconomic status, neighborhood, and the like, will not deter him from fulfilling what he has vowed and sworn to do. His duty is to uphold the law to keep you and the surrounding community safe. If a law is broken, he will act to preserve justice and order. To him, the laws are colorblind and uniform throughout.

Will you keep a watchful eye out for this man? Will you have his back?

He will be the one pulling over the car that is swerving all over the road, or the one careening through the stop sign. You never know if such a car would have crashed into yours and forever changed your and your family’s entire life. What an officer does routinely on the job might just be your miracle that you failed to recognize. The streets are safer because of their diligence and care.

Are you willing to keep a watchful eye out for this man? Will you have his back?

This man that would take a bullet for you is now under vicious attack in our nation, and someone needs to do more to turn the tide of this darkness. What can you do? How can you keep a watchful eye?…

How about simply waiting and watching whenever you see him in public. An officer was brutally shot in cold blood as someone approached him from behind while he was pumping gas. Will you take the time to be another set of eyes for an officer, and alert him if anything looks suspicious? If you are at a gas station and see an officer, simply standing by being watchful would show enormous courage and support. There is no need for vigilante aggression, but there is a great need for citizens to show unwavering support for officers. Our eyes and ears can help put a hedge of safety and protection around them.

What if you see him at a park, restaurant, library, grocery store, roadside, house fire, on and on and on…the point is, officers are no longer ‘safe’ anywhere. There is a target on their backs, and they need to know they are still appreciated and needed. Will you simply slow down your life and be observant when you see one, so that he or she can feel and know that they truly do have eyes behind their head? Pat him or her on the back and tell them that you are praying for them and that what they do really matters. Such encouragement goes a long way for when they come home to the news of yet another one of their own being killed in the line of duty.

Will you keep a watchful eye out for him? Will you have his back?

I ask for some very selfish reasons as well. You see, this same man eventually pulls his police car into our garage at night, and when he enters, he is a husband and a dad. He is the leader of this household, and he is the love of our lives. There is so much more to him than a badge and uniform, and yet, he is a police officer through and through. He sees and knows that his position is under intense attack, but he is committed to preserving justice and fairness all the more. Praise God for the loyal and fabulous police officers who truly believe in what they do. There will always be some bad apples, but may we never judge the masses based on a very select few.

And so if you are still willing, then please watch out for my husband, and all the other officers you come into contact with on a daily basis. Lets start turning this thing around people!!!! It is time to do more by taking a true stand and showing our support. Lets not let one more officer be ambushed in public. May we have eyes to see and ears to hear, and may we sound the alarm when needed.

And most of all, may we PRAY. Pray for the police officers across our country regularly. May they be strong and courageous despite all they are going through right now. May the Lord bless and protect them.

AMEN

Thanks for the back-up!!

 

Love Wins July 3, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — gdnelson5 @ 11:40 pm
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Love Wins.

That is a very powerful mantra that we have all heard a great deal of in the past few days. There is deep meaning behind those words, and yet, there is stark contrast and disagreement throughout our nation as to what those words mean. It is not my purpose in writing this to offend, belittle, attack, or malign anyone, but I have accepted the fact that words spoken on controversial and ‘difficult’ issues will do those very things for some. I have found myself reminding the Lord God of this, as my flesh is more than ok with staying silent, but He reminds me that His gospel has the power to save and to never be ashamed of it. Silence is not an option.

From the beginning of creation, God has had good and honorable intentions for mankind. We utter phrases like ‘God loves you’ and ‘God is love’ repeatedly, but have we really taken those truths deeply and to heart? What does it mean to be loved by God? Does it mean that God loves us if we are on our best behavior? Or when we are experiencing what seems to be good blessings in this life? Has he rescinded that love when it appears that we are going through times of intense pain and hardship? What if a lifestyle choice does not align with His word or commands? Does he love us then? Will He love us more if we start making our best efforts to walk in His ways, and for that matter, will He love us a bit less if we start screwing things up left and right? How in the world does love really win???

The incredible news I have to share is that the Lord God has a heart for sinners. Yes, He is in love with sinners. It is critical that we not confuse His love for sinners with a love for sin. The Bible is absolutely clear that He hates sin, but He always has and always will love sinners. That is good news for me, and it is good news for you. Do not take those words flippantly, as it is an essential truth that needs to be grasped. And His love is pure and complete in totality. You cannot add to it by doing everything just right, and you cannot detract from it due to sins in your life that you cannot seem to get a handle on. Would you believe that God loves you just as much as He loves Billy Graham, Mother Teresa, or any other ‘religious’ figure you can think of? Let me be clear, God does not love deceit, pride, slander, adultery, homosexuality, materialism, drunkenness, idolatry,…to name a few. Idolatry is loving anything more than God. What do we spend our most time and energy on? That might be a hint as to what might be an idol in our lives. It is true that the greatest number of internet downloads are first to social network sites and second to pornographic ones. We seem to be mesmerized with ourselves and to sexual immorality. Jesus himself said that to even look at someone with lust in your heart is to commit adultery. Our entertainment industry has made certain that we are all guilty of that one. If sinners are not welcome in churches, then the seats and pews would have to be completely empty.  But  praise be to God that He loves sinners.

How do I know God loves you? The proof has been recorded for over a thousand years.. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this; while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”… Romans 5:8. This was no ordinary death. This was the very Son of God come to earth to cleanse us from our ugly sin problem. He was perfect, without stain or blemish from sin. He chose to die for us. There is no greater love than that. Do you accept that love? Do you acknowledge that you are a sinner, and that you are in desperate need of a savior? From the dawn of time, blood was shed as an atoning sacrifice for sins. That simply means that something had to die to pay the price for our choice to sin. In old testament times nations were wiped out and countless animals were slaughtered, all due to our fleshly desire to sin against God. But when Jesus Christ shed His blood on the cross, the sin problem was forever dealt with. His one sacrifice would cover all sin from that moment forward. It was a colossal price to pay, and we are all blessed beyond any words I could express in what He did for us. No one can out-sin the cross. But each person must accept that sacrifice. Each person must come humbly before God and receive what Christ did for them on the cross. Each person must  repent of their sins, and trust that the Lord and His Holy Spirit will fill them with the grace and strength to walk away from the sins that entangle them. Only through the blood of the cross can such victory be obtained.

We can never walk in God’s freedom and blessing though if our choice is to embrace our sin. We as a society are crumbling before our very eyes. We have enemies all around that seek to destroy us, while we are decaying from within our own borders. As society becomes more and more comfortable and accommodating to sin, we see the curse of sin passed on from generation to generation. Sin will always leave dreadful consequences in its wake, and we are living that out in real time. There comes a time when God pulls away and allows us to wallow in the ugliness that we have chosen, and lifts His hedge of protection off of us. Never before was a country birthed from the very principles of the Bible as the United States of America was. We have turned our backs on those very virtues in an effort to be politically correct and pleasing to the flesh.  God’s ways will always overrule our opinions. “Let God be true, and every man a liar.’…Romans 3:4. Those who speak God’s truth are now viewed as bigots. We are guilty of calling evil good, and good evil. We do not want God or His commands in our work places, schools, court houses, medical facilities, and we don’t even want Him in many of our churches. We have watered down his perfect Word to make it more palatable for those who don’t want to live by its standards. Sexual sin is most rampant of all, and the one that we cling to with fierce veracity. Nope, no one is going to tell us what to do or how to live. My heart bleeds over it, and yet, God’s love is still there.

We need to seek the Lord God with all of our hearts about how to turn our society around. We need to come before him in prayer and seeking, humbly confessing our sins in deep repentance. We need to clear our own agenda and listen for His beautiful voice of correction and guidance. It is always there if we are willing to listen and obey. We are to LOVE one another deeply. Instead of being all stirred up about the sins of others, we should be focused on the state of the church and God’s witness to our world. We all share a great responsibility for the bitter decline of our nation. Judgment is a certainty..“For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?” 1 Peter 4:17.  This promise of God confirms that the downfall of nations begins first in the church. The church is the guardian of the gospel and so the greatest responsibility rests with it. The major social and moral issues are no longer filtered through sound Biblical doctrine. God’s true church has faded into the background, while corrupt governments have taken the reigns. It is a travesty that any US court is given authority to  legislate when and how life is said to begin, or what the definition of marriage is. We trample on dangerous ground when we refuse to concede that the master creator cannot be overruled. Marriage is the oldest of all God created institutions. Marriage came before the fall of mankind into sin. We should shudder in reverent fear that mere human beings have had the audacity to try and redefine it, and that countless supporters would chime in that ‘love wins’ in response. We raise our rebellious fists to a loving God who has brought so many comforts, protections, and blessings to our lives. We use our voices to remind Him that we believe we are in charge, and that we will not submit to His authority. Even so, His love remains and His forgiveness is right there if we humbly pray and repent. He holds no grudges and keeps a short account of sin if we are willing to turn from it. The price for true freedom was paid long ago by the precious blood of Jesus Christ. There is no other covering for sin than that.

God is very clear that there is only one way in which a nation can be cleansed and healed. “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. …2 Chronicles 7:14.

There it is. Our marching orders are very clear. The only hope for America and our world lies in prayer and repentance before God. There is no hope in our government, our military, our technology, or any other thing we bring to the table. A nation insistent on rebellion against God will always see its demise. The devil has so many of us duped. He loves when we are at odds with each other over flags, rainbows, wedding cakes, on and on. We argue passionately over such things, while demonic and evil forces are closing in all the more. Are we awake? Innocent men, women, and children are being beheaded, burned alive, thrown off buildings, crucified, and other atrocities. Yes, this is the world we now live in. Are we praying? Do we have repentant hearts before the Lord?

If we as Christians truly believe that the gospel has the power to set people free from all sin and curses, then we are to walk with zero condemnation or judgment.  Jesus showed mercy to those who struggled with sin; He did not condemn them. The light of Jesus needs to overpower the stench of darkness that is so pervasive right now.

No matter how ugly and dark it all may seem, God can heal and cleanse our land. I do absolutely agree that love wins, but that fact was proven over a thousand years ago on a hill known as Calvary. That is the place where the savior of the world, Jesus Christ, paid the price for our sins. We can have hope for tomorrow and for all eternity because of His sacrifice. That is what love winning really looks like. index

 

He is Risen April 5, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — gdnelson5 @ 9:20 pm
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Those words have been spoken many times today in celebration of Easter, and there is truly no greater event in all of human history to celebrate than the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  He is risen indeed.

There are many in our world who do not embrace Christ for the savior that He is, but that lack of faith or belief in his mission and message does not in any way detract from the colossal truth of his bodily resurrection from the dead. The simple fact is that if Christ truly did resurrect from the dead, then every ounce of his life and message are undeniably true. On the other hand, if the resurrection never happened, then it was the greatest hoax on all of mankind and we are all forever lost and hopeless. Without the resurrection, then every word from Genesis to Revelation is null and void.  God’s redemptive plan for mankind all hinges on that empty tomb.

I have made a firm choice in my life to trust in Jesus Christ. This did not come out of blind faith or wishful thinking. I am a grown woman who has sought truth and have come to one solid and firm foundation in my life. That foundation is Jesus Christ. I have endured trials and heartache on both sides of faith, and I know beyond any doubt that Jesus Christ is real and very much alive today. I do not serve a dead man, but a risen and holy savior.

I would challenge any who question the true identity and deity of Jesus Christ to come before him with a true seeking heart. To seek is to simply open your heart and mind to the possibilities that lie beyond your human capability. Ask him if he is truly real, and be ready for his answer. It might not look or sound like what you have in mind, but be ready to be changed and transformed. A seeking heart will always find truth. It is not hidden under a rock. Truth is out in the open, lit up brightly, for those who are truly seeking. Truth comes in the ‘coincidences’ in life that are not coincidences at all. Truth comes from the mouths and actions of those placed in your life for a given time, the exact and right time. Truth comes in that still small voice in your heart that speaks volumes above the chaos and clamor of the rest. I dare you to open a Bible and get to reading. One chapter a day will be enough, but before long, you will be tearing through it and hungry for more. Truth cannot be silenced by lies. We choose to accept or reject it.

Did Jesus Christ raise from the dead? I answer that question with a resounding YES. And because he lives, I can face tomorrow.

Thank you Lord that you have risen and are not anywhere close to being done. The best is yet to come.

12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, declares the Lord…Jeremiah 29:12-14.

Get to looking.

Here are my family and I celebrating the resurrection. Oh happy day!

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The One Voice January 21, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — gdnelson5 @ 9:29 am

There is one distinct court in our world that is unyielding, unforgiving, and relentless….the court of public opinion. It is here where swift and harsh judgments are handed out in knee-jerk fashion, as nameless and faceless people spew a barrage of personal indictments against those who are vulnerable and in a place of personal weakness and loss. There is something cruel that can happen to people as they let their fingers do the talking in our modern world of online communication. The entitlement that is apparently gained to speak one’s accusative mind in anonymity on every possible matter can be downright ugly. The online comment sections are breeding grounds. Mercy and restraint seem to be severely lacking, which is sad, as there are people with breaking hearts and real pain on the other side of every hurtful word.

God’s word is as true now as it has always been….Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry…’ James 1:19.

Last week on January 15th, a beautiful and tender friend named Deedee had to say good-bye to her precious 17 month old granddaughter Amelia. Amelia’s life was cut short by the hands of her mother’s then boyfriend. The full details of the obvious abuse Amelia endured is only known by her abuser and the Lord God. To say that Deedee and all of her family are in agonizing pain does not do justice to the extent of their heartache. There are no fitting words to portray what the death of an infant child and grandchild does to the human heart and soul. I have spoken to Deedee and her tears come from a place that I do not know or comprehend. It is a wailing so deep that if not for the prevailing presence of the Lord God, such a loss would swallow up every hint of hope and light in her. Her daughter too is suffering horribly. They would give their very lives if they could somehow go back and change what happened, but they cannot. They must find the strength to go on living, to go on breathing…one moment at a time, one tear at a time. God will see them through.

I have prayed for this family’s protection and shelter in the Lord; specifically that He would shield them from the ugly accusations and words of hurtful rebuke that might come their way during this painful time. It was not long after this tragic incident that such words started to appear on venues like facebook, so I write this to encourage Deedee, her family, and any others who might have been verbally or emotionally attacked at their weakest and lowest point in life. There are indeed always those who feel obliged to kick a person when they are down.

Thankfully, God’s life changing word is the ultimate authority on all things and provides desperately needed refuge in such times. For example, in the book of John chapter 8 verses 1-11, an adulteress woman is brought before a large gathering in the midst of Jesus Christ himself. Her most blatant accusers were the scribes and Pharisees of the day. These were self righteous ‘leaders’ who deemed it fitting to have her tried and convicted for her weaknesses before a barrage of peers. They did not see the need for further evidence, or for any type of legal proceedings. The court of public humiliation and condemnation was their venue of choice. Yes, she was a broken woman who was far from perfect. The Bible says she was placed directly in the center of the ‘court’ where her flaws could be openly scrutinized. The leaders and crowd called for her public stoning to death, reminding Jesus that upholding their laws was paramount in such a situation. Their words were like piercing daggers.

But then came the most beautiful voice that has ever spoken on our earth. It was the one and only voice that mattered both then, and now.  Jesus Christ spoke, the author of life, Emmanuel…God with us, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. It was the voice of pure majesty and complete humility in one.  He spoke then and He still speaks today… “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”  And with that, their taunts and clamor faded to silence as they each walked away, one by one. It is interesting to note that the Bible mentions that the oldest in the crowd were the first to withdraw. Wisdom indeed is gained through years.

We have a broken world full of stone throwers, and the weapon most readily utilized is the tongue. Our words can be as sharp as jagged rocks, and they can hit their target with cunning and sharp precision. Many shattered lives have been laid victim to the aftermath of verbal execution. And yet who of us can judge? Who of us is without fault or sin in our lives? We as human beings all have the same disease known as sin, and we all desperately need a savior to restore us to God. That savior is Jesus Christ. Jesus was not condoning or pardoning that woman’s sin; he was reminding the hardened crowd that they too were far from perfect and had no place standing in judgment of her. May that same mirror of reflection be cast on us all.

Jesus hit the nail on the head again in Matthew 7:3…Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?

For my precious friend Deedee, her family, and all that have been hurt by harsh words of criticism; may you have ears to hear the voice of a loving and merciful Lord above all others. May His voice be the first one you turn to and may it guide you in all that you do. May His voice drown out the haters, the mockers, and the accusers who seek to destroy your journey to find the light of hope. In the darkest tempest of pain and suffering, there is always hope and it can be found when you listen for His voice. Shut out the rest. Turn off the computer if you have to, the smart phone, the device. Turn it off and open your Bible. Start listening to the voice of life. It will literally drown out the voices of hate and darkness. Choose what to listen to and embrace into your heart.

The world was ready to stone a broken woman to death for her poor choices, while Jesus Christ was ready to change her life for the better and restore her future. He is still in that business today!

Deedee and Starlene, may your hearts be humble and soft to all God wants to show you right now. He will convict and give wisdom in all that has happened with your angel Amelia. May you take that wisdom and be a profound light in Amelia’s honor. May you pour out counsel, wisdom, and understanding to others who will face the painful curse that is child abuse. He has a good and powerful purpose even in this tragic circumstance, and He will use your lives as a living testimony to the power of light over darkness. May His voice become your voice….the only voice.

 

Here is the stunning Amelia Danielle Gutierrez. Her life is now in paradise with her Lord, while her influence and legacy continue on in the lives of those who loved her. Look at that Grandma Deedee….pure and perfect love. It cannot and never will be tainted. Yes, love wins.Deedee2Deedee3DeedeeLove you Deedee!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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