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Good Friday Thoughts …

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He could have chosen to free himself from the torture and pain, but instead Christ chose to sacrifice himself to free you. Today marks the day in which he chose to die on the cross so that you might live.

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Are They Just Words?

Recently I posted on FaceBook here, with these words:
Is having a meager Christmas a bad thing? So what if someone doesn’t have excess cash to spend on presents under the tree. Didn’t our Lord and Savior end up in a manger – because his family couldn’t find shelter? He worn born in very meager circumstances – yet offer us (to this day) the biggest gift of all – salvation.

This post is something that has been on my mind, as this year has been one of the tightest we’ve experienced. Now I know people think authors have a ton of book sales and royalties coming in. And some do … However most Indie Authors, like myself, still have to keep a day job. And to be honest – this year has been a rough one as we’ve been trying to play catch up after a few set backs.

In contemplating the ‘true reason’ for Christmas – I’ve been thinking … We always hear that ‘Jesus us the reason for the season’ and I agree wholeheartedly, but if the concept isn’t hidden in our heart … those are just words. And, to be honest some take those words for granted. Some use those words to their advantage. Some say them and go through the motions. While others may say them but don’t believe them at all.

My son and I were talking about how much we want to feel the true sentiment behind the words more than ever before. As my best friend suffers through chemo and fights an aggressive cancer, I know her 11 year old kid would give anything just to have her health for Christmas. They don’t care about gifts under the tree. They’re praying for a miracle. And she is so tired that she just wants hot chocolate and energy to make it through the season. Her faith is strong and as a true believer, I know she understands the sentiment behind the words.

So my 11 year old and I were discussing that it doesn’t matter what is (or isn’t) under the tree this year. We have our health, our friendships, family, and our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Those are all such amazing blessings that some aren’t lucky to have at all.

So as you think of this holiday season and you celebrate with whomever gathers around your tree, please remember that a tiny baby was born, in meager circumstances, so that you may have the biggest gift of all. No matter who is with you to celebrate, or not – as I know we all have loved ones we miss … no matter what presents are under the tree (or lack of) … remember the real reason behind why we’re all celebrating.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Amen.

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Standing Firm on the Foundation…

This made me smile and I thought I’d pass it on. Every day thousands of people debate over creation vs. evolution. This Presidential hopeful couldn’t have said it better. And you’ll notice the person handling the debate wasn’t even listening to his answer, because he asked Mike Huckabee to clarify an answer that was already clearly given.

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3 steps to freedom

Rindy, over at Experiencing the Journey, posted about “What’s Holding You Back”. She said that we’re all in our cages, so to speak. Here’s an excerpt of what she said, in hopes that you’ll stop by and read her post:
—-Whether we are locked inside our “cages” or are relying on belief systems that can fall apart, we are being held back. To quote Kem Meyer, “Many times our sense of reality can get so tied up, polarized and distorted it is almost impossible to see which beliefs are working and which are holding us back”. From Matthew Turner, “cages often keep us from pursuing the hopes and dreams Jesus has placed in our hearts.”

Breaking free is not easy. It takes courage to confront ourselves and look at what beliefs and what cages are ingrained in us. Yet, we can’t fully love, completely give, be humble, or pursue and embrace the dreams until we do. Climbing out of the cages and having faith in a belief system that is solid gives freedom. It gives freedom to be who we were created to be and freedom to step into someone else’s life and make a difference. It’s tough, but it is so worth it!!—-

One of the comments I left her was: I think self evaluation is one of the hardest things in life to do…to be truly honest with yourself-about yourself. It’s one of the THE most important things when it comes from breaking free from your cage (or your excuses for your behavior). GREAT post! I’m glad I stopped by today.

I wanted to expound a little further though. Yes, it’s important to constantly be aware of how we are as humans every day, and how that not only effects us personally in everything do or don’t do…but also greatly effects the people around us.

I recently had a conversation with someone who was pushing a certain mindset on me, and in his attempted pep talk he said, “I get to wake up and impact people’s lives every day”. Now that in itself isn’t a bad thing — don’t get me wrong. I even wrote in my journal in my twenties: Every day the sun will rise, and everyday is a chance to change a life!

So I for one see where this person is coming from, but I have since learned it’s not about what I think should change someone’s life. This person is still making it all about him and his control over other’s lifes, and while self awareness and your impact is amazing knowledge, I think it should be about something totally bigger than that.

Being self aware to break free from your cage is only the first step. To recognize your ailment in life, and free yourself and your family from that chain by taking action is amazing. However as a Christian I want to make an impact by just being what God makes me. I no longer purposely wake up saying ‘Who’s life can I change today?’

I think waking up free from your cage is step number one. Step number two is setting your heart in the right place. And step number three? To take number 2 a little further…asking God to intercede and give you the perception of what HIS will for you his for the day. To ask Him to prompt you to do what He would have you do each day for His plan in your life and for others. Just being emotionally and spiritually tapped in to what He wants will be the catalyst to change not only in your life but EVERYONE’S around you.

Setting yourself free from your cage will take lots of prayer. Ask God what it is in your life that is holding you back. Is is your mindset about someone particular in your life? Is it your bitterness about your job? Is it your focus of your lack of money? Or is it past trauma that you just can’t move past?

These are all things that will continue to mold you and your behavior, which ripples into others lives and how they treat you. Ask God for help, and take purposeful steps to rid yourself of that chain around your heart. Then wake up ready for what His will for your life is. It’s a long journey to this place…but the freedoms are amazing.

I backtrack most days.  It’s definitely a work in progress, but what isn’t?  None of us are perfect, and I’m far from it. I let the bitterness of certain things in life temporarily take back over, and then I have to stop, take note, and pray for God to take it from me. I know I need God’s help and direction in these areas of my life. When I finally let go and give it over, the peace that’s given is truly the most amazing feeling in the world.