Saturday, 20 January 2018

Affirmation #198

  I am a partaker of Christ. Hebrews 3:14
  "For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end." NKJV
  "For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ." JCB

  So, here we are. Even though I thought about taking a break from the list only yesterday, this morning found me looking forward to exploring the day's affirmation. It's a sense of anticipation that has grown a lot since the beginning. In fact, I was downright excited to see what today will reveal!
  Besides, I will be taking a short break from writing for a couple of weeks to walk the beach and catch some sunshine starting next Friday. There probably won't be a post on Thursday because it's community lunch day at work which means an early start.
  Hmmm...There was a time when the list was a chore, a dutiful obligation. Homework. Especially in the beginning. It took a lot to get me to miss even a single day because I felt the burden of commitment or rather, I was burdened by the commitment!
  It was the same when I obediently but reluctantly joined the worship team.
  These commitments now bring a great deal of joy into my life. Why is that?

  At work on Thursday we were given the opportunity to do the 30 Circle Challenge. It's a piece of paper printed with thirty circles. The object is to draw or write something in each one. I decided to focus on the good things in my life, the things that bring me the greatest joy. From butterflies to birthday cake, from writing to walking barefoot, from curiosity to forest calm there is a unity, a common thread that connects all these things: faith.
  It was an answer to a prayer because I've been thinking a lot about the changes since I became a Christian. Somewhere along the line, the enthusiasm and excitement those first years held has faded. Or maybe it hasn't.
  The 30 Circles prove that faith is as much a part of my life as it was in the beginning. It's simply matured. It's been refined and polished and grown. Faith has overcome what might have destroyed me during the dark and terrible days and weeks and years on the Black River.
  Because Jesus was at my side.
  He still is.
  And will always be because I share with Him the greatest gift of all, His Father's love.


Friday, 19 January 2018

I am Pardoned. Jeremiah 33:8

  "I will cleanse them from all their iniquity by which they have sinned against Me, and I will pardon all their iniquities by which they have sinned and by which they have transgressed against Me." NKJV
  "I will cleanse them of their sins against me and forgive all their sins of rebellion." JCB

  I am feeling a bit bogged down by all the revelations this journey has opened my mind and heart to. It feels like it's time to take a break from the list and allow the lessons to percolate deep into my thoughts and behaviours. It's important to take some time so these affirmations, these truths of God, can become part of the fabric of my being. There's an element of practice to it as well.
  Already there have been many instances when a response or a thought has surprised me because it is so different to how I have responded or thought up until now. These are wonderful moments because the new ways are a thousand fold better than the old! New ways, God's ways, of thinking bring nothing but good things! Far more than I ever thought possible.
  It's not like there's fireworks or anything. Most of the changes have been subtle although the fact I find myself more comfortable in the presence of men is pretty big. Ginormous! It's a huge relief, too.
  With it comes an outpouring of immeasurable gratitude.
  Freedom is a wonderful thing.
  When this exercise began early last year, an allotted amount of time was given to complete the list. Already the "deadline" is a moot point because there are roughly a hundred more affirmations to go. Which is more than okay. I am pardoned!
  I still want to complete the list. Not only has it helped me learn where all the books in the Bible are but the list has been a compass guiding me, pointing ultimately to the heart of God: Jesus.

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

I Am an Overcomer. 1 John 5:4-5

  "For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world--your faith. Who is he who overcomes the world. but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God." NKJV
  "For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God." JCB

  And what a weapon we bear! Not of steel or iron or stone. Gunpowder has no place.
  There is no arena, no ring, no forum that can contain us.
  Faith is love believing that there is something far better ahead than anything we ever thought possible.
  Grace is love granting patience and understanding when we fall short or when others stumble.
  Repentance is seeking Love, seeking Jesus, to soothe us, to grow us, to make us better people when we have done wrong.
  Forgiveness is an outpouring of love regardless of the hurt, the wrongs done to us or by us.
  Gratitude is love appreciated.
  Sacrifice is love setting aside our own agendas.

  Then there is the ability to stand tall and secure in our faith, to petition the Lord, to draw a line in the sand against the principalities and powers seeking to destroy us by wielding the only sword we'll ever need: the Spirit of love.

  Prayer. To offer praises and gratitude. To express delight and wonder about the awesome gifts of God:   His Son, God's creations, this world, this community, this life, this heartbeat that thumps away in my chest.
  Prayer. To raise our voices in unity of song and worship that sends the enemy of our souls scurrying away.
  Prayer. An acknowledgement of the Lord's eternal investment in our lives even if all we share with Him is Saturday's grocery list.
  Prayer unlocks our hearts, our minds and our souls so we can hear what God has to say.
  Prayer. Intimate and honest moments of connectedness with the One who saves us from ourselves.
  Every single one of our prayers is victory proclaimed. And heaven's trumpets resound with a joyful noise!
  Because Jesus will never leave us nor forsake us but will fortify us and strengthen us and grow us through the insurmountable and unconquerable power of His love.
  Lord, thank You for helping me understand what love is. Thank You for helping me let go of the brokenness that tainted my thoughts about love. Thank You for clarity. Thank You that my ability to share Your love unabashedly and unconditionally will do nothing but grow. But most of all, thank You, Jesus, for Your sacrifice that made all this possible.