Refreshing Rain: Repent of your sin

cherry tree after rain
cherry tree after rain

Yesterday we had a sudden thunderstorm here: heavy rain, loud thunder, and lightning. It stopped as suddenly as it started, and reminded me of the thunderstorms in the south where I grew up.

Afterward, everything looked so fresh: the emerald-green grass, the tree’s leaves, and the beautiful flowers like our neighbor’s cherry tree, pictured above.  This reminded me of Acts 3:19-21, NIV:

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus.

The word “sin” isn’t very popular today. We like to call it by other names: mistake, weakness, or “I just screwed up.” (If we even admit it; sometimes we blame others, hide, justify, or make excuses for our sin.)

 But God, who is holy, calls a spade a spade: it’s sin! And He knows that sin will destroy our lives and hinder your purpose and mine. 

Thunder and lightning
Thunder and lightning

God is not an angry Deity ready to just zap you with lightning and send you to hell every time you mess up a little! Hell was created for the devil and his demons, not man. God loves you and has a good plan for your life. (Jeremiah 29:11) God wants you to repent of your sin, so that nothing will stand between you and Him. He wants to be as close to you as possible.

daisies
daisies

When we repent of our sins, we are refreshed. We feel relieved. We don’t carry around that guilt, and worse, condemnation for our sins. Jesus died on the Cross over 2,000 years ago for you and me, as a sacrifice to God and a substitute for our sins, so we wouldn’t have to carry the burden of them. His death and resurrection sets us free. When we repent, we are in right relationship with God and others. We are forgiven–forever. 

Today, ask the Holy Spirit to search your heart for any sin. Confess it to God. Ask His forgiveness. Let nothing stand in your way of intimacy with God. and fulfilling your purpose.

woman in rain
woman in rain

Receive the refreshing rain and the beauty, like the flowers after the rain, of His forgiveness, love, and power in your life.

***

Promises In The Dark: One Woman's Search for Authentic Love
Get your copy at:
https://goo.gl/rRQhIC

Do you feel that you have sinned too much and that God can’t and won’t possibly forgive you?

He will forgive if you repent. God is faithful, even when we are not!

Read my encouraging life story about my childhood abuse, adulterous affairs, and three abortions, Promises In The Dark: One Woman’s Search for Authentic Love, and how God forgave and delivered me by clicking here.

 

 

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Lessons from an ice storm

There has been an ice storm here in Kansas City, Missouri. Not as bad as the epic Central Plains one in 2002, which left up to over 2 inches of ice over affected areas and knocked out electrical power to more than 650,000 residents and trees shattered under hundreds of pounds of ice. Still not fun, though. I miss my hot coffee. 

coffee and Bible
coffee and Bible

As I write this in my journal, I’m sitting here on our loveseat in the front entry room in my comfy blue hoodie, pj pants, purple Hello Kitty slippers, and huddled under a soft blanket and colorful quilt that Ray’s grandmother hand-made to stay warm, since the electrical power went off about 8 AM today.

Red chair and loveseat
Red chair and loveseat in front entry room

After I read my Bible and prayed for safety for our family and all affected by the storm, I crawled under the blankets and went to sleep. Just as I was dozing off, the power came on. When I woke up, it was off again. I joked with our daughter Heather that maybe I should just stay asleep.

Ray's grandmother's hand-made quilt
Ray’s grandmother’s hand-made quilt

It’s really no joke, though. Our daughter Heather has to drive to Overland Park, Kansas, for work today and our daughter Leah has to work in town, too. My husband Ray is working at the ER and he says the electrical power is on and off all over town, and they are very busy. It makes me think of Third World nations like Haiti, which has frequent power outages and only 25% of the population has energy supply.

2017 ice storm
2017 ice storm

While the leaves encased in ice on trees look beautiful, like Narnia’s winter Wonderland, the ice is wicked, especially to drive on.  Our neighbors’ plant looks dead. The ice instantly kills.

our neighbors' plant
our neighbors’ plant

However, one thing situations like this do is create absolute dependence on God. There’s nothing I can do but wait (and I’m such a control freak sometimes, so it’s hard!). I can’t fix the power. Ray can’t fix the power. 

branches with ice
branches with ice
Are you plugged into God’s power?

It makes me muse, how much power of God do I have in my life? How much do you?

“…but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”–Acts 1:8

Do we read and meditate on the Bible, God’s living word?

Do we spend time with God in prayer and worship?

Asian woman praying
Asian woman praying

Do we lean on God and trust Him when storms come?

heart of ice Source: http://timoelliott.com/photos/2013/01/17/a-heart-of-ice/
heart of ice
Source: http://timoelliott.com/photos/2013/01/17/a-heart-of-ice/

Are our hearts filled with the warmth and holy fire of God’s love, or are they cold, distant, and unresponsive to Him and others, encased in ice like the trees’ leaves?

leaves encased in ice
leaves encased in ice

Today I pray for my family’s safety and all those affected by this ice storm. I pray electrical power is quickly restored and protection from car wrecks. And I pray that you and I will be plugged into and empowered by the Spirit of God in 2017.

Lessons from an ice storm.

trees with ice
trees with ice

While I believe in preparation, I love this quote I found: 

“It is a lifelong failing; she has never been prepared. But how can you have a sense of wonder if you’re prepared for everything? Prepared for the sunset. Prepared for the moonrise. Prepared for the ice storm. What a flat existence that would be.“–Margaret Atwood

The power just came back on. Making my coffee now.

***

Me with my first book, Walking with God
Me with my first book, Walking With God

Do you need to get plugged into God? Read my book on prayer Walking With God, available at Amazon as an eBook. Click here to learn more or buy now.

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2015 Is a Pivotal Year

Image courtesy of manostphoto at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of manostphoto at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Do you have a Bible verse or “one word” for the new year?

At the end of each year, I take quiet time alone with God to pray about the upcoming year for God’s blessings, protection, and His presence with me and my family. I ask Him for His guidance and direction, and a Bible verse for the year. A couple of years ago, I heard from other entrepreneurs online about getting a “one word” or a “theme” for the year.

When I begin hearing a word or a scripture more than once, I know that God is speaking to me. He often did this in the Bible, to emphasize His point to His [usually willful, stubborn!] people. 

Recently, I began seeing the words “pivot” and “pivotal” frequently,  and I knew God was speaking to my heart. I believe these are my “words” for 2015, and that 2015 is a pivotal year for God’s people. 

The definition of pivot is “the central point, pin, or shaft on which a mechanism turns.”

The definition of pivotal is “of crucial importance in relation to the success of something else.”

I believe God also gave me the scripture John 20:16, The Message, for 2015:

“Jesus said, “Mary.” Turning to face Him, she said, ‘Rabboni,” meaning “Teacher.”

In 2015, I believe we need to pivot – to turn around and face Jesus, hear His still small voice, and then go and tell others everything He is saying to us. 

I share more about this word pivot/pivotal and this scripture in my video, which you can view by clicking here

 

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