Does religion lead to a relationship with God?

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It’s something I’ve been pondering a lot lately. Why? Well, like many other people, I was raised in a religion &, after leaving it, I visited many churches & I must say, I met a lot of very nice people, I formed strong bonds with them & made some really special memories with them & continue to do so, however, last year I stopped going to church. I certainly shocked myself as I never thought I’d actually ever stop attending church. I found church wanting. I never found God’s presence wanting. I said goodbye to religion but not to my relationship with God.

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What made me decide to leave church? What was the real clincher? You know, I started to think heavily on Jesus words, 3 statements he made that clearly made sense to me & stirred my heart. Jesus said: ‘ I AM the WAY, the TRUTH & the LIFE;’ ( John 14 verse 6) so, why am I searching for truth in religion instead of Jesus? Why am I searching for a way to serve God in the religions of this world when Jesus said that he is the way? Where can I get life? Not in a building but by seeking God’s presence and believing in His son’s ransom sacrifice which opened the way for us sinners to have life eternal. You see, I get lost in a church and found in Christ. I wonder what I’m nodding to & agreeing with in a church, when Jesus said that the Father is looking for such ones who will worship Him in Spirit & Truth. ( John 4 verse 24)

How do I worship God in Spirit & Truth? I believe it also means to seek God’s presence & to seek God’s truth through prayer & His word, the only living book on the planet.

I still don’t know what I think about the church system as a whole as yet, but I do remember someone saying to me that she thinks corporate worship is important & all I could think was… I don’t like corporate anything.

The command in Hebrews chapter 10 verse 24 & 25 is ‘ Not to forsake the gathering of ourselves together.’ I agree. but I believe strongly in Jesus words that ‘ Where 2 or 3 are gathered in my name, so too, AM I.’ If I’m eating a meal with Christian friends I’m serving God &, you know when you have FOUND God because there is JOY.

So, I’m walking this journey right now & the amazing thing is that it doesn’t feel wrong. Will I go to church again? I’ll wait & see where God leads me, IF, He leads me THERE.

I do know that Jesus invites us to accept him as our Lord & Saviour, we can pour out our heart to him & he won’t condemn us because God is GREATER than our hearts ( that might condemn us) GREATER than peoples tongues &, HE KNOWS ALL THINGS. In short. He’s got the facts! Now, isn’t that wonderful! &, even if the facts point at YOU, He can gently take your finger & kiss away all that ugliness in an instant.

 

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What does it mean to live in peace?

In life, there are pathways to choose, mountains to climb & summits to reach. Living in peace has everything to do with being at peace with God; as Moses did, scripture tells us that “He persevered because he saw Him who is invisible.”- Hebrews 12 verse 27.

 

In life, there are mountains to climb. Obstacles to overcome within and without. We only add to the height of the mountain if we climb in bitterness. What is bitterness? It’s a sourness of the heart. Ever accidentally poured sour milk in your tea? Well, it’s the same as filling our hearts with sour thoughts against another, it’s like drinking tea with sour milk, continually! There is very little space left for the Holy Spirit to rest comfortably in because the Holy Spirit is saturated in peace, born & clothed in love.

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Therefore; to choose wisely, to walk, climb and reach our goals, to create a wholesome, healthy and healing way of life, we need to be at peace with God. In doing this; we become holy as Hebrews 12 verse 14 reveals: ” Make every EFFORT to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” What happens if we don’t make that effort? Verse 15 points to what anxiety  we bring on ourselves: -” See to it that no bitter root ( remember that sourness of heart?) grows up (like a cancerous root, it grows ( and sours us within) to cause trouble and defile many.” It results in trouble & trouble defiles not just yourself but many.

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If you are feeling sour at heart the remedy is to make every Effort to live in peace. And, even if that peace is not reciprocated, you made an effort & God appreciates that effort and now you can move on & live  in PEACE because you have been given a ‘fresh bottle of milk’ for your cup of tea. The trouble has left your door. The other person needs their time to come to this revelation. And, remember, as far as it depends on YOU, so you don’t need to be best mates, besties or hang out again as you once did! Scripture says, “As far as it depends on YOU” be at PEACE. What that means is you harbour no ill will and you remember the good times because if you were once buds there were good times! photo-1530124828273-4200e7285b2d

In life and life is time, we are always moving hopefully forward; don’t stay back there in your past; live in peace with God. Partake of His holiness by being at peace with others.

God bless you all. If there is anyone out there who desires to be at peace with God, please accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour of your life, let him know in prayer that you want that. Ask him to forgive your sins and he will! no matter how terrible your stuff ups were, even if it was a minute ago you did something you are ashamed of, Jesus blood covers that sin. He won’t put you on probation for it, his forgiveness is complete, yes, we sometimes have to reap the consequences of our  bad choices but Jesus is there to plead your case and help you all the way by forgiving you and NEVER keeping that sin before you again! photo-1516332547958-464d29107b05

Now that’s good news!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The beauty and healing balm of humility

Placeholder ImageGod cares for the poor, the widow and the fatherless child. Scripture clearly shows He resides with the contrite and the broken. What do we find in all of these states? Humility.

A humble heart is a teachable one. Compassion abides deeply in the soul of humility. Empathy is an ever-present friend. Forgiveness is its strength. So contrary to pride and arrogance.

Sometimes it takes being broken to understand & expose the arrogance and pride within us. Sometimes it will take forgiving someone who has hurt you so unbearably or someone who may have cruelly cast you aside. Loss of a loved one teaches us how empty life is without meaningful relationships and love in our lives. Humility is never to be scoffed at as weak but the wise will embrace it and the beauty that flows from such a welcome is that you heal.

God loves us and the refining work He sometimes puts us through is so that we will become like Him. Humble, kind and forgiving.

Jesus invites us to come to him; to accept him as our Lord and Saviour. It’s an invitation to those who want to be like him and the result will be healing, spiritual health and eternal life.

God bless you x

Jesus lights the WAY, come! Follow the light!

How? How does Jesus light the way? I believe it’s his love that lights up a path when darkness falls & despair threatens to overwhelm, as we search for the presence of God, we find Him walking beside us, sometimes carrying us, just as a shepherd carries a little lost lamb, he’s got him right near his bosom & the warmth & safety we feel when we realize that God has us, too, for “Underneath are the everlasting arms.”

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Remember what Jesus said to the criminal hanging beside him? Well, he didn’t ask him what religion he was or recommend a course of studying the Torah & perhaps, maybe after doing that, possibly this criminal would have a chance to enter paradise, no, on the contrary, He gave him the tender assurance that “- you will be with me in paradise.” The criminal had passed on from being a criminal in Jesus eyes, not in mans! but in Jesus eyes. Jesus heard the repentance in his heart &  the belief in him, in his voice & that was ENOUGH!

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Today, if you are feeling alone, forgotten or judged, remember; God loves you & His arms are open, chat with Him, pour out your heart, He’s listening! Remember too, that God knows you are dust, you make mistakes, you do wrong but you’re sorry & Jesus light is there, shining! to show you that there is a path, you can walk along side him, his light will never go out.

If we could speak to Jesus right now about that experience with the criminal that hung beside him, maybe he would answer by asking: “What criminal?”

Love is the light, see people thru its lens x

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Turn Regret into GROWTH!

Regrets! we all have them. Things you didn’t do & things you didn’t say or things you DID do & things you DID say! Regret follows like a heavy dark cloud pregnant with tears & sad whisperings of “If only I didn’t…” or frustrating groans of “Why did I say that!” 21766424_10214980807538723_2244006853059587424_n

So, what’s to be done with that nagging voice full of lament, moaning as it drags its heavy sighs along the chambers of your heart, uncomfortably always ‘there’ never letting you forget?beautiful-lavender-field-free-photo-2210x1473.jpg

Learn from it. Turn your regret into GROWTH. We all have done stupid things & have said things that can’t be taken back. All of us. It isn’t the best way to learn but it is a way nonetheless, life has its lessons &, moving on from past mistakes however burdensome the backwash, is sometimes the only way ‘some of us’ (I think most of us) LEARN.  photo-1530130134620-e60c68df0bee

In essence, LEARN from it, GROW from it, FORGIVE YOURSELF, & finally! MOVE ON X

The BEST Beauty Ingredient…Focus on What YOU!!! ENJOY DOING!

It doesn’t matter what age you are, true beauty is a soul & heart thing! The soul is ageless. It’s where you will find your fountain of youth. & when you do things YOU enjoy & ditch things you’re only doing to make others happy, you will start to feel that oh, so feel-good state of well-being.

The first thing you will notice is that you will start to smile again! An honest to goodness smile that comes up all the way from your soul to your face & hey! doesn’t joy look beautiful on a woman?! Yup! It sure does x

 

 

One thing I’m thinking of doing that is totally new to me, is to join the local kayaking club. My neighbour, in her late sixties, asked me a few weeks ago if I’d like to come along to the club! As I’m doing an arm work-out at the moment, I thought, now there’s just the thing to keep my arms nice & taut! I’ll give it a try & if I enjoy doing it, bonus! then I’ll keep on kayaking!I like the fact, too, that kayaking will be a new challenge for me & thus, I’ll be stepping out of my comfort zone &, that’s always a good thing!

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What goals, new interests are you going to take up? I’ve come up with some ideas I like & some I won’t pursue but maybe you will!

  1. Join a book club. Or, better yet, create your own book club meet-up. You’ll make new gal pals of all ages &, sharing an in-depth discussion about a book you’ve all read will increase your appreciation about the way other people think as you probe deep into the story plot, much like mining for gems!
  2. Do you like to paint or draw? or write poetry? Join a class or create one. Put an ad in the local paper inviting other people for tea & cake or a glass of red, once a month, while you all paint, write or draw, together. It doesn’t have to be a solitary thing but it can be, it’s up to YOU x
  3. Grab the sax, pull out the old guitar, take up the flute or maybe the harp? So many of you are musical, if its been a long time, go play!
  4. Hiking is great, so good for your health & emotional well-being, too! Prepare a little backpack picnic & don’t forget the wine!
  5.  Dance! Just put the music on that makes your feet tap & grab your man or a group of friends & rock & roll!
  6. Like to sing? Be brave & go street perform!
  7. Start a prayer group. Pray for each other & think of ways you can help others.
  8. Gather. Gather. GATHER together, you & your tribe. Prepare a meal together & share your hearts.

Or, you can fall in love & have regular date nights x

 

 

Remember…focus on something YOU enjoy doing! Invite like-minded ones along, too, if you like!

When you wear that heady scent of satisfaction & find fulfilment in what you like & enjoy doing, you’ll have stirred the waters in that fountain of youth which is found in your soul.

Go do interesting things & then ‘nourish your flourish!’

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