God is ALWAYS Good

You know the saying, “God is good all the time, and all the time God is good.” Not one of us would ever say that God is not good, that statement just feels wrong in itself. Here’s the thing, we may never say it, but we do sometimes think it.  Yes I said it, you know it’s true and so do I.   We know that God is good but sometimes deep in our hearts there is a suspicion that He may not really be good, or at least not to us.

This lie is at the core of our wrong thinking about God.  It is the lie that was told to seduce Eve in the garden.  God blessed man and woman by creating a whole paradise for them to enjoy.  They had the freedom to eat of any tree in the garden save one. The first two chapters of Genesis tell of how good God is.  Everything He made was to reflect His goodness.  He created the sun, the moon, and the stars.  The planets and all the things therein.

When Satan wanted to tempt the woman, he did so by changing her thoughts about God.  He planted the seed of doubt about His goodness.  “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat from any tree in the garden’?” (Gen. 3:1)  He didn’t say that, He said that there was ONE tree they couldn’t eat of, anything else they had access to.  However, all Eve could focus on at this point, was what she couldn’t have. The enemy whispers, “Well God must not be good because if He were, He would not have denied you something you really wanted.”

When things don’t go as we planned, we lose someone we love, or experience some kind of turbulence in our lives.  The enemy tempts us with, “Is God really good?”  “Why would He keep this good thing from me?” or “How could He let this happen?”  We may not say it out loud but we often have these thoughts when comparing our circumstances to others.

  • God is good to others, but He doesn’t want good for me
  • God may help others, but He doesn’t have my best interests at heart
  • God delights in blessing others, but He enjoys seeing me suffer.

When we look at this fallen world and all the things going on, it becomes easy for us to feel justified in feeling this way. The truth is, God is good.  Whether or not His choices seem goo to us, He is good.  Whether or not we feel it, He is good. Whether or not it seems true in my life or yours, He is still good.

He doesn’t enjoy our suffering, but suffers along with us because He loves us. He is compassionate towards us.



God Loves You

A lie women believe: God doesn’t love me.

Stop trusting your feelings more than you trust what God’s word declares to be true.

Stop looking at your earthly relationships- a lifeless marriage, rejection by a spouse, grown children that don’t call or visit, approaching forty without any prospects in sight.  We look at that and we decide that since we can’t seem to find earthly love, that God doesn’t love us either.  That’s simply not true.  God’s love is not dependent upon anything going on in the earth.  His love is infinite, regardless of what we have done or where we come from, His love knows no end.

God loves us all, not because we are so good or could do anything to earn it, but because He IS love. His love isn’t based on anything we could do for Him.  Even when we were still His enemies He still loved us.  How many of us can say we love our enemies?  We do good if we even acknowledge their presence.  Even when we were His enemies He sent His Son to die for us.  I don’t have any kids but I don’t know of anyone on the planet that I would send my kids to go die for, just being honest. There is nothing we could do to make Him love us any more or less.  The One who is love, loves you and that is all that really matters.  You can’t expect anything on earth to compare to His love or have the ability to do what only His love can do.  God’s love is always for you and if He is for you….

Being Called Is Better Than Being Qualified

A look at Romans 8:29-30…

For those God forknew…

  • The ones that He foreknew are the ones that He set His love and regard upon ahead of time. This often refers to the children of Israel, since He loved them ahead of time.  However, there were still people in the corporate whole of the nation who rejected God (Judas, Saul), as well as people who were outside of the nation (Ruth, Rahab) who chose to align themselves with God.  This forelove is for the people who align themselves with His covenant. People can choose to align themselves or not. In actuality this foreknowledge is the setting of His affection on those who will align themselves with God through Christ.

He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son

  • He laid out the plan and path for those who would choose to follow His Son.  He preordained their steps so that those who chose to follow Christ would eventually mirror His image.  He doesn’t make the choice for them, but sets their steps in order once they choose.

That He might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters

  • The Son would be the leader of all believers.  All would be children of God. The believers would be the adopted children of God.

And those he predestined, he also called

  • Those whose path has already been laid out by God, have also been given a specific purpose to fulfill, whether they know it or not.  Your steps have been ordered for a reason.  You may hit speed bumps and stumble along the way, but all things (yes, even those things), will work together to bring you to fulfill the purpose that God has for your life.

Those he called, he also justified

  • When God calls you to purpose your earthly qualifications hold no weight.
    • Noah was an alcoholic, but was chosen to be the one to give humanity a second start.
    • Moses had a stuttering problem and had some shaken self confidence, but led millions out of captivity.
    • David was an adulterer and a murderer, but it would be his descendant that would sit on the throne of Israel forever.
    • Peter had some anger issues and was quick to cut people (literally) if you came against him.  When faced with failure before the events of Pentecost, he was quick to give up and to go back to what he knew.  Yet Peter would be the first pope, upon whom the church of Christ was built.
  • What man THINKS you’re qualified to do doesn’t matter. It is what God says you can do. He placed the deposit in you and knows what tools to give you in order to draw it out.

Those he justified, he also glorified

  • There is no better promoter than God.  When He places you somewhere, there is nothing that can be done to remove you.  When He moves you, no one will be able to understand it or be able to “connect the dots” on how you got to your position.  When He moves, it will be plain to others that it was Him moving on your behalf.

We as human beings often worried whether or not we are qualified to handle the opportunities that are placed in front of us.  God doesn’t wait until you are ready to move you, He uses you when you are available.  Sometimes qualifications can become a crutch anyway.  People who are so stuck on their qualifications, often can’t see beyond them.  They think that because they have certain things that they are entitled to the best the world offers. That’s just it, they are looking at what the world offers and most often don’t think of anything beyond what is in the world. Sometimes they think they should just be able to walk into high places without working for them.  Often those who are called by God, don’t have the worldly qualifications, but because of that they are often more humble about where they are.  Qualifications aren’t everything.  Sometimes it is better to be called rather being qualified.

I am sometimes unsure of what I am suppose to do and I believe there is calling on my life.  Am I ready for it, absolutely not, but I am available.




Mover of Mountains and Sand

We sing a lot of songs about God being great and big.  We sing of Him being able to do the unthinkable, the things that are not perceivable, the extraordinary.  We sing of Him being able to shift the storm, we sing of Him being able to move the mountains.

That is all well and good and He is all of those things.  He is the God who can move mountains.  Here is a thought:  Don’t get so lost in Him being the God who can move mountains, that you forget He can also move the grains of sand. Even a grain of sand can cause a turmoil if it is in your eye.

Here’s the thing:  We normally don’t have a problem with going to God for the big, for the miraculous, or for the unthinkable.  It’s every day, mundane, “little” things that we have the hardest time giving to Him.  We often think, “Well this is a small thing, I can handle it.  I won’t trouble God with this.”  That’s all well and good, but whenever has anything done in our own power, worked out for our good.  Exactly.

Besides, if it were such a small thing that you could handle on your own:

You wouldn’t have worried about it all these years.

It wouldn’t keep you up at night.

It wouldn’t keep you from moving forward.

It wouldn’t keep you looking over your shoulder.

You would have had it fixed by now.

Scripture says that we should give thanks in all things. We should also pray in ALL things.

The big and the small.

The ordinary and the extraordinary.

The mundane, every day things and the once-in-a-lifetime things.

The magnificent and those things that seem insignificant.  I say “seem insignificant” because nothing is insignificant to Him.  He is always concerned about all things.  We put that connotation on things.

He is tailor-made and one size fits all, all at the same time.

He is no respecter of person or circumstance.  He said to “lay all your cares” on Him, not just the big ones.

Love Lives Forever

God wants you to live in the moment. He wants you to savor every minute you have with your loved ones on this planet, but he also wants you to live with an eternal perspective.

Some time ago I was watching a replay of a football game on ESPN. I knew the outcome of the game because I’d seen the final score on the news before I watched the replay. My team won! Knowing I already had the victory changed the entire experience of watching the game.

As I watched the game unfold, there were times my team was losing. I started thinking to myself, Oh, no! We’re behind! We won’t be able to come back. This isn’t going to end well.

Then I would come to my senses and realize, Wait! The end is already decided. Victory is certain. We’ve already won!

When the opposition would score, it wasn’t pleasant to watch, but I could smile because I knew the final outcome.

You and I are living lives full of ups and downs. There are days that seem like a victory, and other days we feel defeated. On the hard days it’s easy to look around and become discouraged. It’s easy to feel like things are never going to work out.

I want you to be reassured with the truth of God’s eternal promises. The end of the story is already written, and we win!

Jesus has claimed victory. Through faith in him, we can rest assured that he will set all things right and make all things new. We’ll get to celebrate with him and with our loved ones forever.

Love isn’t a story with a happy ending. Love is a story with no ending!

When we choose to love people the way Jesus loves people, the world will change. Don’t treat others the way they treat you; treat others the way God treats you. Embrace the love of Jesus in your own life, and then model the example of Jesus in your relationships. Jesus changed the world with love, and he wants you and me to continue in this. He wants to give you a new heart and a new life.

When you step from this life into eternity, love will be all that matters. Live your life with a heart of love. You’ll be amazed at what will happen as a result.

Battle Formations: The Battle of the Mind

You may be outnumbered but when God does battle on your behalf, you are NEVER out powered.

We all have battles that we fight on a daily basis.  Some are more intense than others.  Some we feel like we can win easily, while others take everything that we have. When we come to the end of ourselves, we have to call on something, rather SOMEONE bigger. There are a number of battles that we fight daily, sometimes on a moment to moment basis.  There is a battle raging around us all the time 24 hours a day. Most of the battles we have begin in the mind and spirit.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12

The Battle of Comparison and Insecurity

Don’t get me wrong, there may always be people who are smarter, who you may think look better than you, or people who have more than you.   Here is the thing though, you don’t know what kind of hell other people had to go through to get those things or to be the way they are.  You also don’t know if they are truly happy with what they have or who they have become. Count YOUR blessings, not those of someone else.

Theodore Roosevelt stated, “Comparison is the thief of joy”.  This is so true.  You spend so much time getting things, trying to improve your exterior that you forget that you need to work on the inside.  You forget to work on your spiritual man. Having more stuff isn’t going to fill the void in your life.  There is a void in your life that only God can fill.  Don’t compare your journey to someone else’s, you may be comparing your movie to their highlights.

Philippians 4:6 – Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus.

1 Samuel 16:7 – But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

1 Timothy 6:17 – Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.

Psalm 139:13-15 – For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well.  My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth.

Ephesians 2:10 – For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.


The Battle of Shame and Guilt

We often feel like because we are not like those around us that we should be ashamed.  We are ashamed of our past, things we have said and done. We often wonder, how in the world can God forgive us when we can’t even forgive ourselves?  My husband would say, who are you to not forgive yourself?  If God forgave you and paid the ultimate price so that you can have unconditional forgiveness, who are you to lord over yourself and not forgive yourself.  How are you going to make your unforgiveness of yourself more powerful than the forgiveness of God?  Is His forgiveness not enough?  I know that it is enough, but sometimes we are our own worst enemy.  We get so fooled by the enemy, that we become convinced that we are not worthy of forgiveness.  We choose to dwell to in our guilt and shame because as awful as it is, we feel comfortable there. It is what we know.

Romans 8:1 – Therefore there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

1 John 3:20 – For whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything.

Psalm 103:10 – He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.


Breaking down strongholds

2 Corinthians 10: 3-5 – For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

The apostle Paul says here that our job in this battle is to “destroy strongholds.” You know what a stronghold is? It is a mental block. Paul is talking about pretentions, arguments set up against the knowledge of God. This is a mental battle. And he says, “Destroy these strongholds.” A stronghold can be one of two things:

It can be a worldview, such as materialism, hedonism, Darwinism, secularism, relativism, communism, atheism. All of the different -isms are mental strongholds that people set up against the knowledge of God.

A stronghold can also be a personal attitude. Worry can be a stronghold. Seeking the approval of other people can be a stronghold. Anything that you make an idol in your life can be a stronghold — fear, guilt, resentment, insecurity. All of these things can be strongholds in your mind. And the Bible says that we are to tear them down.

Taking Every Thought Captive

Now look at the very last phrase in the passage: “take every thought captive to obey Christ.” Take captive every thought. The Greek word aichmaløtizø there means “to control, to conquer, to bring into submission.” We take captive. We make it submit. Every thought obedient to Christ. Make it obedient. The Greek word Hupakøe means “to bring into submission, to bring under control.”

But how do you do that? How do I make my mind mind? I have noticed that my mind doesn’t always mind. It is often disobedient. It is often very rebellious. It wants to go in a different direction. When I want to think a certain way, it wants to go another way. When I need to ponder, it wants to wander. When I need to pray, my thoughts want to float away.

The battle for sin always starts in the mind.

Paul talks about this in Romans 7, and he says, “I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. . . . Wretched man that I am!” (Romans 7:19, 24). The fact is, the reason we have so many ineffective Christians today is that they do not know how to fight the battle of the mind.

Four Principles for Winning the Battle for Your Mind

Keep in mind that the battle is in the spiritual realm.  Things may be chaotic in your physical world, but until you deal with the spiritual realm and your mind, anything you do in the physical won’t have much effect.

  1. Don’t believe everything you think. We naturally feel that if we think something, it must be true because it came from within us. Just because you think something, doesn’t make it true. The world puts suggestions in our minds that are false, and we are bombarded with false thoughts all the time. Our minds are
  2. Confused (Deuteronomy 28:20)
  3. Anxious, closed (Job 17:3-4)
  4. Evil, restless (Ecclesiastes 2:21-23)
  5. Rash, deluded (Leviticus 5:4; Isaiah 32:4)

The Bible talks about:

  1. Guard your mind from garbage. Just because you hear people talking about disturbing things, doesn’t mean you have to take all of that into yourself. Keep the attitudes of other people where they belong, on the outside of you. Also guard your mind from television, music, and other things that don’t build you up.  If you feel ashamed about indulging in certain things, or they make you feel insecure, then stop doing them.
  2. Never give up on learning. Knowledge is the cornerstone of credibility.  If you are secure in what you know, you are less likely to let false thoughts totally consume you.  You are able to combat fleeting thoughts with what you know. Become a lifelong learner. Love knowledge. Love wisdom. Learn to love the act of learning. The word disciple means “learner.” You cannot be a disciple of Christ without being a learner. Jesus said, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden [by the way, that sounds like a felt need!], and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me” (Matthew 11:28–29). What do you do when you take on a yoke? You share a burden with another animal. You lighten a load. And Jesus wants us to learn from him.
  3. Let God stretch your imagination. If we are going to learn, and teach others, how to fight the battle for the mind, we must learn how to let God stretch our imaginations. This is a part of the battle. This is part of thinking. Everything that happens in life begins with a dream. Somebody has to imagine it first.

    This is a gift that God gave to us: the ability to dream and envision and imagine something before it comes into reality. Every building we see was first imagined by an architect before it was built. Every piece of art was imagined before it was painted. Every song was imagined before it was written. Every athletic award, every gold medal, the athlete imagined before it ever happened. Every church that’s been started, somebody — either a group of people or a single church planter — imagined that church first. Rarely does anything happen until somebody starts dreaming.

    We need to become great, godly dreamers. Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint.” The word “vision” relates to dreaming. It means a kind of revelation, a vision from God. And where there’s not this vision, this God-directed dreaming, the people “cast off restraint” — literally, they get “out of control.” When we do not have an overarching vision or dream or goal for our lives, our lives are out of control. What we need today are great dreamers.

Father Characteristics

Every good and perfect gift comes from the Lord, and that includes fathers. Fathers are central to a child’s well being. If a father is supportive, affectionate and involved that contributes greatly to social development, academic achievement, good self esteem and a strong core. A child’s relationship will affect all others. I figure out what is or isn’t acceptable from this relationship. Boys will try to model themselves after their father and girls will look for similar qualities and men as they grow up that are like their father’s.

Here are a few characteristics that are found in a good father.

Protector – everything under his auspices is assigned to him. He ought to be concerned for your well being and safety. A father is protective and it may get on your nerves but he wouldn’t be a good father if he wasn’t. He should be able to tell God that everything he was given, he kept well. He will protect against the enemy, stress, and trouble. He provides covering. Some things that he is protecting you from, you may never know about. Firstly, because he wants to protect you from it. Secondly, because as the covering he gets hit with it first and will do his best to divert it away from you. He will protect you from the blunt force of the wind. He is recognized for the fullness of his worth upon his departure.

Provider – A father provides, and not just money. But wisdom, friendship, camaraderie, knowledge, and insight. He has a giving spirit. He adds to your life. Your life is fuller and richer because he is in it. He is sensitive to your needs. It’s in his DNA. He is made in God’s own image and one of God’s names is Jehovah Jireh.

Promoter – A father promotes someone other than themselves. It’s about using his gifts to help others. God promoted His own Son, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased, hear Him”. A father knows the enemy is not fighting him over him; he is fighting a father over his family. He’s fighting him over what he has covered. Keep standing in the gap for those around you. Build up your staying power and uplift those around you.

Priest – A father is a priest over his home. God is the father over Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, once they became men. As a man you need a prayer life. You have to have a relationship with God. That is the only thing that will keep you standing. Pray without ceasing, because you will have problems coming to you without ceasing. Between work, wife, kids, and other things you will be bombarded, learn to turn it over to God. The only thing standing between you and God is lack of communication – prayer. You have to able to call on God and know that He will bring an answer. Your family should be more important to you than what you do.

Prophet – He prophesies to his children. He tells them what they can be, what they can become. He speaks to their destiny, not to their predicament. “You are better than this”. “You can go further than this”. “This is not the end of you”. Command your children to be blessed. Call them to their destiny.

Spring Cleaning

It is often said when you are spring cleaning that if it is something that you haven’t used or worn in the last 6-8 months, you should be rid of it. You are not using it and shoving it in the closet is not going to make you use it more. I am going through this process at home right now, trying to go through things that I don’t need and getting rid of things that I don’t. Most of this has been perpetrated due to my husband and I trying to combine households. It’s a learning experience, especially when I come with a house full of stuff all on my own. Some areas of the house can be a little cluttered at times as we are sifting through stuff.

Now that is just an instance of a physical house. Imagine how cluttered our spiritual houses are?

We carry around hurts and grievances from 15-20 years ago like it is really doing something for us. The only thing that it is doing is making you better, not better. Whatever you are upset about most of the time the other person has no clue and if they do, they don’t really care about enough to let it affect their lives. So why are you letting it affect yours and your spirit?

We clutter ourselves with thoughts, stress, and worries about things that we can’t change or do not have any control over. Most of the time we take those feelings and that anxiety and we bury it. That in itself is not healthy. What good is it doing you to keep filling up your spiritual closet with stuff that doesn’t serve any purpose?

Unfortunately, some of our clutter has to do with people. A person may have done something to us in the past and we are still holding on to unforgiveness in our hearts. That unforgiveness doesn’t really hurt them, but it’s killing you. The only way you will have peace is to either let go of what they did and forgive them or see if they will change their ways once you tell them how you feel. One way or the other you are going to have to let what happened, and/or them, go.

Sometimes we are so intent on holding onto a person just because they are there even though they serve no real purpose to our lives. Misery loves company but all company isn’t good. People draw on your energy and if they are not feeding you in return, what’s the point? If they are not bringing anything to the table of your life and all they do is pull up a seat to eat, what benefit do you get from that? Let go of the things and people that don’t serve you. I hear people often say that they are afraid to be alone, but you’re not alone if you have God.

Whatever is consuming your time and energy, is also consuming your spirit. So get rid of the Clutter and make room for God. Stop trying to fill the void in your spirit with stuff and people. It’s not fair to you and it’s definitely not fair to the other people around you. You can’t try to put people in a position to do things for you that only God can do. You can’t promote people to positions in your life that they were not called to be in. At some point you’re going to have to get alone and get vulnerable with God because He is the only one that is in total control and He is the only one that can truly give you the peace you need. However, that can only happen when you declutter your spirit.

Clean house. Make room. Be set free.

Welcome to the Threshing Floor

King David was known for being a great warrior and God had given him victory over all his enemies.  Here’s the thing:  because of all those victories, he started to become too confident, a little too full of himself and starting to forget who helped him with all those victories.  He began to put more faith in his armies than in the God of his armies.  So, the Lord became angry once again and David’s mind was turned so that he took a census of all the fighting men.  Of course, when he had done so, David realized he had sinned and wanted to repent.  He knew there would be punishment, and after giving David a few choices to pick from, God brought a plague. When the death angel had his hand stretched out to destroy Jerusalem, the Lord stopped him.  At that point the angel was at the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.  David went to Araunah and asked to buy the threshing floor.  Araunah, being the willing servant, offered to give it to David for free.  David would not accept that.  He wanted to build an altar to God there being that is where God had stopped the angel.  However, he wasn’t going offer a sacrifice on an altar that didn’t cost him anything.  If he was going to give a gift to God, he knew it would have to cost him something.  David paid 600 shekels for the site and built the altar on the Araunah’s threshing floor on Mount Moriah.

This very site is the place were David’s son Solomon would build the temple.

This is the place where Abraham was tested by God, where he offered up his only son Isaac as a sacrifice.

Jesus, the only begotten Son of God, would become the ultimate sacrifice for mankind’s sins very near this same spot.

Threshing floor: (1)a specially flattened outdoor surface circular or paved (2) inside a building made of stone or wood where a farmer would thresh grain harvest and winnow it.   It is wear the grain is separated from the chaff (corn husks, trash, or fodder).

Sometimes God must bring us to the threshing floor to separate the dead things that are weighing us down. Sometimes those things that don’t conform to His purpose for us, have to be pressed out. Sometimes He brings us there as discipline in response to our actions.  Believe it or not, discipline is done out of love and can be an act of grace itself.

How can that be?  Grace is supposed to feel good.


Grace doesn’t always look gracious.

You must pay the price for the grace God has given you. An invoice is going to come.  Grace brings you to the threshing floor.

You might ask, how can you have grace and trouble?  Everything costs.  While you may elevate, other things around you will go down.

Sometimes it feels like all hell is breaking loose.  How can this be favor?  How can this be grace?  Like I said all that hell you are going through can be the result of God removing things from your life that no longer serve a purpose, or He is trying to change you and has prodded you, but you didn’t listen to His voice. There must be a pressing, a shaking, re-shaping.

It’s time to pay up.  Put up or shut up.  It’s affliction time, it’s struggle time, it’s endurance time.

After being anointed, lifted, and exalted…. Now when you look around the dead and dying are everywhere.

Anybody can go through life when the grace is being poured out on you, but when it looks like you are going from blessed to cursed, who will still stand?  If it comes too easy, does it mean anything?  How can you offer God something that cost you nothing?  If Jesus couldn’t get through this life without suffering, what makes you exempt? God is touched by our feelings and by our infirmities. How can you offer something you can’t feel?  Or have no attachment to?  It’s easy to be generous with another people’s money. It’s easy to be generous when you are not losing anything, when you don’t have to give up anything.  Jesus had to give up His life to pay for our salvation.  He has asked to die to ourselves and become living sacrifices.

Sometimes we have to sacrifice our comfort. Sometimes we have to come off of the mountain and travel through the valley. After we have been pressed and purified, we become stronger so that we can withstand bigger obstacles. The pressing is for a purpose.

God can’t give us everything on credit (grace), we must pay a price (suffering, tribulation).  Your experience is too important to be missed.  There are certain things you can only learn about God through suffering on the threshing floor.

Your experience with God may not be like mine.  Don’t judge your walk with God by comparing with someone else’s. You can’t get what I got just by running up to me and me touching you. Just like I couldn’t get what someone else has gotten from God just by being there either. It costs more than that.  You have no idea what I have paid, what I have had to give up, or what I have had to lay down before God. You have to cry longer than that.  You have to suffer longer than that.

You have to cry with me.

You have to suffer with me.

You have to curl up in the corner and die with me.

You have to throw up your hands and be frustrated with me.

You have to feel like you can’t take another day with me.

After you have suffered awhile….

I didn’t become a wife because I got a ring.  I got the last name in an instant, but I will spend decades earning it, crawling through it, paying full price.  Respect is never given, it must be earned.

I didn’t become who I am at my job just because I got hired.  I got a title, but I had to show and prove that I was worth more, that I needed to be promoted.  I had to suffer through years (10) with no raise, no promotion, no outward recognition until it all came flooding to me over the last two years. I had to earn it.

Men and women don’t become fathers and mothers just because a child is given to them. Yes, the child is in their care; but they have to suffer through the growing pains, the tantrums, the successes and failures, the late nights and early mornings.  They have to have show themselves approved to be fathers and mothers.

Whatever it is that you are wanting God to do for you, you are going to have to do some work to get it.  There is going to be an opportunity cost. You may have to suffer for it, you may have to go through a pressing process. It isn’t the thing that you want that will change you, but the journey it takes to get there. Welcome to the threshing floor.

God’s Letter to the Third String Wife

Yeah, I know how the title looks, but hear me out first…

The title may be how this begins, but it is not how this ends.

Third string: Of a decidedly lower quality or condition

God and I have been having heated discussions lately over the past few weeks. They have mostly been over the perception of myself. I have always had issues with confidence or feeling like I was worthy. That all stems from a lot of things that happened a long time ago. It’s a long story that I will save for another day.

At any rate, I often feel like I am the third string wife for my husband. There are several reasons why. First, I am not his first wife. We are each other’s third spouse. What can I say, it doesn’t work out for everyone the first time. We both had trials to get through, some more painful than others, that brought us to this point. So because I am coming along later in his life, there are a few things that he has done in his previous marriages that I won’t experience. There are things that I can’t experience with him. He’s had the kids, dealt with them going through school and growing up, bought the house, done the family trips, and started planning for retirement. A lot of that I have already missed out on, and there isn’t much I can do about it.

There are a lot of things I want to do, that he is already beyond. He is a great companion and I am sure that he feels the same way about me, but sometimes I have a fear that I am not bringing enough to the table. With everything he’s already gone through as far as benchmark life moments, I often don’t feel like there is much I can contribute. I am a lot smarter and wiser after having gone through the things I have, I know how to pick my battles, and I am not as easily swayed emotionally as I was before. Yet, what do I have to offer?

Then God spoke to me and said:

Dear Daughter, Your opinion of who you are, is not a true reflection of who you are in Me. I can see why you feel the way you do based on your human experience, but let Me explain something to you. I knew you before you were formed in your mother’s womb (Jeremiah 1:5). You had a name before your parents named you and that is how I know you. Nothing I placed in you is “third string”. I uniquely created you. I took my time creating you, I didn’t find random material laying around hoping it would work in order to create you, you weren’t just thrown together. Every part of you and everything in you, was put there on purpose; and where there is purpose, there is power.

Let’s talk about your husband. He loves you, more than you realize (you’ll get there). Trust Me when I say, that there is nothing that says “third string” to him. He took his time dating you, getting to know you, even though a serious thing wasn’t a part of his plan at that time. Of course that was understandable based on what he had been through, however, it was a part of MY plan. How do you explain two people who really didn’t see much of each other at work, even though they are at the same place, suddenly finding themselves running into each other repeatedly? It wasn’t chance or coincidence, it was Me. There are some things that you have that he needs and vice versa. The two of you draw on each other.

Now you may be third, but you are not in last place or inferior. Look at the number 3. It is a number of completeness. There were three righteous patriarchs before the flood, Abel, Enoch, and Noah. There were three after, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. There are 27 books in the new testament, 3x3x3… completeness to the third power.

My Word is divided into three parts: The Law, The Prophets, and The Gospels.

Time is divided into the past, present, and future.

My ministry only lasted for three years. I was crucified at the third hour, but I rose on the third day.

String: a cord, usually to bind, fasten, or tie. The gut, wire, or nylon cord of a musical instrument.

There are three cords or strings to a marriage: God, husband and wife.

You’ve have come along in the third quarter of your husband’s life but you are no third string wife.

Some of My “Third Stringers”:

David: the youngest of Jesse’s sons, kind of a nuisance to his brothers. Later in life he became king of Israel and was one of the greatest kings. A scepter would come out of his blood line that would come to save His people.

Joseph: He was favored by his brothers and despised by his brothers. He sold off and thought to be dead, only to become second to Pharaoh in Egypt.

Moses: He was banished from Egypt after murdering a taskmaster and spent 40 years as an outcast. Yet he was used to set Israel free an lead them to the land promised to Abraham.

“Though thy beginning was small, yet thy latter end should greatly increase” Job 8:7

A lot can happen in the third and fourth quarters of life. You can choose to get your second wind or you can falter and give up. I have not given you the spirit of defeat or inferiority.

I know what I placed in you and I know that you can push through anything with the fire you have within you.

This is just the beginning.