Midweek Question~ Where are your accusers?

Who are your accusers?

Jody Neufeld,  talks about accusers in her devotional referencing John 8On My Knees Receiving God’s Grace

Jesus asked the woman in John 8, “Where are your accusers?”

As I read, pictures of faces of those who have accused me flashed, mug-shot-style through my mind.

I settled in with the message of Jesus’ question, “Where are your accusers?” and stopped short with Jody’s insight:

The relentless accusing like the woman experienced also happens in my life. It is the job of Satan to keep the words rolling relentlessly in my head to chip away at my worth. But I have an Advocate and His name is Jesus Christ. He is right there in God’s Throne Room speaking on my behalf. Jesus came down to my level, lived a full life here on earth. He stood tall on that Sunday morning. Death was defeated; the Accuser was silenced. I have His voice in my spirit now. ~Jody Neufeld

Might the most insidious accusers be the one from below and the one from within?

So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.   Romans 8:1 (NLT)

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. ~ Philippians 1:6, NLT

~~~

An additional Romans 8:1 post

Other Questions from Other Weeks

A word from The Sponsor~March 31~Keeping Promises

Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.
In you, O LORD, I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
In your justice rescue me.
Into your hands I commend my spirit;
you will redeem me, O LORD, O faithful God.
~ Psalm 31
He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed. ~ 1 Peter 2:24
We’ve been fetched. We’ve been invited to go where we are not qualified to go, and we’ve gone inside on credentials that aren’t even our own.  So, this is grace. ~Jennifer Dukes Lee
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. ~John 15:13
Jesus was heckled and pursued by hypocritical men who would not rest until they killed Him, primarily because He challenged their self-satisfying life and traditions. Jesus laid down His life because He had no other greater way to show His great love for me.
~Jody Neufeld
You’re my place of quiet retreat; I wait for your Word to renew me. ~Psalm 119:114
Here I am all these thousands of years later, a child of God with a covenant relationship with my LORD because He kept His promises
~Jody Neufeld
When you are tired and wondering why He came, please remember…
 We are no longer prodigals
Because of Grace
~~~

Midweek Question of the Week~March 27~Authentic Lack

The question Jesus asked so long ago is also a question for us

Luke 22:35

And a quote from a gratitude post on We Love Gratitude:

We and life are spectacularly complex.  Often we do not get our way, which I hate, hate, hate.  But in my saner moments I remember that if we did, usually we would shortchange ourselves.  Sometimes circumstances conspire to remind us or even let us glimpse how thin the membrane is between here and there, between birth and the grave, between the human and the divine.  In wonder at the occasional direct experience of this, we say, Thank You. ~ Anne Lamont, Help Thanks Wow: The Three Essential Prayers

Jesus’ question to His apostles follows His prediction that Peter would betray Him. I wonder, are my similar betrayals of Christ born out of a feeling of lack or emptiness? Might I instead (re)turn to thanks and gratitude ?

~~~

Previous questions

Because of Grace To-Do List

Because of Grace To-Do List

[Jesus said,]“But I say to you who are listening,

  • love your enemies.
  • Do good to those who hate you,
  • bless those who curse you,
  • pray for those who are cruel to you.
  • If anyone slaps you on one cheek, offer him the other cheek, too.
  • If someone takes your coat, do not stop him from taking your shirt.
  • Give to everyone who asks you,
  • and when someone takes something that is yours, don’t ask for it back.
  • Do to others what you would want them to do to you.
  • If you love only the people who love you, what praise should you get? Even sinners love the people who love them.”
    Luke 6:27-32  from Jody Neufeld’s blog

Wow! Our God has great confidence in our abilities…Maybe I will just try one bullet point at a time, kind of like one flower in a bud vase at a time.

flowers in May by Janet Zepeda

flowers in May by Janet Zepeda

A Word from The Sponsor~July 1

“Don’t be afraid. The army that fights for us is larger than the one against us.”  ~2 Kings 6:14-16

Elisha’s servant got up early, and when he went out, he saw the enemy army with horses and chariots and many troups all around the city. They arrived at night and surrounded the city.

The servant said to Elisha, “Oh, my master, what can we do?”

2Kings6:16
Elisha said, “Don’t be afraid. The army that fights for us is larger than the one against us.” 2 Kings 6:14-16 

“Too often I can find myself focusing on the ‘horses and chariots’ {of problems, obstacles, regret, off-center relationships, guilt, fear, worry} and when I do the army of problems gets bigger and bigger. When I acknowledge their presence and then choose to turn my focus to the One who is big enough to make a change in my circumstances, soak in who He is and how He works, the ‘horses and chariots’ of my distress become more the size of Chihuahuas and go-carts.” ~Jody Neufeld

Today is a great day for you and me to take thoughts captive to think on good things and move ourselves into the arena of thanksgiving and praise for The One who is greater than any army of problems.

Never has there been a moment in your life, that wasn’t also a moment in His.

Surrender all over to Him, and Because of Grace, He will lead you.

Gently click on the link below for a song by Greg Coplen. And then, maybe, click again.

Grace Astounding mix1 by Greg Coplen

Listen and believe. Move into His joyful peace.

http://soundcloud.com/greg-coplen/grace-astounding-mix1
Grace Astounding by Greg Coplen

And, also, if you have a little bit of time to read blessings in the hard places

{You are loved.}

~~~

See Additional Words from The Sponsor by gently clicking here!

Saturday Digest~February 25

~~~Been thinking a lot about Leaping this week: what to leap away from and what to leap into. And the timing of not leaping away too soon or out of fear and flight.

Then, this email message from Brave Girls Club arrives and I feel my shoulders slide downward to normalcy and my breathing slowly returning to deep contemplative.

So, dear girl, even if it is scary, scarier than you could ever even explain,

DO IT ANYWAY

~~~My focus verse this winter has been Philippians 4:8. Here is a delightful printing page of this verse to use for notes, journaling, devotionals, reminders…anything! It can be downloaded from this link.

Philippians 4:8 Journal Page

~~~And included with my uncertainty and thoughts of leaping, this post from Jody’s Devotionals offers reassurance. “The enduring promise of God is that He will never leave me. God is the perfect Father. He loves His children. He has been there, watching and waiting, all the time. From the moment I said “Yes” to Jesus, He moved into my life. Through the times of unlimited joy, my LORD has been there with the biggest smile, dancing over me (Zephaniah 3:17). Through the darkest, loneliest of nights when my face is flooded with tears, my Jesus is there to hold me and comfort me (John 14). When I cannot find the words, for whatever reasons, I can go to Psalms and find the outlet for my feelings. God has heard them all before. He’ll hear them again. God will sustain when I am too weak, too tired, too confused. When the path He asks me to walk is long and steep, He will walk beside me every step. He will even pick me up and carry me.” ~Jody Neufeld

With prayers for you to land in love after you leap…

Video of the Week: Steve Martin on banjo

Previous Saturday Digests

A Word from The Sponsor~February 12

love 1 Cor 13

Nothing in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord ~Romans 8:39

This verse has been a life-line for me this week. When i’m confronted by those who would keep score of wrongs i have done, it is the strong voice of this verse that reminds me that i am accepted completely by God. God loves me flawed. He loves me no matter what.   Nothing-not sickness, not death, not my mistakes, my sins, not another’s accusations, not crimes committed, not divorce or separation, or severing of unhealthy ties can separate us from God’s Unconditional Love.

The more time i spend with those who know this and walk it out everyday, the more the accusations of others stand in stark, toxic contrast. 

Friends with maturity can handle you in your messiness. What traits will these friends have? They’ll value authenticity wanting to get the real you not the facade. They’ll be able to cry with you in your sorrow. They’ll be able to stay with you when you share your anger even if it is loud and a little or a lot over they top. They won’t walk on eggshells, but will feel the freedom to crack a joke and laugh heartily with you. Also, these friends will lead with their ears, listening well to your heart. Most importantly, they won’t try to fix you through offering cheap advice that comes out of their own uncomfortableness with your pain and anger. These extra eyes and ears will help you see your relationship more clearly.  They can help you sort through your behaviors, feelings and thoughts. They’ll sense when it is a good time to talk more about God and spiritual matters and when it is a good time to come in through another door. ~Ben and Ann Wilson

That is the growth for me this week. i am looking forward to the day where i’ve grown to not allow it to pierce me. i need to rely more on the shield of faith.

Have you experienced something similar? Have accusations pierced you this week? Please don’t withdraw due to shame and guilt that is not from God. Please remember who you are. i am trying to remember too.

Jesus Heard You

Jesus heard when you prayed last night.
He talked with God about you.
Jesus was there when you fought your fight,
He is going to bring you through.

Jesus knew when you shed those tears,
you did not weep alone.
The burdens you thought too heavy to bear,
He made them his very own.
Jesus Himself was touched by that trial,
you could not understand.
Jesus stood by as you almost fell
and lovingly clasped your hand.

Jesus cared when you bore that pain,
indeed, He bore it too.
He felt each pain, each ache in your heart,
because of His love for you.

by Corrie ten Boom, capitalization added

And there’s more…

God’s the Father, and you’re the child away from home. You never thought you’d end up doing what you’ve done, considering what you’re considering, feeling like you’re feeling. You feel like you’ve failed God; you’re unworthy—He wouldn’t want you back. How could He love me like this; how could He take me back after what I’ve done?

We’ve been raised to believe that we’ll only be loved if we perform and please people, and meet their expectations. But God is committed to you in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, and death will not part you. If He was ever going to turn His back on you, it would have been at the cross, and He didn’t.

Why are you living away from home, from His “take you as you are” kind of love? Oh, maybe you’re not in the pigpen yet. Well, don’t wait until you hit the wall at the end of a dead-end street. And even if you have, head home. ~Ron Hutchcraft

~~~

See Additional Words from The Sponsor by gently clicking here!

Saturday Digest~October 15

Picture a hopeful, smiling little red heart, tattered but mending, the “sticky” from old bandaids still visible on a few scars from old wounds. “He healeth the broken in heart.” Psalms 147:3  From Chris Shea @ LifeSighs

Great point in The Butterfly’s Struggle:  the cocoon was intended to create the struggle necessary for the butterfly to fly.

A New Concept for me: Faithgazing When I focus on my own abilities and my circumstances, I easily get locked into fears of the bad that could happen. The stars of faith disappear right along with the city lights of fear and self-reliance. It’s times like these, we remember the art of faithgazing . From Bonnie in Faith Barrista

Question of the Week for me: Is it ok to confront another? “It is God’s plan to use each of us to speak His truth, His healing words, His comfort to a world that is spinning out of control.” By Jody Neufeld in this thoughtfully crafted post

After a particularly troubling night, I clicked over to the Faith Barrista blog and read the following, written, it seemed just for me: There’s no shame in feeling soul-weak when we find ourselves in the crossfires of life’s traffic. But, I don’t stop there. Start Focusing I tell myself to start focusing. Remember God’s benefits. Remember God’s goodness. Have a talk with Jesus. Really get into the details. And tell Him you really need Him. Perhaps you might minister to yourself and read the entire post?

A Stunning Movie, sent to me in email by my childhood friend, Donna:

Video of the Week by Skillet, One Day Too Late

a little louder than the usual videos posted here but so necessary to blast this message in to my head.

Saturday Digest~August 20

*”Love and I tend not to see eye to eye all the time and we argue and call each other names.”

Wow! What a powerful thought-nugget about openness. Being open is about vulnerability and adventure.
By Aleathia in La Spectatrice

*Was catching up on unread emails and found a thia thought in a post from Alia’s Inner Bliss Blog

“If you have been feeling uninspired or unfulfilled with the work you do or things that you do during the day, try waking up and asking, ‘How can I be of service to the highest good of all today?’ Make sure to include yourself in there, too!”

Thanks, Alia!

*As I read through the gospels and note where Jesus’ focus is, I can learn from His example. Jesus regularly spent time alone in prayer. To read Jody’s post on Jesus in Prayer, gently click here

*Don’t Give Up When Times Are Tough: God is more interested in what you are becoming than what you accomplish. To read this Purpose Driven Life post, gently click here

*Finding Balance: To gain balance—remember one thing: quality not quantity. Don’t get caught up doing a little bit of EVERY-thing and not focusing on THE-thing that matters most. Gently Click Here to read more

*Favorite Idea I’ve Seen in awhile: A great guestbook idea: use a calendar accompanied with the sign: “Find your birthday, sign your name.” Click Here to see a sample

Saturday Digest~July 23

Saw this post 12 Little Instant Health Boosts  featured on Dyamond’s blog …Thanks, Dyamond! So many times I read articles like this and they advocate buying elaborate things or ingredients such as “eye of newt”~~~but these suggestions are possible to do!

A great perspective on dealing with difficult people from Kate Swoboda who says, “Clearly, they were not raised to believe that they would be respected and heard if they spoke their truth, or they’re afraid that they won’t know how, or they know what they want to say but they’re too angry to say it and they’re fearful of their own anger.” Read this post!

To offset the difficult people post, now two positives:

An awesome visualization and description of the ripples of kindness:

Kindness in Motion! Watch this video! I am beginning a version of this here in my town!

Have you ever felt this way? “I want there to be an Option C. This is the option where I get to do what I want to do once in awhile. It doesn’t work that way with God. If I do not obey God then by default I am obeying the enemy. Satan is a murderer. He kills the ‘good’ inside of me because he cannot live or dwell in the same space with what is of God. ” Read more of Jody’s amazing devotional called, “Choose You This Day

And what about when our circumstances reflect something good? Tara Mohr in Real Celebration  writes, “people resist slowing down and really experiencing whatever is happening in their lives. That rang true.”

Mohr continues with this caution tale: “people tend to be even more resistant to celebrating, to acknowledging accomplishments or blessings, to slowing down to bask in them.”

Our egos’ rapacious appetites for more – more accomplishment, more productivity—drive us to ask, “What’s next?” and get on with the next thing, the very moment after something important has occurred… But more than anything, I think, we resist celebrating because it’s vulnerable, intimate. Celebrating something in our own lives requires being present to ourselves, really showing up for ourselves.

Saturday Digest April 23 Because of Grace

I was looking at the words ‘light’ and ‘darkness’ in the Bible and in every passage I read that ‘light’ is associated with knowledge of God and His truth whereas ‘darkness’ is where God is not and denotes a lack of the knowledge of God. To read more, gently click here

At any given moment you have the power to say: this is not how the story is going to end. To see this sign gently click here

I have learned the hard way that the more I try to help God, the more stuff starts piling on. In other words, I cannot do what God wants to do. Some situations in life are far beyond our ability to fix. A problem we see that needs our intervention, may be God’s cocoon of struggle to strengthen… To read more, gently click here

Studies show that you tend to base your self-esteem on what you think the most important person in our life thinks about you. So I recommend you make Jesus Christ the most important person in your life because he will always tell you the truth. The only solid foundation for self-worth is to realize how much you matter to God. When you see yourself the way God sees you, it will transform you. To read more, gently click here

Steven Toepfer of Kent State University, Salem, had students in six courses write letters of gratitude to people who had positively influenced their lives. Over a six-week period, the students wrote one letter every two weeks. After each letter, the students completed a survey to gauge their moods, satisfaction with life and feelings of gratitude and happiness. The result, Toepfer said, was dramatic. “The more thank-you letters they wrote, the better they felt.”

If you only have time to do one positive thing today do this…

If you have time to do only one positive thing for yourself today,
please read Jody’s blog post called My Testimony
You will be blessed!

No guarantees against “the bad”

I needed this reminder: “There was a time that I thought that the closer Jesus and I would grow in our relationship the less chance that something “bad” would happen to me and those I love. Like my life is played out on a roulette table and the more I “played the game” the better percentage I would have to win. No, the closer I walk with Jesus the closer I walk with Jesus. We may walk through mine fields, rocky ground, and beautiful fields. When I walk with Jesus down all the different paths, I have Him to supply all that I need to go through with courage, wisdom, whatever I need. Difficult times are the greatest teaching times. They refine me.”

I needed this reminder. When I begin to think in “quid pro quo” terms with God, when I descent into in the “I’ll scratch your back, you scratch mine,” mentality, I am walking with wobbly legs on a slippery slope to trouble. Best to keep focused and hang on tightly, press in tightly to the God, not of the vending machine, but of eternal life.

Read Jody’s entire blog post: http://jody.energion.com/?p=2903

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