Saturday, 29 April 2017

I am Bold, Proverbs 28:1 by Susan L.

  Bold faced type proudly proclaims the product, the news, the gist of a story. It's the hook.
  Bold colours like in an autumn landscape create joyful oooo's and aaaah's.
  Bold men and women venture deep into the ocean to explore places unknown.
  Bold is different. It stands above the constant hum of daily life.
  Wait a minute...I thought Christians were supposed to be humble. Or are boldness and humility actually partners?
  How is that even possible?

  In Christ it is. It's a paradox.
  Being a bold Christian means I have chosen to march to the beat of a different Drummer. I think that says it all because being a Christian is being different. Praise God!
  I don't know if I shared that I have been anxiety free for a while now. I am even downright happy!  
  In mulling over the amazing healing the Lord has brought into my life, I realize that my behaviours have changed. I sing louder. I am not afraid to face a new piece of flute music at Friday night worship team rehearsals. Not that long ago having to sight read a piece would have sent me on an anxiety merry-go-round.
  I find myself checking in with what's going on inside and end up wide-eyed in amazement at the transformations that have taken place. I feel different. Better. Free. I laugh a whole lot more.
  To be bold is to live without shame, without fear. Or better yet, bold is doing something even when I am afraid simply because I trust in the Lord who is with me in all things. He's always got my back.
  Being bold is leaping out of the boat. It's washing feet. It's turning the other cheek. It's letting go of living by the sword.
  It's living the paradox of humble boldness and, like a candle draws a moth, we are a light unto the world. All praise, honour and glory to our Lord, Jesus Christ.
  "Be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness." Eph 4:23-24

Friday, 28 April 2017

Heroes by Susan L.

  Affirmation, day 30. "I am blood bought." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
  The civilian who ran into a burning building to pull an elderly man to safety is honoured with a Cross of Valour for her selfless act. The Canadian soldier who sacrificed his life to save his brothers on the battlefield is posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross. The Golden Retriever who leapt into a raging river to save a child is given the Dickin Medal for canine bravery.
  We need heroes. We need to celebrate their accomplishments because it offsets the grim realities of the evening news.
  Super Man, X-Men, Wonder Woman. The comic book industry has made a fortune because we need to see the world saved over and over and over again. We need to see that evil can be vanquished. Usually following the bad guy laughing maniacally over his plans to take over the world. It never happens.
 We need these stories about overcoming adversity. They have been part of human culture, probably, since we could talk.
  I'd never really thought about Jesus as being a super hero but He did what heroes do, die to save someone else. Actually, a whole lot of someone elses.
  He didn't need a cape. Simple robes were sufficient. He didn't need boots that could make Him fly. Simple sandals protected His feet from the stony roads He travelled. He didn't need a mask or a helmet to protect a secret identity. Simple truth was very clear about who He was.
  For a time, the world loved Him. That love became a threat to those who wanted to control their world and the people under them. The status quo was very profitable.
  And a hero's tale of epic proportions begins the moment our Hero died.
  The Bible tells it all. Stories of resurrection, rebirth, renewal, grace, and love. Stories of truth, justice, peace and hope. Stories of miracles, deliverance, faith and brotherhood lay within its pages.
  I am humbled to be part of this eternal story. I am honoured to be among His chosen. Most of all, every time I take communion I am reminded that He loved me enough to lay down His life and pay the final price to save my soul.
  Hmmm, it turns out I don't need Wonder Woman after all.
  "I will stand my watch and set myself on the rampart, and watch to see what He will say to me, and what I will answer when I am corrected." Hab 2:1

Thursday, 27 April 2017

I am Blessed. Eph 1:3 by Susan L.

  A tickle starts somewhere under your eyeball deep inside your skull. One eye begins to water. The nose joins in. Then the other eye. Facial contortions that would please a silent movie director ripple over your face as you blindly search for a tissue. Nope. An elbow will have to do.
  At a hundred miles an hour, air is painfully forced through your nostrils.
  The sonic boom is met with a startled yelp from the person sitting in front of you on the bus.
 "My goodness," they say, "Bless you!"
  Okay, that was fun but what does it really mean to be blessed?
  Blessings are the divine inheritance God has put aside just for me, for us, for everyone.
  Jesus died to make us heirs to His kingdom.
  It's not the kind of kingdom that comes with a castle, a moat and a throne. The treasure room sits empty of a golden hoard. It has no boundaries to its lands because it reaches around the world and into the heavens.
  Every person in His kingdom is of royal blood.
  It's hard to live up to. Maybe because I can't. At least, on my own.
  His kingdom is backwards. Victory is won by doing nothing except choosing to surrender my life to Jesus time and again. It's not like helplessly waving a white flag surrender of utter defeat because a white flag is the banner of rebirth and renewal. It means I need Him. It means I want to live according to the calling with which I have been called.
  It means I want to live in and through God's blessings because by doing so, He can use me to bless others with life and light and hope.
  I am blessed in all that I do, the writing, art and music.
  I am learning to embrace the blessings of who I am in Christ.
  That, my friends, is a work in progress.
  "But to each of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift." Eph 4:7
  His priceless gift was His life.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

I am Blameless 1 Cor 1:8 by Susan L.

 "It's not my fault. I can't help myself. The devil made me do it."
 "They make me so frustrated!"
 "Why does so-and-so make my life so difficult? If only they would change, things would be much better."
  "If God were a loving God this wouldn't have happened!"

  Blame is all about looking for ways to justify and hold on to toxic emotions.
  Blame grants permission for hurtful actions and poor choices.
  Blame is a way of validating those behaviours and choices.
  Blame gives the gossip fodder.
  Blame gives the abandoned and the wounded the right to hold onto anger and bitterness.
  Blame erases the need for responsibility, accountability and self-determination.
  Blame is the dark throne of judgement.

  Blaming is far easier than looking in the mirror.

  Whew. That came down pretty hard, didn't it? Yet, by identifying the darkness, the Light begins to shine into the deepest corners.
  I am grieved that all of these attitudes have been a part of my life at one time or another. Thank You, Lord, for Your gentle convictions that are helping me be better than I am. Thank You for encouraging me to purge what is unacceptable in Your sight from my heart and soul.
  It's only been through His tender tutelage and care that I have been able to stop thinking of myself as a victim. Yet, as part of the healing process, I had to be one for a while. It helped me come out from under the suffocating blanket of being blamed for the hurtful choices others had made. I was burdened by false responsibility. By being a victim, I was able to break down what was mine to own and what needed to be given away.
  The ability to forgive and be forgiven has happened one layer at a time.
  Making a conscious choice to forgive is like launching a bomb that blows blame to smithereens.
  Grace then has a place to build her garden: the ravaged, upturned grounds where blame once grew.
  "I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you by Christ Jesus, that you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge, even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you, so that you come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord." 1 Cor 1:4-9





Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Bells by Susan L.

  "I am betrothed." Hosea 2:19-20

  And I am stuck with no idea where to start.
  Maybe by breaking down the word, "betrothed" I'll get somewhere. It means to be promised to and held to that promise for a year. In Jesus' day, it meant the bride price was paid to her parents.

  I can't seem to get the songs from the musical, "Fiddler on the Roof" out of my head. It's about a Russian Jewish family with four daughters in the early 1900's. The father struggles to ignore age old Traditions in order for his daughters to be happily married to their loves. He was even forced to break an agreement with the local butcher for the hand of his eldest daughter (set up by a matchmaker). The butcher was older than him! It's full of tender, poignant sweetness; both funny and heart wrenching at the same time.
  He was a father who loved his daughters and was willing to do anything for them. Including breaking the rules.

  If an earthly father can care so much, how much more does our heavenly Father care for us?
  God's Word says it all.

  ""Therefore, behold, I will allure her, will bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfort to her. I will give her her vineyards from there, and the valley of Achor as a door of hope; She shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, as in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt. And it shall be, in that day," says the Lord, "That you will call Me 'My Husband' and no longer call me 'My Master.'" Hosea 2:14-16

  I researched the valley of Achor. It was a reference to terrible trials that had happened in the past. It seems to me that it is also foreshadowing Christ's sacrifice on the cross.

  My heart and head feel like they are about to explode. I need to think on this a while longer. For the first time in my walk of faith, I think I can embrace the idea of having a Bridegroom watching over me and waiting for the day we meet face to face. Amen!



Monday, 24 April 2017

I Belong To God, John 17:9 by Susan L.

  Be longing...wanting to be part of something bigger than myself, to be in community and relationship, to be needed and accepted. To belong.
  The devil made sure I always felt my square peg personality would never fit in with others because there only seemed to be round holes no matter where I went. Round hole personalities were ruthless in guarding their territory. Maybe because they were afraid someone might find out they were square pegs, too.
  I learned to lie, to hide my feelings, to be a chameleon who adapted and modified my behaviour in order to be accepted. My true self got lost in the wastelands of the wilderness.
   Oh, I worked really hard at being everything others expected me to be but ended up failing miserably. I could never do enough to earn love and acceptance. It ended with me being cast aside like unwanted trash. For this, I am eternally grateful, because in being rejected, in reaching the end of the great pretending, I have found a better life than I ever thought possible.
  I belong to God, now.
  "You are worth loving," He told me nearly a decade ago. He's spent the last decade showing me why by tenderly and gently unravelling the lies I believed of myself and others and even about Him.
  Because He belongs to me.
  "I (Jesus) will not leave you orphans; I will come to you." Jn 14:18

Saturday, 22 April 2017

I am a Believer, Romans 10:9 by Susan L.

  Yes. Yes. And yes! With a capitol "B"!
  What does that mean, though?
  It means sacrifice because of the One who sacrificed so much in order to reconcile us with God. Hmmm, that line has been used many times to shame fellow believers. This is not my intent. It's not religious sacrifice or even about living according to the "rules". It's not about giving stuff up because I have to. It's about understanding and embracing the calling with which I have been called.
  That calling is the sweetest love song ever. Even if I never changed, Love would be there.
  But believing is about being changed. Not over night. Not right away. That's where grace comes in. We don't ask our children to run before they can walk. God doesn't ask that of His children either.
  The greatest and most difficult sacrifice I have ever been called to make is a sacrificial offering of gratitude. It means praying thanksgiving for the bad things that have happened. I've prayed thanksgiving for the people who did the bad things. I've even been called to give thanks for the devil because without knowing evil, I cannot know good, better or best.
  This opened the door to being truly thankful for the experiences that provided opportunities learn about the love of God.
  Offering a sacrifice of gratitude opened doors for me to discover who God says I am because gratitude is like a pry bar. It give Love a gap to carefully lift the sealed lid of the tomb and uncover all the treasures it holds within.
  Any archaeologist worth their weight unpacks ancient treasures with meticulous care. Everything is photographed, documented, measured and labelled before it is ever moved and shared with the rest of the world. I've watched shows on TV where skeletal remains have been found. The archaeologists treat these human remains with tenderness and respect, honouring the story they tell.
  God is the Great Archaeologist. The difference lay with His Son who can and will make the dead rise and live. If we are willing.
  Why do I believe?
  Because I have learned to be vulnerable. Because for the first time in my life I have zero anxiety. Because my heart is filled with hope and excitement for the future. Because I am no longer afraid of goals. Because the cloud of grief and sorrow that hung over me for so long is gone. Because, even if there are trials in the future, in Christ, they will fall aside and victory will be ours.
  But most of all, I believe because I have no idea how I kept going so long without Him.
  "That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame." For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For "whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved."" Rom 9:9-13

Thursday, 20 April 2017

#24 by Susan L.

  "I am becoming conformed to Christ." Romans 8:29
  Maybe. Only I keep getting in the way.
  Which points directly at sin.
  Now it gets uncomfortable.
  And so it should because when I am convicted of wrong-think or wrong doing, it means the Lord is working on me. Admitting to imperfection is a humbling process but it's so good because the Holy Spirit is encouraging me to become a better person. The admission of sin is a gift of opportunity to understand and vanquish my enemy.
  Not that I am a bad person. None of us are. Nobody is strictly good or bad. There is an internal war between the good and the evil that resides in all of us since Adam bit the apple.
  A life with Jesus as Lord is not the same as renting a dumpster bin and purging the house of everything that is unwanted in the course of a weekend. God's refining is a gentle process that unfolds over time. There's two reasons. Too much change over a short time doesn't sink in and is impossible to maintain. Too many demands squash the give and take of a developing relationship with our Abba Father and His Son.
  Demands also squash the gift of grace. Expectations squash a life of expectancy. The only squash needed in my life with Jesus is the kind that's baked and serve with salt and pepper.
  I lived with someone who, over the years, set the standards and rules for how I was to live and behave. The abuse, and this is abuse because it fed the chronic fear of making a mistake and having to face the consequences. The "rules" regularly changed, only compounding my fear. It kept me off balance as well. I never knew what the day would bring. The control was so subtle and so much a part of our one-sided relationship it took me several years after the break up to fully understand how oppressed I was.
  Thank You, Lord for setting me free in so many ways. I can't say that enough! 
  Following Jesus isn't about oppression. Oppression, and its partner, suppression have no place in His kingdom. That's why Jesus died, to break the power of the law.
  I am a willing partner in the refinement process because there's no need to change because the Bible says I have to. I want to change to bring a smile to Jesus' face.
  Letting go. It's all about letting go. Again and again and again.
  Why would I even want to hang on to bitterness, hatred, suspicion, fear, and judgement? This might be the easier path but I may as well swallow a vial of strychnine because these things are poisonous to love.
  And there it is. Love. I want to love better, deeper, more passionately. I want my actions to be a demonstration of love. I want my words to bring life and hope and freedom.
  It seems I want to be more like Jesus.
  Lord? Open my eyes to the sin in my life that stands in the way of fulfilling the calling and the destiny You have in store for me. Thank You for the gifts of forgiveness and grace. Teach me how to be more forgiving. Teach me to be full of grace. Make me strong so I can embrace living life as one justified, just-as-if-I'd-never sinned. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen!
  "For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Rom 8:38-39

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

I am Becoming a Mature Person by Susan L.

  This is another affirmation coming from Ephesians, chapter 4, verse 13 or 4:13 for short.
  Yesterday had me laughing at the effects of age. Age and maturity don't necessarily go together.
  How do I view maturity?
  Being able to admit when I am behaving like a child. When things don't go my way and a temper tantrum lack of control over my feelings. But that's a dangerous thought, feeling the need to control emotions because emotional expression is part of what makes us human and humane. Maybe maturity is being able to share emotional responses in a way that does no harm. Instead of lashing out in fury, I lift the fury to the Lord to find out what has upset me so much and why.
  Change. Part of finding out the what's and why's is being willing to let go and let God take ownership of my life time and again.
  Not needing all the answers. Noooo...I do. That's who I am; someone who is filled with an insatiable curiosity and a determination to put puzzles together.
  What makes a clock tick? Why is the sky blue?
  What is the nature of God? How do I emulate Jesus? Who is He? Who am I as He sees me? How do I dwell in the fruits of His Truth?

  Being able to take a break and play. Rock skipping, puddle jumping, and shameless bubble blowing.
  Whenever I run a creative workshop at work, more often than not, it ends up with me learning from the people taking part. Actually, I don't like the idea of "teaching" because the groups are always adults. Language choices can create a hierarchy of power. Instead, I facilitate the exploration of various artistic medium. This is an approach with a foundation in humility and gratitude.
  Not being proud of being humble. Ooooo...tricky.
  Maturity, hmmm...being okay with being wrong. Believe it or not, it happens! (smile) And this is an area that could use some more growth, my Lord.

  Living life with and through compassion. For others, hmmmm...for myself as well. That means letting go of the yardstick the world uses to measure the worth of a man or a woman. That means letting go of my yardstick!

  Maturity isn't really a destination, is it? It's a goal, a quest of epic proportions.
  Thank You, Lord, for the journey. Thank You, that in You all things are possible. Thank You that the lumps and bumps, the bags and sags of age will be rubbed away. At least, the internal ones.
  "But now, O Lord, You are our Father; We are the clay, and You our potter; And all we are the work of Your hand." Is 64:8

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Do I Believe? by Susan L.

"I am beautiful." Psalm 149:4
  The moment I read today's affirmation, the first response was, "You gotta be kidding me!"
  I've got bags and sags and wrinkles. I've got bulges and bumps and the beginnings of mustachios. My deep set, blue eyes are growing deeper set all the time as my eyebrow ridges fail to stand firm against the overwhelming forces of gravity. It seems those same forces are determined to make me shorter as well.
  Oh, dear.
  I am having a healthy giggle about it all because there's really nothing I can do about it! Oh, there's "miracle creams", lotions and potions to "help stop the signs of aging" but age is going to happen regardless of how much stinky, greasy cream is slathered on the surface.
  I think it was National Geographic who broke down facial beauty into geometric planes by measuring beautiful people, actors and actresses. It would appear that the human race knows what it likes when it comes to physical beauty.
  There was a time when facial measurements and head indentations were measured to prove mental shortcomings like having the "face" of a murderer. I'm glad that went extinct. Just because someone's eyes are set close together doesn't mean they have nefarious plans to take over the world.
  Okay, that's enough skipping around the heart of the matter.

Image result for dandelion  I have witnessed ordinary folk transform into earth angels as the Holy Spirit fills them. They positively glow with a Light and Life that transcends their physical presence. It's as though I've caught a glimpse of what they will look like in heaven when the battle against ever encroaching death is no more.
  And this, friends, is the source of our beauty. 
  Jesus is the source of my beauty; a beauty that erases the wear and tear of a mortal life. In Him, I stand tall and gracious. In Him, I radiate peace to a restless world. In Him, I am ageless, eternal, and mysterious. In Him, I am an exotic beauty that stands out like a dandelion on a pristine lawn.

  I know dandelions aren't exotic (smile) but what who hasn't enjoyed them at one time or another like they were the rarest of orchids?
  "He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love." Song 2:4

Monday, 17 April 2017

I am Baptized into Christ 1 Cor 12:13 by Susan L.

  Following the emotional storm of Easter weekend, this is a wonderful way to start the next leg of the affirmation journey.
  As I was cleaning out stuff, my record of adult baptism fell out of a stack of old birthday and mother's day cards. I had been baptized as an infant according to Anglican practices but felt called to honour Christ's command to be baptized once I had, as an adult, embraced, accepted, placed my heart with Him as Lord.
  Seeing the card brought it all to mind.
  I've never really talked about the profound impact this had on my life. It's not something that is easy to articulate because it touched the deepest parts of my soul in ways beyond imagining. There are no earthly words to describe the emotions that exploded as I was raised out of the water by the pastor. There is no language of man able to describe the shift in understanding released by surrendering myself in this act of faith declaration and repentance.
  All of it happened in a matter of seconds. A second to man is an eternity to God. It felt like I'd spent eternity with Him under the water...

  And once again, I was forever changed.

 Then came the fires, the darkest years of the Black River.
  I was forever changed again and again; lifted out of the ashes of my life like a blazing phoenix. Each rebirth marked the shattering of lies. Each rebirth flooded my soul with gratitude and a greater  love of my Lord. Each time the trip through the refining fires was, and continues to be, new territory as my Lord unravels the hurts, the sins crippling my mind and identity in Christ.
  I discovered honesty. I am still discovering honesty despite knowing "honesty" can be nothing but a façade of falsehoods. This happens when we believe or say bad things about ourselves. It's the devil's "truth" that serves only one purpose: to keep us from living as beloved children of God.
  Thank You, Lord, for Truth.
  Thank You, Lord, for the baptism of the Holy Spirit, Truth's messenger.
  Thank You, Lord that all these experiences, good and not so good, have enabled me to keep discovering who You really are.
  Thank You for the gift of Your Son, the One who made all of this possible. Glory be to God! AMEN!
  I look forward to being forever changed over and over and over.
  "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire." Mat 3:11-12


Saturday, 15 April 2017

Another Idea by Susan L.

  The bogus duct cleaning guys called again this morning. Previous research into the company name and the phone number they provided proved that neither existed. Sigh. But I just had a brilliant idea. Set up an appointment. (Unless they want my credit card number first. I haven't stayed on the line long enough to find out.) The second part of brilliance was to have the cops here when they show up. It quickly fizzled under the reality this probably doesn't happen. It's a credit card number they are after. Don't give it to them!!!
  Okay, I am not so brilliant after all. I have to wonder if the police get the same calls on their non-emergency line.
  The supervisor hung up on me when I mentioned the complaint I'd made against them with the Do Not Call Registry. Suspicions proved.
  Our church had a teaching on anger last week. I confess I wasn't anger-less when I heard the heavily accented "Alex" on the line this morning. He's called so often, I recognize his voice. Hakim's, too. Another of the callers. I was left with shaking rage, frustration, and out and out P'd off. Part of it is feeling violated by their constant and intrusive calls. I am even angrier because their "business" must be a successful scam that preys on the unwary otherwise they wouldn't keep calling. Don't give out your credit card info to anyone who calls your home!!
  So how does this all tie in with today's affirmation? "I have authority over the devil." Luke 9:1
  Authority is all about choice. By choosing not to share any personal info, this underhanded fraud will not be fruitful. Not judging the people who come up with any type of scam is a bit of a challenge.
  What would Jesus do?
  He'd toss their money counting tables to the floor then invite the "tax" collectors to come and follow Him.
  I did some table tossing this morning but failed on the second part. Is it failure when I realize something can be done a better way next time?
  Which takes me back to a few posts ago when I had decided to share the love of Jesus with anyone who calls. Well, my wayward human nature, aka, sin, aka, the devil's work, ground that grand ideal to a screeching halt. There's a whack of reason's, anger being one of them. The other was not being sure about what to say or how to say it.
  Alex and Hakim, I am sorry I didn't share the best news in the universe with you. I am sorry for losing my temper. Your story is totally unknown to me. Why you are part of this scam is also unknown. I pray your hearts and eyes will be opened to God's truth about how much He loves you.
  Lord, I am sorry for not trusting in You to provide the right words. Forgive me for allowing the devil's lies to force me off a righteous path. I forgive those who taught me to censor my words by fear of giving offense. I surrender them to the discernment and discretion of the Holy Spirit.
  And there it is. Prayer is the epitome of authority. Evil cringes and cowers with each holy word of blessing, repentance, forgiveness and hope.
  "Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases. He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick." Lk 9:1-2

Friday, 14 April 2017

Good Friday by Susan L.

  The last nineteen posts have been all about what a relationship with Jesus gives me so it seems appropriate to investigate why I am being so blessed.
  It's one of the holy days in the Christian calendar, honouring His willing sacrifice on the Cross. This act defeated the devil and forever sealed the New Covenant rich in love and promise. Today is all about Him.
  Why did He do it?
  It's not like humanity had anything to offer Him except suspicion, doubt, and in the end, utter hatred and rejection. It's not like I had anything to offer Him when He chose me...
  Oh...Yes I did... Gratitude...a to-the-moon-and-back mountain of gratitude.
  After reviewing the list already blogged about, adding some capitol letters, by turning nouns into verbs, the affirmations reflect the nature of Jesus because He is the source of all things good in this ole world.
  Jesus says, "I am Ability. I am Grace. I am Hope. I am Abundance. I am Acceptance. I am Access. I am Adequate. I am Adoption. I am Alive. I am an Ambassador. I am Anointed. I am the Provider. I am Appointed. I am Reward and Success."

  He is more than I could possibly imagine.

  So why did He lay His life down?

  Because His Father loves us.

  Because Christ chose to be the final sacrifice for all God's children so we can be reconciled with our heavenly Father.
  That's every single living, breathing human being on the planet who has ever lived or will live. Thieves and murderers, atheists, believers, men, women, transgendered, homosexuals, orphans, moms and dads, young and old, black and white and every colour in between...all are welcomed. All are wanted by a Love that comes with no conditions.

 The Cross shredded the to-do list.

  Glory be to God!
  "Blessing and honour and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!" Rev.5:13




Thursday, 13 April 2017

But It's Backwards!! by Susan L.

  "I am assured of success" Proverbs 16:3
  A long pause.

  This has been an especially difficult post. I've written stuff, deleted it, written, deleted for the last two hours. I think it's because it is extremely judgemental.
  It is.
  That's why there's italic statements. Added after I re-read the following post.

  The world paints a picture, minus the negative points in brackets:
  Stay in school. Earn a degree. (Owe a whole whack of money. Wonder why because there aren't any jobs.) Work hard. Buy things. Get a promotion. Work harder. Get married. Have children. Buy more things. (Owe more money. Have surgery for an ulcer.) Learn golf to relax. Work out at the gym. Eat organic. Get a designer pet. Feed Muffin organic food, too. (Spend thousands fighting the signs of age.) Retire. Become a snow bird. A grandparent. A great-grandparent if lucky enough to live that long.
  In stripping down a life to the bare bones, I missed so much. Laughter, tears, celebrations and milestones. I've slashed away the value of personhood into short sentences.
  Being a grand-parent is such a joy!
  There's nothing wrong with having a home and a mortgage or even owing money on a car. We all need a place to live.
  And that is a statement fully based in middle-class assumptions. Why is there homelessness in one of the wealthiest nations? Maybe because I've done nothing to help create solutions.
  Skyrocketing house prices and rent might make this an unobtainable dream for many. A car is often a necessity, like mine is, because there isn't public transit available.
  Yet another middle-class assumption.
  We North Americans have so much that is taken for granted. (oops, that's a generalized judgement. Not everyone takes what we have for granted.)
  I take so much for granted!
  The paragraph of life was more of a rant against the "successful life" ideology bombarding us all the time. Debt is encouraged by ads providing the source for more credit, lotteries or casinos. Ulcers are only mentioned in relation to medications to ease the symptoms. Heart attacks are staged as an ad for aspirin.
  For someone with a graphic arts diploma, I sure hate advertising!
  For someone who once lived by the world's laws, it's awfully pretentious of me to sit on the other side and point fingers.
  I hate it so much because it makes "successful" impossible. Or maybe that's the point. It leads us to spend our way out of feeling inadequate. Like that would ever happen. The devil wouldn't let it.
  So why do I buy into it still? Why do I feel like there's something missing?

  Another long pause after adding the italic statements.
  Forgive me Lord, for my arrogance.

  I call this day a success because, with the gentle conviction of the Holy Spirit, I have seen the error of my ways.
  Success, in Christ, is not by adding to anything I have but it's in the letting go and letting in.
  Success is measured in my ability to love and be loved.
  Show me, my Lord, how to love better.
  And I laugh because I hadn't read the scripture before starting this post.
  "Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established." Prov 16:3


Wednesday, 12 April 2017

I Am Assured of Reward by Susan L.

  1 Corinthians 15:58. Rewards are something we learn about from a very early age. Crying is met with food. Good schoolwork earns an A. Having faith in Jesus Christ is different because there's no tests, no failures, nothing that can't be forgiven. I don't have to wait for death to reap the benefits of a relationship with the three most important people in my life: God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
  Daniel Defoe's classic book about shipwrecked Robinson Crusoe says it so well, "Now I looked back upon my past life with such horror, and my sins appeared so dreadful, that my soul sought nothing of God but deliverance from the load of guilt that bore down all my comfort. As for my solitary life, it was nothing; I did not so much as pray to be delivered from it, or think of it; it was all of no consideration, in comparison to this. And I add this part here, to hint to whoever shall read it, that whenever they come to a true sense of things, they will find deliverance from sin a much greater blessing than deliverance from affliction."
  When I moved away from the fresh air and open country of my marital home into town and a windowless, TV less, phoneless basement, a friend's kind words helped me cope with this one of many changes. She called it being set aside for special treatment. Robinson Crusoe could well relate to this idea. Maybe that's why I keep rereading this favorite story.
  Rewards are often talked about in Christian circles as something given to us after we die. Heaven is the great reward for followers of Jesus. I know the thought of one day having every tear wiped away has sustained me many a sorrowful night.
  Hopefully that day is a long way in the future because each day has blessed me with a richer understanding of God's, string free, gifts to His wayward children. There isn't a "do not open until..." sticker on them. This year's journey of exploring three hundred affirmations is really a discovery of three hundred rewards each and every one of us is entitled to receive. Right. Now!
  I've changed. Setting a writing goal has made me realize that tomorrow isn't something to be afraid of. No one is going to pull the rug out from under me. By doing this, I've been able to set another goal of weight loss and to stick to the plan (ten pounds so far). The reward of embracing change is confidence, fully rooted in faith, which makes the world a whole lot brighter.
  Joy, grace, forgiveness, this little taste of Heaven on earth, is a fraction of what lies ahead.
  "But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance." 2 Pet 3:8-9


Tuesday, 11 April 2017

I Am Not Ashamed 2 Timothy 2:12 by Susan L.

  Kindergarten. I was a little girl happiest playing with trucks, painting pictures or making stuff at the "build it" table. My teacher, eager to get me to conform to gender roles, insisted I join the other girls playing house. So I pretended to be a puppy and curled up under the table while they merrily did dishes in pretend water and baked pretend cookies. Ick!
  I am still not that domestic although cooking for a crowd is something to be enjoyed.
  There was a growing movement in the sixties. Women's lib. It was a time of mixed messages. Girls could do anything a boy could unless, the world responded, they were boy roles or jobs. What?!
  I have to wonder if my zest for building things could have led to a career in architecture. I loved watching my dad design houses on graph paper. He would let me use his template with tiny toilet outlines or mini-fridges as I came up with my own dream homes. My brother and I would often invade his workshop and build boats out of scraps of wood and a thousand crookedly hammered in nails.
  The smell of sawdust comes with happy memories.
  My dad wouldn't teach me how to use power tools though. Boat building hand tools were okay. Hmm, now I think about it, it was probably to prevent me losing a finger or something. I nearly took off an arm one day because he hadn't taught me how to use his unguarded table saw safely. It's a great thing new power tools have safety guards. Besides, having learned a healthy respect for them makes me cautious and alert. (Tuck your thumbs under when using any type of saw!)
   I loved watching him work and handing him nails as he built things. Learning by osmosis. He was a child of the Great Depression so the one skill he taught me was how to straighten nails. None were wasted.
  My lack of interest in homemaking, clothes or make-up had me feeling ashamed. Different. Not normal. I hated being a girl because there was so much more available to boys. Their lives were much simpler and free of rules.
  So I thought.
  Thank You, Lord, I am much wiser now.
  The world is very good at using gender to build a tower of shame. Gender is the foundation of our identity. The world has designed gender parameters which, by the way, are impossible for anyone to live up to!
  Every single marketing ploy is aimed at shaming us. Without having the ninja chopping, slicing, dicing, julienning, programmable, all-in-one blender, our kitchen isn't perfect, our cooking falls short of the divine! Ergo, we aren't perfect because we can't afford the four equal payments of $49.99 even if it means we get two for that price. Isn't one sufficient?
  Feeling ashamed is the great divider. It stops us from becoming part of a community. It stops us from finding strength in numbers. It stops us from living true to the calling with which we were called.
  Shame is the great silencer.
  So how can we possibly walk boldly in faith when confidence is missing?
  I'll let you in on a secret. Jesus loves the broken.
  "Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me, His prisoner, but share with me in the suffering for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began." 2 Tim 1:8-9

Monday, 10 April 2017

I am the Aroma of Christ by Susan L.

  There was a blizzard on Thursday that dumped five inches of snow. I smiled seeing purple and yellow crocuses poking up through the pristine white in true Ontario fashion. It's all melted now except for a few shaded patches. Standing outside breathing deeply, the warm air smells of spring. New and tender grass and life giving soil are wrapped with a hint of muskiness from fall's waiting-to-be-raked leaves. It teases the nose and fills the soul with hope and wholesomeness and joy that winter is over.
  I've tried to imagine what heaven would be like many times. Tastes would have unimaginable colours that swirl and sparkle in the air. Music and the sound of worship would create untold hues of silver and gold that intertwine with the colours of fragrance. All of these combined illuminate the heavens in a dancing, divine light show. And then these special, beyond the rainbow colours, would release the sweetest, most perfect perfume to anoint the head of Jesus.
  I think it happens here on earth. We simply can't see it but our soul knows that ugly, toxic words create shadows and twisting darkness. Positive words fill a room with light and send the devil scurrying. Words of kindness, forgiveness, gentleness, compassion, and encouragement are like the scent of a spring day, infusing hope, deliverance and life.
  Lord, let me be a life bringer. Strengthen my resolve to guard my tongue. Guide me along Your paths of righteousness. Convict me when I stray. Forgive me when I do. In Jesus' name I pray.
  "Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death and to the other the aroma of life leading to life." 2 Cor 2:14-16


Sunday, 9 April 2017

#15 by Susan L.

  "I am appointed by God" John 15:16
   The closest analogy I can think of is a government appointment. Being made a minister of education or women's rights is a high honour because the leader of the country feels it suits a persons capabilities. Some of these positions are regarded as having higher status and are jealously sought after like being appointed to the senate. Senators can serve until they are seventy-five and are well paid.
  They aren't bound by political party affiliations but can make decisions based on experience and knowledge. There is a freedom to speak up that is lacking in our house of commons where back benchers, elected reps from smaller towns or young politicians, rarely get a chance to have a say.
  I've watched broadcasts of the House of Commons. It is a sad representation of the worst of humanity. The name calling, shouting over each other, making noise so the opponent can't be heard...if my children behaved like that, they'd be encouraged to learn how to listen better and develop some respect.
  Oh...right. This analogy isn't even close to what a God appointment is. The only similarity is being chosen specifically and individually for a higher purpose.
  What would the job description of a Christian look like in a help wanted ad?
  Redemption, Inc. is looking for all men, women and children to be part of our growing team. All permanent, eternal positions have openings. No experience necessary. Changes of heart are provided upon accepting the position. Imperfections are welcome because at Redemption, Inc. we believe in the ability to overcome anything and everything through the grace of Jesus Christ. We believe in facilitating the development of limitless potential given to every individual. Remittance for services are joy, hope and a better life than could possibly be imagined. For more information, contact: God, available 24/7, or your local branch of Redemption, Inc. on a Sunday morning.
  (That was a lot of fun to write!)
  It's backwards, though. Yes, we make the choice to follow but long before we were even born, we were the chosen ones, we were appointed to be reconciled with our heavenly Father. How awesome is that!
  "No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you." Jn 15:15-16
  If you don't have a personal relationship with Jesus, I invite you to invite Him into your heart and life. Embracing the appointment that's waiting for you in Redemption, Inc. comes with no regrets.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Eyes and Apples, Zechariah 2:8 by Susan L.

  I am not feeling much like the, "Apple of His eye", today's affirmation. I've been rather snarly and growly over the last couple of days. The telemarketers are still calling. That makes four times this week from the same duct cleaning company which legally constitutes harassment. My thoughts of sharing Jesus with them quickly went out the window in frustration because I've asked them numerous times to delete my number from their call list. Legally, they have to honour this request.
  Canada has a National Do Not Call Registry. I signed up a while ago as well as asking my phone company to delete my number from the records they sell to phone solicitation companies. Yes, they do this!
  Except for a computer generated call from someone trying to sell me a cruise, the duct guys are the only repeat offenders. I emailed a complaint to the registry after this morning's nine AM call.
  Here's the scary part. I got the name of the company, their address and a phone number. They have no online presence which fires off some major alarm bells. When a stranger asks how many rooms your house has under the pretense of finding out how many furnace vents need to be cleaned, I have to wonder if larger homes may be targeted for a break in. There's a strong possibility this is a scam.
  So how do I switch snarly and growly to becoming eye apples?
  It seems ironic the fruit leading to the fall of mankind is used in an endearing and tender affirmation.
  Maybe irony isn't the right word. Maybe this was chosen to speak clearly of God's willingness to redeem everything. Even apples.
  This needs to be investigated...
  The use of the word "apple" began in a Bible translation done in 1611. The apple of the eye refers to the pupil, the most sensitive part of the human body. Hebrew texts read, "little man of His eye", meaning the mirror image that is seen reflected in the eyes of others. (Thanks, Wikipedia!)
  "For thus says the Lord of hosts; "He sent Me after glory, to the nations which plunder you; for he who touches you touches the apple of His eye. For surely I will shake My hand against them, and they shall become spoil for their servants. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me." Zech 2:8-9
  Doing harm to another person is like poking God in the eye. Being harmed ignites the righteous wrath of God, the great Protector, Advocate, and Redeemer.
  I turned to worldly ways to fix a worldly problem, the telemarketers. I'd sooner go crab fishing in the Bering Sea than have the job of cold calling people. While my dealings were polite, the poor folks who, most likely, are only trying to make a living are probably subjected to a lot of abuse. Forgive my thoughts of ill will towards them, my Lord. Forgive me for poking You in the eye.
  I pray for protection from these unsolicited calls. In Jesus' name, Amen!
  "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?" Rom 8:35


Thursday, 6 April 2017

Lucky 13 by Susan L.

  Perhaps assigning luck giving capabilities to a number, a coin, a poor little bunny paw, or a pair of socks flies in the face of today's affirmation, "I am anxious for nothing."
  There's a cobweb wrapped thought whispering to me about the practice of "knocking on wood" for luck. It began because knocking was supposed to scare away the devil so he wouldn't interfere. If memory serves me right, it's supposed to be wood because of the connection to the cross of Jesus. I've done it myself although the only wood around in some modern décor is between my ears. So I rap my knuckles a couple of times on my forehead, just in case. Then chuckle at the silliness of it all.
  A brief prayer is all that is needed to send the devil scurrying back to his hole. (I'm curious where the pitching spilled salt over the left shoulder idea came from.)
  This affirmation is one I've wrestled with many times. It's one that has been quoted by well meaning people when my life is filled with constant and chronic anxiety. While I appreciate the gesture of caring, it feels more like a condemnation because having an anxiety disorder means I can't help being anxious. My body over-rides logic.
  It's like telling someone with a broken leg to walk. Lord, forgive me for being angry at those who don't understand.
  I've written many a post about this struggle and the merry-go-round of being anxious because I am anxious. It is hard to write about because anxiety builds by mentioning the memories of being anxious. Sheesh!
  There's good news. Lately has been much, much better than it had been since Christmas. There's been a great deal of healing around the early traumas which created the foundation for this disorder. Praise God! This is in spite of my reluctance to dive into the Black River again.
  Can you imagine how worried Peter was before he stepped out of the boat to walk on water? His doubt in the Divine ability to make this happen meant he sank beneath the surface. Was Thomas's doubt fraught with worry that he'd missed seeing his Lord? These guys were disciples who'd walked and talked with Jesus personally.
  And there's the answer about being anxious for nothing. Jesus bent down and extended His hand so Peter could be pulled out from under the water. He encouraged Thomas to place his fingers in His wounds so he would come to the full knowledge that He had risen from the grave.
  Okay. I realize now it takes so long to turn to the Lord because I think I have to fix my mental and emotional state before it's okay to begin a dialog about my feelings. (Doesn't the devil love to use God's word against us!) Who am I fooling? God knows everything about me!
  Forgive me, my Lord. Forgive my pride. Forgive me for not allowing Your grace to enrich my life. Give me a knock-on-wood rap to the head so I turn to You in all things. Help me be like Peter. Fill me with a willing heart to quickly leap out of the boat and into Your arms.
  Most of all, I'd like to change my mind about the whole anxiety thing. Instead of being an enemy to suppress or disregard, I choose to embrace it as a gift that draws me closer to Jesus.
  "Jesus said to him, "Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." Jn 20:29

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

I Am Anointed 1 John 2:20 by Susan L.

  The verse where this affirmation is found required reading before I could understand what it meant and in what context it is placed. My understanding is that the anointing is in the form of the Holy Spirit so that followers of Jesus will know good from evil.
  I dusted off and double checked this with my King James reference Bible to make sure this was right. It is. It makes me laugh, being so old school. Probably this info is online somewhere.
  What does being anointed by the Spirit mean?
  It's more than simply knowing good from evil. There's a section in this particular Bible all about Him, the Holy Spirit.
  Again I give thanks for dedicated Bible scholars. Dakes, who assemble this one, spent eighty years compiling all the word and verse cross references as well as list upon list of items like the character of the Spirit. There's a ninety-six scriptural references that point to and define who He is. I'll try and combine some of them.
  It's not infallible. It is an older work so somewhere I read that the world was going to end in the year 2000. Thank You, Lord for the gift of the Spirit that enables me to discern truth. Thank You that the world didn't end! Thank You for once again reminding me that none of us have all the answers.
  The Spirit or Ghost, is part of the eternal, Holy trinity of Father, Son and Himself. He is a gift through Jesus Christ. He is the source of learning, discernment, healing, and authority. He dwells within our hearts and minds the moment we embrace Jesus as Lord. He fills us with power, grace and guides our prayers. He is a leader and an encourager.
  He is our eternal companion yet we can shut Him down, ignoring His Still Small Voice of wisdom, encouragement or direction. Yet, He also helps us obey truth so even if we wander astray. He is there to put us back on a path of righteousness. Forgive me, Father, for ignoring the leading of Your heart. Forgive me for doubting what I knew was right.
  Again, this affirmation could become a book. A couple of hours blogging only scratches the surface of the untold wealth being a follower of Jesus grants us. I know one really Good Book that can help unravel the not-so-hidden mysteries abounding in a life of faith.
  There is one thing I am absolutely positively thankful for: I have been anointed with a Helper who guides me every step of the way.
  "But as it is written: "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him." But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God." 1 Cor 2:9-10

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Number 11 by Susan L.

  "I am an ambassador for Christ." 2 Corinthians 5:20
   Sorry for repeating myself, FB friends, but it ties in.
  Telephone solicitors are the bane of North American society. They usually call at supper time. There's one company that keeps trying to clean my furnace ducts. I've asked them to delete my number from their call list five times to no avail.
  When a call came at five I began sharing with the caller about workers rights. She hung up.
  They called again shortly before nine. This time, I decided to go one better. I began sharing about Jesus. He hung up once he realized there was no way I was going to give him any information about my home and because I was so persistent in sharing who Jesus was.
  It will be interesting to see if they call tonight.
  At least it's good practice and hey, they called me!
  But it does fall short of what an ambassador is even though I planted a seed.
  My life has many different types of people. There are believers, non-believers, people of different faiths and different backgrounds. I make no apologies for being a follower of Christ and am candid about my faith for the most part. Thank You, Lord, for the gift of discernment about how much and when to share.
  I know one thing for sure. They are watching me. They have seen the incredible healing the Lord has brought into my life. They have witnessed growing freedom.
  I truly try not to judge others while at the same time practice laughing at myself when my humanity slips. It's okay not to be perfect. No one is and I believe that's the biggest lesson any of God's children can share.
  Actions of grace and compassion speak louder than words.
  It's my choice to uphold a standard of honour, dignity, decency, honesty, love, kindness and respect for others. Sometimes it's easy. Sometimes not so much. Mastering my tongue is a work in progress.
  I heard a joke somewhere recently that isn't funny at all but still worth sharing.
  On a busy highway, a man accidently cut another car off. The woman behind the wheel started screaming at him, flashing her lights and using impolite hand gestures. She roared up beside him, rolled down her passenger window and continued verbally abusing him for his error.
  With a chirp of sirens and a flash of red lights, the cop behind her pulled her over.
  Furious, she asked the cop why after handing over her license and registration.
  "I saw the Jesus fish and the reflective cross stuck on the back of your car. I thought the car might be stolen after seeing how you were behaving behind the wheel."
  I think that says it all.
  We are ambassadors of Jesus, His holy representatives. Everywhere. Every when.
  "For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." 2 Cor 4:6

Monday, 3 April 2017

Affirmation # 10: I Am Alive by Susan L.

 In true dictionary form, via Google this time, life is first defined as something that isn't dead. Go figure. :)
  It then goes on to say, in order to be classified as alive, something has to grow, reproduce, have cells, respond to stimuli, and continually change preceding death.
  Intelligence isn't a sign of life. It's a side effect of having a brain.
  Thank You, Lord, for brains.
  All creatures with brains are capable of feelings. Fear is necessary for survival in the jungle or on the vast plains where the cheetahs run. Fear created human community. Shared tasks like hunting and child rearing guaranteed the survival of our species. Eventually, language, creativity, and a quest for knowledge led us to our current place in Earth's history.
  DNA testing has proven there is a genetic Adam and Eve. There is one man and one woman the entire human species is descended from. Humans have come a long way since then, technologically.
  That same technology is stunting our potential. Community becomes less important than checking a cell phone for the latest social media update.
  There's a hunger in the human soul for community which is why cell phones are checked so often in the first place.
  To be alive is to be relational. At least from a human standpoint.
  In thinking about the past comes the understanding that the life I lived then wasn't relational. My brain enabled me to function despite being emotionally disconnected. I didn't think about anything except for the odd time when I was delighted to help my daughter with an essay for school or my son (laughingly) with his physics homework.
  It wasn't living. It was a sad and very lonely existence.
  Sigh. I feel bad for the woman I once was. So much was missed. So much time was lost on the Black River.

  Hmmm, thank You, Lord, for freeing me of the regrets those memories once created.
  Better yet, thank You for redeeming those lost years and helping me to be thankful for all the experiences they contained.
  I am alive through an unwavering, eternal relationship with One who waited patiently for me to come home.
  I can experience life and the mysteries found around every corner.
  I am free to explore those mysteries, free to experience the wonder and awe that are so much a part of those "Ah-ha!" moments.
  I am full of life because I know beyond a shadow of a doubt there will be many better tomorrows.
  All because I have a Jesus in my life.
  "But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by faith you have been saved). Eph 3:4-5

Saturday, 1 April 2017

I Am Adopted by Susan L.

  I learned another historical treasure from the wonderful ladies I met with at Singing Waters. In the days when Rome was a mighty power to be reckoned with, they had a law. Natural born children could be disowned by their parents.
  Being disowned meant having no legal claim to any inheritance or support whatsoever. Being disowned would cancel the birth right of citizenship. Genteel education would be tossed out the window. Food and shelter would have to be fought for in the brutal, urban jungle. Depending on the age of the child, being disowned could be a death sentence. Execution by abandonment.
  It's a grim thought this practice still happens today even in the wealthiest of countries. God have mercy on us.
  In Roman times, if this same family adopted a child, regardless of their own wealth or circumstances, they were bound by law to provide for and raise the child because they had chosen her or him to be part of their family.
  One of the first questions I asked the Lord was, "Who am I?" The next question soon followed and is one every child asks, "Where did I come from?"
  A lot of my recent healing has surrounded my own adoption as an infant.
  Thanks to modern technology, I know my genetic roots. DNA has shown me there are oodles of blood relatives out there.
  Thanks to modern technology, I have learned a lot about the devastating impact adoption can have on both mother and the surrendered child. In knowing these things, my heart has filled with compassion.
  I've also found an incredibly deep gratitude for the woman who gave me life and the parents who chose to raise me as their own.
  What I love the most is how God uses the world and its ways to point to His heart.
  All the scriptures that teach us we are adopted sons and daughters of our heavenly Father were a lesson based around Roman law at the time.
  Knowing I, we, are adopted into His family means it's always been a forever arrangement.
  "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined u to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will." Eph 1:3-5