Be Still

Hi Everyone!

Its been almost a month since my last post. It’s been so busy. It’s a lame excuse though.

I have been going through the Psalms for a quite a while now, and this morning, Psalm 46 jumped out to me in a new and fresh way. This is a famous Psalm that speaks of God’s sovereignty, strength, mightiness and holiness, and we have all heard “Be still and know that I am God.” I have to be honest, I have a real problem being still. My mind is always going 90 to nothing. I am thinking of 1400 things that need to be done, even when I am trying to sleep I am bombarded with thoughts that won’t stop. I even get to thinking on theological things sometimes to where my brain starts hurting. Ever been there? In a way I kind of feel like a 3 year old, you know how toddlers squirm, and want to touch everything, and don’t want to listen. Well yeah thats me a lot of the time. I can’t sit still, I need to be doing something. And if I am sitting still, my mind is not sitting still. My mind is squirming and swirling and yes sometimes I don’t want to listen.

I wonder if God, is saying, “sit still child!” Well he is! It says it in Psalm 46. Too much busy-ness and preoccupation can get in the way of our communion with God. This is what I jotted down in my Bible in the margins that was a blessing to me, and I hope you can meditate on this and it is a blessing to you as well.

Be still; He is my refuge

Be still; He is my strength

Be still; He is most high

Be still; He is my help

Be still; He is with me

Be still; He is working

Be still; He is holy

Be still; HE IS GOD

Try putting “Be still” in front of whatever your facing, and then follow it with a truth and promise of God.

He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He will never leave you or forsake you.

Blessings to you all!

Johanna

 

 

 

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Worship and Fullness

Dear readers below I have a guest writer, my dad. This subject is something we can all relate too. I found it very helpful, as I can be a worrier and this can consume me sometime if I let it. Here is the antidote. No matter the circumstance we are going through this should be our response. Enjoy and be blessed!  –Johanna

 

WORSHIP AND FULLNESS

In Ephesians 5:18 we are told to be:
FILLED with Holy Spirit,
SPEAKING to one another in Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs,
SINGING and MAKING MELODY in our hearts TO THE LORD

In other words we should be a walking, talking, singing worship service. Why? Because we are the temple of God.
What I am finding is that prayer without ceasing is worship without ceasing. This brings an impenetrable peace and joy because praise and honor to the Lord drives out every evil. Nothing can break through the WALL OF PRAISE and THANKSGIVING!

Our minds never stop! Even when we are thinking about one thing it is always undergirded by some other thought–attitude–worry. Let the foundation of your mind be intentional in the praise and all the other thoughts will be established on a firm foundation The superstructure of your mind will be filled with glory!

Ask the Lord to perfect praise from your heart! Remember, He said, “out of the mouths of babes God has PERFECTED praise!

Ken Harris

 

Priorities.

I was with my cousin Lindsey a few days ago hanging out at the mall, we were ooh-ing and ah-ing as we were looking in all these expensive stores that we would in no way be able to afford. My cousin and I love to shop!  Every year on New Years Day we meet up and go to the huge Dillard’s sale. We wait outside in the line with all the crazed shopaholics, just waiting to score that great deal! Anyway, we are walking around the mall and I am saying how I want this and want that, and then my cousin started to tell me a story. She said, “well I was just humbled recently.” My ears perked up, “Really? What happened?” She began to tell me about this young family that she knew through her husband. The parents were in their 30’s and they had two young children. The wife’s father had died several years earlier from a rare form of colon cancer. Lindsey went on to say that they found this rare cancer in the daughter. She was diagnosed and only lived a few more months. She died leaving behind her husband and young children. Lindsey said this family was active in their church and faith and just all around a family to admire. Here’s the clincher!  Lindsey then went on to say that on her death-bed, the last thing she told her husband was,

“Run to Jesus, cause that’s all that matters.”

She didn’t say walk, she said, “run!” There was urgency. I stood there in the mall feeling humbled myself. Priorities.

I thought about my good friend Donna who just died of ovarian cancer. Her last words to everyone, that I was honored to sing at her memorial service at her request was,

“Give me Jesus, you can have all this world, but give me Jesus.”

Priorities.

Not long ago my brother was at home and he witnessed a fatal car accident right outside his house. He told us the story, he heard the terrible crash. Emergency crews were on their way, but the young driver didn’t make it. My brother told us he bent down over the body and said,

“Look to Jesus.”

This tears me up just thinking about it. Priorities.

A couple of weeks ago I was at Goodwill, a local resale shop. As I was browsing one of the clerks and I started chatting, just small talk, but the small talk soon turned into something more. Robyn, the clerk started opening up to me and telling me of her anxiety and how paralyzing it was, she worried about something catastrophic happening all the time. As she was telling me this, her eyes started to well up with tears. I started to feel my eyes tearing up. I reached out and gave her a hug. I really did understand, because I deal with anxiety too. I shared my own sufferings with her, and how I could empathize. I told her I would be praying for her and I walked off. I prayed silently, “Lord, Oh Lord, what do I say to her? What should I do?”  I went up to the cash register to check out and she was standing there. I told her,

“Look to the Lord. Nothing else will fill that space but Him.”

I gave her another hug and left. Priorities.

It’s easy to get our priorities out of whack, but here recently I have had several incidents that keep shouting, “JESUS!”  I know when you put him first everything else falls into its rightful place.

Blessings,

Johanna

 

Loving Your Neighbor in the Public Square

I have never understood when a person says they aren’t political or they don’t care about politics. I have seen so many times people turning a deaf ear to anything having to do with current affairs. They just can’t be bothered with any of that. How can they not see that by not caring they are literally giving up their rights and freedoms by just not doing anything at all. They are in a sense handing over their lives to the state. The corrupt group are hoping that more and more people won’t care that much or won’t want to be educated on history and our constitution and our roll as “we the people.”

I was talking with a friend and she said “they are all corrupt, I don’t care anything about politics. All politics are corrupt.” My first thought was this is exactly what the corrupt would have you believe, so you will just go on with your life so THEY can take over your life. My second thought was how do you know it’s all corrupt? What do you mean it’s all corrupt? I believe there is corruption most definitely, but I also believe there are people in political office that are sincerely wanting to uphold the rights of the people and do the right thing. Let’s say that even if every person in  political office were corrupt, does that give them the right to take over my life? Do I just resign myself?

Our founding fathers knew all too well about what too much power could do and that corruption is inevitable in fallen man. They knew we needed a checks and balance system. No one man or group of people should have too much power. Everyone should be held accountable.

So my next question is, if you don’t care about politics, you must not care about life, about liberty, and about the pursuit of happiness. These three things are our natural rights given by our creator. You cannot say you care about those rights if you say you don’t care about politics and don’t vote and simply want to hide under a rock. By taking this stance, you are in contradiction and quite frankly disingenuous.

This is exactly how the nazis took over Germany. The people didn’t speak up, they let it happen by their silence. I hate to say it but they played a part in the Nazi take over. Martin Luther King Jr. said,

“History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.”

We the people, have a voice and we can use it or we can abuse it or we can even worse, be silent!

This brings me to the church. I am appalled at how many Christians don’t vote. Think of the impact and the good that Christians could do if they pulled their heads out of the sand, and got involved in the public square. The argument I hear is that these matters are not what we should be worried about, we just need to be worried about the Kingdom of God, and souls being saved. Of course this is our priority, but this does not mean that we ignore the things that are happening here on earth. How can you not speak out about millions of lives being killed through abortion? How can you not speak out against religious liberty being taken away. It matters very much who gets in office. Yes God is in control ultimately, but God doesn’t ask us to be irresponsible. God uses us as a vessel, we need to make ourselves available and ready to speak for the things that God cares about. What if those that spoke out and broke the chains of slavery said oh I can’t be bothered with that?

If there is outright evil acts going on, is it not the right thing to speak out, to make my voice known. Oh I hear, well what can just one voice do? For as many times as I have heard that, and if those people decided to be proactive, that one voice turns into multiple voices really fast! On a side note, who are you to say that your voice won’t make a difference!? God has used one voice many times throughout history to make huge impacts. More and more our liberties are being taken away, we can’t afford to be silent.

I plead especially with Christians, if you truly love and care about your neighbor as we are instructed to do, please think about the importance of your voice and take action. This does not mean you have to run for office, but maybe that might be your call. We need more Christians in the local offices and in the school boards, but even if this is not what your called to do, we are ALL called to love our neighbor and loving our neighbor includes helping to protect their life and liberty. If you saw someone stealing from your neighbor, would you not immediately speak out? Well the government is stealing from you and your neighbor, so what are you going to do go back inside your house, bake a pie and take it to your neighbor?

Please don’t turn a deaf ear!

 

Prayerfully,

Johanna

 

A Conversation With a Friend- Religion and Spirituality

The word religion is not a popular one today. It seems many people look at it with a negative connotation. Even Christians want to steer away from using the word, saying things like, “it’s a relationship not religion.” There was a video that went viral a few years ago called by Jefferson Bethke called, “Why I hate religion, but love Jesus. I have even found myself trying to avoid that word when speaking of Jesus or Christianity. I hear people say, “she/he is very religious” another phrase I hear a lot is, “I am not religious, I am spiritual.

I had lunch with a good friend. We got into this conversation. She said she saw herself as spiritual but not religious. I asked, “what does that mean to you?” I really genuinely wanted to know because I myself did not know what that really meant to her. She said, “well religion had a negative association, and she felt “religious” meant rigid and set in their ways not willing to budge. This was a paraphrase from what I recall. Anyway she saw it as strict and unwavering. She also said she did not agree with being held to a man-made set of beliefs written out and using that as your only guide, and she mentioned the Bible. She did not like “organized religion.” I hear that term “organized” and never understood it. If you don’t like religion just say you don’t like religion. Why put the organized part in front of it? It sounds like you might consider chaotic or random religion.

My dad asked me the day before I met with my friend, “How do you keep from worshiping the Bible instead of the God of the Bible?” I thought for a minute, and I said, “prayer, asking the Holy Spirit to search my heart and worship in spirit and in truth. I mentioned this to my friend. A side note, my friend grew up in a very legalistic, religious home, they attended a church that is considered now to be a cult. She even admitted to having deep emotional ties to the topic and even having a distorted view of these things. Can you blame her?

So Back to the story, I told her it’s about spirit and truth. My view of when people say they are spiritual is they are really attracted to the spirit side, which is where longing and desire resides. We all have this deep within our spirits. We have a need to understand our origin, meaning, morality, and destiny. These questions as Ravi Zacharias  says, will have to be answered at some point in our lives. Our spirit longs for these things to be answered. Worship in spirit is only part of the equation, the other essential part is truth. I expressed to my friend to ask herself what she truly believes, and if what she believes is true.  It’s only rational to test our belief systems. She in essence said well, we can’t really know, because our perspectives are all skewed based on our experiences and our emotional attachments. I have heard this argument before, that we can’t know for sure. This doesn’t add up, I told her if we can’t know or if it is not possible, we should have never found out that it was impossible, we should just exist. CS Lewis said, “If the universe has no meaning, we should have never found out that it has no meaning. We humans have something different in us than every other species. We need the questions of origin, meaning, morality and destiny answered. This is essential in our human need. She is right when she says our experience and emotion can take over and lead us but I don’t think it’s impossible to see through it. I believe the Holy Spirit can knock the lenses right out of our glasses so we can see the truth. When we are really open to finding the truth and seeking the truth genuinely, I believe God honors that. “Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened.” At the end of the day, if someone asked me are you religious or spiritual, I would say both. Religion is simply a system of beliefs that we adhere to make our decisions on origin, meaning, morality, and destiny. I definitely think we are made for an organized system, because our origin is organized, our meaning and morality is organized and our destiny is organized. We aren’t made for randomness. The only organized set of beliefs that seem to answer these questions rationally, logically and experiential is Christianity. So am I religious? Sure. Am I spiritual? You bet. I am a spirit. This body is wasting away but my spirit is being renewed daily and preparing for eternity. My spirituality is how I commune with God. It is where my deepest longings and desires are. It’s how I can have a thriving relationship with Jesus.

What are your thoughts on this? I would love to know how you would respond in this context.

Blessings,

Johanna

The Door

I was walking down an unfamiliar old outdated hallway, it was like an old run down hotel. Down the hallway, there were doors on all sides one right after the other. I opened a door and there was another door. I kept walking down the hallway, and opened another door, there was a staircase this time. I was just trying to find an outlet that would lead somewhere. I kept opening door after door. I was trapped. I started panicking. Have you ever been lost before and gotten that horrible sinking feeling? It is the most unsettling feeling. I started screaming for someone to help me. “Help! Help me!” There was not a soul around. I finally opened a door at the end that led me outdoors. “Finally an outlet!” For a moment I was relieved, until I realized that these surroundings where unfamiliar too. It was freezing cold outside and there was snow on the ground. There were rows and rows of houses, but they seemed empty. The whole area appeared desolate. The anxiety started pouring in again. Finally out of the corner of my eye I saw this older lady walking down the street coming towards me. I ran towards her and asked anxiously, ” Can you help me?” She said nothing and walked away like she didn’t even see me. I cried out loud again, “Can you help me?” And then I woke up.

I’m sure as you were reading that you suspected it was a dream or some scene from the twilight zone.(I love that old show) When I had this dream, it was so real and I wrote it down and of course as I do about almost everything, I started my theological reflection.

The first thing I thought of was this idea of being in a maze searching for the thing that will give us peace and finally ultimate fulfillment. Each one of the doors appeared like an outlet, I mean they were doors and doors when opened are supposed to lead somewhere, but when opened they didn’t lead anywhere, except to another door. Like a dog chasing its tail. If you read my previous blogs, I talked a lot about chasing after that longing and when we chase after anything but Jesus it won’t lead us anywhere. Jesus said, “I am the door.” I also saw the symbolism of the freezing cold outside and the desolate houses. The one door that I came to where I found somewhat of an outlet, was still no outlet. It was cold, empty and lonely, and even the one soul that appeared to be there wasn’t there for me either. The enemy tempts us with other doors and by his way of doing things, but he is a liar and a deceiver. The lady in my dream I saw as the enemy, not caring one thing about me, ignoring me definitely not helping.

Jesus is our only way. He is the only door. If you try any other door to bring you fulfillment if will lead to emptiness, loneliness, and death.

Take heart! Jesus said, “I am the door. If anyone enters by ME, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, kill and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. John 10:9-10

I am so glad I woke up from that dream. Thank you Jesus that you saved me! You are my refuge and strength. A very present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1

Which door will you open?

Blessings to you all!

Johanna

 

Heaven? Never Ending Church Service?

I grew up in church. We went Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night, and if there was special things going on maybe more. This was the norm and the routine.

Now this is not a anti church post, but more of our view of what Heaven is going to be like. I have to say, for a long time I have always thought heaven is just going to be sitting around for eternity singing songs and well just being at church all the time. This idea of heaven did nothing for my longing for eternity, and as a result effected the way I lived out my faith.

I get these sensations a lot, they don’t last long, maybe not even a second, but its a wave that makes my heart burst with joy and fulfillment. Sometimes music will trigger it, or a smell, or being at a place, or sometimes I can’t even pinpoint the trigger, but as quickly as it comes, it’s gone and I go chasing it to get that sensation again. I think this sensation is a small dose of what eternity will be like. God gives us these glimpses to awaken in us life, abundant life; then we go screw it up by our misplaced desire. C.S. Lewis said the beauty was not in those things, rather it only came through those things.

My husband and I  watch a show called American Pickers. Its a show where these two guys go around the country and pick for antiques and collectibles. Most of the places that they pick from are these people who have been collecting their whole life practically and have so much stuff that it kind of looks like a hoarder. They have so much stuff, you have to climb through it to find the “rusty gold” like they call it. In one of the episodes the collector was asked what got him started collecting, he said, ” It reminds me of the things I grew up with. I don’t really know the attachment, but kind of wish I didn’t have it cause it’s like a disease.” I was taken by his genuine honesty. It got me thinking this guy was chasing after a longing inside him, and by his own admission I don’t think he understood that fully, but what was interesting was his comment about wishing he didn’t have this attachment because it’s like a disease. I could see how all that collecting, searching for that one item would bring that sensation of heaven back, and you might get a glimpse, and then poof it’s gone just as quickly as it came. Then you have to get another item and another, and soon you have barns and barns of stuff, and none of it is doing anything of eternal value. He tapped into something when he said a “disease”. In reality it really is a growing malignancy that he was feeding. All that stuff wasn’t bringing ultimate fulfillment. Was he trusting in the “stuff” for the beauty and sensation of heaven?

Our view of heaven is of the most utmost importance. I know this now. How much we anticipate eternity, will determine how we live our life here on earth. If we give no thought to it or there is no excitement for it, then most likely the way we live our lives on earth will have very little eternal benefit. On the flip side, when we are embracing the longing for eternity and looking on it with great anticipation, the more we will want to live for eternal benefit. God gave us deep longings, but when we trust in anything but Him to fulfill it we end up with a heap of junk, a disease that just grows and grows, and the bigger it gets the harder it is to control.

If we truly believe in eternity with this great anticipation, this gives the motivation to share the gospel. This is what we have to look forward to. Jesus said, “Look, I am making all things new.” That feeling you get when you buy something new, like new car, going on vacation, etc. well thats just a simulated feeling for what Jesus is talking about. I can’t even explain it, but the thought is making me excited. The newness will never where off, and it will be all your longings fulfilled!! And its all IN HIM! Jesus wants you to feel the desires he has placed in you and then trust in Him. Jesus would always question, what are you seeking? What do you want? It all had to do with desire.

ARE YOU EXCITED ABOUT ETERNITY!?  I hope you will never think of heaven as just a big never ending sing-along again. Go and share this truth the next time you share the gospel. Just asking someone what they want, and what they are seeking can open up doors for them to do their own reflection and then we can say I know who can meet your deepest longing!

He created you, He can complete you!

Eternity in our Hearts

 

Well this is another blog on eternity. This is one topic I can’t seem to stop talking about. I am forever talking about eternity. 🙂

It is hard to wrap our minds around the infinite. I remember as a kid talking to my dad about outer space and the universe. I was in awe over the fact that if you kept going up into space you would never hit a wall that says no outlet, rather you could keep traveling forward. WOW! I could see where the desire to be an astronaut would be appealing; to be able to study this incredible universe. Its amazing, but yet unfathomable all at the same time.

We trust a lot in things that will all eventually fail us and come to an end. We trust in money to keep us stable. We trust in the loyalty  and presence of loved ones. We trust in medicine, exercise to keep our health in tact. We trust in the intellect to help us feel in control. We can even trust in doctrine and theology. In Ecclesiastes we read, all of this is meaningless on its own merits without God. To everything there is a season, a time and a purpose. Why would we want to put our whole hearted trust in these things, without God these things have no meaning.

God on the other hand has no end. He is ever increasing. He will never fail us. I was thinking how so many don’t give any thought to eternity. It seems easier to live for the now, but yet all the same time we were created for eternity, so no matter how we try to escape the thought of eternity, it is written in our hearts. The trap is we try to substitute this longing in our hearts for eternity for finite things that come to an end. St. Augustine said, “Our hearts are restless until they can find rest in you.” This is an ongoing journey. On this earth we have to deal with the restless struggle, but we choose to respond to it by falling at the feet of Jesus every day. He renews us daily. We must be renewed daily. We can’t just store up for a week and think that is going to sustain us. It doesn’t work that way just like we get hungry for food. We could eat a huge meal if we wanted, but the next day we will have to eat again to be nourished or we will whither away. Our hearts and souls are no different. We hunger for eternity, for God who is never ending, who never runs empty, who never fails. Why fill this hunger with cheap substitutes that don’t nourish that don’t satisfy? Its a trap, the substitute might seem appetizing but its death in the end. Its like the irony of being on a boat thirsty, seeing ocean water all around, but knowing that if you drank of that water it would kill you.

It seems so simple, yet we can be so foolish. We have two choices, choose the finite or choose the infinite. Trust in everything that will eventually come to and end, or trust in the One who has no end. Trust in the thing that only leads to death or trust in Him who is the giver of life.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to hit a wall that says no outlet. I want to keep traveling forward discovering the wonder and awe of God and all the while being filled up with Jesus, the only one who can fully satisfy. I daily want to get on the rocket ship of my heart, and set out on the journey that He has set before me. I don’t want to just live a hum- drum Christian life only saying and doing all the appropriate things, but rather I want to live it with my whole being. Will you join me?

Eternally His,

Johanna

 

That Old Feeling?

I am a sucker for nostalgia. Even when I was a teenager, I was always after that feeling. It’s safe to say I might be one of the biggest Christmas fanatics. I love the smells, the decorating, the family and friend time, the music. When I was younger I would listen to Christmas music in the summer and I put up a little Christmas tree up in my room in September. So now that I have aired out my neuroses, I’ll get to my point. There are other ways in which we try to chase after a feeling, maybe it was a time in our life that we look back at fondly, or maybe it’s our childhood, or when we lived in another city or country. The funny thing is, that if we go back to the year or the place or the season that we are chasing after, we would not find what we are looking for. CS Lewis called it “longing” He suggested that if we trust in these things they will only disappoint.

“The books or the music in which we thought the beauty was located
will betray us if we trust to them; it was not in them, it only came through them,and what came through them was longing.
These things—the beauty, the memory of our own past—are good images of what we
really desire; but if they are mistaken for the thing itself they turn into dumb idols,breaking the hearts of their worshippers.
For they are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited.”

I have been thinking on the scripture, 2 Corinthians 4:16 “Though our bodies are dying, our spirit is being renewed day by day.” The fact is our bodies are dying, each day we get a little older, another year will have gone by, another decade, we can’t stop time here on earth no matter how hard we try, we can’t turn back time. That old feeling we chase after wouldn’t even be there even if we got there.  It’s a waste of energy and time.  Some might think it morbid to think of  this life as dying away, but it’s foolish to deny it and live as if we will live forever on this earth. Instead, replace it with renewing the inner man. Our bodies will perish, but our spirit will live forever. Renew the inner man, by spiritually feeding  with daily prayer asking the Lord to renew us and Bible reading, also being with other fellow believers to help us, and encourage us, and serving the Lord in our day-to-day life.

We have new things to look forward to  in each stage of our lives here. New doors will open. New opportunities. We don’t need to chase after our youth or some old feeling, what the Lord has for us today is much better. Living for Him each day will bring the most satisfaction. What we really desire is Him, and he can’t be replaced by anything else.

Lord help me to keep my time here on this earth in perspective. Help me to use my time to give you glory.

In Jesus name,

AMEN!

“Do You Love the Lord?” Part II

In the last blog, I wrote about obedience to his word and complete trust in him as evidence of our faithfulness and true love for the Lord. I also talked about the closer we walk with the Lord the more sin affects us, and we feel the sting of it.

There is a sting that runs deeper than any sin could inflict on us. Do you know what it is? After Jesus was resurrected he appeared to Peter. Peter had recently denied Jesus 3 times at the time of his crucifixion. Peter was so zealous telling Jesus, “Even if I have to die with you, I will not deny you.” And yet, what did he do? Not once, but three times, he denied the Lord. When Jesus appeared to Peter, after the resurrection,  Jesus asked Peter, “do you love me?”  He answered “Yes, Lord, you know I do.” Jesus asked him a second time,”Do you love me?” Peter said, “Yes Lord, you know I do.” Jesus asked him a third time, “Do you love me?” This time it says, Peter was grieved. Jesus kept asking for a reason, the first answers were not good enough. That third time it pierced his heart. We can’t get to the truth  until all our own walls, masks and deceptions have been peeled away. This hurts deeper than anything. Peter had to face the truth of who he really was. He denied Jesus three times, he was boastful and selfish. Though he was a disciple of Jesus, this didn’t make him any better. How many times have we said, yes to the Lord, but we didn’t let him do what has to be done. What has to be done is painful but its the only place we will find true relief and abundant joy. An illustration is if you were sick with a terminal illness, and the doctor said, I can give you relief, I can make you better, but you have to allow me to do this surgery or this procedure, and initially it will hurt, and there will be pain, but it’s temporary. If you had an infection, it’s safe to say that you would want the doctor to get it out, regardless of what you might have to endure. You would know that it was temporary and you would be on the road to recovery. In spiritual terms we all are terminally ill, and this is worse than any physical illness. This is an eternal illness that can only be cured by allowing God to inflict the pain on our inner self. When he says “Do you love me?” How is your response? Is it an emotional one, and intellectual one, a negative one, or is it a truthful one, one that penetrates to the deepest corner of your spirit, where you can feel it’s pierce?

It’s a daily act to keep coming back to our Lord and let him do whatever procedures on our spirit are necessary to keep us in step with his will. Are you like Peter, getting a repeat of the same question? The question keeps resounding, you answer but their is no relief and the question keeps coming back. It’s safe to say, there is something wrong with your answer.

Lord help me to not be afraid of any pain that there might be, because everything that you do, you do because you love me. Whatever the initial, temporal, pain, it can’t be compared to the abundant life and joy that you give. Strip me of the masks I wear. Let there be no deception about myself.

In Jesus name,

AMEN