As They Went…

Posted August 2, 2019 by nessalynn77
Categories: Uncategorized

“And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests.  And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.”

Luke 17:14

As I approach mile marker 42 on the journey of my life, I’m amazed at how my perspective on life as a whole has changed.  My understanding of who I am, where I belong and my relationships with others has transformed drastically in what seems to be a very short time.  I am sure I have not yet arrived at who I shall be, and I may look back at this moment and see that I had only scratched the surface, but I think it’s valuable to take a moment and document progress and perspective.

The scripture above taken from Luke’s account of the healing of the ten lepers, is a familiar one to me.  As a child I remember my dad explaining that some healing or deliverance takes place, not instantaneously, but as you go.  It sounds good in theory, but I just recently started to understand what that means in real life application.  In order to experience an “as they went” or “as you go” type of deliverance, it is crucial that you “Go”, meaning actually move in the direction of your healing with obedient intent, even before any of your conditions show signs of improving.

It’s fascinating to me, though frustrating, that the very thing required to begin to experience some relief from whatever circumstance happens to be troubling or oppressing us is the very thing that feels least possible in those intense moments.  People always advise someone battling feelings associated with failure or setbacks to keep moving, or don’t let it get you down.  But to actually experience those very real feelings backed by very real experiences, is to understand that it takes more than a pep talk to launch back into the fight and go after it like losing is not an option, when painful losses are so fresh and real, that it seems their teeth are still buried in your flesh.  The sound of hurtful words has left the air but they still ring in your ears, and seem to have grown actual fists that gut punch you when you dare even dream of moving forward.  Sometimes it’s that intense.

I’ve found that in these hard times we tend to look to God for sympathy or even question his presence, wondering if he really sees or understands and why he allows life to overwhelm us.  Why doesn’t he intervene when it seems to be so obviously more than I can handle?

If you can’t tell, I am speaking from experience.  This is a battle I know all to well.  Finally, after many cycles of attempts and failure or progress and setbacks, I reached a simple truth, one that was there all along.  God is a God of principle.  We are people of emotion, flawed logic, manipulation, and the list goes on… but God?  He’s consistently a God of principle.  Applying His principles is a guide to moving forward through any circumstance.

So the other day I was listening to a message from Priscilla Shirer, and a principle jumped out at me.  She was recounting the details of the parable of the talents, and prefaced it by saying, “God hates passivity”.  She proved her point by illustrating that each servant in the story was given something to invest, but the one who was given only one talent went and buried it and accomplished nothing while the Master was away.  I’ve always marveled at the Master’s response to this servant,

But his master answered him, You wicked and lazy and idle servant! Did you indeed know that I reap where I have not sowed and gather [grain] where I have not winnowed?

…so take the talent away from him and give it to the one who has ten talents. 

,,,And throw the good-for-nothing servant into outer darkness; there will be weeping and grinding of teeth

Matthew 25:26, 28, 30

It seemed kind of harsh to me, until I understood the principle.  God will not tolerate passivity.  He is loving and giving, and not only has placed in us everything we need to go forward, but He has made himself available for support, wisdom and constant unfailing, unconditional love.  He only asks that we take the steps we can, even if we feel it’s not enough or won’t make a difference.  The miracle is all wrapped up in the “going”.  He promises to keep us from falling, hold us up with His right hand, order our steps, be a lamp to our feet, a present help in trouble… He only asks us to get going!

Our “going” is evidence of our faith.  We can talk faith all day, but the only proof we have that we have faith is that we actually make a move and keep moving.  “We walk by faith…” because you may not even clearly see the first step, but by the time you make the second, He’s provided for that one and your faith has gone before you and is trusting for the very next step.  Sometimes it’s like that.  Sometimes we can see clearly for miles and obstacles pop up to startle us in mid-stride.  Sometimes they knock us down or back a few steps, but as we go we find that we are not just “going”…

….but we are “becoming”.

Stronger.  Wiser.  Better.

Get going!


The Depth of Surrender

Posted January 8, 2019 by nessalynn77
Categories: Uncategorized

There are a lot of benefits to obeying God and doing things his way.  We can see many of them outlined in the bible, and if you’ve been on this journey for even a short time, I’m sure you can list many of your own.  On the surface alone, I can make a compelling case for why there’s no other life I’d rather live than a life of obedience to God.

But there’s more to it than that…

Our response to God’s way has implications more far-reaching than we can imagine, even those of us who have extensive experience walking with God.  There are levels to it, as they say.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 55:8-9

God’s plan and knowledge are so infinitely greater than what we can comprehend, that we only seek to scratch the surface in our pursuit of knowing Him.  He created us with great capabilities to analyze and weigh our choices, so when we approach his ways or requirements of us as his people, we often do so with that same analytical mind.  And it works, for the most part, because God has an impeccable track record and one can easily see that following his plan yields the promised results.

But it also yields something deeper.  Our obedience to God is impactful to our existence on a level we can only grasp at understanding.  God knows so much more than we do about who we are at our core, the purpose for which he carefully designed each of us, and exactly what the future holds.  When we yield to his way and do even the small things he requires, we do more to build His Kingdom in and around us than all of our conscious, intentional efforts combined.  Our souls are strengthened in ways we have yet to discover.  Not to mention the ripple effect to everyone we encounter or to whom we are connected, none of which is a coincidence to God.

God’s way is so simple, that it’s often misunderstood by our attempts to complicate it.  Our simple act of obedience and submission to God makes huge strides that we don’t even see because they appear so small and trivial in our realm of existence.  But that’s how the vast Kingdom of God works– on the principle of obedience.

And he said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth: But when it is sown, it groweth up, and becometh greater than all herbs, and shooteth out great branches; so that the fowls of the air may lodge under the shadow of it. 

Mark 4:30-32

It is an act of our faith to obey God and follow His way because though we can’t fully grasp the extent of his plan, we trust that His way is the best for us.  And being who He is, He is faithful to manage all of the intricate, far-reaching details and bring to pass something greater than we can even fathom.  No matter how deep He asks us to go in our faithfulness to Him, God goes even deeper in unfolding his eternal purpose.

The Bigger Picture

Posted May 11, 2018 by nessalynn77
Categories: Uncategorized

Two nights ago, I had a dream that was very troubling to me.  In the dream, someone close to me suddenly began rejecting and excluding me in a very cold and nonchalant manner.  When I awoke from the dream, I knew God was speaking to me through it, and I immediately felt terrible.  I fought the urge to call the person and tell them the dream (part of me wanted to be reassured) because deep down I knew God was giving me the foresight to prepare me for change.  Though still deeply troubled, I asked God to help me.

Over the course of the next day, I began to understand the changes that need to take place, and they had more to do with me and my preparation for the purpose and life God intends for me in the future.  You see, historically I’ve always reached for a person, especially during extremely difficult seasons in my life.  I wanted the reassurance of feeling valued and loved just for being me.  Though I’ve experienced some great relationships, they have always fallen short of filling the void.  I’m sure that was intentional on God’s part, but it also silently shouted that I was somehow not enough to have those meaningful, fulfilling and mutual relationships.  Every rejection somehow affirmed that nagging suspicion that there’s something wrong with me.  I now know that the suspicion and the affirmation were both false.

They say that your hardest battles are fought in the areas where you are truly gifted and favored.  It’s almost as if there is a plot and the experience is a grand production bent on convincing you that this is not for you.  Like there’s an outside force intent on making you spend as much time as possible questioning yourself and fearing the worst,

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly – John 10:10

In the bigger picture, there is a war going on.  It’s an all-out attack on your mind FOR your mind.  It’s actually a brilliant strategy.  If your enemy can make you believe in your mind that you are incapable, inferior and nothing special, you will destroy yourself with the slow and steady poison of doing and being less than who you were created to be.  No fulfillment, just one distraction after another.

In reality, every rejection is simply a step in the journey.  Sometimes it’s a re-direction or adjustment in focus.  Ultimately, like everything in life that causes us pain, it is a tool in the hand of God.  As unpleasant as it may feel, it is not meant to paralyze, but to push us to make changes.

For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. -Psalm 30:5

Once the necessary adjustments are made, we grow into a new space; one where it becomes more clear why letting go of the old space, though painful, was necessary.  The experience of the new now makes the old look painful and cramped.  On this side of the struggle it seemed silly to resist a change that was so worth it in the end.  This continual process where new becomes old, and we are pushed again first into discomfort and then a new realization is how we are changed from glory to glory.

Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.  But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. -II Corinthians 3:17, 18

Keep Going

Posted May 7, 2018 by nessalynn77
Categories: Uncategorized

Sometimes the very thing that you were created to be, seems like the least likely or possible.

Keep going.

Some days it feels that your wheels are just spinning in place and your efforts are leading nowhere fast.

Keep trying.

Some seasons seem dry, and though you try to keep a positive outlook and hold on to your faith, you feel weaker and don’t know how much longer you will last.

Keep holding on.

When you can’t see it, feel it or figure it out… KNOW it.

Know that He who has begun a GOOD work in you SHALL perform it.  (Philippians 1:6)

Know that He is God. (Psalms 46:10)

Know that at any moment EVERYTHING can change and the breakthrough that has eluded you for so long will overtake you.

Know that it’s all working for GOOD.  (Romans 8:28)

Know that in due season, you’ll reap a harvest if you don’t quit. (Galatians 6:9)

Keep going.

Opinions Are Like…

Posted September 26, 2017 by nessalynn77
Categories: Uncategorized

I’ve had a few experiences recently that have caused me to question something I’ve always accepted as true.  I love these moments that challenge my notions and why I feel the way I feel on certain subjects.

The idea that everyone has to have an opinion on every topic all the time sounds about right, especially since most of us are inclined to share our opinions on a wide range of subjects at any given moment.  But is it mandatory or necessary to even have (let alone share) an opinion all of the time?

We live in a world full of information, much of it delivered in a way that is intended to be inflammatory and invoke a response.  We also live in a world that rushes EVERYTHING often leaving me feeling compelled to respond even if I am not sure of all of the facts.  We watch video clips that spark outrage with no context, we read quotes attributed to well-known figures and make judgments about them, not even knowing if the source is reliable.  Sometimes I hear that still small voice saying, “Be patient, don’t rush to judgment”, but the pressure to respond, take a side or give an up or down vote is tremendous.  This is especially true if the argument or information is coming from someone you love and/or admire.

I’m sure we’ve all experienced a friend or loved one who is super excited about something they believe in, and as they explain it to you and search your face for excitement, support, validation etc., you feel the pressure mounting to give a positive response.  Or maybe you feel a responsibility to tell them the truth as you see it.  I would even go as far as to say that we’ve all been the one eagerly searching for that validation from someone whose opinion we value.

But let’s take a breath and roll it all back for a second.  It is the right of every person to FORM their own view of the world.  Often, forming that view is not instantaneous, but is rather a process over a period of time taken to gather all of the information.  It is also the right of every person to decide if the subject at hand is even worth taking that time and gathering that information.

I said all that to say, it is perfectly fine to withhold any commentary at all, or to say at any time, “I don’t have an opinion”, or “I don’t have an opinion to share at this time.”  I’m starting to see that becoming comfortable with this God given right and exercising it is wisdom operating at a very high level.  It is patience; it is discipline; it is wisdom.  Conversely, it is also all of those things to be able to respect another person who for their own reasons decides not to give an opinion or take a side, even when you are looking for that support or validation.

He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him

– Proverbs 18:13

It can be very difficult and even troubling to withstand the pressure to take a side or give a premature judgment, as sometimes relationships seem to hang in the balance.  But it is much better to take the time to know all of the facts, or to accept that you don’t know all the facts, than to realize after the fact you have judged wrongly and rashly.   It’s shameful to have to backtrack from your own rash opinion, and doubly embarrassing to realize that you incorrectly held someone else’s opinion just because of who they are and not at all based on the merit of the issue itself.

I can think of no faster way to become irrelevant than to be exposed as a parrot of someone else’s thoughts and ideas with no true grasp of the actual situation at hand, and no true passion one way or the other.  It is harmful to yourself and your impact on the world around you to devalue your own ability to process information and reach your own conclusion.  There’s only one of you in the world, and we are deprived of YOU, if what you share is not really YOU but THEM.

Lawlessness, the Intro

Posted August 27, 2017 by nessalynn77
Categories: Uncategorized

The Bereans' Commentary

Lawlessness is a “big picture concept” with many smaller and individual affects and effects. The Bible speaks about lawless behavior and the man of lawlessness. Here is a synopsis, as our intro to the concept.

jomar-thomas-271602 Photo by Jomar Thomas,

#1: TO ACT OUT LAWLESSNESS, we become slaves to unbounded behavior. Lawlessness leads to more lawlessness. We completely give ourselves over to the disregard and disrespect of law, rule, and boundary. We live without bounds; anything goes. (See Romans 6:19 ESV)

#2: THE INTENTION OF THE LAW IS TOWARD: the lawless and disobedient, the ungodly and sinners, the unholy and profane, those who strike their parents, murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, in accordance with the Gospel. (See 1 Timothy 1:9-11 ESV) 

#3: THE LAW IS GOOD if one uses it lawfully (1 Timothy 1:8 ESV). If…

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Grace: Don’t Waste the Space

Posted January 30, 2017 by nessalynn77
Categories: Inspirational Thoughts, Uncategorized

Tags: , , ,

“What shall we say then?  Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?  God forbid…” -Romans 6:1, 2a

Grace is oddly a much debated topic amongst believers.  It’s a simple but powerful and unique concept on which our salvation solidly rests. Without it, none of us would escape eternal damnation.  Such a small word contains in it the gospel of Jesus Christ and the great love of God for each an every one of us.

It’s no wonder we sometimes struggle to understand and explain this grace.  It is so different from any other earthly experience. Given so freely and extended so broadly, it leaves the average person looking for the strings attached.  Owing a debt that we could not pay, and at a time when we were least deserving, God extended his Love, sacrificed His only Son, bringing forgiveness, peace, and a brand new life, to anyone who simply accepts Him. That’s a lot to take in, and it’s only the beginning!  This grace flows constantly and continually to us as we live out the journey of understanding and fulfilling God’s purpose for our lives.

So, in effect, grace is what allows us to get back on course with God, restoring a relationship that was severed by our sin.  Headed for certain death, grace performs a life-saving rescue operation and gives us clarity and access to get back to our rightful place and purpose– the purpose for which God created us and placed us on this earth at this particular time.  As if that is not amazing enough, it is grace that then gives us the awareness and opportunity to make the needed corrections to stay on course.

Think about it… the mistakes, bad decisions and outright detours from God’s plan that I’ve made since walking with Jesus, have without a doubt racked up enough repercussions and penalties to bury me so far under that I could never get back on track. Even after my best efforts, I haven’t done enough to deserve or earn the life that God desires and intends for me.

Enter his extraordinary grace!  Imagine embarking on the journey of a lifetime, finally understanding your direction and purpose and excited about your destination, only to miss a turn due to a momentary distraction, or make the wrong turn and end up lost in unfamiliar and dangerous territory.  Imagine being headed straight for  a steep cliff, unable to see the danger ahead because of the darkness all around.

God’s grace is so free and so abundant, that time after time as we so treacherously stray from the clear path He has laid before us, He affords us a safe space to turn around– a break in life’s traffic to get back on course.  His mercy holds back what we deserve and his grace gives us enough space to get back on course.  Because of the sheer abundance of grace, it is easy to take these opportunities for granted.  We often envision a God who exists only to rescue us from what we continually run back to.  But grace serves a crucial purpose that is far from indulging us in our weaknesses.  It does not exist to enable us to continue running from God and his will for our lives.  Instead, grace gives us opportunities that we would not otherwise have– a space that we couldn’t create or figure out on or own– because God loves us and wants us to experience a life so suited to who we are that only our Creator and Designer would know how to orchestrate such a perfect fit.

The moments of clarity where we can see that need to make changes, and the times we know without a doubt that we should have been harmed or destroyed by our choices, but instead escaped unscathed, these are the spaces created by grace.  They are openings in the narrow road headed in the wrong direction that give us enough space to turn around.  They are breaks in the constant traffic of life pushing us further away from our true course that allow us to stop and think about our position and direction, and where the road we are on is ultimately leading.

Don’t waste the space.  God is gracious and loving.  All of his warnings and every opportunity is a chance to avoid arriving at the wrong destination, one that he knows is ultimately destruction.

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