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

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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 Queen Life

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, Unsplash.com

#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.

Thy Kingdom Come…

Posted June 26, 2015 by nessalynn77
Categories: Uncategorized

And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:

Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.”

Luke 17:20, 21

Today’s world is all about production, and maybe it was always that way.  People are drawn to commotion, fanfare, unusual display… be it good or bad, if there is something to see, people will flock to see it.  So our media is on a never ending quest to shock and surprise us, sometimes twisting a “nothing” story into an attention-grabbing headline, just to incite a response from readers, listeners or viewers who are hungry for the next big scandal or debate.  In this type of society, what is often lost is real substance and truth.  Seldom do you find a product, organization, or even a person that is as advertised.  All of the emphasis is placed on drawing us in, so much so that I’m not sure we are even disappointed any more when the actual content is empty and not fulfilling.  We just continue our search for the next “big thing”, and so spend our lives searching.

It’s no wonder that same mindset comes into play when dealing with God and his promises.  Instead of looking for substance and the practicality of the principles outlined in the word of God, we are drawn to the big production.  Smoke and mirrors, pomp and circumstance, the bigger the production the more authentic we believe it to be.  Jesus warned against this deception.  When asked about the coming of his kingdom, Jesus was always careful to point out that it wouldn’t be according to our natural expectations.  His first coming in such lowly fashion was a foreshadowing that God is not into the things that we are into.  We are awed by presentation, while God is all about actual truth and substance.  Since the fig leaves sewn together in the Garden of Eden, man has focused on extravagant outward covering to hide the shame of what we truly lack and long for.

Jesus warned us not to be fooled by the sleight of hand that is a good, enticing production.  A sure sign of the kingdom of God is that it requires no marketing strategies or catchy enticements… No neon signs or corny commercials, because unlike anything else ever, the kingdom of God delivers exactly what it promises.  There is no person or personality to chase after other than the King himself.  No running from place to place to see or hear the next big thing on a promise that this one will be life-changing.

“…Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.”

Luke17:37b

I’m always amazed at Jesus’ ability to reveal the simple truths.  In the midst of a frantic search, Jesus points out principles and doctrines that were there all along, but are so simple that they are hidden in plain sight.  The people of that time were also hung up on presentation and were looking for a kingdom that fit their traditional description of what a kingdom should be.  Today we look for the successful trappings of what ministry, salvation, and evangelism “should” be.  People tell us on television, social media and contrived video clips that they have the kingdom of God and can connect you to it, if you connect to them.  All of this ultimately proves to be empty and void of fulfillment.

The truth is simple.  In the wild, you can tell that there is food or a “body” to be feasted upon by the gathering of the birds in that place.  The kingdom of God is where ever God’s presence is welcomed, his preeminence reverenced, and his commandments obeyed.  There you will find his body, there you will find truth and substance that your soul longs for, there you will find a direct connection to him.  He longs to build his kingdom in us, if we forsake the facade of what we think it looks like, and embrace who he is and the principles he established in his Holy Word.   It is then that we become the kingdom of God on earth, and every one who encounters us has an encounter with the kingdom, not another “christian” promising the kingdom… but then and there they stumble upon a portal by which they themselves can enter and the kingdom can be built in them.  What a peace and a privilege to carry the kingdom of God in you!

Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will Be Done…

There is None Like You, God. (Morning Worship)

Posted January 31, 2015 by nessalynn77
Categories: Inspirational Thoughts, Worship

Tags: , , , , , , ,

There IS none like you, God.

No one exists that can come close to your majesty and power, your greatness exceeds everyone and everything.  You excel above all others in goodness, in knowledge, in mercy, in might… in every way.  All goodness that exists comes from you, along with all provision, we are who and what we are because you allow us to be so.  There IS none like you.

There is NONE like you, God.

Not in heaven above, or the earth beneath, not under the earth or anywhere in space.  Absolutely none can occupy the place and postiion that belongs to you alone.  You alone are worthy of glory, honor and praise.  No one else can compare.  There is NONE like you.

There is none LIKE you, God.

Many idols have been erected with lofty goals of likening themselves to you, but none can do the things that you do.  None can hear and answer prayer, or be everywhere present at one time.  None can save and give everlasting life like you give.  Their peace is destruction, their way is death.  You are the only true and living God.  There is none LIKE you.

There is none like YOU, God.

You are the one who loved me when I couldn’t love myself.  You are there in the darkest hours, in the most shameful or hopeless moments of my life.  You are the one who defines me.  You are the Creator.  You are the one who knows me better than I know myself.  You are the one that has plans to give me hope and a future.  There is none like YOU.

There is none like you, GOD.

YOU ARE GOD.  Father, Jehovah, Elohim, Provider, Sustainer, Strength, Sovereign, Holy, Eternal, Wonderful, Merciful, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Lover of my soul… EVERYTHING.  THERE IS NONE LIKE YOU, GOD!


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