Then you had my dear brother Stu of Something to Stu Over also nominate me for The Thirteenth Disciple Tag on 8.15.2020. Again I have taken so long. Please let Stu know how grateful I am for him as well. Bless them both and encourage them, Lord. Normally I would do the tags separate, but because I have taken so long I will do them together.
Thank you, Charity, for thinking of me. You created such an awesome tag! I loved the idea of hanging with Jesus!
Here Are The Rules:
Thank the person who tagged you and include a link to their post.
Use the original tag image as the FEATURED image on your post:
Here are the 13 questions:
1. Which disciple is your favorite? John… the one who was noted for loving Jesus so, and who wrote the book of John that is absolutely Love, Love, Love. It even has the REAL Lord’s prayer where Jesus is praying to the Father on our behalf in chapter 17! ❤
2. How often do you pray The Lord’s Prayer? Funny that this is the question just after I was thinking on it. 🙂 I pray as often as the Lord allows. There was a time I prayed it every day before I started my day, and every night before I went to bed as I felt the Lord asking me with compelling compassion, “Do you not think the words my Son gave you would be enough for everything?” I had been praying for “the right” thing to pray. So I committed to using it to pray for ALL my needs in those only 2 prayers of the day, allowing anytime I felt I should be praying more to God’s trust. It is amazing how He opened my eyes and my mind to those words covering every single thing we need prayer for. And why wouldn’t they? Would Jesus leave us unprepared or ill equipped?? NO! OF COURSE NOT!
3. How often do you take communion? It depends. If I attend my stepdad’s church, they do it every Sunday at the end of service. If I am at my church, I believe it’s quarterly (every 3 months). But since COVID arrived, I have not been back to church physically, and won’t be for sometime. They did one for Easter online, and that was the last time I did.
4. Do you listen to sermons during the week? Absolutely! As much as God will allow! I would rather listen to sermons than watch TV or movies.
5. If Jesus asked you to have your own small group of 4, which 3 disciples or Bible Characters would you choose to be in your weekly prayer group? John the Baptist, Samuel, amd Enoch
6. Why did you choose those 3? They were all three devoted and obedient from the beginning to the end. I want to be with people who love Jesus and His Father no matter the cost, and whose every thought is dying to self. Enoch was even spared of dying. One minute he was here, and then “he was not.” 😉
“and Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” – Genesis 5:23 KJV
7. What Bible characters do you relate to or understand the most? I don’t know that I would claim to fully understand any of the Bible characters, but I relate to characters like Hannah, Hagar, Tamar (both David’s daughter and Judah’s daughter-in-law), Leah, and Mary. Hannah and Mary are the two I relate to most often. I, too, prayed for a child to give back to the Lord, like Hannah did for so long. I didn’t know my Bible yet then or my son Anthoni would have been named Samuel. When I did have him, I was a single mom like Mary (yes I know their engagement was the same as being married, but technically she was on her own until the angel told Joseph to marry her).
“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost… the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.”
When I think of the responsibility I felt from the beginning to raise a child given from God, especially when Anthoni began to be a little preacher, it was a very important concern for me every day…. and still is with him grown. How much heavier must that concern have been to be raising the Son of the Living God! ❤
8. Which disciple would you argue with the most? Judas or Peter for always wanting to argue with Jesus!
9. Which disciple would you get along with the best? I would love to hang with John or Nathanael. John loved Jesus so, and Nathanael believed Jesus was the Son of God and the King of Israel from the beginning just because Jesus knew who he was. Jesus said there was no guile in him.
10. If you were in the painting of the Last Supper, where would you be sitting? Definitely John because he was leaning on Jesus! He loved Jesus! ❤
11. Peter carried a sword and cut off a soldier’s ear in an attempt to protect Jesus. If you were there that night, what would your reaction have been to the soldiers coming to arrest Jesus? When I first read the Bible for myself, I was so angry and ready to fight before I came upon it. I remember being so glad when Peter used his sword. So yes I probably would have, but I would have had the same astonishing rebuke that Peter got.
12. We all need a Simon Peter in our life, someone who carries a “sword” and will fight for you. Who is/was your Simon Peter? My son Anthoni has been a Simon Peter sent from God Himself to rescue me from my world, and keep my focus on God not only in my own relationship, but also in the determination to teach Him about God’s love and teachings. God has taught me so much about His love for me through my love for my son, and in allowing me to have in common with Him being a single parent of an only Son.
13. Similar to Jesus, we all have a Judas in our lives who helps us fulfill our destiny or find our purpose. Can you look back and appreciate their role in your life despite the harm they did or the hurt they caused? Whatever God has given me, He has given. Regardless of who, what, where, when, why, and how… it is done. He has forgiven me, so I am to forgive. I pray the Holy Spirit helps me to appreciate all things that God has allowed or designed. I thank God for seeing me through all He has walked me through.
Nominees: (In honor of Jesus and the 12 disciples making 13, I will tag 13 nominees. 🙂
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8 KJV
In what ways does knowing God’s no-matter-what love change how you relate to Him? It changes everything! How could it not, Lord! It is mind blowing that You know everything about me… good and bad… better than I know myself… and STILL love me… NO MATTER WHAT!! Unconditional love is like no other love I have ever known! And I fall more and more in love with You every single second!! Thank You for loving me!! I absolutely love You the same way…. NO MATTER WHAT!! ❤
How does God’s love for you change your love for others? Lord, Your love does wonderful things for all of us, whether we know it or not! I am grateful that You have allowed me to come to know it, and thankful that the Holy Spirit allowed my heart to believe it! Before Your wonderful love, I was scared of people, weary of people, untrusting of people, and growing further and further away from them. My poetry used to reflect just how painful I thought love was… referring to jagged knives, shattering glass, deep daggers, graves for the innocent… romanticizing death… and writing love letters to suicide. You created in me a love for others through the love I had for You and Your word. It began out of duty to Your word, and a sense of obligation to someone I loved so much. And to know that Jesus loved them so much that He died for them. You loved them so much that You allowed Your Son to make that painful sacrifice. Eventually I loved them too. Now I have a world full of church family and friends. I even have family on WordPress that mean so much to me. It breaks my heart to know so many are suffering right through so many trials. I especially think of our dear Caz! Lord, please bring her healing! Bring her good doctors and nurses! Bring her needed supplies and funds. Bring her comforting friends that she can trust to be there with her and for her… at the hospital and at home. Bring all my friends healing, comfort, finances, wisdom, direction, peace, health, employment, family, and the many things You have laid on their heart. And thank You for when You bring them to mind, as You did this day on the Parkway to make a video for them to ride along with me in one of our favorite places that I am always mentioning to them. I don’t even mind that I felt like I talked too much. My friends want to spend that time with me, and I want to spend that time with them! I praise Your Holy name for the day we will all be together to praise You forever! I love You and them!!! NO MATTER WHAT! Thank You for the Friend we all have in Jesus! ❤
Good morning, my Beautiful Lord! My Loving and Personal Father! ❤ You and I began this day with crying unto You with things laying heavy on my heart, so heavy I did not even recognize them there. And while they could have been offensive and insulting, You were so tender to send me strong and clear messages of Love, Presence, Prayer, and You!
As I was praying to You about some honest emotions I had going on… anger towards those who are hurting other human beings in Human Trafficking, Domestic Violence, Sexual Assaults, and just pure evil… especially on children… I was broken. I was honest with You about the anger that I felt. Anger that brought me to tears. Anger and a broken heart that burdened me so heavily. Feeling so hopeless in not being able to stop it. Knowing it was only in Your power to do so. Yet remembering the free will You give us each.
In those moments, Satan was trying to fill me with unjust accusations toward You, and how little You seemed to care… about what is happening to the children, and the little girl I was at 3 years old. I knew He was wrong. I even told You so. But the words I have heard the world say so often kept trying to accuse You too. While I could not answer those questions of why, nor pretend to have the answers for something ONLY You will ever know, the anger and the pain that kept going back and forth eventually revealed to me that some of that pain was my own brokenness that seemed so long ago.
Feeling that pain kept Satan trying to accuse You, and caused that little girl’s memory of the pain and confusion to feel like we were still in the middle of it all. Sometimes that question the world throws at us about You caring, and where were You when we needed You can be pretty persuasive when that father of lies (Satan) causes such a heaviness from the cloudy visions of long ago. The distance of those years can make them feel like centuries ago, but the pain too easily brings shame, confusion, and sense of not mattering enough to allow any emotion. Emotion just annoys me. What good would it do? Nobody can do anything about it. And before I can get those next words out of my mind (Who cares?), Satan chimes in again with, “Yeah, who cares? We know He doesn’t.”
But I state to Him and You both that I know You do. I can’t explain why things are allowed to happen, but I know You are good, and You care! I even hear You say to me, “I care.” I know You do. But as soon as I even start to think of feeling any peace, my heart is broken for those who are not old enough to look back… with the freedom to be out of their situations… who will die in their environment, thrown away like trash, no one ever knowing, or caring. I cry so hard.
“Lord, I hurt so much for them! I can’t help them. No one has the power to do anything to put a stop to all of it but You. No one cares about them. Some of them have been snatched so young that no one knows who they are and what happened to them. No one ever will! It’s so horrible! So sad! No one cares! I know You do, but why does another human being ever want to do such things! I know the psychological answers the world gives, but it’s not enough! People shouldn’t be able to find sexual pleasure from doing horrible things to another human being… especially children!! It breaks my heart!”
I keep crying… hard. When I cry that hard I can feel it… that emotion from that little girl inside of me that I deprive of that emotion because it feels so pointless, and I don’t recall feeling it then. I was too numb to feel anything in life. But I hear You telling me… “It’s not pointless. Be honest… with Me… and with Yourself. Your pain matters to Me too! Even when You convince yourself it doesn’t matter to You. It does to me.”
You bring my attention to the time. It’s after midnight. The devotional for the new day is ready on YouVersion. I take the time to go and prepare to sit with You, still finding it hard not to cry sometimes. But I am determined to show You I trust You… and believe You care!
What is the first thing I read?
WELCOME Where are you hurting? Today, we’re going to learn that God brings healing and comfort. As we begin, enter into a time of silence before God.
Keep silent. That’s absolutely what I choose to do because I am also afraid to offend You, to anger You. Yes I am to be honest with You, but I am also to reverent with You, remembering that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge. I keep reading. You keep pouring out Your love!
SCRIPTURE He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds. – Psalm 147:3 KJV
I know You are in this message. I know You are wanting to focus on continuing to be honest. Trusting YOU, not the voices in my head.
REFLECT In what area of your life do you need to experience God’s healing? a) I need healing from emotional trauma. b) I need physical healing. c) I need spiritual renewal.
While the answer is really all 3, You I both know I ALWAYS make sure to pray for the spiritual renewal. In the last several years, I can’t get away from the need for physical healing. But You have made this clear…. it’s the trauma… and not just the physical trauma… but the emotional trauma that I can not even find value in. I need healing from emotional trauma.
DEVOTIONAL Day 3: You are wanted. (Taken from the Haven’t Seen It Yet 5 Day Devotional Series By Danny Gokey)
Wanted?? Do I feel unwanted, Lord?? I know this is You, and You are being very direct, very personal, and very detailed. Wanted?? You tell me to be patient and keep reading.
When I was writing the song “Wanted,” my co-writer was going through a difficult time. He had been praying about a specific situation that happened when he was younger. No matter how hard he prayed, he couldn’t seem to get past this incident from his childhood. He even had a bunch of friends praying for him, but he still felt the impact of the event on his life. He was praying for freedom from the past because it was holding him back from all the good things God had planned for him in the present.
Finally, one day while he was praying, God gave him a powerful picture. God took him back to the place of this traumatic event; but this time, my friend saw Jesus standing on the side of the room. Then He walked over and told my friend, “I was there the day you lost your heart, and now I’m giving it back to you.” Then Jesus handed him his heart, but it wasn’t broken, it was healed and whole.
We wrote the song “Wanted” for anyone, like my friend, who’s been wounded by circumstances beyond their control. You can be assured that the God who holds the universe in His hands is holding your heart He takes great care with it, because He wants you more than you could ever know.
The first verse of “Wanted” says, “I was there the moment it happened, but you couldn’t see Me through the pain. I caught every tear as they were falling, when you lost your heart that day.” The chorus goes on to say, “If you could see it through My eyes, you’d know that you are wanted.”
Friend, you have value in the eyes of God. No matter what you’ve been through; no matter what you’ve been told; you matter. Many times, we don’t understand His love for us because we compare the way others have loved us, and there is no comparison.
Humans are capable of wounding one another greatly. God is incapable of wounding us. He offers us a safe place to rest from the wounds of the world. Psalm 147:3 (KJV) says, “He heals the broken in heart, and binds up their wounds.”
We have to allow God to heal our hurt in order for us to fully embrace the good and perfect plan He has for our lives.
Maybe you haven’t experienced a traumatic event in your life. Maybe, instead, you simply feel incredibly lonely today. Just know, you are not alone, you are enough, you are worthy, you are accepted, and you are wanted more than you can ever comprehend by a heavenly Father that loves you more than any human ever could.
Confession/Prayer: Father, I accept Your love for me. I accept Your healing for the wounds I have carried. I release my need to understand all of the hurt, and I receive the strength that You are bringing into my life through these events. Thank You for wanting me and giving me a place to belong.
PRAYER God, please come to my aid when I am hurting. Heal my wounds and restore my heart. Please come close to me and let me feel Your amazing love – today and every day. Amen.
A PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING God, thank You for being with me even when I struggle to talk with You. When I don’t know how to put my concerns into words, thank You that the Holy Spirit is praying on my behalf. Amen.
A PRAYER FOR FACING TRIALS God, when I face trials of any sort, help me to run to You, not away from You. Help me to see hard seasons as opportunities to grow in my faith. Give me the strength (Your strength) to persevere and the courage to always trust You. Amen.
TRUSTING GOD’S FAITHFULNESS God, I come to You trusting that You are faithful and good. No matter what I go through, please let me never forget that You are with me. Help me hold tightly to Your unfailing love and sure promises. Amen.
DEALING WITH ANGER God, please teach me to deal with my anger immediately, and help me not to be controlled by my anger. Please help me to release what is angering me completely to You. Amen.
LIVING A DISCIPLINED LIFE God, help me to live a disciplined life. I want to live full of faithful and obedience. Please show me the areas I need to be even more disciplined. Amen.
Wanted! That feels like a whiny word for me. It breaks my heart to think of all those children who are unwanted by their traffickers, by their rapists, some even by their parents. But unwanted feels whiny for me because that is what I felt when my brothers and I were tricked into visiting the foster care home, only to be abandoned by our parents. Unwanted is what I felt for the 10 months we were constantly promised to be taken home only to be dropped off again at the end of each visitation. Unwanted is what I felt the day I finally had enough of broken promises, lost it in front of everyone after fighting not to be taken out of the car, cried myself to sleep, and gave up on ever believing in hope again. All hope was false hope to me.
Somehow I do feel that pain when I think of 3 years old… and all those years of violence, filth, and death. I feel it all every time I think of these children. All I can think is that no one cares. No one can do anything about it. NO ONE wants or cares about Your children outside of their own evil gain. And they just keep doing it.
You want to make it clear to me that You care… for me… for them. You want me… You want them. I belong to You! Each child belongs to You! You care about every hurt… every tear… every act that You warn the world of committing against Your children.
“Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.” – Matthew 18:10 KJV
“Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.” – Matthew 18:14 KJV
“And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.” – Mark 9:42 KJV
You want me to know that You know exactly where I am, and what is going on inside. You aren’t angry with me for being honest. You aren’t disappointed with me for having emotions. And You certainly are not offended for having a broken heart for Your children. You have placed that burden on my heart. Just as I cry to think no one cares, so no one cries… You tender my heart to cry with You for Your children. And as You have me start to think on that very thought about where You have me in my journey with You, tears and all for Your little children, including the little girl who had no one crying for her, not even herself, You bring this Facebook meme to my attention while sharing the verse of the day.
FB Meme for Remembering 9/11 (That was the day planes were driven into The Twin Towers in New York, The Pentagon in Washington DC, and into the ground in Philadelphia. Thousands of people lost their lives. This meme was pointing out the many lives who were saved by the little things reported on the news that made them either run late, or not be there that particular day.
The head of a company survived 9/11 because his son started Kindergarten. Another man was alive because it was his turn to bring donuts. One woman was late because her alarm clock didn’t go off on time. Another was late, stuck on the NJ Turnpike because of an accident and his life was spared. One missed his bus. One spilled food on her clothes and had to take the time to change. One’s car wouldn’t start. One couldn’t get a taxi. One went back to answer the house phone. A man who put on a new pair of shoes that morning developed a blister before he got to the Towers, so he stopped at a drugstore to buy a Band-Aid. When you’re stuck in traffic, oversleep, miss your ride…all the little things that annoy you…maybe you’re exactly where you’re meant to be at that very moment. May all who perished on 9.11.01 Rest in Eternal Peace & may the loved ones still grieving find strength.
You want me to trust where You have me, exactly as I am. How can I trust emotions that I won’t even acknowledge? You want me to trust YOU with them. You want me to trust that You are healing me. You want me to trust that You are using me to help someone else… even if it’s just through sharing this post, or sharing a missing child alert, or sharing trafficking information with others, or counseling someone who has been hurt by letting them know You do care… You DO love them!
I then go to look up the song You have given me in the devotional…
Wanted by Danny Gokey. I was there the moment that it happened But you couldn’t see me through the pain I caught every tear as they were falling When you lost your heart that day Yeah, you lost your heart that day And now you only see through broken lenses Trying to keep your head above the shame You believe the lie that I am distant But I hold you every day Yeah, I hold you every day If you could see it through my eyes You’d know that you are wanted You’d know that you are wanted And if you’d let my love inside I’ll show you that you’re wanted I’ll show you that you’re wanted You’re more than all your darkest moments You are defined by what I see You’re my reflection, you’re my treasure, you’re my heartbeat Oh, child, you belong to me, ohh ‘Cause if you would see it through my eyes
How incredibly personal You continue to be. I feel as though I have been leaning on the shoulder of my loving Father who cares about every tear…. more than I do.
And then You add another song right behind it that is so fitting. Even the video itself feels like it represents that LOOONG road You and I have been on. I listen to You minister to me with…
Haven’t Seen It Yet, also by Danny Gokey. Have you been praying and you still have no answers? Have you been pouring out your heart for so many years? Have you been hoping that things would have changed by now? Have you cried all the faith you have through so many tears? Don’t forget the things that He has done before And remember He can do it all once more
And then You finish this time of loving on me with a song singing the very declaration I was determined to trust You with… I know You are Good!! Nothing is more important to me than to keep it all about Christ! If there is anyone who understands pain… it is Your precious Son! My Jesus! ❤
I Know by Big Daddy Weave! I know that You are good I know that You are kind I know that You are so much more Than what I leave behind I know that I am loved I know that I am safe ‘Cause even in the fire, to live is Christ, to die is gain I know that You are good
Thank You for spending so much time with me! Thank You for reminding me I am wanted, that my emotions matter, that my pain matters, and that my tears matter.. to You… and to me! Thank You for crying for Your children. When innocent children lost their loves, it’s horrible enough. But when no one cares, or knows about what has happened to be able to cry, it’s so much sadder… heart breaking. Thank You for crying!! Thank You for caring. Thank for the promise… the assurance that THERE WILL BE AN END TO ANY CHILD EVER BEING HURT AGAIN! And EVIL WILL PAY FOR EVERYTHING THEY HAVE EVER DONE!
Thank You for making us Yours. Thank You for giving us a place to belong. Thank You for creating LOVE to be a beautiful thing with You! Thank You that there is NO PERVERSION with You! Thank You for being You! And thank You for thinking I am worth spending the time with!