Ascribe To The Lord What Is The Lords

He has carried our hearts, our pain and anguish.
He has done great things for us and instructed us in the ways we should go.
His staff protects us from the things that would hurt us.
In Him is life, hope, light and love.
Without Him these things cannot exist.
Because of His great love for us, He wrapped himself in flesh and came to the World to know us.
Because of His great love for us, He came to understand our pain, our heartache and our agony.

Because He stepped down from heaven, we have the freedom to come before Him and ask of Him anything we need, and He will provide according to how great our needs are.

Sometimes it’s just a gentle, “I’m here.”
Sometimes it’s the money to get by.
Sometimes it’s the hope that He’s got us covered and nothing is going to hold us back from the great things He has planned for us.

His hand stretches to the end of the universe, He put them there.
He greatness is more than we could imagine, and His plans are better than ours could ever be.

Ascribe to God what He does, don’t mistake His Will for yours, stand firm in righteousness and never, never let go of the Promises He has made to you.

“….and forgive us our sins, as we forgive those that sin against us….”

There is only one person in this world I have ever really “hated.”
When I first experienced this new emotion, I was riding home with my sister Anna on the last rainy Tuesday in December 2010.
With bittersweet malice I asked, “Anna, can you avoid someone in heaven?”
Half a second later, the only bolt of lightning that winter shower produced shot across the sky.
After an uncomfortable moment of silence, Anna replies tentatively, “Dana, don’t say that again. The next one hits the car.”

You can’t fully grasp the concept of “strongly disliking” a person until you’ve been deeply wounded by someone you cared about.
Not just deeply wounded, but they struck you EXACTLY where it would hurt most.

The reason why Hate is so seducing is because it gives you a false sense of power.
The flavor of hate is like a fine wine.
To hate is to replace vulnerable pain with choking anger.
To fester in hate is to pride yourself into believing that somehow you have been made the victim and they don’t deserve anything good.
But like too much wine, it can become intoxicating.

It’s a dark, dreary, black hole that eats away at joy, life, love and peace.
It hurts your ability to love others, and ultimately, the ability to trust God.

The longer you let a worm live in an apple, the more it will eat away at the sweet, juicy insides.
You don’t realize how bad the damage is until the smell of rotting flesh overpowers your thoughts.
Where once was Life, there remains a dead leathery shell, drying stem and loose seeds.
Seeds. The cradle of life. A chance to start over.

God makes all things good, right? Look at the creation story. The only thing wrong with Creation-was Adam’s loneliness!

Why is it so hard to forgive?
I’ll tell you why.
Forgiveness relinquishes our fallible security in power, pride, and arrogance. It forces us to be vulnerable to hurting all over again.
But, like those seeds in the core of a dead and empty apple, God desires to plant in our lives the amazing ability to Overcome and become a New Creation.

If God created us for Fellowship, both with Him first-since obviously He was all Adam had until Eve was created, which essentially makes others second, then why should we let hate seperate us from each other?
Hate can make you lose trust in everyone. It hurts your Fellowship with believers, and your ability to witness to non-believers. Sometimes it isn’t intentional, but when you fester in hate, somewhere along the way something will trigger the pain you try to ignore, and you’ll react. You probably wont even necessarily mean to! Either way, your reaction will affect everyone around you.

Your ugly, infected scab will tear open, and before you can stop it, it will bleed. All of your pent-up anger and grief will ooze out of you until
a) you gain the composure to stop it
b) you’ve sobbed until the tears run dry
c) depression consumes you and you hide away from everyone
or d) you’ve chewed everyone and their dog out.
You wont be able to understand yourself until the blood clots again.
Forgiveness washes over you like a flood.
When you beg God to remove a piece of you you don’t like, He does. And His grace is overwhelming.
When you ask to make amends with someone close to you, peace is restored. Trust might not be replaced right away, but you know deep inside that your chance to prove yourself worthy of /their/ forgiveness is available at your earliest convenience-and something inside jumps for JOY at the thought, even through the fear that you might fail again, you are relieved to know you have a second chance.

So if you know what it’s like to be forgiven of a sin that was gnawing at you — why would you rob someone else of that joy?
Jesus said to pray for God’s Will, His Lordship, His provision, His forgiveness and His strength, because He controls and manifests in everything in creation.
“Our Father who lives in Heaven, your name is Holy. Bring Your Kingdom, as Your Will is done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread, and forgive us for our sins as we forgive those who sin against us, for YOURS is the Kingdom, YOURS is the honor, and YOURS is the glory, now and forever, Amen.”
I hear the Spirit gently convict me of my sin of hate, God whispers gently, “How can I forgive you, if you wont forgive him?”
In my heart, I know I can’t Fellowship with the Father while I marvel in vengeance and pray a thousand times a week that I could avoid this /one/ person for the whole of eternity.

Back in January 2011, God gave me the chance to give this person a moment to talk to me. He wasn’t very good at getting his lame apology across to me, and then blew his one opportunity to ever talk to me again.
Looking at my reactions to it after the fact, I probably wouldn’t talk to me again either.
When God said, “He’s going to contact you. Be nice.” I laughed.
God knew I wouldn’t and made a POINT to tell me what He expected of me.

Jesus expects all of us to forgive each other, no matter how much it costs us. It cost Him nails through his wrists, ounces of blood, absolute isolation and separation from God when he needed Him most, and a brief moment of eternity in hell in order to conquer Death.

What do you have to do to forgive? How much will it really cost you?

For me-only my pride.

‎……..but what’s that worth anyway? 🙂

The Love Dare

In 2010, God taught me an amazing lesson about love.
At the TIME I didn’t know it was just a lesson and not preparation for something more — but now that I look back, I did an excellent job at passing that test with a 70… and get why I was one point from failing.

I was reading the Love Dare, and applying it to my actions. God would have me pick it up and read the daily devotional, as well as practice the daily-do’s.
Everytime the book was in my hands, I read exactly how to deal with what I was going through. God never once failed to get me through everday when I needed Him to be there.

Giving up was easy, and I admit I gave up a few days.
…..but the thought well thought, and the deed well done aren’t complete without mistakes.

This soldier I was supporting was a jerk. And God wanted me to love him. But not just /love/ him, be Christ to him.
Now I know The Love Dare is for married couples, but I encourage you-if you’re going to learn the lesson God wants you to, even if it’s alittle odd, DO WHAT HE TELLS YOU TO.
That book was not just for my benefit to learn how to love my future husband someday. The love practised between spouses is SO SIMILARE to God’s love for us.
Becoming a servant, and loving others as Christ loves the Church is soooo hard!
Especially when people are stupid…

Looking back now, I wish I could have loved better. I listened intently to God, and did everything I needed to, but I still feel like I could have loved better.

I look at the book on my bookcase now, the memories click into place with “oh!! I get it now….”
….and then I wonder what happened after those lessons were learned, and if I need to do it again.

“I dare YOU to love like Me.” I hear God say.
What would that look like in my life, and should I improve?
The love thing I’ve got…. the servant thing? Yeah, everyone knows, not so much.
My example is Christ, and God-you’ve got to help me live like Him.