Wellness Wednesday- Jesus Understands Scars

When we think of scars. we tend to think of physical scars. I have many of those. But there are also psychological and emotional scars. Jesus understands scars. He suffered for us and still has those scars. He also faced rejection and betrayal. I would like to share the following from an old post of mine from three years ago when I first got going with blogging.

12 scars on my body tell stories of my life. Some are from surgeries like the  scar from an appendectomy when I was 21. Some are small like the small scar next to my left eye from a freak accident while setting up an outdoor activity for kids at church. The tiny scars from arthroscopic surgery on my right shoulder in 1990. The scar on my stomach when I was attacked by a dog when I was 12 is symbolic of the upheaval in my youth. The two inch scar on my left hand from a surgery to repair damage when I had a hand injury in 1996 represents my health struggles of the 1990s.

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Scars represent our wounds that have healed. Some heal over correctly but some wounds that ‘heal’ over leave places that will never be the same and sometimes not work well.

But what of the scars from wounds no one can see? The scars from being abused. Scars left from struggling with addiction. Scars left from being victimized. Scars from broken relationships. Some wounds go so deep into our souls that we wonder if they will ever scar over the way physical wounds do when they heal.

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One day Jesus told Thomas to reach out and touch His scars from the nails that pierced his wrists and the scar from the soldiers spear that pierced his side. His scars are still there to show us His love. Having all power, he could have stopped his crucifixion, but His love for us made Him lay down His life for us.

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He says to all of us, “Look at the scars on my wrists and feet. Look at the scar in my side. My scars are for your scars.”

His scars are there because he wants to bring healing to our souls and spirits. His scarred wrists reach out to us saying, “Come to me all who are weary and find rest for your souls”

One day I reached back to his hands extended. I reached back to find rest and healing from my past as the son of an alcoholic father and mother with mental illness. Rest, oh yes rest, from the anger, confusion, doubt caused by my own sinful reactions to life.

The hands on his scarred wrists long to hold our hand and walk in this life with us. Jesus is reaching out to you. Will we take the hand offered in love and friendship offering healing for our souls?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

We Need To Protect Children- How Jesus Feels

When we talk about Jesus, we often focus on his love and compassion. Those are definitely aspects I am very grateful for. But how often do we think about his anger?

I want to take a closer look at a verse I quoted earlier in the week, Mark 10:14:

When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”

The Greek for indignant gives an idea of annoyed and exasperated.

So the disciples were trying to prevent children from coming to Jesus thinking they were doing the will of Jesus. Jesus was annoyed by this. He was indignant.

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Now think about when he said it would be better for someone who harms a child to have a millstone tied around their neck and tossed into a lake then to face him on the Day of Judgement.

How do you think Jesus feels about child abuse, sex trafficking of children, children being exploited? Angry. Mad. Indignant.

There is a time for righteous indignation and children being harmed is certainly one of those times.

Love for children and anger at abusers who harm children are reasons I am passionate about supporting causes that free children from harm.

So if we want to be like Jesus, anger is appropriate when it comes to issues like child abuse and trafficking of children.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

The Light in the Darkness- John 1

Have you ever walked down a dimly lit or a dark street at night? It can be a bit scary. In the night there are more crimes committed. It is also easy to stumble and hurt ones self walking in the dark. If we have a light, it makes it so much safer.

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Jesus came into the world that he created. He came to be a light in the darkness of this world. This world is in spiritual darkness. There are various kinds of dangers in the darkness of this world, addiction, abuse, failed relationships, illness, etc.

Jesus came into the world he created to be a light for us, to show us God. In John 1:4 we read:

In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 

Jesus is the source of life since he is the creator. He came here out of love to reclaim his most precious creation-human beings. We are the most precious part of creation to him. He is the light for all humans.

In John 1:5 we read:

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

Jesus still shines his light in this world for us. Interesting to me is the word for overcome in Greek- katalmbano using English letters for you- gives a meaning of acquire, grasp, lay hold of. It is a word full of meaning. The darkness has not overcome it, lay hold of it, so it has not and will not conquer the light of Jesus. The darkness has not grasped the light or understood.

Think about how startling it is when all of the sudden someone turns on a light. Our eyes close a bit as we adjust to the light. If we are sleeping and someone suddenly turns on a light to wake us up, we are confused for a bit.

Those in darkness are confused about Jesus. The darkness that has a hold of them cannot overcome the light of Jesus.

Jesus wants us to be children of the light and reach out to those in the darkness. He wants us to shine his light in this world.

If anyone feels trapped by addiction, relationship/family troubles, depression, or anything else, Jesus holds out his hand to you to help you.

Let us who follow Jesus take our light out to a troubled world. Seek out those in need of the hope only Jesus can give.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Freedom from Victimhood

Surviving abuse involves at times an ongoing process of forgiving. By forgiving I mean releasing them to God to be free of victimhood not forgetting. But when the memories come back, what do we do with them. It took time but I have gotten to the point of praying as soon as they come back.

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So this is a raw post but one I felt the Lord leading me to share. As a child, my home was a nightmare at times with a mentally ill mother who played mind games and an alcoholic father. That should be enough said without going into details.

Fast forward to when I was in my early 30s. I began to feel tired and had trouble making it through the day. It continued to get worse as my health declined with my first bout with chronic illness. That first bout was so severe that I was close to multiple organ failure until one day I said something to my doctor that rang a bell for him. He tested me and found I had a dead thyroid.

I spent a over a year recovering from that. When I saw my mother, which was rare, I told her I had a dead thyroid. She asked me what my TSH test number was. I told her. She gleefully and proudly told me hers and walked away. That was when I found out what I had was genetic.

When I told my father after that, he said, “your mother never told you?”

Had I known about the genetic predisposition, I would have asked to be tested every year and could have avoided the nightmare of three years of declining health, over a year recovering, and the process after that of getting my life back together.

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The mind games of my mother and the negligence of my father continued into my adulthood. They have both passed away. Yesterday the memory of that time came back. So I prayed over it. I said to God that I hoped my mother had made her peace with him and thanked him that my father had.

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By doing so, I stepped away from being trapped in victimhood. Jesus wants to set us free. He said so himself. Jesus who is the truth said in John 8:

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

The truth is that Jesus loves each of us and values us so much that he left heaven to be born as a human baby, so he could grow to be a man and die on the cross for us.

The truth is that God wants us in his family.

There are so many more wonderful truths in the bible to learn. It starts with coming to know Jesus. Then he begins the process of setting us free.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

We Need To Protect The Children

“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” Matthew 18.

Those strong words are from Jesus when he spoke about people who harm children.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about why I canceled my Netflix due to the movie Cuties in my post We Need to Protect The Children. The cause of protecting children is so important to me. That is why I support Love Justice because Love Justice fights sex trafficking of children and young women.

Human sex trafficking is a terribly horrific crime and one that does not get enough attention by the media. It is estimated 40 million people are enslaved by traffickers in the world.

Trafficking is an issue in the USA and other western countries not just in third world countries.

I would like to share two videos with you. The first is by a victim of child sex trafficking. Her name is Elizabeth. She was victimized by her own mother selling her as a child. She now has a small business making word bracelets and supports an organization that helps child victims.

The second one is by Liz Crokin about President Trump’s war against human trafficking. The reason I am sharing it is not political except to bring attention to the fact that powerful people are involved. Since people in positions of power are involved, we need to pressure our government into action. We need stronger laws against trafficking to make it a Federal Crime with strong mandatory sentences. My hope in sharing the video is simply that perhaps my readers will contact their government representatives about fighting human trafficking.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Suicide Prevention Awareness Day

Today is Suicide Prevention Awareness Day. It first became very real to me how important it is to watch for signs and to show compassion and love to people in September 2011 when a 19 year old girl I knew completed suicide. Being at her funeral was one of the saddest days in my life.

Only five days ago it became even more real to me when a young woman who was 28 years old completed suicide. I will go to her funeral tomorrow. She had a difficult life having been abused by her father growing up. I tried to help her for a few years but lost track of her when she got married to a man who ended up also abusing her.

Darkness whispers to those who are struggling that there is no hope seeking to lure them into a fatal decision. Despair, loss of hope, and feeling there is no way out harass the person.

In contrast Jesus said in John 10:

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

Darkness seeks to destroy. Jesus gives life, hope, peace inside and love. Jesus heals wounded souls.

It is so important that we show the love and compassion of Jesus to those around us. We do not know what inner turmoil people are going through, but Jesus does.

If you are reading this and have thought of suicide, please know that God loves you and cares deeply about you. There is hope. Also please call for help.

In the USA you can call-800-273-8255

In Canada you can call-833 456-4566

In other countries please Google for the number.

I would like to share two videos with you. One is by a young woman who was suicidal but got help. The other is a song that will help you to feel God’s love.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Which Voice Will We Give Power To?

I saw a video on Youtube yesterday that caused me to think about voices that we pay attention to or give power over us.

There are many voices in our lives competing for our attention. It is as if we have a radio tuner and need to select which station or voice.

The voices we give power to are the ones that can rule our lives. But ate the voices ones that bring us down or ones that lift us up?

Jesus talked about his voice when he said in John 10:

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow my voice.”

What is his voice like? When Elijah was in need of God, God’s voice came in a gentle whisper. We read in 1 Kings 19:

“After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.”

God whispers to us. God’s voice is never condemning. We read in Romans 8:

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”

If a voice is condemning you, it is not from God. God is gentle with his children.

Mary Magdelene was distraught when she went to the empty tomb of Jesus. She had been through the emotional ringer of watching Jesus die on the cross. She was grieving. Her eyes were filled with tears, so she did not recognize Jesus until Jesus said her name. In John 20 we read:

Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”

Jesus said to her, “Mary.”

She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).

Jesus did not condemn, ridicule, or shame Mary while she was distraught. He spoke her name.

So which voice will we listen to and give power to?

Thank you for reading. God Bless

Music Mondays- Safe by Alisa Turner and Her Story

Last Monday I shared Alisa Turner’s song My Prayer For You. As I listened to the song many times, I felt I was listening to a song by someone who has known hardship.

I live with Chronic Illnesses-Celiacs, Fibromyalgia, Hypothyroid, Each of them have wrecked havoc in my life at different times. Celiacs and Fibromyalgia each have symptoms of depression and anxiety.

That is why I felt a connection to her song My Prayer For You. I felt she understands what it is like to go through hardship.

I watched a video about her story which is the 2nd video in this post. It will help you realize why she understands living with hardship and yet still live for Jesus. Each Monday this month I will share one of her videos.

Today I am sharing Safe. During this time of the COVID-19 Crisis with all of the uncertainty it would be understandable if someone does not feel safe.

There are other reasons we may not feel safe- abuse, chronic illness, anxiety, PTSD, family problems, depression, and more.

I love these lyrics from the song safe:

Safe, I’m finally safe
I can hide here, I can hide here
Safe, You hold me safe
I’m okay here, I’m okay here
Completely safe

We are safe in the presence of Jesus. He is our loving Savior. When John was taken into the presence of Jesus in the book of Revelation and saw Jesus in all of his glory, John fell to his face out of fear. Jesus touched his shoulder and said:

“Do not be afraid. It is me.”

Come to Jesus. Do not be afraid. He loves you. He is waiting for you.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Music Mondays- More by Red Rocks Worship

Come and reach into my heart
Come and heal every part, Lord
I want more of You
Just one touch from Your robe
Steals the weakness from my bones
Oh, I need more of You

I love these lyrics from the son More by Red Rocks worship. In the presence of Jesus there is healing for our souls, minds, and emotions. Jesus wants to bring healing and wholeness into our lives.

Whatever we struggle with, Jesus can and will touch us with his gentle touch. He loves us so deeply that he left heaven to be born as a baby so he could die for us. That is love beyond what we can comprehend.

He knows everything about us and loves us as flawed as we are.

Depression/anxiety- Jesus loves us.

Family problems- Jesus loves us.

Loss of a loved one- Jesus loves us.

Loss of a job- Jesus loves us.

Chronic illness- Jesus loves us.

I want more of Jesus. I want more of his presence. In his presence there is nor darkness at all.

I hope this song blesses you as much or more than it blessed me.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

My Saturday, Book Update, Spotlight on a Fellow Blogger

Yesterday was a FATIGUE day. I felt it as soon as I woke up. The trees are waking up where I live, so it means allergy season has begun already. I did manage to go to a coffee shop for a while though.

I like wearing my Love Justice hat when I go to coffee shops. Love Justice is in my prayers for the groups for the children and young women rescued, for the school, and for the people who do the work of intercepting. Human trafficking/sex trafficking is a terrible evil in our times.

Update on my book- I am almost finished with the first rough draft. I had hoped to finish it in February, but fatigue days come with no warning. I am making progress. My prayer for the book is that it helps to raise money for ministries that combat trafficking, reaches victims of trafficking and of abuse with the love of Jesus, and helps motivate people to support efforts to combat trafficking.

If you haven’t seen it, my book is from a short story I wrote- Jessica’s Encounter at the Harbor Coffee Shop.

Trafficking is a terrible problem in our world today. My little sister Jenny wrote about it in her blog last week in her post- Getting Educated About Human Trafficking and Abuse.

My fatigue is not as bad this morning, but still hanging around. I will go to church and am looking forward to it. Hopefully I will have energy to write some more this afternoon.

Hope you have a blessed Sunday.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.