Figuring out what does, and doesn’t, makes all the difference in how you finish.
Many of us have had a rough start.
We don’t have any control over that.
But it’s how you finish that will tell your realstory.
How will you finish?
We each must decide for ourselves.
What matters; what we choose to care about, that will tell our final story.
Where we invest ourselves?
That will be our legacy.
I have seen people choose wisely and I have seen people choose foolishly. But, mostly? I have seen people choose much less than they could have had.
And that is the saddest part.
The closer you get to the finish line it’s not the what of life, or the where, but the Whoin your life, that begins gathering great importance. If you don’t get The Who figured out, and by that I mean, your relationship with Jesus Christ? Trust me; the rest doesn’t amount to a worthless hill of beans.
The Bible asks all of us,
What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?
—Mark 8:36 NIV
This life is as uncertain as shifting sand in a hurricane.
That’s a very long time, to get it all wrong, living in the FOREVER of mistaken and dismal choices.
This world only gives you one certainty.
God gives to each person the right to choose where they will spend eternity.
No one makes this choice for you.
Only you get to make this decision.
The Bible says, you brought nothing into this world, and you will carry nothing out with you.
I have seen that for myself. Seen people leave as naked and as empty-handed as they arrived. We leave with only what we have sent ahead.
God holds out to you,
THE GIFT—of His grace through His Son’s shed blood on a cross for your brokenness and sin.
He offers you Heaven and an eternity of joy and purpose with Him.
Nevermind your arguments. Besides, I’ve heard them all, and more than once!
Not today. No excuses. No reasonings. No fears. No.
Let’s just sit down together and for once quietly discuss this.
First, I know your fears—every single one.
Why discuss those again?
And, all your good reasons “why not”? I know those, too. Your so called failures and weaknesses? Yes, yes, we’ve talked about those, or should I say, you talked, I listened.
Good thing patience is the fruit of My Spirit.
Today, I want to talk, and I want you to listen. Come. Let’s reason together.
You are making this way too complicated.
When there’s good news with your friends, with yourself.
Even on The News good news is good news!
You are the “teller” SweetHeart, just the crier. Do you worry so much about what others will say when you share your other stories? And let’s talk about our stories; the things I’ve done for you; the way you’ve changed; your life has changed since I became a part of it.
Isn’t it Good News?
So I tell you, you are My Crier of Good News! This is who you are. Any other definition is making it way too complicated.
Do not fear the unbelieving. They are chaff before My Spirit Winds—as helpless as newborn babes.
I told you in the Last Days mockers will increase.
Is it not so?
The world seeks its own greatness and honors self above all else.
My greatness shines most from broken things.
This is something the world will never understand.
To them, it is rubbish—pure foolishness.
I have set the example for you.
The higher you go, the lower you must be willing to stoop.
Beware of the one who refuses to be faithful in the small things.
Before honor comes humility.
Jesus knew that the Father had put him in complete charge of everything, that he came from God and was on his way back to God. So he got up from the supper table, set aside his robe, and put on an apron. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the feet of the disciples, drying them with his apron. When he got to Simon Peter, Peter said, “Master, you wash my feet?”
First, remember that all your gifts come from Me and they are freely given without reservation.
But remember this, too—what is given can be withdrawn.
It is your job to steward your gifts.
The more you can manage well, the more you will be given.
Remember: My eyes are always upon you, beholding all that you say and do.
I warn you again about that temper butterfly. You must hold your tongue if you cannot hold your temper. I know you are passionate. I created you that way. But you must lead your passions. They must not lead you.
Your enemy is.
I AM with you.
I will help you and uphold you with My victorious right hand.
Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Isaiah 41:10 KJV
As a self-confessed Prodigal, I will confess I craved it all of my life.
My father’s blessing.
I would even go so far as to say it was the deepest craving in my heart.
As a child, I longed to make my Father smile.
(It was not a simple task.)
Dad came from Quaker roots with German overtones. In our house “the Papa’s word” was law. Period. No other options. So, to make my dad happy was always foremost in my thinking from as far back as I can remember.
My problems arose when I failed to do so, which was often the older I got. Partly, because my dad was so hard for me to “read,” and partly because he encouraged me to “think for myself” as long as my thinking didn’t conflict with what he wanted from me.
Made for days of confusion with even greater conflict.
Question: How was I to think for myself and please my father?
Answer: Most of the time I couldn’t!
I could do one, or the other, but rarely both.
Maybe it was because I was a Baby-boomer who came of age in the turbulent Sixties. By the time I reached adulthood the Vietnam War was in full swing, protests on college campus’ were the rule, not the exception, and funerals of lost boys from the war were becoming a regular event in our small town. I remember “Women’s Lib” as just taking off, and I believed that my parents were dinosaurs, and just didn’t get me. (An affliction of every generation I think.)
In a way, it was true, because my father was a child of what has been called, The Battered Generation. He, being raised during The Great Depression when families had to pull together just to survive from one day to the next. My dad just didn’t “get” my heart-speak, and I certainly did not get his. I believe we both wanted to, but the gulf between us eventually bred a profound and abiding silence that was to last all of my teen years, and on into my adulthood.
Only one time do I remember even coming close to receiving his blessing. I was well into my forties, and I was in the middle of a ten-year marathon, caring for my mom. I had taken up writing as one of the ways to cope with my stress. I was in my home office working on the computer one day, when my father came into the room, stood behind me, put his hands on my shoulders, and began to pray, silently.
I cannot even begin to convey how painful it was that my dad kept the words of that prayer to himself. I begged him one time to share it with me, but he would not, and indeed, he never did.
Those words whatever they were, went to the grave with him, and to my way of thinking, I remained unblessed.
That silence of his became one of the deepest wounds in my soul. Though I wouldn’t admit it for many years and even today (now in my sixties) I write this with tears. How could my dad say he loved me, bless me, and not share those words with me? Was that even a real blessing?
For some of you, the only “blessing” you received from your dad was the back of his hand.
You not only feel unblessed, you feel like the cursed, and may have been just that.
For others, you never knew your dad.
There wasn’t a father—let alone a kind and loving blessing from one.
The absence of the father’s blessing can leave empty spaces in our hearts. Big black holes we try to fill up with lesser things in a desperate hope that they will make up for our absent blessing. We go chasing after anythingthat we believe might alleviate our pain and make us feel truly valued.
I did that for years. I used my work and accomplishment, alcohol, prescription drugs, anything I could find, to remove the hurting in my wounded empty heart.
Ah, but God saw; knew all about my prodigal heart and He longed for me to know:
He is a Faithful Father who doesn’t give up on us.
He is a Father who doesn’t let go.
He is a Father who doesn’t walk out.
He is a Father who doesn’t purposelessly cause us pain.
He shows up for us even when we don’t want Him to. And He shows up determined. He is relentless in His love for us. He speaks. He reaches down, and reaches out, with compassion, with tender love, and often when we least deserve it.
He’s like that—He’sfaithful.
He’s the Dad-love, the Dad-kindness, the Dad-blessing, we all desperately want and need, and can’t avoid… not when He’s made up His mind to come after us! And be sure of this, He knows right where you are. Knows everything you’ve done. And still, He is head over heels in love with you.
I believe there is a tremendous power for us, and our lives, in The Father’s blessing. I also believe, there is a deep pain “the unblessed” carry all of their lives unless they receive The Father’s Blessing from above; the one they missed from their earthly fathers. So, please. Believe these next eight blessings are meant for you.
Receive the gift of your Heavenly Father’s blessing.