Monday, September 30, 2013

9/30/2013 Blog Tour

Psalm 23 "The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

First off, thanks to my God for His everlasting consolation and salvation through Christ.

I want to thank my writing friend, Joan Y. Edwards for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour. I also want to thank her for helping me be the writer I am today and for introducing me to

If it weren't for Joan, I would not have my book: Sure Mercies: Hope for the Suffering undergoing edits for publication next spring (May or June, 2014). The Lord did direct my path, just like He did for David in Psalm 23. I would like to tell you a little bit about me and my book in this blog tour post.

1. I started writing as a child. I never thought of myself as a writer though. I did have stories in my head but did not always get them onto paper. One of the stories remains with me today. I guess I should get around to writing it. I remember one thing that encouraged me with my writing as a child. One summer, our library had a little writing contest for children. We were to read the book Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski. I liked the book because of its story line and its pretty illustrations by the author. We were to write a book report about it. I won the contest that summer and received a "Snoopy" statue as a result. Growing up, I did not receive many rewards. I was just slightly above average in schoolwork. So, winning that small contest meant a lot to me. I never thought that it indicated I could have promise as a writer.

2. In high school, I wrote poems about things that affected my life. One of the poems was about my paternal grandmother. I only saw her once a year and "goodbyes" were always difficult because I never knew if she would be around the following year. My poem was called "Wise Old Grandmother" and was published in our high school literary magazine, along with one or two more of my poems.
She is in the picture below, with my Dad and Grandpa. I wrote about the values I saw in her: hard work,sacrifice, and a simple lifestyle.

3. When I went off to college, I ignored my stronger abilities and chose a career in the nursing field because I wanted to help people. It never occurred to me that possibly I could help people through writing instead. Although I loved interacting with my different patients, the medical part was not really for me. I managed to get my bachelor's, but when I married and began having children, I was glad to stay home with them.

4. I home taught my children and in the process, discovered many wonderful books that I had missed as a child. Reading aloud to my kids became a priority and one son claims he still sees some of the stories in his mind. That is when I discovered the wonderful world of children's literature.

5. About eight years ago, when my last child was entering high school, I signed up for the Institute of Children's Literature course, Writing for Children and Teenagers. When I graduated with my Basic diploma and had one of my stories published, I was recommended for the Advanced, Book Writer course. And that is how my book Sure Mercies was born. With the help of my instructor, I came up with an idea to write about my favorite Bible character, David. I always had loved David's Psalms. They helped me through the rough times of growing up and especially as a teenager. My sister got me a fascinating autobiography of David by F. B. Meyer. I wanted to tell more about these Psalms. I also loved reading about heroes of the faith. I came up with 40 of David's Psalms and a person to fit each one of them. In my stories I explained how each person overcame some difficulty in their life and exemplified a portion of that Psalm in that way. Some of the heroes were from modern days, but some in early church history as well. They spanned across the whole church age. I ended up putting a timeline at the end to show how their lives intertwined amongst themselves, one influencing the other like a stack of dominoes. I also put in a study guide for further contemplation on Scripture, and a Scripture index and resource guide. I wanted my readers to understand that not only the Psalms, but the whole Word of God directly fit together as the Ultimate Guide Book for our lives. My audience was originally for teenagers, because I remembered how difficult adolescence was for me personally. I wanted to show Jesus Christ is the best friend we can ever have. It ended up that this book will be appropriate also for adults. I want to reach as many people as possible with the message that in Christ there is hope for the bleakest situation. It is never too late as long as you have breath.

6. I have been extremely blessed to find 4RV Publishing, who was willing to take a chance on a first time author. In addition, I found a wonderful editor (who lived within walking distance) who helped me get my manuscript ready for submission to 4RV. Friends within my critique group believed in my book and helped me to carry on when I was ready to give up. My family cheered me on, with my husband, Kevin, the biggest helper of all. Now, I am hoping to write many more books. I love to write about the LORD and His love, but also have a funny side and enjoy writing about my cat Missy (aka "Super Cat") and her antics. I worked with children of varying ages for about nine years. My own children and the kids I cared for helped fuel my imagination for other children's stories and poems as well.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this blog. I recently began a new blog specifically about kids and adult books. It is my hope to direct you to great reads on there. I encourage you to stop by there as well. Come on over and also see me at:

Sunday, September 29, 2013

100 Things to be Thankful for-Part Two

My gratitude list, continued:

51. God alone made the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1: 1)
52. He created man in His own image. (Genesis 1: 27)
53. He makes everything beautiful in its time. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
54. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. (Hebrews 13: 8)
55. God is faithful in calling us into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ. (I Corinthians 1: 9)
56. God's agape love is not like man's kind of love. (I Corinthians 13)
57. Three things will remain forever: faith, hope and love. (I Corinthians 13:13)
58. He wants to reward for what He Himself does in us. (Philippians 2: 13)
59. He who began a good work in His children will complete it to the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1: 5)
60. If we are faithless, He remains faithful.(II Timothy 2: 13)
61. Jesus came into the world as a light so that anyone who believes in Him will not walk in darkness. (John 12:46)
62. A bruised reed Jesus Christ will not break. (Isaiah 42: 3)
63. By His stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53: 5)
64. Christ's dying sacrifice satisfied God's justice once for all without need of repetition. (Hebrews 10: 12)
65. Christ has made believers kings and priests. (Revelation 1:6)
66. He has washed our sins in His own blood. (Revelation 1:5)
67. God is not willing that any should perish. (I Timothy 2:4)
68. God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked. (Ezekiel 18:23)
69. God had to bare His own arm for us by sending His own Son. (Isaiah 52:10)
70. God's righteousness is an everlasting righteousness. (Psalm 119:142)
71. There is no other God like our God. (Deuteronomy 4:39)
72. His mercy endures forever. (Psalm 136)
73. We just need to Look upon Christ to be saved. (Isaiah 45: 22)
74. When Christ gave the Sermon on the Mount, He gave "Be-attitudes" and not "do" attitudes. We are transformed without travail by looking in the mirror of the Word. (II Corinthians 3: 18)
75. Moses had to cover His face to go into the presence of God, but we do not have to cover our faces. (II Corinthians 3: 16-18)
76. In the Savior are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (Colossians 2:3)
77. Salvation is the gift of God, so no man can boast(in and of himself). (Ephesians 2: 8-9)
78. But we are allowed to boast in the Lord. (Psalm 34: 2)
79. We are free indeed in Christ. (John 8: 32-36)
80. The Lord of the Universe humbled Himself to be "born in a barn" among animals. (Luke 2: 7)
81. The Greatest became the least and our ultimate example of humility. (Philippians 2: 5-8)
82. Therefore God has given Him the name which is above every name. (Philippians 2: 9)
83. The Lord knows them that are His. (II Timothy 2: 19)
84. Our names our engraved on the palms of His hands. (Isaiah 49: 16)
85. Not one hair of ours will be lost even if we are hated for His name's sake. (Luke 21: 17-18)
86. Our sins are thrown into the deepest depths of the sea. (Micah 7:19)
87. Through Christ (and Christ alone) we have access to the Father. (Ephesians 2: 18)
88. Overcoming believers in the church of Laodecia will be able to sit with Christ on His throne. (Revelation 3: 21)
89. Whosoever will may come and believe in Christ and appropriate His saving work on their behalf. (Revelation 22: 17)
90. Whosoever may take of the water of life freely. (Revelation 22: 17)
91. There is no other way to enter the Kingdom of Heaven but through Christ. (John 10: 1-3)
92. He calls His sheep by name. (John 10:3)
93. The Church Age will not be over until the "fullness of the Gentiles has come in." He will wait for the very last believer of the Church Age. (Romans 11: 25)
94. He does all things well. (Mark 7: 37)
95. The believer's times are always in God's hands. (Psalm 31: 15)
96. Precious in His sight are the death of His saints. (Psalm 116:15)
97. For the believer in Christ, living is Christ. (Philippians 1: 21)
98. For the believer in Christ, dying is gain. (Philippians 1: 21)
99. For the unbeliever in Christ, it is never too late to change your mind as long as you have breath, because God does not mark our iniquities, there is forgiveness with Him if you seek it. (Psalm 130: 3-4)
100. That He begs us seek Him while He may be found, and to call upon Him while He is near!(Isaiah 55:6)

If you have read this long blog post, I thank you. If you do not have the assurance of salvation as a free gift through Christ, I urge you to look up these beautiful promises from the Word of God, these wonderful gifts freely given through the grace of Another. You do not have to sweat or strain to get to heaven, and no matter what you have done in the past, you can be forgiven. All that work was already done for you, courtesy of the Lord Jesus Christ! No other religion or god can promise you these things. Today can be the day of your salvation!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

100 Things to be Thankful For- Part One

Today marks my 100th blog post here and I would llke to celebrate by naming 100 things I am thankful for. It is my hope that you will find that you can be thankful for them too. Today I will list the first 50 of them, and the next posting will list the remaining 50 things. This list only tips the unfathomable number of blessings we can thank God for each and every day.

(When I went to publish this, I realized that some of my posts were mere drafts, but that is not any reason not to find 100 things to be thankful for! Actually there are 90 postings, but I will still list 100 anyway, for there are actually an incalculable number of things we will praise Christ for, coming one Day soon.)

1. For salvation as a free gift courtesy of Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 2: 8-9)
2. For being born in a time when we see the soon return of our Lord Jesus Christ, since Israel was reborn as a nation in 1948, as Jesus promised that generation would not pass away until we saw the fulfillment of end time prophecy.(Matt. 24: 3-4)
3. For my salvation is nearer now than when I first believed. (Romans 13:11)
4. My name is written in the Lamb's Book of Life, and yours can be too by faith in Jesus Christ.(Rev 21: 12)
5. That I have been adopted into the family of God forever, and you can be too. (Ephesians 1:5)
6. That God is entirely good. (Psalm 119:68)
7. In God there dwells no darkness at all! (I John 1:5)
8. That if any man wills to do His will, he will know of the doctrine. (John 7: 17)
9. That Jesus Christ (only) is the Light of the world. (John 1: 1-9)
10. That He has numbered every hair upon my head, such is His ultimate knowledge and care for me.(Matthew 10:30)
11. That Jesus Christ fulfilled the law perfectly, thus satisfying God's justice for all those who would believe in Him.(II Corinthians 5: 19-21)
12. That God counts every star, and calls each one by name. (Psalm 147:4)
13. That nothing is impossible for God. (Matthew 19: 26)
14. One Day there will never, ever be a curse again.(Revelation 22:3)
15. That there is no guile or deceit in Christ. (I Peter 2: 22)
16. Christ took my own sins upon His body on the tree of Calvary. (I Peter 2: 24)
17. That my sins which were as bright as crimson are now white like wool. (Isaiah 1: 18)
18. Christ is able to keep me from stumbling. (Jude 24)
19. That no one can take me, or any believer, out of the Father's hand, and He is greater than all. (John 10: 28-9)
20. That He willingly was pierced in the house of His friends. (Zechariah 13: 6, John 19: 34)
21. The thief on the cross didn't have to get his life in order before he was allowed to enter Paradise with Christ, but he entered only through one act of faith in Christ.(Luke 23: 39-43)
22. That all of mankind's sins were collected as it were in Job's bag and placed on Christ. (Job 14:17)
23. Then Christ took all of our transgressions, and they were nailed to the tree and taken out of the way, thereby opening access to the Father to anyone who believes. (Colossians 2: 14)
24. That the last time the Father saw my sins was when He put them on Christ, and now they remain behind His back. (Isaiah 38:17)
25. I have been made a princess raised up from the dust and ash heap. (Psalm 113: 7)
26. Jesus Christ is my Shepherd. (Psalm 23:1)
27. The Lord will make me to stand. (Romans 14: 4)
28. The Lord was the One who knit me together in my mother's womb. (Psalm 139: 13)
29. We all are fearfully and wonderfully made by a Creator. We didn't evolve from an amoeba! (Psalm 139: 14)
30. That it is never too late to come back to God if you have strayed, or come the first time if you have rejected Him for many years, for Today is the day of salvation! (II Corinthians 6: 2)
31. That God is/was faithful to the nation of Israel, and we can count on the fact that He will be faithful to His church too! (Romans 11:11)
32. Israel's branch was temporarily broken off so the Gentile nations could be grafted in! (Romans 11: 17-19)
33. That in Christ we are not of any racial or gender status, but all believers are all one in Christ. (Galatians 3: 28)
34. Believers have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ. (Ephesians 1: 3)
35. God is not far from any of us. (Acts 17: 27)
36. All that call upon the name of the LORD will be saved. (Romans 10: 13)
37. Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness for all that believe. (Romans 10:4)
38. If we love His Word, we can have great peace. (Psalm 119: 165)
39. The person that loves God's Word will not stumble. (Psalm 119: 165)
40. I do not have to grope for His Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119: 105)
41. Christ will never, no never forsake me or any of His children. (Hebrews 13: 5)
42. God had a plan to save mankind in eternity past. (Revelation 13: 8)
43. Jesus is a friend of sinners. (Luke 5: 30-32)
44. There is a remnant according to grace even at this present time. (Romans 11: 5)
45. My sinful nature was crucified with Christ. (Romans 6:6)
46. I no longer have to be a slave of sin. (Romans 6:6)
47. I have peace with God because of Christ. (Romans 5:1)
48. One day every knee will bow and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Might as well be among them now!!) Philippians 2: 10-11)
49. In our weakness, we can be strong (in Him!) (II Corinthians 12:9)
50. If one is honest when looking upon creation, it testifies to every man's heart of the true Creator. (Romans 1: 20)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Glorying in Afflictions because of Romans 8:28

Psalm 149: 4: For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation.

I ran across this marvelous verse this morning in my quiet time. I have read it before, but it commanded my attention today. I found a marvelous little book secondhand at my library yesterday, and it was Called to Pray by Wim Malgo. Written in 1975, it is as relevant today as it was then. The chapter I read today made me want to delight in the trials that have been appointed in my life. Mr. Malgo wrote about what are the necessary conditions for prayer:

"I always feel apprehensive when I hear people pray, 'Lord, please give me power', for our Lord has no use for powerful people. On the contrary Psalm 102: 4 says, 'He weakened my strength in the way.' The feeling of strength drives away the Spirit of prayer."

Later in the same chapter, he said: "If you have bitter disappointments from fellow Christians and fellow men, yes, if even the dearest one you have on this earth has disappointed you, then God has permitted this because He wants to make you a person of prayer. Let me say it more clearly: God takes away all your human props so that you can become increasingly dependent on Him alone."

In combination with what I received from last week's (9/12/13) teaching from the Grace and Truth Ladies Seminar, I found my heart rejoicing. I have had trials that have gone on for years without resolution, but God is in control of all that. In the verse we are all so familiar with, Romans 8:28, God makes us a promise that some would say is "too good to be true." It says: "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." Judy spoke of what the words "that all things" referred to. In the Greek, the word for this is "pas" and here is what it means:

each, every, any, all, the whole, everyone, all things, everything

some of all types

How many times, in darkness have I mourned over situations that cannot be humanly solved? How many tears have I cried in unbelief of what this verse really means? Romans 8:28 is a promise with a condition, and that is one must be a God lover for this to be true in your life.

There is a fear, often, of becoming a disciple of Christ. For He asks no less than all of our soul, dedicated to Him. He says clearly in Luke 14: 26: “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple."

Well, how does the Lord get you to hate your own life? In trials, we see just who we really are without His enabling power. He reduces us to the state that we will not glory in our accomplishments, but only in what He does through us. But He also assures us that He will never leave us or forsake us (Heb. 13: 5), and as we continue in His Word, He shows us the glory and beauty of Christ. Also as we continue in His Word, He shows us Who He Really Is and it will automatically make us want to be a God lover, without striving or sweating. Then we realize that all along our lives do not really belong to us anyway, but to Him and that we hidden with Him.

Colossians 3: 3 is emphatic: "For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God."
In this we find true joy and the meaning and purpose for our lives!

I don't know about you, but I don't like my old person clinging to her regrets and moods. I would rather walk in the Truth that says my life is now hidden with Him. And so, I can thank Him for the things that have happened in the past, believing that God is using them to draw me nearer to His side and cling to Him for all my righteousness.

II Corinthians 5:21

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.

Galatians 2:20 and 21 also says:
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.”

I leave you today with the link for the wonderful message by my friend Mrs. Judy Seligman, who expounded on Romans 8: 28 and what it means for believers.

Listen and be blessed!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Creation Groans

Proverbs 24:10 says "If you faint in the day of adversity, Your strength is small." My resolve was tested this past week and it proved to me that it doesn't take much for me to become overwhelmed. Our lovely dilute "tortie" had some serious symptoms and we took her to the vet for our first time. She had been to the vet's before, but that was before we suddenly adopted her when her owner, my dear father in law, unexpectedly passed away. Even cats can mourn. Ours took many weeks to get over her grief and separation. Yet, in the Word it says all the creatures are groaning for something that is soon to break over this sin-weary world.

In Romans we are told that the creation is groaning for their Redeemer to come and make things right here again on Planet Earth. In chapter 8:19-22 tells us: "For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope;
because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God."

Have you noticed that the earth itself is groaning too? Think of all the increased natural disasters that seem to be a daily occurrence anymore. I think of the devastation in Boulder, Colorado. It is heartbreaking to view the destruction there. Volcanoes are suddenly awakening and people have to run for their lives. There has been an increase in the number of earthquakes, and now there are super-tornadoes, like what hit Moore, Oklahoma this spring. These are just a few of the strange phenomenon that have increased lately. Some may just pass it off as nothing, but I can't. Things are changing here on planet earth, and birth pangs for our new creation have started.

The Animal and Plant Kingdoms of this earth are longing for Jesus' return. They exist for His glory, even as mankind is given that opportunity. But now we see many animals dying in strange ways. Massive fish kill offs, dolphins washing ashore helplessly, birds falling from the sky. Creation is waiting...waiting for that Glorious Day when we will see a New Heaven and a New Earth. There will be no sickness, no death in that Kingdom, and no chance for sin to ever enter it. In the book of Revelation we are promised that these things will be so:

"And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful." Revelation 21: 1-5

All human beings were born with a God-shaped vacuum in their souls. That is, nothing else will satisfy that hollow place except a relationship with God via His Son Jesus Christ. When we praise Him, we are lifted beyond our cares to see His majesty and power above all things. It takes our eyes away from the situation and onto Him, who is all powerful above every adversity we would ever face. Besides that, it brings peace to our over-stressed and hurried lives.

Psalm 148 tells us:

"Praise the LORD from the earth,
You great sea creatures and all the depths;
Fire and hail, snow and clouds;
Stormy wind, fulfilling His word;
Mountains and all hills;
Fruitful trees and all cedars;
Beasts and all cattle;
Creeping things and flying fowl;
Kings of the earth and all peoples;
Princes and all judges of the earth;
Both young men and maidens;
Old men and children.
Let them praise the name of the LORD,
For His name alone is exalted;
His glory is above the earth and heaven.
And He has exalted the horn of His people,
The praise of all His saints—
Of the children of Israel,
A people near to Him.

Praise the LORD!"

Even the animals will be delivered from earth's corruption. One day, all the sadness of this present life will be gone. One day, the confusion and bewilderment will be answered. And the creatures too, will be praising our Redeemer who makes all things new!

The solution to stress? Look away from myself and my situation, rather let me get back to the simplicity of:

"...looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:2

Will you join me?

Thursday, September 5, 2013

His Truth (really) can set us free...

I am so excited this evening. I just returned from the most amazing ladies seminar message delivered by my friend and mentor, Mrs. Judy Seligman. Judy is a woman who takes God at His Word. His faithfulness to her has been evident to all who know her. She is a woman set free. I wanted to share with my readers some of the inspiration I received.

Did you know that when Christ died on the cross for our sins, He really did pay for them all? (Colossians 2: 13-14)Did you know that no matter what you may have done in the past, when you become a believer, all of that is wiped away forever? (II Corinthians 5: 17) It may seem too good to be true, but it is.

Jesus called out from the cross in victory not defeat, "It is finished!" (John 19:30) Yes, the most tragic thing happened when they crucified our Lord, but it was also the most important and most glorious moment ever in human history, too. In fact, human history was divided by the birth of Christ, even if men call B.C. now "Before the Common Era" instead of "Before Christ." If that moment had not occurred, there would be no hope at all in this world. (Romans 5: 5-8)

His death on the cross took care of all the sins we committed in the past, presently, or in the future. This is not so called "cheap grace." Jesus Christ poured out His soul unto death for us.(Hebrews 5: 7, Psalm 22: 14) There was nothing more He could give, He poured out His life as a substitutionary sacrifice and all the sins of the world were paid for that one afternoon. That does not mean that all men will be saved, for we must take His free gift as an act of faith. (John 3:16) Our will must agree with God's in believing on the person of His Son.
But think of what this means. Our sins were paid for, so we can truly walk free. Jesus said in John 8:36:

"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

In my own experience, I did not experience that freedom that Christ talked about. Judy told us tonight what the missing ingredient is if we are not presently experiencing Christ's freedom. It is a simple thing, really.

I can either believe what God tells me in His Word or disbelieve it. Even if it feels untrue with all the feelings within me, it is still true. She shared that for years she had struggled with resentment toward another believer. As hard as she tried, she could not make these feelings go away. Have you ever been there? I know I have, way too many times to count.

The more you struggle to get free from sin in your own power, the stronger the sin monster becomes. In I Corinthians 15: 56 God tells us a curious thing about the law. It says:

"The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is in the law." That means the more you try, the harder you will fail. But if you have reached that point of failure, as I have, many times, you should rejoice. Why? For then you will realize that if Christ does not perform the righteous deeds that the law commands inside you, it will not be done.

Galatians 2:20-1 tells us that we have been crucified with Christ, and why Christ had to die:

"I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me, and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes by works, then Christ died in vain.

Righteousness will never come by works, but only by Christ living out His life through us. He promised us that we would have "rivers of living water" flow out of our heart in John 7:38. If this isn't our experience, then something is wrong with us, not Him.
We need to believe Him: that He lives in us, that He forgave us all our sin debt. And most importantly, we need to believe that when He died, our old sinful self died right there with Him.

Romans 6: 6 says: "knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin." We have a choice. We can either let Christ live His life through us, and experience the fruits of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control--Galatians 5:22) OR, we can disbelieve it and continue living the lie of the self-life.

He does want us to give up our lives. But that becomes easy when you realize that our lives, without Christ, will only produce misery.

John 15: 5: "I am the vine, and you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit, for without Me you can do nothing."

Here is the "hard saying" of Jesus, which, when you consider the alternative of living gratifying your old nature, becomes a pleasant thing to do. John 12: 25 tells us the absolute Truth:

"He who loves his life {your own right to choose for yourself what you want*} will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life." In hating what that old person so craves, we find a new life of joy and peace in Him. We give up the things that have kept us in misery for so long and finally have the life that we truly longed for.

Tonight, I was reminded that it is as easy as a simple decision. No matter how much my flesh will scream at me, God's Word is truer than that voice inside. I simply have to choose with God and His Word. If I fail, I pick myself up and receive a fresh new start every single time. What other religion in this world will offer you that?

It's never too late, we can make that choice and start having His resurrection life pour through us today!

*my added thoughts