Called to be Free

"You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freeĀ­dom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love." Galatians 5:13  

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Burning Bridges

2 Cor. 5:17 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" 
 
Last night the Lord gave me a dream showing me a burned out bridge.  I was on one side of the bridge looking at it thinking "there is no way I can cross over that, I'll fall in!"  "That is burnt."   My loved ones were with me on the same side, and a great friend from church was with me as well. 

 

The Urban Dictionary.com definition for Burn a Bridge:  "cut off all ties in a relationship.  When you burn a bridge you can't cross it again. To burn a bridge means to be completely done with something."

 

You see, the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy, and the enemy has continued to tempt me for 4 years to get me to come back to my old way of life.  For the last year, I have had numerous temptations (more than I can count) where I wanted to drink, or use pain medication as a way to smooth things over.  I mostly resisted those temptations, and continued to turn to God each time.  I can definitely say that it has been a serious battle.   

There was one time about one month ago that I had a drink, by complete accident.  Someone offered me something, but the name was not alcoholic, so I said "sure."  I realized part of the way into it that it was alcohol, but that didn't stop me.  I finished the one drink.  Then in San Diego, I ended up having one drink.  You see, I'd heard from a Christian blogger/pastor that said it was okay for Christians to drink, but not get drunk.  So me, being a recovered alcoholic, said "well he says its okay, it must be okay."  While in San Diego I got to read my bible a lot.  I then read a scripture that Paul talks of not eating or drinking of anything that might cause another to stumble.  I was then convicted that if I were to cause someone to stumble, that would be on me.  I'd even heard of Christians that I know that drink, and I will admit, I struggled with that.  I couldn't understand how they could, but I couldn't.  It frustrated me.  I made the decision that I would not drink again because I do not ever want to cause someone to stumble — I don't care who says its okay for a Christian to drink — its not okay for me to drink. 

I'd also struggled with pain pills in the past, and after I had been seriously ill this year they had given me pain medication.  My old man thought I should just get some more because I'll be honest, I liked the way it initially felt.  Reality came back, and I realized that it was simply a lie straight from the pit of hell, and I resisted.

So the dream, the Lord was saying finally that the bridge to my old life is now burned down, and I am never going back to that old way of life.  Thank you Lord.  When I came back to the Lord it was quite difficult at times to not go running back to old ways of thinking and coping, and the old man in me wanted to rear its ugly head quite often.  I am believing that once and for all, those old things that I used to battle and struggle against are gone forever (alcohol, pain pills, sex addiction, porn addiction, Internet addiction, love addiction, romance addiction, relationship addiction, co-dependence) are gone forever — once and for all, never to darken my door step again. 

I know that there are other (different) things that the Lord will have me work on at some point, and I know this is not the end of my journey, but it is definitely an end to a very long season of testing and trying.  I am thankful for the test, but thankful that this one is over.  

Heb 13:8 "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." 

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San Diego Blessings!

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The Lord blessed Joe and I with a trip to San Diego again this year.  What a blessing!!  Our plane fare and two nights in a hotel were paid for, and food for two days.  Thank you Lord for giving us time together, and time off.  It was much needed and much appreciated. 

We visited many of the local sites again this year.  We went to La Jolla (pronounced La Hoya, and means "the jewel), and kayaked with the sharks!!  They were leopard sharks, but still sharks!  They were probably between 4 and 5 feet long.  We even got to kayak surf thanks to our guides Mike and Chris at OEX in La Jolla.  They were awesome.  We got blessed with a 3 hour tour instead of a two hour one that we paid for.  They were very informative, and showed us all sorts of neat things.  We saw the 7 sea caves in La Jolla cove, and the home of Dr. Seuss.  Neither of us had kayaked in the ocean before, so it was a whole new experience and incredibly fun!

One day we went to Mission Beach, and ate and shopped and body surfed!  Yes, body surfed.  It was fantastic!  The waves were huge (picture above), and next year we're renting body boards so we can do it up real good!  Body surfing exhausted us both because we did it for hours.  The water was 71 degrees, and the weather was between 75 and 80 degrees the entire time.  There is another picture of us on Coronado Island.  Very beautiful area.  Pictures from the airplane way up high in the sky.  Whoops two pictures of the hotel pool from our balcony 7 floors up.  And a picture of a palm tree at 7 floors up.  Those things are huge!  Wow. 

I will post pictures of the sea kayaking after they are developed.  Didn't want to take my digital camera out into the water — not great idea since Joe tipped his kayak probaby 500 million times when we were surfing!  Okay, so maybe it was 3 times, but who's counting! 

It was such a blessing, and we couldn't have asked for a better vacation.  The cool thing was that we didn't ask the Lord for it, He just provided it to us — just because.  I love those surprises that He does … just because.  Thank you Lord! 

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What Do you Believe? Do You Know Why You Believe it?

 

 

(I had posted this on another site, but was encouraged to post again — this confirmed what the Lord had resonated within my heart.  So here it is) This is a video clip of Oprah Winfrey. Very scary because she has watchers in the millions, including Christians. Matt 7:15 ""Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves."

Matt 24:11 "and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people."
Matt 24:24 "For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect–if that were possible."

2 Cor. 11:12-15 "And I will keep on doing what I am doing in order to cut the ground from under those who want an opportunity to be considered equal with us in the things they boast about. 13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve."

I Tim. 6:3-5 "If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, 4 he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions 5 and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain." (whoa!)

I John 4:1 "Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world."

It is okay to test the word of a teacher. It is okay to question their teachings and beliefs. I think that if a person in their teaching has God wrong from the get go, we should not listen to that person, because then everything that follows is based upon a false foundation of belief. Paul did it himself, and you can read about that in 2 Corinthians. Just because there appears to be a "move of God" does not necessarily mean it is God — we were warned of these things to come in the end times.  Sound doctrine is important!

I've been questioning myself as to why I believe what I believe. If I do not know what I believe then I may fall for anything. More on that later. Blessings to you!

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Ocean Shores then (2006) and Ocean Shores now (2008)

This was from our trip in 2006 — look at how little they are!!!

And here they are this year – 2008 — WOW!  How much more grown up!  Amazing.  What a GREAT group of kids were have been blessed with.  Thank you Lord!  Josh 24:15 "As for me and my family, we will serve the Lord."

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Ocean Shores!

I can't wait!  We are leaving tomorrow morning for Ocean Shores, and won't be home until late Sunday night.  I can't wait!  We are taking ALL of the kids.  We are staying at Joe's brother's house on Duck Lake.  He lets us do that every year, and it saves us $$ and then we can take the kids and have a blast on minimal funds.  Thank you Lord — it is such a blessing for us.  I can't wait!!!

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