Tag Archives: Love

You Are Not an Accident

Did you ever feel like an accident?

Did you ever feel like life is some cruel joke?

Did you ever feel like God made a mistake?

Those are lies from the enemy to discourage you. I know, I listened to the wrong guy for years. Yeah, in the natural and the spiritual, lol! It’s funny how when the enemy wants to discourage you he will send a critic. You know – that person who has nothing good to say about you.  The person who finds fault with everything you do or ever did. Guess what? He’s lying!  God didn’t say that about you. He says something completely opporist.

I can’t tell you what freedom I felt when I finally didn’t have to believe what everyone else said about me. He who the Son sets free is free indeed!

Here is what God really thinks of you. It was news to me too!

Psalm 139:13

Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day. 



Isaiah 43:1 1-4

But now, God’s Message, the God who made you in the first place, Jacob, the One who got you started, Israel: “Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you. I’ve called your name. You’re mine. When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you. When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down. When you’re between a rock and a hard place, it won’t be a dead end— Because I am God, your personal God, The Holy of Israel, your Savior. I paid a huge price for you: all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in! That’s how much you mean to me! That’s how much I love you! I’d sell off the whole world to get you back, trade the creation just for you. 

 

chosen

John 15:16

“You didn’t choose me, remember; I chose you, and put you in the world to bear fruit, fruit that won’t spoil. As fruit bearers, whatever you ask the Father in relation to me, he gives you.”

You are NOT an accident. You are NOT a mistake. The Maker of the Universe has chosen YOU! He who made everything thinks you are special – the apple of His eye. He has great plans for you – good plans – plans for a great future, and not to harm you!

 

 Just Think,

You’re here not by chance, But by God’s choosing.

His hand formed you and made you the person you are.

He compares you to no one else— You are one of a kind.

You lack nothing that His grace can’t give you.

He has allowed you to be here at this time in history

To fulfill His special purpose for this generation.”

-Dayspring 2013 calendar

God loves you

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Bring Peace to the Storm

“Peace. Be still.” That all He said. The wind stopped, the waves quoted, and the boat stopped rocking. What if we did that? What if we brought peace to the storm in our lives and the lives of those around us?

What would we feel like if we brought peace to our spirits?

What would our family look like if we brought peace?

What would work look like if we brought peace?

What would our world look like if we brought peace?

 

I have to admit – it’s not my first thought. I think God knew that. That’s why He had to give me His peace. He knew mine wouldn’t always be so agreeable, lol!

 

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God’s Word for You:

Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way. – Colossians 3″15-17 MSG

 

 Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. – Philipians 4:6-7 MSG

 

 

When Jesus saw that a curious crowd was growing by the minute, he told his disciples to get him out of there to the other side of the lake. As they left, a religion scholar asked if he could go along. “I’ll go with you, wherever,” he said.  Jesus was curt: “Are you ready to rough it? We’re not staying in the best inns, you know.”  Another follower said, “Master, excuse me for a couple of days, please. I have my father’s funeral to take care of.”

Jesus refused. “First things first. Your business is life, not death. Follow me. Pursue life.”

Then he got in the boat, his disciples with him. The next thing they knew, they were in a severe storm. Waves were crashing into the boat—and he was sound asleep! They roused him, pleading, “Master, save us! We’re going down!” Jesus reprimanded them. “Why are you such cowards, such faint-hearts?” Then he stood up and told the wind to be silent, the sea to quiet down: “Silence!” The sea became smooth as glass. The men rubbed their eyes, astonished. “What’s going on here? Wind and sea come to heel at his command!” – Matthew 8:18-27 MSG

My Prayer for You:

Lord help me bring peace, not chaos, to myself, my friends, my family, and my world. Let me not say the first thing that I think. Let me bring grace and peace to those I love. Let me be a peace-maker, not a peace-taker in Jesus Name.

 

Here is a video I made about PEACE – enjoy!

Peace

Prepared to Be Awed by His Presence

I am so excited! I just feel that the presence of  God is going to overwhelm us this Christmas Season! 

Are you ready to be awed by His presence? 

Are you ready to melt in His arms and just be speechless?  

Are you ready to worship the King of Kings?

Yes! He was born a King, even though it didn’t look like it at the time. 

Who would put a King in a manger?

I love how God shows up outside of our “box”!

He is so freaking awesome, 

And He is ready to invade out time and our space as never before!

He did it before – when He came into this world. 

Luke 2:8-20 In the same region there were shepherds staying out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord flashed and shone around them, and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people. For this day in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord the Messiah. And this will be a sign for you by which you will recognize Him: you will find a Baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 

Then suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host angelic army praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, And on earth peace among men with whom He is well-pleased.” When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying one to another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem, and see this wonderful thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.” 

So they went in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the Baby as He lay in the manger. And when they had seen this, they made known what had been told them about this Child, and all who heard it were astounded and wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these things, giving careful thought to them and pondering them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as it had been told them. 



Do not be afraid. Your God has come to you. To hold you, to heal you, to save you and your family.  This world is not all there is.  There is so much more.  We are citizens of Heaven thanks to the Lord who decided to enter His creation as a baby in a manger. 

Lord, thank you for coming for all of us. You came to seek and to save the lost. you came to give us hope, a life, and a future.  You did for us what we could not do for ourselves. You are our Hope, our Joy, our Savior, and our Future! Hallelujah! Bless God!
O

The Joy of Family

The Joy of Family

-Copyright 2016 Diana Rasmussen-


We all want family 

A place to belong

And be loved 

Where we are accepted 

Despite our flaws

And covered with grace 

Just because.

We stick together 

No matter what 

The good, the bad,

And the ugly.

Family can come by blood

Or by love, 

either is the same.

Because we are one

In life, in love, 

and purpose.

 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.- 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a

The Simple Joy of a Child

The simple joy of a child

Brings hope and optimism

To all they touch

Innocence personified

With goodness and unconditional love

For everyone, everywhere.

 At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them,  and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.  Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.  Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me. – Matthew 18:1-5 

Then they brought little children to Him, that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them.  But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.  Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.”  And He took them up in His arms, laid His hands on them, and blessed them. – Mark 10:13-16 

Hard Times Reveal True Friends – Quotes to Live By

Hard times reveal true friends. I had a hard day today. I think it was just all the stress of everyday life piling up on me.  But I had friends at work who helped me see beyond today. Friends who showed me kindness when I lost it. Friends who gave me hugs and prayed for me in my time of need.  Thank you Lord – for good friends!

 

“Friendship … is born at the moment when one man says to another “What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . .” ― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

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“Don’t walk in front of me… I may not follow
Don’t walk behind me… I may not lead
Walk beside me… just be my friend” ― Albert Camus

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“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.” ― Henri J.M. Nouwen, Out of Solitude: Three Meditations on the Christian Life

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“A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.” ― Elbert Hubbard

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“If I had a flower for every time I thought of you…I could walk through my garden forever.” ― Alfred Tennyson

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“I would rather walk with a friend in the dark, than alone in the light.” ― Helen Kellerwp-1479432024485.jpg

 

“Why did you do all this for me?’ he asked. ‘I don’t deserve it. I’ve never done anything for you.’ ‘You have been my friend,’ replied Charlotte. ‘That in itself is a tremendous thing.”
― E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web

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“I think if I’ve learned anything about friendship, it’s to hang in, stay connected, fight for them, and let them fight for you. Don’t walk away, don’t be distracted, don’t be too busy or tired, don’t take them for granted. Friends are part of the glue that holds life and faith together. Powerful stuff.” ― Jon Katz

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(All images from Pinterest)

Your Worship Ushers People into the Presence of God

Your worship is sacred and pleasing to God. Whether you are singing in your car to the radio, praising and thanking God, or worshipping with others – your worship ushers people into the presence of God.  It’s like He just shows up and does stuff.

We are not saved for ourselves.

God wants His love to spill over onto others you meet everyday.  

There’s that mom who is trying to make it on her own after her husband left. There is the elderly woman who feels so alone at night. There is the man who just lost his job and doesn’t know how to tell his family. There is the couple who smile on the outside but are one step away from divorce court. And the young teenage girl who hurts herself to stop the pain.  These are people you meet everyday. They are hurting. They don’t know why or how to fix it.

We as Christians carry the Word of the Living God in us. Christ in us – the HOPE of Glory. Yet often we hole ourselves up in our buildings, go to our ‘church’ functions, and don’t reach out to the lost. I did this for years.  It’s really easy to hide from the world when you busy yourself with function upon function. I learned the lingo, wore what I ‘should’, and followed the rules – for a bit.

Then the hurt squeezed out.

Have you ever tried to stuff a pillow in a box? No matter how hard you try some of it spills over. You can get it almost all in and then the corner pops out. That’s what it’s like to just ‘go’ and play church. I am speaking to myself first. After a while I took a break. Just like I took a break from my biker days, and my preppie days, and my academic days.  I was looking for acceptance and love in all the wrong places. The sad part is, so were all the other people going to church. Only we were afraid to tell each other because we didn’t want other people to know how messed up we really are.

The funny thing is though, God already knows.

He brings all of his kiddos to a place to be healed and loved and sheltered from the world.

Worship is a place where God can show us what real love looks like.

 

Yes it happens at church, but it also happens every time a believer ushers in His presence. God is with us – Emmanuel. He shows up whenever we praise and worship him. He is with you in the car. He is with you at the job. He is with you in your home. He shows up when we pray. He is there when you go outside for a walk. He shows up when we pray with others – they feel His love and presence. God isn’t confined to a building. He is not confined to a Denomination. Anytime or anyplace we worship Him, His love spills out onto others -just like that pillow!

worship art
Source: valeriesjodin.com

Thank Goodness God squeezes out of the box we try to put Him in!

I wish I was more transparent in real life. I can here in blog land, I just type what’s on my heart. I am still learning to share in real life.  Feelings are so messy. Some days I am just a blubbering idiot I think. I have a few friends I reach out to, and for that I am grateful. I gave up ‘playing church’. I gave myself permission these days to be me, flaws and all. I gave myself permission to be free from other people’s opinions of who they think I am. Today God gets to tell me that. Our identity is hidden in Christ – I think it’s way safer there than anywhere else.

no limitsI  have struggles everyday. I beat myself up for all the things ‘good little christian girls’ shouldn’t do. But then, as I learned today, God welcomes me in His house anyway. He meets me where I am and loves me through it all. As I confess my faults to God and to others I trust, He forgives me and grants me grace to get up and keep living.

His Word gives me hope – I have to read it – or die. I have been hospitalized for depression. I have tried multiple times to hurt myself. I have given up more times than I can count. I have given up on people, I have given up on myself, and I have given up on love. But the thing I learned today –

God never gave up on me. And He has not given up on you either.

called.jpg

 

God is for us and with us. He forgives us and loves us. He doesn’t want us to be ‘perfect’ – let it go. Just be you. He made you and He loves you anyway!

Do not let your heart faint, do not be afraid, and do not tremble or be terrified because of them;  for the Lord your God is He who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.’ – Deut 20:14 NKJV

 

 And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe.  All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. – John 6:35-37 NKJV

 

 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. – Romans 5:8 NKJV

 

(All images from Pinterest, sources on image)

 

 

 

Pass the Peace Please

Peace. That sense of calm that all is well. It will work out. We are good. All is well.

What would happen in we would pass that on? Not our attitudes, not our pride, not our thoughts – but our peace.

What would the world look like then?

God gave us peace – His peace. Peace that surpasses all understanding.

What if we shared that with our fellow man and woman?

 “When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you. – Luke 10:5-6 

Flourish Like a Palm Tree in the Storms of Life

I love palm trees. They remind me of the beach with sun and sand and water. It’s almost like instant rest in a tropical oasis.  Palm trees are resilient, they grow in the desert in hot, humid climates.  Here are some great facts about palm trees and how we as Christians can flourish like them in spite of the storms we go through.

psalm 92

How to Flourish Like a Palm Tree in the Storms of Life

1. Palm trees grow high above the Earth. Some can reach 70 feet tall. We as Christians are seated in Heavenly places with Jesus. As He is, so are we in this world. We are not better than any one else, but we are not worse either. The Lord made the Earth and everything in it. He looked at it and said, “It is good.” Let us allow ourselves to adopt a larger vision and reach for the Lord like the palm tree.

palms2.  Palm trees bend in storms they do not break. Their trunks are flexible. In the midst of the storm, they stand. even after hurricanes, the palm tree still stands. We as well face many storms in this life. When the Holy Spirit is within us we find the strength to stand in the midst of the storms. The wind may blow, the rain may come, but our Lord will whisper to us despite what is happening and lead us to quiet streams.

3. Palm Trees  are a symbol of eternal life. The Assyrians believed that eternal life was symbolized by a  palm tree growing beside a stream. Jesus is our Eternal Life. This life is not all there is. We can and will get through the storms – God promised He would be with us and lead us every step of the way. Let us be flexible with our thoughts and attitudes and listen to His voice and leading.

4. Palm trees are evergreens-they do not lose their leaves in any particular season. Our faith stands despite our circumstances. There are times we pray despite what we see happening. Our faith is evergreen, the leaves do not fall off. If God said it – then it’s true. We may have to pray fervently and bring Heaven down to Earth as part of the journey.

5.  Coconuts are seed and if you plant one by the beach a new tree would grow there. We have the Spirit of the Living God within us – Christ in us is our hope of glory. The more we walk with Him the more we will become like Him. We are planted in the House of the Lord. God gives us the power to grow where we are planted. And His Divine DNA is already planted within us!planted

6. Palm trees grow in extremely hot climates. In times of drought they tap into the water deep below the ground. Jesus has promised us living water and that we would never thirst again.  In the midst of the mess, we can draw water from the Living Word Himself to sustain and strengthen us. As the winds blow, dig deeper within the Word and spend time with Jesus. Wells of living water will spring up within you

7.  Palm trees symbolize victory. In Bible times when men would return from war people would wave palm tree branches to celebrate the victory. No wonder when Jesus entered Jerusalem the people waved palms! Jesus has defeated every foe, every sickness, every disease at Calvary. By His stripes we are healed. Sometimes we need to celebrate the victory before we see it. Like Jesus said, “It is finished.”Let us walk out on the water with our faith and walk with Jesus today!

 

God’s Word

The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree,
He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. -Psalm 92:12 NKJV

 

 

Our Children Are Our Greatest Gift

As I sit at my desk today (yes, it’s Saturday) I put up more pictures of my babies. I can’t believe how fast the time has gone. I can’t help but feel humbled and grateful that God has blessed me with such wonderful kids to love. They are so precious and such a gift.

They are all so different and each one is special and unique. I love them no matter what they do or don’t do. Love is like that.

I am so proud of each of them. They have all had their own struggles and come out victorious. I am their biggest cheerleader! 

Plus God has blessed me with 2 stepkids too. I love them as well and see them as a gift from God as well!

You probably feel the same way about your kids right?

I’ll bet that’s how God feels about YOU too!

Being a Blessing – Guest Post by Jennifer Parrish

This morning my daughter Jennifer Parrish shared an amazing story of how a complete stranger chose to bless her and her family. It is a beautiful story of ‘paying it forward’ and choosing to be a blessing in this world. This is from her FB page today:

I don’t get “serious” on here often, but something remarkable happened over the weekend and I think it holds an important lesson for all of us. I was waiting in a long line to check out at Target with a stockpile of SIX boxes of diapers and various groceries (crazy couponing, of course!) The couple behind me struck up a conversation with me to pass the time. We talked about my baby, mostly. First time mom. Sleepless nights. Those cute yet elusive first smiles and laughs. Jokes about how many diapers she must be going through as they eyed my cart. The cashier finished scanning my coupons, and as I was grabbing my card to pay, they stuck their credit card in the machine. WHAAA??? I was astonished. And overcome with emotion. I think I thanked them a thousand times as I gathered my things, teary-eyed. I haven’t stopped thinking about this. Did I say anything that made me sound like a charity-case? No, I don’t think so. I think they saw a new mom, putting an extraordinary amount of effort into saving money on the things she needed and they genuinely wanted to make a difference. What a gesture! It got me thinking a lot about money and the kind of example I want to set for my daughter. We’re all feeling the pressure to make more money, save more money, spend more money…we’re all obsessed. Even my “crazy couponing” can be viewed as an obsession with money. It’s a sickness. We have a roof over our head, food on the table, and clothes on our backs. And that’s more than most in this world. I want my little girl to know that; to really appreciate that. I think we all need to remember IT’S JUST MONEY. It’s what you do with it that really matters. Maybe it’s less about constantly collecting new and better things, and more about finding contentment and appreciation for what you have been blessed with. Maybe if we find ourselves in an opportunity to help another person, we should take it–without weighing it against our own needs first. Total strangers paid for a new mom’s diapers…and made a lasting impact on her philosophy about money, and the real value in life.

Thank you Jen – for sharing your heart with us today. Your post reminds us all how a simple act of kindness can mean so much. You are an amazing young woman and your daughter is blessed to call you Mom.

Thank you Lord for the kindness of these people. Bless them 100 times over!

Here is my daughter Jennifer and her beautiful daughter Devyn:

Jennifer and Devyn

(Featured Image – Jennifer and Dameon Parrish)

Don’t Judge Your Life By the Color of the Puzzle Piece You Are Holding

Have you ever done a puzzle? I love opening the box. It doesn’t matter if its 100, 250, or 500, or 1000+ pieces. Each one different. Yet each one in needed. Some are yellow, some are red, some are blue, and some are black. Many have lots of colors on each individual piece. Before you even begin you know that it will come together in the end and make the most beautiful picture. It will look just like the box. A Masterpiece.

Do you start with the end pieces first? Or are you a color person and do it section by section? I like to dump all the pieces out on the table and see what I got first. I’m not the fastest puzzle girl. More slow and methodical. It’s not a race after all. I could take as long as I like to put the pieces together. Each one special. Each part needed.

What if each of those puzzle pieces was a part of your life?

There would be happy colors and sad colors, light pieces and dark pieces. Yet they would all fit together in your life to make a beautiful creation.

What if we didn’t judge our whole life by the color of the puzzle piece we are holding right now?

Puzzles always go faster with a helper. Sometimes they see things differently and things come together. I saw this tweet this morning and it started this whole thought process.

 

 

Today may be a dark puzzle piece. Hang on – your story is not over yet. The puzzle is not finished yet. There is more than you know right now. Trust God. Let Him help. His Masterpiece is just coming together!

 

Isaiah 44-24 Puzzle Pieces

 

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.” – Ecclesiastes 3:11 NKJV

(Image Sources – starpoempickjuly.blogspot.com and Pinterest)