Mirror Image

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What do you see when you look in the mirror? Do you see beauty? Or do you have difficulty finding something you like about yourself? We grow up with the world around us bombarding us with images and ideas of what we should be and what will make us happy, beautiful, and of course, sexy. Make-up clothes, exercise gadgets, colognes – all aimed at every little girl or grown up that this item is what you need!

We definitely want to take care of ourselves and look good. We all like receiving compliments on our outfit or hair, but the goal here is to make us feel inferior or that we don’t measure up. Well, measure up to what? What the world says we should look and act like. More and more, young girls are having plastic surgery to look better trying to match the images of the girls they see in ads.  We can fall into the trap laid by society that we must have our looks altered to be a worthy member of society.  And to top it off they use sexual innuendoes to sell their product. Selling the product this way plants the idea that if you want to be sexy and irresistible, you must have this product. Maybe like me it saddens you to see young ladies who believe they are too tall, fat, short, not smart enough, and the list could go on and on. They believe their worth is tied up in how they look, what they wear, etc. This can and does carry over into being an adult.

As a daughter of “The King” we are beautiful in God’s eyes. It doesn’t matter if we are a size 2, have perfect hair, and perfect nails. You see, God is busy transforming us from the inside out, and the change is for eternity. Not for the short while we’re here on earth. There is nothing that can compare to the beauty God is working in our lives, and this beauty is permanent. No matter how much money a company pours into their ads to sell a product, it cannot hold a candle to the beauty God is pouring into our lives that will be a witness to the world of Him. Because He is making us a mirror image of His Son.

There are many things that can make a young lady or woman feel less than the awesome individual God created her to be. Cruel remarks, actions taken against them, people making fun because they don’t do as the world.  The road to realizing just how beautiful she is starts with her personal relationship with Jesus. Let all of us remember the pain of not measuring up to someone else’s idea of how we should look and put the measuring tape into the hands of Jesus. We are clothed in the wealth of heaven through Jesus. You can’t buy that off any rack! Jesus is available to all who believe no matter your size, color, or position. He is the lifter of our heads and the lover of our souls!

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. It should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.

1Peter 3:3-4

Love in Christ,

WM Team

Why?

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Why?

Ever ask that question? Why is this happening in my family? Why would a young person take their life? Why is a child’s life ended?  Well, the questions could go on and on with different situations. Why does one human being think they have the right to sell another human being?

There is evil in this world and bad things are going to happen. Maybe like me you have sat down and tried processing, but still at times just can’t wrap your mind around the tragedy. Yet deep down we know God is sovereign and He makes no mistakes! God tells us your ways are not my ways and your thoughts are not my thoughts. Sometimes all we can do is sit quietly. No words because there are none that would make sense at the time. We all know God sees the whole picture not just the present, but at that moment, even if just for a little while, that truth eludes us as the pain is so great we feel we will break.

God is holding us through that pain. And by His grace, if we are His child, we remember He is our refuge, our comforter, and healer. The comfort is immediate while the healing may take a while. We may struggle just to hold on for a time, then the truth that God never leaves us rises to the top. And in the midst of the pain we say thank you for not letting go of me.

God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. (Psalm 46:1 NLT)

We have no idea what you may be going through at this time, but we do know that we all belong to and serve a Holy God who does not forget His people. If you do not know Jesus, this article will probably not make any sense to you. Life is hard and I cannot imagine doing it apart from Jesus.

If you have questions about what it means to have a personal relationship with Jesus please contact one of us on the WM Team, your pastor, or someone you respect who you know is walking with Jesus. It truly is the most important decision you will ever make. Being His child doesn’t mean a life with no hardships or hurts, but it does mean you now have God tenderly and with compassion walking with you each step of the way. We must choose Him and surrender and trust all His promises are true.

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9 NLT)

Blessings from the WM Team

Memorial Day

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We just paused for a moment in time to remember those who have gone before us and those who now leave family behind with a heart to defend this country, preserving all the privileges that come with the flying of Ole Glory. Some have given their all to afford us these privileges, and I am afraid we often do not consider the cost and even take for granted. The journey that allowed us to become the United States of America was forged with blood soaked soil, loss of a son, husband, or daughter. Wars are ugly leaving emotional and physical scars that affect our veterans to this day. Soldiers returning from “hell on earth” only to be spit on and despised. Do we really understand?

Although most know the words to the pledge of alliance many don’t know the words to our national anthem. I have noticed a resurgence of patriotism! I was encouraged recently, when at a ball game, the national anthem was not going to be played so the people in the stands stood and sung the anthem. It was said afterwards they normally only play the anthem at the beginning of the games but now it will be played before each game. We must not forget or put in the background the cost of our freedom as a nation. It must be passed on from generation to generation with the respect and honor deserving of these heroes. Remember Memorial Day is every day. The next time you see a solider, active or veteran, go over to them and let them know you appreciate their service. Extend that appreciation to policemen, firefighters, and emergency individuals. And next time you sing the national anthem, stand a little taller and sing it for those who served or who are serving now and for the families!

The freedom we enjoy as God’s children was also a journey of a horrific nature with blood soaked soil. Jesus, the holy Son of God, was spit on, mocked, and beaten almost beyond recognition. His mother, at the foot of the cross, sobbing as many family members have over the casket of one lost in war. The gospel of the birth, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus must be passed on from one generation to the next. God gave us life while we were dead in our sins. We must not forget the blood of the Cross or place in the background because through it God reached down through His Son to give us freedom in Christ. Freedom to live for Him. We don’t have the right to live any way we want. We represent our LORD. What image are we showing to those around us? Scriptures tells us “we are to live a life worthy of the calling.”  We must be counted with His sufferings in order to enjoy all the abundance He rose to give us. What can wash away my sins? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. ~ Ephesians 4:1-3 NLT

One freedom is physical, the other spiritual, and neither one is free! America the Beautiful. It all comes under God. We would not enjoy either one without Him. So how do we express thankfulness? Live for Jesus in a way that the Father in heaven receives honor and glory. Pass on the gift of salvation so others will know the freedom that comes with belonging to the one and only true God. And when we sing “Amazing Grace” we should stand tall, not of anything we have done, but in the mercy of God.

In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. ~ Matthew 5:16 NLT

In Love and Blessings,

WM Team

When You Can’t He Can

when you cantI can’t take one more step, answer one more phone call, go to another soccer game, face another problem. I feel useless and helpless. Maybe you haven’t thought or said these words but most likely you know someone who has shared these feelings with you.

I truly feel we all at times need to hear the following truths. Maybe like me, you could use a reminder and the encouragement that comes from these truths.

When you are the neediest, He is the most sufficient.

When you are completely helpless, He is the most helpful. 

When you feel totally dependent, He is absolutely dependable. 

When you are the weakest, He is the most able.   

When you are the most alone, He is intimately present.

When you feel you are the least, He is the greatest.   

When you feel the most useless, He is preparing you.

When it is the darkest, He is the only Light you need.                                       

When you feel the least secure, He is your Rock and Fortress.

When you are the most humble, He is most gracious.   

“Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power at work in us.”   

Ephesians 3:20 

Blessings,

WM Team

New Life

new life imageI used to think growing up if I just could escape a situation everything would be good.  If I could be part of the “in crowd” or win that award, I would be happy, and life would be good. How would you fill in the blank? My life would be complete if_______? It took a while, but I finally realized all these things were temporary, and soon I would be back to wanting things to change and my life to be like those fairy tales moms read to their children. Years went by with no knight in shining armor that would instantly change my life.

Isn’t that how it always goes in the fairy tale. Well life is not a fairy tale and knights don’t exist that can rescue you or me from our emptiness, erase mistakes, and make life brand new. Getting married I expected my husband and my new life as his wife to be free from emptiness and feeling incomplete. Well that bubble didn’t last long! Don’t get me wrong – my husband is a wonderful man and though our road together has included speed bumps and sometimes hurdles, I am very thankful for him and my love for him has only deepened.

Fast forward to a point in my life when I began to seek out God. I had been away from church for a long time. Once I started going back and getting into God’s Word I realized I wasn’t sure of knowing Jesus at all. God was so gentle, and I made sure I was His child. As my walk with Him continued, I came to know why my husband or no one else could take away my emptiness. Only God could do that, and it was unfair of me to place that weight onto anyone else. Only He could heal my hurts and my life be made new through Him.

My journey with Jesus has included speed bumps and hurdles too. But they have been used by Him to change, grow. and bring beauty from ashes. Now I know where contentment, satisfaction, and fulfilment are found. In JESUS alone.

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners., to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort those who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion-to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.

Isaiah 61: 1-3 NIV

Blessings,

The WM Team

From Sinking Sand to Solid Rock

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God wants all of me. And He wants all of you. And He will do what it takes to get our attention.

I remember as a teenager I had it all planned out. My husband would be everything I needed and wanted. Charming, handsome, smart, faithful, committed. The list goes on. Our finances would be just like they were supposed to be. Good jobs, good credit, a plan in place for the future. It was a good plan, but God had a better plan.

Life happens and it’s messy sometimes. And the very people that we put so much stock in, the ones we trust the most, end up letting us down. Finances hit a bump – a job lost, a tanked economy.

I’ve been through it all and life today is not what I pictured it to be all those years ago. But I was building my own kingdom and building it on sinking sand. Things don’t last. People are imperfect and will disappoint us at times. But there is One who will always last and will always be there. Jesus Christ never disappoints, and we can always trust Him. He is the solid rock on which we can stand.

Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.

Psalm 62:6-8

We can easily turn our well-intentioned dreams into strongholds in our lives. But Jesus needs to be our all. He is enough. We can find our true worth in Him. We can find true love in Him. We can find peace, stability, and true joy in Him even in the midst of difficult circumstances. When our hope is built on Him – our solid rock, our cornerstone – our future is secure no matter what uncertainties swirl around us in this world.

 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

Matthew 7:24-28a

My hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name. On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.”

Blessings,

The WM Team

Time Out

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Okay, I admit it. I have had days when I could just spit nails!! It doesn’t matter that I had started my day with God. Somewhere along the way, everything He may have shown me in our time together went out the window and down the drain. Do I hear some amens? Surely I cannot be the only one who feels somedays that if God put us in time out I would not ever make it out of the corner! I would need to have my meals brought to me there, because there was no way He was letting me go! There is a life lesson going on, and He loves me too much to let me go before I get what He is trying to show me.

It could be a person, a thing, a habit – but whichever it is really drives you crazy. More often than not it is a person.  Do you have individuals in your life that, even in your family, can push your buttons or get on your last nerve? I have a sign that says “I have one nerve left and you are standing on it.”  And to top it off, they may not even know they are on your last nerve! I remember a study that had a term EGR which stood for “extra grace required.” I’m sure we all have someone who is our EGR person. Okay, maybe more than one!  Can we just be real about it? It happens. And can we take it a step further and be honest with ourselves that we are probably someone else’s EGR person? Ouch, my toes hurt. How about yours?

Here is the wonder of all of this. God uses it to grow us and build our character. Yes, we might think the lesson could be another way, yet He knows what is best for us and what He is showing us at that moment!  God extended extra grace to each one of us through His Son. I don’t want to think about where I would be apart from His grace. When we extend grace to others we are imitating Jesus. So the next time you and I find ourselves wanting to spit nails, may we stop and count our blessings and maybe, just maybe, we will find ourselves extending grace towards that EGR person just as God extends grace to us.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:38-39

Father God, how we thank you that no matter what, if we are your child nothing can change that truth. Even on days when we are at our worst, you still extend grace and love to us. Help us to be mindful that just as you have extended grace to us we are to extend grace to others. Thank you that you use all things to mold and shape us more and more into the likeness of Jesus. Amen.

Blessings,

The WM Team

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The Abundant Life

abundant life picAbundance. What does that word bring to mind?  Is it houses, cars, vacations, or luxury beyond imagination? Being able to purchase whatever, whenever, with no thought to the impact on finances? How about a day spent in a hammock with your little one or playing in a mud puddle, swinging in a porch swing on a spring day or laughing without restraint with friends? Time spent in quietness in our busy, loud world? Now granted these last images are truly gifts and blessings, but are they the abundant life Jesus speaks to us about?

I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows]. John 10:10b Amplified

What about enjoying His presence, joy, peace, comfort, mercy and grace?  Knowing that no matter what He is with you always walking each step with you? He is in your corner. When you feel you can’t go on He is your hope, lover of your soul, and lifter of your head. He carries you through difficult times, laughs with you, sings over you, and counts your tears. Now it just doesn’t get any better. So how do we arrive at this abundant life? It could be said by letting go of our ideas and letting God have His way in our lives. Sounds easy right? But it isn’t. It is daily placing our hands in His and saying, “Here I am, Jesus.”

In a study I took they suggested taking a blank piece of paper addressing it to God, signing it at the bottom, leaving the middle blank, and giving it to God allowing Him to fill in the blanks according to His perfect plan and purpose.

Imagine for a moment you are standing on the bank of a river and this flowing body of water represents Jesus.  Are you still on the bank? A toe tester? Or maybe you have waded in and are enjoying some refreshing, but you still know there something missing. Now imagine diving in, head first, just relying on Jesus to keep you from drowning. Just letting go and flowing through life with Him. All the twists and turns, the ebbs and flow, are in His hands.  Now that’s abundance. So what stage are you?   If you haven’t let go, why not ask God to give you the courage to dive into Him and enjoy the abundant life He came to give us. Truth is, if we don’t, then we are allowing the enemy to rob us. So let’s dive in. Can’t swim? No worries, Jesus is your lifeguard!

Father God, we are all on a journey with you. We ask for courage to just let go and let You have Your way so we will know the “abundant life” You came to give us through your resurrection. That abundance begins the moment we acknowledge You, admit and confess we are sinners, sincerely ask You into our hearts, and surrender ourselves to You turning from our sin and walking with You.  We want to be drenched in You, to experience the downpour of You in our lives. Help us so our lives will bring glory to You. Amen.

Blessings,

The WM Team

London Bridge Is Falling Down

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I stepped outside of the hospital and took a deep breath. It had been a long month. It was a beautiful spring day and the light breeze was refreshing. I headed to the park across the road stopping at the sandwich shop first since I had not eaten since breakfast yesterday. I paid the clerk and stepped back outside and headed for a bench that was positioned in front of the pond. The water was soothing, the birds singing, and a mother duck with her little family were busy swimming around the pond.

Taking the sandwich out of the bag I unwrapped it and took a bite. Although it was one of my favorites it just didn’t seem to have any taste. I was bone tired and yet could not sleep when I would lay down at night. Dad had been admitted to the hospital with pneumonia, and it was three weeks before the doctors said he would make it. Mom was not only exhausted, she too was sick. She had been dealing with Parkinson’s for two years now and had experienced a real rough spot. Days were spent with Dad and nights with mom. My work had been gracious in giving me an extended leave with pay so I did not have to be concerned about my job or obligations. My husband was being both mom and dad to our three little rug rats and had been completely supportive of me. I missed them all terribly. Being an only child, there were no siblings to share thoughts, tears and long nights.

There was a sound breaking into the silence of my thoughts. Looking up I saw them, children playing London Bridge is Falling Down and laughing. I realized that’s how I felt. The bridges were beginning to crumble and I felt they would fall soon. My heart hurt, my body moved like a robot. It was all I could do to put one foot in front of the other, yet I knew I must. I felt the warmth of tears as they ran down my cheek. I wanted to hit something, throw something, or scream at the top of my voice! Where are you Lord in all this?

As tears continued to fall, God gently reminded me, “I’m right here!  You don’t have to pretend with me. I can handle your screaming, hurt or questions. Just talk with me. I walk each step with you whether those steps are easy or hard. Remember you are never alone.”

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. – Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV

I went by home before heading to Mom’s. I gave and got some much wanted and needed hugs. When I got to Mom’s, we talked for a while. She was ready to have her man of 60 years back home. We both got ready for bed, and that night I fell into the arms of Jesus and slept.  Knowing He held tomorrow and me in His hands.

Father God, thank you that you know us better than we know ourselves. That there is nothing we cannot bring to you. That you are bigger than anything we might be experiencing and can handle our screams or questions. Thank you for your promise “I will never leave you or forsake you.”

Blessings,

The WM Team

 

Attitude Adjustment

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I was ready to explode. I was in a hurry and I had been waiting in line for fifteen minutes already. Couldn’t management see they needed to open up another register so their customers would not be delayed so long? I kept looking around. Others were beginning to complain and getting kind of loud.

Does anyone remember going to the store with your mama and it was a pleasant outing? People actually struck up conversations with others. Everyone spoke and asked “how are you?” They said excuse me if they needed to get by.  It was community and when you left you were smiling! Nowadays, unless you see someone you know, hardly anyone speaks and if you do speak to them you get a strange look. Of course this doesn’t apply all the time, but I’m sure everyone can identify with some or all of the above.

Now it had been 25 minutes and the girl checking out the line I was in must have been new. I think only one buggy had gone through the line. As I stood there continuing to wait, not patiently I might add, I was becoming more frustrated by the moment!  I called my friend to tell her I would be late because the store only had a certain number of registers open and I would be there as soon as the slow boat to China moved. Then wham!

This little voice in my head said, “Why didn’t you leave earlier? There was no reason you couldn’t. Also how many people are watching you right now? What kind of witness are you being for Jesus?”

 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16

I felt like crawling under the tile floor but no such escape was available. I was hemmed in and could not move. I said a breath prayer asking God to forgive my behavior and to change my attitude. After all, it stunk! I don’t know about you, but I felt ashamed of myself. I was my own worst enemy here. I could have planned better, shopped earlier, or even shopped a different day. Here I was taking it out on a poor defenseless cashier who had probably been on her feet for 6 hours without a break and dealing with folks like me who had gotten up on the wrong side of the bed.

Finally, it was my turn and thankfully God had given me an immediate attitude adjustment. I looked at the young woman and could see it had been a difficult day. I spoke and said, “Busy day, huh?”

She said, “Very busy and I have a sick child so not much rest last night.”

Wham again! I found myself praying for her as a young mom, asking God to give her rest and to help her child. God used this to check my heart and to remind me I’m His witness no matter where I am, even waiting in line at the grocery store. Note to self: don’t forget this lesson. And next time why not pray while you wait?

Father, help us to always be aware that we represent You no matter where we go. Foreign country, local community club, coffee shop, and yes, even the grocery store. We could be the only Jesus someone sees. What reflection of You did they see?  We want others to know You and we want them to see a clear image of You in us, not a distorted one. We can’t do this by ourselves and we readily admit this and ask for Your help so that we always leave the sweet aroma of Jesus behind.

Blessings,

The WM Team