Happy Easter everybody! He is risen! He is risen indeed!
I remind myself that God is not bound to time. He knew Easter 2020 would be a year where most of humanity would be in quarantine. Many went to an online church that wouldn't have physically gone if times were normal. This must be God's Grace on overload. His desire that many would come to salvation before the age of grace ends.
Jesus came here 2,000 years ago to reconcile humans back to God. The next time He comes, His Judgement will come with Him. There's a window of time to accept the Lord. Once He's back, it just might be to late. I believe every one would accept God if they knew the real truth about Him!
So many times the Bible talks about getting wisdom because evil is real and real tricky. Evil has no problem letting a little bit of truth remain as long as he can get a good return for its generosity. Dirty tricks are not so clear and plays on emotion. Some are more easily deceived than others. And a big problem with deception is that the victim of it has no idea they are deceived. Especially if they have a dog in the fight.
God says in Proverbs 4: 23 to guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. He says to listen carefully to His Words and don’t lose sight of them! Let them penetrate deep into your heart for they bring life to those who find them and healing to their whole body.
In the New Testament, Jesus’ disciples ask Him why He talks in parables and why not speak clearly, without riddles. Jesus said because evil people might then understand and turn and be healed. Wouldn’t that be a good thing? Yes, unless that evil person has no plans of repenting. That person with an ugly ego, full of pride who refuses to humble their self, should they get healed? We like things to be fair, don’t we? Oh but thank God things aren’t fair!
I'm personally very thankful life's not fair! If things were fair I would have been dead a long time ago, and rightfully so. But God… And since He came after me while I was lost and fine being that way, I know He goes after other lost prodigals too.
I thought the prodigal had to come back, a.k.a. repent, before the father accepted him. But that's not my experience. I was running wild. God came after me and I didn’t even know who He was. It took me almost two weeks to know it was Jesus Christ.
Briefly, my life up to that point had been harsh, hard and haphazard. My parents divorced when I was two and my brother and I went from babysitter to babysitter while my mom worked in a bar restaurant. Until a boyfriend moved in with his sadistic teenage kids who abused us horrifically. Later I had another family member that beat me so many times I can’t even guess a number. Three times I was close to death. I had to run away for my safety and became homeless. Jumping from one girlfriends house to another, mostly staying with a drug dealer who's home was open to me.
All these experiences, plus several more too awful to share here had me an angry and bitter young teenager. With out anyone caring to protect me or building confidence into me, I realized I was a mistake and didn’t deserve to be cared for or protected. My only relief was when I drank alcohol or took drugs.
I always liked school. It was safe there. I always liked words and still do till this day. But opportunities were for good people. I was dirty. I would have to take for myself what belonged to someone else because no one was going to give me anything. I set out to conquer my world by New Year's Eve 1999, which gave me twelve years.
My plan required high marks at school, work, my appearance, ability to get my way and I was really good at “playing the game”. Eighteen years old and working a corporate job 40 hours plus a week, with a new car, sharing an apartment with my cousin, on the Dean’s list at the local community college and in a long term relationship. Sounds good, right?
One small problem, I was killing myself. Go, go, go, burning the candle at both ends. Never stopping to rest. I fell asleep when I passed out, and sometimes that was while I was driving. Binge drinking and drugging on the weekends. I was unable to slow down because of fear. See, at 10 years old I decided to stop crying. It didn’t do any good any way. So by the time I was 20, I had a boat load of unaddressed hurts, habits and hang ups. The rage inside of me pulsated with every heart beat. I could have committed murder without remorse. When I slowed down I heard actual screaming. It was so scary. Actual screaming! Far away and unable to tell where it was coming from. Later, when working through my recovery program, I would find out the screaming was coming from deep inside my soul.
My run in with The Almighty happened on December 13th, 1988. I was meeting an obligation to my mother. It happened to be my nieces baptism at Redemption Lutheran Church. My mom believed baptism saves you and her 3 yr old grand daughter had such a hard life best get that baby wet or God would send her to hell. Yea, that sounds about right. Who in their right mind would want to serve a God that sends innocent children to hell because their parents didn’t perform some religious ceremony? If that’s god, you can keep him! That was my frame of mind at the time.
Oh man, I had so many vile thoughts in my head, sitting in that church pew, they were running into each other! I thought, "How much longer is this service gonna last, I need a cigarette! Look at these fools! Believing there is someone out there. Well if there is, I bet he can smell the hangovers! This is a joke!"
Suddenly my surroundings went pitch white! Wait, I was just looking at the pastor, my mother, the “god mother”, with my niece surrounding a gold colored bowl of holy water. Where did everybody go? Panicked, my only conclusion was that I was passing out. I had been up all night after all, which wasn’t unusual. I hoped I wouldn’t slip out of the church pew.
Then I heard an audible, strong and calm male voice behind me say, “Tracy, I love you, stop hurting yourself.” “What! Who is that? What are you talking about? I’m not hurting myself!” I argued. Again, “Tracy, I love you, stop hurting yourself.” So confused, I geared up to defend myself when the most incredible sensation came over my entire being. It felt like pure acceptance, pure love, like being naked and unashamed. The third time, “Tracy, I love you, stop hurting yourself.”
Snap! Back in the church service, back in the pew, seeing everyone around the gold bowl. My heart was pounding out of my chest, I had to run! Barely holding it together, I got out of there. I didn’t even hit the parking lot and tears I had not cried for 10 years were pouring out of my face. I could barely breath as I frantically searched for my car keys.
Turning the motor over, I drove back to my apartment, weeping and chain smoking one cigarette after the next.
"Who was that?" I thought. Could it be the god who sends unbaptized babies to hell!?! My journey began...
For over thirty years I have been pursuing God with all my heart, mind and soul. For over thirty Easters I’ve been grateful and thankful and humble. I have been a student of His Word. An appetite that has grown, rather then lessened over the years and yet this is the first year that I noticed something different.
The very first words the God of the Universe chose to speak as soon as He was resurrected from the dead were to a woman. A woman who once was filled with several demons. A woman who was lost and happy to stay that way. And what did Jesus say to her?
“Dear Woman, why are you weeping?”
“Sir, if you have taken Him away, tell me where you have put Him and I will go get Him!”
“Mary!” Jesus said… (“Tracy!” “Susan!” “Sydney!” “Debi!” “Linda!” “Mandi!” “Carol!” -Insert your name here) He is calling us into a deep intimate relationship with Him!
Our enemy has convinced us that men are horrible. They keep women down, belittle us and abuse us, God included. And it’s not true! Not ALL men abuse, some do and that’s part of the fall, but many don’t!
I am asking you this Easter to follow Micah 6:8, “Do what is right, love mercy and walk humbly with your God.”
And if He is not your God yet, pray with me, “God I am a sinner and I am sorry. I repent of my sins and ask you to come into my heart. Please help me Jesus, I need You and Your Presence in my daily life to overcome… In Jesus Name I pray, Amen”
If after reading this post and you and I are not on the same page then please know I am praying for you. If I have offended you, please forgive me. Yes, I passionately guard my freedom found in Christ. I didn’t have any freedom before Him and I don’t want it taken away. It's in this “Christian” country that we have these freedoms and the enemy is using COVID19 to remove them.
Please don’t drink the media's kool-aid. Fight America! Wake up Christian! The only war you lose is the one you don’t know your fighting.
I feel God put on my heart many years ago to write a book and that is coming. It will be based off my history and the interactions with this blog. If you are interested in future posts, please visit me again. Thank you fellow human, fellow American. Please I beg you to be part of the solution and not part of the problem. Amen