who's to say what is good for MY life and what isn't?
choices. yes I make them, and yes I know there are consequences.
MY life! MY standards!
this is what makes ME happy. what makes ME thrive.
what makes ME comfortable! it's MY life! this is who I am!
I live a good life, it doesn't matter what she thinks,or what he says! I know in MY heart I'M good!
I always want to be good, and do good. god looks at the heart, anyway. right? god sees mine. god knows I have the best of intents. anyway god will judge. so what there all saying about me it doesn't matter really, in the end.

"So what your telling me is that you believe there is and end?"

well, ya!.............oh...,oh....?
isn't this all there is in life?  if I do good and be good, that's all that matters. I'll go to heaven.
I like who I am. I'M doing better now than the choices I use to make.  I'M settled down, I'M raising my family.  I'M not hurting anyone. I give when I can. I love those closest to me. I invest time into those I care about. I go to work, come home, none of that is wrong. what do I have to change?  if you don't like it oh-well. I was born this way. this is what I think! this is what I feel! your asking me to change everything I'M about?

but i do worry.  i do wonder about "in the end."

again anyway I'M good. I really am.  MY heart wants to do good. I want to be good.  isn't that enough?

but I wonder...what if I have it all wrong? am i going to heaven?  where is my dad?
what do i want people to know i stood for? what will be said in remembrance of me at my funeral? "the end."where will i go? where will i be?  what's going to happen to me!
you don't really see everything do you?"
"Me coming to this earth was no accident. The second their lips hit that apple, and those teeth bit in. Sin entered in. There was only
ONE WAY to take it away. I knew how I would redeem everything, everyone. you."
how? a plan? for me? really?
"While on the cross, one cried out-and he is with ME in paradise."
i want that. to be where i'm suppose to be. where i fit. where i belong.
paradise? heaven? what about paradise earth? I'm confused? everlasting life?  eternity?
you and me together?

what do I have to do? what is required of ME? what do I have to give up? I don't know. I'm not sure. 


"I gave my life for you, no one else has ever done that for you."
"I would do it all over again, even if it was just for you, and nobody else."
you want me? you will take me? you want to be with me?
wait... until I'm better, wait.. till I start to do better, once I get it all together, I'll be back I have to go----I need to go get ready, start being a better person.

Psalm 139:13-17, 23-24 parts taken from the NIV and NLT.  This prayer/cry is from King David.  
This was one of my many prayers/conversation with/ to God before I began to walk with Him. 
(All Emphasis is mine and personalized.)

Cross-Stake-or Tree ?

7 years ago a family member approached me.
Our topic of discussion Easter.
I was asked.
How can you go along with all those pagans and pagan things?

I said.
Take away the Easter Bunny, the pastel eggs, the baby chicks, and the jelly beans.
Put away your Sunday best, and Easter bonnets and what do we have?

A time to remember what Jesus did for me and for you.
He died for you. Right?  He died for me. Right?
If it wasn't for Him, we wouldn't even be here.
Does it really matter if it was a cross, a stake, or a tree?
Shouldn't we be thankful and celebrating what He did for us?

Jesus made the tree, that was cut down to make the stake, that was plummeted into the earth He formed.
His arms were bound to the cross (cross beam) that held him for hours as he suffered.
He offers the same forgiveness to those at the Last Supper, as He offered to the one man who was hanging next to Him on the cross, that He offers to you, and to me, and to all the people in the world that will come and ask for it, and then receive it.
His Forgiveness is the same for all of us.
He knew His time had come. Luke 22:15...before I suffer.
He specifically came for this moment in time.
The bread was broken into pieces, like the bones in His body.
The wine was poured out, like His blood.

Cross-Stake-or Tree ?
From Dake's Bible Matthew 26:2 noted (my emphasis added)
Gr. stauroo, (for the word crucified)to impale on a cross. Used 44 times in the N.T.The Greeks and Romans borrowed this from of punishment from the Phoenicians and continued it for the worst criminals and slaves until Constantine in the 4th century.
Bible Knowledge Commentary: "When the Roman Empire crucified a criminal or captive, the victim was often forced to carry his cross part of the way to the crucifixion site, carrying his cross through the heart of the city."

So while Jesus was here on earth, when one was crucified, one was hung on a cross.

Jesus spoke to us about taking up our cross:
Matthew 10:38...take up their cross...
Mark 8:34“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.
Luke 9:23...take up their cross daily and follow me.

What question was presented to me next?
Yes you probably already know.
Well the 3 points at the top of this cross, the one to the right, the one to the left and the one in the middle, they represent the trinity, don't even tell me you fell for that belief to?

The answer to that my precious former Jehovah Witnesses is for another blog.

The Memorial Service

Why am I continually invited each year, even though I've been gone for so long? 
Am I being invited to come and hear about Jesus? 
You will hear a message about Jesus but a false Jesus.
A Jesus you have to deny.

Ultimately the hope is...
That I will reconsider.  
The I will return to Jehovah.  
That I will come back to the Organization.
 My family is hoping that I will see friends and other family members in attendance and long to return to the people and things I once had in my life.

It has been many many years since I sat through a memorial service.
That last memorial service...I remember sitting through that service and my mind once again became confused and foggy. 
My heart began to twist and my stomach began to turn.
I did... honestly... question why did I leave?
Should I return?
 Do I really have it all wrong?
Angry at myself for even contemplating these questions in my head.

The glares, the half smiles, the hidden half waves from family members. 
It was nothing but torture!
And before I could control it the deep sadness rumbling and rolling up out of my gut forming there way into the uncontrollable "Ugly Cry."
It was pure torture!

Before I knew it the basket of crackers and the ornate crystal glass of wine was now coming down my isle and all of the sudden I am 9 years old and all I could think about
was don't drop it, don't spill it, don't partake in it!

So many years had passed and there were still the soft whispers to see if "the one sister" was going to partake, because she was one of the 144,000.
How did she know?  Did God speak to her?  
She was in a place of honor, respect, reverence, she was chosen by God.

Wow! How do I get that?  Can I ever achieve that?  Would I ever qualify?

They were already selected and I was not one of them.

How did you know if you were one?
You just knew and if you questioned if you were
you were more than likely not one.

I was not chosen. I was not part of the "little flock."
I knew that the bread and wine were only for those that Jesus broke the bread with and those He drank the wine with, and the 144,000.  
It was not for anyone else.

The memorial service was one event that I always walked away from with so many questions.
But I would dare not ask a single one.

I wondered why Jesus would break His body for them and why not me?
I wondered why Jesus would pour out his blood for them and why not me?

I wondered why God would create all of us to only choose and pick a small number 144,000 to be with Him?

Always asking, always wondering...
Why wasn't I picked?

Seriously, is there anything I can do to be picked?

The answer is yes.

"He chose me in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.
In love he predestined me for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will. In him I have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins."

There is a way. 
I exercised my free will and chose Jesus Christ for my life.
I called on the name of Jesus and I was saved.

Jesus broke his body for you and me.  Jesus shed his precious blood for you and me.
He asked all of us who would believe in Him to do this in remembrance of Him. 
His covenant is for all humans who would so choose to believe in Him. 

He did it all for me!  He did it all for you! He was broken and bled for you and me!

Thank you Lord Jesus for allowing me to be with You for all eternity.
Thank you Lord Jesus for picking me.
Thank you Lord Jesus for coming down from heaven for me.
Thank you Lord Jesus for redeeming my life through your shed blood.
Thank you Lord Jesus for forgiving me of my sins.
Thank you Lord Jesus for loving me enough to die for me.

I will "do this in remembrance of You."

Ephesians 1:4-7, Romans 10:13, John 3:16-17, 
Luke 22:19-20, John 6:35-58, 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, 
Revelation 7

He Hears Your Cries

Drive a stake in it.  Put an end to it.
It's time, you've suffered long enough.
Sometimes in life your called to do things you know you need to do.
Your asked to do it, make the change, Go. Genesis 12:1-GWT
Not forced, asked.  By a kind and loving God.
One who is looking out for you.
You hope and pray that you'll make it through, that you'll be o.k. that you'll come out on the other side.
When you do go, and you will come out the other side.  You will look back, you can take a deep breath, sigh and say. 
"That was hard, but worth it." and I've been asked,
"Would I do it again?"  "Yes, indeed."
When God asks you to come, when you see Him reaching His hands out to you.  You hear His soft still voice say, "Come and leave the rest behind." Go! and Don't look back; But Lot's wife, behind him, looked back,... Genesis 19:26-ESV 
Go! It's worth it!  Let your life change forever. 
I've been where you've been, I'm still there. I get the looks, the shunning, the rejection, the lies told, the lies spread.  But what's different now, I have Christ.  And because of Him, I have the faith, the strength, the love, the ability to forgive through Christ himself, and the power to endure the arrow of rejection, the bullet of shunning,
and the sting of lies.

Psalm 31:6-24 MSG
6-13 I hate all this silly religion, but you, God, I trust.
   I'm leaping and singing in the circle of your love; you saw my pain, you disarmed my tormentors,
   You didn't leave me in their clutches but gave me room to breathe.
   Be kind to me, God—
      I'm in deep, deep trouble again.
   I've cried my eyes out; I feel hollow inside. My life leaks away, groan by groan; my years fade out in sighs. My troubles have worn me out, turned my bones to powder.
   To my enemies I'm a monster; I'm ridiculed by the neighbors. My friends are horrified; they cross the street to avoid me. They want to blot me from memory, forget me like a corpse in a grave, discard me like a broken dish in the trash.
   The street-talk gossip has me "criminally insane"! Behind locked doors they plot how to ruin me for good.
 14-18 Desperate, I throw myself on you:you are my God!
   Hour by hour I place my days in your hand, safe from the hands out to get me.
   Warm me, your servant, with a smile; save me because you love me.
   Don't embarrass me by not showing up; I've given you plenty of notice.
   Embarrass the wicked, stand them up, leave them stupidly shaking their heads as they drift down to hell.
   Gag those loudmouthed liars who heckle me, your follower, with jeers and catcalls.

 19-22 What a stack of blessing you have piled up for those who worship you, Ready and waiting for all who run to you to escape an unkind world.
   You hide them safely away from the opposition. As you slam the door on those oily, mocking faces,
      you silence the poisonous gossip.
   Blessed God!
      His love is the wonder of the world. Trapped by a siege, I panicked.
      "Out of sight, out of mind," I said.  But you heard me say it, you heard and listened.
 23 Love God, all you saints; God takes care of all who stay close to him,
   But he pays back in full those arrogant enough to go it alone.
 24 Be brave. Be strong. Don't give up. Expect God to get here soon.

Yes to Voting

"Will putting other men in office solve the problem?"
Is it not true that where there are free elections the men in power are usually voted out of office in a relatively few years?  Why?  A majority are not satisfied with their performance. (Reasoning from the scriptures copyright1985-Watchtower and Bible Tract Society)
Now I have to be honest, I am not one who readily keeps up on current political men and women in office.
However when voting time comes around, I do need to jump on the computer see who stands for what, were their values lie, pay attention to what those around me are saying. Ultimately I need to be seeking God's direction.
So in all the confusion that may come from TV ads, news reports, etc. all the wondering who to vote for.
Their should, no there will be a peace that comes over me, when I mark that ballot.
The peace of God that transcends all understanding. Philippians 4:7

If the individual,  I freely get to vote for, does not perhaps stand up to the values they portrayed, during their campaigning time.
I then again need to continue to direct my concerns (prayers) to the Lord.
He ultimately is in control, he can stop anything, and make anything go forward at any given time.
God is omnipresent and is with me, where ever I am, even at the voting booth.
Jeremiah 23:24 Can anyone hide from me in a secret place? Am I not everywhere in all the heavens and earth?" says the LORD. 
Psalm 139:7-10 I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there. If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me.
English Standard Version (©2001)
Mayor Jim Schmitt in Green Bay has been elected for yet a 3rd term.
Why? Because the people freely voted.
To me I don't look at is as " I like him or her or I don't like him or her."
For me I look at the principles, value, morals, ethics,
and most of all I need to look at what it is I stand on,
concerning my faith and biblical values, set forth by God.
I have the free will to elect him or her again.

The United States has laws and some of our laws vary from state to state.
Some rules get passed and some don't.  New ones come up, and some alter over the years.  Our presidents of the United States. They are only allowed to run and be elected for 2 terms in a row.  Which is 4 years each term. So that is one reason why, we don't see individuals stay in office.

I am very thankful for those that are in office that stand for the sanctity of life.
I have 5 children that would tell you what about me? ...

Those in office yes there time is limited, and no they won't solve all the problems of the world. But there are some in office that do, or have made some things better for us.
There is One that can and will.
There is One that has rules that don't change nor will they ever change.
There is One that stands by His word.
There is One that is Faithful and Just.
There is One that is Righteous.
There is One that is Loyal.
There is One who will do what He says He will do.
There is One that offers a new hope a new living hope. 1 Peter 1:3

Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. Romans 13:2

Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience. Romans 13:5

As a matter of conscience-I will vote!

Vote-Yes, No, or Maybe?

"How can people get lasting relief from governmental corruption and oppression?"
"Will putting other men in office solve the problem?"
"Is it not true that where there are free elections the men in power are usually voted out of office in a relatively few years? Why? A majority are not satisfied with their performance."
"Government by God is the only real solution to the problems of mankind."
"The problems that need to be resolved require power, abilities, and qualities that no humans possess."
Statements above from: (Reasoning from the Scriptures Copyright 1985 Pg 153 topic: Government)

Today is an election day, and I was reminded of that from a dear friend.
The first time I voted was when I was 30.
If you were raised anything like me,
Your parents didn't vote any family or friends in your circle didn't vote.
Voting meant you were submitting yourself to this world,
and it's leaders, and not to God. You were worshiping them.
Making them an idol a god.
That all earthly leaders are followers of Satan.
Each wanting their own say in this world. Each wanting things done their way and not God's way.

You were quoted 1 John 5:19 from the New World Translation.
"No matter who the ruler is, he will still be part of this world that lies in Satan's power."
Thus we want no part of this world and we will not participate in anything involving government. Jehovah does not want us his chosen people, to conform to the ways of the government.

In my studying, and readings this is what God showed me in 1 John.
1 John 5:14,18b,-20 NIV
14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God:
that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.
18bthe One who was born of God keeps them safe,
and the evil one cannot harm them.
19 We know that we are children of God,
and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.
20 We know also that the Son of God has come
and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true...
Romans 13:1-2, 7b
 1 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities,
for there is no authority except that which God has established.  
The authorities that exist have been established by God.
2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority
is rebelling against what God has instituted. 
7b... if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

I as a believer in Christ Jesus will respect and honor our governing authorities.
I will pray for them and ask God's direction on who I should vote for.
"The problems that need to be resolved require power, abilities, and qualities that no humans possess."
Romans 8:11 (NLT)
The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you.
Ephesians 1:19,20 (GWT)
You will also know the unlimited greatness of his power
as it works with might and strength for us, the believers.
He worked with that same power in Christ
when he brought him back to life
and gave him the highest position in heaven.

Resurrection Power! It is available to us, that same power!
Boy that blows my mind, but I believe it!
(How? You might wonder?  I'd love to share with you how.)
(Leave a comment and I will get in touch with you.)

I am that human here on earth living, walking, breathing, and wanting to have, and fulfill the abundant life that God has for me.
I have the power required! I have the ability!
I have the qualities! So graciously given to me by Christ Jesus!
So even though Satan has his time right now and he "thinks" he's ruling.
There is no comparison to The Ruling , The Authority, The Power, that God has, and is in control of, and that He can exert His Power at any given time He wants to!
So... Vote
-Maybe- out of the question
-No- Not an option