Holy Spirit, Jesus, Uncategorized

From Glory to Glory

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This caterpillar has been hanging out on my parsley for several days. They are sometimes called parsley caterpillars. Soon, it will form it’s cocoon, and emerge as an eastern black swallowtail butterfly. It’s going to be fun to watch the transformation. I’m eagerly awaiting the beautiful butterfly that will appear.

Yes, this caterpillar is eating my parsley right now. It’s not going to make a dent though. My parsley is the size of a shrub, so there’s plenty to spare. It will be worth it to have a butterfly that is both gorgeous, and useful to help with pollinating. I wonder if this little creature knows what’s coming.

If he knew he was about to get some amazing wings, maybe he would hurry into his cocoon.

I feel like this caterpillar at times. Completely content with where I’m at. Just hanging out and thinking everything is just fine. I don’t want God to shake things up by putting me in a cocoon. That sounds terrible. Can’t I just hang out and eat parsley all day with sunshine on my back?

God won’t allow me to stay where I’m at. He sees things I cannot. God knows everything, and knows what going into the cocoon will do for me. God wants me to get those beautiful wings and fly.

When we accept Jesus Christ as our savior, that’s just the beginning. God wants us to be like Jesus. Live like Him. Love like Him. Forgive like Him. Follow the Father like Him.

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20, NIV) 

 

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2, NIV)

“Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.” (1 John 2:6, NIV)

Yes I want to be more like Jesus, but that’s a tall order. On my own, that’s impossible.

This transformation happens through the power of the Holy Spirit in each believer. I have zero ability to become like Jesus in my own strength. It would be phony. A fully surrendered life to Jesus brings that transforming power.

We get saved by grace through faith in Jesus, and then He begins to work on us. Clean us up. Heal us. Set us free. It’s not easy work though. It can be quite painful. There are times when we have to go into the cocoon and wait, and be transformed.

We get impatient. Restless. It’s too hard. We try to break out of the cocoon too early.

When we trust God and His transforming work in us, we get the most lovely wings. We end up a little more like Jesus each time. There will be lots of cocoons in our lifetimes before we end up in the ultimate glorious place, heaven.

He’s changing us. So hold on to Him. Be patient and trust the tramsformative work He is doing.

“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 3:18, NASB)

Love you all,
Meghan

 

Faith, Jesus, Trials, Uncategorized

The Opposite of Fear

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I remember the nightlight in the bedroom that my little sister and I shared. With five kids, it was helpful that the two youngest could share a room. I loved that blue bedroom. The carpet was dark blue, so my mom made the best of it and sewed matching blue bedspreads and curtains. Underneath my little vanity table was a nightlight. We could not sleep without it. I wasn’t a huge fan of the nightlight, but my sister was afraid of the dark, so I tolerated the light.

It’s funny how during the day our room was so cheery, with our stuffed animals and toys. It was a happy spot where we played and created make believe worlds. At night, the room could appear scary. The exact same room that we were in just hours before, happily playing, became a fearful place in the dark. As soon as we switched our nightlight on, everything was OK.

That tiny little light illuminated all the shadows and possible monsters. Suddenly, we saw our stuffed animals smiling back at us. We could sleep in peace. The exact same space in the dark and the light, appeared completely different at night in our little kid brains. That’s where imagination takes off. Those creative ideas we had during the day for play, became the stuff of potential nightmares at night.

We live in a time of great fear. With so much knowledge at our fingertips, maybe too much, fear can take hold. Some of those fears are legimate and some are not. I like to call it the “What if?” scenario.

What if I lose my job?

What if I lose my spouse?

What if I get hurt?

What if I get into an accident?

What if I get cancer?

What if … (fill in the blank)

What if. What if. What if.

All of those unknowns are in the dark. We can’t see the possible danger, but we can create potential negative outcomes in our head. Jesus is the light. We must follow Him and go where He leads as He lights our path. We don’t have to know everything, but we can fully trust the One who does.

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12, ESV)

How much do we actually have control over? Not much. I can control me and my repsonse to situations, circumstances, and people. As Christians we can fully rely on our savior, Jesus. He is my constant in the fear. He is the solid Rock. My foundation is sure in Christ. No matter the fear. No matter the “What if”. No matter the pain. No matter the trouble. No matter the trial.

Jesus is my protector.

Jesus is my provider.

Jesus is my comforter.

Jesus is my savior.

Jesus is my peace.

The opposite of fear is peace. I can have peace in storms, trials, and heartaches.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27, NIV)

Jesus gives us peace. He does not give us worry. He does not give us fear. He does not give us fret. The peace Jesus gives is not based on circumstances. Jesus’ peace is based on Him. 

Jesus is the Prince of Peace.

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6, KJV) 

You may be struggling with fear. It’s gripped you and there seems no way out. There is good news for you! There is a way out. Jesus is reaching out to you. He will carry you until you are strong enough to walk on your own. He can set you free from the fear. Give it all to Him, The Prince of Peace.

Love you all,

Meghan

 

 

Heavenly Father,

We come boldly to your throne of grace. We need your peace in this crazy, broken world. Keep our eyes and hearts fixed on you. For all of those gripped with fear, may your perfect peace bring comfort and hope. Help us to follow your light, Jesus, where there is no darkness. We thank you and praise you!

Amen

 

Please send me an email if you need prayer!

 

 

 

Photo by Tobias Bjørkli on Pexels.com
Faith, Jesus, Uncategorized

Get Some Rest

symmetrical photography of clouds covered blue sky

Achieve. Produce. Work. Don’t stop.

We are an achievement driven culture. At least in America. The message is consistently sent that our worth is based on our contribution to society. If we’re not doing, then we’re not living.

We’ve got jobs, and responsibilities. In order to thrive, work is required. It’s all part of the “being human” gig. Work can be good and rewarding.

Hard work and achievements do matter. As Christians, we have the important responsibility to serve the Lord. We give, labor, and strive, all for the Kingdom. We each have a “calling” to do good works for Christ.

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10, NIV)

Super important, and quite exciting to be a part of what God is doing. What about rest? What about just being? God is our maker and knows we need rest. He made us with the need for rest.

We are not designed to go nonstop. We are meant to rest in Christ. This beautiful act is not always easy.

In Mark 6 we read about the disciples needing rest. Actually, I don’t think they knew they needed rest, but Jesus knew exactly what they needed.

Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”(Mark 6:31, NIV)

Three things are required for rest.

Jesus, solitude, and quiet.

Sounds easy, right?

It’s definitely simple, but not always easy. We are so busy doing, that stopping to rest sounds like we’re doing nothing. Like, we’re wasting time.

Rest is a verb. When we choose to get alone, and quiet ourselves it’s an action. When we invite Jesus into that time and space it’s life changing. Only Jesus can give us real rest. Jesus will fill us up, if we let him.

The world takes from us, Jesus constantly gives to us.

Rest in Jesus is like breathing in the purest air. It’s like feeling the warm sun on your face.

Real rest comes from Jesus. He gives rest to our weary souls.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30, NIV)

Is your soul weary? Are you tired? Maybe burned out?

You might be thinking Where am I going to squeeze in one more thing? It’s not to burden you. It’s to encourage and help you. I strongly encourage you to pick a time to step away. Even if it’s just five minutes. Find a quiet spot. It doesn’t have to be pretty. Closets work.

No phone. No noise. Just you and Jesus. Talk with Him. Listen to Him. Grab your Bible. Ask Him to speak to you. You can also do nothing and just sit with Jesus.

Jesus is waiting for you. He will give you the rest you so desperately need.

Love you all,

Meghan

Heavenly Father,

We are tired. Our souls can get so tired and weary. You know our limits and how much we need to rest in Jesus. Help us all to make rest in Christ a priority. Show us how to rest in you. Show us where and when to spend time alone with Jesus. We need you. We love you and praise you Father!

Amen

 

Photo by James Wheeler on Pexels.com
Faith, Jesus, Uncategorized

Cookie Crumbs

I wrote this last year on December 24th. It’s my first re-blog of a previous post.

The faith of the Canaanite Woman always confused me until I got revelation on the true meaning of this story. Some crumbs have a much bigger meaning.

May it encourage you and refresh your faith.

Merry Christmas!

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Read about bold faith here:

via Cookie Crumbs

Faith, Jesus, Uncategorized, Volunteer

Remember Those In Prison

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Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners. 

Hebrews 13:3 

I had the privilege to participate in an Angel Tree Party last Saturday. It’s a Christmas party for children of prisoners and their families. Before entering the prison, we waited in a line outside. Every volunteer and family member must be searched, and patted down. Cell phones, and pretty much all personal items are not allowed inside. After all the necessary safety precautions, we joined the party that was already in full swing.

Christmas music was playing. There was dancing, games, food, prizes, smiling children, and smiling dads. Local churches partner with Angel Tree to make it a fun, festive, happy occasion. Myself and a few friends from my small group helped with the craft area. Kids got to decorate a holiday frame with a picture of their dad. These kids were so precious, and so happy to be with their dads. There were little bitty toddlers all the way up to teenagers. So many of the children put “I Love My Dad” on their picture frames.

The kids are only allowed to see their fathers twice a year. Once at the Angel Tree Party, and once in June, around Father’s Day. That’s it. No children are permitted in the prison beyond those two days. So this party was a big deal and a very special time for all the families involved. There were also many wives, girlfriends, moms, and grandmas there.

Angel Tree is a year round organization under Prison Fellowship. Angel Tree has camps, mentoring, and sports clinics. There are over 2.7 million children of incarcerated parents in the U.S. Imagine the fear, shame, and loneliness that these kids must experience. Angel Tree is a blessing to these dear children.

I loved being involved with one tiny part of Angel Tree, but I only helped for a few hours. The real heroes are those who serve in this ministry year round. Like my sweet friend Holly. Some people wear their hearts on their sleeves, Holly is just all heart. She leads a men’s group at this prison called Alpha. It’s a mentoring/discipleship program. We got to meet some of the men in Holly’s group and she’s so proud of these guys. How awesome to have someone rooting for you when so many in your life have not.

This prison is for men who have done their time and been reformed. It’s a Christian program that gets these guys ready to go back into the world upon release as leaders and contributors to society. This special program allows only the select few to participate. These men know Jesus and they are forever changed. Gang bangers, murderers, dealers, and all kinds of hardened criminals radically changed by Jesus Christ. That’s the Gospel. The Good News. That’s the hope for all of us.

Jesus is not a respecter of persons. Jesus came for sinners like me and you.

On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Mark 2:17

Please remember those in prison. Prisoners need the love of Jesus just as much as your co-workers and neighbors. Pray for prisoners. Pray for their children and wives and families. Pray for ministries like Prison Fellowship.

I was in prison and you came to visit me. Matthew 25:36

As I looked at the dads in white clothing, many covered in gang tattoos, I saw my brothers in Christ. I saw hope in their faces. I saw love for their children and wives. That room was filled with the Holy Spirit. It didn’t matter that we were behind prison walls. That won’t stop Jesus. Nothing can, except a hard heart. Let’s pray for soft hearts to the gospel.

“The ground is level at the foot of the cross.” Chuck Colson, Founder Prison Fellowship

Love you all,

Meghan

 

 

Prison Fellowship Home

Praising God in Prison by Meghan E. White

 

 

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