Jesus in my Place

Image result for free page divider clipart

Hi my girls,

I am thinking about and praying for you all today. I wish I could convey to each of you how priceless you are to me. I feel so blessed to be your Nana.

As much as I want you to grasp your value to me, I want you to know, even more, your value to Christ.

Whenever I take communion at Church, as I hold that bread in my hand, a pain stabs at my heart. Tears well up in my eyes as I think about what Jesus did for me.  Jesus, the one who knew NO sin became sin for me.

Looking down at the bread, I am grieved, yet so thankful, that His body was broken for me.

He didn’t have to do it but His unabashed, boundless love compelled Him to do it for you and for me. We would not go to Heaven if He did not give up His life, Jesus in my Place.

The penalty for sin is death. Yet, our own death could not pay for our sins. Only a sinless, spotless God could pay that price. “He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.” Col. 2:14 NLT

As I look down at the cup I hold in my hand, again pain stabs at my heart. Why did He do it?  Why would He do it? I am so humbled. It was His Love.

He shed His blood for me, for you! His precious blood paid the price for our sin. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23

He took our black sins in his body and nailed them to the cross. He paid the price we should have paid for our sins. He gave us spotless, radiant, white garments in return.

Though we did nothing to deserve it, He laid down His life to save ours. “All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on him the sins of us all.” Isa. 53:6 NLT 

There is a song I hear in my heart when I think about Jesus sacrifice for me. Perhaps you remember our Family Christmas a few years ago when we viewed this video together:

What can I give Him – Give Him my heart. What does that look like for you?

What does it look like to be wholly surrendered to Jesus? Is there anything in your life, more important than honoring the one who gave His life for you?  You can trust Him, girls. He made you, He’s a good, good Father.

My girlies, as much as I love you, it’s just a drop in the bucket compared to the Love Jesus has for you. Let that thought fill your mind today as you worship Him.

Allow His thoughts to replace your earthly clutches. May you be brave enough to lay it all down and be counted as a follower of Jesus!

Because I love you,

Nana

Don’t Marry a Fixer-Upper

Image result for free page divider clipart

Hi Girlies,

Thinking of you this morning and going back to a Lovenote I wrote you in 2016. You are all at a different place in your lives and these words will apply in a different way now. So, I’ve done a dusting up and clarifying work on this message from my heart to yours. 😉

These words are important – so very important.

The second most important decision you will ever make is choosing your life partner.

I want to urge you, “never choose a fixer-upper.” Through the years of counseling young women with stars in their eyes, I have witnessed such disappointment and utter despair when she realizes, she can’t change the guy she chose.  I don’t know what it is about us girls, but before marriage most of us think we will change our man.  There is no such thing as fixing a man after you marry him, it just never happens.

What you see is what you get.

Some of you are currently in a committed relationship. Know that this is an opportunity to study your potential life partner.

It’s so important to blow the fairy dust out of your eyes and be really honest when you look at that young man your heart is attached to.

Be brutally honest about his character. Do you have concerns?

Are their RED FLAGS?

Is he more interested in hanging with the guys than hanging with you? This does not mean he should never hang with guy friends, especially if his guy friends pour into his life and make him a better man. What I am referring to is a young man who’d rather be out with the boys than spend time with you.

Take Note:  He’s not changing!

Is he a silent knight?  One who doesn’t talk to you about what’s going on in his head? Are you left feeling alone in your heart?

Take Note: He’s not changing

Does he include you in his dreams for the future?  If no,

Take Note: He’s not changing

Does he build you up in the areas God has gifted you? If no,

Take Note: He’s not changing

Does he appreciate your efforts to please him? If not,

Take Note: He’s not changing

Do you see the love of God in him? Does he share his walk with the Lord or initiate devotions with you?  If not,

Take Note: He’s not changing

Does he love kids like you do? Do you picture him as a father who will invest his heart in his children?

Take Note: He’s not changing

My sweet girls, Seek God with all of your heart, He wants you to have the BEST in a marriage partner. He wants that partnership to reflect the Love of God.

  • Look for a young man strong in the Lord.
  • Choose a guy you respect
  • Look for a guy who’s admired by others for his character.
  • Choose a guy who is a leader, someone you would be eager to follow.
  • Look for a guy who only has eyes for you – A ‘one woman man.’

A young man who loves the Lord will take responsibility for you, your spiritual growth, emotional health, and physical protection. I am not saying he will meet all your needs. I am not saying he is super-human and can read your mind. He is human, just like you, but he will seek to lead you.

The only one who can meet all your needs is God, you must be careful not to put him in place of God. Cultivate your relationship with God through reading His love letter to you.  He deserves first place in our lives and when we honor Him; He meets all of our needs.

As you know, I’ve been a Pastor’s wife most of my life.  I’ve heard heartbreaking stories from many unhappily married women. These women married guys they thought were handsome, fun, or smart.  They ignored warning signs thinking, I’ll fix him.

The most important quality to look for in a young man is His love for God.  Does he love God with all of his heart, soul and mind?  There’s a whole lot of sadness to the one who realizes, “I married a guy who does not love God like I do.”

Girls, pray and ask Jesus to open your eyes to see HIS choice.  Never, ever, ever settle!

Also

Know that if you want to find a godly guy,

You must be a godly girl

Only a girl with depth, wisdom, and love for God will draw and attract a godly guy.  Spend time with Jesus, Seek to know Him through His word.  Seek Wisdom, like searching for gold, and God will give it to you. Plug into opportunities to grow with other believers.

You are not prepared for a union until you are singularly whole.

Two people united in Christ are POWERFUL, fulfilled and stable!  Not perfect, mind you, but God grows them to be more like Him.

God is the glue that keeps them together

You have NO idea how much you are loved.  Your Abba Father longs to pour His blessings into your lives!  His ways are not our ways… He see’s what we do not. Go to Him my girls and find in Him everything you will ever need.  xoxo

because I love you,

Nana

Hidden Treasures

The inspiration for my first note comes from Proverbs 2.

“IF you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding IF you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures … then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.  For the Lord GIVES wisdom, he stores up sound wisdom for the upright he is a shield to those who walk in integrity.”

Image result for free page divider clipart

Good morning girlies,

As I was reading my Bible this morning, I thought of you.  My prayer for you is the same prayer I prayed for my kids, (your parents). I pray that you will grow in your understanding of Father God and that you find your identity in Him.

When you find your identity in Christ, you are free to be ALL God created you to be.  You are a child of the King, His princess.

I also pray that our family’s next generation (YOU) will seek God and that God will use the light that shines within you to reflect His glory and His love to a very dark world.

I will be emailing you love notes to encourage you in your walk with Jesus. As I share the Love of God and the wisdom He imparts, I hope it encourages you. I also hope it creates a hunger for His word which will lead you to dig for truth as for hidden treasures.

When I was a brand new Christian (15 years old) I read the verses below.  My heart welled up with the deepest longing and I begged God for wisdom:

“IF you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding IF you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures … then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.  For the Lord GIVES wisdom, he stores up sound wisdom for the upright he is a shield to those who walk in integrity.” Prov. 2:1-7

“Ask and it will be given you seek and you will find knock and the door will be open to you.” Luke 11:9  Jesus

God loves you, my girls, He is waiting for you to dig for the gold nuggets found in His word. Call out to Him, He is waiting and He longs to give you His wisdom.

Because I love you,

Nana 

Nana’s Lovenotes

 

Image result for free page divider clipart

My Sweet Grandgirls,

How can I fully express the complete joy I feel when you claim me as your Nana? You each bring a JoY to my heart like no other.

As your Nana, I always will point you to Jesus.  I believe, as the scriptures say, that the older women are to teach the younger women. I take that charge seriously, especially when it comes to family.  I have always had an active role in your lives.  I study you, laugh with you, pray for you and love you with all of my heart.

I choose to be a constant in your lives.  One of the ways I am striving to do this is by writing these love notes.  As I write I will share inspirational stories and personal experiences. I pray God will use these lovenotes to impart wisdom and conviction, when needed. 😉

FORWARNING: 🙂 

This is a long lovenote.  As I was writing, God kept giving me His words to include in my note.  Know that God loves you so much, so very much that He died for you so that you could be free from the power of sin and death.

“And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.” Romans 8:2

Each of you have made a profession of salvation. You have embraced the faith of our family. You have made a public stand letting our Church know you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior. This was no easy decision.  I believe the Holy Spirit touched your heart and drew you to Himself.

As each of you took your stand for Christ, you accepted Him, not just as Savior, as a fire escape from Hell, but knowing He is LORD.

There are times we  must examine our hearts. Do you remember the huge shift that occurred when you  became a believer in Jesus Christ? At the time, did you understand the deep implications and far reaching effects of knowing your life doesn’t belong to you anymore?

You are not your own; you were bought with a price. I Cor. 6:19-20.

A battle began on that day, girls. The enemy is out to take you down, confuse your minds and tell you lies. He does that to all of God’s kids. 

Be alert and sober minded. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” I Peter 5:8

Jesus bought us with His blood, His life in exchange for the penalty of our sin – eternal death. Oh, what a Savior!  As God’s kids we take direction from Him. The way we learn His will for our lives is by taking time to study His word. Remember:

“For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.” Heb. 4:12

I love how Jesus shines through you when you make decisions to yield to Jesus.  When you walk in obedience, you are a reflection of Him to a world who does not know Him.

“Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 

As God’s kids, we surrender our own desires, and our selfishness daily, sometimes moment by moment.

It’s not easy being a Jesus follower. I was once young, and I remember the pressures to fit in. Peer pressure and assaults on your Faith may occur on a daily basis.  

“Dear friends, your faith is going to be tested as if it were going through fire. Do not be surprised at this. Be happy that you are able to share some of the suffering of Christ. When His shining-greatness is shown, you will be filled with much joy. If men speak bad of you because you are a Christian, you will be happy because the Spirit of shining-greatness and of God is in you.”   I Peter 4:12-14   

Most of your peers are partier’s, disrespectful, attention seekers, rebellious and set against authority. But you are not like the rest of the world, you have been called out of darkness, into His light.

“The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you.” John 15:19

Being hated, my girls, is what you experience with persecution.  As you live for Christ, no matter how kind and gentle your hearts may be, you will still be hated (either silently or overtly) by those who are against God.

“Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”  II Tim. 3:2

I have shared today because God laid you on my heart. He gave me these verses to share with you. I write to remind you of the day you gave your heart to Jesus. Distractions, pain and heartaches will always follow you. But if you keep your eyes on the one who gave His life to give you eternal life, you will find strength in your time of need and you will know peace in the midst of any storm God allows in your life.

No person is an island. We need each other. Make no mistake, we will become like those we hang with. I hope you are surrounding yourself with other believers who are stronger than you.  We each need at least one mentor, we look up to. One who will speak truth to us, even when it hurts.

“Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.” Proverbs 27:6

This Love note is pretty straight forward. But you know Nana, I will speak truth. You also know  my heart, that it is filled with love for you and the desire to see you live lives that flourish. 

I am so grateful you girls have received my love notes with graciousness and appreciation. My heart sings when I hear, “Nana, I loved your email” or “When will we get another note?” or “I went to my email today hoping to hear from you.” Sometimes a simple “thank you and I love you,” is confirmation that you appreciate the time I take to touch base.

My Reading Audience:

I am blessed to have eleven extraordinary grandchildren. Nine of those are granddaughters spanning the years from elementary to twenties. These writings have been written for my adolescent through twenties Grandgirls.

In the coming days, with full permission from my grandgirls, I will be sharing some of the love notes I have sent to them.  I pray God will use my writings to inspire you to connect and pour into the younger generation.

I write each of these Lovenotes:

Because I love my girls, always and forever,

Nana