Monday, April 16, 2012

Little One


“Little One”
            Have you ever wondered how precious “little ones” are in the eyes of Jesus?  We see Jesus holding, touching, being genuinely loving to them in scripture.  He used them in his teaching to show us how to value them.  Matthew 19:14 says “…Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”  This was spoken in response to the disciples rebuking those who brought the children to Jesus for prayer.  Jesus’ response was one of caring and love for children.
            In Mathew 18:1-11 we see Jesus pulling a little child to him to teach another lesson to the disciples.  During this lesson about becoming as “little children” and accepting Christ in faith, he makes a statement about childhood victimization.  “But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.  Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to sin!  Such things must come, but woe to the man through whom they come!...See that you do not look down on one of these little ones.  For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.”
            Scripture clearly states that whoever causes a child to sin, it would be better for that person to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck.  You can’t get a clearer word picture than that.  When a child is abused or victimized, he or she has a greater tendency toward sin and making poor choices as a result of the victimization.  “Woe” to the one who causes this.
            I want to encourage you to do what you can to value the life of a child.  In today’s world, abuse is rampant and comes in all sorts of disguises.  Protect your children by educating yourself and your children.  Talk to your children about the dangers and make sure communication is kept open and watch for warning signs.  You can never be too careful in protecting children from predators.
            Children are precious in the eyes of Jesus.  He has placed them in our care as parents and it is our responsibility to take that job seriously.

Wanda Joy
Psalm 30:11-12

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Walls


Walls
            This post is a continuation of my last post in “Finding Freedom”…same concept, just a different way to look at it.   
Throughout most of my life, I was busy building up walls around me. Walls can represent many areas of bondage in a person’s life.  Areas of being bound by Satan’s lies and areas of control are just a couple that I want to focus on.
As a result of the abuse that I suffered and the lies that Satan was putting in my head, I built up walls around me. Each rock in the wall was a lie Satan was using to hold me in bondage. The lies had me trapped in a place that became so familiar to me that I believed there was no way out.  It was like it was a part of me that I couldn’t live without. 
            Satan’s lies can be subtle little whispers or loud bullhorn statements. Things like, “God doesn’t love you”, “God won’t forgive you for everything”, “God doesn’t think you are precious in His sight”, “God can’t use you now that you messed up”, and many more lies like them.
            So, what can be done about the walls that we built up based on Satan’s lies?  There is hope!  We need to identify the lie, take it captive, and replace it with God’s truth.  2 Corinthians 10:5 says, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”  Bringing lies into obedience to Christ comes from filling up with God’s Word.
            Those things that you believe that hold you in bondage need to be brought to the surface.  Dive into God’s Word, find out for yourself His truth, and acknowledge what His truths are.  Tear down the lies and replace them with “truth rocks”.  Our walls should be built on God’s truths and we should be able to walk around in freedom on the outside of the walls.  John 8:32 says “Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”
            Walls can also represent “control”.  Control is a way we can feel secure.  Security is so important to those who have been abused.  Not only in abuse situations, but in everyday happenings, many find themselves wanting control in order to protect themselves.  Giving up control scares us and holds us back from full surrender to God.  We try to get God to do things our way. In reality though, in our minds we think we are in control, but we aren’t. We cannot control all the outside forces that alter our path.
            God is sovereign and he wants us to trust Him for everything, including security.  We need to let go and rest in God.  Psalm 32:8 says, “…I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.  I will advise you and watch over you.”  Throughout the entire Bible, we see examples of God’s faithfulness.  When we draw close to God and allow Him to draw close to us, we find security and peace.  I don’t know about you, but I find it a constant battle, if I am honest, to give up the reins of control.  I found out, though, that the more I surrender and allow Christ full reign of my life, the more peace I have. 
            Growing and trusting are an ongoing process.  The walls I had built up were walls of bondage.  Perhaps your walls are bondage of another kind, not built with lies or representing control.  But no matter what they are constructed with, I encourage you to get into God’s Word and surrender to Him daily.  Put your trust in Him.  He will give you wisdom and guidance in your next steps.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

"The Key to Freedom"

 
"The Key to Freedom"
“…He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners…”  Isaiah 61:1
            The shackles in this drawing represent bondage and the key to freedom is the cross.  Bondage can represent so much.  I know in my own life it started with childhood victimization, poor choices, and hiding it all within me and not dealing with it.   My shackles were so rusty that the lock had seized up on them by the time I realized I could be completely free.  Allowing God complete access to what was keeping me in bondage was the beginning to freedom.  Denying Satan’s lies and actively grabbing hold of God’s truths loosened the shackles.  Then laying it all at the foot of the cross turned the key and set me free.
            What about you?  Is there anything that has you in bondage?  God holds the key to freedom!  Christ paid for it all by dying on the cross.  Accept the freedom he offers by letting Him unlock the shackles that keep you in bondage.
Wanda Joy

Saturday, March 5, 2011

"He Never Lets Go"


“He Never Lets Go”
            As spring is approaching and the weather is getting warmer, I have started walking for exercise.  The other day my 11 year-old son went with me.  While we were on the home stretch, we were climbing our last “hill” and he grabbed a hold of my hand and held it.  At first, I was startled, because I thought he thought he was “too old” for that “sort of thing”.  I then realized that he probably was getting tired and needed me to help him get up the hill.  Isn’t that just like us?  We sometimes plod along in our walk with Christ, trying to do it our own way and then when it gets a little “hilly” we grab on to Him to help us get up and over the hill.  The truth is, He has been holding our hand the whole time.  He never let’s go!  What a reassuring thought!  As children of Christ, He is walking beside us, holding on to us!  No matter what we do or have done, nothing can separate us from Him.  He cares about every detail of our lives and is waiting for us to allow Him to help us over the hills.  Christ was there through the abuse and every other detail of my life.  He suffered alongside of me and endured the pain, but He never let go of me!  Praise God!  Romans 8: 38-39 says, “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.”  May you find JOY in knowing that Christ never lets us go.
Wanda Joy

Saturday, February 12, 2011

"Hiding"



“Hiding”
            This picture was captured in the winter of “09-10”.  Luke’s cat, Junior, was still a kitten and I was watching him sneak around one of our sheds.  I waited to see what he would do when suddenly he was peeking around the corner, like he was hiding from me.
            Hiding is how I lived a good portion of my life.  I did not want others to really “see” me.  I had too much to hide.  I tried to blend in, becoming a wall flower so no one would notice me.  As I entered my adult years it became easier to do.  I was able to hide in a sense behind my husband and my children.  With them around, I usually did not have to hold a conversation and the attention was off of me.
            Through the healing process, I have come to realize that this is not how God wants me to live.  I am not to go through life hiding from people and my past.  I am His child and I realize that in his eyes I am beautiful and his love is unfailing.  What was done to me and the choices I made does not change how he loves me.  I cannot hide from God, but He is my hiding place and He will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.  Ps. 32:7.
            I pray that as this post reaches you, that you will accept God’s unfailing love and forgiveness.  Come out of hiding and experience the joy that God has for you.
Wanda Joy

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

"Safe"


This drawing is called “Safe”.  It was drawn before the “Jesus and Me” picture.  It was taken from a photo that I captured of my nephew and his son at one of our many family gatherings.  This picture symbolizes to me the safety of having my Heavenly Father’s arms around me. 

My Father’s Arms

My Father’s arms
Will do me no harm

They give comfort
When there is hurt

My Father’s arms are always around me
To love and surround me

They form a barrier of protection
And never portray rejection

My Father’s arms are gentle, yet strong
When I have done something wrong

They represent mercy and grace
When I fall to my face

My Father’s arms hold me tight
When I tend to take flight

They will forever show me
How much He really loves me

--Wanda Joy

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Jesus and Me

Jesus and Me
Jesus and me
I want all to see

His arms held me tight
And took away the fright

He pulled me from the fire
And identified the liar

Grace and mercy were given
And all was forgiven

There is nothing like the feeling
Of Jesus and his healing

Because it’s Jesus and me
I will forever be free

He will continue to hold me
With His arms so boldly

I want the world to know
That He will never let me go

It’s Jesus and me
For all to see

--Wanda Joy