New Life of Love

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“So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.”

-Colossians 3:12-14 (The Message)

For the past two weeks, I have been constantly getting the message of “forgiveness”. What is forgiveness? According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, it is: (A) to give up resentment of or claim to requital for, or: (B) to grant relief from payment of. You may think, by looking at both these definitions, that they have nothing to do with each other. Yet, I am here to say that it is merely the opposite. When you have resentment towards someone and are unforgiving towards them, most of the time, the reasoning is that the opposing person has done you wrong. They have done so much wrong to you, that you have hatred and a grudge towards them that is blocking you from even communicating to them. You are like this, because you are waiting for a payment. “What? What are you even talking about, Kat?” I am saying that you are waiting for that person to give you something for causing you to despise them in such a horrid way. You want a payment. You want an apology. You want a sign that they strongly feel guilty about what they did and would do anything to gain that relationship that they once had with you back. I am here to say, that the apology you are waiting for may never come. You may be lying in your death bed waiting for that apology and it will never escape their lips. “So what am I to do? I can’t just let it go. They really hurt me.” If you are this kind of person, you are going to completely want to renew and change your train of thought. I know I still have to do this, and am slowly being revealed to it, but you must give it up, and let it go. (Elsa had some good words of advice) Stop waiting for that payment that will never show up at your doorstep, and surrender it all to God. If Jesus could forgive you faster than the speed of light, you can also. We are to walk as living representations of Christ with everything that we do, and if we have to forgive Jimmy for taking our lunch money in Ms. Clark’s kindergarten class, so be it. We are new creations meant to live in love and not hate. So lay it down, all of it, at the foot of the cross and continue onward in this new life of love.

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Pruning Season

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For the past two months, I have been having a lot of time to myself outside in the wintry cold, and pruning at work. The orchard in my job is very expansive, so there are a large amount of trees to prune. When I would approach a tree for the first time, it would literally be a disaster. These branches and limbs would overflow in every which way possible. It was so disastrous, that I heard it speak under it’s breath, mocking me, “There’s no possible way you can fix this.” Despite it’s sneering remarks, I took my pruners with a great force of confidence and snipped away the intruding branches and twigs, and anything that was going to cause this tree to grow in a negative way. As the days grew longer and longer with pruning, I felt pain start to form in my back and my arms from overusing them. It required a great deal of persistence, but I was able to prune every resistant tree in the orchard.

With most events in my life, I of course thought of what I was doing with great depth. I began to compare this with scripture, like John 15:1-4,

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”

I begin to think about how God always puts us in a situation at one point in our lives where it feels as though we are truly broken. All the addictions that once held us in chains are now being cut and broken by Christ. All the sorrows, all the heartaches, all the sleepless nights, all the pain, all the illnesses, all the anxiety, all the voices in your head that tell you that you are not good enough or you’ll never amount to anything. There’s a point in our lives where God prunes all those negative branches in our life out. He cuts out all the intrusions that take you away from further seeking and serving his Kingdom, and provides more space for light to seep in so that you are able to grow. Without light, you cannot grow. Also, pruning is always done in the coldest and most brutal seasons. The storm takes over your life, and you feel as though you are being pushed in every aspect of your life. Until the sun starts poking through and life begins to grow within you, allowing you to bloom beautiful flowers that then turn into ripened, delicious fruit.

This all seems like such a complicated process, but that’s because it is! This all has to happen to us, though, so that we do not wither and die away, but that we are open to receive God’s light and love, which allows our spirits to grow!

For it says in Ephesians 5:14,

 “Wake up, sleeper,

rise from the dead,

and Christ will shine on you.”

Winter season is over, and the Spring time is here! Rise from your darkness, and live in the light that God has given you!

Love and Blessings,

Kat

Do it to Make Him Proud

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“So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

-1 Corinthians 10:31 (NLT)

As I think and pray everyday about what I’m going to do with my future, I find myself hurting more and more. With all that I do, I wish to make my parents proud and I want them to see me as their hardworking daughter who is trying her best to figure things out and make something of herself. I currently go to school online in a wonderful university, but in my case, wanting to earn a living by gaining a degree in visual arts is not something I can achieve online. That would mean that I would have to travel all the way to Virginia from New York, and I’ve grown so close to the Hudson Valley, that I could not consider anywhere else home but here. Deep in my heart, I don’t want to leave. I want to stay here, and I pray for this every day.

As God continues speaking to me, he is revealing to me more and more that he is listening. He hears the desires of my heart and knows all my thoughts. It doesn’t matter what anyone else says and what anyone else thinks. You are beloved and you are a child of a King. He has called you redeemed and has made you new. Focus on him first, and everything else will all fall into place. Do everything that you do now, tomorrow, and in the rest of your days, to the glory of God. It’s becoming more clear to me, and it has me more at peace. When I see the look of disappointment in someone’s face when I tell them my dreams and my goals and what I am trying to do to obtain them, don’t let it affect you to the point of not doing those things! It may hurt, when you see their disappointment, and it may even deter you from even moving forward in your plans, but don’t do it. If you have a dream, a passion, and a goal, speak out those desires to your father so he may hear them. And do it all to your Heavenly Father’s glory, to make HIM proud.

Your First Love

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“Warning Against Unbelief

 So, as the Holy Spirit says:

‘Today, if you hear his voice,
     do not harden your hearts
as you did in the rebellion,
    during the time of testing in the wilderness,
 where your ancestors tested and tried me,
    though for forty years they saw what I did.’ “

-Hebrews 3:7-9 (NIV)


Apologies for not being able to post a devotional for a little while, due to the immense amount of work I’m doing for my online courses! But, God is good, and he is revealing himself to me more and more with each passing day. I decided to open up my bible last night and have some one on one devotional time with God again, and what I read made me stop in my tracks instantly.

There are many believers who are what I call, “Once a Week Christian”, and they are all too common now a days. Sometimes we need to remember that this is not just a hello and goodbye relationship with our King, but it is a constant and growing relationship in which we must be willing to set aside all our wants and even our needs in order to make Him first in our lives.

Do you remember your high school sweetheart or your first love? Do you remember how much your heart would just turn into mushy gushy goop at the very sight of them? Every time they complimented you and looked at you a certain way, your heart would start beating faster than a hummingbird. We need to remember that Jesus was our first love. He was the one who loved you like crazy and actually gave up his life on the cross in order for you to have life.

Should we not treat him as our only love? Let’s not have our hearts harden. Let us remain with the same fire that we had when we had our first encounter with Jesus Christ. Don’t walk away and forget about all that he has done for you! We had our time in this world, and experienced that what this world holds is still not sufficient enough, we still are missing something. We are missing the main source of life. We are missing the love of our lives.

God is such a jealous God, and he just wants all of our undivided attention. He wants to pick at our brains and figure us out. He wants to read the desires of our hearts. Allow him to make his way in your life today. Pray that he renews your heart, and reveals to you his all consuming love.

Love and Blessings,

Kat A.