Every good and perfect gift

“Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” (James 1:13-17 KJV)

Why didn’t God stop that?

How could God let that happen?

Why didn’t He intervene?

Well, I don’t think that a loving God would . . .

Sound familiar?

Tell me this. When something heinous, horrible, and terrible happens, why is God the first one to be blamed?

The current dictum disavows personal responsibility. So many of our current laws and even our traditions negate self-discipline.

Why is it God’s fault that the man beat wife to death?

Why is God blamed when the child was run over by a car.

Why do we yell at God when He doesn’t intervene in a robbery gone bad?

Why are we blaming God for this Virus?

Think about all of these things, please.

When a guy goes crazy at a school and kills a bunch of kids, why is the lack of security, the poor communication and the weapon of choice zeroed in on first? Why do we look for all the reasons why the evil deed was committed? Analysis paralysis! There are always reasons but none of these reasons (so called) will make right the misdeeds. None on the psych-speak will bring back those lives and heal the hearts of the affected families.

God gave man dominion over the earth and all things in it.  He also gave us free choice.

The man chose to beat that wife. He made a lousy choice. There is no reasoning and there is no understanding. The man broke the law and the man should be punished. His wife should be protected.

The child was run over because she raced out into the street to get her ball. It was NOT God’s fault and it wasn’t even the car’s fault.

A robbery gone bad? How could a robbery possibly go good? Duh!!  It’s not God’s fault and you certainly can’t blame the gun. The perpetrator, in this case, chose not to trust God for His provision and decided to steal that which was not his and threatened someone with a gun, perhaps even shot him.

Some scientists in China played with the wrong (unclean) dead animals in a lab and unleashed a hellacious viral plague on the world. Where are those scientists now?

None of these are God’s fault.

Do you really want an on-command, bell-hop god? Do you really want a god who will do your bidding? If so, then by example, he must also do the bidding of the robber or the wife beater, and so it goes.

God told us He would never leave us of forsake us.

He told us to Knock and the door will open, Seek and you will find.

God said that even though we walk through the deep valley, He is always there.

May I suggest we rethink this thing, this no-fault everything?

Put the robber in prison, as well as the wife beater.  Take better care of our little ones and protect our women.

Before you judge God at fault, get to know Him. He’s a loving gracious God, just waiting for you with open arms.

If you don’t like the god you were taught about as a child, come and meet the one true God.

If you’re afraid of some god that is described as the boogeyman, or the big bad guy-in-the-sky sending everyone to hell, please release that.  The one true God is a loving God who only wants fellowship with you.

Come unto me, all you who are heavy laden and I will give you rest.

If you’ve done all you can do to stand, then stand.

 

© 2020 Cat Brennan

It’s All in Your Head

I saw a cartoon recently depicting a horse tied to a plastic lawn chair with the caption, “Sometimes the thing that’s holding you back is all in your head.”   Surely that light-weight chair was no match for the horse’s strength (think horse power), but the horse had been trained to stay where he was tied.

What unreasonable thing has your mind been trained to believe? Perhaps you believe that a sneeze is the beginning of a cold? Or tripping over “nothing” makes you clumsy? Maybe you believe that because you have made a simple mistake you are either really dumb, stupid, or an idiot?

Think about your words and your beliefs.  Are they holding you back? Scripture teaches that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17) What kind of faith are you hearing and therefore believing?

God’s Word says we are to think on that which is good and pure and … (Philippians 4:8)

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love and of a sound mind.”  2 Timothy 1:7 KJV (We are not given a spirit of stupid, dumb or idiocy.)

The Word tells us in 1 Corinthians 1:30, “But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, Who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.”

Say the Word out loud – try it!  When you sneeze (or cough or or or). Instead of saying, “I am coming down with a cold”, say this, out loud: “It is written, by His stripes I am healed.” In the New Testament, Peter refers to Isaiah 53:5, which reads, “But He was wounded for out transgressions, He was  bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.” 1 Peter 2:24 reads thus: “Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by Whose stripes ye were healed.”

Or – how about this? When someone else sneezes, do you say, “Bless you?” Well then – try it on yourself. When YOU sneeze, say, “Bless me.” Why not? You DO want God’s blessings on your life, don’t you?

Studies show that it takes 30 days to 6 weeks to form a new habit so don’t give up. Ask God help you do and say these things!

Father in heaven, thank you for Your perfect love and for your perfect Words.  Bless all who read this devo that they will Know the truth and that Your truth will set us all free.

What is your truth? Are you tied to a plastic lawn chair, or are you free in Christ?

 

© 2020 Cat Brennan

with the caption, “Sometimes the thing that’s holding you back is all in your head.”   Surely that light-weight chair was no match for the horse’s strength (think horse power), but the horse had been trained to stay where he was tied.

What unreasonable thing has your mind been trained to believe? Perhaps you believe that a sneeze is the beginning of a cold? Or tripping over “nothing” makes you clumsy? Maybe you believe that because you have made a simple mistake you are either really dumb, stupid, or an idiot?

Think about your words and your beliefs.  Are they holding you back? Scripture teaches that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17) What kind of faith are you hearing and therefore believing?

God’s Word says we are to think on that which is good and pure and … (Philippians 4:8)

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love and of a sound mind.”  2 Timothy 1:7 KJV (We are not give a spirit of stupid, dumb or idiocy, either).

The Word tells us in 1 Corinthians 1:30, “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.”

Say the Word out loud – try it!  When you sneeze (or cough or or or). Instead of saying, “I am coming down with a cold”, say this, out loud: “It is written, by His stripes I am healed.” In the New Testament, Peter refers to Isaiah 53:5, which reads, “But e was sounded for out transgressions, he was  bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” 1 Peter 2:24 reads thus: “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.”

Or – how about this? When someone else sneezes, do you say, Bless you?” Well then – try it on yourself. When YOU sneeze, say, “Bless me.” Why not? You DO want God’s blessings on your life, don’t you?

Studies show that it takes 30 days to 6 weeks to form a new habit so don’t give up. Ask God help you do and say these things!

Father in heaven, thank you for Your perfect love and for your perfect Words.  Bless all who read this devo that they will Know the truth and that Your truth will set us free.

What is your truth? Are you tied to a plastic lawn chair, or are you free in Christ?

 

© 2020 Cat Brennan

LOOK IN THE CAR, GIRL!

How many times have YOU asked the Lord to help you with something? And, how many times did you then think He didn’t help?

Maybe He did help.

Maybe you weren’t listening.

Recently, I began a project (more on that another time). I  made a list of the “pieces and parts” that would be necessary for the project. First, I put on old clothes, then collected wooden dowels, boards of various thicknesses and lengths, Dremel, jigsaw, palm sander, vise, leather gloves, clear goggles, mask, and …

Where’s my drill? I looked in the place I always kept it – no drill.

Help me, Lord.

I looked in a small cabinet that holds tiny “crafting” tools, glue, and such – no drill.

Help me, Lord.

I looked in the front closet AGAIN, pulled out everything on the floor, tore into the big toolbox, stirred up a bunch of dust, and coughed – no drill.

Help me, Lord.

I looked in my bedroom – a misnomer. That room houses two sewing machines, enough fabric to start my own shop, this laptop, and several files for the novel I’m currently writing, books on the craft of writing, and more books to read. Oh, and a single bed. I moved, opened, looked into nearly every nook and cranny, and stirred up dust – more coughing – no drill.

Help me, Lord.

Out to the little storage space that houses a freezer, Christmas decorations, and other seasonal items – no drill.

Help me find the drill, Lord. Please.

I give up. Yes, I did, I gave up.

Gathered the trash, grumbling I might add, and a few reusable shopping bags – I keep those in the back end of my car, so they are at the ready when I shop. Headed out the door, keys in hand, and touched the clicker to unlock my car. Open the backend and guess what was there – the drill!

Stowed the reusable bags and began to laugh. I laughed all the way to the dumpster and back to my home. “Lord, you think you’re funny, don’t you?” Of course, we know that He has a great sense of humor – just look at tadpoles and puppies. Look in the mirror!

As I went along looking for the drill and asking for help, I “thought” a few times, “Look in the car.” I dismissed that “thought” because I do NOT keep the drill in the car.

EXCEPT – Two weeks ago, I had put the drill in the car to take with me to Lowe’s to get the right thing I needed. I had not yet gone shopping for that ½” bit, so I forgot about it.

You know that “still, small voice”? Yeah, That One. I sometimes wish that my Heavenly Father would YELL at me. I wonder how many times He desires that I would just be quiet and listen? How many times did He say, so gently, “Look in the car?”

Matthew 7:7 Ask, and it shall be given you; Matthew

Matthew 7:8 For every one that asketh receiveth;

Matthew 7:9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?

Matthew 7:10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?

Matthew 7:11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

None of these scriptures are new to me. Lesson learned, at least for today.

Ask! Listen, then,

Look in the car, Girl!

 

© Cat Brennan 2020

Full or Empty?

Ever have one of those days when something just isn’t right? When something seems off or missing? In animal land, a man might say of his horse, ‘He’s off his feed.”

Even seasoned Christians have those kinds of days.

Get up in the morning and fly through your shower and daily ablutions.

Rush through breakfast and a quick cuppa.

Glance at your inbox.

And you’re out the door.

Into the car and half way to your destination, what did I forget?

O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;

Psalm 63:1 KJV

[ A David Psalm, When He Was out in the Judean Wilderness ] God—you’re my God! I can’t get enough of you! I’ve worked up such hunger and thirst for God, traveling across dry and weary deserts.

Psalm 63:1 MSG

It IS a dry and thirsty land out there without God. God created in each one of us a yearning and a longing for Him; for His presence and His indwelling.

Do you fill your God-place with God, or do you fill it with Social Networking, Beer-by-the-case, loud music, or porn?  Maybe your filler-upper isn’t so brassy. Maybe your insert is ‘just-a glass-of-wine-with-dinner’, or your face-in-your-phone, or late-night shows ad nauseum, and mid-morning soaps.  These seem less harmful, right?  Wrong.

Let me be clear; God is NOT “going to get you” and you won’t be thrown out of heaven. God doesn’t send lightening bolts or illness or (you fill in the blank). However, your peace is definitely disturbed when you’re not walking with God. His Holy Spirit will gently guide you through all of life as you let Him.

So, please, don’t be thirsty. Drink. Now. The sweet water of the Living Christ is for one and all.

So, what’s in your empty space?

Light Conquered Darkness and Good Conquered Sin

I just read that headline/story title on Facebook – I don’t know to whom to attribute the quote, but I do know to Whom I give all the credit for conquering and defeating darkness and sin.

John 3:16 says it all: For God so loved the world that He gave his only Son, for whoever believed in Him would not perish, but have everlasting life.

The God of the ENTIRE universe loves YOU!! Yes, YOU. Yeah, YOU .. the guy who just drank up his paycheck. Yeah, you. The gal who is dating that married creep.

This is Grace. Some would say it’s a license to sin, but God says .. I love because I created you. YOU!

Sin separates ALL of us from God because He is perfectly perfect. But, He gave us a “second” chance, He gave us Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ is all you need – all I need. I would invite you to ask His forgiveness today; ask Him to be your Lord and Savior. Ask Him to walk and talk with you. Ask Him in for Easter breakfast.

Please don’t get caught up in the “I don’t deserve Him” lies. AND, please don’t get caught up in the “I made myself what I am today – I did it – I don’t need any god” .. perhaps you did, but that’s not all there is.

I once heard someone say, “If you do NOT know Christ, then Earth (this life), is as close to heaven as you will ever get. However, if you DO know Christ, then Earth (this life), is as close to hell as you will ever get.”

Light or Darkness?

Love or Hate?

Forgiveness or Condemnation?

It’s YOUR choice.

Y O U R  C H O I C E ..

Your. Choice.

#your

#choice

#YourChoice

I choose God. Will you join me?

© Cat Brennan 2017      

This entry was posted on April 15, 2017. 1 Comment

Election or Elect?

It’s been exactly eleven (11) months since I’ve written a post for Collateral Grace, but I feel, no, I believe, the Lord wanted me to write this.

It started out as a conversation earlier this evening regarding an email that contained a prophetic utterance. As I read, I felt very strongly that the Holy Spirit was speaking to me about this election. No, I will NOT tell you that God told me to tell you for whom to vote.

No, I will NOT tell you that God told me to tell you for whom to vote.

This election is so much bigger than this election. Yes, you read that right.

It is so much greater than the people in the running; so much more important than the issues of name calling and blustering and screeching and accusing. Those are unfortunate sidebars and I think we’re all sick and tired of them. The sidebars or sandbars, if you will, are like quicksand and they’ve sucked the life out of many and tried to bury us all.

This is what I believe God wants me to tell you. Remember in the Old Testament when Israel wanted a king? Well, they got one. It didn’t bode well, but they got what they wanted. That’s where we are tonight. Are you ranting and yelling at God for YOUR candidate. Be careful what you ask for.

Many, many years ago, men and women, probably much like you and I, dedicated this country to God and asked His favor on our nation. That agreement, that covenant, was called the Mayflower Compact. It was signed on November 11, 1620 – it has been in place for 396 years!  Since then, He has favored the United States with wealth and prosperity. We became the Greatest Nation in the World. We have been called the Most Powerful Nation in the World and I believe we still are. NO ONE has canceled that covenant. No one has rendered it null and void. At least, not yet.

And now, our future hangs in the balance, perhaps held in place by a mere web of prayers. Those prayers are strong in that they hold the belief in the Love and Strength of the One True God to be as sacred as the day in which the Compact was entered.

So, what are YOU asking God for? Do you want the liberals defeated? Or perhaps, you want the conservatives squashed. Neither matters. What does matter is what God wants.

Have you asked Him? Have you gone before God as the Israelites did? Have you gone before God as the early Mayflower pilgrims did?

If you want God’s will in our nation, your voice must be the loud one.

May God continue to bless America. May God continue to bless you.

© 2016 Cat Brennan

For more information about the Mayflower Compact, please click here.

 

Give Thanks #1

I believe it was Theodore ‘Teddy’ Roosevelt who said  “Comparison is the thief of joy.” That’s a mouthful, don’t you think?

If I am in the midst of comparing my life to another’s, then I’ve no time to realize all of my blessings; soon dissatisfaction will follow.

The only one with whom we should compare ourselves is God.  Am I loving? Am I kind? Am I generous?

Definitely NOT: Is my hair as long as hers? Do I have as much money as he does? Am I as strong as that person?

If we use the wrong ruler for life comparisons, we’ll ALWAYS fall short (no pun intended).

So, today, I give thanks for .. what .. ? How about my laptop? I don’t have to struggle with a typewriter anymore, which also means I don’t have to worry about typos or erasures or rewrites or white out.  Nope! I simply type something here, and if I don’t like it – whoosh! The sweep of my cursor or the back space arrow eliminates a lot of verbiage.

If you’ve ever typed on a typewriter, you understand. So, tonight, Father thank you for the ease of writing on a laptop.

Abba Father, forgive me, please, for all the times that I forget how good my life is and for all you’ve given me.

 

©2015 Cat Brennan

This entry was posted on December 7, 2015. 3 Comments

A List of ONE: How Not to be Miserable

A little while ago, I read a delightful article in Guidepost™ Magazine’s online newsletter titled, Be still and know that I am God. It was one of those moments. You know, one of those times when I knew that God was speaking to me to change my mind; perhaps my attitude also. Actually, He got my attention quite easily (this time).

While being still, I remembered that one thing that always draws me closer to God; that always instills peace. That list of ONE.

It’s really rather easy, if one has the courage to break an old and very bad habit of complaining or grumbling or griping or, or, or . . .

Are you ready for it? Okay, here goes: G R A T I T U D E!! Being thankful (grateful) in the midst of daily life or messes and finding something for which to be grateful. I talked to my “in-Illinois” daughter recently and we lamented about some people who are negative and constantly complaining. Let’s face it; we all know people who have a problem for every solution or a dilemma for every act. Here in America, we have so much – we are so wealthy – that we overlook the obvious. Let’s see what that looks like.

You have a bed to sleep in.

You woke up this morning.

You had food for breakfast.

Get the idea? Sound too simple?

To get rid of a bad habit, you must create a new one. There are all kinds of statistics that indicate how long and how often one must do x-y-z to accomplish a-b-c, but that’s not important. Just. Do. It.

Put a sticky note or a sign on your bathroom mirror, or on the coffee maker or tea kettle, or on your laptop, or on your phone or on the dashboard of your car to remind you to be grateful. If you can’t think of anything new, it’s okay to repeat the gratitude from yesterday. The point is to change your attitude of goofy grumbling and thinking, to one of joyful gratitude. And it will happen. EVERY time you start to grumble, change it into thanks or gratitude.

Scripture is clear about this. In I Thessalonians 5:18, we read:  In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you (KJV). Look at this lighter interpretation of the same verse from The Message:  Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.

If you wake up in the morning with a backache, be grateful you can get out of bed.

If that noisy alarm clock woke you up on time, be thankful you have a job to go to.

If the kids were too noisy, be grateful for those little beings.

Remember these bits of wisdom: If life gives you lemons, make lemonade. If life gives you scraps, make a quilt. And, my own: If life throws mud at you, make pottery – better yet, make mud bricks and build a house.

Try it. See if your heart isn’t lighter. Regularly check to see if you need a gratitude adjustment.

Here’s my gratitude list for today:

I’m thankful for this Joyful Christmas season.

I’m grateful for all of my grandchildren.

I’m thankful for my great granddaughter.

I’m grateful for my children.

What are you grateful for?

 

© 2015 Cat Brennan

FOUR (4) Names God Has Given You

When a baby is born, he is usually given a first and a middle name. Occasionally only a first name, and sometimes he is saddled with a hyphenated last name. And just think! God knew your name from the beginning of time and He has added more.

To clarify, there are many names that God has given you, but for this devotion, I will concentrate on one (1) verse and one verse only. The King James (KJV) name is the lead quote and the New International Version (NIV) is in parentheses.

1.) Chosen generation (chosen people)

2.) Royal priesthood (royal priesthood)

3.) Holy nation (holy nation)

4.) Peculiar people (God’s special possession).

In olden times, names were chosen for whom the parents believed that baby would be. (For instance, God told Sarah to name her baby Isaac, which means laughter, because she laughed when the angel told her she would conceive – Sarah was very old when Isaac was born). YOU were chosen by God, to be a royal priest in a holy nation and you are peculiar/special.

Think about it! The God of the universe has given you four different names in one verse. He called you these wonderful names so that you will praise Him because He has called you out of the dark and into the light. He has many more wonderful monikers for you and we’ll adress those at a later date.

If you struggle with your identity or if you have come to believe that you are worthless, please read this short list again.

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:19 (KJV)

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”1 Peter 2:9 (NIV)

© 2015Cat Brennan

His Plans

Do you know what your life plan is? Have you come up with a plan on your own, or have you consulted God? There’s a country song with a cute line that seems to be apropos: “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.”

God wants only good things for you. Ask Him what you should be doing and tell Him what you want; remember what Jeremiah said: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)

Sometimes you simply have to press in until you hear from God. Sometimes you have to stay on the path you have begun and continue until you hear differently. Sometimes you wait.

But know this: God will not strike you down or smack you in the head at a mistake! If you start down the wrong path, He will let you know,He will gently nudge  you; it’s YOUR choice to listen and follow or listen and ignore, but it IS your choice. Don’t mistake your errors for Him testing you. Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted* of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.” (James 1:13 King James Version)

Don’t flippantly say that the devil made you do it. If you are a follower and lover of Christ, the devil CANNOT make you do anything. He has no more power over you other than that which YOU allow. Remember, the lying weasel was defeated at the cross.

Father God, Thank you for your love, mercy and grace. I pray that Your will is accomplished in my life and all of those who will ask You. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

*Tempted, tested, tried, scrutinized, enticed. Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance #3985

© 2015 Cat Brennan