Devotional 1: The Woman Caught In Adultery

Then the scribes and pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, “Teacher this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do you say?” “This they said, testing Him, that they might having something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.

So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them. “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first”. And again, he stooped down and wrote on the ground. Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?”
            She said, “no one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more.” Then Jesus  spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

John 8:3-12

I read this account so many times in the wake of my adultery. What grace, mercy, kindness, gentleness, masculinity,  protection, power, control, patience, trust, wisdom, truth, what justice Jesus Christ extends in this passage! There is so much to pull from this scripture, but in my recovery process, I would often rehearse Jesus speaking this directly to me. It wasn’t hard for me to relate to“being the midst,” because there were times that I was completely exposed and vulnerable, standing in front of pointing fingers, expecting the worst reprimanding and highest law. But just as in this biblical situation, Jesus never responded to me that way. He held my face in His hands and spoke words of truth, protection, and healing. He used others to do it, and He also spoke it audibly to me. He is the great shepherd; when He finds one of his sheep that has been lost, what does he do? Luke 15:15 says, “And when he finds [the lost sheep], he joyfully puts it on his shoulders.”

What? He doesn’t beat it all the way home and say, “Bad sheep! How dare you get lost, you knew better than to wander away!” No, with joy, love and trust, comforting the sheep safely on His shoulders, He says,  “Neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more.”

That is powerfully healing! Read this again and again. Let this sink deep into your bones and let its truth reverberate in your being. This is how The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit see you. This is what they have revealed about themselves to you. They have no greater joy than to see you walking in the truth (3 John 1:4). The truth is that you are forgiven, loved, accepted and pleasing to God.

Did you notice that He did not require an account or repentance from the woman thrown in the midst? He did not address her as or see her as, the woman caught in adultery. He saw the act as sin, something that every other person standing there was guilty of in their own way.  Jesus simply comforted her by saying; I do not accuse you. He called her sin, sin, and told her to keep moving forward and not to do that anymore.  It is my heart’s cry to send that same message to you as you read this book.  This thing, this adultery, is what you did; it is not who you are. Jesus sees you as who you really are. Righteous, pure, and spotless in Him. It goes against all of our feelings and it goes against the judgements of others. It takes faith to believe it is true and to line yourself up to it, but cling to its truth as much as you are able and ask God to help you with your unbelief regarding it.

He simply says; go and sin no more. He still calls it what it is: sin. David said in Psalm 51, “Against you [God], you only, have I sinned.” This was after David committed adultery and had the woman’s husband sent into battle, knowing that he would be killed. But God forgives us when we ask, when we turn away from walking in the direction of sin, and turn to Him again. His Holy Spirit was left here for us as a counselor, comforter and a keeper of what God has entrusted to us until the day of redemption.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). I choose every day to believe this is true, to cling to Jesus, and to walk in truth. As I have done that, He pulls off the grave clothes of my sin and lets me dance in freedom. God does a thorough job of cleansing and healing our wounds. He always wants us to heal and is always ready to reveal deeper things about Himself through our situations. He is the great physician and the lover of our souls, and He knows every hair on your head. Put your head in His kind hands, and lay in the lap of His love and freedom.

Let’s Pray!

 Father God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, thank you for your unfailing love to me. Thank you that it is your kindness that leads to repentance, and that your mercy is new every morning. Thank you that you are so slow to anger, but so rich in mercy. Thank you that you trust me to make the right decisions and the right choices. Thank you that you have plans to prosper me and not harm me. Thank you that you have a future and a hope for me. Thank you that you want to use me in the lives of others to lead them into truth by your Holy Spirit. Thank you that you love me with an everlasting love, that you will build and rebuild me. Thank you that you never tire of or give up on me; you are always waiting with your arms open and expectant. Thank you that there is rejoicing in heaven when one of your children repents. Thank you that what the enemy intended for evil can be turned for good by your supernatural power and that you cause all things to work for good for those who love you and who are called according to your purpose. Thank you that if I suffer while I do good, it is used for your purposes. Thank you that there is now therefore no condemnation in Christ Jesus! Thank you that I can walk in right standing with you, by what Jesus has accomplished on the Cross. Be glorified and magnified through my life, Amen.

Thank you for reading<3 You can read more in my new book: That’s Not Who You Are, available on Amazon

What A Smile Can Bring

Several weeks ago I went to the store and ran into a wonderful little boy! We “met” in the area where you get a cart and his exuberance with his grandmother made me smile. He noticed me and pointed out something that was recently added to the carts for baby carriers. I engaged in his curiosity with a little response and then we went on our separate ways into the store.

After about 10 minutes I ran into him and his grandmother again. He said something like; Hey, it’s you again! And I talked with him a little bit as I was picking out herbal tea, asking him if he was being a good helper. Then I said; “hey, you have a great rest of your day!” He excitedly replied; “You have a great rest of your day too!!”…in his 4 year old voice. Running into him really brightened my morning!

A few weeks after this occurred, I was teaching at a local health event. One of the participants came up to me and said; do you recognize me? And I did, but couldn’t place where I recognized her. She told me she was “the grandmother” from the store, that memorable day, weeks before. She said her grandson liked me because I smiled at him! I loved that we had the opportunity to re connect because, I kept thinking of that little boy, Tucker! I got to meet his mother at that event and tell her what a wonderful, pure and honest, little person she is raising!!

His grandmother ended up ordering some Aromatherapy products from me that she needed to stop by my house to pick up and guess who was with her ( I knew he was going to be coming ahead of time:) He is an energetic and enthusiastic boy and it felt like we were old friends catching up for a minute!!

Don’t you love when you have those “divine moments” in life? When you know, for what ever reason, things slow down and you are supposed to meet someone? That is how I feel about Tucker. I may never see him again, but we were supposed to meet. You never know why you are at the exact place at the exact time you meet the people you do. But I have been realizing if I slow down a bit and pay attention, God has a bigger picture going on..who knows what a smile can bring?:)

The Idol Of False Comfort

I had the opportunity to preach at The Oil City Vineyard Church, yesterday, on St. Patrick’s Day!

The topic was; The Idol of False Comfort, given during an ongoing series called, Counterfeit Gods, where we search our hearts during this season of reflection before Easter. It is a subject that I have learned a lot about on my own journey of good and poor choices.

I hope it is helpful to you as you, also, walk your path of wholeness! check it out, here:

https://www.oilcityvineyard.org/sermons
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Clothe Yourself With Love

Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony, and let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts.

Colossians 3:12-14

As I was thinking about Valentines Day this week with all of it’s chocolates, roses and love, is it just me, or do you find that the world, in all of it’s tolerance, is less sweet, less loving…less tolerant? The man who wrote these words, was himself, in chains in a prison. He is imploring a church in Colosse to forgive and make allowances for other’s faults and offenses. He is showing, with word pictures, how to walk in love toward a fellow human being. I think if he was able to do this, we must have something we can glean from it.

These words are every bit as important today as they were in Rome, back in 60 AD. This is easier said, than done, don’t you agree? Every day I have opportunities to forgive and not be offended, but because living Christ is my core value, I find ways to lean into the pain and align myself with the truth that Paul wrote here.

I have found Brene’ Brown’s books to be so helpful and practical in areas of vulnerability and relationship. We all, ultimately, want to be understood and want to keep communication going- it’s loving, it’s kind. In Dare To Lead, Brown write’s about recognizing when you are emotionally hooked by something. You know, the times where you feel like you are coming out of your skin, the times you cannot get the conversation to quit playing in your mind, the times when you are hurt, angry, confused, pissed, scared, etc, and times when you even feel sick or have other physical manifestations.

She states in her research that: knowing when you are emotionally hooked and then getting curious about it is the important first step. The getting curious piece is about asking yourself questions concerning the irritation. What is underneath my response? What am I really feeling? What part did I play?

She uses tools like, slow, metered breathing and writing in the process to slow the winds and calm the seas. I have been a long time journal- er and I have learned the value of deep breathing in vocal lessons and singing, but combining these two things in times of emotional confusion have been empowering to me.

When I combine these practical tools with wanting to do the best I can as a human, I find I am drawn to the image of clothing myself in love and tender hearted mercy. I believe we must have necessary, difficult discussions, but leaning into the pain and doing it right not only strengthens us, it sets others up for success in the process.

We are often so rushed, we do not take time to consider how we can clothe ourselves with gentleness and love. Just as you take time to pick out your clothes for the day and look at yourself with them on, ask yourself what being clothed in tender hearted mercy and love would look like on you and how you can wear them today. Maybe it is simply smiling and being cheerful. Maybe it is thanking the person who makes your coffee. Maybe it is telling your co worker when they do a good job. Maybe it is telling your spouse thank you for the little things they do everyday. Maybe it is taking care of something that someone else forgot to do and not telling them about it. Maybe it is buying groceries for a single mom working her tail off trying to make ends meet. What ever the situation, love covers and has an extraordinary, self- less aroma!

I am right here walking this road of wholeness with you and I would love to hear from you today<3

Turning 50- Beauty Much Deeper Than Skin.

I just turned 51 last week and had another extraordinary facial with Doug! Thought I would re post this blog from last year as I continue to depend on the inward beauty, even when I take care of the outside<3

Honest Aromas

20180112_172202                                                                                     facial by Doug Larrow

Simply Skin, Clarion, PA

Wow! I used to think people were so old when they were fifty! I mean, in 5 years I could live in a 55 and over community like my parents used to…that’s so weird!

Here I am, it is what it is, I am what I am! I went to the Chiropractor the other day and he said; “Aren’t you so glad you started taking care of your self when you did, it shows! You don’t look older than 35”! I love that man!!

Seriously, I have learned that I do care about how I look but over the years…

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