Archives

Willing to BE Willing

Many times and in many ways, I have thought about how my CHOICES make my life happy or sad. In my post in the forum at Koinonia Institute, I was asked “When did Jesus “choose” you? Tell us something about your experience and walk with God.” This is what I said:

Jesus did indeed CHOOSE me before He created the world. My family is filled with generations of godly men and women serving Christ by making good CHOICES. For that, I myself am richly blessed. My mother was especially instrumental in bringing me to a place in my life that I began to CHOOSE to “love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:36)

In 1984, pregnant with my second child, I reached the end of my struggle to live without allowing Jesus into EVERY aspect of my life. I was hopeless and helpless but God was faithful. My mom led me in a prayer to ask Jesus to give me her faith and her hope and, most important to me, a willingness to serve Him with my whole life. I had been unwilling up to this point to trust Jesus completely, although intellectually I had acknowledged Him as my Lord and Savior. On that day, I CHOSE Him.

Like David, I heard the Lord say to me, “CHOOSE for yourself,…” (1 Chronicles 21:11 NKJV) And like David, I said,  “I am in great distress. Please let me fall into the hand of the LORD, for His mercies are very great…” (1 Chronicles 21:13 NKJV) [emphasis added]

My journey to joy began with my CHOICE to pray for Jesus to make me Willing to BE Willing to let Him live through me. There have been many milestones, many rocks, piled on my altar to Him so that I could come back to that place and remember the things I learned. But by FAR the BIGGEST ROCK is the one where I laid down FIRST- that Willing to BE Willing rock so that Jesus could then be my ROCK.

And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, CHOOSE for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. (Joshua 24:15 NKJV) [emphasis added]

Sincerely, Julie Ashley

Neither do I condemn thee

When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?
She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more. [emphasis added]
Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

One of the things I learned from The GRACE REVOLUTION (Joseph Prince) is that once you receive His gift of no condemnation, you will have the power to break out of the cycle of defeat and experience the abundant life that Jesus died to give you!

In a forum post at Koinonia Institue, I talk about my struggles with living a life pleasing to God:
As Paul said in Romans 7:

“Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?”

Romans continues: “So then, I of myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.”

WHOA! I do not want to serve the law of sin. I am in the very same predicament as Paul. Thankfully, I am not left here. “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” Because Romans 8 follows Romans 7. And Romans 8:1 says, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

I love this commentary by Chuck Missler that I found at the Blue Letter Bible: http://www.blueletterbible.org/audio_video/missler_chuck/Rom/Romans_Vintage.cfm#No_Condemnation_in_Christ

Chuck explains that Romans 8:1 says we have no condemnation in Christ Jesus. PERIOD. Chuck tells us to put a period here and explains that Jesus Christ died for ALL my sins, from the point when I accepted him AND also ALL my sins subsequent to my commitment to Jesus Christ. ALL of my sins were FUTURE when Christ died on the cross and said, It is finished!!

Like Chuck, I will put a LARGE period at this point and remember that I have been made FREE of the Law of Sin and Death. Chuck says to strike the phrase “who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit” (He explains why in the commentary.) Also I will add a reference here to Galatians 2:20-21: “For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

So I have learned from GRACE* that we must do things in God’s order: In order to “go and sin no more” I must first remember that
“Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you.”

So by letting Christ live in me, I am able to love God with ALL my heart! So I say again: Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Sincerely, Julie Ashley

* See Joseph Prince devotional: The Gift of No Condemnatoin

Winter comes…

Many people, like me, struggle with depression and sorrow during the winter months. Important family holidays fall during the cold damp days of November and December, adding to the stress I am already feelilng.

It helps me to think completely through my situations when these feelings begin to try to settle in.

Below are some of my Winter meditations:

The Cold:
Born a southern girl, I embrace my Louisiana heritage, including the warm muggy days when only flopping in my cold pond water will give me relief. So the cold sneaks in around Haloween, backs off a bit and then teases me several times before slamming down for weeks at a time.

Instead of being unhappy about what is changing, I will focus on what remains the same: God’s Faithfulness:

While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease. Genesis 8:22

The Holidays:
Often I become anxious about meeting the expectations of my family during the holidays. Meals and Gifts are just a couple of things on my mind when I anticipate the holiday seasons.

Instead of wondering if there will be enough to go around and wondering what everyone is expecting, I will focus on letting go of my own expectations and enjoying the company of children and family members who take the time to fellowship.

Joy

Rejoice evermore. 1 Thessalonians 5:16

The LORD has commanded me to be joyful at all times. I am not a slave to my feelings so I will obey the LORD. and I will remember those who also struggle and pray for you, too.

Be JOYFUL! It is our strength.

Thinking Lessons: Go, dogs. Go! The light is green now.

There is a story I re-tell from Leslie Householder about life being like a journey. Leslie encourages you to keep walking in faith when it may seem like you are not making progress.

If you get in your car to go on a trip, she says, you would not turn around and go home because you came to a traffic light that was red. You'd wait until the light changed and keep going. Nor would you sit home waiting until all the traffic lights were green to start the trip.

So why would you want to quit on your goals when you have to pause or stop for whatever reason.

Proverbs 16:33 says "The lot is cast into the lap, but the decision is wholly from the LORD."

The LORD has a plan and his WORD never returns void.

As I meditated this scripture at work, I thought about my dreams and goals for this website, my books, my businesses and my family. It helped me to think about Leslie's illustration. There have been a few stop signs and red lights. Still, I will continue my journey toward my goals knowing that, "being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philipians 1:6

Let me tell you another true story. I discovered I had a flat tire when I was about to leave to go to work. My son, instructed by my husband and uncle, fixed the tire and replaced it on the car. I did not have much time to get to work and I prayed and thanked the LORD for his help. I was very grateful for the men in my life who helped me get started on the journey that day.

There are a lot of traffic lights on the sixteen mile path between home and work. This day, driving my little standard Cavalier (also a blessing from our uncle), there was NOT ONE RED LIGHT. The LORD let me know clearly that He is able to make ALL the TRAFFIC LIGHTS GREEN!

So trust Him. He knows what you and I need every day. He has a plan for your life and mine.

It is not a small thing to make that journey and KNOW that the LORD watches over you. It is not a small thing to feel His LOVE so strongly about every little thing in your life.

BE ENCOURAGED TODAY. You matter and the LORD has sent me to PRAY for YOU.

DO NOT WAIT UNTIL ALL THE LIGHTS TURN GREEN. STEP ON OUT THERE AND START.

We are NOT prey to the thief.

The last couple of years have been difficult on my flesh but Yeshua is always faithful.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
-Jesus (John 10:10) emphasis added

The thief is like a large black bird waiting to feed on the carcass. He is Satan, the enemy of God and the Sons of God. That thief and murderer will NOT feel sorry for you when one of his blows causes you an injury. Instead he will throw one blow to get you off balance and then attempt to hit you again before you can recover.

We have already been reconciled to God in Christ. We are not prey for the enemy. Be encouraged. Psalm 8 says…

O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.
From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon an the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?
You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.
You made him ruler over the works of your hands;
you put everything under his feet:
all flocks and herds,
and the beasts of the field,
the birds of the air,
and the fish of the sea,
all that swim the paths of the seas.
O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

ONE thought could SOLVE your problem…

My BROKEN GLASSES…

Broken Glasses

The solution begins with your thinking... One thought can lead to the solution


FIXED glasses…
ONE THOUGHT: small plastic aquarium tubing similar to stuff I see holding up sunglasses.
FIXED glasses

FIXED glasses


The glasses did NOT bother me most of the time. They bothered my son and my beloved spouse VERY MUCH.

We were at Walmart to see if they could fix them but alas, the optical center was closing and had one remaining customer. Before we left- we waited for a bit- I saw a sale table with a bunch of sunglasses and sunglass ropes on it.

MY ONE THOUGHT: At home I have some small flexible plastic aquarium tubing similar to stuff I see used to hold the sunglasses around your neck.

Now my glasses don’t fall off when I lean to the right… LOL. That’s NOT a political joke. {BIG GRIN HERE}

We’ve been going through some difficult times and so I remembered that when I was going through other difficult times, I had the resources to order a set of CDs from Leslie Householder. I am listening to my CDs again now. *PLEASE NOTE THAT THE LINK ABOVE IS AN AFFILIATE PROGRAM LINK. I recommend you check out almost everything Leslie Householder has but if you just have a few minutes, you should LISTEN to the STICKMAN presentation. I first listened to this presentation a couple of years ago on a sleepless day just after New Year’s. It was such a revelation to me and yet so CLEAR>