Learning to live.

Recently I celebrated my birthday. I again evaluated what living looks like. Last year, Being diagnosed with stage IV metastasized breast cancer raised a lot of questions inside my heart.

Questions like:
What have I accomplished in my lifetime?
Had I truly stepped out in those areas, I always thought I would have done so once I had time? What Does living look like?

With these questions swirling around my mind, I heard a word drop into my heart:

Living isn’t just crossing dates off a calendar and going from event to event or celebrating birthdays. Living is doing what you enjoy and doing and asking me (God) to join you. Do it for me, not the world.

Had I already forgotten these words? I always thought I needed to plug into a ministry of some kind for most of my adult life. And that mindset to ‘do’ ministry only causes me more internal demands. It is not that the “ministries” in themselves demand something from me; I place demands on myself.

That belief only made me scattered and frantic, trying to make a difference. This only caused me to be insecure with myself, and it became very evident to my husband and those around me.

Suppose three people speak into your life on the same day, each saying your value isn’t in performance. Then, maybe one should step back and reevaluate everything they are involved in.

This happened to me just this week. Even though the Lord dropped it in my heart last year, living isn’t striving; it’s being. Why is it so hard for me to learn this? Sure, we will one day give an account of what we did, good or bad. However, because the blood of Jesus redeems me, I’m unpunishable. What’s that I said? We are unpunishable.

This is a crazy mindset to get when we’ve been trained to follow the rules, and that emphasizes rules rather than relationships.

Again, I’m living with rules, to-do lists, and performance. When will we break this off of ourselves, or shall I say, when will I break free from this mindset?

Living my life. Who knows how many days we have here on earth? God knows, but I don’t. Last year, I started to declare that I will live out each day the Lord had written before the first day I breathed life.

Psalm 139:16 NIV – Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

Today, I am incredibly blessed with four sets of cancer-free scans, I get checked every three months.

The crazy thing is, was when I was going through treatment, I permitted myself to enjoy every day. Once my scans were clear, my mind was set on, It’s time to get busy!

And busy I got. A close friend recently asked me what things I’m involved in. After
I shared what I was passionate about and trying to do, and she asked me if I was Joan of Arc. She was serious with her question. I thought it was absurd for her to ask me that, but after honestly thinking about all I had mentioned, I realized this was ridiculous. Who do I think I am? And even felt somewhat embarrassed.

How did I again get my mind so entangled with performance? I never thought I placed my value in my title or what I did for employment. But now that I am not employed as the world defines it, I do not receive a paycheck, I feel embarrassed when people ask: what do you do?

What do I do? I am an author, and I am writing my third book. It is about what I learned, still learning, as I walk through the diagnosis I received last year. Many people would interpret my stage IV cancer as a death sentence, but in a sense, it was a gift for me to step back and reevaluate my definition of ‘living’ compared to how the Lord sees it. Today, I am stepping back again to remind myself of this.

The Lord encourages me to cultivate my creativity; I paint with words and am learning to paint with watercolors. It was even dropped in my heart to design and sell greeting cards to help pay for my writing endeavors.


We can get involved in many things, such as honorable causes and standing for righteousness. My sweet neighbor lady encouraged me to pick two things I enjoy doing and set my mind on doing those things without distractions (do only tasks that align with those two things). After three months, ninety days, see where you end up. If those two things you have been doing fulfill you, keep moving forward; if it doesn’t, pick two other things.

So here I am, fifty-nine years old and learning to live. Bottom line, when I meet God in heaven, I want him to say; Well done, my Georgia girl, Well done.

Creating a safe place to communicate.

For the next several posts, I will write about the things I ponder as I read a book called Culture of Honor by Danny Silk. Though I write about what I have gleaned, it does not necessarily mean I have adapted concepts fully into my life, but it is my goal. 

In the first chapter, I noticed the freedom of judgment with the confrontational senior described, which allowed the individual called to the “principal office” to think about the words he would say. Asking the right questions in the right tone is one of the keys to creating a safe place to talk.

Because of the redeeming blood of Jesus, we are called righteous. That isn’t because we have done things right; it is only because of Jesus.

When we get that into our mindset, we can converse more easily, knowing that we are loved, valued, and accepted no matter who is talking with us.

Honestly, how often do we talk to one another and think about the “right” thing to say to be valued or accepted?

Or, what about those moments of silence that make the conversation uncomfortable? I have often spoken for the person in those silent moments rather than giving them the respect to find the words to respond. When I did this, it interrupted the other person’s thought process. That kind of behavior only builds walls. Trust me, I know.

We need time to have conversations, especially those types of ‘talks’ when we need to clear the air. Sadly, most people are so busy that even texting a few lines is rushed.

We need to learn to speak in the right tone, and what about facial expressions? Oh, my goodness, I am horrible about that. I am going to be 59 years old, and just now thinking about my facial expressions and tone.

But even these things in my mind will make my conversation unnatural.

I asked the Lord what I needed to do to create a safe place for conversations. This is what I had gotten.

  • Stop being afraid to talk. Hebrews 13:6 (ESV) The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?  
  • Ask questions to understand. James 4:1-3 (ESV) What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. 
  • Quit asking with your assumed answer in your head. Proverbs 18:2 (ESV) A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.  
  • Even if you disagree you can have respect; everyone will be accountable to me (GOD) they are not accountable to you.

This last one reminds me of an attitude I had with another person. I was not showing respect because I was judging their behavior. At that moment, I asked the Lord, how can you keep up with this kind of outburst? The Lord said: Georgia, you are looking at this one moment in this person’s journey, and I can see the full journey and I am in it.

Wow, if God was in the moment, I must be standing outside the scenario with the accuser. After that, I didn’t have much to say except to ask for forgiveness for partnering with the accuser.

I understand that talking in our society is challenging anymore. But then again, isn’t that the plan of the enemy? To kill, steal, and destroy (Jn 10:10) everything, especially relationships.

My objective is to remember the things I read and wrote when in conversations, creating a safe place with the goal of understanding.   

The time between the burial and the empty tomb.

I sit here and imagine what it was like for the disciples when Jesus died. His body lay lifeless as they took his body off the cross. Their leader, the teacher, was dead. I can only assume they experienced significant loss, heartache, uncertainty, fear, and questions about what’s next. 

The disciples didn’t understand Jesus as the Messiah as we know Him. They thought that Jesus was going to be the leader to overthrow the oppression that was on the people. They spent three years following him. That’s over twenty-six thousand hours. And now their leader was gone.

Did they understand what happened the time between the grave and the empty tomb? Do we understand? I am ashamed to say that I briefly thought of it until today. Yes, we know that Jesus died for us, but do we really understand this? HE died. I know Him as part of the Trinity, so to get my head around the fact that he died (he was man) takes some deliberate contemplating.  

Hebrews 2:17,18

For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God and that he might make atonement for the sings of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

If we never understand that Jesus died, we will never know how we can live. There is so much ‘back story’ to cover. But to stay on the subject of what happened from the burial to the resurrection, we will not be covering it today.

Have you ever thought about Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane? I admit there are times when I read scripture with the mindset that Jesus was God. But if I do this, I am not getting the understanding that I need to fully appreciate what Jesus did for me and you.

HE GAVE HIS LIFE.

Jesus walked as a man, ministering and keeping the Covenant of God. He did what God said to do and honored God every moment of his life.

Jesus had to be a man born who could stand the test; the first man (Adam) failed. Death was never a part of the original plan of God for man. Death only became a part of the human experience after Adam fell into sin. Romans 5:12 When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned.

Man was the key to the fall, and Jesus was the key to the redemption. He was not an immortal Man. Jesus was pure, clean, absolute – the heart of God Himself walking inside an eternal body. If Jesus were not immortal, he wouldn’t have died. Immortality means “not subject to death.” Jesus became immortal at the resurrection.

Listen, Jesus was separated from God when he hung on the cross with our sins upon Him. Matthew 27:46 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? He experienced this separation so that we do not have to.

Jesus, once he died, deliberately went to the heart of the earth, Sheol, to legally get back what Adam forfeited.

Matthew 12:39,40

no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah, because just as Jonah was in the stomach of the sea creature for three days and three nights, so the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights.

His spirit descended into Sheol, the place of departed spirits. On the day of His death upon the cross, He went first to the place of the spirits of the righteous, called “Paradise” or “Abraham’s bosom.” Since the scripture indicates this at the death of Christ on the cross when he spoke to one of two thieves, it seems natural to suppose that Christ was in Paradise to welcome the departed spirit of the repenting thief who followed Him there.

From Paradise, Christ then went further down into that area of Sheol reserved for the spirits of the wicked. It would appear that His descent into this place of torment was necessary for Him to complete the work of atonement for man’s sin, since He had to endure in full not merely the physical but also the spiritual consequences of sin.

Then, at God’s chosen moment, when the complete penance had been accomplished, the spirit of Christ ascended again from the realm of Sheol to this present earthly world. At the same time, His body, lying lifeless in the tomb, was raised from death, and spirit and body were reunited and seen (Luke 24).

When we place our faith in Jesus, He takes our “law-breaking record” on Himself and places His perfect, sinless record on our account, making us righteous before God.

This Resurrection Sunday, I have a deeper appreciation of the ‘death’ and resurrection of Jesus. Let us worship our Redeemer! The Resurrected King of Kings and Lord of All.

The liar pulls at the threads.

Today, as I proclaimed Psalm 91, I got a nudge in my Spirit when I declared verse five.  

I will never worry about an attack

of demonic forces at night,

nor fear a spirit of darkness

coming against me.

Then I heard: That this statement is only sometimes true for you.

I stopped and thought about why the words wouldn’t be true. 

Then I heard; you have allowed a negative imagination about the people in your life to cause you to worry. You think the darkness of the world has more influence on the mindset of those people than the Holy Spirit. You believe they’re blind in different areas of their lives.

That’s been double-minded. You pray prayers of faith, asking for MY Spirit to stir in the hearts and draw them to me. Yet you have these imaginations authored by darkness to hang out in the subconsciousness of your mind. 

You have partnered with the lie. The lie that darkness is stronger than the Spirit that lives in you. How can this be my child? You’ve allowed this doubt and fear to elevate above my name. Do you believe that darkness can rise above your prayers? 

1 John 4:4 NLT

But you belong to God, my dear children.

You have already won a victory over those people (antichrist),

because the Spirit who lives in you

is greater than the Spirit who lives in the world.

Either you believe or you don’t. It would be best if you repented of this because a house divided cannot stand. 

Severe that cord of iniquity with your BLOOD-bought authority. Cut it off your children, and cut it off your grandchildren. It (negative imagination) will no longer be in your family line.

As I was processing this, I could imagine myself as a piece of fabric with many small fine threads sticking out. These tiny threads hanging out look innocent enough, but they destroy the fabric when they get pulled on. 

Threads in a fabric are often interconnected with one another, and when the liar tugs on those threads, the fabric becomes strained. In some cases, the thread may even break if pulled too hard. It makes me wonder, what if I am one of those threads in the Lord’s fabric? I wouldn’t want to cause undue pressure on the other threads by allowing the deceiver to pull on me.

I went before the Lord repented, renounced agreement with the liar, and cut off the lie in my subconscious. As I did this, I saw myself as soft cashmere, warm, inviting, and comfortable. Thank you, Lord, for showing me this today. 

So, do you entertain any evil Imagination against the people in your life?

2 Corinthians 10:4-5

For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds, casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,

Oaths, Vows, and Promises

Have we ever thought about the vows or oaths we’ve made in our lifetime? I have, and truthfully, I know that I have made vows and uttered oaths under my breath in ignorance.

This week in my reading, I paused and pondered lines found in the book of Matthew. Again, I reiterate that I am no Bible scholar, but these things come to my mind.

We are told not to take the name of the Lord our God in vain (Exodus 20:7). Reading in a book by Tony Evans, I learned that taking God’s name in vain is the opposite of hallowing it. The word “Vain” means empty or without meaning.

In the past, when I spoke, I swear to G-d…  you fill in the blank. I have not only taken God’s name in vain, but I have also unknowingly made a binding vow.

So, who knows about these vows and promises we have made? All of heaven (Deuteronomy 30:19). And not only heaven but also the accuser. Most of us know that we have an accuser who goes before the court of heaven to accuse the brethren; that would be us believers (Revelation 12:10).

Yes, we are covered by the Blood of Jesus, but what about our vows and oaths? Don’t you think those are binding? 

Sure, we can say; I didn’t mean that but read Matthew 5:33-37

Again, you have heard that it was said to an older generation, ‘Do not break an oath, but fulfill your vows to the Lord. ‘But I say to you, do not take oaths at all—not by heaven, because it is the throne of God, not by earth, because it is his footstool, and not by Jerusalem, because it is the city of the great King. Do not take an oath by your head, because you are not able to make one hair white or black. Let your word be ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no.’ More than this is from the evil one.

I believe these verses support that oaths are binding even when spoken foolishly in everyday conversation or privately. A promise is a promise, and there are no loopholes in God’s eyes to allow a person to back out on their word.

What if our very own vows keep us from moving forward in different areas of our lives? What about those sayings: “I cross my heart and hope to die”? Or even those pledges and promises we agree with our hands on the Bible? Do you believe it is only binding with those in the room when saying such things? Nope, again, we have all of heaven witnessing our words.

I remember when I was just sixteen years old, I was in the hospital hysterically crying. The doctor who was caring for me got right up in my face and said: “why don’t you just grow up and stop your crying.” In that moment, I made a vow, under my breath, that I would never cry again. And up to here recently, I struggled to cry. When I felt the emotion rise inside me, a few tears would steam down my face but would stop quickly and even though I felt the need to cry, the tears would never come. Then I started to believe that I was some cold person because I couldn’t show my tears when such emotions were expected. Thinking everyone around me thought I was some heartless person, I would become uncomfortable and excuse myself.

Spoken from a child confused, scared, and without comfort I made this vow. And this one (1) vow has caused me so much pain because I was unable to process sadness.

I ask you, do you want the vows you’ve made without ‘thinking’ to be binding in the heavens court?

So! What do we do about all the foolish words we have spoken in ignorance? What about the vows we have made and consciously know we have not carried them out?

HERE ARE THE STEPS THAT I TOOK

I went before the Lord, knowing that I can only do so because of the righteousness of Jesus, confessed that I had irrationally made an oath without knowing what I was doing, and asked God for forgiveness.

God is faithful and just and will forgive our sins.

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Then I looked deeper and noted any lies the accuser had bound me with my vow. I was a cold heartless person.

In the mighty name of Jesus Christ, I just said I cut off this bondage off my life. Seeing that sins are passed down generationally (Exodus 20:5), I declare in Jesus’ name that the bondage is cut off my children and grandchildren (and on, if it applies to you).

I then confessed to God that I didn’t even know about all the reckless vows I had made over the years, but asked that God nullify them with the blood of Jesus.

I then ask the Lord to slow my mouth down, ask Holy Spirit to give me wisdom before speaking, and thank King Jesus for his redeeming blood. These steps are done by faith.     

So, let us all “think” before we utter a vow or pledge.

Psalm 15

Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent?
    Who may live on your holy mountain?

The one whose walk is blameless,
    who does what is righteous,
    who speaks the truth from their heart;
 whose tongue utters no slander,
    who does no wrong to a neighbor,
    and casts no slur on others;
 who despises a vile person
    but honors those who fear the Lord;
who keeps an oath even when it hurts,
    and does not change their mind;
 who lends money to the poor without interest;
    who does not accept a bribe against the innocent.

Whoever does these things
    will never be shaken.