Grey brick wall and cement ground with a bright blue door in the middle of the wall.  A shadow of a person reaches for the handle on the door.

[spp-tweet tweet=”If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it. – Genesis 4:7″]

The 4th chapter of the book of Genesis tells the story of two men who took very different paths in life.  These men were the brothers Cain and Abel.  The Bible says that Abel brought a sacrifice to God of the best of his flock, while Cain brought the leftovers of the crops that he grew.  God looked favorably on Abel’s offering, but rejected Cain’s.

This is the backdrop for what would come next and where I want to focus. Cain became very angry with the Lord and God responded.

Genesis 4:6-7 (NIV) reads:

6 Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”

Because of his jealousy, Cain killed his brother and suffered the consequences of that action for the rest of his life. However, let’s look at this scripture from a different angle: doesn’t sin crouch at our doors every day? And are we not called to crucify the flesh every day, so that we can live for God?  (Galatians 5:24)

God calls us to be masters of our sin and slaves to Christ.  The important question is how exactly we can do that faithfully, every day.  One of the first things to ask yourself is this: in what area am I not submitting to Christ’s authority? I ask myself this often, and I find that it pops up as I go through out my day.  Am I letting my thoughts rule me, instead of me taking each and every single one of the blasted things captive? (2 Corinthians 10:5)

Cain let his bitterness rule him, and in the end, he killed his own flesh and blood out of anger. Do we do the same? Jesus said that if you hate someone in your heart, you have already murdered them. (Matthew 5:21-26)  Hmm, that sounds a little convicting doesn’t it? What about lust?  Our Lord said that if you lust after a woman you’ve already committed adultery in your heart.

There are many more examples I could give that the Lord speaks to, but you will find one common theme with all of them – it starts with the heart. The Bible says to guard your heart, because out of it comes the wellspring of life. (Proverbs 4:23)  It is in our heart that we decide daily whether we are going to serve God or serve our sin.  Cain learned this the hard way but luckily, we don’t have to.

I hope this was helpful to you, and you can always contact me if you have any questions.

In Christ, Teresa Blaes

 

 

Holy Week Reflections

I remember it like it was yesterday. I had just come in to town to live in New Mexico and it was around Christmas time.

On the way home I had asked my mom if she had heard of the left behind books.

She started to say no, then answered yes. She then got riled up, and asked me if so and so had ben teaching me religion? I answered that we had talked about it, and indeed we had, my former English teacher and her family had had more than a few conversations about God and this belief of Christianity.

My mom’s reply, “I don’t apreasheate that, I taught you about religion!”

This conversation came before I had personally made a commitment to Jesus myself, and it hit me that if I chose to take this path myself my family would not approve at all.

I bring this story up from my past as we enter Holy week, and as we consider the life, death and resurrection of our Lord, I ask this question, what does this mean? If Jesus was truly raised from the dead, then what does this mean to us, here now, today?

Well, to answer that, lets look at the disciples.

Before Jesus called them, they were a bunch of rag tag men, who had nothing in common, and who in some cases hated each other, IE the zealot and the tax collector who at that time were enemies. The zealots felt that if you became a tax collector for Rome, you had sold out the Jewish people, and that was just the beginning. Yet this was not the only thing that described this group of men, they were brash, quite willing to see the fire of God come down and torch people and they just didn’t get it no matter how many times Jesus tried to explain it.

In contrast, look at the apostles after they had seen the risen Lord. History shows that they were willing to do anything, say anything, and were willing to face anything, including death in the cruelest of ways, because they truly believed that he was alive.

Were they just confused, perhaps lying, maybe but would they have died for a lie? Especially under the threat of torture? Somehow, I don’t think so.

As I sat in that car and understood what would be asked of me if I chose to follow Jesus, certainly nothing like the disciples, but I would have to make choices that did not sit well with my family. And as it turned out, I was right. When I did follow Jesus, it was not received well, to put it lightly.

So, with this all said, I ask you this. How far are you willing to go, when you examine Jesus’ events during this week, and his death burial and resurrection, how much does that mean to you, and how far are you willing to go to live for him?

I am subscribed to the Voice of the Martyrs podcast, and I am reminded weekly through their stories, that there are believers all over the world who daily suffer, and give their lives for his name.

How much does Jesus mean to you, how much does he mean to me? Only each one of us can answer that in our own heart.

As we enter this holy week, , take time to ask yourself just how much his death on the cross means, and even more so, his resurrection from death. If he were to ask it of you, would you give him your all?

I hope this has stirred some thoughts.

In Christ,
Teresa Blaes.

 

Right Place Right Time

In 2006 Mike and I had something happen to us that we will always remember and I wanted to tell you about it, as a reminder that sometimes God puts us in the right place at the exact right time.  

You see we lived in El Passo Texas and we were both wanting something to drink, so we decided to walk down to the corner store. It was somewhere around 10, 11 at night. We had made this trip a million times before, but this time as we were walking in, there was a guy on the phone, and he was screaming, and yelling we naturally wanted to get in and out, and avoid the situation.  

Well, we made it out of the store drink and snacks in hand, and made it about half way across the parking lot when I destinctly heard the guy yell loud enough that anyone who was there at the time could have heard him, “mom, I don’t have anywhere else to go!” Well, this changed everything, you see right after that, I heard the voice of the Lord tell me you have some space, you can let him stay the night. I looked over at Mike about to say something, and he said “I just heard the Lord tell me You have some flore space”  

Well, that settled it, not only did God tell me what he wanted, but he confirmed it with my husband.  

I was not planning on having a house guest, but aparently God had other plans. So, we approached the guy on the phone, and offered to give him a place to stay. As it turned out he had just come down off a crack high and he needed a lot more than a place to stay, he needed help, the kind only our Lord can offer. We talked to him, fed him, and told him about the Lord, then prayed. I can honestly say that as Mike and I went to sleep that night, we were praying to God this guy wouldn’t kill us in our sleep or something.  

I wish I could tell you that this story had a happy ending, and that he is now all better, honestly I don’t know what happened to him, you see we took him to a home that helped people get off the drugs and any other adictions in their life, but he did not stay. He was not ready to receive the help that was offered him at the time, and so he left.  

Why do I tell you this story? Not to earn our own glory, but because this is a perfect example of what can happen when you are used by God, he will make cool things happen. Was our letting Jake stay the night a bad thing? No we were serving the King, and that is never a bad thing. And who knows, he may have come to Christ later in life, I don’t know.  

What I do know, is that we were at the right place at the right time, and if you are willing to be avelable, God will do the same kind of thing with you. Maybe, its not letting someone stay the night, maybe, its just handing out a cup of cold water, or a bite to eat. Maybe, its offering a smile and a encouraging word to someone who needs it. The point is, when you do something, do it as if you are doing it for the Lord.  

Jesus even spoke to this, when he said these words. “When I was hungry you fed me. When I was thirsty you gave me something to drink, and when I was in prison you came to visit me.”  

Lets make the choice, and go out and do what we can for our Lord.  

God Likes Fixer Uppers

This past weekend, and even this past week has had a myriad of emotions, questions of God, and learning how he works.

Starting the week, I attended a conference the southwest Pastors and leaders conference I also got to meet up with a dear friend and spend some time with her and her family.

The conference was good, in some places convicting, I will likely cover my take always on a future article, or podcast.

However, coming back and dealing with the normal tiredness that comes from travel, and going in to a weekend, our house flooded do to a water pipe busting. By the end of this, we had an inch and a half of water cover over 90 percent of our house.

God protected us however, and we didn’t lose much save some papers and some cardboard boxes.

As it turned out, we had just bought some tickets to see Toby Mac in concert, and our pastor came to check on the flooding situation, and basically insisted that we go ahead and go.

While out of town I found that no matter how much I tried, my nerves were stretched to their breaking point, and I found myself asking How can I be a good witness for God when I keep screwing up?

I kept losing my temper, going off on people, and then feeling like crud every time it happened, because of the burning desire to serve him and show him to everyone I meet.

Yet, even in all this, in all the screw ups, the circumstances that seem to spin out of control, in all of it, I noticed something that is often written in the Bible, yet it is often forgotten.

2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Now, Paul wrote this from a prison cell, and he was asking God to get rid of a thorn in the flesh we don’t know what that thorn was, though many have ideas of what it might have been, due to other things he has written in other parts of the bible.

However, God said My grace will give you what you need for the day.

In other parts of the bible, it says that God has new mercies for us every morning.

What’s the point?

God won’t leave us to scrounge on our own, he has plans for us, every day, plans for us to walk in what he has laid out. Will we screw up? You better believe it, we are fallen creatures, who every day need his Forgiveness. And the fact is, that God every day will extend forgiveness because of his love for us, and his son’s death on the cross.

Yes, but what happens when I Sin?

Jesus covered that by his blood, so when we find ourselves struggling, because we did it again, even if we so hate that thing we did, it doesn’t mean that we are left to our own devices. Nor does it mean that we are too screwed up to be fixed. God won’t leave us to hang, he gets us even better than we get ourselves.

These are things that God is repeatedly teaching me as I walk with him. Some days I get it, other days, all I can taste is the guilt and failure of my sin and shame and even through this all, God’s love covers a multitude of Sins.

I am reminded of what God tells my husband Mike every time this topic comes up, sometimes Mike will ask God why he likes to hang around us humans? And God’s answer is so uniquely him, and yet I think it truly says it all. “I like fixer uppers.”

I hope this was helpful to you, take heart, God is not done with you, or me, or anyone who has named Jesus Christ as Lord and savior.

In Christ, Teresa Blaes.

Understanding Riddles

Has anyone ever tried to read the Bible more specifically the Gospels and seen what Jesus said and did and came away with this feeling, this guy speaks in riddles, he’s just plain odd or weird. I know I have, I mean lets consider his actions and sayings for a moment shall we? “if anyone wants to come after me, they must deny themselves, take up their own cross and follow me.” Ok, so your saying, we have to die in order to follow you? Many have taken this to believe die to our own wants and desires in order to seek after his. Still, he’s asking something that on its face is just a bit strange if you consider it.

“I did not come to bring peace but a sword.” Really? That’s not a good calling card, not the best way to build a following, saying that families will be divided

Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God.” OK, this is something we can get ahold of, that one makes sense. Want to see God? Be pure in heart. I’m not saying it’s easy, but its something that we can start with.

“in the kingdom the last will be first, and the first will be last.” What? OK, does Jesus make a rabbit of making contradictory statements?

However, his statements were not the only thing that were weird, his actions were as well. Consider in the upper room, and he gets up from the table, and goes to wash his disciple’s feet. Peter who was one of his friends, speaks up, “Lord  are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus being his rather odd self-answers “if I do not wash you you have no part of me.”

Peter realizing that what Jesus is doing is something that a lowly servant would be tasked with. He doesn’t want that, not by the one he believes to be the Son of God, so he speaks up, “Lord, not just my feet, but my hands and head also.” In other words, hey, don’t do a servant’s job, if your going to do that, give me a bath.

Now Jesus did eventually explain his actions by saying “just as I have done for you so you should do for each other.” However this was such an odd thing for him to do, but it was not as odd as how Jesus ended his time on Earth.

If you look at Jesus and how he died, and why he died, this I believe is the most odd, the most weird, because Jesus died as the bible says died for us, while we were yet sinners. And further that we love him, because he first loved us. Lets face it, He didn’t die for us because we were chasing after God, or even interested in him, he didn’t die for us because we had things figured out, and just needed an extra push to get in to Heaven, he died for us, when we were hateful, sinful, in some cases angry at God he died for us when we were as far away, as anyone could be, and yet he chose to die for us.

And this death, this choice was accepted by God the Father, by Jesus’s resurrection from the dead on the third day.

Does this all sound weird to you? I get it. Jesus when first looked at can be a bit odd, but I challenge you to get to know him. He is a bit different, but he did something for you that no one else could do, he loved you so much that he made a way for you to get in to Heaven, and gave you a way to overcome the curse and power of Sin.

The bible says in romans 8:1 “if we confess with our mouth and believe in our heart that Jesus is Lord, and that God raised him from the dead we will be saved.” This is the gospel in a nut shell, the fact that we are Sinners, in need of a savior, we could not please God on our own, and so Jesus ied for our sin, paying a price we deserved to pay.

If you have read this far, and know this to be true, that you are a Sinner, and you want to come to get to know Jesus as savior, you can do so at any time, by praying something like this.

God, I am a sinner, I have done a lot of things wrong in my life, and I can not do things on my own to get right with you. I need a savior, and I believe Jesus died on the cross for my Sin, paying my price and was raised from the dead, and that he will return one day. I accept his sacrifice on the cross for my sin, and ask him in to my heart. Thank you Lord for what you did on the cross, I love you, and want to follow you.”

If you have prayed that prayer then the bible says that if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old things have passed away, and everything is made new. The bible also says that God no longer sees your Sin, but you now are right with him, because of Jesus paying your price.

I hope this has ben helpful to you, and if so, please leave a comment below

God bless, Teresa Blaes

 

killing Idols

For I do not call you servants I call you friends, for a servant does not know what the master is doing. John 15:15

In talking about friendships I find the subject to be very dicey My history in dealing with friendships has ben murky, or rattled with land mines to say the least. First of all, letting people get close has ben a risk that I have ben reluctant to take because of an experience I had years ago, as a teen ager

I had just come to know Jesus and a year and a half later, was finally able to find a church, and get involved with it. What was the problem? There was a friend I had made named Alason I saw in her at the time something I wanted, she was the rebelish sort of Christian, loved the metal seen, dressed it, and was completely sold out for Jesus. This came at a time when I wanted God, I hungered and thirsted for him, but I also needed the validation that my choice to follow him, was the right one, given I had not received this in my own family. What was the problem in this need?

I turned my need for reassurance on to this new found friend, instead of receiving my affirming for acceptance from Jesus himself. This had a horrific trickledown effect, ruining the relationship, and in the end I ended up having to leave the church youth group, because when God tried to remove her from my life for my own good, instead of letting him do his work, I clung on for dear life to my idol.

As a result, this was a witness against the God I claimed to served before my family, I spent years trying to figure out where I had screwed up, and have delt with the guilt of it for a very long time. This experience also two other nasty effects, that I still struggle with today.

First I am nervus to let anyone get close to me, and if they do, my question in the back of my mind, am I going to screw up where they have to leave, am I just toxic to friendships?

The second and perhaps the worst effect on this, is my understanding of a friendship with God Jesus says that he calls us a friend, not just a servent. My first reaction, Uh right I don’t know that I’m good at the friendship thing. I tend to screw those up so how, can I be a friend of God? What does that even look like?

The Lord has ben bringing this up in my life both through conversations and through books I am reading and podcasts.

The first thing I had to do is ask forgiveness for seeking validation in friendships with people, that can not offer that, when it is Jesus I needed to be turning to.

Second I needed to ask his help, and healing in this area I will not say that I am fully healed, but I can say that Jesus and I are working on it together.

I wrote that story to ask you this, what are you turning to, to seek reassurance? You may not be religious, you may not even believe in God, but you do turn to something, weather it be sports, food, drugs, sex, or some other addictions. Maybe, you are the sort of person who loves to game for hours on end, or maybe, you just want to party it up? The fact is that these things no matter what they are, will never fill you completely, and they will never take away that hunger you have for eternal things.

The Bible says that God has written eternity in to our hearts, and the only one, who will ever fill our deepest need is Jesus

And what is our deepest need? First and formost from the cure of Sin and death. He provides that at the cross, and by his raising from the dead on the third day

For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that who so ever believes in him will not parrish but have ever lasting life. John 3:16.

If you are a Christian, then I have a question for you, what are you turning to to fill you, instead of God? He says that he wants a relationship with you, he didn’t just come to die and raise from the dead, and then to leave us alone, he wants to walk with us. And as odd as it sounds, he says he wants to be our friend, and even our lover, for it says in the word that Jesus is the lover of our soul.

I will not write this, from a stand point of having things figured out, I have just reacently prayed that God would show me how to be his friend so trust me, this is a journey, but one I am willing to walk. How about you? Are you willing to examine the idles in your life, lay them down, and ask God to affirm you in those areas where you need healing in your life? I hope so, and I will be praying that you find what you need in him.

If you have any questions, or anything to add, please leave your thoughts in the comments

God bless, Teresa Blaes

Is there still light?

So this last week I went to church, and was listening to our pastor, and as he was, there was an area where I was well, in Christianese they like to say convicted, but I prefer to say I had my mail read.

So here’s the thing. I am an entrepreneur, and through a set of circumstances, lost some money. I won’t go into the details, however, this led to a whole host of questions, and a realization.

What had I done wrong? Where did I screw up?

And the realization, I had taken the business out of the Lord’s hands, and run it myself, and he had stepped back and taken his hands off, let me run myself in to a brick wall, until I realized my fault.

This lesson came at a nasty, hard price, and I by no means will tell you I have everything figured out when it comes to trusting God with things like your business.

You work so hard, to do things right, offer value, and create offers that will serve your market. However, the biggest problem, the Word says that if the Lord does not build a house, it will not stand.  Psalm 127 What then does it look like when you are doing things right, when you are trusting in the Lord?

For that I want to go back to the launch of Unresolved. You see, this was his idea to begin with. Every single step in going forward was bathed in prayer, and admittedly there was a bit of second guessing along the way.

 

However one of my dear friends, Janet who appeared on episode number 1 on the podcast has often said this to me, “If there is light take another step. If there is still light, keep going.” The idea is that in a dark room, the Lord is kind of like a candle shining in the darkness. If you walk with in the area where his light is, you’re fine. The moment you step out on your own, well, that’s when you start taking control into your own hands. Trust me, I have been guilty of this way more often than I want to admit.

What does this mean? Sometimes, you have to step out and just take a chance. That doesn’t mean however, that you take things in your own hands, you have to take the chance with in the guide of your Father in Heaven. Anything more than that, and you will stumble around in the dark.

So, the question I have for you is this, in what area are you hanging on to control? In what area have you said Hey God, I know your God, but I got this, don’t worry about it?

Prov 3:5-6 says “trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding. Acknowledge him in all your ways, and he will direct your path.”

Easier said than done, I know.

Psalms 119:1

“your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”

Apparently, God has a few things to say about guiding us step by step if we just let him.

In conclusion, I will not pretend I have this letting God guide and lead down solid, far from it. However, I just wanted to take some time and offer what God is showing me. Or, as the Bible says that we are His workmanship, created for good works, I wanted to show what God is working in me, all be it slowly.

If you have any thoughts on this, please feel free to leave them.

God bless, Teresa Blaes

Killing Fear

fear-617132_960_720

So, this site, and adjoining podcast has been quite a journey to get
up and running. I am going to be quite blunt, and say that I have
faced spiritual attack, after spiritual attack. I wish to point to one
of them now that happened just recently, and explain how I dealt with
it, so that it can be a help to someone who may be fighting their own
battles.
I had ben needing to record an episode and I sat down to do so I had
been struggling all day as it was, because my mind was not in a good
place, but when I sat down to record, this feeling intensified about
10 fold.
This showed itself by a feeling like I had a pit of snakes writhing in
my gut, a complete fear, that I could not shake. Eating was out of the
question, and all I could do was pray. I began to sweat, and my head
was pounding. It was in this condition that I was attempting to
record. So, I did the following.
First, I reminded myself that God has not given me a spirit of fear,
but of power love and a sound mind.
Second, I reached out to a good friend, and asked them to pray,
explained the situation.
I was able to get the recording done, but the feelings did not lift.
In fact, they continued in to the next morning, when I in my morning
devotionals came across this psalm, 91, where it talks about not
fearing the night terrors at night, or the arrows that fly at you
during the day.
This psalm went on to explain that it is God who covers you under his
wing. It was after this reading, and some prayer, that this thing this
fear finally lifted.
What you ask was I afraid of, of launching this very site which was
odd in itself given the fact that I am an entrepreneur who builds
websites for a living.
I write and explain my battle with fear, and all that goes with it, in
hopes that someone hear can read this, and understand two truths,
first, in the Bible the Lord commands that we fear not, or do not be
afraid. Second, that greater is he the Lord Jesus than he who is in
the world.
While I didn’t realize it then, I know that God is still good, even
when I am afraid… The fact is, God is bigger than fear, emotion,
everything. Sometimes you have to remind yourself of that, and then
take authority over these things.
Is this helpful to you? Do you have any thoughts? Please leave them in
the comments.
God bless, Teresa Blaes

Page of Eternity

Oh Lord my god,

How majestic is your name.

That By your hand,

the stars are set in place.

yetWho am I, that you would think of me?

a speck on the page of eternity.

The heavens declear your glory

And the rocks would cry out

Were I not to praise

But who am I,

That you would think of me?

A speck on the page of eternity.

I am chosen in you,

loved by you,

called for you,

I am yours..

 

 

Psalm 8

 

In Due Time

Relinquish your bitterness,
Else you’ll be drinking the poison
meant for your enemy
Don’t be the next victim,
eaten alive

stop the chatter inside your head,
else you’ll be disconnected
out of focus,
needing to be realigned

for too long ,
you’ve awakened
many a sleepless night,
ever chasing after
the reason why

yet take a moment,
a step back,
was it  grace that erased your past?
And mercy that saw you repentant,
Can you  forgive them?
That doesn’t mean acceptance,
Or justifying their crime.
God will bring justice
In due time