Tag Archives: Jesus Christ

Receive the Gift of God’s Joy

God is our source of JOY

Not feeling joyful this season? I know Christmas is not always a happy time for everyone. It was not joyous for me the year I lay in a hospital bed alone and sorrowful. Myjoy-1823939_640-1 body was encased in plaster and my leg in traction.

There was the year my father died on December 23 and our family spent Christmas Day in the car driving to New Jersey for his funeral. Years later my sister-in-law would lose her fight with cancer on this very day.

One Christmas Eve as our family was preparing for our celebration; my mother-in-law was rushed to the hospital only never to return home.

The sting of their absence over the years affected our Christmas seasons. We no longer participated in some of our Christmas traditions. Each season we remembered our loss.

And then joy entered our hearts again. Our grandson was born on December 23 and recovery came.

JOY is strength

Joy is not just the absence of suffering, it is the presence of God. There is joy in the season and the celebration, not because of our circumstances, but because Jesus is the Reason for the Season. Jesus came so we could find God’s joy in all things.

Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.          (Nehemiah 8:10b)

angel-564351_640If you find yourself struggling with sadness, anxiety, or loneliness at this time of year, Romans 15:13 is my prayer for you.

 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)

May you keep the hope of God’s joy in your heart all year long.

Merry Christmas!

Love, Maureen

Pray EasyThank you, Lord, for your hope that brings joy and peace to our hearts 

Join the conversation – If you enjoyed this post, why not subscribe and recommend my site to other broken people! I appreciate your comments – What is your most joyous Christmas memory?

Thanks for Sharing!  Follow me on Twitter: @Maureen_Hager

Like my Facebook Page: Maureen Hager – Out of the Brokenness

View my Pinterest Boards: Maureen Hager

 

Advertisements

Receive the Gift of No Condemnation

gift-1760869_640

Here we are in the season of gift giving. The excitement of Christmas and Hanukkah surround us. Are you excited about the perfect gift you found for a special someone? In your mind, you are rehearsing the joyful surprise of the blessing to come as you hand them their gift.

Jesus gave many gifts to those he called His sons and daughters. Among His many blessings, He is reaching out to you to receive His gift of No Condemnation.

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. Romans 8:1

In chapter 8 of the gospel of John, Jesus teaches about overcoming condemnation from others.

The scribes and Pharisees attempted to discredit and challenge Jesus by bringing a woman charged with adultery before Him. Adultery was punishable by stoning under the law of Moses. Jesus responded to those who judged her, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” Those who heard it, being convicted by their sins, dropped their stones and walked away.

When Jesus found himself alone with 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.”

The power to live a lifestyle free from sin comes from accepting the wonderous gift of Jesus taking on the condemnation for our sins. Now that is the freedom to walk in peace, joy, and faith, and to live the abundant life that Jesus came to give us!

And if the Son sets you free, you shall be free indeed! John 8:36

Pray EasyThank you, Lord, for the abundant gifts you give to your children.

Join the conversation – If you enjoyed this post, why not subscribe and recommend my site to other broken people! I appreciate your comments – Have you suffered condemnation by others?

Thanks for Sharing!  Follow me on Twitter: @Maureen_Hager

Like my Facebook Page: Maureen Hager – Out of the Brokenness

View my Pinterest Boards: Maureen Hager

Love and Blessings,
Maureen

Keep Your Focus on Jesus

Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that wfocus2as set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. (Hebrews 12:2-3 NJKV)

God does not want us just to glance at Him; He wants us to focus on Him. If we focus on Jesus and not the chaos in our world, we can choose to believe that the things that shape our world, do not have to shape our lives. What shapes our lives is knowing that God is alive  and working in our hearts as we focus our eyes on Him. Nothing can separate us from the love of God.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV)

When we face trials and tribulations, we can feel weighed down in our struggles. But remember that Jesus suffered all the way to the cross so we may have salvation from our sins. What are our trials compared to the agonies He suffered?

It is essential that as believers in Jesus we do not yield to distractions. Sure, every day the news is filled with disturbing images of killings and devastation. He will supply all our needs, bear our sorrows, and give comfort for our burdens. We can trust Him for protection and defense.

Are we willing to lay aside fears, worries or anything that seeks to drain us of our hope in Christ? Focus on Jesus – the author and finisher of our faith. His faith working in us will strengthen us until we see Him face to face in Heaven.

You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You. (Isaiah 26:3 NJKV)  focus

Pray-Button

 

 

Thank you, Lord, that nothing can separate us from your love. We can depend on your faithfulness, your promises, and your righteousness. We are redeemed by the blood of the Lamb!

Join the conversation – If you enjoyed this post, why not subscribe and recommend my site to other broken people! I appreciate your comments – What are the things that distract you from focusing on Jesus? 

Thanks for Sharing!  Follow me on Twitter: @Maureen_Hager

Like my Facebook Page: Maureen Hager – Out of the Brokenness

View my Pinterest Boards: Maureen Hager

Love and Blessings,
Maureen

 

Keep in Step With the Savior

followJesusThe Lord’s love for you is so abundant. He has prepared a way for you; now follow Him along the path that Jesus has walked before you. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. (Galatians 5:25) 

The fruit of the Spirit consists of nine visible attributes of the Christian life – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23) In your own strength, you cannot produce the fruit that comes from God. You first, must totally surrender your life to Jesus Christ.

If you have not begun your life in the Spirit, you can begin today. Follow Jesus, glorify the Lord and start to display God’s fruit. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in Him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. (John: 15:5)

So many people today call themselves Christians. How do you discern the truth of their actions? The Lord has given His guidance in (Matthew 7:16) You will know them by their fruits. 

fruitYou can evaluate the fruits of the Spirit in your life with this diagnostic checklist:

Love – Do you do for others as Christ has done for you OR do you give to receive something in return?

Joy – Do you experience joy on a regular basis OR does your joy depend on your circumstances?

Peace– Do you feel frazzled by turmoil in your life OR do you experience “the peace that passes all understanding” (Philippians 4:6-7)

Patience – Do you easily get irritated when things don’t go your way OR do you keep a godly perspective during trials?

Kindness – Do you serve others with kindness OR are you more focused on your own needs rather than letting the goodness of God overflow to others?

Goodness – Does your heart conceal dishonestly  OR  Does your heart reflect the character of God?

Faithfulness – Do you have areas of hypocrisy and indifference toward others in your life OR is your life characterized by faith in Christ and faithfulness to those around you?

Gentleness – Do you come across to others as brash and headstrong OR do you allow the grace of God to flow through you to others?

Self-Control – Do fleshly desires control your life OR do you allow the Spirit to direct you to the things that please God and serve others?

walk in peace

God promises that if you will turn away from your own desires, He will empower you through His Spirit to live the abundant life He has created for you.

Pray-Button

 

Thank you, Lord for the path you have prepared for me. Help me to keep in step with you and give evidence of the fruits of the Spirit within me.

Join the conversation – If you enjoyed this post, why not subscribe and recommend this site to other broken people. I appreciate your comments.  Are there areas in your life where you struggle to follow Jesus?

Thanks for Sharing!  Follow me on Twitter: @Maureen_Hager

Like my Facebook Page: Maureen Hager – Out of the Brokenness

View my Pinterest Boards: Maureen Hager

Love and Blessings,
Maureen

 

 

 

 

 

Keep Hope Alive While Waiting for Your Breakthrough

Hope - Miracles

There are times when our prayers can appear to go unanswered. We question if God even hears those prayers. But be assured, He is working on our behalf.

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV)

We can wait on God passively or expectantly. The passive person will eventually give up, believing they have waited long enough and nothing will change. They decide to learn to live with the situation. The expectant person continues to hope and expects the answer is coming at any moment, even though the waiting continues.

Do you believe that God will never fail you? Can you accept God’s timing and resist the temptation to reason it all out on our own? Can you live in hope and trust God who causes all things to happen at exactly the right time?

A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9 NJKV)

In the book of Genesis, we read about the story of Joseph. He waited many years for the fulfillment of the dream God gave to him. Joseph went through many difficult situations and waited in prison before the time came for God’s purpose to manifest itself. (Genesis 39:41)

I must confess that I had a passive heart regarding a health issue. In 1977, I contracted Hepatitis C through a blood transfusion while recovering from gunshot wounds in the hospital. It wasn’t until a few years later that I learned I was infected and developed chronic Hep C. This contagious liver disease results from infection with the Hep C virus.

For the past 39 years, I had endless blood tests, liver biopsies and doctor visits to monitor my liver. The only treatments available were difficult to endure and the success rate for a cure was low. I resolved to accept and adapt to living with Hepatitis C. I didn’t cry out in frustration, “When, God, when?” I simply grew tired of waiting.

Suddenly a new drug comes on the market and I am an excellent match for treatment. More tests, frequent doctor’s visits and endless paperwork followed, but this time I waited expectantly. And then one day, a box arrived on my doorstep containing my first bottle of medication. I prayed with thankfulness for the healing that would soon come. Psalm 103:3 promises that He heals all my diseases.

My latest test results revealed the virus is no longer detected in my blood. My breakthrough has come. Now I am focusing on other prayer requests that have seemed to go unanswered, for God is faithful. My faith has swelled with hope!

Pray-ButtonThank you Lord for your limitless power. Help us to wait patiently and expectantly to receive our breakthrough.

Join the conversation – If you enjoyed this post, why not subscribe and recommend my site to other broken people! I appreciate your comments – What answers are you waiting for in your life? How will you wait?

Thanks for Sharing!  Follow me on Twitter: @Maureen_Hager

Like my Facebook Page: Maureen Hager – Out of the Brokenness

View my Pinterest Boards: Maureen Hager

Love and Blessings,
Maureen

Are You Willing to Give the Lord the Key to Your Heart?

key to my heartHave you spent too much time in the valleys of life? Wouldn’t you like to walk in the freedom of Christ? Jesus’ shed blood on the cross paid the price to set us free.

Scripture tells us in Psalm 44:21b, For He knows the secrets of the heart.” God wants you to surrender control of your heart. I know this to be true because Jesus waited patiently for me, drawing me close to Him, at times lovingly chastising me along the path to discovering true freedom.

There was a time my heart had become hardened from pain and brokenness. My heart was locked inside walls of sorrow. I kept it protected from future pain, and I vowed never to let anyone or anything hurt me again. But, the Lord required me to hand over the key to my heart. He wanted access to all the locked doors.

Healing is a process. At times, I felt shackled to the weight of my sin. Guilt, shame and condemnation separated me from God’s healing. A hardened heart cannot yield to God’s plan of redemption. Jeremiah 29:11 states, For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Your hope is secure in the Lord’s hands.

God knows the secrets of the heart Slowly, God’s light came into the wounded places bringing with it hope and healing. At times the healing was painful, but I was never alone. Jesus was with me and bringing me out of captivity one step at a time.

Firsthand, I experienced the Lord’s steadfast love and His compassionate heart. He healed my broken heart, one shattered piece at a time. All that was required of me was to trust Him with the key to my heart.

Pray-ButtonThank you Lord for your compassionate heart to bring healing and freedom into my life.

Has your heart become hardened as a result of life’s trials? What areas do you need to surrender to the Lord?

Join the conversation – If you enjoyed this post, why not subscribe and recommend my site to other broken people! I appreciate your comments –

Thanks for Sharing! Follow me on Twitter: @Maureen_Hager
Like my Facebook Page: Maureen Hager – Out of the Brokenness
View my Pinterest Boards: Maureen Hager

Love and Blessings,
Maureen

 

A Sheep’s Reflection

I love this picture. Take a minute and study it with me; what do you see?

sheep reflection

Serenity, calmness, peace, and contentment all come to my mind. The Great Shepherd is calling us to rest beside the still waters.

While the Shepherd has much to do as He leads and chooses the path for the sheep to follow; the sheep have only to trust and follow the path He has chosen. He goes before them. “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” (John 10:27)

The Shepherd will always lead His sheep into green pastures and beside the still waters. However, we know the path to the pasture in not always smooth or easy. Yet, we can rejoice knowing we have a Shepherd, and in spite of our sorrows and cares in this world, the Lord’s sheep are well supplied!  Psalm 23

The Lord is my Shepherd

When you study your own reflection, what do you see?  You can choose to see your own shortcomings or you can choose to see the truth of God’s Word.

Do you feel insecure…You are secure “The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by Him, Who shelters him all the day long.           (Deuteronomy 33:12)

Do you feel discouraged… Encourage your heart Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work. (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17)

Do you feel lonely…You have a friend in Jesus I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. (John 15:15)

Do you feel brokenhearted…You are whole “He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds. (Psalm 147:3)

Pray-ButtonThank you Lord for completely accepting me. I am never alone – I am hidden under the shadow of your wings and I am the apple of your eye. Psalm 17:8

Join the conversation – If you enjoyed this post, why not subscribe! I appreciate your comments and I hope you will recommend my site to other broken people.

Thanks for Sharing! Follow me on Twitter: @Maureen_Hager
Like my Facebook Page: Maureen Hager – Out of the Brokenness
View my Pinterest Boards: Maureen Hager

Love and Blessings,
Maureen

 

Out of Brokenness and Into Wholeness

OUT_OFTHE_BROKENNES_LOGO_400JPG

Brokenness is a reality for all of us. It is natural for us to resist the heartbreak of grief, disappointment, and pain. Even so…the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ remains – there is hope and healing in yielding a broken, contrite heart to be molded by the hand of God. Your part is to give God all the pieces and to trust Him with His plan and purpose for your life. God’s part is to bring restoration. (Jeremiah 29:11-14)

I was a young teenager when my parents divorced. My mother left us in search of a better life. Consequently, my father had the task of caring for three children. Physically he was there, but he was absent in heart. Being the oldest child, a lot of household responsibilities were forced upon me.

I carried an overwhelming loneliness and emptiness in my heart. I sought escape from the pain and rejection by numbing myself with drugs.

In my quest to seek and find love and acceptance, I met Viggo, a member of an outlaw motorcycle club. The gang offered me a promise of excitement, drugs and a sense of belonging. I embraced the camaraderie of many new brothers and sisters, and I became Viggo’s property.

I carried an illusion of freedom within this new family. It wasn’t until I witnessed many injustices against others, that I realized I was slipping into a dark world without hope. I had no idea how I would escape the control the gang imposed on my life.

One evening, we quickly and discreetly fled from NYC authorities. With each passing mile, we were closer to entering a volatile gang war in Texas. Six nights later I would become a victim in their war.

In the early morning hours, several members of a rival gang stood outside the house where we were staying and opened fire. I was standing in the doorway facing the front windows when the shooting started.

Silhouetted by the light, they took aim at me and when the first shots rang out, I was hit immediately in my left arm. Fortunately, while I reached for the light switch, my arm crossed over my heart and became a protective shield. The bullet’s impact had thrown me, and before I hit the floor, another bullet lodged in my right thigh.

Hours later, I awoke in the intensive care unit of a nearby hospital. My right leg hung elevated in traction; my left arm was covered in a plaster cast. I was sure God was punishing me. As I lay motionless and silent, it occurred to me that all my searching for love and acceptance had brought me to this place. There was no escape from the pain and suffering or the uncertainty of the future.

For the next six months, I was completely bedridden. In another attempt to fuse my shattered bones, my doctor wrapped me in a body cast of plaster from my chest down to my ankle. It proved to be a futile attempt. Eventually, a surgeon fused the bones in my leg together using a bone fragment from my hip. As a result, my leg is permanently two inches shorter.

Determined to start a new life, I severed all ties with the gang. I was transported back to NJ and started a year of intensive rehabilitation therapy. Today, I have a limited range of motion in my arm and leg. Gradually, I learned to live with my disabilities. In fact, my doctors declared me a miracle!

When a friend invited me to attend a baptismal service at her church, I agreed to go because of the transformation I saw in her. Listening to the testimonies of others, the good news of the gospel filled my heart with hope. That night I asked Jesus to be my Lord and Savior.

In time, the Lord healed the bitterness and anger I held in my heart. Sin had its consequences, but His love has transformed my life. The Lord blessed me with a Godly husband and two precious daughters. I am rejoicing in His provision as He prepares the path before me.

*This post was first published as a guest post on Aug 11, 2015                Testimony Tuesday – hollybarrett.org

Pray-ButtonThank you Lord for the salvation you have provided for us. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, all things have become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Join the conversation – If you enjoyed this post, why not subscribe! I appreciate your comments and I hope you will recommend my site to other broken people.

Thanks for Sharing! Follow me on Twitter: @Maureen_Hager
Like my Facebook Page: Maureen Hager – Out of the Brokenness

Love and Blessings,
Maureen

 

 

Scars are Tattoos with Better Stories

Scars - tattoosTattoos often showcase a remembrance of an event, a memorial to a loved one, a rite of passage, or a form of self expression. Some are inked to create beautiful artwork.

Sex-traffickers often brand their victims with the trafficker’s name or a bar code. This serves as a sign of ownership. If they run away, they can be identified and sent back to their “owner.”

Gang members use tattoos as patches declaring their loyalty to their club. Women often have property patches tattooed on them identifying their allegiance to one gang member.

the-scars-we-choose What if a tattoo turns out to be a mistake and a scar has formed on the skin? The ink is permanent. Tattoo remorse can be altered with expensive cover-up designs or tedious and painful laser treatment.

Like scars, tattoos will fade over time, but will still be visible. Often they are a permanent reminder of a  painful past. Scarring shows wounds that are repaired. Scars represent a closed wound; tokens that remind us of the suffering we overcame; the physical hurt and pain is over.

Lion scars

Jesus  knows the pain and sorrow you are feeling. Because He is called a Man of Sorrows, He can empathize with you and share in your pain.

He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. (Isaiah 53:3a – NKJV)

Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed. (1 Peter 2:24 – NJKV)

Tattoos may be reminders of where you have been, but scars are evidence that you are stronger than whatever tried to harm you!

Pray-ButtonLord, Thank you for the hope and healing we have in you. You came to heal the brokenhearted and bind up our wounds.

 

Join the conversation – If you enjoyed this post, why not subscribe. I appreciate your comments and I hope you will recommend my site to other broken people.

Love and Blessings,  Maureen

Why Jesus Loves Bikers

Two weeks ago the news was filled with reports of biker gang shootouts in Waco, TX. Viewers were given a glimpse into biker culture.

Gangs

The U.S. Department of Justice defines Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs (OMGs) as organizations whose members use their motorcycle clubs as conduits for criminal enterprises. OMGs are highly structured criminal organizations whose members engage in criminal activities such as violent crime, weapons trafficking, and drug trafficking. (Read More: Gangs in America)

Jesus Loves You

You may ask how can Jesus love bikers?

  • He came to seek the lost –  For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost (Matthew 18:11)
  • He came to reconcile man with God through the life, sufferings, and sacrificial death of Christ –  In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace (Ephesians 1:7)
  • He desires for all men to experience abundant life – The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly (John 10:10)
  • We all have gone astrayFor all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23)
  • Salvation is for all mankind – Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me (Revelation 3:20)

I once lived inside the world of biker gangs and became a wounded victim in a biker gang war. A painful journey through emotional, spiritual and physical trauma led me to an encounter with God’s transforming love. (Read: My Testimony)

I’m so glad that Jesus meets us where we are. He didn’t ask me to change before I came to Him. All he wanted was for me to trust Him with my life. He offers His abundant love, His amazing grace, and His endless mercy to anyone who will receive it – and that includes bikers!

Is there someone in your life you are praying for that seems too far away from Jesus? In your heart you wonder could they ever be saved? Keep praying; I am so grateful that someone prayed for me! Pray-Button

Prayer – Lord, thank you that we can confess our sins and you are faithful to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.                                                            (1 John 1:9)

Join the conversation – If you enjoyed this post, why not subscribe! I appreciate your comments and I hope you will recommend my site to other broken people.

Love and Blessings,
Maureen