Yes, I Would

Yes I Would

By Effie Darlene Barba

As Chosen, Redeemed,  Beloved Child of God

Wherever I go, wherever I’ve trod

He’s been there to guide each step of my way

Clutching my hand so that I can’t go astray

Through moments despairing and moments of glee

His presence surrounding and covering me

Protecting and healing each wound of my heart

No matter what happened, he ne’er did depart

Whene’er I fell in the mud and the mire

As hell bent I ran after selfish desire

So gentle and patient, with eyes filled with love

He’d stretch out His hand from heaven above

How can it be after all that I’d done?

He willingly sacrificed His only son

To ransom my soul—to give me new life

Despite all the times, I gave Him such strife

Oh that I could love Him even half as I should

I’d seek and I’d savor His Will, Yes I would

I never would doubt Him, I’d never be sad

Trusting in His word, I’d always be glad

Humbly, I’d bow down to worship my King

Forever and ever His praises to sing

If only I loved Him even half as I should

I’d seek and I’d savor His will, Yes I would

Oh, precious dear Father in your presence I stand

And quietly listen for your voice command

Let the love of your heart and your Glory Divine

Pour forth to the world through these hands of mine

©2015 Effie Darlene Barba

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post.  I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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CHOSEN BY GRACE ALONE

Power-filled Positive Thinking—Chapter 8B—Chosen by Grace Alone

One of the positions that is mine in Christ, is that I am Chosen. There it is chosen before the foundation of the world—“predestined according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.” Before all of you jump into the ageless discussions regarding what does predestination mean. Let me say that discussion, argument in fact has been going on since St. Augustine and St. Pelagius in the first century. So, I don’t intend to jump into that argument. Rather, I want to approach this from what does it all mean for me and for you who do know Christ as your Savior.

Grace chose meOriginal photo courtesy of Jim Peregoy

Furthermore, I recognize that there are many aspects of God’s wisdom that my finite brain may not fully comprehend. Indeed that was the approach Paul took. He accepted both that God chose and predestined those who would be saved and at the same time accepted that it was of utmost importance to go throughout the world and preach the gospel to lead men to a saving knowledge of Christ.

He did not split hairs upon both truths being true at the same time. Look at this scripture

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CHOSEN-HOW AMAZING IS THAT!!

Power-filled Postive Thinking-Chapter 8A—Chosen-HOW AMAZING IS THAT!!

It was late November and there were multiple houses in my neighborhood being broken into.  What was a formerly good neighborhood had suddenly begun to be unsafe.  Mom was away in rehab and would be for another month or two.  The house was left alone for the long hours that I worked and besides I realized that when mom did come home; I needed to find a way to keep her safe.  I had put in a full alarm system; yet, thought perhaps a large guard dog would help.  After reviewing a website that had rescue dogs, I had come upon the picture and story of Jason.  He was a Rottweiler/hound mix who was a little older than the other dogs; yet, he caught my eye.  When I arrived at the shelter, the workers began to try to convince me to take another younger dog.  They said Jason did not do well with other dogs and in fact had been returned from every foster home they had placed him.  Currently, Jason was living in a crate.  After I saw several other dogs paraded for me to see, I insisted on seeing Jason.  They locked up all the other dogs and came out then with Jason.  His face was scarred and there seemed sadness about him as he anxiously looked at me.   He responded quickly to the slightest touch of my hand with eager anticipation, a yearning look in his eyes.  Then I announced, “I choose Jason.”  Over the course of the next several months, Jason changed.  He had pulled me harshly as we walked; but, even when he pulled me down—I never let go. Then, as though he realized that it was love that made me hold tight and he quit pulling against me on the walks. With a sigh because it was late and I was exhausted, he watched as I had cleaned up the trash he had thrown all over the kitchen floor; then, he never again went through the trash cans.  He slept on the dining room rug under the table just outside my bedroom door as though keeping guard to protect my room—his eyes always fixed on my door.  My house did get broken into two years later and Jason ran the burglars off.  Six months after that invasion, Jason died.  A dog with so many scars, unwanted and abandoned had become the best dog I had ever seen or known because I had chosen him. 

Amazing Grace You Chose Me

God chose me.  Perhaps more than I would like to admit, I was much like Jason. You see God knew all my frailties, my insecurities, my fears, my failures, and all the scars that would need to be healed.  He saw the entirety of my life and still chose me.  Ever so gently and patiently, He has loved me, guided me, and transformed me.  When I would dig through the trash of life searching for counterfeit joys, He would clean up the mess I made and look upon me with His compassion.  When I would pull hard against His will, He never let go of me. As the years went by, I began to realize what a wondrous act of Grace it was that God chose me.

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Seven Reasons I Have a Heart filled with Joyous Hope as His Redeemed

Power-filled Positive Thinking Part 7c—Seven Reasons I Have a Heart filled with Joyous Hope as His Redeemed

In Christ, I am redeemed. I am set free from the chains of guilt, shame, sin and death. Why then do I still fail God at times? Why do my best efforts fall by the wayside when I with all my heart reach out to help a friend? Why am I still at times impatient with mom? Why can’t I live a life that fully Glorifies God in all that I say and all that I do? Why, oh why does my faith ever stumble and falter after all that He has revealed to me and done for me?

Christ, at God the Father’s command took upon himself all my sin so that I might be made into God’s righteousness. 2 Corinthians 5: “21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” This truth is certain; yet, throughout this journey I still have this body. Yes, there are times that I would groan within awaiting the redemption of our body from its aches, pains, fatigues, failures, and sins. Just as Paul wrote: Romans 8: “23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. 24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?”

hope due to redemption

The truth that in Christ I am redeemed provides me hope to rise above my own frailties, failures, pains, and suffering to face each new morning with joyous anticipation of seeing God’s Glory revealed. Because in Christ I am His redeemed, beloved, blessed saint, I have nothing to fear and I have seven reasons to have a heart overflowing with hope. These seven reasons are:

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Redemption is Mine (a poem)

Redemption is Mine

by Effie Darlene Barba

 

Redemption is mine

Oh what can it mean

Purchased as His

Washed and made clean

 

Tremendous the price

He paid for my life

When all that I did

Was cause him such strife

 

How wondrous the thought

I have been set free

My chains are now gone

Oh such jubilee

 

Embraced by His love

His Joy fills my heart

E’er in His presence

No way to depart

 

Oh how can I not

Give all that is mine

To follow His will

His Glory to shine

©2015 Effie Darlene Barba

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post.  I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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In Christ We Are Redeemed from Sin’s Chains into Joyous, Abundant Life

Power-filled Positive Thinking—Chapter 7b—In Christ Are Redeemed from Sin’s Chains into Joyous, Abundant Life

Redemption—to be redeemed literally means to be “bought back” and restored. Throughout the Old Testament, the word redeemed was used in reference to God redeeming a people to Himself—drawing them out, bringing them out of slavery, and mercifully forgiving their sins. All of this pointing toward the “Messiah” who would pay the price once and for all for our sins. David understood this truth and writes often about his being redeemed. David understood that it was God’s mercy and grace that would redeem David from the chains of sin and death that bound him in this world. David was a man of great passion, who loved God with a fervent love. Did that always keep David from sin? No, we know that—the Bible very clearly reports David failures as well—his moments of pride, his adultery, the ordering of Uriah’s certain death in battle, the lying to hide his sin, and his failures as a father to discipline his own son.

shackled

Still, David understood that if he were to be “redeemed” from the chains of sins, the penalties of sin, and from death’s clutches; it would be due to God’s mercy and would take more than the sacrifice of a lamb or burnt offering. It required a broken and contrite heart—a heart that had seen the depth of its own sin against God. A heart that had been stripped of all selfish, self-exalting pride

. Just like David, we can never be redeemed unless we understand that we have no hope to be unshackled from these chains without a redeemer to set us free. Look at just a few of the prayers of David recorded in the Psalms.

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REDEEMED-FROM WHAT? FOR WHAT? AND AT WHAT PRICE?

Chapter 7A-Redeemed—From what? For what? And at What price?

The pain was excruciating as they moved me from the stretcher onto the bed. The nurses tried to be as gentile as possible; yet, the pain was sharp and ran deep. I tried to smile and whisper “thank you.” Yet, there was a problem—my only IV site had infiltrated and there was no way to give me any pain medication. The surgery was done to rebuild my abdominal wall with pig fascia. So many surgeries had left my abdomen with nothing to attach the fascia to except my ribs. The surgeon had ever so carefully placed 100s of stitches across the highly innervated ribs. I could barely whisper because any attempt to breath sent pains shooting through my body—my whole body shivered and trembled from the pain. I could not move. The team that places a special IV that runs through a deep vein up to the heart would be coming; but, they were very busy and it would be several hours before they arrived. I closed my eyes to pray as I waited. At first, I prayed that God would ease the pain or hurry the team. Then as I lay there suddenly I remembered how Christ had been beaten with the whips until His ribs lay bare with the flesh torn around them. There had been no hope of pain medications for my Savior and in fact, He would be nailed to a cross He was forced to carry. Suddenly, my pain seemed so trivial in comparison to His. My prayer no longer was for my immediate relief—instead I began to pray a thank you prayer to my Redeemer, my Lord, and my Savior. I whispered, “God, give me strength to bare this pain for however long you deem necessary that I never forget the price you paid for me at Calvary.” Then the team arrived, my IV was placed and the pain medicine was running into my veins to ease the pain. I was redeemed. I am redeemed by the blood of Christ shed on the cross.

jesus christ pictureArtwork used with permission of Ronald Barba who owns the copyright ©2014. Click on picture for information regarding obtaining copies

Ephesians 1: Jesus Christ “7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;” So, in Christ; I am His Blessed, Beloved Saint and I am His redeemed.

To redeem something or someone means that the full price is paid for their purchase, their restoration, and improvement. But what does that really mean? Though we may say the words with ease; do we fully grasp the significance of being redeemed? For this truth to penetrate our hearts and have significance in our lives, we must understand 3 key points to being redeemed. Those 3 are what are we redeemed from, what are we redeemed for, and what was the price of our redemption?

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10 steps to Rejoicing that You are Blessed

Power-filled Positive Thinking-Chapter 6c—10 steps to Rejoicing that You are Blessed

The word blessed as we have seen in the previous two sections is synonymous with being fulfilled, happy, honored and prosperous. Some might say, “If in Christ I am blessed; then, why is my life such a mess?” What happened?  Struggling from paycheck to paycheck, working way too many hours, an unappreciative spouse, illness, and so on our minds can get filled with today’s conflicts and trials. With these thoughts going through our head, we become caught with our emotions spiraling downward into depression, anger, and despair. Indeed some will run off seeking, searching and striving to find that happiness by running away or chasing after futile counterfeit joys. They may search for fulfillment in adulterous affairs, alcohol, drugs, divorce, or climbing the success ladder at all cost. Some will follow teachers who will tell them that if they just give more money and have more faith, they can name what they want and God will give it to them. When that fails, they are then laden with guilt and anxiety because they must have failed. All of this coming from a misconception of what it means to be the Blessed, Beloved Saint in Christ, because of Christ’s finished work of redemption on the Cross.

IMG_0689photo used by permission

courtesy of Vanessa Barrientos 

Yes, in Christ I am blessed with all spiritual blessings. My joy comes from an abiding relationship with God in which His love and His joy so fills my heart that it permeates everything inside and around me. How I view trials changes. How I perceive life’s challenges changes. What I value as my greatest treasures changes.

It comes from deep within the central core of my being—knowing, believing and trusting that an omnipotent, Sovereign Omniscient God loves me, bestows His honor and favor upon me because of who He is to the glory of His own name. It is His pleasure to bestow His joy, His love and His glory upon me. In fact, I was born for just that purpose. It is I who fails to grasp that at times when I wander off in search of other treasures and other blessing that cannot satisfy.

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TO GOD-MY LOVE, MY HOPE, MY JOY

TO GOD-MY LOVE, MY HOPE, MY JOY

by Effie Darlene Barba

 

My life-so filled with hopes and dreams

Lay shattered at Your feet

So many tears, so many pains

I laid before Thy seat

 

Can I look upon Your face of love

And question what You’ve done?

For You have been my only hope

My only morning sun

 

You’ve seen my heart when crushed with pain

Your hands have held it tight

When I have been so weak, so frail

You’ve shown Your strength, Your might

 

You’ve held me close within Your arms

When darkness filled my night

And when I could not see my way

Your eyes, they gave me sight

 

I lay my life within Your hands

That You may heal my soul

And keep my eyes upon You Lord

That I may reach Your goal

 

Shine forth Thy grace, Thy mercy Lord

And let me be Thy light

That all may see Your eyes of love

The blind, they might have sight

 

Let not the sorrows, nor the pains

Bring bitterness within

And give me strength to walk this path

Protect my heart from sin

 

I lay my heart, my soul, my dreams

Before Thy throne of love

I lift my eyes to You, My God

And seek Your will above

 

Thou art the only one I need

To fill my heart with glee

It is Your face, my one true love

Tis all I need to see

 

So lift me up and hold me close

Reveal Thy love divine

That through the holes within my heart

A world might see You shine

 

And if the sorrows of my past

Can touch a wayward one

I thank you Lord for each dark path

That lead them to Your son

 

I praise You now from mountains high

For each dark path I’ve trod

Twas there I found Your heart, Your love

Twas there I found You God

 

What great and wondrous joy I know

Because You are my king

And though the path I cannot see

My heart will trust and sing

 

A song of praise unto You Lord

Who knows what’s best for me

You’ll hold my hand and lead me on

In darkness, I can see

 

Your love, Your help, Your guiding hand

Is all I’ll ever need

So hold me close unto Your path

For this is all I plead

 

I’ll skip with joy along this path

Though darkness may surround

Because I know You hold my hand

My feet will e’er touch ground

 

I cannot fall outside Your love

I cannot lose my way

I’ll hold my broken dreams once more

And see them real, one day

 

A song of praise unto You Lord

Who knows what’s best for me

You’ll hold my hand and lead me on

In darkness, I can see

 

Your love, Your help, Your guiding hand

Is all I’ll ever need

So hold me close unto Your path

For this is all I plead

© 2015 Effie Darlene Barba

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to any brands, products or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides regarding the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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TO KNOW THAT I AM BLESSED

Power Filled Positive Thinking—Chapter 6 (Blessed) part B- TO KNOW THAT I AM BLESSED

What does it mean in the Bible to be blessed? The Greek words in the Bible which have been translated as Blessed are Μακάριος (Makarios) and εὐλογέω  (Eulogeo).  Μακάριος means satisfaction from experiencing the fullness of God—not lacking in anything. In that lies the sensation of happiness, joy, and peace. εὐλογέω (Eulogeo) means to speak well of or show favor toward. In Christ we are blessed by God with every spiritual blessing as found in Ephesians 1 is an example of God speaking well toward us and bestowing His favor upon us. Ephesians 1: “3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.”

I am Blessed

Read this very slowly, His having chosen to bestow His favor upon me came as an act of pure grace and love with its foundation being in Christ. It is in Christ that I have been declared holy and blameless before God. It is in Christ that I have been adopted as His precious child. All of this according to what? “The good pleasure of his will and to the praise of the glory of His grace” He made me accepted in Christ, by Christ and through Christ—the beloved.

Because I know Christ as my Savior, I am blessed by God. He has chosen to bestow His

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