Everyone can find a superhero today anywhere. We have Superman to Batman, to Spiderman, Aquaman to The Fantasic four. People love to think superheros have powers beyond anything we have ever seen. We want to believe the Tooth Fairy will bring us a treat for pulling a tooth, the Easter Bunny will come and give us money in our golden eggs, and we must not forget Santa who will bring all we wish. Well, I have news for all those superheros. My God has more power than all of them put together. My God can heal with one touch, My God can move mountains with His mighty hand, He can bring miracles that touch us with awe. He has an uncondisional love that covers all. My God died and rose again from the grave. No superhero has anything on my God. My God is not magic, He isn't a illusionist, He has power beyond belief. He has purpose and plans for you and I. He can take a sickness and heal. He has allowed the blind to see, the sick to be restored, He has made the lame walk with one touch. He made the earth, the moons, the stars, the entire universe with one hand in one day. He made man and woman to walk this earth. He made all the animals and all our earth contains in seven days. Not that He had to, but He even took a day of rest. If there is anyone who I will call upon it will be my Savior, Jesus Christ, who will answer my call. He will never be late, He will never not answer, He will never be too busy for me. He is there night and day leading me, watching me, loving me with His mercy and grace. There is none bigger than He, and there is none who can do more than He. He doesn't have a magical cape, He doesn't need to shield His eyes so on one can know who He is. He wants all to know Him by name, He wants all to be touched by His glory. Jesus is the Hero of heros. He gave His life for you and me. He can bring light into a room just with His presence. He has overpowered satan, and all hte evil in the world has nothing to hold Him down. I believe in Christ Jesus. I believe He loves me, and Hes not in it for Himself, He is in it for His love of all people. When I am in my livingroom on my knees crying out to Him, He is the one who will answer. When I am in my car and an accident is about to happen, it is His name I will call out. When my child is sick, it is He who will be there in the room with us. He can know everything at once, He can see everything at once, and He can be everywhere at once. For He is omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient, and omnificent. You may know alot about your superheros, but come see what my God has done, can do, and will do for you. He is the Savior of the world, the King of kings, Lord of lords, and God of gods. He is everything we will ever need, want or desire. Open your eyes today and look for God in your life. What you find will excite you, will humble you, and will want to know more about Him. Come see, come hear, and come feel the presence of God. "But one of the elders said to me, Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll adn to loose its seven seals." Revelation 5:5 He is the only One worthy to open the scrolls. May your name be in the book of life to be read by the Lion of Judah. We can find His greatness in the birth of a babe, the sunset with a spouse, the kiss of a mother, the laughter of a child and in the words of the greatest book man has ever known. Come today and see His mighty power, His love that can wash away sin, and the forgiveness that can bring life to a dead soul. He is alive today, living in you and I. Can your superheros do all that?
Monday, August 31, 2009
When you think of heaven what do you think of? What is it that you see? What is it that makes your hands raise, and your butterflies begin to flutter? It is Jesus, it is all Jesus. He is what we can get excited about. If heaven were praising His name all day, looking into His eyes every minute, and if we were all singing it would be magnificant, and worth the wait, but heaven is so much more. To sit at Jesus' feet, to hear stories of all the Old Testament people, to hear of changing water into wine, walking on water, and to ask what was it like to make the world? To know our lives here today are leading us to heaven, only makes me yearn for heaven that much more. To understand every gift we have today will only be magnified in heaven is humbling. We aren't just going to float around, we aren't just going to be sitting on a cloud. But we are going to have the time of our lives at the party everyone is invited to. No one is left out of this party, its not only for the popular, the elite, the rich, the pretty ones, the C.E.O's of companies, there is no one that is more important, no one is going to stand above you and make you feel like you are nothing. You aren't going to feel the pain of your childhood, you aren't going to carry those scars that hurt so much today. You aren't going to be held back because you don't fit the mold. You aren't going to worry about how your going to feed your family, if your momma will be covered by her insurance, if your daddy will be able to walk, if your brother will be able to see. There aren't any wheelchairs in heaven, there aren't any hearing aids, there is no chemotherapy, pain is all gone. There are only the things to dream about. What if we really do have jobs that we will enjoy, what if we really will feast at a table with Moses, and Elisha. If you have never been in a mansion, just wait to see what God has for you there. We will serve, we will sing praises, we will do so much and time will not restrain us. Nothing will come in the way of our time with Jesus. A place where we will get to see the grandmother we never got to see, to sit with our parents and ask so what was it like for you to see His face? The possibilities are endless. We can't put a limit on what God has in store for His children. To come to heaven, all are invited, but you have must answer your R.S.V.P immediately. The date to respond is today, this isn't one you want to put off to side, or wait and see if you want to go, its not one to see if there is something better. There is nothing better than heaven. I don't have all the answers, but we can read in Revelation all about the trumpet sound, the rapture, all the things we so desire to understand are there showing us the way. God didn't tell us everything, He left us with all we need to know for today, and the rest will come later. Think of it as the biggest surprise party you have ever attened, this time you are the one to be surprised. Our eyes will be open to see many things, and we will begin to understand things we didn't before. Revelation 21:3-5 "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for hte old order of things has passed away. He who was seated on the throne said, I am making everything new." God placed the yearning of heaven inside us, when the Holy Spirit came to live in us. "One thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Phil 3:13-14 If you are parents of older children you always anticipate their coming home. You are so overjoyed to see them, and all you want to do is see their face, and touch them. That is a joy all of its own. It will be the same for our coming home to heaven. Jesus wants to see His children, He wants to touch them, and spend forever with them. He is the Father we have in heaven watching over us here, preparing us for our homegoing. "Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe." Hebrews 12:28 This world as beautiful as it is, the people of our world who can be so wonderful, the gifts we have today, life can still shake us today, we can be shaken to the core of our being, but heaven will undo all those things, and nothing will be able to shake us. Remember all those firsts that you did, the firsts of your children? This will be a first for us, a first that we experience heaven and we will experience it together as we worship our Savior, the One who chose to die for us, the One who gave His life, the One who is coming again to bring us home, with the greatest homecoming ever presented. With all of heaven before us, what is there not to be excited about? What is there not to share with others? Today, may you know Christ as your Savior. John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotton Son that whoever should believe in Him shall have everlasting life." Heaven is just not about us, its all about Jesus. Get excited, read His word and search for all He wants you to know. Today is the best day in your life to get started loving Him. Heaven will be all He promises us it will be, and more than we can even imagine~
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Do you ever feel as though you have nothing to give? Are you ever struggling to find your purpose in life, the direction your to go? At times I can look at others and think they are doing so much for God's kingdom, and I take a look at myself and wonder am I bringing as much as I can, or am I just getting by? At church when we have an event we always have a pot luck dinner. All bring great dishes for everyone to dine in, and fellowship together. Now, you have those ladies who seem to bring enough food to the table to feed an army, you have those women who create a dish that makes you go Wow! Then you have ladies like me, who at times I bring a bag of chips and dip to the table. So is that really enough, is going to feed people? Did I bring my best to the table or did I do what was easy? At times I have to be honest and say I didn't bring my best, I took the easy way out. We are like that in life so many times. We are afraid to ask God what He wants us to do, because we are afraid of the answer. We want to serve Christ, but we want Him to give us something easy so we don't have to go out of our way, or step out of our circle. We should be willing to bring our best to the table daily. We should be asking God is will for our lives, and be ready to follow where He sends us. We are so fearful He will ask too much of us. At times the problem is we know He is going to ask us to bring it all to the table, but we are afraid we can't deliver. There is a buffet in front of us, gifts that God wants us to bring, so whats the hold up? Have you ever gone through a drive-through? You place your order at the speaker after looking at all the possibilities, you choose what you want, pay and grab your bag, only to look in it and find that your order was wrong. Maybe they didn't add the pickles, maybe they didn't get the salad right, maybe they just gave you someone elses food. That poor child behind the counter is about to get yelled at by an angry customer for making a mistake. She should have the same grace that we want. She failed to listen and was in a hurry therefore she got the order wrong. With God, we must listen for the order, we must take it down right. We must have faith in Him, and when we follow Him and give Him our very best without taking shortcuts to make it easy on us, He is going to move through us. He isn't going to be angry that we didn't get it right, He will be proud that we followed Him, and we tried with a 100%. When we serve Christ, we must be willing to give our all, not just the easy ones, not just the fun ones, but we must be willing to go where ever He calls. We are right in saying that the job may be big, we may even think we can't do it, but we can do anything through Christ. If we turn our lives toward Him, He will show us, He will reveal our gifts and let them shine forth before the world to bring glory and honor to Him. So what are you waiting for? Don't press the easy button, don't take the short cut, take all He has and bring it before the table with joy, spread out your buffet, let others see that yes, the job is a big one, But when He can trust us with a little, He will soon give us alot, bigger jobs, that we know can only be done with Him. So whether you are the cook, the baker, the server, or the dishwasher at your pot lucks, give your all, and watch Him work through those gifts He has given~ "Having then gifts according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: If prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; to ministry, let us use it in our ministering; He who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; He who gives, with liverality; he who leads, with diligence; He who shows mercy, with cheerfulness." Romans 12:6-8
Friday, August 28, 2009
I have faltered in my faith at times since my husband has been layed off work. I have wondered to we have enough money this week to purchase food. At times there is little money for food, but God has never let us down. We may not have all our wants, but He fills us with our needs. How could I ever doubt a God who fed five thousand or more people in a dry and dusty land with five loaves of bread and two fish? "And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick. When it was evening, His disciples came to Him, saying,'This is a deserted place, and the hour is already late. Send the multitudes away, that they may go into the villages and buy themselves food.' But Jesus said to them, 'They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.' And they said to Him,'We have here only five loaves and two fish.' He said,'Bring them here to Me.' Then He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass. And He took the five loaves and two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitudes. So they all ate and were filled, and they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments that remained. Now those who had eaten were about five thousand men, besides women and children." Matthew 14:14-21 This miracle was blessed by the hands of God. There were more than five thousand, because there were women and children also. Here the disciples wanted to send them away into the city, but Jesus knew ahead of time what their needs were. Did those around Him doubt like I do? Did they not allow their faith to lead them? Did they not realized God would care for them? I would to see this picture, of all the people there eating, and being full from the baskets that were being passed around. They were so full, the baskets still had plenty left in them to feed more. I think this is one of the most beautiful examples of God's love for His people. We should never doubt Him, but our faith should be strengthened by the witness we have of His great and mighty works. I want to have a faith like this. I want to have a faith that never doubts, but knows without a doubt that God will provide. Jesus could have sent them away into the city, but He chose not too. He knew He could feed them, He knew they would praise His name for His goodness to them. Even though we are so undeserving, we have a God who loves us and takes care of our every need. One day we will sit at His banquet before us and break bread with our mighty Savior. We will sit at His table and praise His name forever more. We can praise His name today for all He does for us. These stories are real. They are part of our history. They teach us many things, but one of greatest is, we don't ever have to doubt a God who can feed mulitudes of people and save us from this world we live in. One day as we dine with Him in heaven He will share with us just how He provided. I for one see His power today in my life, and cannot wait to hear from Him stories that touch my soul today, that will only be made brighter hearing them from Him breaking bread together..
I love the four gospels. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, four men the Holy Spirit used through their writing to share with the world Jesus. What is cool about these four gospels is they are all told by different men, in different ways, in different views, but they all come together as one story telling about the life, the death and the resurection of Jesus. They told the same story from different points of view. Many have a favorite gospel, one that seems to speak to their heart. Just as if there were an intersection where an accident had taken place, and there are four witness' to this accident, all seeing from different points of view, but all seeing the same thing, write down every detail they see and hear. They have all told the officer what happened, they had all seen it, now the officer can gather the information he needs, knowing they are reliable sources, and with all their reports, he can now make out his statement with the best evidence possible. Just as with our minds reading the gospels, we too can read all different four and learn so much more by bringing them together. God did this for us, He knew we are all different and we all learn in different ways. What an amazing gift He has given to us. Four beautiful gospels, written for us, His children to learn about His life and His ministry. He is the greatest teacher we will ever have. Its time to sit at our desk, open our bible, and begin our great study that will only bring us closer to Him. I can remember a time in my life where studying was not a top priority of mine, therefore my grades showed just how much effort I put in. You receive just how much you put in. I could have made straight A's, but I chose to focus on other things. Today I love learning, I love sitting at my desk, diving in to His words and learning so much. Just as then, what we put in we will receive. Just as my lack of studying then showed, our lack of studying God's word show also. Dive in to those gospels today, reach in, open your heart and you will pull out so much knowledge, you will only yearn for more. "Be diligent to present yourselves approved to God, a worker who does not need be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." 2 Timothy 2:15 "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that a man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16-17
When we have a house sitting before our view that needs cleaning, we often sit back already tired, thinking,Oh gosh, where should I begin? Only to have to clean it again in a few days. We don't know whether to begin in the bathroom, the family room, the kitchen, or maybe the basement. We see all the things that need to be done, but do we really want to put forth that much effort? Maybe we can put it off for tomorrow, or even the weekend. We can look at the mess all around us and wonder just how did this all get dirty. Are we not like this in life with those around us? We can open our eyes and see all that is wrong with another, all that needs to be fixed so to say, and we know just how to make things right with them. We need to let God care for those around us, and we, we need to begin with ourselves. We need to get that mirror out that magnifies the image. We need to see ourselves for who we really are before we go start correcting others. Most of the time what we are complaining obout in others, we are doing also, just in different ways or we can find an excuss why we are doing it, just like cleaning our home. We can always find an excuss not to begin in the kitchen. We at times like to either begin in the hardest room, just to get it over with, or the easiest one, so we can move quicker. Did you ever think that cleaning our homes shows just how much we clean ourselves? We don't want to live in dirt, so why do we allow our hearts to go there? Why do we allow our minds to go there and stay in filth for awhile? Our tongue can be the dirtiest thing on our body, but before we think about cleaning that up, we first want to clean up anothers. There is a lesson in all we do, everything that moves about our lives daily can teach us valuable lessons, if we are willing to open our hearts and eyes to ourselves. Joy has to begin within us before we can share it with others. To be able to laugh at others, we need to be able to laugh at ourselves. Before we go correcting another, we need to take a good look at ourselves and the life we are living as an example. Before we judge another, we need to step in their shoes for awhile, and walk their path. So today as I begin to clean my home, I need to begin with spending time with the Lord cleaning my heart to look more like His. "But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For is anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was." James 1:22-24 "If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one's religion is useless." James 1:26 "But no man can tame his tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessings and cursings. My brethren, these things ought not to be so." James 3:8-10 There is alot to be said about where we begin first. If we begin with ourselves, we are making a difference in who we are to others. The only person we change is ourselves...
Today I found beauty in a daughters words, in a picture of a young man holding a baby, a husband asking how I slept, and in the sound of my sons voice. Everyday we pass by things that carry so much beauty, not even giving thought to what we see. I can even find beauty in the stack of shoes by my front door, for I know the day will come and all those shoes will not be there. I can find beauty in a son who brings me back a soda and a snack everytime he comes home from town. There is alot to say in those three little words,"I love you", but more so in the act of showing it. You can say I love you to someone and never show it with your actions. Thats not love at all. I can find beauty in God's word, even when I read what He has shown to correct me. I find beauty in my mom's tender touch on my cheek everytime I leave her house. Beauty is all around us, in the big things and the little things that touch us daily. Are we moving too fast to see the beauty? Are we so self-absorbed that we cannot see the beauty in front of us? Beauty is in a friends loving words of comfort, in a laugh that you share, and in a moment you have learned something new about Christ that has placed a smile on your face. The laughter of a child, who in her innocence has a beauty all of her own. Beauty not only comes to us in a sight, but in a touch, in a feeling, in hearing the words you have longed for. Beauty begins on the inside of a person. Beauty isn't kept inside, it is shared by all those who cross your path. As we see a beautiful sunset we can know that we have a mighty God who creates beauty in all He does. When we see a child bend to pet a fluffy puppy, only to make her giggle is beauty. When I see my husband has worked hard, coming home in dirty clothes is beauty to me. I can find beauty listening to the rain fall. God instilled in us a beauty that resembles Himself. Even vegtables growing in the garden on a vine can put forth a beauty that catches your eye. We all see beauty in different things that seem to touch our soul within. What is it that brings beauty before you? Is it the sound of your sweet baby and her first giggle, is the touch of another, is it the phone call that brought words to your ears that cheered you for the day? For me, I can find beauty in my son with the biggest heart of anyone I know. He would give you his right arm if he knew you were in need. The heart of a person is shown by the beauty they give to others. The Proverbs31 woman is beauty. She has a beauty that captures our heart, for we too want to bestow that kind of beauty in all we do. Beauty just isn't if your having a good hair day, its what you do with that day your given. Its in the work you do, the time you share with others, the prayers that are said for those around you. When I read about the virtous woman, I am drawn to her beauty. She allowed God to shine through all she did. She was the wife all men desire, her husband trusted in her, she does good in her days, she works with the tender hands given to her by God, she is willing to work and produce for her family. She gives to the poor, she makes clothing to cover her children, she opens her mouth and wisdom flows from her lips. She is kind to those she meets, living with God in her heart. Her children are blessed to call her mom, and delight in her company. Beauty is not how much money we make, its not the clothes we wear, its not flowery words she speaks, its not wearing the latest fad. We find beauty in how we walk with God. If we are walking with Him, He is shining through and lighting all He touches. The virtous woman is a woman who places others before herself, she tends to the needs of others, and she lifts others up. She finds enjoyment in all she does. She doesn't complain when trials come, she faces them with the strength of the Lord. Beauty can be found in a butterfly, in the hummingbird drinking from the feeder, from the birth of a calf, holding near to her mother. In all the ugliness in our world rushing by, we can stop and in a moment can find beauty in the face of an old woman with wrinkles who has lived a hard life. In the workings of a father taking care of his family. In a man holding his wifes hand while she is receiving her chemo, and shaving his head while she too is losing her hair. We tend to waste so much time looking for the bad in others, when I believe we can always find beauty in a person who was made by God. Today, see what beauty comes before you, what beauty blesses you today? It could even be the fairy charm hanging off a beautifully made bracelet for a friend out of love. Love can cover all around us, but first we must fill our hearts with love, fill our lives with Christ, and He will open our eyes to all the beauty around us. Love and beauty go hand in hand. Jesus showed us both in His life and in His death. What beauty are you bestowing today? Touch someone special today, give of yourself, make time with others who want to share with you. We are made beautiful in Christ. "For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation." Psalm 149:4
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
For me, it too me many years to find myself. I think I am still learning new things each day that bless me, that make me remember the past that has lead me to be the person I am now. From when we are small we begin finding ourselves. We all want to be loved, and we all want to fit in with others. We want to be people pleasers, we want to make all those around us happy. We want to try to do everything, not leaving any room for silence. At times I think we are afraid of the silence that can fill a room, that can fill our hearts. I searched so many places trying to understand just who I was. When we are young, we have dreams of becoming everything from Miss America to the President of the United States. We were meant to have dreams, we were meant to strive for our dreams, for it those dreams in us that begin to change the world around us. As women we can try to find ourselves in our husband, our children, our friends, our jobs, our hobbies, and it doesn't just stop there. We can begin to feel unappreciated in all those areas and begin searching outside of our boundaries. We can begin to look for enjoyment elsewhere, as in going out with the girls, going to places we know we have no business. We can begin to search for new friendships that are leading us in different directions. We can begin to look at others at our job for encouragement. As we find ourselves searching more and more for who we are, we begin to lose sight of who we are as well. Maybe your children no longer come around, maybe your husband or wife no longer gives you the attention you are yearning for. Maybe that job isn't letting you climb the latter as fast as you want. Maybe the hobbies we so enjoyed at one time are not so fun anymore. Sometimes we can want changes in our lives, but we feel stuck in a rut. When life gets hard many times we can turn to alcohol and drugs, not just drugs on the street, but those in your medician cabinet. We begin to want to escape all around us, the chores, the taking care of our parents, the job, the family, it seems to all pile on you at once and you just want to escape into silence, that you once thought you didn't want. I am here to share with you, I too have been in some of these situations. You want all fixed right now, you want the joy, the happiness, the contentment, you want you home clean, you want your family with you, you want everything to be perfect. Our lives were not meant to be perfect, we are going to stumble and fall, we are going to try to find what pleases us and makes us feel better. One thing I can share I struggled with is when my girls left home, everytime it would hit, the pain was so much to bear, I would try to make myself feel better by shopping. Only to buy something, that a week later didn't satisfy, it didn't cover the pain any longer. We all have different ways we try to escape pain. I too was reading a book a day. They were christian books, but I would begin and not stop until I was finished. It took my mind off the pain awhile, it took me somewhere else, until I finished, only needing another to take its place. Christ is the only thing to satisfy what we are so searching for. His love comforts us, His love covers our hurt, His peace comes in the middle of the night when you wake remembering a peice of your past. He isn't our magic genie, He isn't Santa to bring us gifts to make us happy, He comes and knocks on the door of our hearts, He feels our pain and He knows how to help. He can dry those tears, He can help you overcome those addictions you have. He can give you the strength to climb over each mountain you are facing, and He can show you the beauty in the valleys. He can show you you are His precious child, and He loves you, because each of us were made in His image. We were put together with His loving hands. He doesn't create only to leave what He has placed together. When we are born again, we feel born again as a new person. We go to Him just as we are, we don't have to change for Him, we allow Him to make those changes for us. It doesn't happen over a day, each day is a new day in Christ, and we can wake each day knowing He is never going to leave us, He is never going to hurt us, He is never going to put us down, He is never going to call us names, and He is forever going to love us. Whatever you are facing today, maybe you are going through a divorce, maybe you have lost someone close, maybe you are ill, maybe like me you are caring for an aging parent, whatever the struggle, whatever the hurt, Jesus is your answer. He will fill us, He will cleanse us, and He will refresh us. Do you need to be forgiven? Forgive yourself of your struggle, and no know that there is no one perfect. Ask Christ to forgive you of your sins, and to help you in your struggles. Happiness is a feeling, and it comes and goes. But joy is lasting, and with His joy it will be with us in whatever the situation facing us. We cannot overcome anything on our own, but with Christ all is possible. Let Christ in, let your heart be healed by Him, let Him take your pain and your burdens, for they are not for you to carry alone. When you can't seem to walk on your own, He will carry through until you are able to walk again. For me, I still have struggles, but I know that I am not perfect, but I know that I have found myself in Jesus and you can to. When we get close to Christ, He begins to show us things through His eyes, we begin to understand things better, and we can stop searching, we can stop trying to help ourselves alone, and allow Him to care for us. Today is the day to lay down all that your heart is heavy with, make a change today, and allow Christ to make a new life in you with His love and will. Remember the woman with the bleeding disorder? She had a bleeding disorder for years, and in this pain, she suffered greatly. She had searched for help, she had searched for answers and found none. She not only suffered from the pain, but she was outcast, for she was unclean and had to leave the presence of others. I can't imagine the pain she felt, the tears she shed, but there was an answer she didn't know about. She had great faith in Christ, and as He came into town, she touched His garment. He felt the touch, He knew exactly who she was and what her need was. Although the disciples were asking who touched Christ, He knew and turned to her. It wasn't the touch that healed her, it was her great faith in a mighty God. God can do miracles, He can move mountains, and He can bring you peace that you can't understand. He can bring forgiveness we don't deserve, and He can give His mercy and grace upon His love and cover us with all He has. Turn to Him today as the woman with the disorder did. May your faith in Christ bring healing to all that hurts, bring the need that God sees, and fill you with His everlasting love~ "And suddenly, a woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years came from behind and touched the hem of His garment. For she said to herself,'If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well.' But Jesus turned around, and when He saw her He said,'Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well.' And the woman was made well from that hour." Matthew 9:20-22 "As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us." Psalm 103:12 "For You have been a shelter for me, a strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in Your tabernacle forever; I will trust in the shelter of Your wings." Psalm 61:3-4
As I am writing my blog I am almost to 500 posts now. That has been a goal of mine, and the Lord has blessed me. This adventure of writing has taken me on a few new adventures. I had "Are your babies growing too fast" printed in girlsgoneGod. That was really exciting for me to see my work in print somewhere else besides my blog. My new adventure will take me to writing reviews for christian books. This is really exciting for me, and its scary at the same time. If any of you out there are doing this now I would love to hear from you, to hear your advice, your wisdom and encouragement on this new road. So there is a great thing for you. As I begin doing the reviews I will start to have book- give-a-ways! There are some exciting books coming up and I can't wait to begin. So all of you who are following my blog will go on this great adventure with me. As with each new project that enters my life, I can feel God's presence with me, leading me, and that alone brings comfort. I never thought my writing would turn into a blog much less anything more. God has a purpose and a plan for all of us, and if we go to Him, with humble hearts He will show the way, open doors to new possibilities to share His word. I read many blogs and they are amazing in the heart and soul they have put into them. I have learned from many, many have shared advice with me and I am forever thankful to you. Although we can't always see what God has planned for us, I feel a great adventure coming on. I feel so small compared to all He has done in my life. Five years ago I began writing in my journal daily at night before I went to bed. I never knew sharing my heart would touch others, but I am humble before you and I am blown away by all God is doing. For my first journals, I have them tucked away in a safe place. They are for my beautiful daughters to have one day, so they may look back and see just how much their momma loved them. We all want to leave behind a legacy that speaks Jesus louder than anything in our lives. I pray these words written have touched others lives, made you think, helped you along the way, and brought you a little closer to me. Most importantly it is my prayer that these simple words have opened your eyes to a closer relationship with Christ. Although I struggle daily, there is no one that can take His place in my life. I have stopped searching for other things to fulfill me, I now know that Christ is the only one who can give me all I need and fill my heart full of joy. Please pray for me as I continue to grow in Christ and in life. Thank you so much for taking time to read my words, to share with me and take part in my passion of writing. Blessings to you~
Here is a question for you. Do you always open your mouth with wisdom? With kindness? For me I try daily to speak with wisdom, I try to be kind to everyone I meet. I'm really not sure just how the virtous did it. "She opens her mouth with wisdom, and her tongue is on the law of kindness."Proverbs 31:26 I find myself wondering if this was a struggle for her too, or did she possess a gift of wisdom upon all her words she chose to speak. I think one part of wisdom is knowing when to speak and when to be quiet, how to say the words of your heart without judgement, and to speak with a soft answer that calms all around you, not stiring up strife. I believe the virtous woman is our example on how to be Godly women to all in our lives. To know wisdom, is not always speaking wisdom. I know wisdom, but there are times I allow my mouth to shout out my thoughts without thinking first. And there are times when we think before we speak, but where are we getting those thoughts? Are they Godly thoughts, or are they worldly thoughts twisted in with our emotions? Our emotions can take over our speech, with our actions to follow. So what was the secret behind the virtous woman? For one, she wasn't a busybody, she wasn't always trying to find out the scoop on everyone around her. She had a relationship with God, which started in the morning and did not end until she closed her eyes. She was a woman who knew her place, who knew God's standards and she made a choice to follow them. It doesn't say if she ever stumbled, if she struggled in her walk as she did her daily tasks, but it says so much of who we need to be, who we need to strive to be. God did not place her in Proverbs for us to look over lightly. We were meant to study her, to understand her ways, and to see that if she could do it, we can with Christ living inside us. To read about her we can learn so much about being a woman, a God fearing woman, strong in God, a woman who loves her husband, a woman who her children call her blessed. She isn't lazy, she is a hard worker who knows there is purpose to everthing that touches her. "Who can find a virtous wife? For her worth is far above rubies." Proverbs 31:10 I know women such as her. They have touched my life in a special way. They lived what they believed, they stood for what is right and pure. They chose to follow Christ with each day. Not that these women didn't stumble or falter, but when they did, they knew just how to get back on track. Their lives speak Christ. Ms. Venida Powers, Ms. Joan Burnett, Ms. Dorthy Anderson, Ms. Gerdie Jennings, Ms. Libby Reed, Ms. Millie Barnes, Ms. Joy Ragsdale, Ms. Maxine Hoffman, Ms. Fern Reed are all women who have been examples of the virtous woman in life. Some have passed on to be with the Lord, and I cannot wait to get a hug from them again, to see them, and to share heaven with them. Often times younger women want to figure it all out on their own. That is not a wise way to live daily. We have Christ to show us in His word, and He has given us those women to show us the way by the way they chose to live. Each woman who has touched my life has given me a piece of themselves, a little piece of wisdom to hang on to. I have a long way to go before I can possess the wisdom and love these ladies have shown in their lives. We have much to learn from their struggles, their achievments, the different seasons in their lives, the blessings and the loss. The virtous woman is one we should be striving to behold each day. We can be accountable to each other, we can lift one another up, we can grow and learn together. Whoever was touched by the virtous woman in Proverbs 31 was blessed beyond measure, just as I am to have these ladies to have touched my life with such an impact. What are you striving for today? Are you struggling as a woman, as a wife, as a mother, as a friend? Turn to Proverbs and gain strength from the Lord. We must not look to her and have the opinion that we will never make that bar, we should know "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13 These women didn't get there in one day, it takes time, time spent with the Lord, time thinking of others and not ourselves. Time spent in giving not wondering if you are going to receive. Are you teachable or do you have it all figured out? For me, just when I think I have it all figured out it is gone. We must be teachable, we must keep our hearts open, and be humble. Its okay not to know all about everything. Its okay to stumble, its okay not to be perfect. Although these women are beautiful on the outside, it wasn't that beauty that made them special, it was the beauty they carried on the outside that shined. You and I can be virtous women. We have examples in God's word and around us. Have an older woman mentor you, have her share her heart with you, and it will change your life forever...
Can we ever run out of words to say about our Savior? As a christian can we have a conversation without speaking His name? Is there a day that goes by that we do not know we are here because of Him? Are there any amount of words that could describe Him enough? We can praise His name all day and never run out of words to speak to Him or about Him. Where He goes, I want to go, and where I go, I never want to go there without Him. He is every breathe that we breath, He is the life within us, and He is the Spirit that fills us. He is the great Redeemer, our Strong Tower, our Savior, our Strength, our Wisdom Giver, He is mercy, He is grace, He is love, and He is Mighty. He is Power, and He is Humble. He is a Servant, and He is a Giver. For me, I love the relationships I have with friends who speak His word in all we talk about. We could study Him daily, and never run out of things to learn. We could sing praises to Him without ceasing, and never run out of songs to sing. He is the Past, Present and Future. He is the beginning and the end. The Alpha and the Omega. Is there anything we could say today that hasn't already been said? To think of God and all His strength, I feel so very small and insignifigant compared to Him. For us to look up at the beauty of the night sky, the moon and all the stars only shows His greatness. What is life without Him? There is no life without Him. He is the giver of joy, the giver of grace and mercy. He is our Creator, our Designer. To think of the human body and to know all the intricate parts, He made them all. There is nothing He doesn't know, all possibilities lies with Him. He still carries the scars on His hands and feet that bore the nails of the cross for us. For all the beauty that we see today, and to know heaven will only be magnified is uncomprehendable to me. I cannot even seem to grasp, to fathom all His greatness. I cannot wait to sit at His feet and to learn even more yet. For all that has gone on around us that has been unseen by our eye, to have Him show us in heaven all the wonders that we questioned here on earth to only have a yearning for more at His feet is so amazing. To read the gospels, and to read about His life only leaves us longing for more. To read the Psalms is only a beginning of the praises to come. To hold in our hands the sweetest book ever written by the Holy Spirit through men who were willing vessels is a gift within itself. To read the words that were spoken by Him, to know that one day, we will hear those words with our own ears is remarkable. His love is vast, and His forgiveness is neverending. If you don't know Him, make today the day you say His name. Make today the day you give your life to Him. May today be the beginning of a new life for you in Christ. Blessed be His name, for there is no other name as His..."Oh come, let us worship Him and bow down; Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. For He is our God, and we are His people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand." Psalm 95:6-7
For my family Sunday was always awesome. I could wake and before I got myself ready, I would begin to get the kids all ready. Brushing their hair, with each stroke until I had it up in one of their favorite bows. The boys seemed to be able to dress themselves and always looked so nice,asking"Does this match?" With all seven of us getting into the car, we would be on our way to church.Some rides to church were uneventful, when others took every ounce of patience you had. When they were small we took up the whole pew, but as they got older we had two. One for us, and extra space for the boyfriends and girlfriends. It was a time that I treasure. Listening to my daughters sing, giving praise to the Lord gave me great joy. Watching them turn the pages of their bibles while Bro. Ben spoke the from the Word of God. It is amazing to watch your children grow up in church and outgrow a pew. Today it is my husband and I along with our son who sit in the pew. I remember the first day we went to church without all of our children. It was so hard to walk through the doors, and then to sit down in the same pew you knew was only filled earlier. It wasn't the same, and it never is once your children out grow the pew and move on with their own lives. To watch our children be baptised, to watch them take that first step is a picture I will never forget. At Easter we would have a cross service. We would have a big cross, and each of us could come forward, nailing in a nail with a hammer into the cross that was meant for us. It was a solemn service, tears were on the cheeks of those who felt the pain that our Savior went through. I remember our oldest daughter coming to me, taking my hand and asking,"Rob, will you go with me?" I took her hand as we walked up and hammered in our nails. To have a child take your hand and say,"Mom will you go pray with me?" is a blessing. Our children grew up in those pews, laughing, crying, singing, and learning. Our youngest son asked to go to the bathroom one day. Someone was in the upper bathroom, and he thought he would get in trouble if he went downstairs alone, so he just went outside, and decided to pee right there off the church steps! We have so many memories of our church pew and the family inside those doors. It's funny, we often want change, but when change comes we are not too settled about it. Our oldest daughter married in our church. It was a wonderful day full of joy and sadness, knowing she was marrying brought joy,but as my husband would give her away brought sadness, to place her hand in anothers shook him greatly.Although we were proud, we knew that change was right here infront of us. She began her own path after that, a new life with another. Our pew holds many sights and sounds that we will hold in our hearts forever. To sing with my daughters was a great joy, to have voices that seem to carry right out the doors. We watched them grow in Awana, we watched them in plays every year at Christmas time. To share in worship with your children is a gift from the Lord. We watched our children go from bows to walking down the aisle, to leaving our pew and being out on their own. It is all part of a growing family. Now as they are all on their own, in different phases of life, new beginnings with some ending we pray for our children to fill their own pew with their own children. Our lives are filled with many blessings, but our filled pew has to be one at the top of the list for me..
Do you feel the tide coming in today, swirling around your ankles, rising by the minute? Is it one of those days that you feel as though you can't swim through the current, and you are going under? Those days seem to bring us right to our breaking point. I too have been there along with you, thinking this is the day that is going to take me down. But right when I feel like I am going under, a hand reaches out to me, and its a hand of safety, a hand that isn't giving up on me, its the hand of God. He has rescued me from the depths on many days. It is He who throws out that life preserver for us to hang on to. No one has hands like Him, no one can save us like He can. When you are writing that s.o.s in the sand He is there to rescue you from all danger and harm. If you have not felt the tide coming in, you may know someone who has, and one day it will reach around your ankles also. We often tell others to just pull themselves up by their bootstraps when trials come. That is impossible to do. You cannot grab your own bootstraps and pull yourself up, you may be able to put on those boots while your walking through the muck and mire. We often don't quite understand the pain of others until we too one day go through the pain ourselves. Its easy to sit back and give advice, its easy to tell others its going to be okay. But when that pain hits you, its at that point you hear your own voice that was spoken to others earlier, and its then that the tears flow, and you realize just how bad the pain really is. When the tide is coming in, it can take you in, it can take you under, but with Christ, He will bring us up for air, and He will breathe His peace and strength into us. We often don't realize what living is until we have lost what we have. There are those times we don't realize just how joyful life can be until we let go and let God. With God, He teaches us to put on our floaties, put on that life jacket, and throw our anchor out to Him. In Him we find that all things are possible, all pain doesn't last forever, and at the end of that tunnel there is light. If today you are starting over, if you have had a great loss, if you feel as though the pain is taking you under, reach out to Him, He will give you the strength to get back up again, He will give you the grace to cover the pain, He will give you the mercy you need to carry on, and He will lead you home, He will show you your path, He is our guide who gives us His great compass that always points to Him. Take out His word today, get on your knees today and stay there until He has refreshed you with His strength and power. When we feel the tide coming in, when the storm clouds are blowing in, we can run to our Strong Tower, and He will protect us, He will shield us from the enemy attacking. Your not alone today, He is there waiting for you to reach out to Him. Don't give up so quickly, trust God to work in you and in your situation. Once the storm clouds clear out, once you realize you do have hope, you can find hope in Christ, you will be able to smile again, and it will be a smile filled with Christ's new joy. "Then they cry out to the Lord in their trouble, and He brings them out of their distresses. He calms the storm, so that the waves are still." Psalm 107:28-29 "I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I do hope." Psalm 130:5 "The Lord is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation." Psalm 118:14
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Just what if today was your last day here on earth, what would you do? Would you be fearful or praiseful? What would come first on your list of things for the last twenty-four hours of life? Would you get your affairs in order, would you have all your family over, would you go on a trip, would you be with friends, would you want to be alone, would you have a party, would you make phone calls to all you love, would you forgive all those who have hurt you, would you ask forgiveness of all those who hurt you, would you take a long walk in the fresh air, would you ride a bike like when you were ten, would you have the biggest meal ever with your friends and family, would you write cards, video your words to all, would you spend the time with your Savior making things right? So many questions we could share about our last day here. Not many of us get that chance, so why not begin today living as though it was your last day? Why not live out each moment as it is your last to see a friend, kiss your husband, hug your child, have dinner with a friend, and live each day with a love for Christ that is overflowing with joy? We often say, "I'll call her later", "I'll send a card tomorrow", "I'll tell them I'm sorry tomorrow", "I'll visit with them when I find time in my day", "I should call them and tell them I am here for them", "I will help my mom tomorrow", and "I'll stop by the hospital tomorrow, today is just too busy for me." For all those "What if's, and I wish I would have's", we can change those today. Today as we are living and breathing we can make a choice to reach out to those around us. We can make a difference in our land if we will just take the time today. We don't know if this will be our last minute, our last hour, or our last day, so what are we waiting for? We take for granit each day we have, I do, just as you. We put so many things off for tomorrow, or next week, or when I have time. We can communicate in so many ways now, what is stopping us from reaching that friend, that neighbor, our parents, our children, our family, our friends? I know what it is, we are selfish, we are too concerned with our life, and we think our time is special and it is ours. We have all been here, and there will come a day, when we carry guilt, when we say those words, "I wish I could see them just one more time", "I wish I could have had more time with them." Today is a day given as a gift from Christ. What do you think we should do with our gift? There are times we stop reaching out, there are times we allow ourselves to become too busy just to say hello. Just to give someone a smile, will touch their heart. Just to let someone know you are thinking about them, will bless them and bring a smile to their face. I don't want to waste the time I have. I want to share it with all, I want to reach out to all. I want to make a difference. In order to do that, I must stop looking at myself, stop thinking of time as mine and begin using our time wisely, giving love, sharing my heart, and touching those around me. I can think of so many things I would love to do if I only had one day left, but why stop there? If I live each day like that now, my days are going to be Christ filled, and He is going to shine before all just by taking time for others, letting others know just how much you love them, and how special they are to you. Don't wait to give a rose to the dead, give a living rose out daily to those around you. "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and thought I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. Love suffers long and is kind: love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophecy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. for now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love." 1 Corinthians 13
Today I was sitting here and the keys were moving. I felt God leading me to write about His mercy, and I came across Psalm 136. Although the Lord was leading me to write about this, and to write the whole Psalm, I felt in my heart,"Thats alot to write!" I thought it was just too long to write in my blog, but then God didn't let me off the hook. For the entire day, that has not left my head, my stubborn head that is. God helped me to realize I need to follow Him no matter how long, how wide, or how deep He wants me to go. God's word is for us to read, to think upon, and there are always new verses for us to learn from, new ones that we haven't read yet, and some that we have read, that need repeating for a purpose only God knows. It was selfish of me not to follow His ways and His will today. His mercy is so great. He will wash His mercy over us and through all we go through in these hills and valleys of life His mercy is there. Whether we are hurting, we are in pain, we have a decision to make, we are walking in sin, we have moved away from Him, we are dealing with illness or death. He gives His mercy freely, and lovingly. I am amazed by the mercy He gives me daily. No matter what we are facing, no matter how low or high we are right now, these verses show us just how His mercy touches all that touches us. Please read along. I know it is long, but God's word has no limit, only blessings, healings, teachings, and His great mercy He shares. Throughout this Psalm it reaches all that encompasses our lives. We are never left alone. When He asks us to lead Him, its for His gain and His glory. "Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Oh, give thanks to the God of gods! For His mercy endures forever. Oh, give thanks to the Lord of lords! For His mercy endures forever.To Him who alone does great wonders, For His mercy endures forever; To Him who by wisdom made the heavens, For His mercy endures forever; To Him who laid out the earth above the waters, For His mercy endures forever; To Him who made great lights, For His mercy endures forever-The sun to rule by day, for His mercy endures forever; The moon and stars to rule by night, For His mercy endures forever. To Him who struck Egypt in their firstborn, For His mercy endures forever; And brought out Israel from among them, For His mercy endures forever; With a strong hand, and with an outstretched arm, For His mercy endures forever; To Him who divided the Red Sea in two, For His mercy endures forever; And made Israel pass through the midst of it, For His mercy endures forever; But overthrew Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea, For His mercy endures forever; To Him who led His people through the wilderness, For His mercy endures forever; To Him who struck down great kings, For His mercy endures forever; And slew famous kings, For His mercy endures forever- Sihon king of the Amorites, For His mercy endures forever; And Og king of Bashan, For His mercy endures forever- And gave their land as a heritage, For His mercy endures forever; A heritage to Israel His servant, For His mercy endures forever. Who remembered us in our lowly state, for His mercy endures forever; And rescued us from our enemies, For His mercy endures forever; Who gives food to all flesh, For His mercy endures forever. Oh, give thanks to the God of heaven! For His mercy endures forever." Psalm 136 God is bigger than any king, any man made god, any problem or hurt we will ever face. If you have lost a loved one, lost a sweet babe, God will bless you for His mercy endures forever. There is nothing He cannot do, there is nothing He cannot bring to be a blessing. Are you trying to figure out who God is? Are you asking questions? Are you confused and afraid? Don't be, allow God to show Himself to you. He is reaching out to you, take His hand, open your heart and let Him in, for His mercy is for everyone, and is everlasting.
"But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect." Matthew 24:36-44 Just as in the days of old, they had the Minutemen. They had their clothes ready, their guns ready, and at a moments notice they were ready to take off, to protect, and to fight against the enemy. They of course did not know the moment to be ready, but they were prepared for what was to come. Just as today we can have alarms for our home, we do not know when the buglar will try to enter, but we have prepared ourselves for what can come at any moment. We take precausions as women going to the doctor for our yearly check-ups. We check our breasts for lumps, we have mammograms as a precausion. We don't know if cancer will ever attack, but we are preparing. When people in the mountains know a big snow is coming, they really don't know just when or just how bad, but they prepare, they stock up on food and all the provisions they know they will need. When we go out into the sun, we use sunblock as a preventative against skin cancer. There are so many things we prepare ourselves for, but the most important one is, are we prepared for when Jesus comes? Will you be the man left or will you be the one taken? Will you be the women taken or the one left grinding? Have we told all those around us about Jesus? Will they be left, only asking,"Why didn't Joe tell me about the Christ he knew?" We don't know the day Christ will come, but we should be looking daily for Him. What will we be doing when He does come? I have thought about that, and I don't want to be doing something that does not bring honor to Him, when I hear the trumpet sound. Each day our lives should be a reflection of Him to those around us, and each day we should be living in such a way we have nothing to worry about that would bring shame upon us in His coming. There is hope for every man here on earth. Christ is their hope as He is our hope. What are we doing to prepare for His coming? Do we have our eyes open to all around us? This is one trip we want to be ready for. We want to be packed up and ready to go. But this trip, we want to invite all we know. We want it to be a big gathering, a family reunion of our brothers and sisters. We want to have our R.S.V.P's turned in. We prepare for tests, we prepare for big games, we prepare for teaching, we prepare for dinner, we prepare for so many things, we should make this one our top priority. When we are prepared, when we have shared with all, when we have all in order, we can look to the heavens, and find joy in His coming. This will be the greatest surprise party we have ever attended. Are you ready for His coming? You can be, you can be prepared to hear the trumpet and know you are going to the home He has prepared for all His children. Don't put this one off for another day, its not something to let go, and take care of later, make today the day you are ready to see our Savior...
I have a friend who really has a prayer closet. A small space with a lamp, and a table for her bible. She spends much time there with the Lord. A prayer closet can be anywhere we make it. It can be a day out in the woods, in the car, our bedroom, on the back deck, hanging out laundry, doing the dishes, or just curled up on the couch. It doesn't really matter just where are prayer rrom is, as long as we have one. As long as we have a special place where we are alone, and we can open our hearts to Christ, lift up our prayers to Him, give Him our hurts and burdens laying them at His feet, and spending time listening to Him. Having a prayer closet is a blessing, its a great blessing to make a time in our days to give only to God. To let the tears flow, to let the heart open wide, and to be willing to hear His rebuke also. We don't just have a God to go to and do all the talking, there are many times we just need to listen. Some people have a prayer box, a box that you write all your prayer requests in, pray over them, and place them in the box, knowing God will take care of all. Some wear prayer necklaces, they too are a little box, it opens and you can place your prayers in it, or you can just wear it as a reminder to take time to pray. Some like to pray with the radio on, and some pray in just silence. We must stop making excuses to spend time with Christ. We seem to have every excuse possible. What if while Christ was doing His ministry, He just came up with excuses to not heal people, to not teach people, or spend time with them? He could have had a great excuse before He crawled upon the cross. He could have just said,"I really don't want to die for all these ungrateful people. He could have told people,"I just don't have time for you." Did He ever come up with an excuse? No, He didn't, but just how many has He heard from us? I have too much to do to spend time today, I'll make up extra time tomorrow, when tomorrow is forgotten also. I can't go to church today, I have a full day, and I just want to lay and rest, watching television. Sunday school, who has time for that? As long as I am going to church that is good enough for me. Can you picture Jesus as He hears all the excuses we bring to Him? We place so much over the time we spend with Him. I am a firm believer that when those church doors are open we should be there. Sadly, I too can find excuses for not going to church at night, for not reading my bible as much as I should, and not spending enough time with Christ. We can always find time to go to Him when we have a need, but what about having a relationship with Him? I can find time to speak to all my friends in a day, I can find time to do just about whatever I want, but what about finding out what God has for me? What about learning and growing with Him? Can we really do that if we too consumed with our own needs? In our twenty-four hour day, how much time do we give to Him? We are busy with what we want to be busy with, no excuses. We can say the phrases,"Time is so precious", "Time passes so quickly", and "There is not enough time in the day." Well guys, God made the time, He placed the twenty-four hours in our day, so for us to say that there isn't enough time, is mocking our Creator. We make time for what is important to us. Its funny we can stay up all night having fun, only to sleep in the next day. We can watch television, movies, or be on the phone for hours in a day, but we can't find time for our Savior. As I do spend time with Christ and reading His word, I can always be doing more. As this afternoon, I will read and catch up on my books, I should be willing to give God that same amount of time. If you don't have a prayer closet, make one. If you haven't set aside a time for Christ daily, set one. Can you just imagine what our lives would be like if we really gave our time to Christ? In the days past, people would gather only to spend hours standing up listening to the Word. If you went and tried to have those in church today stand for hours, they would be in shock, complaining. Some cannot wait to get out of church to get on with their day. That is the wrong attitude to have. There should not be a time limit on God. If He is speaking, if He is moving, if He is touching those around you, forget about the clock, the roast, or the game, and just worship in Him and praise His glorious name. He has gone beyond all for us. He has given all for us. When we have freedom in Christ, we have everything we need. May today we begin to make our prayer closet, to set a time, to begin a new course. If we proclaim Christ, then our lives should show Him through each step we take. "Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much." James 5:13-16
Fall is such a beautiful time of year. The trees are changing, the leaves are falling, and we have the crisp cool air blowing through our windows. We can learn alot from fall, just as we can from all the other seasons. But fall brings a certain beauty, a renewing of sorts. As the leaves are changing color, dying, and than falling off the tree, we can turn that into a great lesson of growth for us. Just as fall and winter must come before spring, we must too change, die to ourselves and fall away from the world, only to reveal a new beauty that comes with the changes made in our lives. Just as we have seasons in our weather, we too have seasons in our lives. Different stages of growth, and its in those stages, those changes that the Lord shines through. When we are willing to die to ourselves, and live for Him, He fills us with His spirit and we are renewed. Just as we feel the crispness of the fresh, cool air in the fall, we too can feel a newness, a crispness in our walk with Christ. He refreshes, He makes new again, and we can feel His sweet presence just as we feel the fresh, cool air coming over us. Everyone loves a walk in the fall, watching your feet float between the leaves of color, breathing in the fresh air that seems to give us a new hope in the day. Just as those leaves die and fall off the tree, the tree, along with its limbs, come alive again in the spring, bringing a new day, a new light, a new beginning. We have seasons in our life that are blessings, trials, hurts, and with each one, Christ is there, He is there bringing us peace, comfort in those needed times, and He washes over us with such a love. There would be no seasons without God, who made them, and with each new thing He made, I don't think He only made them for His beauty, but for us to look at and see Him, and know that there is a lesson, a purpose in each thing He has created. As fall comes forth into our vision, as He is bringing a new season, what season is our life in? What needs to die, what needs to fall, so the new growth can begin? We are not to dread each season in our lives, we are to be thankful and praising God for each one. For they each bring something new. Just as we love to capture on film the beauty of the fall, we too can capture the beauty in our lives as change is taking place. Just as the seasons have its time, are lives also have a time for everthing. "To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; A time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; A time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to gain, and a time to lose; A time to keep, and a time to throw away; A time to tear, and a time to sew; A time to silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; A time of war, and a time of peace." Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 No matter what season of life you are in, God is there with you. You are not alone. Let each season speak to your heart, let each season bring about change, a change that brings us closer to who Christ wants us to be, and allow each one to bring us closer in our walk with Him..
"Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear." Isaiah 59:1-2 When I was teaching the youth in awana, I would use an illustration that they could understand. When we are living our lives it is important that we keep our relationship with Christ open at each moment of the day. When we are full of sin, unforgiven sin, sin that we have not asked the Lord to forgive us of, we are putting a barrier up between us and Him. If we don't keep a short account of our sins, they begin to pile up over time. We can build a wall up between us and God. If you think of us as a brick layer, and each brick is a sin, we can begin to see a picture here. With each brick we lay, we cover it up with mortar. We begin to lay those bricks and we cover them up so we do not have to see our sin. Pretty soon as each brick is layed, over our foundation we have built us a wall. A wall of sin, that we have covered up, that now separates us from God. God is still there, He was there when we layed our foundation upon Him, but now we have made it impossible for us to see Him, the wall has come between us. In order for us to restore our relationship with Christ, we must tear down those walls we have built up. We must take each brick, one at time and remove them. As we begin to tear down the wall, we can see again without something blocking our view. Once that wall is torn down, we can begin to rebuild our relationship with Christ. We don't rebuild with walls, but as He is our foundation, we can build upon that with our faith, and with walking with Him daily, keeping our eyes open to make sure nothing separates us from our walk together. So how are you doing in your walk? Does anything need tearing down? When we tear down those walls, with each brick we tear down, we grow a little more with each one we have let go of. Let go today, let go of all that is separating you from Christ. Tear down those walls we have built out of sin and let it fall to the ground and look upon it no more. Allow God to open our eyes to all He wants us to see, and open our ears to all He wants us to hear..
Monday, August 24, 2009
So many times I have let my pride get in my way. We all do at some point in our lives, and many times we struggle with it daily, asking Christ for strength. While my husband has been layed off now for almost a year, pride can raise up easily when struggles face us daily. We can have pride in many ways. We can all carry it different ways. There is the pride of the star athlete, thinking he is the best in the state.There is the pride of the mother, who doesn't want to admit she made a mistake. There is the pride of the woman who thinks her high paying job makes her better than the bead worker. There is the pride of the man trying to care for his family, and not wanting to ask for help. Pride rears up, takes hold of us, and satan uses it to bring us down. There is a difference in these, and the pride you have in your child who brought home the A she had been studying for, and working hard for. God tells us about pride in His word. He warns us against pride, and just how it can make us fall. "By pride comes nothing but strife, But with the well-advised is wisdom." Proverbs 13:10 "Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud." Proverbs 16:18-19 "A man's pride will bring him low, but the humble in spirit will retain honor." Proverbs 29:23 "Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world-the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life-is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever." 1 John 2:15-17 "Let not the foot of pride come against me, and let not the hand of the wicked drive me away." Psalm 36:11 There are many passages on pride. I believe God knew we were going to struggle with pride in our lives, and He gives us many passages to warn us against its harm. We don't have to give in to pride. We can let it go, and be humble before the Lord. Could it be that is exactly what He is teaching us to do? Before we come to Him, we have to come humbly, with hearts that our pure and lowly. If we are full of pride, is there any room for Christ to live through us? Pride comes in and tries to destroy all we have, and sets our minds in a place of we are not good enough. Isn't that exactly where satan wants us to be? Its not popularity, its not the riches of the world, its not the job, its not the money, its not the gifts, its Christ in the man, and living through the man with a humble heart before all. We can overcome our pride, with laying it at the Lord's feet, and asking Him for strength and wisdom. Don't allow pride to take over who are you. Whatever we have and whoever we are, is all because of Christ and His love for us. He doesn't love one child over the other. He has a whole different view of what success is, and its not the things we achieve in this world, its what we are for His kingdom and who we are in Him...
Wow, it is amazing to watch your children grow up. They go from diapers, to backpacks, to spreading their own wings in no time. I have a few friends whose daughters have gone off to college and it is so hard. You may ask, whats so hard about that. Well, when you have had your children in your home for all the years they have been born, you tend to want to hang on a little longer. You feel as though they need protected and you wanna watch over them like a mother bird. While your children, although might be a little scared to take that first leap out of the tree, they are feeling excited about their new adventure. This year is my son's senior year. My last baby to teach at home. He is thinking this is great, while I am wanting to slow down a bit. He is trying to figure out what he wants to do. He goes from being a fireman, to being an electrician, to joining the military. He has many options going through his mind, the world is his to soar. While my children have grown, I too have grown with them. I am not the same person I was twenty-one years ago when my first daughter was born, yikes, that makes me look pretty old. This year, our daughter is beginning a nursing program, and though I am so proud of her, I miss her playing doctor at home. While she is out seeking her path, I am hoping it leads her home. Being a parent is hard, its hard to let go, its hard to watch those babies fly for the first time, to spread their wings and take flight. What if they fall, what if they lose their way, what if they forget all they were taught, what if danger comes their way? All those what if's can drive us crazy if we allow them to. If we are worrying, then we are not living in faith. There is no worry in faith. It was hard for me to come to the conclusion that my children were not really mine, they are Christ's children. It is for me to open my hands, and allow Him to have them. As parents we pray for our children. We pray they will follow Christ, we pray they will not lose their way, and we pray they will not fall. But in order for them to grow, we have to let go, and let them live, trusting them and Christ. As they grow we don't see them as often, we don't hear their voices daily, and we as parents miss them, while they are finding their way. We go from watching them leave in the school bus for the first time, to watching them pull out of the driveway with their car packed full of all their things. With each step they take, it takes them a little farther on their own. If we have done our job, and taught our children all we know, and lead them in the Lord, they will grow into Godly young men and women. They may walk away from what we have taught them, and walk away from church, but they haven't forgotten, and the Lord has not forgotten them either. He is there, and as they grow, they will learn that He has been there the whole time. Being a parent is tough, but it has so many blessings along the way. We must reach in deep and remember our youth, remember just how we felt the first time being out on our own, making those first decisions alone, and those first falls. When we fall we learn. As the momma bird watches her babies fly away, she knows its not forever, she will see them again, and one day they will have families of their own, then it will be their turn to let go of the precious ones they have. A friend of mine often says,"Suck it up buttercup!" So I too have to suck it up, dry those tears, and have faith in the one who blessed me with them along the way... "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 "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6 For me, a mom who had five kids in our home, I hang on to these verses by my heart. They are verses that God gives us, I believe to show us, He's got it all under control. We must place our faith in Him and in His word. When we are walking in faith there is no fear. So girls strap on that faith, cause your children are going to take you on a ride of your life..
Do you ever here people say,"I'm so bored, I wish there was something to do?" I do not like that comment, cause for me, there is always something to do. I remember as a kid, I played outside all day, and half the night, there was so much to do that I was hardly ever in the house. Today, we have a problem with computers, television and texting. Our children and adults have become consumed by technology. We allow the television to be our babysitter, although the computer can be used for good, our children can be on it all day and hours at night. When they have doctors on television speaking about tendonitis in the thumbs from texting none stop, I believe we have a problem. We don't pick up the phone anymore and hear someone's voice, its easier to text. We don't invite others to our home, because we are just too busy, and we can just send an email. What happened to being personal with each other? I think we have lost so much of that. Instead of living with our hearts and reaching out to others, we live in the land of technology. Yes, moving forward is good, but while we move forward what are we giving up? I am just as guilty of this as the next person and I am ashamed to have to admit that. We have become so consumed with ourselves that if it has to deal with something outside our circle, we just don't have time. We don't make time for people anymore, we just make time for what we want to do. Life today is not harder than long ago, we just have more toys and selfishness to consume us. This week I heard someone say,"Oh, I couldn't think of giving this week I had too many problems of my own!" If we can take our eyes off ourselves for five minutes, we could begin to see just all that takes our time. We fill our days with things that really don't have to be there. We as christians should be spreading the gospel, we should be reaching out to others, we should be consumed with Christ. When we turn our eyes to Him, all else falls into place. We are too busy, because we overbook our days with things that we want. If it was something we wanted, we would make time, but when we may have to give a little, that changes the whole story for us. At times sadly, people think,"I have a hard enough time taking care of myself, why should I help others?" That is the wrong attitude for us to have. Its when we give our time to Christ, that He will fill us with His spirit, take out all the junk in our lives, and replace it with His will in our lives. Reaching out to others not only blesses them, but it blesses us to see them filled with love. We were never meant to keep Jesus all to ourselves, we were meant to share Him, serve Him and others in our days. When we stop making time for others, when we are so tied up in technology, we are losing valuable blessings. Does this fit you? Because at times it does me. May we get out of our circle, may we turn our eyes to Christ and His people in need, and those who have not heard of Him. Our world is hurting and in such need, because we have become so self absorbed, we can't see past ourselves,our lives, our wants, and our needs. Its when we open our hands and arms to others that Christ shines through us. Don't allow technology to overtake your life, leaving behind what is important, the value of being personal. What do you have time for today? Who do you have time for? Our lives should be open to those around us, and those who are reaching out to us, may we take their hand and lift them up to Christ. Just hearing someone's voice can be a blessing, receiving a hand written letter from an old friend, can bless the soul. Looking into the eyes of another can say many words that are unspoken. Bless someone today, make a change. We don't always have to be moving forward with the world, its okay to take from the past and touch someone today... "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit." Psalm 51:10-12 For us to go a little higher, we must give a little more. We must allow Christ to show us His ways, and its when we totally give up ourselves that He will take us a little higher. We don't want to say, "I am are bored", we want to say,"Lord, fill my heart with your spirit." For us to go to higher heights, we have to learn to let go, and let God take the lead. If your ready to fly, He can take you there. How far do you wanna go? Right there in your living room, or as high as He can take us? He is ready and waiting for you to jump aboard. "Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength, They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not grow faint." Isaiah 40:31
Today as you wake do you know which direction you are going? At times our lives can be spinning, like a merry-go-round. It is going so fast we just want to jump off. The spinning makes us queezy, and we feel as though we are going to fall. We have to hold on to something to stand, until we get our balance. It is hard to see which direction God wants us to go to if we are not in tune with His word. As you are driving down the highway, and the rain begins to pour down so hard, you have to pull over until the rain slows or comes to a stop. You know in your mind its too dangerous to keep going when we can't see where we are headed. Just as driving at night, the oncoming lights can blind us, and we have to turn our eyes away for a moment, we too get blinded by all that comes into our vision. It can be so distorted we can't see clearly. In order for us to follow Christ, we must use the map He gave us, the bible. We must keep our vision clear, and our ears open to His word. We must keep our heart in-check to make sure we are living for Him, not ourselves, not the anger in our hearts, not the pain, not the burdens, and not to make others happy. We must totally lay all that at His feet, leave it there, and not pick it up again. We tend to let others tell us where or what we should do. Every need is not to be met my us. Just because there is a need there, it is not for us to do unless God is calling us to that work. We must be open to where He leads us, and never say,"I won't go there." Often those places He is sending us may be different, we may think that it isn't safe or the right place for us, but if God is calling you there He will protect you, He will provide all your needs, and you will see those blessings all around you. Just because your friend can sing, doesn't make you a singer, just because your friend can make beautiful pieces of jewelery doesn't mean you can put one together. We all have different gifts and talents. We are not to be all alike, God made us different for a reason, for His purpose and will. You may be sitting there thinking God didn't give you a talent, maybe He forgot while you were being made. No, He didn't forget, you have everything in you, that He has placed there. You must seek Him, and He will begin to unravel your gifts before your eyes. If you are in the position that you have to make a decision on which direction to go, pray, and pray until you receive His answer. So many times I stepped ahead, and didn't wait on Him, but made those desisions by myself, only to have them blow up in my face. God is calling today, He is calling you and I to do remarkable things through His power and might. He is calling us to a higher standard, and calling us to live out the example of Christ like. He wants each of us to follow Him with our mind, body and soul. He wants every part of us to be in tune to hear His voice. He wants us to give up control of our lives, so that He may lead us and guide us in His will. It is when we are out of His will, and living for ourselves that we get so confused about what to do. We must stop worrying about what others think and who likes us, and who hates who we have become as christians walking in God's light. He is the one we answer to, no other, and if we are following Him, He will take care of all else around us. So where are you headed today? Are you headed out the door to do your own thing because you so think you deserve it, or are you headed out the door to take part in all God has for you today? Its all your choice, we can choose Christ or ourselves, and from my own merry-go-round I can tell you with all the passion in my heart to choose Christ. He will never let you down, or lead you down the wrong road. So take His hand today, and let Him lead you through the journey of this life. Allow Him to make those tough decisions you are facing, and watch the glory come out of the spout.... "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths." Proverbs 3:5-6 "My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord; In the morning I will direct it to You, and I will look up." Psalms 5:3