Saturday, October 31, 2009
When I take a look around I see so many going through different trials, different seasons in their life. It seems just as one leaves another is standing at the door of your heart. I have friends who are going through trials, trials that seem to gather in clusters and attack just when you think all is calm. It breaks my heart to see them hurt in such ways, it tears me apart to face them myself, for after awhile you are just aren't sure if you can take another day, another trial, another falter in your steps. But we can with the grace of God, with the strength of God, and with a faith that doesn't move, He will guide us through each one, give light so we can see, and give wisdom for us to know. For the One who gave His hand to make the universe, there is nothing too big for Him to face, and with Him on our side, what do we have to fear? Lay them down today, lay all of your burdens down, let the tears fall, open your heart that has been holding it all in, and allow Jesus to take the heaviness off your heart, and fill it with peace and a joy knowing that He is there. In James 1:2-4 it says; "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing." I know it is hard when you are facing a trial to have joy, for me is was a struggle to think it was possible, but the Lord brought me through each day with His love, with His grace and it was His strength that helped me to get out of bed, to smile again, to laugh again, and to know what hope really is. Hope is believing in God, knowing He has a purpose and plan and I am in His hands and there are no better hands to be in. I didn't always turn to Christ when my trials came, I thought I could handle it all on my own, but He quickly showed me when I give up my pride, when I know I am not strong without Him, He is there and He is going to move in me, He is going to show me something through this trial. We don't alway see what He is doing at first, sometimes it takes years before He shows us, but He is also working in others. Our lives all intertwine with one another, for we are His children, when one is touched by a tragedy, a trial, there are many in the picture that we cannot see but God places them there right when we need them, or right when they need us. For what we are going through there are also others feeling the same pain, and as we learn from our trials, we can show others the grace of God and what happens when we place our faith in Him with all we have. Trials are outward circumstances, sufferings, and troubles encountered by all believers. Just because we believe it doesn't mean we will have lives without trials, it is through those trials that we really find Jesus, we find ourselves, and we are set free from the chains that are holding us back. As we go through trials God is refining us just as the refining of gold brings out the real beauty, He is molding us for something far greater, but we have to look past the trial, past our circumstances and look to Him for He will show us beauty in all we face. So when those trials come look for the beauty, look up and know God is there, He hasn't left and when you are hurting the most is when He is going to show up and behold a beauty in you, a feeling of freedom and through that freedom comes joy. Never give up, never close your eyes, when the pain is strong crawl up in your Savior's lap and feel His loving arms around you. Some of us have lost children, some have strained relationships with their children or their family, some have lost loved ones, some are fighting for their lives, some feel as though their lives are falling apart, some the hurt is so great you think you can't go on, but the Son is going to shine again, He is going to show you how great His love is, it is in those clouds that we see the rainbow, the beauty of God, and no matter what you are facing, He is there for you, don't allow your fear to take over and become that very fear, let go of the fear and let God's strength set you free, for His freedom will take you places you never thought you would be. For me I know this, for I didn't think I would make it through my trials, I thought my life was over, but God showed me what life is when I take His hand and trust in Him, to hear Him say to me,"Be still my daughter", gives me faith, gives me hope and strengthens my belief in Him~
"He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?" Micah 6:8 This has to be my verse I go to when I know I need to take a look at my attitude. This verse just isn't speaking of worship, but our attitude in doing so. We see three words here, justly, mercy and humbly, take a look at the meanings of these words with me as Mr. Webster shows us. JUST: having a basis in or conforming to fact or reason; reasonable. archaic: faithful to an original. conforming to a standard of correctness: proper. acting or being in conformity with what is morally upright or good: righteous. being what is merited: deserved. legally correct: lawful Mercy: price paid, wages. compassion or forbearance shown to an offender or to one subject to one's power: lenient or compassionate treatment. imprisionment rather than death imposed as penalty for first-degree murder. a blessing that is an act of divine favor or compassion. a fortunate circumstance. compassionate treatment of those in destress. Humble: not proud or haughty. not arrogant or assertive. reflecting, expressing, or offered in a spirit of deference or submission. ranking low in a hierarchy or scale: insignificant, unpretentious. not costly ot luxurious. to make humble in spirit or manner. to destroy the power, independence, or prestige of. To look at these words and to see the meanings before us, we can see how God wants us to walk. For this is how He walked, so why would He ask any less of us? As christians we so want to share Christ with others, we want to share the gospel, but if we are not walking humbly, with mercy, and walking justly how then can we show what love is, and Jesus is love? So without love we cannot show who Jesus is and without these character traits, these virtues, we are not walking in Christ. For us to others who Jesus really is, they need to see Him in us, if they cannot see a difference in us, they aren't going to want any part of what we are sharing with them. In our walk we can either point people to Jesus or turn them away, and many times we too often turn them away when we ourselves cannot even walk justly, mercy and to show ourselves humble before God. In our flesh we can become so puffed up with pride which is the opposite of humble. Too many times we have to prove ourselves right and try to bring justice to others, but that is not our place. It is our place to love and forgive, for but by the grace of God there go I. When we see others fall, there are times we are glad for their fall, but that is wrong, for we should be in prayer for them, we should be lifting them up, for we can fall just as easily. And for mercy, when was the last time we showed mercy to another, but wanting it for ourselves? We too often forget we are sinners in need of a Savior. There is not one of us who walks greater than the other, there isn't one of us whose wealth, whose job, whose house, whose car, whose family name makes us better than anyone else. There is only One who stands greater than us and that is Jesus Christ Himself. If we cannot love ourselves as Jesus does, how than are we to love others? We should be willing to give what we have away to others who have nothing, to share a meal with someone who has nothing, to lift up our brother or sister in Christ instead of tearing them apart. We tend to speak with our words instead of our actions, Christianity is a verb, just as love is. Both of these words are putting action forth. Life is not about taking and seeing how far we can get while our brother is hurting, its about giving, and giving all we have for those who have nothing. Its serving, its showing others compassion, mercy and grace. God showed all of these to us when He died on the cross, when His blood was shed for us, for us sinners in need. When we are walking with Christ we are going to let His Spirit shine before us. Too many times people place themselves above others, they place others outside their circle, they whisper, they look and they keep you at bay. We all fall into the traps of our flesh, this is why we must look into the mirror, we must see the truth instead of believing the lies. We must strip ourselves of our pride, of our arrogance, and become humble before God. This verse is one that shows us simply how to walk. So how is your walk today? As I, do you too need to check yourself at the door before Jesus, before we enter His throne? For all that Jesus was willing to do for us, He took our place, we too should be willing to offer ourselves for the glory of God so others can clearly see who He is through those of us that call ourselves christians. When we stand for Christ, we should humbly stand before Him, there isn't anything we have to boast about. For all we have are gifts from our Father in heaven. With Christ we can walk in the way that He is calling, with faith in Him, leaving behind ourselves and following Him wherever He calls us to go~
Ya know there are those days ya just gotta turn up the radio and dance! Ya wake up and the sun is out, its bright and ya just gotta keep moving. For me, doing some cleaning, listening to the music just takes all the dirt not only out of my house but out of my heart. We can let so much junk pile up in our closets, that before we really find what it is we need, we have to remove the clutter in our lives. We can't just sit still and stagnant, like the green scum over a beautiful pond. We must allow our rich beauty that God implanted in us to show, and the only way for it to shine is for us to clean, not just a light dusting, but for me I need some hard, spring cleaning of my heart. We know what we must do, we know what has to be done, but we have to get motivated, we have to change our attitudes if we want a change, and again we can't change other people, we can only change ourselves. It often feels good to be comfortable, but I don't believe God intended us to feel comfortable all the time, if we are too comfortable we are not going to move forward with anything else, we aren't going to make changes, and we are certainly not going to grow as a christian. This time of year is one of my favorites, I love the cool crisp air, the leaves falling, the sun making all shine. As fall brings in winter, I too love the snow, the more the better. Even as the seasons come we all have our favorites, we all have those we least of all like, but we still must go through them, and when we do, we can find beauty in each one, growth, and we can look back over time and see just how much we have grown along with the seasons. Today as I begin to clean, as I clean each peice I think of my heart and all that needs cleaning. Moving things in their right places, and throwing away what I do not need, isn't that what we should do with our hearts each day? If we allow the clutter to pile up, if we allow the dust to cover all around us, it makes it harder to see the simple things that bring beauty all by themselves. To make changes is not always easy, sometimes it is the hardest thing we must do, but once we do, with each step in front of us, we begin to clear a path, we begin to see where are steps are headed and what our next move is. Ya know once you have one room clean, you stand back and say, "Wow", and you can't just stop there, it gives you the motivation to keep going, and once your done you may be tired, but it will be a good tired, a refreshing tired that seems to wash over you, one that you know has purpose. Just as we clean the weeds out of a garden, new flowers begin to sprout and take root. As the Son shines down upon us, we too can take root, we can be watered and refreshed by His grace, and we can begin to grow with Him, leaving behind who we were yesterday and becoming who He wants us to be today. So what is the plan for you today? For me, I have learned to ask the Savior that question, for I want to be just where He is, and if I keep moving forward I am going to find Him leading me all the way~
Friday, October 30, 2009
If we take a look around, we can find that we are all going somewhere. We can look to the sky and see those planes carrying many to places we can only imagine. We can see trains takes others to destinations we can only dream of. Each day people are traveling to work, to see their parents, to visit those who are ill, taking vacations, celebrating life at a party, we are always moving, always going somewhere. Each day we think about all the places we must go, what time to be there, what to bring, who will we see, and so much more, but throughout our day we are always thinking of right now or even tomorrow, but how many times does our future, our eternal future come to mind? What about the eternal future of your family, your friends, your co-workers, students you sit next to daily, those we meet on our trips, those in the grocery line, those sitting next to us in traffic? In our world we are very rarely sitting still, we are always moving, we are always trying to reach our destination, but what is our eternal destination? If we ask most people, they will say,"Oh, I know I'm going to heaven", and if you ask them why they reply,"Because I'm a good person." Our churches are full of good people, there are good people everywhere we go, but being good doesn't give us our one way ticket to heaven. The only way there is through the Father, in believing in His Son who died for us, believing that through His death, His blood covered our sin, and through His blood we find redemption and salvation. John 3:16 " For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever shall believe in Him shall not parish but have everlasting life." I often myself wondering as I am watching up in the clouds as I see a plane go by, just where each of those people are going. I only dream of the places they will see, but there are times as it is flying over I will stop and pray for those aboard, that wherever their earthly destination is, that they will find their heavenly one before it is everlasting too late. You see on the highway on those driving, do they really look happy to you? Yes, there are those who are laughing, or singing their way to work, but we cannot fathom the hurt, the pain, the trials of all those around us in need of a Savior, in need of His grace for their lives are struggles, trials are shaking the very beliefs they have, so for us, we have a great job ahead, we have mighty works to do. The great commission, to go and to tell. Matthew 28:19-20 " Go therefore and make desciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." There are those that you will reach that I may never meet, that is one reason why we are all so different, we attract different people, we are in different places to reach out, and those we cannot reach out to we should be praying for them when the Spirit directs us. This earth can reached for the glory of God if each of us just reach out to one person. But as we reach out we have to reach out with love, for if we are not sharing love, showing love toward others, they are not going to want any part of anything we are trying to share, even if its Christ, for Christ is love. When we look at the whole chapter of 1 Corinthians it is all about love. We can have many things, but if we don't have love and show it, we have nothing. So as we are all going somewhere today, do you know just where your eternal home is? Are you showing love so others see who Christ is? We have nothing to fear by sharing His name, for He is always with us. Lord I ask that you teach me your ways, that you show me where you want me to go and who you want me to bless. I so want to serve God and share the word, I just need to stop focusing on where I'm going today, Friday night, or for summer vacation, and start focusing on the names Christ lays upon my heart. So will you join me? Will you make a change today with me? If we all stand for Christ, use our gifts as platforms for sharing Christ we can make a difference one at a time. Psalm 25:4-5 " Show me Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salavation; On You I wait all the day." He will show us where to go if we are willing to ask and be open vessels for Him~
Remember hearing of those women who placed a light in their window until their husband came home? Until a loved one came home from war? There are those times in that we are lost and can't find our way home, or we are seeking our own way and in that strange path we find ourselves wanting to go back home. For me in my heart I have a candle lit in our window for our children who are not here, not just for them to find their way home, but for them to find their way home to Christ and find that He is their home, their shelter and their refuge. Life can be so hard as you are growing up, when you are not a child anymore, but you are certainly not an adult yet. In this time you are struggling to find your way, to find who you really are inside, but there are so many changes going on, so many emotions we cannot understand, and so we search for our place, and as young people they so want to do all on their own, if only they could understand we were not meant to do it on our own, but to know we can do all things through Christ. He is our leader, our guide, our compass home, and if we are making our own course, we are not on His. That light in the window is a reminder to pray for our children as they search for their way. When our children were young things seemed so easy compared to now. When they were young they listened, they were eager to learn, and they so wanted to make you proud, as they get older they grow into their own person, they want to listen to their heart, not your wisdom, and they are not so much eager to learn from you as they are their own experiences. Growing is a hard thing. For us as adults, for those who have grown in Christ we know that it is Christ we should live for, it is He that we should make proud, and we have learned through our trials, and are still growing. I have to remember my own youth, I have to remind myself it took me years to get where I am today, and I am still learning, yet I want my children to know now, not to have to make mistakes, not to struggle, not to hurt, but I as their momma can't keep them from those things, for me I must pray for them to find their place in Christ and to follow Him, to open their heart to all He has for them, but for them, they must learn on their own, they have to search for the truth just as I did. It took me a long time to realize this world cannot bring me peace, happiness or rest, I can only find those things in Christ, so how can I ask more of my children? They too must learn that God has a purpose for their lives, and that is to bring glory and honor to Him. In Jeremiah 29:11 it says,"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." It takes us awhile to figure out all there is to life, at 42 I am still not there yet, but I am striving for the goal, which is my home in heaven with Christ one day. I know without a doubt my children love the Lord, they just have to struggle with flesh and this world just as I do. Their struggles may be different, but they are struggles just the same. I have learned to turn to Christ for His wisdom and knowledge, and my prayer is that my children will also learn that value. To be a mom you keep that candle lit and you keep your prayer going for your children nonstop, for your love for them is so great. But God loves them even more than we do, so we must place them in His hands, in His care and keep our arms open wide for them as they search, as they find who they are and where they are to be. Romans 8:28-30 "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He forknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified." The best thing we can do as parents is pray for our children, that they will find God's will for their lives, and for us to be a light in the window for them.
I find myself thinking am I giving all I have each day for the Lord. I would like to find myself in the presence of the Lord one day and be able to say I have nothing more to give, I have given all you gave me to give. Too much time is wasted on just me, what I want to do, how I feel and my crabby self thinking I need so much more. If I spent all the time I have in a day living for the Lord I know without a doubt more would get done. If I spent each day asking God,"Where, what, and how can I serve You today", my life would reflect God and His love. But I don't do that, I spend my days thinking where, what can I do and how am I gonna do it! So much of flesh lives out my days instead of allowing Christ to have all of me to live out each moment for Him. In my words, my deeds, all of my actions, they should all be showing Christ. I do not know when Jesus will come again for us, but when He does come I want to be so into His work that when I see Him face to face He will look to me and say, "Well done my faithful daughter", but I am afraid too many times I skip out on all He has for me to do, maybe in fear, maybe in not understanding, but mostly isn't it because we have something better to do for ME? We should have no fear, we should have no misunderstanding, for if we are walking with Christ we will hear His words and know just where He is guiding us. And if I am really listening, I will hear Him telling me to leave myself and follow Him. I want to live a life that is totally sold out for Christ. I want to live each day praying, loving and making each moment count for the glory of God. I don't want to live this life for myself, I want to leave behind a legacy leads straight to Christ, my Savior, My Everything. My heart is singing for Him today, and I don't want to lose that, I want to see Him in the morning, throughout my day, and in the evening as I lay my head down. When I lay my head down I want to look back throughout my day and know without a doubt I gave all for Him. For if I can just get through my stubborn head, it has nothing to do with me, life is all about Christ, being a vessel for Him, and my life should point straight to Him, not to myself. For without Him I am nothing, I know where all my blessings come from, I know His peace, His grace, and I have felt His mercy. Where are you today? May we ask God to breath His breathe in us, to live in us each step of our day and when we are faced with trials and temptations of our flesh may we run, run and call out to Him for strength. When I stumble and when I fall may I go humbly to Him in His grace and ask forgiveness of my sin that has caused me to fall. I want to run with Jesus, I want to feel His presence with me each day, each step. For everything I am, for everything I do is all Jesus. May today be the day we decide to come alive with Jesus, let go of ourselves, and let Him shine through us, so one day when we see Him face to face we can say I have given all you gave me. 2 Corinthians 9:6-9 " But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. and God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. As it is written: He is depersed abroad, He has given to the poor; His righteousness endures forever."
As it has been raining here for more days than I can count, it got me thinking about Noah. I had said,"We might have to build an ark to get out of here", but ya know, that is exactly what Noah had to do, only he had no idea of what rain was until he felt that first drop fall on him. I am just amazed at the story of Noah, his family and the ark and we can't forget about all those animals. We often complain of life, we complain all the time if we are really honest, but just place yourself in that ark! Here you are with family, you really can't go anywhere, you are on a boat filled with every animal Adam named, and its going to be alot of work! I just wonder if Noah had to say over and over again to his family,"Just hush up, and realize how blessed you are to be on this ark, you could have been left behind!" That pretty well sounds like a day in the life of our family outings and there wasn't any rain. I mean, really, can you imagine Noah when God calls him to build the ark? Can you see the look on his face, the bewilderment of it all? When God calls us to do something, we are often fearful of what He is asking, and we want to know the whole story, we want to be filled in with all that is happening, and ya know, following God just isn't like that. We must believe as Noah did, have faith as Noah did, and trust as Noah did. It doesn't say anywhere in scripture that Noah backed away, that he said no, or that he even questioned God, he listened and he obeyed what God had for him to do. Even as much rain as we have had its hard to fathom so much rain that it floods the entire earth, but God is capable of such wonderous works, He is mighty and He is is God. I know as I take our little dog Daisy out for her walks, I am sinking into the ground, it is not a good feeling to be sinking, I want to be on solid ground, I want to be on high ground when the rains fall. Noah and his family were saved from the flood because Noah believed. Can you imagine not finding any other person who was worthy to save? In todays world can you see it all over again? There is evil all over, satan is at work, and I believe the rain is starting to fall. Where are you and your family, are you in the ark, or are you standing on sinking ground watching the rain fall not sure of what is happening? I imagine it didn't take long for those who were laughing at Noah to understand he wasn't so foolish after all. As they walked by him mocking him, and laughing, I can see Noah praying they too would understand, have faith, and believe, but as foolish as they were they chose not to believe and to live out each day for their own selfish desires. There are those days were I too am not living wholly for Christ and I am living in my flesh, so on those days when I am watching the rain and not having another thought, where does that place those people around me? Are they seeing who Christ is through this sinner? Am I showing them the grace of an almighty God who forgives, who lives, and is coming again for His children? Whether we see the ark being built today, we know that Christ is coming, we do not know the date or the time, but we know He is on His way. We should be as Noah, believing as he lived each day building that ark, he didn't falter, he kept going, until it was finished. I imagine he grew tired and weary, just as we do today, but he didn't give up, just as we must have faith as the rain is coming down. As the floods came, as the earth was overcome with water, what was, had come to an end, and after a time God brought forth the rainbow in their vision, and made a promise and with that promise there was love, and a new beginning. Today the rains may be coming down, you may feel as though your on sinking ground, but you must not close your eyes in fear, open them in faith, knowing the Son is coming out again, the clouds are gonna clear, and God is going to show Himself through all you have been touched with. Today can be the day you turn around and see clearly the rainbow He has given. Today can be the day you move to solid ground, have faith, believe that with God all things are possible. Genesis 6:9-12 "This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God. And Noah begot three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth." Genesis 6:13-14 "And God said to Noah, The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make yourself an ark of gopherwood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with pitch." Genesis 7:1-4 "Then the Lord said to Noah, Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation. You shall take with you seven each of every clean animal, a male and his female; two each of animals that are unclean, a make and his female; also seven each of birds of the air, male and female, to keep the species alive on the face of all the earth. For after seven more days I will cause it to rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will destroy from the face of the earth all living things that I have made." Genesis 9:12-17 "And God said, This is the sign of the covenant which I made between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud; and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. The rainbow sall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all the flesh that is on the earth. And God said to Noah,This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth." As you see the rains coming, as you see the clouds, don't dispair, follow God, believe and look to the heavens for the rain to clear and the rainbow to appear between the clouds for God's promise is to all.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Today as I sat in court about my ticket I felt myself trembling, I felt the fear beginning to rise up, I felt my palms become sweaty, for I needed my Refuge. See, a few months back I was taking my mom to the eye specialist. As we were driving on the highway, there were a few state patrol officers at the side of the road, they had someone pulled over. As soon as my mom(who is fearful of the highway) saw the lights she said,"Slow down Rob", but as I looked I was already going 50, I asked my son if I could get over, and he said,"No mom, theres a semi coming", so I tried looking and to me driving at 50, I knew he was coming along much faster being in the fast lane, so I stayed where I was. Before I knew it, the officer pulled me over, first yelled at me and stated,"He didn't like being on the highway, and I should have gotten over". I tried to explain to him that even though I didn't know that was a law, I tried to get over, and couldn't. He still informed me that I could, as I began to cry. He gave me my ticket and my mom was sitting there just staring at him, and as he walked away she commented on how cute he was in his uniform! A wonderful friend helped me with the Missouri statutes, and I was ready for my case or so I thought I was, until the officer came in, and until the fear struck me. As I was sitting here with my son, a wonderful friend who has been our attorney for years walks in out of the blue, sees me and asks,"What in the world are you doing here?" I tell him and he tells me to ask for a continuance and come straight over to his office. I felt, I knew God had made a way, God knew I was in trouble, He knew I was in fear, and He knew just what I needed. My ticket was much more serious than I thought, so after awhile the Judge was convinced to allow me a new trial date. That whole day seemed to last forever, but in time of need God showed Himself to me. My son witnessed what He thought was a miracle. He knew God placed our friend there at just the right time. I don't know what trial you are facing, but I know one thing for sure, God will show Himself to you when you call out to Him. He will provide a way, He will make a way, and He will give you the strength to see the Son at work in your trial. I tried to do this on my own, I thought I could handle it, but God knew different, He knew every detail of that day and He amazes me with the love and power He has. As I walked out of the court house I felt I could breath again, and then when I meant with my attorney, I knew God gave me just what I needed just at the right time, but isn't that how God works? In Jeremiah 29:11 it says, "For I know the thoughts I have toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." God gives us the hope we need to survive here on earth, He gives us hope knowing He is in control and He will take care of His children, we just have to believe and trust in Him. Psalm 18:1-3 states this,"I will love You, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my ememies." This verse tells us just who God is, just what He can do, and just how much He loves us. He can make a way for you today, trust in Him, believe in Him, and find your strength and your salvation in Him today~ Not knowing what will happen in my new trial date, I place all my trust in God, knowing He already knows the outcome, and He will provide me with all I need to overcome. There is no fear in faith, but in faith we can find our hope in Christ~
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
As you know I have shared much about my husband being layed off for over a year now. Well, I have wonderful news today! He has a new job, praise the Lord. Just when you are at that point of not knowing whats going to happen when that unemployment runs out even after you have had your extension, the Lord shows Himself in all His glory. My husbands old job was great pay, great benefits, and long hours. We were blessed not to have to pay out anything for insurance, it was all covered, its amazing how we get used to things and soon take them for granit. When my husband lost his job, I prayed that he would have the job the Lord wanted for him, a great boss, a family company, a place where they treated him with respect, a place he would enjoy going to, surrounded by christians, great pay and benefits. I added more to my prayers daily. And here God was listening all the time. His new boss is a christian, working with a few men he knows and they too are christians, great benefits, new pay, all the things I was praying for. The one thing that is a struggle is he will have to go over the road again, and this is hard, its dangerous, many don't really think it is, but my husband has seen much disaster in his driving across the nation. So I will again pray for him as he walks out the door until he walks right back in and give praise for all God has done. God doesn't give us all we ask for, all we want, He gives us what we need, and for some reason He wants my husband to be here at this family owned business. God uses us all in so many different ways, and my husband meets people everywhere he goes, I know God has something big in store for him. This has been so hard on our family, we have really struggled to have food on the table, to pay our bills and yes, some have had to be on hold. But we were never meant to be comfortable, it is in these times that we grow, we find out who we are, and in our weakness we find Christ's strength. I am proud of my husband. He is such a good man, a good husband and I am blessed to have him. He has done odd jobs, he has taken care of us with God's grace and mercy. Please pray for my husband as he begins this new adventure with a new job, and more changes come to our family. I can't say I am ever happy when my husband is not home, in fact, I have gotten quite use to him being here. I have watched God change us, humble us, and provide for us during our struggle and I am so thankful for Him, all He has done and all He will do. God always meets us where we are. If you are in this place, if you are in transition, if you are struggling, don't give up on yourself and never give up on God, He is there, putting together His plan for you. He is in control, we just have to believe and He will show Himself true to us in everyway possible~ Jeremiah 29:11 "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."
If you yourself have not been touched by breast cancer, than you most likely know someone who has, or is fighting for their lives right now. Breast cancer stretches across our globe, touching everyone by one way or another. Each woman fears those words, each woman prays it never reaches her. For every woman out there we do our self breast exams, we feel for lumps, a differant feeling, and we go for those dreaded mammograms for our protection. Our church and our community has been touched by breast cancer, there are several ladies at our church who are battling this disease that tries to rob all you have. Although I cannot fathom, in no way can I understand what these ladies have gone through, but my heart and my prayers have been faithful to them. You see, me watching these ladies battle cancer has taught me so much. I see their hope, their faith, their strength in Christ, the will to keep fighting, and in their trial they so have taught us how we should be in the midst of pain and hurt. They haven't turned away from Christ, they have run to Him, they have shown a sweeter walk with the Lord, and they have shared so much with us. Some have chosen to wear wigs, and others have chosen not to, and ya know, they each look beautiful. As women we fear of losing our hair, but these ladies have shown such a beauty that is far past our hair, it is a beauty that runs deep, it is a beauty that Christ has placed in them. To get their treatments, to go through surgery, and to face an enemy that wants to steal your life, these women have shown Christ's strength through their adversity. They have their ups and downs, they at times can move two steps forward and then there is that big step back, but no matter what they face, they face it with their Savior by their side, knowing He is in control and He loves them and will fill them with all they need moment by moment. They overcome every obstacle in their way. You can see a sweet love in their eyes, a new look on life, they are living each moment at a time and living with such grace and beauty. It has been literally like watching a beautiful pink rose begin to bloom. For me, you think of cancer as taking life away, but with these ladies it is different, they are adding so much joy to life, they are giving so much, and they are blossoming into the women God created them to be. I don't know why cancer is here, I wish is weren't, but with ladies, they have shown such great love for their Father, that this love overflows to others. As I watch these ladies, I see what Christ means by being one, coming together, and being united. It brings ladies together, and in the moments of their suffering, we share in prayer and lift them up to Christ. He is the Great Healer, the Comforter, the Patience, the Peace, the Strength, and the Mighty Mercy who has touched them all. Pink brings us together, for even though we all may not fully understand what one woman goes through, we are women, and that we understand, we understand loving our husbands and our children and our life given to us by our Amazing God. They have taught me it doesn't matter how long we are here on this earth, its how we live in the time we are here, its giving, its loving, and its never taking one moment for granit. We seem to do that in life, take things and those we love for granit. I have watched mother and daughter come together, mothers and sons, and sisters in Christ with their husbands gathered around in prayer. The color pink is beauty by design, it is strength, love and grace. As these woman have gone through their trials, they have blossomed out like a rose giving a fragrance of what a wife, a mother, a sister really is, a beauty created by God with His hands to touch the world in a special way. When you see one of the cancer walks, you see all the ladies in pink walking, running, but something special you see is their smiles, their laughs, the love they carry for one another, that is who we are to be, we are to hold each other up, carry one another if we have to, open our hands and trust Christ with all we have. Pink has always been my favorite color, it is a color that catches your eye, its one of beauty, its one that is soft, gentle, and one that these ladies wear who have fought, who are fighting, and who are winning this battle. These ladies who wear pink are all heros to me, they have already won the battle the moment they recieved their news, so to them I give praise, to them I give you my prayers and my thanks for teaching us all you have learned and showing what life is really like when you wear pink~
I have asked myself many times,"Am I to be a parent to my children or a friend?" For me being a parent is the answer, being a friend is not my job, but you can find a middle ground. Its when we become their friend, that misunderstandings begin to come. You can't always be the cool mom, you know what is best for your children, and when our children see us as a friend instead of mom, it becomes harder for them to accept our word, to accept our advice and to respect us as moms. When we try too hard to become their friend we are stepping on dangerous ground. A bond is there between a mother and a daughter, a bond is no matter what comes, it just can't be broken. I learned being my daughter's friend is not what they needed, they need a mom to stand up, to share with them the truth, to teach them the word of God, and to be their example. Which brings forth another question. How do you feel about your girlfriends or others giving your children advice or encouraging them along? Is it always the best advice? Is it the right encouragement they need to hear? We can also find ourselves in trouble when we overstep our bounds in other children's lives. Yes, we should love them, we should encourage them in the Lord, but when we know they are doing wrong, should we just smile and say great job, or should we be encouraging them toward the love of God? Those are hard questions, and many times its best to be the friend of your girlfriend instead of being friends with her children. Why, I know this from experience. I once invited a young woman to stay with us in our home while she was having trouble at home with her mom, for me, I thought I could help, I thought I was doing what was right. I encouraged this young woman to go home, to work things out with her mom, and shared with her just how much her mom loved her and was hurting too. My advice didnt help, she ended up leaving our home and never returned home to her mother. This broke my heart, but I learned it was not my place to step in. For me, I took what this young woman said for the truth, until one day I was sitting face to face with her mother, with tears coming from both of us, I sat before her appologizing. I should have just been my friends friend and went to her, giving her support through their trial. This mom was hurting so badly, and it wasn't too long after that that I too was sitting in her same position. We often think we are doing a great service by being friends with our girlfriends daughters or sons, but too often it brings hurt, to often we overstep our bounds as friends. I had learned a great lesson from my experience. As moms we naturally want to help out and think we are, but too may times we are not, we are just encouraging more of the problem. The cool mom or friend might work for awhile, but it is doing more harm than good. The Lord showed me so much, and brought me to my knees praying for my friend and her daughter, just as I know she too prayed for me and mine. We need to find a middle ground, and remember we too have daughters and sons, and would we want others stepping in encouraging and giving advice. May the Lord bless you today if you are a mother, a father, or a friend, and may He show you just what your children need and give you the strength to be the greatest mom, dad, or friend in Christ Jesus~ I would love to know your thoughts on this subject and if you too have ever been in this position.
As I was thinking about being lonely at times, and others who are feeling hurt by not having someone in their lives to share with and to walk with, I was reminded by the Lord, I am never alone. I always say," I want to be right where He is", but ya know, He is always right there where I am. He doesn't ever leave me, I just begin to seek other ways or others to fill a spot He has already filled. The moment I accepted Him in my heart, He placed the Holy Spirit there to live and all I need is already there, I don't have to search anywhere else. He loves to walk too, He loves to share, to talk, and to bless. It is in those times that I feel no one else is there or understands that I realize Christ is there, and as long as He is there it doesn't matter who else is there. He is my best friend, my Father, the One who shares with me, forgives me, and guides me through life. When ya think about it, He is really all we need and until we figure that out, we are not going to have peace in our hearts about who we are, or how many friends we have, or who is coming over to visit. None of those things matter, we should be able to content with Him and His presence in our life. He is our everything! Friends, they come and go, children, they grow and make a life of their own, and we can't look to our husbands to make the world all right around us, that is the job of the Master. If we stop looking around at what other's have and what we do not have, if we stop looking to see if our friends are still there, and stop thinking is this really it, turn our eyes to Jesus and He will set before us a life that we couldn't imagine. It doesn't mean that trials will never come, I have learned that through those trials is where Jesus shows Himself to me so clearly. I am in love with my Savior. I am grateful, amazed at His love, and I want to live in His presence daily, I want to keep my focus on Him, not what is going on around me. If I am right where I need to be, then I am in His presence and He in mine, and when that happens He does miraculous things, He shows His strength, He shows His beauty, His grace, His mercy, and He will move through us to do His will and way. Our God is so good, He should be the first focus of our day, all throughout our day and when we close our eyes to sleep He should be upon our hearts. If we keep our attitudes in check with Him, stay close to Him, those temptations, all the junk around us isn't going to be such a factor in our daily lives, for with Him as our focus, He will be moving through us instead of our flesh taking hold. Your not alone, and don't let this world tell you that you are, with Jesus you have everything you need~ Psalm 150:1-2 Praise the Lord. Praise God in His sanctuary; praise Him in His mighty heavens. Praise Him for His acts of power; praise Him for His surpassing greatness."
Sunday, October 25, 2009
What is there that I could give my God? Is there anything of me that is worthy to Him? Can anything I have make Him better? He doesn't need me, He wants me. He is Holy and Just, for I am a sinner who was lost, but I was found, Jesus found me, Jesus opened His arms to me, this Unchangeable and Unmistakeable God gave Himself for me. There is nothing I can give, there is nothing I can do that would make Him love me more. What does He need from me, my love, my trust, my faith, and for me to be an open vessel for Him to move through. To make my body a holy and pure before Him, so that the Holy Spirit can live in me. God's glory belongs all to Him, His praise is a song that is heard all throughout heaven and on earth. There is no good in me, but Him. What can I give Him? My heart and my hand to lead me through this life and into a new life with Him. All the songs have been sung, all the words have been written, for me, words are not enough to describe the love I feel for Jesus. He can heal, He can bring forth a joyful heart, through our trials and pain He can bring forth peace, strength and understanding, that is far too great for us, so we believe, we trust and place our faith in Him. We often get puffed up and we often get to wise for our own good, thinking we have so much to offer, but in reality, the only thing we have to offer is Jesus. For my shame and my past, Jesus has taken it away and forgotten it forever. He can take my burdens and carry them giving me a freedom for His strength has become my rock. I wish there was something I could give Him, I wish there was a gift that could make Him smile, but it isn't anything I can produce on my own, for allowing Him to live in me is the greatest gift we can give Him, for when we turn to Him, when we surrender all to Him, even the angels in heaven are singing. I am forever thankful for all the Lord does in my life, for the sweet time He spends with me, for holding my hand during the darkest part of the night, and for loving me so much. We can offer only ourselves to Him, and for that I believe He smiles greatly. For each one who has come to Him, there are many more that still need to believe. So we can be those open vessels, allowing Him to live and move through us, planting seeds, and showing the same love, grace and forgiveness that He has shown us. Sometimes we can be so selfish and only want for ourselves, when we are selfish, we are not making room for Him. To open our hands, to open our hearts, to give all as He gave for us, that is a gift He is willing for His glory~ Romans 5:8 "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Ephesians 5:1-2 " Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma."
Do you ever look into the mirror and not know who you are looking at? Is that image distorted? Is it not what we want to see? There are those days I have looked in the mirror and wondered who was looking back at me. There are those days I don't like what I see, its like I am seeing a jaded view of what is to be there. When we look in the mirror we are to see Jesus there, not ourselves. There should be so much more of His reflection than ours. Sometimes we try to disguise our pain, we try to wear a mask, we try to hide from the truth, but the mirror doesn't lie, it shows what is really there, and at times it can be hurtful to take a good long look, but that is exactly what we should do everyday. If we are not looking at ourselves, checking ourselves, we might find ourselves not showing Jesus in our reflection. He should be the spotlight in our lives, not our deeds, not our beauty, not our wants and desires, too many times those are the very things that begin to distort our view, and the mirror shows us what is really there. We might go and get the cleaner to try to clean that mirror so we can see clearly, but it is showing all it needs to, we are the ones who need cleaning, we are the ones who need amazing grace to cleanse us, so when we look in the mirror all we see is Jesus, His love and grace. Some are fearful to look in the mirror, for we are afraid of what we will see, what need to change in order for Jesus to shine through, but we must not allow that fear, that pride roar in us like a lion, we must remain humble, we must be willing for God to clean us, but we must see it for ourselves, we must see all the dirt there blocking the reflection, we must let go and let God change us, let Him open our eyes to allow our vision to see what is before us, a sinner in need of forgiveness, a sinner in need of grace, in need of change, in need of a Savior. We may see ourselves one way, while those around us have a different view, but the view that is important is the view Jesus has of us. What is your mirror showing this morning? Are you hiding, are you pretending, or maybe your puffed up? We should be living so that our lives our a sweet sound of Jesus, that our reflection shows all of Him, for when He is shining forth, that mirror is showing truth, love, mercy, forgiveness. A mirror can bring forth praise to God, for if our lives are a reflection of Him, then we are living in such a way that the Holy Spirit is free to move through us to touch others. Let Jesus be shown in your life today, let His reflection become you~ Psalm 149:9 "The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works."
Everyday there seems to be some kind of battle attacking us. Battles come in many different forms and they reach us all. We may not see eye to eye with our husband, our child may be sick, we might find ourselves jealous, we find our minds wandering off to a path of their own that leads us to destruction. We may be at opposing sides with our children, the world may be speaking to us, calling us to live out our flesh, forgetting the Holy Spirit. Temptation finds us all, we may be alone or with a group, but temptation will always be something we battle daily. It is something we need God's strength for, we need God's word to teach us, to lead us in His path. We take our walk with Him, but there are those days, we seem to get lost, we lose sight of where we are going, and in our darkest hours we fall into sin, we stop fighting the temptation and allow the sin to control us. We might be thinking, its just one sin, its okay, but then two come, then three, and now you have moved far away from the truth, and are set on a course of destruction. In our moments of living in our sin, in bathing in it, satan deceives us, and we begin to listen and soon our lives become sin, just as we get use to a dirty smell over time, it doesn't bother us so much, our sin is the same way. We become so use to living in sin, we get use to the fame, the friends, the money, the men, the food, all that this world gives, that we are lost so deeply in ourselves, now it hurts too much to face Jesus, we think, by satan's deceiving that we have too much to give up, satan lies to us and tells us we don't need Jesus, and soon we feel too ashamed to go to Jesus. But satan is the king of lies, the king of deceiving us, and we must remember we can always go to Jesus, we can always go home, we can always find forgiveness in the love of Christ. See, we can live so long in our sin, that our eyes become jaded, our mind begins to think on its own, and our hearts begin to seek what we are not finding to satisfy us, so we keep digging deeper into sin, but there is a way out, there is a King of Kings who loves us more than anything. We can go to Him at any moment, shout out His name and He will come, He will wash us clean, He will give us the strength to fight all those temptations, He will guide us in leaving that life of sin, He will redeem us, He will provide a ram, He will remind us of the cross and all He gave for our freedom in Him. He didn't die so we could have freedom in sin, freedom in this world, but freedom from it. A few days ago my son and I were driving to town, as we were on our way we passed a dog on the side of the road. He looked tired, worn and hungry. On our way home he was there again, looking, seeking for food, for help, he was lost and alone. That poor dog had a look of pain on his face, that just seemed to say,"Help me". My son begged me to take this dog home, to give him a home and love. But I said,"No Jake, we can't take home every animal we see that is lost, we would have a whole house full." God spoke to me through my words, through my hurt for this animal. I could hear Him say," I would never leave one, I would go after that one and make a home for him. I will love all that come to Me and make a home for them that is overflowing with love". Jesus loves us, He sees when we are getting off our path, He is our compass forever pointing straight to Him. He doesn't leave us, we leave Him, but for that amazing grace, He will open His arms, love us and wash us with His forgiveness. Where are you stuck today? Is there something your struggling with? Is there a temptation that you are fighting? Jesus can set us free, and set us on the right path if we will humble ourselves and go to Him, with a faith that can move mountains. He will bring redemption, He will bring forth a strength bigger than even Samson knew. We fight battles, there is no big or small, sin is sin that satan has set before us to destroy us. Even a small bomb can kill thousands, it can destroy nations. One sin leads to another and soon we are blind to the sin before us. Jesus may give us room, He did give us freedom to choose, we don't have to choose His way, but there is no greater way, there is no richer way or a way that will bring more blessings and praise for His name. Whether gossip, gambling, pride, lieing, stealing, endulging ourselves in things that make us feel good, seeking glorification for ourselves, there are too many temptations to state, but we them all too well, Jesus knows them and He can give us what we need to fight the battles before us, so are you ready to humble yourself and face the truth? Jesus loves us, gave His life for us, He is there, He is knocking, why not answer today, and see your life change before your eyes? Live today with the Holy Spirit leading you, live today, right now at this moment with all Jesus has for you. Surrender to Him, and He will bless your life, and you will have a home eternal with Him, so what are waiting for? This world and satan has only lies to give you, to steal your joy away, to make your chains even tighter, find peace, find joy, find strength and grace in our Lord Jesus today, may He set you free~ Romans 3:23-26 "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus."
Are you interested in the end times? Are you wondering about the secrets of our government? In Shadow Government Grant R. Jeffrey reveals the truths about the secret global elite who is using surveillance against us. He gives scripture from the Prophets who fortold what is to come, and through those scriptures he is able to reveal what we are blind to. Our government is telling us only bits and pieces of what the truth really is. The news media gives account of what the government only allows to be told today,leaving us to fill in the gaps. Grant R. Jeffrey unfolds before us the secret elite who hold the power of the world and want to gain total power to bring forth a one world government. This book is an eye opening account of truths that our government is deceiving us about. Grant R. Jeffrey gives us notes throughout each chapter that we do not have to take one mans opinion, but seek the truth for ourselves about what is happening right before our eyes. In this book he is setting the stage for us to seek and learn about our government and those elite around us. He is engaging us to know more, and this book will put a fire under your feet to share the gospel with all those around you. Are we really living in a free country? Do we really have rights that are being upheld? Is our government watching and listening to every move we make? If you are asking these questions this book is a must read, and one you will want to share with many. We think we have the constitution to protect us, but there are powers bigger than our constitution that are taking our rights away one by one. As you read through this book it will be one you do not want to put down. When we see that prophecy is being unfolded before us, that we are in the birthing pains of the great tribulation, we must not keep our eyes closed, but open them to all that is around us from the evils of yesterday to the evils of today Grant R. Jeffrey unfolds the truths that we need to hear. This book was a gift from Multnomah WaterBrook Press for the review of its content. Grant R. Jeffrey is the internationally known prophecy researcher, Mideast expert, and author of Countdown to the Apocalypse, The New Temple and the Second Coming, The Next World War, and twenty other best-selling books. He is also the editor of the Prophecy Study Bible. His popular television program, Bible Prophecy Revealed, airs weekly on TBN. Jeffrey earned his master’s and PhD degrees from Louisiana Baptist University. He and his wife, Kaye, live in Toronto..http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9781400074426&ref=externallink_wbp_shadowgovernment_sec_0908_01
Saturday, October 24, 2009
It is hard to even know where to begin with story. As I dove into these pages I have to say I grew myself as I learned through the life of Pastor John Faircloth. He is a man who was the Pastor of the church, had a beautiful wife and daughter, along with a congregation that followed every word he said, that was the beginning of all his troubles to come as God showed him through trial after trial just how small he was and how big God was. John thought his way was the right way, and all should agree with him, or they must be punished for their wrong thinking. This book reminded me of Job, and how Job lost all he had, never cursing God, but always believing, and was blessed by God for his faith even though all around him didn't have it. But with Pastor John, he began cursing God, blaming God, and was thrown about in many trials that in the end showed who Christ really was, and once he surrendered himself to God, God had many blessings in store for him. This is an eye opening book about faith, about the church, and is a humbling story that brings a man to his knees to find Jesus. I loved reading this book. Each page leaves you waiting to see all God is going to do to make Himself known in Pastor John's life and those around him. He is on a wisdom hunt to find out truth, to find his real faith, and to find all that he has lost. This is one of those stories that will last a lifetime, that we can learn from, and grow from. God teaches us and reaches us in many different ways, and He did so through this wonderful story of grace. Randall Arthur is the bestselling author of Jordan’s Crossing and Brotherhood of Betrayal. He and his wife have served as missionaries to Europe for over thirty years. From 1976 till 1998, he lived in Norway and Germany as a church planter. Since 2000, he has taken numerous missions teams from the United States on trips all over Europe. Arthur is also the founder of the AOK (Acts of Kindness) Bikers’ Fellowship, a group of men who enjoy the sport of motorcycling. He and his family live in Atlanta, Georgia.http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9781601422996&ref=externallink_mlt_wisdomhunter_sec_0908_01
Friday, October 23, 2009
Have you ever heard someone say,"I just want them to be happy?" Maybe you have heard,"What ever makes them happy!" Happiness is a feeling that comes and goes at times minute by minute. Happiness changes from day to day. I have even said,"I want my children to be happy." After thinking, after prayer, God has shown me that's not what I need to be praying for. Just because something or someone makes you happy doesn't nessesarily mean great things. A drunk is happy when he has a bottle in his hands, a shopper is happy when she can whip out that credit card, but once that bottle is gone, was your credit limit is gone your happiness leaves with it. Just as if you give your child a phone to make them happy, is it good that they text 1,000 times a day? If my husband wants a brand new truck to make him happy, and we cannot pay for it, is that really something lasting? There are those who are sexually active with many different people, or even just one before marriage, that brings them happiness for awhile, but that happiness is destroying them inside and out, only to find that out later. The man who goes to the boat to gamble, has his pockets full of money that is for his house payment, goes in happy as he begins to win, but when he has walked out without any reward, knowing he now has to tell his wife they are going to lose their home, his happiness is gone. There are many things that we think will bring us happiness, but it is not lasting, and just because it makes us smile, or makes us feel good, doesn't mean it is good for us. When the addict has all their pills they too are happy, those pills bring them happiness for awhile, but without them is he finding happiness? No. The things of this world do not bring us happiness. I see so many people telling others they are happy for them, when that is not what God would want for His children. We should be praying that our children find real joy, real peace and a life full of blessings from Christ, not the things that will give them happiness. Satan has tricked us into thinking we just need to be happy, and its those very things that will destroy us slowly over time and take us farther away from Christ. I no longer pray for my children's happiness, I pray that they will find joy in the Lord, open their hearts and eyes to all He has for them, and not to be distracted by the world's view of happiness. Whether it is a new purse, a new pair of shoes, a house, a buying spree, drugs, sex, you fill in the blank of what your drug of happiness is, is it really worth it? When we are feeling happy, it is like being on a drug, and once that feeling is gone, we are looking for it elsewhere. Just as when a woman cheats on her husband, or he is looking outside the marriage for what he calls happiness, what is really happening? They are trying to fill a void inside, they are trying to keep that high going, and when it doesn't happen they seek to find other ways to bring that feeling back. When really they are trying to find a way of their pain in many cases, they are trying to avoid the real matter. We have to come face to face with if what we are looking for is a need or a want, and is it what God would have for us? If it is not what God would have for us, then it isn't real joy, it is a feeling that will go from high to low, it can happen in a matter of moments. Your child is on their way to a party, you tell them, have a happy time! Well, if there is beer there, maybe drugs, even sex, should we be telling them to have a happy time? We have gotten so off track, we are allowing our children to do whatever they desire to bring them happiness, when in reality they are destroying themselves. We should be seeking joy from the Lord, and He sends joy that fills your heart with pure things, not the things of this world. Satan is going from person to person to destroy them, he sends out these small things that seems to bring a feeling of happiness to pull us away from our family, from our church, and from Christ. May we seek true joy today, not earthy happiness. Those changes do not happen over night, but with Christ He can show us joy and how to get there, and it may mean leaving behind the life you have set before you, it may mean changes in your behavior. What all have you given up for your happiness? Lets stop giving away, and begin gaining joy from our Savior who knows His plan for us, knows just where we need to be today and what we need to leave behind in order to find Him~ Romans 15:13 " Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."
Religion is man's way of getting to God, Christianity is God's way of getting to man. In religion there are so many motions to go through, in christianity its not the motions you go through, its having a conversation with Christ. In our church we are blessed to have a Pastor who knows he is human, he is a man who struggles with life just as we all do. The difference is he was called by God to bring a message to the world. He has always told us to never just take his word for something, seek it for yourself, pick up your bible and and find what God is showing us in His word. Today if we are not careful we can be in a place where we take all the Pastor says and never question it for ourselves. Christianity is God's way of having a relationship with us, its Him spending time with us and living in us. Even in Christianity we can begin to go through all the motions, we can go to church and never pick up our bible. I don't think God is going to get angry if we question our faith, if we question all that is, it is in those questions that we find the answers He has put before us. If we go our whole life without questioning why, what, where, who or how, are we really growing in Christ? If we are not careful we can be at one extreme or the total opposite. At one end we can have so many man made rules to live by that we are taking the place of God and we are putting Him in a box as we live by our rules, or we can be at the other end of that extreme and allow everything, accepting all so we don't hurt anyone's feelings. We have to find our middle, right where God wants us to be. We can find that place if we spend time asking questions and seeking His wisdom. Yes, it is awesome to have Sunday School, its great to have a bible study at church, but we must remember to spend time with Him alone, seeking His will for our lives, opening those pages of His love story to us and seeing all He has for us. If we are to have a real relationship with Christ we have to make an effort, we have to move, just as making a new friend, taking time out for ourselves, joining a club, or playing sports. You don't show up to practice without your gear, you don't show up to your book club without your book, you also don't get to know your new friend if your not willing to spend time with them. Too many times I have sat and listened without really seeking for myself. We are blessed with an amazing Pastor and he would never lead us astray, but what I am saying is, for my relationship with Christ to grow I must study for myself, I must pick up my bible, not just on Sundays, I must seek Christ daily, increase my prayer time, and allow the Holy Spirit to lead, guide and direct me for the purpose and plan He has set before me. It doesn't matter what you wear to church, it doesn't matter how long your hair is, if you have piercings, if your ankles are showing, or if a woman wants to wear pants to church. That is man making up his own rules for us to follow, that has nothing to do with Christianity. When we are a Christian we follow the Holy Spirit, not the man making the rules for his church to go by. The church is the people underneath the building, where we gather to worship, to praise and to seek His word for us. For me, I don't need Religion, I don't need motions to go through, I don't need man made rules, for me as a Christian all I need is Christ, a relationship with Him and a heart for His word to find my purpose and plan. It is good to question, it is good to think and to seek out the truth, until we learn to do that and not just take one man's word for it, we will never find Jesus, we will never have the relationship He wishes to have with us. Questions lead to answers and answers lead us to Christ~ Psalm 111:10 "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever." James 1:5 "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him"
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Do you have those days where you just want to escape? Do you have those times in that you are tired and weak? Those nights that you just want to find a hiding place, a place of protection, of comfort and love? For me that hiding place is Jesus Christ. There is no embrace like His. There are no words as comforting as His. I know when I am afraid, when I am not sure of what to do anymore, I know I can turn to Him without a doubt, feel His touch and He will direct me, giving me His wisdom. But there are those days that I am just tired, those days that you want to give up and stop trying, but on those days, Jesus is the One who gives me strength, who fills me with His spirit and moves me to tears from the joy I have gained by spending time with Him. To surrender into His arms is the greatest place to be. I have tried hiding in the bathroom, you moms or even dads know that that isn't possible. As soon as that door would close, I would hear mommy, I would see little fingers come under the door. That hiding place isn't on the phone, you also know just how that works. Just as soon I got on the phone with a friend, the kids needed something, they wanted me, and the more I tried to stay on the phone, the louder they got, so my calls didn't last very long when my children were small. There are those places we go, it might be cleaning your house with the radio blasting, in a room all to yourself with a book, taking you to a far away place that seems so much better than where you are right now. For me that became a problem, for in the midst of my pain, I would read a book a day to escape the pain my heart was feeling, but in that time, instead of turning to a book, I should have turned straight to my Savior, He should have been my hiding place. Many may go shopping, take a trip to an Island, or even go home to mom and dad. I have learned you cannot hide from your trials or pain no matter how far you try to escape. Your trials are still there no matter where you or what you are doing. The lesson is to go to your hiding place in Jesus' arms, and face our trials head on with Him as our wisdom and our strength. He gives us all we need in our times of distress, in those times you feel so lost and alone. Turning to your christian friends is a wonderful gift, and they may give you great advice, but the best thing as a friend you can do is pray with them, for its not the advice of friend God wants us to seek, its His wisdom and knowledge. God can move through others to touch us with His grace, but when we are faced with adversity we need to run to Jesus. His hands were pierced by nails, they still hold the scars today, so what better hand is there to reach out to? He is there in the morning as the sun rises, in the afternoon when things are hectic, and in the evening as the sun is setting, and throughout the night when darkness is around us. Jesus pursues us with His love, He covers us with His forgiveness, He lifts us with His strength right at that time we are ready to give up, He pours His grace over us and holds us with those nail pierced hands until we can stand on our own, and we ready to face our trials. Those trials are not going anywhere as much as we want them to, for when one leaves, there is soon to come another for us to face, but we never have to face them alone, Jesus is there to stand for us. Our hiding place is on our knees, its curled up like a child, its out in the woods, its in your bedroom curled in your cover, wherever you are Jesus is right there. The amazing thing is that once we call out to Jesus, once He takes our hand, we find that with His strength our trials don't seem as bad as they were before, and once we feel His love wash over us, we know we can overcome any battle, for God has already won, the victory is His, and as His children, He will keep His arms open wide for us. He is waiting for you today, where are you? What are you facing today? Are you lonely, are you tired, weak, not sure of what to do? Say His beautiful name and He will be there to bring you all you need~ Psalm 32:7 "You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance."
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Micah 6:8 " He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you, but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God." When we allow Christ to live through us, we put on His love, we show others what love is, and if we are walking in Him, He is looking good on us, once we get out of the picture. To have love for others, to have mercy for those around you, and to be humble are character traits that bring others to Christ. He has given us an example here, He is showing us how to let Him shine through us. Walking in Jesus, is walking in love always, showing mercy is opening up your heart, to feel the others pain, to understand without judgement, and to help to carry the load of a friend, and to walk humbly isn't to walk proud. It is knowing that all we have, all we do, all we are is because of Jesus, its nothing we have done. This is one of my favorite verses, it is one that I know I should live by, but it is also one that I can struggle with, but by the grace of God He shows me the way. Jesus showed and carried all these qualities His whole life. He walked with many different people, spoke to everyone. He came to show us through His life and through His death how we should walk, how we should carry ourselves, and how we should live. First we have to realize, its not about us. For me, I have to remind myself of that daily, it is all about Him, about living for Him, and pointing others to Him. If we are not humble, if we are not loving, nor carrying mercy in our hearts are we really going to show others who Jesus is? For us to put on love, we must put on Jesus first, we must learn to be open vessels for Him to use. For us to walk in love, we can't be selfish, we can't be proud thinking we are better, for He created us all equal. In love there is no "Me" or "Selfishness", those are the things that point others away from Christ. To be humble is to know just how big God really is and just how small we really are. So where are you today? Are you putting on the love? Are you letting Jesus shine in all you do? If your like me, and if your honest, you will admit you struggle in this area of life. The more we let go of, the more we understand who we are in Jesus, and the more we open our hearts, the more we carry mercy, the more we are willing to help others, even when its inconvenient to our plans. Lord I pray we can walk in Your steps humbly, with mercy in our hearts, and sharing Your love with all those around us today. As You live in us, may we allow You to move us and shake us, to make Your will our will. So what do ya say, are you ready to walk in love today? Jesus did~
Without Jesus I know I am nothing. Without Him I know I have no talents to share. Without Him I know I am lost without a way to heaven. Without Him I know that life wouldn't really be life. You might be able to call it life, but it wouldn't be living. There is nothing to compare in the world that could even measure up to what I have found in Jesus. He is my everything, He is my life, my every breath, He is the one who sends blessings, who lifts me up, who continues to love me even though I know I don't deserve His love. For so many years I thought the things of this world would make me happy, but once I stopped looking to the world and looking to Jesus, I knew right then and there, that nothing would ever be so grand as knowing Him, having Him love me, and to hear His sweet voice. In life we think we need so many things, but He has shown us its when we give up all those things that we find Him. As I look at the world, at all those who do not know Him, it brings a sadness to my heart, for if they could only let go of themselves and allow Jesus to wash over them, they could find real peace, real joy, and they could finally understand what living is all about. As I see the sick around me, the hurting, the hungry, Jesus gives me hope, He gives me a security in Him, knowing nothing touches me without His knowledge, and when He allows it, it is for a reason, and with each new trial, new temptation, I know He is there to save me, He is there to bring joy, to bring love, replacing all those burdens with a peace once I surrender to Him and give Him all. On those days I am fearful, He is there to let me know all is okay. I have nothing to fear, nothing to get me down, that is what satan is trying to do, he is trying to destroy me, and with the power of Jesus that just isn't going to happen. He is my life, my love and knowing Him, walking with Him has made life real, has given life a purpose, and has made this journey so sweet. Just to say His name brings comfort. Do you know Him, really really know Him? We can all learn scripture, we can all sit in church on Sunday, and never have a personal relationship with Him, but let me share with you, once you come to Him, your life will change forever, not only change but He will do the changes, He will give you all you need to be who He created you to be. Wherever you are today, whatever you are doing, stop and spend some time with Jesus, get to know Him, for He already knows you, but wants to share so much more. He loves you ya know, go to Him, give all you have to Him, and as He comes into your heart you will be overjoyed with a feeling you have never experienced before. Share with Him today and become a member of the family, His family, in whom He gave all for our freedom. Thank you Jesus for your love, your forgiveness, and delivering me from the bondage of my sins, of myself. I was helpless before God came into my life. When you call out His name, He will answer the call everytime. May He be Lord of your life also. Lord, I give You all the praise for my life, for the blessings, for leaving my past right there in the past, and giving me a future in You~
I am blessed to have a special girlfriend in my life who has brought so many laughs, has lifted me up, and made me feel so welcome, and loved. She came into my life at the time Jesus knew just what I needed, a sister in Christ, a friend who seemed to know all about me, and make me feel as though we have spent our whole lives together. We have shared secrets, we have opened our hearts up, we have created things together, and we have learned so much along the way. Life is a journey with her, she brings peace to a girl when the tears have come. She adds spice to my life with her personality that is so unique and special. She is on fire for God, wants to live for Him, to serve Him, and to share with others the blessings He has given. Yes, Bobbie is one talented, beautiful lady who God has used to bring such joy and life into mine. Its great to have a girlfriend that you know is there for anything, one who will stand for you, one who will stand with ya, and if your not able to stand, she is gonna raise you up with the love of Jesus. We share strawberry tea, coffee filled to the brim with whipped cream as we read God's word together and grow in our faith as God strengthens us through His word. He has revealed before us our blessings, and to be able to share that with a girlfriend is a gift I am so grateful for. She is a woman who desires to live a life filled with Christ, she is a woman who loves her children more than the air she breaths, and is a wife who is loving to her husband. She has taught me much about giving, about being real, and letting go, so God can move. We share a love of purses, I don't know whose collection is bigger, and we both love the color pink! The amazing thing is she is honest, she is sincere, and has such a humble heart. She knows her past, her present and knows that God has brought her from a hungry soul to one who is fed with His love and His word. She has made me the most amazing bracelets that I will cherish forever. She has such beautiful talents, she doesn't know she really has a gift, thats where the humble part comes in. She surprised me one day by entering our names in a contest to hear Pastor Paul Sheppard preach. When the call came to me telling me I won, I knew without a doubt it was all a gift from God, for as we worshipped, as we listened to God's word, He moved in both of us, and what an amazing night to share with a girlfriend. A girlfriend is there by your side through the thick and thin. I believe she is here to stay. We share our deepest fears, we share our dreams and I know when we share it goes no further than her than my heart to hers. She has many gifts to share with others, but she isn't puffed up, she doesn't belong to a click, she isn't in the in crowd, and she doesn't have to be for she knows she is in the presence of her Savior. She has such a heart of mercy she loves all those around her, she never makes a difference in others, she opens her heart to all those around her. She is confident in herself knowing Jesus is her strength and her redeemer. Its great to know what the other will say before it is said, to laugh and to be yourselves, not trying to inpress anyone or to fit a mold, she is a one of kind friend that anyone would be blessed beyond words to call her friend, but she is not only my friend, she is my sister in Christ, and I know that our friendship is going to last forever, here on this earth and in heaven when we will live with Jesus forever. She is one of those special pearls that is like no other. She is an encourager to me, she lifts me up along our journey together. I am thankful Lord that You brought Bobbie into my life, to share a bond that is so strong, nothing can break it. A girlfriend is a treasure, one that you hold close to your heart when you know that you have a good one. Lord, bless our friendship, bless our families, and may we continue to grow as christian women, may we grow in our friendship and may we forever share the love that you have given us with others, so that they too can know you as Savior!
What is it that you call Jesus? Do you call Him Savior, Redeemer, Father, My Shelter, My Comforter, My Healer? There are many names for Jesus, there is no greater name, no greater love that we will find. He has been My Provider, My Helper, He has been all things to me, and at different times in my life He is My Protector, My Guidence, My Counselor, and My Forgiver. There are those days I call Him Daddy. Where I just want to crawl up in His lap and feel His love. I want Him to wash the sin away from me, to protect me from my enemies, to provide a way, there are those days, those days in which I just want to sit there and feel His comfort wash over me. I go to Him knowing He is going to love me, He may correct me, He may be joyful that I was an open vessel, but as my Father, I know there is no greater love. As His daughter I know He watches over me and my family. There are those days where my prayers seem to repeat themselves, but I know He is listening. He has a big enough lap that we can all sit upon His knee at the same time, feeling His goodness and grace wash over us. On His lap is where I know I can be myself, I can tell Him anything, I can open my heart and cry out. When I don't know what to say or do, I know He does, and if I am still and quiet He will give me all the wisdom I need at that moment. He is our God and He comes in many different ways to us. Sitting upon His knee I know there is hope, I know where I can find mercy. As He wipes my tear stained face, I know that with each tear, He too feels my pain and suffering, He knows all to well what pain is, what having others turn away from you feels like, and to be lied about, to be left out in the dark, He knows all about hurt, but He also knows all about forgiveness and letting go. I feel so small next to Him, for me, He is bigger than life, He is greater that the air we breathe. He is more majestic than any view we have looked upon. Sitting upon His lap gives me the strength I need to face each day, to make it through the night at times. There is no greater place to be than upon His lap for me. When the tears are flowing, I call out to Him, I cry out Daddy and I can feel His hand upon me. I find it hard to realize what life would be without Him, even though I did not grow up knowing Him, and came to Him at a later age, it feels like all that is erased, and all that is important now is that I know Him by His name and He calls me His child. When was the last time you sat upon His lap? Are you missing Him, because I know He is missing you if you are not there. My son and I saw a dog today on our way to town, a dog that I know someone just left there. To see this dogs face, we felt sorrow, knowing he was just left alone, dumped off, not wanted by anyone. Do you ever feel that way? Do you ever feel lost and broken, shaken to the core? Whatever you are feeling today you can know that Jesus is there, waiting for you to crawl upon His lap, to tell Him all about your life, your past, your burdens, and to hear your prayers. He can give you the love you are missing, the comfort you so need, and the forgiveness that is waiting. He will cover you with His grace and mercy, bringing you a peace that you have never known. Don't wait any longer, crawl upon your Father's lap today, let Him fill your cup, and feed your soul. May you know the blessings He has waiting for you, if you will just come. Psalm 18:1-2 " I will love You, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold."