Sunday, November 29, 2009

Adversity

So much of our society here in the United States is focused on having good times.  When adversity comes as it has to many Americans in this economy, we do not view it as helpful.  However, when we belong to God, our times of adversity can become useful and mighty tools in HIS hands.  Below is a sermon by Dr. Charles Stanley that will help you to understand how God uses adversity in the lives of His children for their good.

God's Purpose in Adversity

Monday, November 23, 2009

Earthly Thoughts?

This morning I was able to snag some reading time.  The title of the devotion was "Heaven on Earth".  It said to set our minds on things above rather than things on earth (Col. 3:2).  To go along with that I heard a message on the radio about Heaven.  Lately, I have been telling the Lord that I don't like it down here.  I don't like death, sickness, aging, unkindness, etc.  So the Lord has been speaking to me of Heaven.  I know for myself, I get so fixed on what is going on around me, that heaven seems like a fantasy.  But listening to what the Bible has to say about heaven and believing it is real, well, that is a stress buster!

But there is something special about earth.  Earth is the only place where we can receive salvation.  Each person born on this planet has the opportunity to accept salvation through Jesus, God's greatest most ultimate gift!  Without Him there is no real joy, security, future or peace.  On earth everything is passing away, withering, aging, decaying, etc.  In Heaven that all stops!  I get so excited knowing that someday I will live in a place where there is no pain, no sadness, sickness, etc.  Praise God for His love as shown through His Son.  Because of Jesus, my ultimate destination is Heaven.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Worried about Thanksgiving

"Several Presidents, including George Washington, made one-time Thanksgiving holidays. Although the demand for making it a regular national holiday came in from various quarters, but of little impact. In 1827, Mrs. Sarah Joseph Hale began lobbying several Presidents for the proclamation of Thanksgiving as a national holiday. It didn't see success until 1863 when Abraham Lincoln finally made it a national holiday with his 1863 Thanksgiving Proclamation."  (as taken from:  How Thanksgiving Became a Holiday)

Thanks to the patient diligence of Mrs. Sarah Joseph Hale, we have a national day of thanksgiving.  It took her about 40 years to see her hard work become fruitful.  And thanks to Abraham Lincoln for recognizing this was a good idea.  But where is America headed?  It saddens me the direction this great nation is taking.  I see it in how government is run, who is picked for president, etc.  I see it in the holidays we chose to celebrate and ignore.  One such holiday that I see hardly spoken of on TV or on the radio is "Thanksgiving".  It says in 2 Timothy 3, that in the last days it will be difficult to be a Christian.  That children will be disobedient to their parents, that people will be ungrateful and will love only themselves and money.  The list goes on. Yes, this is what concerns me, the spirit of ungratefulness.  It is in the church, it is in the world, it is in people's hearts.  And we see it in the fact that retailers readily accept Halloween and from there jump straight into Christmas.  All for the love of money.

Please, if you are a Christian, do not let the spirit of Thanksgiving die away in your heart, let your praises flow for our Lord's daily care, His great blessings and constant abiding love.   

Friday, November 13, 2009

Jeremiah 17:7-8


But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and has made the Lord his hope and confidence.  He is like a tree planted along the riverbank, with roots reaching deep into the water - a tree not bothered by the heat nor worried by long months of drought.  Its leaves stay green and it goes right on producing all its luscious fruit.

Duties of Great Importance for a Christian

This is taken from 1 Thessalonians 5:16-22.

1.  Rejoice evermore! - In our salvation through Jesus Christ!



2.  Pray without ceasing.


3.  In everything give thanks.


4.  Quench not the Spirit.


5.  Despise not the preaching of the word.



6.  Prove all things (by the word), holding fast that which is good.


7.  Abstain from all appearance of evil.


Monday, November 2, 2009

Wearing a Mask?

(Matthew 6:1-4) Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.

Commentary: As Jesus speaks about the inappropriateness of doing deeds just to be seen and applauded by people, He uses a very strong word to describe those who practice these things: hypocrites (v. 2). The Greek term here is hupokrites, which is the word for actor. In ancient Greece, actors wore masks to convey emotion, so the term hupokrites was used to describe those who wear a mask, or who pretend to be something they are not. Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament says: "This is the hardest word that Jesus has for any class of people and He employs it for these pious pretenders who pose as perfect. They have received their reward." -Bill Crowder

My thoughts: With Halloween just having gone by this made me think. Wearing a costume one day out of the year is fun, but how many of us continue to wear a spiritual costume? Just like wearing make-up can hide flaws, we can also wear make-up for our soul. Jesus says that doing that is not right.

Lately, I have been thinking how overwhelmed I am by the cares of this life. Reading this, there is no need to pretend that I am not. It is good for me to be open and honest so that my brothers and sisters in Christ might be praying for me. It is good to open to the Lord about it so that I open the door for Him to help me.

I also thought about how I have been thinking that I am doing most of the work around the house getting it ready for sale. At times I loudly proclaim this. Ahh, the flesh! Yes, I need to remain silent and just do the work, and stop acting like I am perfect.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Interesting Article

Of Climate Control and One World Government

Click on the above title and read this very interesting article.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Feeling Bombarded?

Here are four simple truths from God's Word that can make a difference and lead you to victory.

1. First, whenever you face difficulties, remember that God is in control of all your circumstances. (Romans 8:28-29). Though He may not have initiated our trials, He allowed them. That means He can bring good out of them and teach us powerful lessons if we trust Him.

2. Second, remember that the Lord takes full responsibility for all your needs when you are following Him in obedience. (Romans 8:31-32) Paul confirmed this principle when he wrote, "God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:19). The Father is faithful to provide for you, even when you cannot see how He will do so (Ps. 37:25)

3. Third, remember that if you have trusted Jesus Christ as your Savior, the Lord is always with you. (Romans 8:35-37). You are not alone. No matter where you go or what you go through, God will never forsake you (Deut. 31:6, 8; Heb. 13:5)

4. Finally, remember that the Lord loves you with an eternal, irrevocable love. (Romans 8:38-39) You cannot lose God's love. It is unconditional, sacrificial, and based on His unwavering character - not on your behavior (Romans 5:8; 1 John 4:7-10). That does not mean He condones sin. On the contrary, ungoldly behavior is destructive to you, so He despises it. Rather, it means His affection for you is not based on what you do. You don't have to earn it or work to keep it. When you fail, you do not forfeit it. And no one could ever convince Him to care for you less. His love is freely given and all you have to do is open your heart to receive it.

(By Charles Stanley ~ edited by B. Finley)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fret Not Thyself

Far in the future
Lieth a fear,
Like a long, low mist of grey,
Gathering to fall in dreary rain,
Thus doth thy heart within thee complain;
And even now thou art afraid, for round thy dwelling
The flying winds are ever telling
Of the fear that lieth grey,
Like a gloom of brooding mist upon the way

But the Lord is always kind
Be not blind
Be not blind
To the shining of His face
To the comforts of His grace
Hath He ever failed thee yet?
Never, never: wherefore fret?
O fret not thyself, nor let
Thy heart be troubled,
Neither let it be afraid.

Near by thy footfall
Springeth a joy,
Like a new-blown little flower
Growing for thee, to make thee glad,
Let thy countenance be no more sad,
But wake the voice of joy and health within thy dwelling,
And let thy tongue be ever telling,
Not of fear that lieth grey,
But of little laughing flowers beside the way.

But the Lord is always kind
Be not blind
Be not blind
To the shining of His face
To the comforts of His grace
Hath He ever failed thee yet?
Never will His love forget.
O fret not thyself, nor let
Thy heart be troubled,
Neither let it be afraid.

~By Amy Carmichael

Friday, October 16, 2009

A New View

I have been feeling a bit depressed. The Lord has shaken our circumstances. We are very blessed that my husband did not lose his job, however, keeping his job requires us to move to another state. After living in the state of California for 48 years, moving away does not thrill me. Especially leaving the house that I have lived in the past 18 years. This is the first house Mark and I bought. All the work we have done to our home in the past 18 years we will now leave behind. My gardens, the trees we planted with our Cub Scout troop, my remodeled kitchen, etc. All these things have become dear to me, but yet, these are not the things I should be hanging on to.

I have been blessed beyond measure in my Little Blue Cottage and I can honestly say that I have not realized how much I have been blessed until being faced with moving away. Out of the depression I feel I have been afforded a view of something greater. God's faithfulness, His love, care and kindness. And I am blessed with the knowledge that it is not "things" I should hang on to, but HIM.

"But oh my soul, do not be discouraged, do not be upset, expect God to act! For I know that I shall again have plenty of reason to praise Him for all that He will do. He is my help! He is my God!" ~Psalm 42:11

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

God Knows the Future

This morning my devotional was titled "Be Still" and it quoted the verse Psalm 46:10 ~ Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! ~ With what is going on in our country and within the state of California, this is a comforting verse. And for that matter, this verse is comforting concerning our family's future move to Colorado.

Lately, I have been praying that I will not stray from the Lord. That I will always choose Him despite the sufferings. As I see it, suffering is a proving ground. This quote makes sense to me "God knows the future, so we are safe in His hands." Despite what is going on around me, the Lord is my rock. He is ever present, unchanging, unmovable. I need to leave all with Him and trust. To rest comfortably in His care.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Rejoice


Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion:
for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the
midst of thee, saith the Lord.


~Zechariah 2:10~

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Demonstrating Our Love for Him


Purity is best demonstrated by generosity. Luke 11:41 (translation from the Living Bible)

This verse speaks to me. Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees in the above verse. He said that they wash the outside, but on the inside they were very dirty - full of greed and wickedness. They were careful to follow the law, but their motives were wrong. He told them that they were forgetting about justice and the love of God. He accused them of hiding the truth from people by appearing to accept God when they were not. In today's language, they were going through the motions, but their heart wasn't in it.

These are amazing passages. The Lord is looking for a tender, humble heart, open to Him. He isn't looking for robots. He wants a relationship with us. He wants our right actions to spring out of love for Him. Once we love Him, we will naturally love others. When I am filled with Him I will naturally have something to give others. Out of me, will spring living water.

Generosity of heart means willingness to forgive. Willingness to help others. Etc. We can only get this from our Lord. Let my love for you O Lord spring up into service of those around me. Lord, please let me be pleasing to you this day. In Jesus name I ask ~ Amen.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Seeking Him

Lanterns of Gold
By Connie Tom

I may not see the path ahead,
Or find my way with ease,
But Jesus leads me by the hand~
He knows the way, He sees.

~Adams

In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.
~Proverbs 3:6

What does acknowledging God mean?
First we must accept Jesus as our Savior.
Then we must express recognition of His power over our lives.
If we simply do this, He will lead us and guide us.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Autumn Bridge

Autumn Bridge
By Charles White

The Lord is ever with me
Along life's busy way;
I trust in Him completely
For guidance day by day.

~Anonomous

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.
(James 1:5)


Our heavenly Father promises to provide the guidance we need, especially during trying times. All we need do is ask with a sincere desire to follow His direction and faith that His way is best.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Giant Despair at Doubting Castle

I am still reading the great classic Pilgrim's Progress. In Chapter 14 Christian follows a man by the name of Vain Confidence, who leads them off the path. Vain Confidence falls into a pit which kills him leaving Christian and his companion Hopeful on their own and off course. When they realize that they are definitely off course they try to head back the way they came only it is dark and there is a storm raging about them. Unfortunately, they wind up at Doubting Castle and fall into the hands of Giant Despair and his wife Diffidence who throw them into their dungeon. Here below is a quote from the book toward the end of the chapter.

"So when morning came, the Giant went to them again, took them into the castle yard, and showed them what his wife had suggested to him. "These," said the Giant "were once Pilgrims as you are, and they trespassed on my property as you have done. When I saw fit, I tore them in pieces, and within ten days I'll do the same to you. Go! Get yourselves down to your cell again!"

With that, he beat them all the way there. They lay, therefore, all day on Saturday in a pitiful condition as before. When night came, and when Diffidence and her husband the Giant had gone to bed, they began again their conversation about their prisoners. And then the old Giant wondered why he couldn't bring them to an end with either his beating or his advice. Then his wife replied, "I fear that someone will come to rescue them, or that they may have some means to pick the locks by the means of which they hope to escape."

"You think so, my Dear?" said the Giant. "Therefore, I'll search them in the morning."

Well, on Saturday about midnight the prisoners began to pray, and they continued in prayer until almost daybreak. A little before dawn good Christian, as someone half amazed, broke out in this passionate declaration: "What a fool I am," he exclaimed, "to lay here in a stinking dungeon, when I could just as easily walk at liberty! In my coat, next to my heart, I have a Key called Promise. I'm persuaded it will open any lock in Doubting Castle."

"That's good news, Brother," said Hopeful. "Take it out and try."

Then Christian took it from his heart and began to try it on the dungeon door. As he turned the key, the bolt on the door gave way, and the door easily flew open. Christian and Hopeful both went out, and then Christian went to the iron gate, for it had to be opened too. Well, that lock turned very hard, but the key opened it. Then they threw open the gate to quickly make their escape."

This shows that we need to keep the word of God tucked in our hearts. And when we fall into doubt or despair (as most of us will) we need to use the word of God and His precious promises to help us escape.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Eternal vs. Earthly

This morning I was inspired by my devotional. It was talking about there being two kinds of people in the world. Those who have an eternal outlook and those who have a here & now outlook (or present).

Characteristics of an Eternal Outlook:

1. Absorbed in the permanent, heavenly minded
2. Stores treasure in Heaven
3. Hangs in there when the going gets tough
4. Willing to suffer earthly poverty, hunger, shame, indignity for the glory that will be revealed

Characteristics of a Present Outlook:

1. Absorbed in what is the here & now (earthly matters)
2. Accumulates things here on Earth
3. Happiness hinges on circumstances
4. Pursues wealth, fame, power, popularity, etc.

"I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." (Romans 8:18)

I need to practice faith in the everyday little things. That being a stay at home mom (SAHM) is a blessing even if the world looks at it as lowly. I should get my clue right there that I am doing God's will by staying home.

I was watching a show last night about a missionary woman. She was able to help so many. I began lamenting my placement in life, but then she said something that struck me. She said "When we really give, it costs us something." I got to thinking about that and what I do at home. Is it really costing me something? If it is, then I am doing God's work and I need not lament.

I must go to take care of the many things that the Lord has for me to do. As I do that, I place this post in the Lord's capable hands in hopes that it will bless you.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Thinking About our Country

"But in every nation he that feareth Him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with Him." (Acts 10:35).

"Whoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Romans 10:13)

"And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah? And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away." (1 Kings 19:13-14)

"Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him." (1 Kings 19:18)

There are many things going on in the United States today that are quite alarming. The government is taking a turn away from God. The hearts of the people are also taking a turn. Instead of looking to God they are looking to government to meet their needs. In our country we have our beloved Constitution that states our God given rights, but those rights look to be in jeopardy. Congress and the president are moving for a more global society through acceptance of universal laws made by the United Nations.

Lately, amongst all the calamity I hear people saying, "Where are the Christians?" It sort of puts me on a guilt trip. I take a stand as best I can, but some days I feel overwhelmed. Yes, we need to take a stand upholding the word of God, but I have chosen to put the outcome of what I do in the Lord's hands. It is not by our own strength that our country will change. If it was, then we could all boast. God wants us to rely on Him. I see this in the story of Elijah taken from 1 Kings 19.

In 1 Kings 19, we see that Israel was governed by Ahab & Jezebel, a couple that did not follow God. Most of the country was ungodly, but yet God told Elijah that 7,000 remained faithful to Him, that Elijah was not the only one left. I see in this that God knows who are His. He closely watches them in the midst of a country that has gone astray. And what about other countries where there are Christians, but their government is evil? Are they bad Christians because of what is going on in their country?

So, what am I getting at? Well, I am trying to encourage Christians. Just because things are taking a turn in our country does not mean that we are bad Christians. As Acts 10:35 says, "he that fearth Him, and worketh righteousness is accepted with Him." God knows what is going on and He knows who are His in every country on this planet. In HIS time, God will use us and we will be mighty in HIM and work great wonders in HIS strength.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

God Will Provide

It was our 24th wedding anniversary. Instead of taking a grand trip to celebrate, my husband took me 400 miles from home to have a surgery I needed. We took out a loan to pay for a skilled specialist. We left our children in the care of family, loaded up our car and took off. We were planning on being home in 10 days, but little did we know that we would not return home for a 5 weeks!

Thankfully my sister, who was away on holiday with her family in Italy, offered us the comfort of her home. It was right near where we needed to be. So we arrived and had a day to spend to ourselves before we started up with doctor appointments. We celebrated with a day spent at the bay. It was an absolute lovely day and we had dinner at the waterfront. I completely enjoyed my time despite the pain I was in.

The next day I saw the doctor. There was a consultation, an exam and tests. The next few days were filled with preparing for surgery. Surgery day finally arrived and it went well. The next day I was allowed to go home to recover. I was doing fairly well at first, but it took a turn. We called the doctor who assured us that I was fine. The next day I did not feel well either and stayed in bed. My pain kept increasing and I felt very ill. We called the doctor, but again he said I was going to be fine. We were able to keep our scheduled after care appointment. I was still not doing well, and to make matters worse, the doctor had an attitude. He brushed me off as a complainer and prescribed a stronger pain killer. My husband took me back to my sister's house and then left to fill my new prescription.

While my husband was away something horrible happened. I had a sharp pain like a hot poker was being jammed up my side. I could feel that I was going to pass out. I managed to get to a phone by dragging myself on the ground. I called my husband on his cell to let him know that I was calling 911. Then I called 911. I do not remember too much after that, only that my husband arrived before the paramedics. That the ambulance attendant was upset that he got stuck taking me to the hospital. And I remember my doctor standing over me letting me know I did the right thing by calling 911.

I came out of surgery with a 50/50 chance of survival. My husband wept at the sight of me on a respirator with two poles worth of medicine being pumped into my body. I was in ICU with my own nurse for a week. Then on the regular floor for 3 weeks. I did not see my children at all during that time. None the less, the Lord provided for my needs in an unfamiliar place. He provided for my children's needs and my husband's. He also sent many people to help us. And he sent people to pray for me. He sent people who spoke direction to me, to let me know that I did not die because I am to take care of my family.

There are people that believe that trials are bad. I do not believe that anymore. Trials in the hands of our Lord are avenues that bring us closer to Him. If left in His hands we will feel the touch of His hand, His strong love and His unfailing care. As I look back on this huge trial in my life I remember His loving care, His closeness and His touch. It has changed me for the better.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Real Righteousness

1 John 1:9 (Amplified Bible)

If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action].

Why do we hide? We do not want others to know our faults. We worry that we will be looked down on. That others will criticize us. One person we need not hide from is God. The above verse encourages us not to. What makes us beautiful in God's eyes is daily relying on Christ's death on the cross. Freely confessing our sin. When we do this, God is faithful to forgive us, cleanse us and we draw closer to Him.

None of us is perfect, if we were then Christ would not have come. Lets stop pretending to be perfect, doing so is pride in action. Let us humble ourselves by confessing our sin and letting Christ cleanse us.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Marathon

I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:14)

This morning I am alone. The boys are at public high school. I think that I have been needing this time of rest because I have felt I've been running a marathon. The marathon has been about "endurance". Let me explain.

I first began homeschooling when I was in a lot of pain. I remember the days of the boys being in two different schools. One was finishing public elementary and the other was at the new private school that included homeschooling. I remember driving to pick up children and being so tired I was sleepy. Worn down from all the responsibilities and the pain, I was a mess, but somehow God gave me the strength to endure.

Then in 2007 there was my surgery that went wrong. My bowel developed a small hole after the surgery. It ruptured and they found I had sepsis. I nearly died. If it had not been for my bowel rupturing, I would have died because my doctor did not realize there was anything very wrong. After emergency surgery, I awoke with a colostomy. The Lord brought me through those dark days. Through the year 2008 I struggled to get adjusted to a colostomy as well as homeschool both my sons. Amazing things the Lord does! In October of 2008 I again submitted to surgery this time to reverse my colostomy. After that surgery I had an ileus. It was a tough recovery, but even so I was still homeschooling and even teaching my older son world history.

Here we are in 2009. I am able to ride a bike and swim now. The boys are at public school and I am blessed with quiet time. Not that there is nothing to do, believe me there is plenty. But somehow, I have been waiting for this time. Time to be with Him...alone. I sigh a deep sigh and drink in the refreshment. Unfortunately, I still have pain, but because of my Lord, I am able to keep running the race. Enduring, growing in faith, seeing His hand through every part of my life. Knowing I am not alone, that nothing in my life is random since I gave it to Him. I am enduring and with every trial the pull of the world grows fainter as I long for more of His glory and grace.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Not of This World?

I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. (John 17:14-16)

Do you see in this verse that Jesus said His followers are not of this world any more than He is? That is pretty awesome! I have to admit that I do not always think like that. I get caught up in what is going on here and forget how Jesus thinks about the matter. As the verse goes on, we find Jesus asking the Father to protect us from the evil one. So He knew that we would be attacked. I see a very loving Lord in this verse. A Lord that cares about us.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Pride

The above word is something I know that I can have a real problem with. Pride is sneaky, it creeps up on us without us knowing about it. Especially when we live in a society that encourages us to have pride. We are assaulted on a daily basis. People's bumper stickers expressing pride in their football team, their bad attitude, sexual orientation or their child at school. Commercials on TV urging us to keep looking and acting young with products, procedures and drugs. If you start looking around with spiritual eyes, you will see lots of things in our society that draw us into pride. Pride can be good, pride can be bad. As a Christian what we are proud about needs to be kept in check.

The Pharisees were very proud of their behavior. Proud because they thought they were right with God. Why, they thought this way was the problem. They followed strict rituals and rules. Their righteousness hinged on their own efforts. We too may fall into thinking this way when we attend church regularly, have a lead position in the church, etc. We have to make sure that we are remembering who made us righteous. It never hinges on us, we are not the star of the show. The only star is Jesus.

As in the parable of the Publican and the Pharisee (Luke 18:9-14). One was a sinner and he approached the Lord with humbleness asking Him to be merciful to him for he was a sinner. The other man was a Pharisee who approached the Father with pride, saying he was glad he was not like "that man" a sinner. Jesus said that the first man had the right attitude. Let that attitude be in us also.

Remember, legalists emphasize external ritual, often to the neglect of genuine heart issues. Jesus encouraged us to consider our hearts. Here is a simple way to check your spiritual temperature. Matthew 15:18 says: "Those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart." What is coming out of your mouth? I know for myself, I have got some pride that needs to be dealt with.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Let this mind be in you...

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. (Philippians 2:5-8)

This morning I read this verse and noticed the phrase "Let this mind be in you". What is that mind? It is humility. Jesus completely emptied Himself, he held on to nothing for himself. What he did hang on to was the Father. He did only what the Father wanted. That is the mind that should be in us.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Valley of the Shadow of Death

I am still reading the book Pilgrim's Progress. I came to the part where Christian has to journey through the Valley of the Shadow of Death. This valley is filled with darkness and the path is narrow, with one side having a ditch and the other side a mire. Taking this path requires a constant balancing act. When Christian lifted his foot to take a step forward he did not know where his foot would land. Also along the path were hideous noises, flames, smoke and sparks. To keep balance on this path Christian resorted to prayer. He could be heard crying out "O Lord save me!" Here is a quote from the book:

"He went on like this for a great while, but the flames were still reaching him. He heard threatening voices and rushing about, so that sometimes he thought he would be torn in pieces or trodden down like mud in the roads. For several miles altogether he saw these frightening sights and heard these dreadful noises; and coming to a place where he thought he heard a gang of fiends coming toward him, he stopped and began to consider what would be the best thing to do. Sometimes he had half a mind to go back; then he thought again that he might be halfway through the valley. Also, he remembered how he had already vanquished many a danger and that the risk of going back might be much more than going forward. So he resolved to go on, yet the fiends seemed to come nearer and nearer.

When they had almost reached him, Christian cried out with a most earnest voice, "I will go in the strength of the Lord God.""

Do you feel as if you are walking through the Valley of the Shadow of Death? Are you crying out "O Lord save me!"? I am. Certainly Christian is a good example for us to follow. So keep praying, keep moving forward and say in an earnest voice, "I will go in the strength of the Lord."

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Prayer for our Nation

WASHINGTON, DC - Rev. Jonathan Falwell (son of the late Rev. Jerry Falwell) went to Washington, to deliver the opening prayer for the U.S. House of Representatives this past Wednesday. His mother, Macel, was in the House gallery to see her son give the invocation. Falwell took over as pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Virginia, after his father passed away in 2007.

During his prayer, Jonathan Falwell asked God to forgive the nation's sins and guide its leaders.

"We know as our forefathers knew and as the scriptures tell us that righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people," Falwell prayed. "And so today we ask Your forgiveness for the sins that we as a people and we as a nation have committed. We seek Your wisdom and Your guidance in all that takes place in this room. We ask You to be a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. Above all, we ask You to continue to bless this great land that we call home."

He then concluded his prayer in Jesus' name.

*Note: This on-line article has been slightly edited by myself.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Pilgrim's Progress

My son Eric read The Pilgrim's Progress (written in modern English - revised and updated by L. Edward Hazelbaker). Eric said, "You will like it Mom". Then one day he laid the book on my bed to encourage me to read it. So I started to read it, but had to put it down for a bit. This week I have picked it back up and I am really enjoying it. There are so many deep spiritual lessons.

For instance, the main character, Christian, carries a burden on his back. He has been set on a path by Evangelist toward a "gate" where he will be set on the straight and narrow path to heaven. On the way Christian meets up with Mr. Worldly Wiseman who persuades Christian that the path he is on is full of danger. He then persaudes Christian to take the path to a town called Morality. There he is to seek Mr. Legality or his son Civility who will be able to help him eliminate his burden. Once eliminated, he could then live a happy life of ease, safety, friendship and contentment in the town of Morality. But the path becomes so steep and dangerous that Christian fears of losing his life. It is then that Evangelist shows up and directs him back to the right path.

Evangelist tells Christian, "I say therefore, when anyone works to persuade you that following God's instrustions will cause you death, when the Truth has said you cannot have eternal life without doing so, you must despise that person's doctrine." Christian repents and goes straight back to the path to that leads to the gate. When he reaches the gate he meets a man named Goodwill. Goodwill laments that no one saw fit to come along with Christian. There was a man named Pliable that came part way, but bailed out at the Slew of Despondence. To this Goodwill says, "Alas, poor man! Is the Celestial Glory of so little value to him that he doesn't count it worth running the hazard of a few difficulties to obtain?"

If you have never read the book "The Pilgrim's Progress" I highly recommend that you do. Go to this link, scroll down and you will find it under "Pure Gold Classics".

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Standing in the Gap

In Psalm 80:12, David asks God why He has removed His hedge of protection from Israel -- “Why have you broken down its [hedge] so that all who pass by pick its fruit?” God referred to a hedge as a righteous man when He told the prophet Ezekiel in Ezekiel 22:30, “I searched for a man among them who would repair the [hedge] and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land so that I might not destroy it, but I found no one.”

I came across this verse in my readings today. I thought it was very interesting. It immediately made me think about America. That we as Christians need to stand in the gap on behalf of our land.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Trials of Paul

In Second Timothy, we are given a rare glimpse into the life of one of God's most precious servants. Paul had been faithful. He had lived his life in obedience to the Word of God. Casting aside his own desires in order to do the Lord's will, time after time he had walked away from things of this world—desires and temptations that had the potential to draw him away from God's plan and purpose for his life. Now his life was drawing to a close.

You may think this is not a fitting way to end one's life—alone and suffering—especially after serving God so faithfully. It is difficult to understand until we step aside from what we think is right and ask God to open our eyes to His eternal plan. It is not what we do for God that is important. It is our love and devotion to Christ that brings the greatest reward.

God sees the inner lining of our hearts. He sees our hurts and fears, but He also is aware of the great potential our lives contain. He is committed to preparing us to live and serve Him for all eternity.

Trials and testings teach us how to trust Him more completely. We study the circumstances of life by the light of His truth. Trials last for a season, but the knowledge we gain from the experience remains with us throughout time. He stretches our faith to prove that it is strong and binding. When He is sure it will hold, He sends His greatest blessings our way.

~Charles Stanley

Friday, July 17, 2009

Uplifting Verses

Some times I look at other peoples' lives and think that they have it better. When I think like that I am being selfish. So this verse below brings me back to where I need to be.

But life is worth nothing unless I use it for doing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus. (Acts:20:24)

When I get down about the health issues I have to deal with on a daily basis, this verse helps to lift me.

Be glad for all God is planning for you. Be patient in trouble and prayerful always. (Romans 12:12)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Following God

As our faith grows, we will learn that blessing’s motivational power is not as strong as that of devotion. All the promised blessing in the world cannot make a believer follow God into some frightening places. But love for our Father compels us toward passionate obedience, no matter what is at stake. The man and the woman who courageously walk with God will always reach their destination. ~Charles Stanley

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Giving Our Hopes & Dreams to God

In the early days of my marriage I was content not having any children. Just my husband and my career were enough. As years go on though people begin to ask "When are you going to have a baby?" The pressure of it all. So we decided that it was time and we started trying, but nothing was happening. Then the diagnosis of endometriosis came and along with it procedures, drugs and surgery. After all that we tried again, I began holding in my heart the hopes & dreams of having our own child even stronger than before. Unfortunately, those hopes and dreams were something I had to let go of. God had a different plan and that plan was adoption. In 1996 we were gifted with two little boys, ages 1 and 2 at the time. My little babies came to me with blond hair, big dark brown eyes, perfectly formed little bodies and sweet little voices. Biological brothers. These two little lives softened my painful yearnings to be a mother.

One of my most cherished memories is of my oldest son, Eric, when he was in Kindergarden. That was when I received my first handmade Mother's Day card. I picked Eric up from school and he came to me trying to hide a bundle of papers, saying "Mommy, you can't peek." Then being overwhelmed with excitement he said, "Well, I will let you see this." He then pulled out a long white piece of paper, a card for me. He proudly said "Mommy, I made it ALL by myself." Very important! And as I gazed at this lovely card with pink tulips on it, I realized my dreams had come true. I opened up the card and inside he had simply written "Happy Mom's Day....Love, Eric".

God does know our hopes and dreams, but often times He seeks to fulfill our hopes and dreams in a different way than we desire. He has a plan for our greater good and the greater good of others. Let Him have your hopes and dreams and you will see how deep and great His love really is.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Just Passing Through

The other night my sons were watching an episode of the show "Clean House". They called out to me, "Hey Mom, you have to see this lady, she has the worst house ever!" In this particular episode a woman and her daughter were indeed living in the most cluttered house in America. This woman had such a huge problem that the walls of her basement were not visible and neither was the floor! Her attic was so full that the ceiling cracked and not only that, every room in her house was cluttered up with mounds of stuff. When they cleared the clutter her stuff filled up a 7000 sq. ft. warehouse! When they had her look at all the stuff that had been in her house, she refused to admit that she had any kind of a problem.

Watching that show rattled me. I started thinking about my own shopping habits, things that have tempted me, etc. Then I got to thinking that our society is all about buying the bigger, better or more up-to-date thing. Society is not based on contentment, but rather discontent. This made me realize that I really need to loosen my grip on "stuff". Jesus said "One's life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses." (Luke 12:15) So that means, having loads of "stuff" is not what life is about. We should not wrap our life up in acquiring and holding tightly to earthly things. "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven." (Matthew 6:19-20). Or how about "Since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be?" (2 Peter 3:11).

If it is true that we are only travelers passing through this world to the next, then should we not loosen our grip on worldly things? We should. If we hang on too tightly we are in danger of being taken captive by "stuff". God wants us to be good stewards of what He has given us. Stewards are people that are morally responsible for the careful use of money, time, talents, or other resources of someone else. Its not ours, it is all His. That is why Job could say "The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised." (Job 1:21) He realized that it was not his to begin with.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Studying 1 John 2:16

"For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world."

All that is in the world:
1. Lust of the flesh
2. Lust of the eyes
3. Pride of life

Lust is the desire for something forbidden; an obsessive craving. That is not of God. So I am thinking that God has no part in tormenting us. So whenever I get that feeling...I just gotta have it...that is from the enemy.

I have lusted over a bigger house, an expensive car, money, popularity, etc. Thankfully, I have learned that instead of going out and getting these things, I go to God. I lay all my desires at His feet and look to Him to fulfill them. I have been trying to practice contentment. This has been going on for years. I have also learned that it takes years to turn over a new leaf. It doesn't happen overnight. It is okay, just so long as I keep making progress.

Here is my little thought list:

Its not about sex
Its about relationship - marriage

Its not about what I own
Its about how I use it for God

Its not about how I look to others
Its about how I look to God

Its not about me being served
Its about me serving others

It not about more
Its about contentment

Its not about ME
Its about JESUS

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Managing Conflict with Your Teen

Below I have posted part of an article by Mark Gregston. I really enjoyed this article because it let me know that conflict does not have to be a bad thing, it can be a very good thing.

"Most of us want to avoid conflict with our kids, but did you know that conflict in a family can offer you an opportunity to pull together like never before? If reckoned with properly, conflict is a force for change that has the power to bring relationships together rather than tear them apart.

Another positive aspect of conflict is that it helps a child learn how to stand up for himself. How else will he learn how to say "No" when he needs to, or "That's just not right," or, "I don't agree with that."

So, how can you effectively manage conflict with your teen in a way that maintains a solid relationship while at the same time honoring the household rules?"

Read the rest of the article by clicking HERE.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Forgiveness

There are days where I am not having a good attitude or do not act right. A lot of times I get down on myself and think I will never be able to please God. This thinking can begin to drive a wedge between me and Him. There is always forgiveness available I just have to accept it. The below quote helps me to think correctly. I hope it helps you too.

"If our heavenly Father gives us a gift, we can trust He will never take it away. It becomes ours to keep. That’s what a gift is! We did nothing to deserve it. So, we can do nothing to lose it. It all rests on God’s initiative.

But, a greater theological principle is at work here. If the believer’s sin after salvation could require death—or any form of punishment— then Jesus’ sacrifice was insufficient. However, the Bible tells us Jesus’ death was wholly sufficient and a once-for-all payment of mankind’s sin-debt. (Hebrews 7:26-27)

Either Jesus’ blood does cover our sins, or it doesn’t. There’s no middle ground. The Holy Spirit, Christ’s words, and Scripture’s testimony clearly state that it does." ~Charles Stanley

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Cost

"Yes, and those who decide to please Christ Jesus by living godly lives will suffer at the hands of those who hate Him." (2 Timothy 3:12)

"Don't let others spoil your faith and joy with their philosophies, their wrong and shallow answers built on men's thoughts and ideas, instead of on what Christ has said." (Colossians 2:8)

"The Bible is filled with examples of men and women who were hated, abused and cast out by their own families––men and women who were loners, friendless, lacking in talents or abilities, yet who triumphed over the greatest adversity because of their trust in God. " ~Dave Hunt

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Thinking About Trials

Sometimes our trials feel like confinement. We want to break free from them. Yet God, in His great wisdom sees it as a way to carry us through. A way to bring us closer to Him. A way to strengthen our faith. We must continue to trust the protective boundaries of our Lord. If we will submit and trust, we will grow in patience and wisdom and bring glory to His name.

1 Peter 1: 7
These trials are only to test your faith, to see whether or not it is strong and pure. It is being tested as fire tests gold and purifies it - and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold; so if your faith remains strong after being tried in the test tube of fiery trails, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day of His return.

James 1:2-4
Dear brothers, is your life full of difficulties and temptations? Then be happy, for when the way is rough, your patience has a chance to grow. So let it grow, and don't try to squirm out of your problems. For when your patience is finally in full bloom, then you will be ready for anything, strong in character, full and complete.

2 Peter 1: 6
Next, learn to put aside your own desires so that you will become patient and godly, gladly letting God have His way with you.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

To Believe or Not to Believe

I have been feeling overwhelmed by life and this encouraged me.

By Charles F. Stanley

I have a friend whose heart was broken when his son decided he no longer wanted to be married. The father prayed that God would reconcile that broken relationship, but soon the divorce was final. My friend felt as though the Lord had let him down.

After Christ’s death, Thomas struggled with a similar issue. He had envisioned his Messiah ruling as King of the whole earth—but now Jesus was dead, and Thomas’s hopes were buried with Him. Had he believed a lie? Why had his Lord not done what the biblical prophecies said He would do?

When the other disciples reported that the Lord had risen from the dead, Thomas refused to believe unless he could actually see Christ’s wounds of crucifixion (John 20:25). Having been disappointed after putting faith in Jesus before, he hesitated to do so again without tangible proof.

Our trust in God can take a nosedive when expectations of what He will do are unfulfilled. Perhaps you can think of a time you asked the Lord for something and believed with all your heart that He would do it—but then He didn’t. What are we to do when it looks as if God has failed us? Keep believing! Jesus said, “Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed” (v. 29).

Thomas’s huge disappointment—Christ’s death—ultimately led to the greatest hope for mankind. When we feel that the Lord has let us down, we need to realize that in His great wisdom, He is doing something even greater than we asked.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Standing for Christ

I have extended family that is not Christian. I love them all, but when participating in family functions I sometimes have to listen to them criticize Christian beliefs. I also have to put up with being left out at times. My sister said to me the other day "You always have to be different." I am going to take that as a compliment and keep praying.

"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. " (1 Corinthians 1:18)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Don't Ever Quit - Even if Your Teen Hates You

A good article by Mark Gregston:

I have seen many parents wonder what in the world happened to their family. They seemingly woke up one morning to a teen who completely changed overnight. Their loving, kind and thoughtful kid is now a person they no longer recognize. It's easy for them to feel they are not prepared for all of this – but who is?

No matter how good a parent you are, there are forces at work in our culture trying to send your kid spinning off in a direction that you could never imagine. The teen culture is bent on undermining the values you have tried so hard to instill into their lives.

Should you ever wonder if your teen's troubles have something to do with what you did or didn't do as a parent, remember this truth: There are no guarantees or perfect formulas in parenting! Every parent struggles with one adolescent or another. If you haven't, you probably will.

~Read the rest of this article by clicking here

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Godly Mothering

The impact a mother can have on her child's life is awesome. Perhaps you've heard me talk about my dear mother Rebecca and what a great example she was for me.

Mother and my father Charlie Stanley had been married just three years when he died. I was only nine months old. It was 1933 and the entire nation was struggling through the Great Depression. things were very difficult for everyone, but especially for my mother, who had to provide for and raise a child on her own. She didn't understand why the Lord had allowed her to experience such adversity. But through it all, she still trusted Him, and her faith in God made a tremendous difference in my life.

Now, you may wonder if you are equipped to be a good example to others. But the only qualifications necessary are unconditional love and obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ. My mother never taught a Sunday school class, never sang in the choir, and never held an office in her church. She was a very quiet, unassuming, humble lady. But she was very wise, because her focus on God and His Word was central to her life.

So how can you impact the lives of your children and the young people you know? It's the same way that my mother influenced me. ~ Charles Stanley

How to be a good example to a child:

1. Read the word of God.
2. Pray
3. Trust the Lord for your needs and be thankful.
4. Submit to the Lord, obey His word.
5. Love others as Christ does.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Revelation 12:11

"And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death."

Thinking of the trials in life we can get overwhelmed. Fixing our eyes upon Jesus we can safely journey to victory. We should not love our lives more than Him. We should be willing to lay down our life for Him, because He did so for us. No greater love hath a man, than to lay down his life for his friends.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Self-Indulgence

"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence." (Matthew 23:25)

"Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy." (Ezekiel 16:49)

Self-indulgence is a topic that saddens me because I see much of it going on in the United States. We are enticed daily to give in, in fact we are encouraged to do it. Life is not about how much stuff we gain here on planet Earth. It is not about sexual agenda or how we look. It is not about status, money or power. It is about helping our family, our neighbors, our friends and enemies. It is about showing God's love.

Is your car a status symbol or a useful vehicle?
Is your house a status symbol or a home where people are loved?
Are your clothes defining you or are you defining your clothes?
Are you driven by money or are you driven by character?
Does your job title give you pride or do you put pride into your job?
Is it about popularity or willingness to be a true friend?


Please dear Lord, keep me from the sin of over indulgence. Let me have pure thoughts and let me not eat the bread of idleness. Help me to love others and strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. In Jesus name...Amen.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Written Words


I read an article in the Los Angeles Times today by Melissa Magsaysay titled "Next Time, Make it Personal". The article talked about the great art of letter writing and how it is getting lost through the age of electronics. Here is a quote from the article...

"I have 250 friends on Facebook. I'm not bragging (that's nothing compared to most people), but I'm a bit baffled by how I can have so many "friends" without ever having received a handwritten letter from even one of them. I faithfully send thank you, sympathy and even "Hey, how are you?" notes to people I value. And the mailman's not delivering much in return.

Maybe Facebook has made us too apathetic to remember what being real frineds is like. We've gone from meeting in person to talking on cellphones to e-mailing to texting to Friendster-ing to Facebook-ing...

Writing a note by hand is a deliberate, gracious act that's more about thought than speed - the polar opposite of a BBM or text message. And because it's full of "inconveniences" - finding a stamp, then a mailbox, not to mention the recipient's home address - it's a process that brings the cream of your social network to the top. They're the ones who are worth the time, the ones who'd also make time for you."

"When you receive something on a card, no matter what is written, you take it more seriously. You know it was thoughtful, personal and more considered," says Jonathan Arnold, general manager of Dempsey & Carroll, a high-end New York-based stationery company."

I thought this article was very interesting. It got me thinking about God and the Bible. It also got me to thinking about what I taught Eric when I first started teaching him World History this year. The history book taught about beginning of civilization and how a written language was a very important part of it. Written language is a gift from God. Without it, we would not have the scriptures. God took the time through the Holy Spirit to make sure He communicated with us. He made sure that it was down on paper so that we could all read of His great love for us. Yes, our Lord is the cream of the crop, gracious and a person that makes time for us. Lets make sure we hold His written words close to our heart.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Bestowed Not Attained

This is a quote from the book "Changed Into His Likeness" by Watchman Nee.

"To will is present with me, to do that which is good is not." He has not seen that everything is offered to him in Christ, nor how full that provision is. The secret is receiving, not doing. The way through is not by the exercise of the will but by the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:2)." (pg. 100)

"Victory, life, salvation, all is bestowed, not attained. When you are born into a wealthy home, it is very difficult to be poor! You are rich; you were born that way."

We have never worked for our salvation, gradually scaling the heights until we attained to it. The Lord sought and saved us. Victory over sin is the same; it is received, not worked for. Oh, may we learn to praise God that He has provided for us such a bounty in Christ!" (pg. 101)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Pulling Into Home

How do you feel when you are pulling into the driveway at your home? Hopefully you get a good feeling that is full of love and safety. When I pulled into the driveway of my home I got that feeling tonight. I usually get it after being out in the world and feeling like I don't fit in. I know when I get home, I am loved. I know when we get to Heaven it is going to feel like pulling into home. I can't wait!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Reading in Amos

Today, I read the Old Testament, book of Amos.

"I sent you hunger, says the Lord, but it did no good, you still would not return to me. (Amos 4:6)

"I hate your show and pretence - your hypocrisy of "honoring" me with your religious feasts and solemn assemblies. I will not accept your burnt offerings and thank offerings. I will not look at your offerings of peace. Away with your hymns of praise - they are mere noise to my ears. I will not listen to your music, no matter how lovely it is." (Amos 5:21-23)

The Lord does not want to be a token, nor a religion. He wants to have a personal relationship with us. He sent His only son to pay the price for our sins. Oh Lord, how I long for you in this dry and weary land. How I long to obey you, to worship you with my life. My heart desires to please you. Oh Lord, please let my life honor you, let my heart love you and nothing else.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Parenting Thoughts

1 Peter 5:3
...nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.

1 Peter 5:5
...Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble."

1 Peter 5:6-7
Therefore, humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all you care upon Him, for He cares for you.

Being a parent of two teenage boys can be frustrating. The above verses spoke to me...

1. Being an example to our kids is important.
2. Teenagers are not always submissive or humble, but I need to be.
3. Accepting my teen's advice regarding electronic gadgets is modeling a submissive attitude.
4. Letting my teen know more than me in certain areas shows humility.
5. God resists the proud. I better get humble because I need all the grace I can get!
6. Being humble is not complaining about what I have to do for everyone.
6. I need to wait on God to lift me up, I don't need to do it myself.
7. I need to cast all my parenting struggles upon Him because He cares.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Things to Think About

Ways to Put God First
Always pray before planning.
Always love people more than things.
Do all things to please God.

Those who lay up treasures in heaven are the richest people on earth.
~Dennis De Haan

Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.
(Matthew 6:33)

This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.
(Mark 7:6)

Phoniness before God is unacceptable.
Whether we're happy or sad or mad, honesty is essential.
~Julie Ackerman Link


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Reaching Forward

Forgetting what lies behind
And reaching forward to what lies ahead,
I press on toward the goal
For the prize of the upward call of God
in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:13, 14

Today I have been cleaning house, digging into areas I have not touched in a long while. Since I have been married 25 years we have a good deal of memories. In amongst the boxes of pictures I came across some old journals and began reading. Looking back in the past I saw how many struggles I have come through. I realized that I have been in pain most of my life. The overcoming of all the trials and tribulations is all the Lord's work. Today I decided to shred all those old journals in an effort to forget what lies behind. The only thing I need know is that the Lord was there and He helped me through. And as we all must do, I move forward, following His call, my prize being His pleasure.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Little Birds

Matthew 6:26
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap
or store away in barns,
and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
Are you not much more valuable than they?

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Trials Turned to Gold

By Keith Green
(click here for music on YouTube)

He's brought me here, where things are clear
And trials turn to gold
He shared with me, His victory
He won in days of old

Oh Lord I don't deserve
The riches of your word
But You've changed my filthy rags
To linen white as snow

The view from here is nothing near
To what it is for You
I tried to see Your plan for me
But I only acted like I knew

Oh Lord forgive the times
I've tried to read your mind
Cause you said if I'd be still
Then I would hear your voice

My Lord, my Kind, my urge to sing
And praise the things above
No words can say the glorious way
You changed me with your love

He's brought me low, so I could know
The way to reach the heights
To forsake my dreams, my self esteem
And give up all my rights

With each one that I lay down
A jewel's placed in my crown
Cause His love, the things above
Is all we'll ever need

He's brought me here, where things are clear
And trials turn to gold

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Things to Think About

"God remembers us wherever we are. Our concerns are His concerns. Our pain is His pain. commit your challenges and difficulties to Him. He is the all-seeing God who remembers us as a mother remembers her children, and He waits to meet our needs." C. P. Hia

Casting all your anxiety on Him, for He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7

"John answered and said, "A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven."" John 3:27

"He must increase, but I must decrease." John 3:30 Authentic humility (the attitude of John in John 3:30) is characterized by a servant's heart. When we follow Christ's example of servanthood (Phil. 2:5-7) our lives are filled with joy. ~Dennis Fisher

"Life is a place of service. Joy can be real only if people look upon their life as a service and have a definite object in life outside themselves and their personal happiness." Leo Tolstoy

Philippians 4:8 - whatever is true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praiseworthy, think on these things.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Father's Will

I have been doing some reading in the book "Changed Into His Likeness" by Watchman Nee. Here below is a quote from the book...

"In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus knelt and prayed saying, "Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done" (Luke 22:42). This request of his that the cup might pass from him does not represent fear of the cross. We cannot doubt our Lord's courage. If martyrs have gladly died for him through the ages, certainly their Lord did not fear crucifixion.

But there is a distinction here between what Jesus called the cup and the will. The cup was surely the work that God had sent him to do, and this included the cross. The will was something lying behind that, in the heart of God himself. The cup in this passage is just one work - redemption. Jesus knew he had come for that work, even before he left heaven. Yet he had not become so bound to it that he could not let it go. There was an "if possible" in it, and of course there were real human reasons why some other alternative might be welcome, if God so willed. But for him there was no "if possible" about God's will; that must be done, "possible" or not. Right up to the night before his crucifixion, Jesus never thought, "I must be crucified at all costs," but only, "I must do the will of him that sent me." The one is subsidiary and might possibly be changed; the other, the will of God, is something in God himself, and must be done. Important-nay, vital-as the cross most certainly was, the Lord Jesus had not grasped it to himself. All that mattered to him was the Father's will, and the decision of how that will should be fulfilled remained in the Father's hands, not his.

So the cup represents the work, and the will represents God himself. We are concerned with God himself, not with the thing he wants us to do. With Christ the will of God was an ever-present thing, ever to be done. He was not even tied up to a single point in that will, such as the crucifixion." By Watchman Nee ~ Changed Into His Likeness

We must come to know the Father, not simply as a giver of gifts, but as the source of "everything". ~Watchman Nee

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Palm Sunday

"Just as you enter," he said, "you will see a donkey tied there, with its colt beside it. Untie them and bring them here. If anyone asks you what you are doing, just say, 'The Master needs them,' and there will be no trouble." This was done to fulfill the ancient prophecy, "Tell Jerusalem her King is coming to her, riding humbly on a donkey's colt!" The two disciples did as Jesus said, and brought the animals to him and threw their garments over the colt for him to ride on. And some in the crowd threw down their coats along the road ahead of him and others cut branches from trees and spread them out before him. The the crowds surged on ahead and pressed along behind shouting, "God bless King David's Son!...God's Man is here!...Bless him, Lord!...Praise God in the highest heaven!" Matthew 21:2-9

"So they brought the colt to Jesus and threw some of their clothing across its back for Jesus to sit on. Then the crowds spread out their robes along the road ahead of Him, and as they reached the place where the road started down from the Mount of Olives, the whole procession began to shout and sing as they walked along, praising God for all the wonderful miracles Jesus had done. God has given us a King! they exulted. 'Long live the King! Let all heaven rejoice! Glory to God in the highest heavens!" Luke 19:35-38

Things that stand out to me in these verses:
1. A colt was provided.
2. That Jesus was humble.
3. That people laid down their garments.
4. Jesus laid down His life.
5. We need to lay down our life for Him.
6. As we lay down our lives we give honor to Him.
7. We should sing and shout our praise to Him.

Blessed Palm Sunday!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

A Gift for God

Revelation 5:9-10
"...for you were slain, and your blood has bought people from every nation as gifts for God. And you have gathered them into a kingdom and made them priests of our God; they shall reign upon the earth."

Reading the Bible is never boring because there is always new treasures to be discovered. This morning I received this treasure. The blessed knowledge that in accepting Jesus as my Savior I have become a gift to God the Father.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Putting Aside My Will

When I decide how circumstances should be or how they should go in my life, that is a form of pride. I should remember that the Lord knows better than my flesh. I should therefore not demand my own way. As Jesus said, "Father if you are willing, please take this cup of horror from me. But I want your will, not mine." (Luke 22:42) We need to trust in God alone and not in what our flesh knows, feels or sees. "Then He said to all, 'Anyone who wants to follow me must put aside his own desires and conveniences and carry his cross with him everyday and keep close to me!'" (Luke 9:23).

"Your attitude should be the kind that was shown us by Jesus Christ, who though he was God, did not demand and cling to His rights as God, but laid aside His might power and glory, taking the disguise of a slave and becoming like men. And he humbled Himself even further, going so far as actually to die a criminal's death on a cross. Yet it was because of this that God raised Him up to the heights of heaven and gave Him a name which is above every other name, that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Philippians 2:5-11)

And the best part of all of this is that the Lord will not leave me alone to accomplish His will. "For God is at work within you, helping you want to obey Him, and then helping you do what He wants." (Philippians 2:13) One of my doctors who has been with me throughout this long trial I have been going through said to me "You certainly have got character." Today I came across this verse "And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perserverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope." (Romans 5:3-4). So I am blessed beyond measure that God has used me to display His majesty. ~By RJ Finley~

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Vision and Darkness

"When the sun was going down a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, horror and great darkness fell upon him." ~Genesis 15:12

Whenever God gives a vision to a Christian, it is as if He puts him in "the shadow of His hand" (Isaiah 49:2). The saint's duty is to be still and listen. There is a "darkness" that comes from too much light - that is the time to listen. The story of Abram and Hagar in Genesis 16 is an excellent example of listening to so-called good advice during a time of darkness, rather than waiting for God to send the light. When God gives you a vision and darkness follows, wait. God will bring the vision He has given you to reality in your life if you will wait on His timing. Never try to help God fulfill His word. Abram went through 13 years of silence, but in those years all his self-sufficiency was destroyed. He grew past the point of relying on his own common sense. Those years of silence were a time of discipline, not a time of God's displeasure. There is never any need to pretend that your life is filled with joy and confidence; just wait upon God and be grounded in Him. (see Isaiah 50:10-11)

Do I trust at all in the flesh? Or have I learned to go beyond all confidence in myself and other people of God? Do I trust in books and prayers or other joys in my life? Or have I placed my trust in God Himself, not in His blessings?

~By Oswald Chambers

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Psalm 37:1-11

A short study of this Psalm reveals things we need to do and promises the Lord makes to us.

1. Trust the Lord
2. Do good
3. Feed on the Lord's faithfulness
4. Delight yourself in the Lord
5. He will give you the desires of your heart
6. Commit your way to the Lord
7. Trust Him and He will bring it to pass
8. Rest in the Lord
9. Wait patiently for Him
10. Do not fret - it causes harm.

Psalm 37 is a profound song of trust in God during life's circumstances that are difficult to understand. The psalmist reminds us that God is in control, even when we suffer and don't know why. He reminds us that, as we rest in our God, we can trust that He will make all things right at the right time. ~Bill Crowder

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Forced Simplicity?

Simplicity of life. Maybe this current economy is forcing that upon us. Our country is no stranger to these sort of times. We get used to having plenty and then things change. These times bring us back to the basics of life, to what is most important. I found a blog called Treading Softly that shares thoughts on the economy. It is an interesting piece.

Simplicity of life can bring a form of serenity as we shed our vanity & pride. Those who survive such times learn that true joy is not bound to material wealth. It is in the hard times that we find we do not need all the glitz and glamor. But these days, people do not want to speak of negativity, our ears are itching for only the positives.

For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.
~2Timothy 4:3~

We all hope for better times, this is not wrong, but what things are our hearts set on?

Monday, February 23, 2009

THE FEAR OF LACK

There are endless varieties of fear, but one of the tormenting fears that many people suffer from is the fear of lack. They fear that their needs won’t be met—that God won’t come through in time. Hebrews 13:5,6 gives great comfort to those in this situation: Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!] So we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently and boldly say, The Lord is my Helper; I will not be seized with alarm [I will not fear or dread or be terrified]. What can man do to me?

You may be in a situation right now that you’ve never been in before. You may be facing new responsibility that you don't know how to handle. You may have needs that are beyond your resources and the spirit of fear is attacking you and telling you that you aren’t going to make it. You may feel all alone in your situation, like nobody cares. But God cares about you!

When God says in these scriptures to be satisfied with your present circumstances, He doesn’t mean that you cannot desire change. We should be content in Jesus, knowing that He has heard our prayers and believing that He’ll never fail us. We must learn how to enjoy where we are on the way to where we are going.

God is a God of progress. He’s never standing still. Even when it seems that absolutely nothing is happening in our lives, God is working behind the scene on things that He’ll manifest at exactly the right time. God is life, and life must flow otherwise it is no longer life. Dead things stagnate and no longer move, but life is always moving, stirring and making progress.

Beloved, God has a good plan for you, and He’ll manifest it right on time. Fear not! God is with you, and He’ll never leave you nor forsake you. He’ll not leave you without support! If you need financial support, He’ll provide. If it’s physical support you need, He’ll sustain you while you’re waiting for your full manifestation of healing. If you need emotional support, He’ll comfort you with the kind of comfort that only the Holy Spirit can give. He’ll nourish you and bring you back to a place of strength in every area of your life. God is for you. He is not against you. Satan is against you, but God is for you. The greater One lives in you! (See 1 John 4:4.)

From
Perfect Love Casts Out Fear

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Thinking on God's Majestic Love

Lift up your heads, O you gates;
be lifted up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.

Who is this King of glory?
The Lord strong and mighty,
the Lord mighty in battle.

Psalm 24:7-8

God's supreme sovereignty requires a befitting holiness of life and heart in His worshippers; a sentiment sublimely illustrated by describing His entrance into the sanctuary, by the symbol of His worship-the ark, as requiring the most profound homage to the glory of His Majesty.

~Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary~

We need to swing wide the gates of our hearts to let in the King of Glory. Isn't it amazing that the King of Glory wants to come in to us? In all His majesty, He is so humble and full of love.