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.