Tuesday, September 29, 2009
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
By Connie Tom
Or find my way with ease,
But Jesus leads me by the hand~
He knows the way, He sees.
In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.
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
By Charles White
The Lord is ever with me
Along life's busy way;
I trust in Him completely
For guidance day by day.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
"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
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
"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
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
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
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.