Search This Blog

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Love For Our Enemies!

By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35).   How are we doing on our love?  I follow a blog written for and by an atheist.  This atheist has very harsh words to say about Christians and the God we follow.  He believes we are living a lie and he feels it is his responsiblity to make it known.  It is difficult to know someone’s motivation but I believe fear may be a contributing factor in this great effort. He is always looking for things we (Christians) say and do and, believe me; we give him lots of material.  His blog is critical.  He takes phrases out of context and he does make fun of Christians.  His words do offend me and at times I have been very angry with him.  My reason for reading his blog is to learn a different culture other than my own.  To understand people, we must move from our comfort and safe group of “people just like us” and reach out to other people much different than us.  I desire to understand the heart behind all behavior.  My heart breaks for his unbelief when I remember, “the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing” (1 Corth. 1:18) 

Even though he makes me angry at times, my heart is full of love for Him.  Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. “Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God” (1 John 4:7).  This love must be of God for how can we love our enemy unless God pours Himself from our hearts?   Stephen’s last words as he was being stoned to death give us an example of this love. “Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, Lord, do not charge them with this sin.  And when he had said this, he fell asleep (died) (Acts7:60)

A Christian is known for his/her love.  Again I wonder how are we doing with this love?  I read the angry degrading comments on this atheist’s blog and I wonder do these people think they are doing God a favor?  I am embarrassed by their words.  They call themselves Christians and I assume they are but you would not know it by their words.  The words they are writing in the comment section of the blog are no different than the blog itself, full of anger, fear, and lack of love.

If someone disagrees with you and your faith, don’t be defensive.  God is the judge.  He knows your heart and He knows the hearts of your enemy. You are called to suffer as Christ Jesus suffered. 

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect (Matthew 5:43-48).”

“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me (John 15:18-21).”

Be encouraged and know your reward is in heaven.  Address these people in the love of Christ.   Pray asking God to be merciful unto them, granting them forgiveness and salvation.  How cool for an atheist to being singing the praises of the Lord.  If my atheist blogger friend, in this life, never bows his knee to our Savior, God will have the last word.  It is our responsibility to respond to his actions in love and grace, for we have been given much.

Go love someone in word and deed today!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Chambers 12/27/11

’If you will return, O Israel,’ says the Lord . . . —Jeremiah 4:1

Our battles are first won or lost in the secret places of our will in God’s presence, never in full view of the world. The Spirit of God seizes me and I am compelled to get alone with God and fight the battle before Him. Until I do this, I will lose every time. The battle may take one minute or one year, but that will depend on me, not God. However long it takes, I must wrestle with it alone before God, and I must resolve to go through the hell of renunciation or rejection before Him. Nothing has any power over someone who has fought the battle before God and won there.
I should never say, “I will wait until I get into difficult circumstances and then I’ll put God to the test.” Trying to do that will not work. I must first get the issue settled between God and myself in the secret places of my soul, where no one else can interfere. Then I can go ahead, knowing with certainty that the battle is won. Lose it there, and calamity, disaster, and defeat before the world are as sure as the laws of God. The reason the battle is lost is that I fight it first in the external world. Get alone with God, do battle before Him, and settle the matter once and for all.
In dealing with other people, our stance should always be to drive them toward making a decision of their will. That is how surrendering to God begins. Not often, but every once in a while, God brings us to a major turning point— a great crossroads in our life. From that point we either go toward a more and more slow, lazy, and useless Christian life, or we become more and more on fire, giving our utmost for His highest— our best for His glory.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Gifts are opened.  Steaks have been eaten.  Now the fam is sleeping on the couch.  I am hoping they wake soon for I'm ready to hike down to the creek.  Houston, Jenny, and the babies have been missed this morning but I will spend a couple of days with them next week. 

Worship this morning was so tenderly sweet at Southside Baptist Church.  Pastor Aaron spoke on my life verse, "You will keep him in perfect peace,  Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You" Is. 26:3.  Our worship was lead from the piano with a congregational prayer time (who does that on a Sunday morning!!!) and family style Lord's Supper.  My heart was humbly bowed before our Savior as my Spirit was dancing before the Lord.  Can I say again it was a sweet time!

Todd and I were reflecting yesterday of where the Lord has brought us these past 30 years.  We are thankful He did not leave us in our sin.  We are thankful He did not allow us to continue traveling down the path laid out before us by several family members-alcoholism, gambling addictions, materialism, pornography, etc. God interrupted our life and changed it forever.  When I think about where we would be today without Christ it scares and humbles me.  I am thankful God called me out of this darkness and into His marvelous light.  This thankfulness turns to worship and this worship turns to prayer.  As my mind is continually worshipping and praying, God's perfect peace invades my soul.  If you want joy and peace in this crazy world, you must KNOW and TRUST God through His Son Jesus.  He can interrupt your world today!  "If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him form the dead, you will be saved." Rom. 10:9

I pray each of you reading this blog will have a very Merry Christmas.  You can be merry without Christ but you will NEVER have peace without Him, for He is the Prince of Peace!  Love you all!! Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Harris Addition

When God combines my innocents and ignorants with His wisdom, leading, and power ministry happens. I have prayed the last four years for a ministry in the Harris Addition. I am really not sure what this ministry will look like.  I know my heart is burdened for God's glory to be make known in this part of Alma.  How He will work out the details of this is a mystery to me.

I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. 
And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom,
but in demonstration of the spirit and of power,
that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. 1 Cor. 2:3-5

The Father has opened a couple of doors/homes in this addition.  I have met two people whom the Lord is drawing into His fellowship and presence.  I have known one for the last year and even though our relationship has had several ups and downs, God is faithful to Himself.  He is the one who opens eyes and softens hearts.  He is in the business of making worshippers for Himself. 

Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us.  She was a seller of purple from the city of
Thyatira, who worshiped God.  The LORD opened her heart to heed the things
spoken by Paul.  And when she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying,
If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.
So she persuaded us.  Acts. 16:14-15

The challenge has been to keep my eyes open for the opportunity to minister and my heart quiet enough to hear His leading. 

Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas. During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them. Acts. 16:6-10

My eyes were open and I was listening as the opportunity presented itself.  Tonight a friend and I had the opportunity to visit a family on Harris Drive.  I had one concern and the Lord who is faithful to work all things out for His glory and our good, resolved my concern thirty minutes before we were to meet. 

And we have such trust through Christ toward God. 
Not that w are sufficient or ourselves to think of anything as being form ourselves,
 but our sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant,
not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.  2 Cor. 3:4-6

I am blessed to be apart of God's sovereign work.  I will praise Him.  I pray He will see fit to use me again in the Harris Addition.  Will you join me in praying for His glory to be made known!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Verses and Thoughts

Just thought I would share some Scripture verses that continue running through my mind today.

Don’t be wise in your own eyes,
Fear the LORD and depart from evil. Prov. 2:7

I find I am full of opinions, ideas, and judgments. I attempt to balance this “Bobbie wisdom” through prayer, the lens of Scripture, and listening to others. 

With my whole heart
I have sought YOU,
Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!
Your word I have hidden in my heart
That I might not sin against YOU
Ps. 119:10-11

God is in everywhere.  He dwells in His creation and He is present in all His works.  The problem is with us.  We are so busy and preoccupied with earthly things that we miss Him.  Scripture says with my WHOLE HEART I have sought YOU, which is more than a quick devotion in the mornings.  Pray, study, mediate, and memorize His word that in your time of weakness you will be convicted and have a choice of walking away without sinning. 

Let him who thinks he stands
Take heed lest he fall.
1 Cor. 10:12

We think many times we are above falling into a practical sin.  But my friend it is only by the grace of God that you have not fallen into that sin. 

Judge not, that you be not judged.  For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.  And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?  Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye?  Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye
Matthew 7:1-5

We must look at our own life through a magnifying glass and look at other’s lives through the lens of grace.  We can be fruit inspectors but we do not know another’s heart or their motive.  We should confront and correct sin with the understanding that we are just as guilty and in great need of forgiveness and grace.  Guys, the foot of the cross is level.  Your outward behavior of sin and my inner attitude of sin is what put Christ on the cross.  We are all sinners in need of grace.

We have a Savior who made that grace possible.  Seek God today through His Son Jesus!

Monday, December 12, 2011

A.W. Tozer Devotion

December: Trials and Pain

The devil, things and people being what they are, it is necessary for
God to use the hammer, the file and the furnace in His holy work of
preparing a saint for true sainthood. It is doubtful whether God can
bless a man greatly until He has hurt him deeply.

The Root of the Righteous, 157.


December 2

Trials and Pain: Piles of Ashes

Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful;
nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of
righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
--Hebrews 12:11

If God has singled you out to be a special object of His grace you
may expect Him to honor you with stricter discipline and greater
suffering than less favored ones are called upon to endure....

If God sets out to make you an unusual Christian He is not likely
to be as gentle as He is usually pictured by the popular teachers.
A sculptor does not use a manicure set to reduce the rude,
unshapely marble to a thing of beauty. The saw, the hammer and the
chisel are cruel tools, but without them the rough stone must
remain forever formless and unbeautiful.

To do His supreme work of grace within you He will take from your
heart everything you love most. Everything you trust in will go
from you. Piles of ashes will lie where your most precious
treasures used to be. That Incredible Christian, pp. 122-124

"Lord, give me the grace to withstand 'the saw, the hammer and the
chisel.' I want the finished product; I often chafe under the
process. I submit myself today to Your working. Amen."

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Passion

It was obvious Aaron was enjoying teaching last night in our mid week service. His words were passionate as they rolled off his tongue.  His body language, the sparkle in his eye, the passion was his words--his entire being was wrapped up in the message of Christ he was presenting to us.  He asked a question, "Why do bad things happen to good people."  After much discussion, he brought us back to the Scriptures to explain there are "no" good people (Romans 3:9-18).  Aaron was passionate to explain Christ--our need of Him and our need of each other. 

What about you?  What are you passionate about?  I'm asking myself the same question this morning.  Where does my passion lie?

After the service, I spoke with Catherine and Rebecca, our children's ministry workers.  The passion in Rebecca's words were obvious.  She loves these children and has godly desires for each one of them.  We minister in a tough neighborhood.  The majority of our children come from broken, poverty laden homes.  Sin rules rampant in these homes with drugs, abuse, neglect, and the like.  Our children come dirty and hungry.  Rebecca's passion, to fill their bellies with food and their heart with Christ, is evident in her words and actions.  Her passion was displayed as she shared her frustration in doing crowd control instead of actually teaching these children about our Savour and their only hope-Christ.  Our prayer for this ministry is Luke 10:2-3.  "The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few, therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.

We have many school teachers in our body of believers.  I enjoy listening to them share their hearts as they teach their students.  Jennifer returned from conference in Chicago with a passion for writing.  The excitement of teaching these children writing skills was evident by her passion. 

Again I ask where does your passion lie?  Who is your passion?

Many people are passionate about seeking their own selfish fleshly pleasures and desires.  Their main desire is fulfilling the lust of the flesh- adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like Galatians 5:19-21.  I'm sure you have observed an angry person and you see their passion.  Fleshly passions are running rampant in our culture today. 

It is time to stop and ask ourselves what are we seeking after?  What is our heart's greatest longing?  If you find your heart is seeking after sin and selfish desires find repentance, cleansing, and righteous passion through a relationship with Christ Jesus.

I pray you find your passion today rooted in Christ through sharing His word.

"Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, and who delights greatly in His commandments (Psalm 112:1).

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

What If?

The television is turned to ESPN Sports channel whenever my husband is home. I wish I could pay our satellite bill per program use it would save us money.  I have learned some things from ESPN. 

1) We pay people a lot of money to guess what will happen in the future of a ball game.
2) We enjoy drama and listening to the comments, arguments and speculations of the future.
3) We like the excitement of attempting to know the future.

Is is maddening to me.  We listen to the speculation, we watch the game, and then we listen to the analyze of what actually happened during the game.  Stay with me here, for I believe we live our life this same way.

"What ifs" play a role in our daily life.  If we are not careful these "What ifs" begin to take over our mind, drain the life out of us, and steal our joy. 

Here is a small example.  We bottle fed a puppy which was the runt of a litter.  It was obvious this puppy had mental issues but we fed and loved him anyway.   On his first vet visit, we were told he had a heart condition which would shortened his life expectancy.  Kolby, my daughter heard this conversation.  She was heart broken and so worried about this puppy.  The fear of losing this dog began to control her.  She was not able to enjoy and love the dog for the fear of losing him.  What a great lesson the Lord provided for us.  We do not know the future. We must trust God with the future and walk in the grace He has given us for today.  Kolby had a choice.  She could wallow in sadness and fear of losing the dog or she could treasure the days she had with him. We do the same thing with our "what ifs" and we have the same choice. 

God has made it clear, He is the sovereign One over our life.  He is the One in charge of our very breath and lively hood.  His grace and mercy, as the manna was given daily in the wilderness, is given to us daily.  We are to trust Him daily and not speculate what could happen in the future.  When we speculate something that could happen in the future, losing our jobs, death of a loved one, etc we are borrowing from grace not yet given.  This way of thinking will send us in a downward spiral of sin, which begins in attitude and then manifests itself in action.

 Look at these passages of Scripture with me.

Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things.  Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.  Matt. 6:34

Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed, because His compassion's fail not.  They are new every morning, Great is Your faithfulness. Lam. 3:22-23

The foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 1 Corth. 1:25

The LORD is righteous in her midst, He will do no unrighteousness.  Every morning He brings His justice to light; He never fails ,But the unjust knows no shame. Zephaniah 3:5

But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not grow faint. Is 40:31

For me personally, I am not much of a speculator.  But I can become an enabler of someone else's speculation.  This grieves my heart for I should be encouraging them to trust God and wait for Him to reveal the future, knowing what ever the future holds His grace will be enough. 

There were things I saw last night that made me angry. I was angry that I believed others have the power to hurt or prosper  me. God is the only one with this power.  I was angry that words spoken injured and discouraged a friend.  I was angry that I had fallen into the "What Ifs" as well.  I prayed for wisdom and God has answered.  We are to live one day at a time in the audience of One.  His grace is sufficient for today's joys and sorrows.  His grace will be sufficient for tomorrows joys and sorrows.  We cannot borrow grace from today to supply tomorrow trouble.  All we are guaranteed is grace for today.  Live your life today with purpose and meaning through serving our One and Only God who knows the way of the future.  Nothing can touch our lives that He does not allow.  Think of Joseph..."What man meant for evil, God meant for good." 

I am thankful for waking to wisdom-Jesus-who is wisdom come in the flesh.

The work of righteousness will be peace, and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever.  Is. 32:17

Friday, December 2, 2011

Reconciled

For those who live according to the flesh
set their minds on the things of the flesh,
but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 
For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Romans 8:5-6

It is never a good thing to neglect reconciling your bank account.  I just discovered it has been two months since I reconciled mine and we Dilbeck's use the credit card and/or the bank card constantly.  So you see,I have two big problems and need to balance both of them. 

I am reminded of my daily walk with the Lord.  If I neglect my walk, praying, seeking, listening, studying, fellowshipping with other believers, my emotional and spiritual life will need balancing as well.  Either I am feeding my flesh or I am feeding my spirit.  Either I am recklessly spending money or I am watching and reconciling my bank account daily.  What we neglect will shrivel away and die.  I think you would agree with me, it i is our flesh that needs to die.  So my friend feed the spirit within you and neglect your fleshly desires.

I will watch my bank account closely these next few weeks.  I will use only one card and keep a clean ledger of the charges. In a couple of weeks, my accounts will be balanced and I can rest assured of how much or little money I have.  If I stay consistent and reconcile daily I will not find myself in this situation again.

Don't grieve the Holy Spirit living inside you by neglecting him.  He should be your very reason of living.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

"Somewhere in the Middle" by Casting Crowns

J.D. Greear

I tweeted, "To share Christ and minister to people you must be in their lives more than once a week."  Teresa called this morning with a ministry idea, which confirmed some things on my heart.  Excited, for everything I read has a golden thread of the same theme.  Pray God speaks to you through J.D. Greear's blog. Clarity is coming!

The gospel makes us fervant

Nov 29 | Pastor J.D. | No Comments | Digg Delicious Twitter Facebook Google Bookmark
I picked up John Piper’s new book, Bloodlines and thought this was a great passage on how the gospel transforms a heart from passionless apathy to fervent living.
“Apathy is passionless living. It is sitting in front of the television night after night and living your life from one moment of entertainment to the next. It is the inability to be shocked into action by the steady-state lostness and suffering of the world. It is the emptiness that comes from thinking of godliness as the avoidance of doing bad things instead of the aggressive pursuit of doing good things.
If that were God’s intention for the godliness of his people, why would Paul say, ‘All who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted’ (2 Tim. 3:12)? People who stay at home and watch clean videos don’t get persecuted. Godliness must mean something more public, more aggressively good.
In fact, the aim of the gospel is the creation of people who are passionate for doing good rather than settling for the passionless avoidance of evil. ‘[Christ] gave himself for us…to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works’ (Titus 2:14). The gospel produces people who are created for good works (Eph. 2:10), and have a reputation for good works (1 Tim. 5:10), and are rich in good works (1 Tim. 6:18), and present a model of good works (Titus 2:7), and devote themselves to good works (Titus 3:8,14), and stir each other up to good works (Heb. 10:24).
And when they set about them, the word they hear form God is, ‘Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord’ (Rom. 12:11). The gospel does not make us lazy. It makes us fervent. The Greek for fervent signifies boiling. The gospel opens our eyes to the eternal significance of things. Nothing is merely ordinary anymore.
Christ did not pursue us halfheartedly. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the uttermost (John 13:1). His death gives the deepest meaning to the word passion. Now he dwells in us. How will we not pray for the fullest experience of his zeal for the cause of justice and love? ‘So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith’ (Gal. 6:10).

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Holy Spirit and Prayer

The Spirit helps in our weaknesses.  For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.  Now He who searches the heart knows what the mind of the Spirit is , because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. Romans 8:26-27

The Holy Spirit teaches us how to pray.
The Holy Spirit lays burdens on our heart.
The Holy Spirit produces faith in our life.
The Holy Spirit warns us of danger.
The Holy Spirit brings into remembrance all He has taught us.
The Holy Spirit brings comfort and peace.
The Holy Spirit directs all things towards Christ.
The Holy Spirit stirs our heart to love Jesus.

It is a cool thing that we can be apart of the ministry of God.  God in all His wisdom will place a specific burden or warning upon our heart.  We have the awesome privilege of going before the throne in intercession for the specific request.  As we pray, fellowship, and adore our Savior we begin to see the request being answered.  What a blessing it is when God answers this requests.  He is glorified and our faith has increased. Take time to pray and adore your Savior today. 


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Tips for Thin-Skinned Leaders

3 Tips for Thin-Skinned Leaders

Email
3 Tips for Thin-Skinned Leaders
Receiving criticism gracefully shows that you trust others.
Why is it that people often don’t want to hear feedback? Are you that kind of person? Are you the person with thin skin who can’t hear honest criticism without getting deeply offended? If so, today’s post is for you.

Receiving criticism gracefully shows that you trust others.

When you let your feathers get ruffled, you are assuming the worst of person offering feedback. Your core belief is that the other people never have your best interests at heart. By living this way you will always be disappointed by others.

Receiving criticism gracefully shows that you value honesty.

When you get offended by feedback you communicate that you don’t want to hear the truth. You’d rather someone lie to you or say nothing to you. Your core belief is that the truth hurts, so it’s best left unsaid. By living this way you will always have a distorted view of reality.

Receiving criticism gracefully shows that you are humble.

When you get bent out of shape over someone’s honest comments, you demonstrate that you think you’re above criticism. Your core belief is that you are better than others. By living this way you will always be full of misplaced pride.
If you’re reading this and getting mad you’ve just proven all three of my points. I dare you to quiet your anger, calm yourself down and ask yourself the following three questions. If you’ll do this and face the answers honestly, you’ll probably become a much happier person.
1. Why don’t I trust people?
2. Why do I fear the truth?
3. Why can’t I humble myself?  

Reliance

24
2011
Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters . . . , so our eyes look to the Lord our God . . . —Psalm 123:2

This verse is a description of total reliance on God. Just as the eyes of a servant are riveted on his master, our eyes should be directed to and focused on God. This is how knowledge of His countenance is gained and how God reveals Himself to us (seeIsaiah 53:1). Our spiritual strength begins to be drained when we stop lifting our eyes to Him. Our stamina is sapped, not so much through external troubles surrounding us but through problems in our thinking. We wrongfully think, “I suppose I’ve been stretching myself a little too much, standing too tall and trying to look like God instead of being an ordinary humble person.” We have to realize that no effort can be too high.
For example, you came to a crisis in your life, took a stand for God, and even had the witness of the Spirit as a confirmation that what you did was right. But now, maybe weeks or years have gone by, and you are slowly coming to the conclusion— “Well, maybe what I did showed too much pride or was superficial. Was I taking a stand a bit too high for me?” Your “rational” friends come and say, “Don’t be silly. We knew when you first talked about this spiritual awakening that it was a passing impulse, that you couldn’t hold up under the strain. And anyway, God doesn’t expect you to endure.” You respond by saying, “Well, I suppose I was expecting too much.” That sounds humble to say, but it means that your reliance on God is gone, and you are now relying on worldly opinion. The danger comes when, no longer relying on God, you neglect to focus your eyes on Him. Only when God brings you to a sudden stop will you realize that you have been the loser. Whenever there is a spiritual drain in your life, correct it immediately. Realize that something has been coming between you and God, and change or remove it at once.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

We Delight - Caedmon's Call

This song has ministered to my heart these last two weeks.  Hope it does the same for yours!


Monday, November 21, 2011

Chambers Shallow and Profound

Shallow and Profound

Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God —1 Corinthians 10:31
Beware of allowing yourself to think that the shallow aspects of life are not ordained by God; they are ordained by Him equally as much as the profound. We sometimes refuse to be shallow, not out of our deep devotion to God but because we wish to impress other people with the fact that we are not shallow. This is a sure sign of spiritual pride. We must be careful, for this is how contempt for others is produced in our lives. And it causes us to be a walking rebuke to other people because they are more shallow than we are. Beware of posing as a profound person— God became a baby.
To be shallow is not a sign of being sinful, nor is shallowness an indication that there is no depth to your life at all— the ocean has a shore. Even the shallow things of life, such as eating and drinking, walking and talking, are ordained by God. These are all things our Lord did. He did them as the Son of God, and He said, “A disciple is not above his teacher . . .” (Matthew 10:24).
We are safeguarded by the shallow things of life. We have to live the surface, commonsense life in a commonsense way. Then when God gives us the deeper things, they are obviously separated from the shallow concerns. Never show the depth of your life to anyone but God. We are so nauseatingly serious, so desperately interested in our own character and reputation, we refuse to behave like Christians in the shallow concerns of life.
Make a determination to take no one seriously except God. You may find that the first person you must be the most critical with, as being the greatest fraud you have ever known, is yourself.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Waiting Again

Many times waiting is difficult.  We are at point A in our life and we desires to be at point B.  If you are like me you are so anxious to arrive at point B that you miss the blessings and life of living in between. There is life to be lived and a God to be worshipped  as we are waiting.

When Lilah had her accident we began waiting.
We waited on the ambulance to arrive.
We waited on the paramedics to access her.
We waited on the paramedics to prepare her for transport.
We waited on the helicopter to arrive.
We waited on the paramedics to prepare her for flight.
We waited for our time to travel to Little Rock.
We waited as we filled up the car with gas.
We waited as we traveled.
We waited for Lilah to arrive at Children's.
We waited for doctors to access her.
We waited for the test results.
We waited for the food to be removed from her stomach.
We waited for the ventilator o be removed.
We waited for her to wake up.
We waited for her to ask for a drink and food.
We waited for her to be released.
We waited for her vibrant personally to return.

What did we do in these waits?  We worshipped, we loved, we trusted the sovereign God of the universe.  God expects us to live in the midst of the wait.  We are His people.  He has placed a great hope within our souls.  He has a purpose in our wait.  Don't waste the time between point A and B.  God has ordained that time for you to experience His grace and mercy.  Live life and worship in your wait.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Waiting

Unto You I lift my eyes,
O You who dwells in the heavens.
Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters,
As the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress,
so our eyes look to the LORD our God,
Until He has mercy on us.
Psalm 123:1-2

I am in a place of waiting.  I am waiting on the God who dwells in the heavens to give me a specific direction and revive my heart with a fresh passion for His name.  I have discovered I am helpless unless He moves and  my eyes are fixed on Him.

 I have been quiet lately as I have tried to figure out which season of life I am in.  The enemy has been playing in the playground of my mind.  I have allowed him access and play time as I entertain many of his thoughts.  I have bought into many of his lies about myself and others God has placed around me.  The enemy knows where our weakness are.  God in all His sovereignty will use the enemy to highlight our weakness.  God wants our weakness brought into the light with the desire of our confession and repentance.  Friend, don't wallow in guilt from your sin.  Turn to God, confess, and repent for forgiveness and help in your time of need is available. 

This very morning I discovered I was in the season of waiting.  For a couple of weeks, I have felt like a hooked fish flopping around hoping to hit the water.  Today through a devotion, the Lord gave me a word picture which confirmed the season of waiting.   It is good to know what season of life you are in. Let me share the word picture with you. 

I am standing in the middle of an open field.  Standing at one end of the field are all my life long comforts. These are the things I tend to turn to when I feel uncomfortable or vulnerable or unsafe.  Standing opposite of the comforts is a world of unknowns.  These are things/plans God has for me that I am unable to see or understand.  Circling over my head are vultures with the hope of causing me to run back to my old comforts,idols, my old way of life. 

I have a choice to be made.  I can return to idols/comforts of old or I can wait for God to give direction on a new way to walk and live.   I would love to have this direction colored in with details of what He has planned for me.  Waiting before I take my next step is difficult but we are called to walk in faith not by sight.  Our personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ is one of dependence upon Him.  Dependence is what He is wanting of me and you as well. 

I have been crucified with Christ,
 it is no longer I who live,
 but Christ lives in me,
 and the life which I now live in the flesh
 I live by faith in the Son of God,
 who loved me and gave Himself for me.
Galatians 2:20


God expects us to have boldness and confidence as we approach His throne room in prayer asking for directions.   God expects us to have confidence and dependence as we wait upon His direction.  When God gives direction, He expects us immediately to step out in faith.  Fear of failure or rejection should not keep us from being obedient, for God is able to fix all our messes.  We should have an urgency to meet with other believers for encouragement of keeping the faith.  Start by placing yourself around godly people who can challenge you to love God and be dependant upon Him.  Place yourself in situations to hear God's word.  Be open with your struggles by asking for prayer.  We are not perfect just loved and forgiven by our Creator. 

Oh, I am waiting.  I now understand the season of life I am in. My eyes look to the hand of my Master until He has mercy on me.  The vultures are circling over head but they are of no danger as my eyes are focused upon my Lord and I wait for His direction.



Wednesday, November 9, 2011

7 Things Leaders Should Never Apologize For

The article came from an online magazine-ChurchLeaders.com.  I thought it was worth sharing.

 

7 Things Leaders Should Never Apologize For

Email
7 Things Leaders Should Never Apologize For
Saying “yes” to everything often means we have to say “no” to the things that are really important.


#1 – Never Apologize for Dreaming Big!

He’s God…He wants more for the church than we want for it…ask big! We have a HUGE GOD who can do things that are absolutely MIND BLOWING…and if we focus on HIS POWER rather than our limitations, we will always be willing to hear what He says and then do it…even though we don’t have all of our questions answered.

#2 – Never Apologize for Your Passion!

I once had a guy tell me, “Dude, I think you would be more effective as a leader/communicator if you would just calm down a little.” Here’s the problem…I can’t! Jeremiah 20:9 is my verse…Jesus began a fire inside of me on May 27, 1990…and it’s only gotten hotter. You can be consumed with passion…or be content with being passive. One, Jesus will use to change the world…the other, the enemy will use to dull your soul.

#3 – Never Apologize for Wanting to Lead!

If you are called by God and gifted by God to lead…THEN LEAD! Here’s the deal…someone is going to make the decisions. Someone is going to call the shots…and if that is the call that God has put on your life, then DO IT!
BTW…when you do this, it IS going to make people mad. AND…if you can’t handle the fact that people ARE going to hate you simply because you try your best to listen to Jesus and then do what He says…you may not be called to lead!

#4 – Never Apologize for Not Embracing Someone Else’s Agenda!

You have got to understand that, as a leader, if you experience any level of success, other people will always want to attach themselves and their agenda to you. I often tell people, “Your burden is not my passion!”
As leaders, we are responsible for embracing God’s vision for our lives…not everyone else’s!
I am not saying everyone else’s idea is bad…or even wrong…it’s just that you can’t embrace something that God didn’t truly birth inside of you…and doing so will only lead to personal frustration and your organization trying to manufacture energy for something that they hate!

#5 – Never Apologize for Expecting the Best from Others!

Leaders cannot be afraid to set high standards…EVER! I believe it is WRONG to expect perfection from others…we’re all humans, we screw up! BUT…it isn’t wrong to expect others to give their best. (BTW…MOST of the time, if people see the leader giving their best, it will inspire them to do the same!)

#6 – Never Apologize for Wanting to Reach More People!

From time to time, people will take a shot at me for wanting to see more people come to church…and…
I AM GUILTY AS CHARGED!
I can’t help it…the change in life that Jesus has brought about in me…I want as many people as possible to hear about it! I want as many people as possible to have their lives changed. I want as many people as possible to KNOW that they KNOW JESUS! I just don’t see anywhere in Scripture where that is a bad thing.
Don’t EVER apologize for embracing the fact that God has called us to RECONCILE (not REVILE) the world! (II Corinthians 5:16-21!)

#7 – Never Apologize for Saying “No” to What You KNOW You Need to Say “No” To!

One of the biggest frustrations I’ve ever had as a leader is when I commit “sins of obligation,” you know, when I do something because I feel like I have to rather than doing it because I truly feel led to do it because of the Holy Spirit’s leadership in my life.
Just because we have opportunities doesn’t mean we need to embrace them…because saying “yes” to everything often means we have to say “no” to the things that are REALLY important.  

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Pebbles of Pride

The enemy will come hard after a victorious week to bombard you with thoughts, attitudes, and temptations.  He plants thoughts in your mind; usually these are temptations that you are drawn to (James 1:14-15).  It is difficult to resists the thoughts if they are somewhat pleasing to you.  It is like that piece of candy--one small taste is never enough.  You cannot play around with sin and expect to win.  Our fleshly desires are to strong...I'm not just talking about sexual desires; but also coveting, anger, bitterness, etc.  They all fall into the same category.

We must be aware we will stumble over pebbles of pride along the path as we venture down from our spiritual mountain.  As we walk and reflect upon our experience, those pebbles grow to a boulders, and before we know it, we are overcome with thoughts from the evil one.  He knows our fleshly desires, even if we are not aware of them, and that is where he tends to drop the pebbles. 

We must be aware these thoughts are from the enemy and not pick them up as our own.  We are redeemed.

"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Galatians 2:20

"Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. 14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace." Romans 6:12-14

I am not making light of the attack.  I'm just saying look at what is being targeted, understand where your fleshly desires are, and cling to God.  Please don't entertain them.  They will take you further than you want to go. 

You can't stop the pebbles from falling but you can keep them from becoming boulders in your life.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Squirrell Highway

I asked a friend to be a guest writer on my blog.  She graciously said yes.    I hope you enjoy!

Intentionality and the Squirrel Highway

Back and forth, to and fro the bushy tailed creatures go. As long as the sun is in the sky above, they are diligent, working while the day is called today. Scurrying along the top of the narrow fence, and then jumping skillfully to the phone wires which stretch from our house to those close by. Poised with the grace of a tight rope walker another bushy tailed creature returns from the opposite direction and the process begins again. They are intentional and focused. Both for good reason. Winter is coming. The oak tree behind our house has provided them a banner crop of acorns this fall. How is it with you? Are you as intentional and as diligent as a squirrel, looking about your world for where you can be at work? Jesus sheds truth for us concerning the day and its’ light. The story can be found beginning in John 9:1. Jesus states, "We must do the works of Him who sent Me while it is day. Night is coming when no one can work." Following this statement Jesus brings healing to the man born blind. May the Father use us to bring sight to the blind. Be intentional.


An excerpt from a cross-cultural worker’s newsletter reminds us of intentionality. "The fasting month of Ramadan has ended. Routines will soon return to normal in our city as families return to work and school following the customary visits to family. But the lostness continues. In our city’s unique mix, those with Christian backgrounds also return to their routines. And in most cases their lostness continues as well as they hold on to the belief that they are part God’s kingdom because of their religion. The call to both groups is, "You must be born again." May we be intentional to share the message. It does not matter where we are. If we are in the USA, across the ocean, at our workplace, or at our school. The message is the same. The word is intentional. The Holy Spirit is intentional. He is working, preparing the hearts of people to hear, repent, and receive the Message."


Back and forth, to and fro the bushy tailed creatures go. As long as the sun is in the sky above, they are diligent, working while the day is called day. They are gathering the fruit that has been prepared for them. Fruit has been prepared for the Father’s Kingdom. Gather it while the day is called today. The Father will be glorified.
The Innkeeper’s Wife

Just Fun

I once had a friend
named Laura and Jim
who I got to visit
at the Journey's Inn.
Upon arrival, I was greeted with a hug.
We visited a while than with shrug,
the library was mentioned
so off we go with great intentions.
Dewey Decimal numbers in hand
we knew what we were doing we had a plan.
The Central Library is cool
great diversity and many who have not attended school.
Books, magazines, fellowship as well
even a youth group that came to tell.
Time to leave
and hard to believe
no book in hand
but Jim had a plan.
Jonah was awaiting,
"Surprised by Grace,"
I read and I read
at a rabbits' pace.
Laura filled my belly
with dumplings and bread,
Jim filled my mind with
books to be read.
Soon the evening became late
and our bodies were faint.
Sleep was a calling
and it could not wait.
Breakfast came fast
after Laura's exercise blast.
French toast and a note of
a blog someday.  I'm still waiting
and waiting, oh would you say.
Today will be the day
O Bobbie you will see
Truth will be coming you just wait and be.
I enjoyed my time
that is true indeed
Many more to come
I'll just wait and see.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Dress Up and Candy

I only like Halloween when the holiday falls on a Friday, Sunday, or Wednesday evening.  We always have plans on these evenings—plans that do not include dressing up and going door-to-door asking for candy. 

Eating candy and dressing up are not issues within themselves.  When my children were small, we had fun daily with dress up-pageant dresses and superman capes.  I think we scared the neighborhood and Wal-Mart most days, with our black and green lipstick, pageant dresses, capes, and underwear that became overwear.  Ha! Superman was in the house and the princess was always in need of rescue.

But Halloween itself, I can say, I hate the holiday.  I hate all it represents—darkness and evil.  I am reminded of 1 Thessalonians 5:22, “Abstain from every form of evil”.  I’ve struggled through each Halloween holiday questioning the correct approach for my family.  We have hit all extremes from participating to ignoring this holiday. I think I prefer to ignore and continue on with my daily life.  At least that works on Fridays, Wednesdays, and Sundays.  Mondays are little more challenging.

I believe each of us must live out our own convictions on how to handle this day.  I pray you have researched, sought the Lord, and are obedient to all He has called you to.  As for the Dilbeck’s, today will be a normal day and tomorrow we will hit Wal-mart for the discounted candy and eat till we are sick!

Horatio Spafford

I was reminded last night of the tragic story of Horatio Spafford.  Horatio wrote our hymn, "It Is Well With My Soul".  Horatio knew great tragedy and he knew our great God.  Clink on the link before to be taken to his story.

http://adisciplesguidetocommonsense.blogspot.com/2011/03/horatio-spafford.html

Books Books and more Books

I believe if I covet anything, it would be books and knowledge to understand God a little more.  Listed below are 6 books that have affected my heart.  If you enjoy reading, check these out!


In this compelling book, Daniel Akin walks believers through five key texts of Scripture, illustrating the truths contained therein by sharing biographies of five missionaries who changed the world through their dedication to the Great Commission. --- from the book cover.

In the muddle of day-to-day life, have you somehow forgotten that Christianity is a living, vibrant relationship with a personal God? In this classic bestseller and recipient of both the ECPA Gold and Platinum Book Awards, The Pursuit of God reminds and challenges you to renew your relationship with your loving God. In each of the 10 chapters, Tozer explains one aspect of hungering for God and ends with a prayer.

Taking his trademark intellectual approach to understanding Christianity, Keller uncovers the essential message of Jesus, locked inside his most familiar parable. Within that parable Jesus reveals God's prodigal grace toward both the irreligious and the moralistic. This book will challenge both the devout and skeptics to see Christianity in a whole new way.
Hailed by many as the best modern book on Christian spirituality, Celebration of Discipline explores the classic "Disciplines," or central spiritual practices, of the Christian faith. Along the way, Foster shows that it is only by and through these practices that the true path to spiritual growth can be found.

This best-selling tale is based on the biblical figures of David, Saul, and Absalom. For the many Christians who have experienced pain, loss, and heartache at the hands of other believers, this compelling story offers comfort, healing, and hope. Christian leaders and directors of religious movements throughout the world have recommended this simple, powerful, and beautiful story to their members and staff. You will want to join the thousands who have been profoundly touched by this incomparable story.
Take a fresh and creative look at a prophet's encounter with persistent grace! Reminding us that we serve a good, merciful, and surprising God, this powerful journey seeks to recapture the staggering effect Jonah's life story had on those who first encountered it. Discover just how relentlessly God pursues rebels---even when we keep resisting. 208 pages, hardcover from Crossway.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Psalm 112

I greatly enjoy time alone.  Time to work without interruption, time to read, study, pray, and journal.  I have a secret dwelling place where I long to sit and receive from the Lord.  In these secret places, I am safe, taught, corrected, and loved.  If I am not careful I can become a recluse and never step outside my safe little created world. 

God did not redeem us for the purpose of continually dwelling in our safe little world.  We are to be used by Redeemer’s hand.  God gives us in the quite His heart and we are commanded to go out among the hurting and dying with a message of hope. 

Blessed is the man who fears the LORD,
Who delights greatly in
His commandments. Ps. 112:1

As I was reading Psalm 112 this morning, I was challenged with two questions, “Whom or what do I fear? And where do I delight?”  Do I fear God, apparently not, if I fear a bill not being paid or no food in my belly?  Do I fear God when I chose sin over crucifying my flesh?  Do I fear God when I chose to sit in my comfortable world, imitating the ostrich with his head stuck down in the sand?

What do I delight in?  I know I delight in God’s word but is this delight more than reading, memorizing, and studying?  If we delight in His commandments, should that not be obedience?  I delight in ice cream.  I like the packaging. The container looks nice in my freezer.  I can imagine what it would taste like as it passes over my tongue into the my stomach, but to delight greatly in the ice cream would be to pick up the spoon and shovel it into my mouth.  I think this is the same with delighting in God’s commandments…we must move outside of our self and obey.  To delight greatly is to obey His command. 

I see a trend in the Christian’s life, my life as well, to surround ourselves with people who look and smell just like us.  In an attempt to be holy we have isolated our self from the lost, hurting, and dying world.  God commands us to be salt and light, to delight in this command, we must obey. 

To love others with Jesus’ love is risky.  It may cause us rejection, pain, and suffering.  The mud in people’s lives will be wiped upon us as we begin to clean with the washcloth of the His word.   The fear of getting dirty should never keep us from being obedient to the Lord. 

I see 6 blessings in Psalm 112 that follow fearing the Lord and delighting in His commands.
1)     Our children and grandchildren will be mighty on the earth.
2)     Blessings
3)     Provisions
4)     Light in the darkness
5)     Gracious, full of compassion, and righteousness
6)     Hearts steadfast, trusting in the Lord. 

As I read on, I had a thought, in vs. 8, “His heart is established; He will not be afraid, until he sees his desire upon his enemies.”  My desire upon my enemy is to see them saved.  We are cleansed and declared righteous by the blood of Christ as we walk among the wicked sharing God’s love and His life. We will be honored and the wicked will see it and be grieved.  The desire of the wicked shall perish. Vs.10

These lost, hurting people will see our good works as we live and work among them and they will glorify the God of heaven.  God will bring redemption to their souls.  Yes, we will get dirty but God will clean us up again as we come back to our secret place.



Salvation Testimony

I'm sitting in my office reflecting on God's grace in my life.  I was introduced to the Lord Jesus 33 years ago, as a 14 year old girl. I did not attend church regularly as a child but I did attend church at times with friends.  I can say I loved church from an early age.  Walking through the doors I sensed something so very different  than what I experienced at my home.  My grandmother was a Christian, a good legalistic Southern Baptist, who prayed for me daily.  I am thankful for her prayers and I know the Lord is answering them in my life still today.  And Yes, I still LOVE the church, not the building, but the people who make up the kingdom of God.  Jesus died for the church-His bride and I am thankful to be a part of that!

 Back to my reflecting...I understood nothing about Jesus. I remember sitting in Sunday School and my teacher getting upset with me with all my questions.  She was speaking a foreign language and my mind was attempting to learn this new language. I continued attending with friends or some mornings I would walk.  I did love to be at church. That is funny to me because to this day I still love to be at church either alone with the Lord or in fellowship with other believers.  Let me say it again I LOVE Church!!

I remember the confusion in my mind as the Lord began to open my eyes to spiritual truths.  He used the light of His Word to till up my hard heart.  I knew I needed salvation and I desired heaven so I walked an isle and made a profession of faith.  I did what every good baptist girl should do, right?  I noticed changes beginning to happen in my heart they were so foreign to me.  Nobody told me I would change.  I remember resisting the change God was attempting to do.  I did not understand salvation was about a personal relationship with God.  I did not understand that He would begin to change/clean up my wicked heart from the inside out.  I was so resistant that I stopped attending church and became negative in my heart toward the church.

In this state I felt I would still gain access to heaven but God and His people had no right to tell me how I should live.  I had God and He was to stay tucked away in a little corner of my life until I was in a crisis.  When a crisis hit, like getting stopped for speeding or my boyfriend breaking up with me, I would call God over and ask Him to perform for me. He was my genie in a bottle.  When I called He was supposed to bow and say, Yes Master.  Well maybe at the time I could not express this idea but looking back on it I understand this was my mindset.  This is grieving to my heart today.  Please stop and look at your life.  I know there are many people who attend church week after week who are living and treating God in this same way.  Oh people may God open your eyes and heart. On with my story...

At age 17, Todd and I get married.  We lived in married student housing in Edmond, Oklahoma.  He went to school and worked in the paint department at Sears.  I worked at a bank on Lincoln Blvd.  We were known as the "Pro's" on Lincoln.  You must know OKC to understand this.  Todd and I did not attend church and God was stashed way back in the corner of my life.  Todd finished school and I became pregnant with our son Houston.  Something about having children changes you.  God was needed in my life a little more as this little one came the scene. 

Through work, I met a couple who befriended me and asked us to attend church with them.  Houston was a preschooler and we attended sporadically.  But God was working and drawing me back to Himself.  Todd was drinking more and more on the weekends, (His testimony is incredible and I will share that at a later time.) and I wanted a "normal" family that attended church together.  Appearance was so important to me and I still struggle at times with this today.

Soon Meagan was born and Todd came to know the Lord.  He was a radically changed man.  I wanted the appearance and the drinking to stop, not the life change to happen.  I was such a hindrance to Todd.  I was a Christian I knew you did not have to surrender and give up all for Christ.  It was fine to put Him in the corner and call Him when needed.  Todd did not buy into my line of thinking.  He was sold out and on fire.  I was stubborn and prideful.  I know there are many of you reading this who can relate.  I pray God uses this testimony to crush the pride in your life.

So for THREE years, I resisted the Holy Spirit's drawing.  I remember leaving church with a throbbing headache.  Pride is ugly and I was ugly on the inside and out.  As our little family was growing, we are attending church regularly and I soon learned to put on the mask and appear Christian.  I was miserable on the inside but was good at pretending all was well with my soul.  I had the questions and answers down.  I knew doctrine, how to lead someone to the Lord, and all the right answers.  But oh how I ached for peace.

I thought the solution to find peace would be to get very busy with church.  If I was busy serving maybe peace would come.  I began teaching preschool Sunday school and even enrolled in an evangelism class.  I stayed with the evangelism class until I had to write my testimony.  I realized I did not have one.  Walking an isle is not much of a testimony!  I dropped out of the class and focused on teaching preschool, my kids, and attending every function the church offered.  Busyness does not bring  peace and confusion was becoming a close friend as I struggled to learn how to live.  Questions hounded me..."What am I supposed to think".  "How am I supposed to act?"  "What is expected of me?"  "How am I supposed to treat my kids?"  "What is my life supposed to look like?"

I searched for these answers by watching family programs on TV.  I bought self help books. I became a people watcher.  I was grabbing at everything and anything to tell me how to live and yet I had too much pride to share my struggle with others. 

I remember coming home and praying or saying the "sinners prayer" several times  every night.  I wanted peace but I did not want anyone to know I did not have it.  I wondered why God was not performing for me.  Where was He?  Was He real?  Confusion and panic began to set in.  I was miserable.  By the way being miserable is a great place to be.  You must be broken before you can come to God. 

One women's retreat, I decided to lay my pride aside and walk the isle again.  I visited with a counselor, prayed the prayer, and was baptised for a second time.  Guess what?  My pride was broken down but the peace did not come.  I was angry.  I wanted peace and God was not giving it to me.  Was the peace not found at the end of the isle??  NO, peace is found in the person of Jesus and is discovered through His word. 

I know this is long but please bare with me for you must hear.  I was at a place of desperation.  If God did not move in my life I was hopeless.  I remember grabbing my Bible and shaking it to the heavens.  This is comical now but I was angry at the time.  I said God, You promise peace, a purpose,a direction to live.  I want that!!  I am going to read Your word until You speak to me.  I am going to beg and plead on my knees until You break through.  I don't intend to leave You alone until You give me peace.  Whooo Hoooo, I did not know it at the time but that is exactly where God wanted me to be.

I sat with God's word, read, repented, cried, rejoiced and,oh my, God came.  He began once again to clean my heart, to show me His truth and give me His peace. I dd not resist this time. I cultivated a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.  He exchanged my life for His.  I no longer stuffed Him in a corner of my life and called Him when needed.  He invaded my life and I was the one to bow before Him and say yes Lord. 

As time went on, Houston got sick and our church attendance and my relationship with the Lord Jesus was put on the back burner.  I needed Him to heal my son and that was my focus.  Now He was gracious and carried me through that time.  I learned of Him even more as I walked through this trial. 

Guys, God is good and He desires a personal relationship with You.  Head knowledge of Jesus will not work.  I am so thankful of His grace and His hand upon my life.  I am thankful He allowed my misery that caused me to cry out to Him.  I am thankful He never left my side.  I am thankful I can bow before Him today and serve Him with my whole heart.  I love Him so.  I love His church.  I love His word and I love His people.  My heart has a burden and a calling to minister to His people.

 Please stop playing church.  Jesus is worth so much more and you are missing a personal relationship with the Creator of the universe.  He is the only One who can give rest and peace to your soul.  Won't you love Him today!!