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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Steps to Success

What ever God's purpose is in your life-whatever He has called you to do, Joshua 1:1-9 has some steps of success for us.
1) Arise-Get up! If we stay in our slumber, we will miss God's blessing on our lives.  We will miss our calling He has prepared for us.
2) Go! What has He called you to do?  We must take the first step.  This is a step of faith and obedience.  Remember the man with the withered hand in Luke 6:6-11.  Jesus commanded the man to stretch forth his drawn up hand.  The man obeyed and his hand was restored.  If we stay asleep and do not go, we will not see what God has for us.
3) Nothing/no man can stand in our way. What God has promised is yours. We must walk in belief.  The belief must be in the object of our faith-God Himself, His character and truth not just in the result or promise He has given us.
4) Next comes a great promise.  I will never leave or forsake you.  When the results/fruits or the promise is difficult and long in coming, Jesus comforts us that He is still with us.  He will never leave us.  Again this is why our faith and belief must be placed in God not in the fruit or results.
5) He reminds us again--be strong and good courage!  Believe and trust Him.  Walk in His promise of what He says is yours.
6) This next step is interesting to me. Be strong and very courageous. (not just good courage) to obey the law.  To obey the words of the Bible.  To meditate upon it.  To read with thoughtfulness and linger over the Word.  For the Word to be your source of strength and stability.  As you eat food for strength, the Word of God will give you the faith, strength, and stability you will need to continue on walking in faith.
7) Another promise, if this law is our mediation day and night, then we will be prosperous and have good success in what He has called us to do.
8) And last again, He says, "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage, do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you where ever you go."

"After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, it came to pass that the LORD spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying: 2 “Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them—the children of Israel. 3 Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses. 4 From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the River Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your territory. 5 No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. 6 Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. 7 Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. 8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:1-9

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Birthday Thanks

Today was a good day.  Todd turned 50 and we had a party.  Many people came to celebrate with him. I cannot believe I have been married to this man for almost 30 years.  I don't even feel 30 years old but I know I am for I have children who are in their late 20's. 

Todd and I are so different in personality and activities we enjoy.  We think of these differences and smile.  I enjoy reading and blogging.  He enjoys sports. I am an introvert and he is an extrovert.  I like my alone time and he likes people You see when you love someone, you can allow them to be themselves.  Why would I want to change him, he fills up my lack and I do the same for him.  Christ is the common means between us and He is the glue that holds us together. 

I am so thankful, I met and married this godly man who lets me be me.  These years have flown by.  Scripture says life is a but a vapor...this is proving to be true.  Friend don't fight your differences, but celebrate them.  Don't try to change your and respect them.  God has put you together.  He knows what He is doing. 

Thanks to all who came over today! We both loved our time with you. 


The Word became flesh and dwelt among us,
And we beheld His glory,
The glory as of the only begotten of the Father,
full of grace and truth.
John 1:14

It is good to remember the basic of Christianity. Jesus, the God of Heaven, humbled Himself and became a man.  He left the throne room of heaven to live among the peoples of the earth.  He came to show the way to God.  To show the way to live.  To show the way of peace.  Yet in the midst of all these great truths, it is important to remember Jesus came in obedience to the Father to reveal His great mercy, grace, and love.  If you do not know love today, ponder this truth. 

As Jesus lived among us, He loved us.  He walked in the same experiences as we walk. He understood pain, rejection, illness, and death. He ate, slept, cried as we do.  Scripture says He was tempted in same way we are tempted, yet without sin.  He understands everything you are walking through and He promises never to leave or forsake you.  If you are hurting today, ponder this truth.

As Jesus died the cruel death on the cross, He saved us. Through the shed blood of Jesus, we have forgiveness of sins.  We are bought with a price, the price of blood. This blood covers us and washes us clean. Through the blood, we can come boldly into God's presence.  We are declared righteous, holy, and just all because of the shed blood of Jesus.  If your sin is weighting you down today, ponder this truth.

As Jesus rose from the grace, victory became ours.  Death could not hold Him.  Jesus was victorious over death.  The same power that raised Jesus from the grave, lives in us.  We have victory over sin.  We have power to live this Christian life.  The Holy Spirit comes to dwell within us the moment of salvation. Through Jesus being raised from the dead, we have life and we have it abundantly.  Are you struggling today, ponder these truth.

And guess what!  We are not left here on this earth alone.  We who believe/have trusted in the saving work of Christ have the Holy Spirit as our Helper.  The Bible says He will never leave or forsake us.  He will guide us into all truth.  He has given us all things.  We are seated in heavenlies with Him. 

I don't understand all these things, but by faith I believe and I trust.  As I have walked with Christ these many years, I know these things to be true. I get tired and put out at times.  My endurance gets weak.  Circumstances and people weigh me down.  Sickness makes we tired.  But in the midst of these things, I know whom I have believed and I know He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him.  What have I committed unto Him?  My very life!

Ponder these truths today.  If you would like to know Jesus as I know Jesus, repent of your sin and confess Jesus as sovereign Lord.   Exchange your sin for His righteousness.  Exchange your restlessness for His peace.  Know His love and you will never be the same again.

Jason Gray "For the First Time Again" music and lyrics

Jason Gray is quickly becoming one of my favorite artists. Enjoy

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Ache In Heart

I am bothered tonight.  Bothered by the pain I see in people's life.  Bothered by the selfishness I see in my life and in the life of my family members.  Bothered by the worldly stuff that bombards my children daily.  Bothered by the enemy, who will not leave me alone.  Bothered by the bondage that enslaves people.

So my question is , "God what am I supposed to do with all this darkness and pain I am seeing?"  I could stick my head in the sand and pretend it is not happening all around me.  The enemy would love to have us lulled to sleep by our own wants and selfishness.  Let me tell you what I did tonight.  I listened to an ill , poverty stricken woman cry out to God to change her heart.  To change her heart!  Then I helped carry water into her home, since her water had been turned off.

Then I walk into my home and fall on my knees in humility as I remember where I was before Christ.  Only by His grace do I live as I do today.  Only by His mercy can I turn on my facet and get a drink.  By His goodness, I can go to see a doctor of my choosing.  Oh, I am blessed.  I confess I have taken those blessing for granted. 

Scripture says in James, Every good and perfect gift comes from above.  God,give me a grateful heart.  Even though it is painful, continue opening my eyes to others hurts and God make a way for You to become so very real in their time of need.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Abide in Christ

I must be in my trial period of of learning how to live abundantly (John 10:10) instead of just surviving to get through the day.  It seems I cannot learn a truth unless I experience or live that truth out.  This truth has been put to the test this week with many deep spiritual hurts of people and physical sickness including my own illness. 

It is difficult to focus when I am overwhelmed.  That is a good scheme of the enemy...keep her busy with other's problems and her own illness and she will not have time to develop a deep relationship with Christ.  Her life will be about putting out forest fires instead of building up the forest.

Where ever you find yourself today remember John 15:4...Abide in Me, and I in you.  As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine,neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


John 10:10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.  I have come that they may have life, and they may have it more abundantly.

I was reminded by the Holy Spirit tonight the difference between surviving life and living life abundantly.  Today I survived.  I had a long list of tasks and I was on a mission of completing each task.   When I am in this mindset, I lose sight of God and the joy of serving other people.  I may still serve and I may do it in the name of Jesus but the task becomes more important than the people or Christ. I am not sure if any of you can relate to this or if I even know how to explain it but I must try.

Teresa brought to my attention tonight that the words "prayer and supplication" in Philippians 4 means to look at God as He is, to put our focus on God.  That was my first jolt of reality and I was determined to focus on God as we met to pray, with my thoughts jumping and my mind racing from task to problem to person this was not easy.  But when we are honest and confess to God and ask for His help in settling our heart and mind, He comes quickly and does just that.  He came and tied up all the roaming thoughts, quieted my heart where I could hear His voice and it was clear. He spoke directly to my heart. Christ did not come for me to survive my day.  He came to give me life and to give it abundantly.  Friend my heart bowed again in confession, forgiveness was given and peace was sweet.  Yes, He was rejoicing over me with singing.

I pray that I am reminded of this truth daily, for God to keep me from slipping back to old habits of being task minded.  God is faithful and oh so merciful to remind me when I start veering off from His presence. I am thankful for a God who calls me back and for two friends who will remind me often of this truth.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Books Books and More Books

Today has been a "different" day for me.  My routine has been changed and I have adjusted.  I have even enjoyed my day and I am thankful.  But when I saw this picture on Face Book, I had to smile and I realized my heart was heavy.  I am not sure why being surrounded by books brings warmth and comfort to me, but I am glad it does.  It seems a private home library would be my own private sanctuary.  Maybe one day I can have one!  But until then I will just smile as I look at this picture!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Does It Matter?

You reap what you sow, more than you sow, and later than you sow.  This principle is true for positive godly influences in our lives as well as negative sinful practices thoughts, and behaviors.  We play with sin and think it will not effect us.  Scripture teaches it is more profitable for a person to lose a body part then to bear the eternal consequences of sin. Matthew 5:29 

What we watch on television, what we listen to on the radio, the books we read, and the people we hang out with all make a difference in our daily live.  We think a little bit of compromise will not matter.  Let me leave you with an analogy of making a delicious chocolate cake.

You have all the ingredients ready cake mix, eggs, oil, water.  The perfect measuring utensils  The oven is preheated and the pans are greased.  You are so excited because this is going to be the perfect chocolate cake.  But what would happen if you added one drop of fecal material to this cake mix.  I am not talking about a spoonful, just a little drop.  "It's not much really, will it really hurt?" Would you still be all excited about eating it?  I don't think so...just a little stool added to our cake mix would make us physically sick.

Graphic analogy yes, but we need to consider this when we play with sin in our daily lives it will take you farther than you desire to go and will keep you there longer than you planned.  We need to be radical with the sin in our life.  We need to live purposely as Daniel did.

But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. Daniel 1:8

Take sin seriously today, my friend!

Monday, February 14, 2011

My Valentine

Gary Chapman shares five categories, or five love languages in his book, The Five Love Languages.  He states everyone has a love language and we all identify primarily with one of the five.

1) Words of Affirmation
2) Quality Time
3) Receiving Gifts
4) Acts of Service
5) Physical Touch

My love language is quality time and if you add a little word of affirmation, I am quite please.. My sweet husband of almost 30 years did just that tonight.  He actually went a step further because he wrote me a poem. 

"Roses are red, violets are blue  I have spent 30 years loving you. You are as nice as spice, but what I love about more is that you have Christ at the front of your door. Let's keep sharing God's love with each other and He will continue to bless us.  Every year is very special, watching you do kettle bells and sweating to the oldie is so impressive.  Keep pressing on and do your writing.  God has blesses you tremenoulsy with your new friends and bloggings.  A new day is always in sight, but most of all you are the light of my life!"

My poem on a bag of plain M&M's and I am very content.  Simple, yes I know.  But this girl is pleased on this valentine day.  I could have had a Tye-dyed T-shirt but he chose the better way.

God is Faithful

God answers prayers.  I am seeing results of prayers today that were prayed over three years ago. We will not outlive our prayers.  Once a prayer is prayed in faith and accordance with God's will/His Word, God will bring this prayer to completion.  Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ. Phil 1:6 

The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six month.  And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit. James 5:16b-18

So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you, seek, and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks find, and to him who knock it will be opened.  Luke 11:9-10

Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving. colossians 4:2

My question to you is, "How desperate are you for God to answer this request?"  Are you willing to put in the time, energy, and tears this type of praying requires?  God is looking for warriors, people who are willing to fight the good fight of faith upon their knees.

Friend do not give up.  Continue seeking and asking.  God is faithful  He will bring the request to completion in Christ Jesus!

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Love is the theme of my heart these days.  It seems everything I pick up to read, talks about God's love being poured out in our heart.  To be honest I have passed over this.  I have prayed it.  I have thought about it.  But these thoughts and prayers have been with my own understanding of love.  This morning, I see the reality that I probably do not have a clue as to what the Lord is trying to show me.  What He is attempting to perfect in me. Think about it, we become so wrapped up in what we think we know, that we are not even open to learn more.  ...And lean not on your own understanding...Do not be wise in your own eyes.  Proverbs 3:5,7  May God forgive us this morning!

So as I think about this, I lay down all my thoughts, insights, and knowledge and ask God to teach me.  Teach me what true love us.  Show me how love does not seek it own way.  Teach me how to love Him with my heart, soul, and mind.  Teach me how to love others as myself.  With a melancholy personality, I am bent to see things as a conviction, confession, forgiven.  But as God's love is being poured out into my heart, I have new eyes for myself and for others. 

There is great mercy in God repeating a theme in our lives.  He could tell us once and remove us if we don't listen.  He has every right to do that, for we are His creation.  The potter can do with the clay as he wills.  But our God chooses not to work that way.  He is every so kind, merciful,and gracious!  Gently drawing us with His love and truth until we bow and receive what He has to give.  All of this really is not about me or you for that matter.  This life we live and this love we display is for the world to see God's glory.  For Him to be on display! 

Thank you God for choosing me and using me.  I will get out of the way now, surrender and allow Your love to poured out into my heart.  My this love be on display!

Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!
1 John 3:1

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Sweetness of New Birth

A sweet moment is to watch a mother cradle and draw to her breast a newborn baby.   The gentleness she exhibits toward the child as he lays in her arms. Oh, the love is evident. This mom willing to lay down her very life for the child  As this child grows, we notice the dad teaching, correcting, comforting, and imploring the child with all he knows.  It is the parents desire for this child to walk worthy of the Lord.  Great joy it brings when he comes into a saving relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. 

I am reminded of the believer at the time of spiritual birth.  The sweetness of the Holy Spirit drawing the person to Himself.  No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him. John 6:44 The new baby broken, helpless, and surrendered to the Spirit's drawing.  Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Matthew 5:3-4  Unless we see ourselves as sinners, and our righteousness acts as filthy rags (Is 64:6) we will have no need for a Savior.  For a person must see their need as Mary did.  You remember the story, Mary weeping, washing and wiping Jesus' feet with her hair and tears.  Our God is so merciful.  Heed his voice today and surrender. I want you know the lovingkindess of this Savior. The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be with me-A prayer to the God of my life. Psalm 42:8

We spoke of a mother being willing to lay down her life for her child.  I do not know a mother who is not willing to do this very thing.  But I know a Savior who not only was willing but did actually lay down His life for me and for you.  By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. 1 John 3:16  Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends. John 15:13

Friend on the third day, Christ Jesus was raised from the dead and this same power which conquered death resides in you and me.  Ephesians 1:19-20\

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.  Ephesians 2:4-10

Will you surrender and received this great love today?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Love and Prayer by Andrew Murray

Be earnest and disciplined in your prayer.
Most important of all,
Continue to show deep love for each other.
1 Peter 4:7-8

Earnest prayer and fervent love are closely linked.  If we pray only for ourselves, we will not find it easy to  be in the right attitude toward God.  But when our hearts are filled with love for others, we will continue to pray for them, even for those with whom we do not agree.

Prayer holds an important place in the life of  love, they are inseparable connected.  If you want your love to increase, forget yourself and pray for God's children.  If you want to increase in prayerfulness, spend time loving those around you, helping to bear their burdens.

There is a great need for earnest, powerful intercessors!  God desires His children to present themselves each day before the throne of grace to pray down the the power of the Spirit upon all believers.  Unity is strength.  Spiritual unity will help us to live unselfishly, wholly for God and others.  Let us apply Peter's words to our lives-"earnest in prayer..showing deep love for each other."

As we mediate on love to those around us, we will be drawn into fellowship with God.  This will come, not by reading or thinking but by spending time with the Father and with the Lord Jesus through the Holy Spirit.  Love leads to prayer-to believing prayer is given the love of God.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Book Review

Joanna Weaver's Book, Lazarus Awakening is the story of Jesus calling Lazarus from the grave.  Joanna writes a visual message of ideas, thoughts, and questions regarding the resurrection of Lazarus.  She is able to take this short story and practically apply it to our lives today.  She shows the reality that we are all stuck in our own tombs.  Much like Lazarus, we need to hear the voice of Christ calling us to awake, unwrap, and live in freedom.  She begins with Lazarus illness and Jesus tarring.  Lazarus dying and the pain of the death.  Joanna brings to mind the significant of grave clothes, the rock being moved and speaking Lazarus name.  Joanna does a good job of relating these truths to our life.  She shows we are not designed to live as dead men, wrapped in grave clothes, hid behind a rock.  The book shows God's great love for Lazarus and for us. 

Another helpful item found in the book is a Bible Study, to help you moved deeper in your walk with Christ.  This book is the third and final book in Weaver's "Bethany" trilogy.  The story line was well explained. 

I do disagree with Weaver's explanation of why God created man.  Yes He does love us and He showers that love upon us, but Weaver indicates God was lonely. She writes, "God was lonely had never occurred to the angels.  All powerful, all knowing, the eternal Beginning and eternal end, the three-in-one Godhead-how could almighty God feel any lack?"  Let me say God was NEVER lonely.  We can/could NEVER feel up any lack in God.  He is God.  He created us in His image.  He loves us. He created us for His pleasure. But lonely indicates God is lacking and that would make Him like us...which He is not!

With that said, I would recommend this book to a friend.  It was a slow read for me, but I did take away some truths of grave clothes and God's great love. "I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review"

Just A Ramble

I have many projects running through my mind today, I feel overwhelmed!  I know the best thing to do when I feel that way, is to write them down to prioritize them.  I will do that shortly! I found a cool website on writing.  It appears simple which is what I need.  You can view it here:              

I hope you read my latest blog, 30 principles to live by Dr. Charles Stanley.  I enjoy tangible ideas/truths and can see how each of these have played out in my life.  I am sure in yours also, if you will take time to read/think on each one. 

The devotionals I read this morning were interesting...Chambers - "The real test of Spiritual focus is being able to bring your mind and thoughts under control"- This will be a challenge today!  Murray - "Earnest prayer and fervent love are closely linked." - I hope to type this devotion out in a blog post for you.  Spurgeon - Be content with much or little  and Blackaby - "When we walk in intimate fellowship with Christ, we have the assurance that every promise God has made in Scripture is available to us." Search the Scriptures to see what God has promised and claim those promises for yourselves.

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God. Phil 1:9-11

Have a God filled day!

Life Principles - Dr. Stanley

Listed are 30 foundational truths, that have guided Dr. Charles Stanley's life and ministry.  To see Dr. Stanley's websight,

1. Our intimacy with God – His highest priority for our lives – determines the impact of our lives.
2. Obey God and leave all the consequences to Him.
3. God’s Word is an immovable anchor in times of storm.
4. The awareness of God’s presence energizes us for our work.
5. God does not require us to understand His will, just obey it, even if it seems unreasonable.
6. You reap what you sow, more than you sow, and later than you sow.
7. The dark moments of our life will last only so long as is necessary for God to accomplish His purpose in us.
8. Fight all your battles on your knees and you win every time.
9. Trusting God means looking beyond what we can see to what God sees.
10. If necessary, God will move heaven and earth to show us His will.
11. God assumes full responsibility for our needs when we obey Him.
12. Peace with God is the fruit of oneness with God.
13. Listening to God is essential to walking with God.
14. God acts on behalf of those who wait for Him.
15. Brokenness is God’s requirement for maximum usefulness.

16. Whatever you acquire outside of God’s will eventually turns to ashes.
17. We stand tallest and strongest on our knees.
18. As children of a sovereign God, we are never victims of our circumstances.
19. Anything you hold too tightly, you will lose.
20. Disappointments are inevitable, discouragement is a choice.
21. Obedience always brings blessing.
22. To walk in the Spirit is to obey the initial promptings of the Spirit.
23. You can never outgive God.
24. To live the Christian life is to allow Jesus to live His life in and through us.
25. God blesses us so that we might bless others.
26. Adversity is a bridge to a deeper relationship with God.
27. Prayer is life’s greatest time saver.
28. No Christian has ever been called to “go it alone” in his or her walk of faith.
29. We learn more in our valley experiences than on our mountaintops.
30. An eager anticipation of the Lord’s return keeps us living productively.


Monday, February 7, 2011

Good Day!

Good day! That is what today is. My heart is joyful, so I thought I would blog my day.

Mortgage company called to share we were late on our February payment.  It has been mailed and they are researching the missing check.
Cell phone bill came.  It was $150.00 more than normal.  We went over our minutes, but they waived all charges!
Jenny was able to change Maddie's heart doctor appointment to a time my son could attend with her, instead of me driving in the possible snow storm.
Maddie will have heart surgery to close her PDA, but the hole that requires open heart surgery looks closed at this time.  Wish we did not have to walk through this surgery, but God knows best!  I can trust that.
I visited with friends via text and phone calls...hope I was encouraging to them.
Visited the food bank with friend.
Todd came home feeling better.  
I have worked, cooked dinner, and danced with Kolby.  The Message on Sirius XM is playing some good songs tonight and Kolby brought me home some COOKIES!

God is good, cling to Him if you find yourself in a spiritual battle today.  Hold on and don't let go until He has mercy on you. I know it appears it will never end, but trust and rest assured it will end.

Oh, how great is Your goodness, which you have laid up for those who fear You.  Which You have prepared for those who trust in You in the presence of the sons of men! You shall hide them in the secret  place of Your presence....Psalm 21:19-20

Behold the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, On those who hope in His mercy, To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.  Our soul waits for the LORD; He is our help and our shield.  For our heart shall rejoice in His holy name.  Let Your mercy, O LORD, be upon us, Just as we hope in You. Psalm 33:18-22

I called on the LORD in distress; The LORD answered me and set me in a broad place. Psalm 118:5

Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but to Your name give glory, Because of Your mercy, because of YOUR truth. Psalm 115:1

Be encouraged today my friend!  God loves you more than I ever could.  His ways are better than yours.  Trust Him today!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Faces of Pain

Look around you today. Notice the faces of people.  See them with new eyes.  Look at your friends.  Look at the people you worship with each week.  Notice the people you work with each day. How about the greeter at walmart or the cashier who rings up your purchases.  The mechanic who services your vehicle or the teacher who educates your children. These are real people living real lives.  Their lives are not much different then the life you live.  For each day, they awake, eat, work, sleep, and interact with others around them.  Some are believers and follows of the Lord Jesus Christ and some are not.  Some of you reading this blog are believers and followers of Christ and some are not.  As I interact with more and more people I see a common thread running through each and every life, believer or not, yours and mine included.

This common thread in the lives around us is pain.  Pain has many faces.  Just look around you.  The type of pain I want to discuss today is emotional pain.  Emotional pain is the hidden secret pain that we stuff deep down into our hearts. The avenue of this emotional pain can be resulted from others implicating their sin upon us or by our own attempt of satisfying our fleshing desires.  But either way it hurts and it runs deep.  These people above that are mentioned are walking around with this pain.  You, my friend, if you have lived on this earth for any length of time have experienced emotional pain as well. 

The enemy so desires you to be chained in bondage to this pain.  He whispers in your ear, "you are so unworthy of love and acceptance because of ........"(you fill in the blank)  "The sin you commit or the sin committed against you is is unforgivable."  "It really is your fault."  If others knew of this horrendous act, they would abandoned you, gossip about you, shame you."  Shame, condemnation, and guilt is piled upon you.  In the attempt of peace and acceptance you stuff the pain deep down in your heart.  If this pain cannot be ignored, you may turn to several different vices of comfort and physical acts to numb the pain.  Drugs, alcoholic, sex, self inflicting wounds, suicide, work alcoholic  people pleaser,gluttony the list could go on and on.  We attempt to stuff and we attempt to please others with the hope of finding peace and quiet into our souls.

It is the enemy that comes to steal, kill, and destroy. But Jesus came to give life and have it more abundantly. John 10:10  This is such a large issue and the Bible has much to say to it.  My encouragement to aware of the pain, bow the knee before the throne room and cry out to the Lord.  Share with Him all the details of the pain.  Yes, it will hurt and yes, it is very difficult, but God is the only one who can heal the heart.  Then find a mature Christian.  Be honest and open with this friend about all the emotions and pain.  Once this pain is in the open, the enemy has been exposed.  He can no longer hold the sin over your head and the friend can help carry your burden as you walk through this time.  There is healing.  This healing comes with being honest with the Lord, ourselves, and others. 

And guess what it is true, we are unworthy!  We do deserve judgement and hell.

 But we are all like an unclean thing,
And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags;
We all fade as a leaf,   And our iniquities,
like the wind, Have taken us away.
Isaiah 65:6

There is none righteous, no,not one.
There is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God.  All have turned away,
   they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.
“Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit.
“The poison of vipers is on their lips.”“Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.
“Their feet are swift to shed blood;  ruin and misery mark their ways,
and the way of peace they do not know.“There is no fear of God before their eyes.
Romans 3:10-18

But exciting news is ahead.  Jesus took ALL our sin, guilt, condemnation, unworldliness...all those things the enemy is throwing at you...Jesus took them upon Himself as He hung on the cross.  Yes, we were unworthy and He took them upon Himself anyway!  He replaced those things in your life with His RIGHTEOUSNESS.   That my friend, is the very reason is why we worship Him!  Let this truth set in!

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,  made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.  And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.  For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:4-10

Friend, live in His truth and find someone to help you walk this out by faith.

I think of the purposes of this blog is to help you become aware of the behaviors we observe in people's lives, including our own, is an outflow of the condemnation, shame, and pain that people are struggling with.  There is a reason for behaviors.  This is NOT an excuse for the behavior, just an awareness for the behavior.  In helping another person deal with these issues, we must understand the root cause.  Otherwise we will treat the systems, which is like putting a band aid on the punctured carotid artery. 

The purpose in a man’s heart is like deep water,
   but a man of understanding will draw it out.
Proverbs 20:5

Walk in freedom today!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Pursuit of God

I am reading The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer.  Well, let me rephrase that..I am praying the thoughts, ideas, and Scriptures in the book The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer.  I want to share Chapter 2 of the book, "The Blessedness of Possessing Nothing"
The chapter starts by explaining, that the Lord prepared for us a world of useful and pleasant things for our sustenance and delight. These things were for man's use and always was meant to be external to the man and subservient to him.  In the deep heart of man was a shrine where none but God was worthy to come. We know sin was introduced and God was forced out of His central shrine and other things were allowed to enter.  Men now have no peace for God is no longer crowned there and stubborn and aggressive usurpers fight among themselves for the first place on the throne.  You can see it to be true for within the human heart is a tough, fibrous root of fallen life whose nature is to possess, always to possess.  God's gifts now take the place of God.

Then Jesus said to his disciples,
“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves
and take up their cross and follow me.
For whoever wants to save their life will lose it,
but whoever loses their life for me will find it. 
Matthew 16:24-25

Our self-life loves and enjoys these things but we cannot allow the enemy of self-life to live.  If we allow this enemy to live,in the end, we lose everything.  To repudiate it and give up all for Christ's sake is to lose nothing at last, but to preserve everything unto life eternal.  The only effective way to destroy this foe; It is by the cross. 

The way to a deeper knowledge of God is through the lonely valleys of soul poverty and abnegation of all things.  The blessed poor are no longer slaves to the tyranny of things.  They have broken the yoke of the oppressor, and this they have done not by fighting but by surrendering.  Through free from all sense of possessing, they yet possess all things.

The chapter goes on to illustrate this in the life of Abraham as he surrendered Isaac upon the alter before the Lord.  Abraham became a man wholly surrendered, a man utterly obedient, a man who possessed nothing yet he possesses it all, understanding his real treasures were inward and eternal.

The ancient curse (our hearts clinging to things, relationship, etc) will not go out painlessly; the tough old miser within us will not lie down and die in obedience to our command. He must be torn out of our heart like a plant... from the soil; he must be extracted in agony and blood like a tooth from the jaw. He must be expelled from our soul by violence, as Christ expelled the money changers from the temple. And we shall need to steel ourselves against his piteous begging and to recognize it as springing out of self=pity, one of the most reprehensible sins of the human heart.
I plan on this being a recurring prayer in my life. For as Abraham did...when he laid Isaac upon the alter, I must do with my all my things, relationships, etc. Importantly, I can be willing but the battle rages on to continue and continue until the lust of things die. God is faithful and I see it as another way of depending and trusting Him to crucify this flesh. I know it is true...give it all up and He restores it! What freedom...die flesh die!

This  is not a book I received for free.  This is a review and a copy of Tozer's words for no other reason than to spur you on to godliness.  It is a must read not once but several times.  May your hunger for God be stirred.  For once you taste this life of grace, nothing can compare!

Compelled By Love

Consider yourselves to be dead indeed to sin,
But alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
       Romans 6:11

Our actions reveal who we love.  Our behaviors reveal what we love.  Our feet reveal where we love.  Our hands reveal how we love.  Our hearts can deceive us but our life lived shows the world who we truly love.  Scripture is our plumb line in evaluating our love life.  Please do not compare your love to other people, other Christians. This is will only deceive your heart, for either you will become prideful or discouraged.    Allow the Holy Spirit in others to draw you deeper into a love affair with Christ.  .I am reminded of few people whose lives have caused me to fall before the Lord and cry, "God give me what they have!"  I am not comparing my self to them but the Holy Spirit in them, is drawing me more to Himself.  Friend we need more of these people and it is possible for you and me to become one of these.

No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.  If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God.  And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 1 John 4:11-16

You ask how can we change our love focus?  For we all love, that love is just directed to the wrong objects.  If you look deeply at the things you love outside of Christ, you will discover they all focus back to self. We also grow to love the things and people who consume the most of our attention. 

So I ask where is your focus?  Where is most of your time spent?  You can only grow to love Christ as you spend quality time in His presence.  We must learn the necessary of fellowship with Christ each day.  Forgiveness of sin and God's grace and love must be renewed in our heart daily or it will be drown out by the our selfish love that is rooted deep within our hearts.  We have the power to overcome this sin but the love of Christ must be greater than the sin.  That love is built each morning as you spend time on your knees, with His Word in His Presence.  We do not overcome sin as it stares us in the face, we overcome sin first on your knees before His throne.

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God....In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.  In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His son, to be the propitiation for our sins.  Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought  to love one another. 1 John 4:7-11

(Funny this is not the blog I had planned in my mind this morning.  Thankful God works in His way!)