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October 18, 2010

Why do we doubt?

I am reading through the Book of Mark right now and have just finished reading Mark 8. I have often wondered how people ignore the reality of Jesus. The more that I get to know Him the more amazing He becomes. He is intertwined into every area of our lives whether we recognize Him or not, He is there. But today as I am reading about His 12 disciples I just can't help but think of how much I doubt what my God will do for me. These 12 guys walked with Jesus. They watched Him perform miracle after miracle and they still were afraid and they still doubted. Jesus has calmed the sea through a raging storm that they thought for sure they would not make out of it alive. He has fed 5000+ with 5 loaves of bread and two fish. He has healed a deaf man and restored his hearing. He has healed a woman who had been bleeding for 12 years straight just because she had enough faith to reach out and touch His robe and believe that if she just touched the edge of His robe she would be healed. He has fed another 4000+ with seven loaves and a few fish with plenty of food left over each time and yet they get in the boat with Jesus and forgot to bring food with them and they start to panic and fret! They have just seen Him with their own eyes do all these miracles and they stil do not believe?

Jesus says to them...Why are you arguing about having no bread? Don't you know or even understand even yet? Are your hearts too hard to take it in? You have eyes-can't you see? You have ears-can't you hear? Don't you remember anything at all? When I fed the 5000 with five loaves of bread, how many baskets of leftovers did you pick up afterward?

They said twelve!

And when I fed the 4000 with seven loaves, how many large baskets of leftovers did you pick up?

Seven they said.

Don't you understand yet? Do we understand yet? Are our hearts to hard to allow Him into them? How many times has Jesus proven Himself to you over and over? He is all we need! We do not need to fret when we have just one loaf of bread. We don't need to worry when there is $5 left in our bank account because He knows what we need and He will provide for our needs. He may not provide for things we WANT but He will provide our needs. When will we understand God's love for us? You might be thinking but they saw Jesus, they could touch Jesus but we can too. We see Him everyday amongst us if we look through our eyes of faith. If we choose to get into His Love Letter to us.

Let us surrender our hearts to Jesus today and look for Him with our eyes of faith and know that He loves us and will take care of us. In suffering and trials He is there and He will deliver us from them the way that HE wants to. Thank you Jesus for taking care of us for providing for our needs. You are amazing! Help us to see you in our everyday lives! In Jesus Name. Amen!

September 4, 2010

A Living Sacrifice

Romans 12:2 And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice-the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him.

I think this verse scares many Christ followers because we all know what we struggle with day in and day out and to offer our bodies as a living and holy sacrifice sounds impossible to wretches like us but we miss the point. I believe God is saying we need to lay down our flesh and crawl up onto the Altar of God and listen for His voice. We need to be willing to step out of our comfort zones and do what He has called us to do. He may ask us to give a homeless man the last $5.00 in our wallet and we need to not come up with all the excuses of why we shouldn't give him the money. He might ask us to ask our spouse for forgiveness when we have messed up. We will make up every excuse that he deserves me not talking to him because he did.....

We don't have to worry about our works making us holy because God has made us holy and pleasing through Christ. We are holy and pleasing to God because we have accepted His Son into our lives and have made Jesus the Lord of our life. Now that we are accepted by God through Christ we need to be set apart. Being holy means to live our lives following Jesus and conforming to His Image. We do this by continually asking for forgiveness through our confession of sin and asking Him through prayer to help us change into being like Jesus. Ask Him to show us what our real struggles are and allow Him to transform us from the inside out.

I think Paul was telling us that we are to offer ourselves wholeheartedly and allow God to move in us and through us. We are living sacrifices which means we can continually crawl off of the altar. We can constantly change our mind or go with our feelings instead of what is true. That is the hardest battle to the Christ follower is to remain wholly surrendered and remain moldable clay so that the Potter can create His perfect masterpiece.

Jesus we want the world to see You through us. Help us to be living sacrifices that are acceptable and pleasing to You. Help us to hear your voice and to crucify our flesh daily so that we might become more like You! We love you Lord and we pray in Your Amazing Name Jesus! Amen!


September 2, 2010

When You Hear God

Well I am finally writing again. I am planning on being more faithful than I have been now that the kids are back in school! (You probably can hear me screaming WOOHOO from wherever you are!)

Once again I was drawn into the Old Testament. I just love the book of Exodus! I love to see the interaction between God and His people and I love to see especially the relationship between Moses and God. It is so special!

Exodus 20:18-19 When the people heard the thunder and the loud blast of the ram's horn, and when they saw the flashes of lightning and the smoke billowing from the mountain, they stood at a distance trembling with fear. And they said to Moses, "You speak to us, and we will listen. But don't let God speak directly to us, or we will die!"

God has just delivered the Ten Commandments and I am sure that those laws were enough to make the Israelites tremble with fear. In their realization that they could not keep the law. I believe this same thing happens to us today. God does speak to us through His Word and through His Spirit but are we listening with open ears? When God speaks to us He speaks the Truth and we don't always like to hear the Truth. We want to hear what feels right at the time. We like to stay in our comfort zone. We get comfortable in the flesh. Just like the Israelites we too ask our preacher to tickle our ears instead of getting deep into the word.

When God speaks to us our flesh should die. There should be something in us that responds to the Truth and what God is saying to us. The Word of God is a sword and it should pierce our flesh and our self centered egos. We should invite Him and His Word into our lives so that we can become more like His Son.

God's Presence is where we are complete so when we are open to hear and mold our lives into looking more like Jesus we are complete! Lord we ask you to invade our hearts and minds today with your truth! We invite you into our lives and with Your Word would you crucify our flesh so that we can be more like Jesus? We love you and long for the day we are with you face to face! In the Mighty Name of Jesus! Amen!


July 25, 2010

Testing the Water

Joshua 3:12-13 Now choose twelve men from among you, one from each of the twelve tribes of Israel. The priests will carry the Ark of the Lord, the Master of the whole world, into the Jordan ahead of you. When they step into the water, it will stop. The river will stop flowing and will stand up in a heap.

Can you imagine what is going through Joshua's mind as God is asking him to step into a raging roaring river and lead the Israelites across it so that they can get to their promised land? You have got to be kidding me they are not going to listen to me. That is like asking them to end their lives. That river is angry.

This is what happens when God wants to see if we are really serious about our faith! He throws something at us that will take us out of our comfort zone and really stretch us! He has not asked me to step out into a raging river yet and I hope that there will be a bridge over that river if He ever does but He has asked me to speak up about His Name when it is being used in a not so nice way. He has asked me to start a ministry in the middle of a sermon about faith. He has asked me to witness to my family and friends that don't know Him and sometimes that raging river looks more inviting. He has asked me to stand up in front of many women and share my testimony. He has asked me to stand up and raise my hands to praise Him in the middle of a worship song at church when EVERYONE else is sitting. You know that sometimes I have listened and taken that leap of faith and other times I regret that I stood in my stubborness and pride and said no to God.It saddens me deeply that I did not answer His call everytime He has placed it on me because I am the one that missed the oppurtunity to shine God's Glory.

God is so good and does not throw these things out for us to do for Him. He can get whatever He wants accomplished and it does not depend on us but He wants to use us and He has equipped us for such a time as this. We miss out not God when we choose no.

Thankfully Joshua obeyed the Lord and may have looked a little crazy but they did step into the Jordan and it was still. God often wants us to take the first step so that He can show us His Glory. Just think of what the Israelites would have missed out on had they not taken a step of faith and stepped into the water. They would have missed the Promised Land just like their families before them. Don't let that happen to you today! Listen for God's instructions and take that step of faith, dive in and enjoy God's Glory. Be a part of His plan. You will never regret it if you dive in and say yes! What is it that God has placed on your heart lately?

Father God, thank you for using us. Thank you for entrusting broken people to do your work and to share in Your Glory. Your love is amazing and I stand in awe of You daily! You have so much work to be done here Lord, use us. Use us for Your Glory! In Jesus Name! Amen!

June 28, 2010

Psalm 40:1-3 "I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God." 

Waiting patiently for the Lord is one of the hardest things to do! I am not sure if it is because we really don't know when He will answer or how He will answer but one thing we can count on is that He will answer. He does hear our cry. He does hear our prayers and He is faithful to answer us.We will all find ourselves in a slimy pit more than once in our life. Sometimes we jump into the pit ourselves and sometimes someone throws us into the pit. It is hard to be in the pit but when we are in the pit is when God reveals to us just how close He is to us. While the wait is hard the encounter is worth it. I have been in a pit for about  a a year and a half now although I didn't realize it until today. I thought I was just in limbo with God waiting on Him to reveal to me what to do next in ministry but I had jumped into the pit of doubt and distractions. I started to lean on my own understanding and not on God's. This morning reading this verse made me realize that God has lifted me of the slimy pit before and He will do it again but I have to abide in Him. I have to start to rely on Him again. I cannot go to a television show to pass the time of waiting on Him or surf the internet for hours while I wait for Him to answer because I am not really listening to Him when I have distractions. I have to listen to His still small voice again and ignore the voice of doubt that loves to scream at me.

While I am waiting I can be focused on the pits that He has pulled me out of and given me freedom from. The pit of shame and guilt. The pit of insecurity. When I look back and see what He has delivered me from I stand in awe. He is amazing and He has set my feet upon a rock and He has given me a firm foundation to stand on and that is in Him and through Him. He has put a new song in my heart that I am a loved, chosen, forgiven and redeemed daughter of the King and that I am free from anything that tries to hinder that. He is good and He is faithful!

Jesus I thank you for the pits of this life. Although I cannot wait to one day be face to face with you where there are no pits they are good for us while we are here. They bring us as close to you as we can get because we move out of the way and rely on Your Spirit to guide the way. Thank you for your mercy! Thank you for your faithfulness! In Your Amazing Name! Amen!


June 7, 2010

The Man WIth Leprosy Luke 5:12-13

Leprosy was a horrible disease to have. You were isolated from people. If you had leprosy you were an outcast and were probably mocked at by every person that passed you by. By all but Jesus. While Jesus was in a town a man with leprosy came to HIm and fell at His feet. He could not even look up at Jesus and with his face to the ground he cried out, "Lord if you are willing, you can make me clean." I don't know what it is about us and doubting whether or not Jesus wants to make us clean. We don't doubt that he can but if he will. I love Jesus' reaction He immediately reaches out His hand and touches the man and responds I am willing and that is exactly what he wants to do to you is reach out His hand and make you clean. From whatever it is that you feel unclean from. It could be your past or maybe just something that your struggling with now like an addiction or unconfessed sin. You know what it is that you struggle with but today is the perfect day to believe that Jesus is willing to clean you up from whatever it is that is holding you back from Him.

Jesus is always willing to touch the untouchable. I don't know about you but I often get caught up in living out my flesh more than I would like to which leaves me feeling untouchable. Why would He want to clean up a mess like me? I stumble every day! (I am waiting for the day that I can at least say every other day!) Jesus is more than willing to walk along side of us cleaning us up as we go through life. He proved that when He endured the cross for us. There is nothing to big for Him to clean up. Just remember that He is willing. Don't allow the doubts of your pasts or your mistakes get in the way of His willingness. We need to also be willing to be vulnerable and allow Him in every area of our lives. Invite HIm to come into your deepest darkest parts of your soul and in Him you will find rest and you will be cleansed.

Lord Jesus, help us with our own leprosy. Leprosy is an outer disease that everyone can see but some of us have some inner leprosy that people can't see from the outside like habitual sin that we do when no one is looking or maybe we are just discontent with life. Give us willing hearts like yours Lord, willing to come to you open and ready to receive your healing and your cleansing Lord. You are amazing! Thank you for the cross and the freedom that is found when we come to you and beg you, "Lord if you are willing, you can make us clean." In the mighty and powerful name of Jesus, AMEN!

May 21, 2010

Psalm 16:8 I have set the Lord always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

I am listening to a pastor named Pete Wilson from Nashville right now. He is doing a sermon called Backseat Jesus. It is amazing the truths he is teaching me about this topic. Where is Jesus in your life? Is He in the driver's seat? Do you take Him along with you and allow Him to sit beside you in the front seat? Have you pushed Him to the backseat?

When Jesus is in the front seat of your life He is first. You are spending time with Him. You are choosing to allow Jesus to be the Lord of your life. Your flesh is being daily put to death and as that flesh is being put to death we are replacing that with life In Jesus. We are looking at the way that Jesus treated people. We try to copy His way of life. We are allowing what He would do to override what we would do. This is a daily surrender and a daily battle.

When we just take Him along with us throughout our day we are going through the motions. We squeeze in reading the bible but our mind is on all the other stuff in our day. We listen to our Christian music in the car but then get home and turn on the TV and pour the worlds ways into our minds. When we are at church we meet Him there but somehow when we leave that building He only gets invited to some parts of our lives. We pick and choose where He can go.

When we shove Him in the backseat is when we just hang onto eternity with Him. We go about days talking to Him when we need something or an illness falls on one of our loved ones and we need His Healing Hands to touch us or our loved ones. We lose our job and we need Him to be there so we ask for Him. We kind of do our own thing. We spend more time watching TV, hanging out with friends, listening to our IPod and browsing the internet. We just go through the motions of life and think about Jesus when we die.

I had to stop and think about how amazing Jesus really is because I don't know about you but I have been living with Jesus in the passenger seat and even in the backseat for the last year of my life. I got distracted by the things of this world. I allowed my past to come back and haunt me a bit. I was on an emotional roller coaster led by the devil himself distracting me away from Jesus and the minute that I took Jesus out of the drivers seat Satan began to rule. He knew exactly what to resurrect from my past. He knew exactly what weakness to play with and I lost out on a whole year of walking hand in hand with Jesus, the only one who can take all that STUFF and put it to death. What is amazing is that in the last month of now putting Jesus back in the drivers seat not once have I heard Him bring up my wandering to me. I have only heard Him say I have missed you! Because Jesus is not into shoving our mistakes in our face or reminding us of our guilt, shame and past. He just wants to hang out with us. He just wants to be a part of our lives. I am in awe of what an amazing LOVE He has for us.

Today lets put Jesus in the drivers seat of our lives! He is the only one who loves every part of you. He knows everything about you. He knows the good, the bad and the UGLY and He will clean out those bad and ugly parts with the gentle leading of His Hand and in His timing! Thank you Jesus for your amazing love for us! Thank you for never leaving us and always chasing us with your unfailing love. I once again stand in awe of YOU!  Help us to place you in the drivers seat of our lives everday Lord. Remind us when we are shoving you in the backseat! In the Amazing and Powerful Name of Jesus! Amen!

May 13, 2010

Wow it has been awhile since I have written! Time just does not sit still for anyone and it seems the older I get and the older my kids get time is moving in lightning speed.

Yesterday I was in my yard pulling weeds and I was overwhelmed by how the weeds had taken over my yard. We had just worked on the yard and cleaned it up. We pulled out old citrus trees that were not producing very good fruit and we cleaned up the yard and even placed weed cloth on top of the soil to keep the weeds out but they find their way in! Time always has a way of getting away from me and what I thought was a couple of weeks since we had worked on the yard it was actually a couple of months. As I was pulling weeds some of them were coming out pretty easy but others I had to really find the root and dig around it and then use all my strength to pull it out and then the Lord started tugging on my heart. T you have a lot of weeds growing in your spiritual life. (There are very few people that call me T but it is always such a special name for me because my granny, my hero used to call me T!) I stopped pulling the weeds and just sat silent for a minute giving Him my full attention. He continued, you used to spend every morning with me, I can't remember the last one where I had your full attention. When you dont spend time with me the weeds start growing crowding out your faith just like these weeds are taking from your plants and flowers! It all started to make sense the last few months of my life! I have felt so distant from God but He hasn't gone anywhere it was me that was far away from Him and weeds started to grow. Even the ones that I thought were long gone came shooting up again.

Girls it is so important that we stay close to our Savior! It is so important that we take HIm along in our day and that we carve out that time to spend with Him. He is always there waiting to give us that gentle nudge to come back to Him, just as we are broken and with all our weeds even when we allow our old weeds back in. He is the only way that we can begin to get rid of all the weeds! when we start to focus on Him again and His love nothing else matters! When He is the focus of our everyday living the days are full of joy and thankfulness. I know I tend to get caught up in my little world around me but I am trying to train my mind to seek Him first in all things and then everything else will come together. I encourage you to look at your spiritual life today. Its time to evaluate what we are allowing to take up our time. Are we taking the time to sit at His Feet? Are we being filled up by His  love, grace and mercy or are we so BUSY that we have allowed weeds to grow in between us and our Savior? He is waiting for our full attention!

Jesus you are amazing and I will stand in awe of you forever! Thank you for speaking to me even when I least expect it. You are always there and you are always watching! Thanks for being the gentleman that You are and for nudging me at just the right time to get back to putting You first. May you nudge all our hearts Lord CONSTANTLY and may we have ears to listen! In Your Awesome Name, AMEN!



March 8, 2010

Galatians 6:14-15 As for me, may I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that cross, my interest in this world has been crucified, and the worlds interest in me has also died. It doesn't matter whether we have been circumcised or not. What counts is whether we have been transformed into a new creation.

I just love being in the Word of God and He allows me to come across a scripture that jumps off the pages at me and today that is exactly what this verse did. This verse has now become my verse for the month, the verse that I will meditate upon and allow God to work through in my heart. Just after reading it one time I had so many thoughts racing through my mind.

First just the thought of only boasting about the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ! Wow what a different world we would live in if we all had only the cross to boast about. We tend to go about our days and boast about all of our accomplishments or what our kids have accomplished. We share about our material things that we acquire and more times than not my whole day will go by without ever boasting about Jesus! That breaks my heart just writing those words!

Next just the reminder of keeping my focus on the cross and all that it stands for instead of getting caught up in my interests in this world that keep me distracted from focusing on Him. My interests in this world were crucified at the cross with Jesus.I have to remember that the worlds interest in me has died that now I have an eternal interest that my days should be filled with Him and His Purpose everyday. My interest should be to live a spirit led life so that I may have Him to boast about.

Back in the time when Galatians was written being circumcised meant a lot. You were making a covenant to the Lord. On the outside it set you apart. Today I think Paul would try to tell us that it doesn't matter what church we belong to or what rituals we choose to follow to set us apart from the world what matters is whether or not we are being transformed into the new creation that we have become when we accepted the great news of the cross. We tend to get caught up in all the the outer works or what building we walk into to worship the Lord and then the inside of our hearts get caught up in boasting about everything except the cross and what was accomplished on it by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

This verse made me do a heart check and my prayer is that you would take a moment to evaluate what it is that you boast about throughout your days! Are you receiving all the glory or do you give it to the Only One who is worthy to receive it? How is that transformation going in your life? Are you looking more like the new creation you became after you encountered the cross or are you still looking like the old self? Lord Jesus help us everyday to keep on crucifying the things of this world so that we may have an eternal interest instead of a worldly interest! In Your Mighty and Powerful Name. AMEN!

February 22, 2010

John 6:66-69 From this time many of His disciples turned back and no longer followed Him. You do not want to leave too, do you? Jesus asked the twelve. SImon Peter answered Him, Lord to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.

These three verses are so heart wrenching to me because there are so many disciples today turning away from the Lord because they to think that His teaching is too hard. The disciples that actually watched Him heal the sick, make blind eyes see and lame people walk started to turn away when Jesus' message started to get personal. When He started to say things like the only way to heaven is through Me. That is so hard for people to understand. One GOD and one way! We want to create our own way to heaven and we want to work our way into heaven. Jesus is the only God that sacrificed Himself for all of my sin and all of yours. He is the only God that was beaten beyond recognition, spit on, mocked and then died the most painful death imaginable so that we would be set free.....and somehow somewhere along the road He has been named a religous fanatic that walked the earth 2000 years ago and did some really nice things for people.

We all start out somewhere in our walk with God. Your walk may have started in a church or through a family member. My walk happened on my bathroom floor when I finally surendered and realized that there was a God that was in control of my out of control life. I have been walking with the Lord for 12+ years and I wish I could say that I never felt like the disciples from the above scripture did and walked away from Jesus but I have felt it before. I thank God that He always listens to my reasons and why I think its so hard to follow Him when there are so many people out there that don't. Or I allow doubt to creep into my mind about who He is or maybe just wandering through the desert waiting on the Lord to answer a prayer and it seems like its taking forever so I want to give up. Or maybe He answers in a totally different way than I wanted Him to and I struggle to accept it. All of these things have made me want to just give up. I think it is safe to say that most of us that have been walking with the Lord for some time have felt like giving up. Each time that I have looked back to see where I was that led me to believe these lies I have seen that I was either entertaining doubt, involved in sin, focusing all of my attention on myself instead of keeping my eyes on Jesus. I wandered away from the cross. I took my eyes off of the Sacrifice that was made for me and got caught up in circumstances. We need to keep our hearts in tuned with His Heart. We need to keep our eyes on that cross 2000 years ago. We need to focus back on the RED LETTERS in the bible. We need to get out of our RELIGION and get back into the RELATIONSHIP with Jesus our Savior. Too much is at stake when we wander away from the cross.

In the Mighty Name of Jesus I pray that we would keep our eyes fixed on the Author and Perfector of our faith who because of the joy awaiting Him He endured the cross! Thank you Jesus!


January 8, 2010

Amos 5:21-24 The Message I can't stand your religous meetings. I'm fed up with your conferences and conventions. I want nothing to do with your religous projects, your pretentious slogans and goals. I'm sick of your fundraising schemes, your public relations and image making. I've had all I can take of your noisy ego-music. When was the last time you sang to Me? Do you know what I want? I want justice-oceans of it. I want fairness-rivers of it. That's what I want. That's all I want................God Almighty

It is time for the church the Body of Jesus Christ, the Bride of Christ to get back to the basics to get back to Jesus. If you read those verses in Amos you will see that God is not concerned with religion. God is not in religion. He is interested in one thing and that is to have a personal relationship with the people He created through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus. If we would take advantage of the fact that God HImself lives inside us we would be able to fuflfill His plan to have justice and fairness to all mankind. That is the heart of God.

My prayer is for the Body of Christ to come together and show the world who Jesus is. We need to love like He loves. There is no denomination to Him. There is no race to Him. He created everyone. We need to have compassion on the lost. We don't need to judge the world we need to love the world like Jesus did when He was here. He hung out with the sinners. He hung out with the drug addicts, the lame, the weak, the poor and the broken hearted. He was in the miracle business. He changed lives by loving the unlovable. We need to go back and read the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Study the life of Jesus and the church would change. People would be drawn to the church because of the love that Jesus showed.

John 3:30 He must become greater and I must become less! I pray that the church would transform their minds and start laying their lives down as a living sacrifice. Start loving like Jesus did!

January 7, 2010

Luke 4:5-8 The devil led Him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to Him, "I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. So if you worship me, it will be yours."

Jesus answered, "It is written: "Worship the Lord your God and serve HIm only."

As we start this new year 2010 we need to look at who or what we are worshipping with our lives. Satan is very real and he is continually trying to tempt us just as he did with Jesus as He walked this earth. He comes to us with the stuff of this world. He wants us to think that the more stuff we have the more power we have the happier we will be and he is the father of all lies. He tries to get our attention on our accomplishments and material things that we can have and control. He wants us to get pleasure from the things that we acquire. But it is an empty pleasure. It is temporary. It gives pleasure for just a moment. Jesus in our lives is the only lasting pleasure that will last forever. He says the complete opposite of what our Lord and Savior says...Jesus says He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. He is the Way to be complete. He is all Truth everything about Him is true. He cannot lie. He is the abundant life. We are complete in Him. We are whole in Him. We are clean in Him. We are free in Him.

As we go through this year may we be content in all that Jesus has planned for us. May we have boldness and strength to resist the temptations of Satan and this world and all that it has to offer. It only leads us to worship everything but Jesus. Lord help us to keep our eyes fixed on you Jesus. Help us to be aware of your Holy Spirit living inside of us. Help us to hear Your Voice. Give us a passion for Your Word and for bringing glory to Your Name with the way that we live Lord. Make people jealous for what we have in You. You are enough for us. In the Mighty Name of Jesus. Amen!

December 9, 2009

More of You Jesus

This morning as I was running on my treadmill worshipping our King I was listening to a great song and today I just want to post the words to this song and as it is my prayer for my life I pray it would be yours as well............

I'll rest and openly confess
I'll live, I'll breathe, I'll walk in You my King
I'll sing and give You everything
You are all I want, You're all I need
You are my King - O' Lord move in me
I commit myself to You completely
I have tasted of Your love and still I am thirsty for...

More of You and less of me
Jesus come and be a light in me
Burn like the sun for the world to see
Be glorified

You came and openly declared that
You alone could save me from despair
You came and hung upon a tree
And openly declared Your love as You died for me
O' Lord move in me
I commit myself to You completely
I have tasted of Your love and still I am thirsty for...

I pray that we as the church of Jesus Christ would move away from trying to conform people into religion but that we would be the hands and feet of Jesus so that they may want the only thing that would complete their life! In the Mighty Name of Jesus!

October 29, 2009

Joshua 23:11 So be very careful to love the Lord your God

Last Sunday at church I was talking with a friend before the service and I noticed that there were different scriptures being shown on the screens. I don't know if this is new but it was new to me. I don't know if she noticed that I was lost in that verse and no longer listening to her but I just couldn't shake it. By the way my friends are used to my ADD they don't even say anything anymore just let me drift off and wait for me to come back. So be very careful to love the Lord your God. That is what I thought about for the rest of the service. Am I very careful to love my God? When no one is looking am I very careful to love my God? If I am around people that don't know my God am I very careful to love my God? What about when I am in the comforts of my own four walls?

What does it mean to to be very careful to love our God? We need that reminder to be very careful how we are loving our God. Sometimes we just go through the motions of life and forget that we have a relationship with the Creator of the World that we have neglected. We haven't talked with Him in awhile and have used our strength to get through this crazy life. When we neglect our God we are not loving Him. Maybe you have allowed some things from your past to creep back into your thought life and you have begun to entertain thoughts of who you were in the past. That is not loving our God. If we were being careful to love our God we would not entertain those thoughts because He already paid the price for our old self and somehow we get lost in ourselves, take our focus off of Him and what He already accomplished and make it about us.

What would happen if we asked ourselves to be very careful how we love our God everyday when we woke up? Would our days look different? Would we think about the words we are going to speak before we allowed them out of our mouth? Would we love our spouse like Jesus loves us? Would we be a little kinder, a little less angry and a lot more loving? Would we think of others before we thought about ourselves? Would we be content with second place?

Father God, help us to be very careful to love You. Lead us into your word daily so that we would get to know you better, so that we would know the things that make your heart happy. Help us to love like You have loved us. Show us where our feet should and should not go today. Convict our hearts when we are not being careful to love You. In Your Mighty and Precious Name Jesus! Amen!

October 5, 2009

The Unforgivable Sin

For most of my life I was lead to believe that there were a list of things that I could do that would make me go to hell. No matter how old we are or what religion has been programmed into us we think about heaven and hell. There is only one sin that could ever separate us from God and that is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. The bottom line is we reject Jesus. We deny the truth about Jesus. We deny that He was Savior. We deny that He died on a cross for us.

We have been programmed into thinking that what we have done in our lives is bigger than what God did on the cross 2000 years ago at Calvary. We have created this holier than thou Jesus that only picks the elite and holy to hang around! If we look back at who Jesus hung out with we would see that He went and looked for the sinners. He ate with them. He hung out with them. I am thankful for that. We as Christians have gotten so far away from the things that Jesus did while He walked the dust of this earth. We walk away from the sinner. We don't want to mingle for fear that they might rub off on us. Why? Because we are better than them. No. The only thing that we have that an unbeliever does not is our salvation. We know that when we die we are going to heaven. We know that we can fall flat on our face on any day at any time but that we have a Savior that will come and pick us up dust us off and go through life with us.

Our job as a believer is to let them know the only sin that can ever separate them from God is the rejection of Jesus dying on the cross. Why do we feel like we have to point out the very things that we have committed ourselves or try to fix them? If we would just try to focus on showing unbelievers the love of Jesus and the example of the way that He lived while He was here we probably would have a better chance of showing them Jesus. He loves sinners.

Jesus was not into religion. He did not have a list of rules to follow. He gave us freedom. He gave us choices. There is one choice that there is only one right answer to. That is when it comes down to believing or not in Jesus. He was born as a baby without sin. He did walk on the earth and heal many diseases. He fed thousands with just a few loaves of bread and a couple fish. He ate with sinners. He sought out the woman at the well with her past that was stained with having 5 husbands and living with a man that was not her husband. He was Judas friend even when He knew that Judas would betray Him. He didn't have much when it came to material possessions but He showed love to many. He did not judge, He loved. He was beaten beyond recognition. He wore a crown of thorns. He was nailed to a cross and He died so that we could live. He died for everyone and the only ones that will not spend eternity with Him are those who reject Him. He promises to always be with you after you accept Him. He wants to heal your hurts one at a time and one day at a time! He doesn't care where you have been or what you have done. He loves everyone! He accepts everyone just where they are. He has so much to offer. It is not about following a religion.

Jesus came to meet needs, to care for those who are hurting and to proclaim the good news of the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Romans 14:17. Its not about the clothes we wear or the music we listen to. It is all about Jesus! Once we allow Him to be Lord of our life all other things will fall into place. Life doesn't become perfect but it does become complete!

If you haven't made that choice to follow Jesus and allow Him to be Lord of your life I encourage you to do it today. If you were to die today where would you go? It is possible and the only thing keeping you away from a Savior that loves you more than anyone else ever could is your own unbelief. Just open your heart and allow Him a place in your life. Jesus I want to know you, thank you for dying on the cross for everything I have ever done that did not please you. I want to spend eternity with you. Help me to get to know you better! In the Mighty Name of Jesus, AMEN!


September 28, 2009

Seeking Him

In the last year of my life my family has gone through so many changes. My husband was laid off from his job of 20 years which was a steady income for us our whole marriage. I went from having a lot of time to myself to him being home all the time which was fun at first and then I realized I didn't have any time to myself and was not happy about it. I have always felt the desire to homeschool my kids especially because of my son Mason who has ADHD so I felt like it was time to try it. Matthew would be home to help and so on. That did not work out. In just 5 short weeks I was well aware that homeschooling was not for my family. I am not so sure of the reasoning that God had for that trial period but as I was doing my study SEEKING HIM a couple days ago I realized as I was reading in Isaiah that when we go before the Lord and see His Glory and His Greatness and even the Mystery of Him we realize how unworthy we are to have His Love and His Mercy. I realized that is what homeschooling did for me it brought me back to complete reliance on Him. It made me realize of how much I was relying on myself to get through my days. It made me realize how much I relied on my husbands paycheck to provide for our needs. I panicked when it was not coming anymore. I did not trust in the Lord to provide for all our needs but you know what He provided them anyway. He has provided for us everyday and in ways that we could not have imagined.

The more that we focus on God the more we realize that we cannot do much without Him. We need Him. I did not realize that I was too proud to let God into some areas of my life like our finances or trusting Him to take care of my kids but now realize it is one area where I need to humble myself and allow God to be God in my life. It also allowed me to see some things I had thought I had dealt with but had not. I am not sure what would happen if we all just took the time to go before the Lord and recognize how much we allow ourselves to get in the way of what God wants to do in our lives. What will it take for us to realize that God is in control of our everyday? All it took for Isaiah was to go into the presence of God. I do believe that is all it takes for us as well. Give Him a little part of your day and sit at His Feet long enough to let Him show you His Glory. We have that amazing privilege to enter His Presence at any time!  Hebrews 4:16 says Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. How do you get into His Presence? It is as simple as prayer! We can have His attention and presence at any time. He is waiting for you to call His Name and He will be there.

Approach Him with reverence because He is your King but also come with bold assurance to ask Him anything because He is full of love and mercy and He is your friend. In the Mighty Name of Jesus! Amen!


June 7, 2009

Checking In With Your Maker

Joshua 9:1-21

Joshua and the Israelites knew they would have to fight many battles to enjoy the Promised Land. God had instructed Joshua to kill every man, woman and child that was dwelling in the land of the Cannites. This is where most people justify that God is just a mean and angry God that is not kind and loving but wait a minute. You have to consider that God gave the Caanites 400 years, let me repeat that 400 years to turn away from the wicked things they were doing and they did not. Our God is slow to get angry and He gives us free will to make choices but at some point the just side of God comes out. Joshua obeyed the Lord until he met the Gibeonites. They had heard about Joshua and his armies. They knew they were next to be killed so they went ahead and met Joshua and they lied. They told Joshua that they were poor and didn't,t have much. They begged Joshua to allow them to be the Israelites servants. They showed them their moldy bread, their broken wineskins and their shoes full of holes. Joshua felt sorry for them and he signed a peace treaty and ratified the agreement with a binding oath. He did not ask the Lord. He went on his own emotion and he was deceived. Three days later the truth was revealed.

How often we are like Joshua and make decisions on our emotions and not on God's will. We feel like we need to be making more money so we take the job that will compromise our faith but we will have more money. We want to help a friend out but they have some habits that would cause us to stumble but we go ahead and help them out and next thing we know we are caught up in a sin that we had already conquered but we were doing the right thing by helping a friend out.We just don't have the same feelings towards our spouse that we did in the beginning so divorce is the easy quick answer.

In our world today there are choices that we make daily that need the Lord's approval first. We live in a time where we want something and we go get it. We are used to fast technology and life in the fast lane which all too often crowds out time with our Maker. We don't check in with Him like we used to. We don't take the time to talk out our decisions with the Lord. We don't ask for His advice and all to often it is after the consequences of our decision that we realize I probably should not have done that.

So why not change that today? Take a moment during your day to ask the Lord to look into your life. Look into your own life and see what is taking up your time? What consumes your life? Make room for your Maker to come in and remodel your day, to remodel your life so that you would be working out the plan that He has for your life. So many of us are afraid that we will have to change what we like to do but when you allow God to be in control you don't even realize the change because He changes us from the inside out and our desires change. We don't want the same things we used to.

Jesus I am asking for a gentle nudge, a little reminder when I am living off my emotions and not allowing You to be in control. Thank you for your faithfulness to me. In the Mighty Name of Jesus! Amen!

May 22, 2009

There's A Right Time For Everything

Ecclesiates 3:1-8 The Message

There's an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on earth:

A right time for birth and another for death, a right time to plant andanother to reap, a right time to kill and another to heal, a right time to destroy and another to construct, a right time to cry and another to laugh, a right time to lament and another to cheer, a right time to make love and another to abstain, a right time to embrace and another to part, a right time to search and another to count your losses, a right time to hold on and another to let go, a right time to rip out and another to mend, a right time to shut up and another to speak up, a right time to love and another to hate, a right time to wage war and another to make peace.

So I am wondering where you are at? Solomon who wrote Ecclesiates was in backsliding mode. He had made up his own rules and he was playing out life the way that he wanted. He had accepted God and the call from God but he also allowed things in his life that he just should not have. He was married to who knows how many women. He had many concubines. He was very wealthy and he just got caught up in the material things of this world. He saw what he wanted and took WHATEVER steps it would take to get it. Sound familiar? I often find that when I study the people from the Old Testament that we have not changed much as people. Thousands of years later we find our culture in the same situation. We are so caught up in how we look, what we drive and where we live that we lose where our main focus should be on the One who created us. We want all that stuff and we don't care what we have to do to get it.

I don't know about you but I have struggled with all of the above but I am so thankful that God does not give up on me. He is faithful and is always trying to pull me back into His arms even when I try to wander away. He is amazing!

There is a time for everything and God is in control of EVERYTHING. What is the right time for you? Is it the right time for you to hold on or let go? Is it the right time to shut up or speak up? Is it the right time to wage war or make peace? Is it time to rip out the sin that is in your life and mend your soul? Is it the right time to cry over the way our world is or is it time to laugh out loud with joy because the times are drawing near for us to see our Lord face to face?

I know for sure that it is the right time to seek the Lord. He is wanting to have some alone time with you. Just you and Him! Love Him today with all of your heart, with all of your mind and with all of your strength. In the mighty name of Jesus! Amen!

March 31, 2009

Simon the Sorcerer

I was reading in Acts 8 this morning.Simon was a man that amazed all the people of Samaria. He was claiming to be someone great. He could do a lot of amazing things. "Magical things" and he caught the attention of many. But when the people heard the truth about Jesus Christ they believed. Even Simon the Sorcerer believed and was baptized but he was not content with just believing and being baptized. He wanted what he saw the disciples had. He had already had a taste of the pride that came when all the people were following after him with his magic. He watched Philip draw the attention of the people away from him and move the attention to Jesus. Peter and John come to Samaria to help these new believers to grow in the grace and knowledge of what they just believed and they laid hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit. Not because of any magic that Peter and John had in their hands but because they believed in Jesus and accepted the truth. Simon saw what was happening and he wanted that same power that Peter and John had so he offered to buy it from Peter and John with money. Peter answered, "May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! You have no part or share in this ministry because your heart is not right before God. Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps He will forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin. Simon cries out please pray to the Lord for me so that none of this will happen to me.

So many people today still think and act like Simon the Sorcerer. They think that they can buy their way into heaven. They think that if they do all the right things down here on earth that they will earn their way into heaven. We can't earn our way. Just like Simon people believe and are even baptized but the pride of their hearts and the longing to have people accept them for what they can do for them crowds out that belief. We cannot buy the GIFT OF GOD. Just like Simon we have no part or share in the ministry if our heart is not right before God. God doesn't want your money. God doesn't want your accomplishments. God wants your heart. He wants you to want Him with all of your heart. Where is your heart? Have you believed in the idea of God for what you can gain from it? Are you impressed with the power of some that preach about Jesus so you want some of that power?

Simon was told what he needed to do. He needed to repent. He needed to rethink his motives. Peter reprimanded him and told him just get rid of your way of thinking. It is full of pride and your in it for yourself. Open your heart to what you believed. Pray and ask God for forgiveness for your bitterness and your sin. Simon still did not get it. He wanted Peter to pray for him. So many today think the same way. They think someone else can pray for them to be forgiven. They won't surrender their hearts to God and allow Him to lead them in their life. God made it easy for us. He says just surrender and I will help you along the rest of the journey. I will not mislead you that that journey is easy. If it was easy we would not need faith. He guides us and we trust even when it does not look like we think it should.

So where are you in your journey with God? Have you believed and been baptized and it stopped right there? Have you surrendered? Are you being held captive to sin? So many of us think that it is to hard to surrender. There is so much that I will have to give up! I cannot conquer my past. I am way too entangled in my sin of adultery, pornography or worshipping and wanting all the things of this world, pride or popularity. But that is the best part of surrender is that you give all your wants and desires to God and then he cleans out your closet. When you are a slave to your sin you cannot obey your Master. You only obey your sin. Today is a great day to make that surrender!!!!!! It is as easy as asking God to forgive you and allowing Him to take control. It is about letting go and giving control to the One who knows you better than you know yourself! In the Mighty Name of Jesus! Amen!




March 9, 2009

1 Samuel 16:7 The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart.

As moms we tend to get a little over protective of our children. My youngest son has ADHD. He is quite an active little guy and is very passionate about whatever he is doing at the moment. He has brought a lot of excitement into our family as well as a lot of frustration because he can get a little too passionate about the wrong things. As an outsider looking in you would probably just think that kid is such a BRAT! I know because I used to think the same things when I would see kids act the way that my son does. Now that God has given me Mason I can sympathize with the mom that is dealing with a passionate child and I will usually stop and just say a little prayer for that mom and her child.

For the past couple of months my oldest son has had Sunday night hockey games and my husband coaches his team so it is just me and the boys watching. We are good friends with the owners of the ice rink so my kids feel pretty comfortable there. They have been given permission to do things that others might not know it is okay. They play mini hockey in the hall, they can go behind the counter and grab a snack and they are just comfortable there. Mason has had a couple of his passionate moments there as well. I have had to take him outside on several occasions and let him have an attitude adjustment and then go back in. There is a lady that does not like us. She is a mom to one of my sons team mates and she makes it very clear with her glares that I need to control my kid. At first I have to admit I got angry with her stares and comments but then God got a hold of me. He reminded me that people look at the outward appearance but that He looks at our hearts.He will find the good out of every bad circumstance or motive. He looks past the tantrum and sees the passion behind the tantrum. You see God our heavenly Father has that same protective feeling over us. He knows us intimately like we know our children. He knows our flaws. He knows our passions. He knows our hearts. He doesn't judge us for our tantrums but He sometimes will remind us that we need to rethink our motives behind that tantrum. He had to speak His Word into my heart and to remind me wait a minute I see Mason all the time. I created Him the way that He is with passion and all. I have given him to you so that you might guide him into using that passion in the right way and I will be with you even when you are getting the glares and the comments. I know what that is like. I have been talked about. I have been mocked but I kept my eyes on the Truth.

Just a little piece of advice when you see a child acting up remember you are only seeing a glimpse of what that mother or father and child are going through. You don't know the circumstances behind that issue. I know my husband and I do the best we can with our little guy and we make mistakes along the way but I thank my God that He does not judge on the outer appearance of things but that He looks at our hearts. You really don't know how to deal with a situation until your in it and then you can see how you would react. So the next time your in a situation where you would like to be the judge of it try to put yourself in their shoes and in their circumstance. You may have handled it differently but that just might be why you were not chosen for that circumstance.Instead of judging the situation try to have compassion for the situation.

Thank you Jesus for having mercy and compassion on us. Thank you for seeing our hearts and not the outer appearance. You are an Amazing God with an Amazing Love for us!!! In the Mighty Name of Jesus, AMEN!

February 19, 2009

Are you seeking Him?

Wow! I cannot believe that I have not written in over a month! No wonder the Lord had me searching through the scriptures seeking Him out this morning. I have been so busy that I have not been seeking Him. I think this is where most of us get confused and think that God leaves us or that we must have done something wrong that has made Him quiet for a time. The truth is we stop seeking Him. We get wrapped up in our jobs, our kids lives and their schedules, taking care of our husbands and next thing you know it has been a month since we have sought after the Lord and we miss Him in our lives.

Hosea 10:12 Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, until He comes and showers righteousness on you. We start out seeking the Lord. We look for Him everywhere we go. We listen intently for His voice. We want to get into His Word so that we can hear from Him. Then somewhere along our walk we come across some unplowed ground and we become unproductive. Unplowed ground may be a past hurt that comes back up to the surface, or losing someone that you love to cancer or an accident, maybe losing your job or having a child that is rebelling. Unplowed ground is unfamiliar territory that we have not been exposed to before. It is usually full of rocks and thorns which makes it very hard to plant righteousness there. We have to work at it. We have to be willing to let go and let Jesus take the wheel. We may have to stop and get some direction from the Lord. We have to work through the unplowed ground. We cannot forget to SEEK the Lord during this time. He says over and over in His Word that if we seek Him we will find Him but why is it so easy for us to stop seeking Him when things get rocky? We stop seeking Him when we start seeking the circumstance or the unplowed ground that we have come up against. God wants to shower righteousness on us but He needs our attention first. He wants us without distractions! He wants you WHOLLY SURRENDERED at all times even in your unplowed ground.

We can't see Jesus when we are not looking for Him. Whenever you feel a little distant from the Savior look at your relationship with your Savior! When was the last time that you sat still enough to hear from Him? Has your bible been collecting dust on it? What unplowed ground has caught you off guard? The one thing that I do know is that on this on this side of Eternity we will always have unplowed ground and my prayer is that we would be continually seeking the Lord so that when we hit that rocky soil we can keep our eyes fixed on Jesus so that He may keep pouring out His Righteousness on us through the plowing!! In the Mighty Name of Jesus!!! AMEN!

December 30, 2008

The Pharisee and Tax Collector

Luke 18:9-14 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else. "Jesus told this parable. Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself. God I thank you that I am not like other men-robbers, evildoers, adulterers-or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.

But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast, and said, "God have mercy on me a sinner."

I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.

When I read how Jesus reprimand the Pharisees it often makes me wonder how He must shake His head at the church today. I look around and see more Pharisees everyday. What is it that makes us turn into a Pharisee? Is it because we have a had a good week at keeping all the rules? Did we tithe our 10%? Did we go to church on Sunday? Did we join a small group? Did we have our "quiet time" in the morning?

Although those things can be of benefit to us they should not be a to do list to check off at the end of the day so that we can made righteous. All those things do NOTHING for you when your keeping score of it. When you come to pray to your Father in heaven He doesn't listen any more because of what you have done prior to your prayer time. He is not counting how many times we have picked up our bible that week or counting how much money we have placed in the offering. When we pray it should not be based upon what we can earn but it should be based on the mercy that we have already received in Jesus through the cross.

The Pharisees were constantly looking at themselves and how well they kept the rules. Their good deeds and their righteousness became their god. They were full of pride. They did not need a god they were doing just fine on their own. Instead of keeping their eyes fixed on Jesus they kept their eyes on all the sinners around them and in return would compare their righteousness to the sinners sins. Oh how I pray that we would not fall into that pharisee mentality. 

We need to come to God like this tax collector did and just ask God to pour His mercy on us. We often come with an explanantion or an excuse for what we have done wrong. He doesn't need our excuses or our explanations but He does need our humble hearts so He can work on them. Humility is a beautiful expression of your love for the Lord. Humility is hard for us because it doesn't center itself around "I". It simply gets out there and serves others, sometimes sacrificially and sometimes no one knows. It doesn't claim rights but wants to do what is right. Humility is the complete opposite of what is pounded into our head day after day in this world we live in. Wow do we need to renew our minds on humility?

So today who do you look like from this parable? Are you more like the Pharisee or the tax collector? May it be our hearts prayer that our ways that are like the Pharisees be burned away and that our humble tax collectors hearts be the one that shines through! I pray that we will boldly approach His throne of mercy and grace with a humble heart. In the mIghty Name of Jesus! Amen!

December 1, 2008

My Jesus

This morning I heard this song by Todd Agnew called My Jesus and it really tugged at my heart because I wonder how many of us truly understand that our relationship with Jesus should not be about religion or what church we go to. We tend to go back to following rules of religion and not just following Jesus. My prayer is that we would get back to the basics of following Jesus.

Just read the words of this song and then pray and ask God to get you back into what He would have you do. Ask Him to show you how you have made your relationship more of a religion to follow than a simple realtionship with Him.

Which Jesus do you follow? Which Jesus do you serve? If Ephesians says to imitate Christ Then why do you look so much like the world? Cause my Jesus bled and died He spent His time with thieves and liars He loved the poor and accosted the arrogant So which one do you want to be? Blessed are the poor in spirit Or do we pray to be blessed with the wealth of this land Blessed are they that hunger and thirst for righteousness Or do we ache for another taste of this world of shifting sand Cause my Jesus bled and died for my sins He spent His time with thieves and sluts and liars He loved the poor and accosted the rich So which one do you want to be? Who is this that you follow This picture of the American dream If Jesus was here would you walk right by on the other side or fall down and worship at His holy feet Pretty blue eyes and curly brown hair and a clear complexion Is how you see Him as He dies for Your sins But the Word says He was battered and scarred Or did you miss that part Sometimes I doubt we'd recognize Him Cause my Jesus bled and died He spent His time with thieves and the least of these He loved the poor and accosted the comfortable So which one do you want to be? Cause my Jesus would never be accepted in my church The blood and dirt on His feet would stain the carpet But He reaches for the hurting and despised the proud I think He'd prefer Beale St. to the stained glass crowd And I know that He can hear me if I cry out loud I want to be like my Jesus! I want to be like my Jesus! Not a posterchild for American prosperity, but like my Jesus You see I'm tired of living for success and popularity I want to be like my Jesus but I'm not sure what that means to be like You Jesus Cause You said to live like You, love like You but then You died for me Can I be like You Jesus? I want to be like my Jesus

Thank you Jesus for putting up with us. You came here to show us how to love others. You came to show us that we are not the judge of anyone else but to look deep within our own hearts and work on ourselves. You are amazing and I pray that you would give us your eyes to see others with. I pray that we would take up our cross and follow you. I pray that we would accept the suffering as much as we accept your blessing! Show us Your Glory, Lord! Amen!!!!

November 8, 2008

Wow, what a week it has been! The elections are over and many are very pleased with the results and many are saddened even frightened with the results. There is going to be a lot of change that takes place in the next few years and I hope and pray that we will take this opportunity to change our hearts individually. We truly have been blessed in the United States of America. We have an abundance of stuff. Our cupboards are full and our stomachs are fat.

One thing that I did notice last week is how many Christians sought the Lord like we have not in a long time. They were taking their requests before the Lord to choose the leader that they would want in office. Whether you like it or not the right leader was chosen. The right leader was picked to get the job that God has planned done. God is the same yesterday, today and forever. Barack Obama winning the election is not a surprise to God, it was His plan. What I pray and hope is that we will continue to be on our knees before our God getting ourselves right before our Creator.

It is time for the church to lay down her pride and get right before her God. It is time to look within our hearts and remove the idols that we have placed before our God. He wants to be first in your life and in mine. That is what makes our God jealous when we place material things before Him, things that won't even last or things can be stolen away from us. We have shown Him where we put our trust.

2 Chronicles 7:14 Then if my people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.

Stay focused on the One who holds the whole world in His Hands. He is in control. Pray for our new President Barack Obama continually and pray for this great nation that we live in.  

October 28, 2008

Which soil are you?

I have read this parable over and over again throughout my walk with the Lord but this morning it really moved my heart. Matthew 13:1-23 is where you will find the parable and I encourage you to read it in the Word as I will be paraphrasing it. Jesus is talking about  a farmer sowing grain in his fields.The seed falls on four different types of soil. The first falls beside a path and the birds came and ate the seed and then some fell on rocky soil where there was little depth to the earth enough for the plants to quickly shoot up out of the ground but only to die off quickly because their roots did not go down deep enough. Other seeds fell among thorns which quickly took over. Then finally some fell on good soil and the crop returned to the farmer 30, 60 and even as much as 100 times what the farmer planted. Now you may be thinking what does this have to do with me and I say that because that is exactly what the disciples asked Jesus when He told them this story so He explains the parable to them.

The hard path where the birds came and ate the seed represents the person who hears the Word but does not understand it and then Satan comes and snatches away any seeds that have been planted. The shallow rocky ground represents the heart of the woman who hears the message and receives it with great joy but doesn't have much depth to her so when troubles come or persecution comes because of her beliefs her enthusiasm fades and she slowly loses her faith. The ground covered wit thorns represents the heart of the woman that is so caught up in the cares of this world that she does less and less for God. The good soil represents the heart of the woman who hears the Word, receives it and is changed  which makes her want to share it with everyone and in return she brings many into the Kingdom.

For me I feel like I have been all four of these soils at some point in my walk with Jesus but I don't think that is why Jesus included this parable in His Word so that we would find comfort in wavering in our faith. I think He included this parable so that we could keep our faith in check. So that when we felt like we were getting on rocky soil we could get our eyes fixed back on Jesus. So that when the cares of this world come crashing in we would know to turn our eyes back to Jesus. I don't know about you but when I look at the world around me I have nothing but fear and anxiety. We have to admit at some point that the world is falling apart around us. There is very little security in anything in fact there is no security in any of it which is why we should keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. We need to keep our hearts like the good soil clean and ready for the Spirit to lead us on whatever adventure he decides to take us on. It is not a coincidence that my husband lost his job last June is it the adventure that I would have chosen, probably not but with God all things are possible and I have to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus to get through this trial. Do we have a lot in the worlds eyes? No but we have the hope and the trust in Jehovah Jireh the God who will provide.

I don't know what your adventure is, a struggling marriage, the cancer that is eating away at a loved one, overwhelming financial debt, a child that has gone astray, fear and anxiety that have attacked your mind and robbed you of your peace but my prayer is that your heart is on good soil so that you can take this as an adventure with God and you can trust and rely on His strength to get you through it.When the adventure is over you can go and tell the 30, 60 or 100 others what your God, your Jehovah Jireh provided for you and many will be won over to the Kingdom.

So which soil are you? I encourage you to dig deeper today within yourself and put your faith in check. Are you too shallow for the Word to penetrate deep within you? Are you allowing the cares of this world to crowd God out of your life? Are you open and ready to receive what God is trying to plant in your hearts? Does he need to pull some weeds so He can get down to the good soil? I pray that you would find the time to get with God and ask Him to reveal to you what soil your planting your life and faith on? Be ready for an adventure!!!! In the mighty name of Jesus AMEN!!!!!

October 21, 2008

God is a God of Mercy and Compassion

Psalm 145:8 The Lord is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. 9 The Lord is good to everyone. He showers compassion on all His creation. Just take a moment and take that in. For so many years of my life I did not know this about God. I thought the complete opposite and believed that He was always angry and that He wanted nothing to do with me. In the last few years I have really come to know a God that is very different that what I thought. I have realized the relentless pursuit that He has had for me my whole life. I have realized that I allowed other people's view of God to distort mine. When you are able to look back on your life and see Him pursuing you it is amazing. He already knows you exactly the way you are. He knows how many hairs you have on your head. He knows your address. He knows when you sit down and when you rise. He knows when you are sleeping. He knows when you are happy. He knows when you are broken. He wants you to know Him like He knows you.

All of those great things about God we tend to forget. When things are not going exactly the way that we want them to or when life just gets BLAH. We can get so focused on what is not true about God that we start believing the lies that maybe God just doesn't care about me. If God was good then He would get me out of this horrible situation. Why would God allow this to happen to me if He knows what's going on in my life?

It makes me think of a scene in Evan Almighty when Evan's wife  Joan has finally had it with her husband she believes he is loosing his mind, when he is just listening to the Lord and trying to be obedient by building an ark. She leaves and goes to her mothers. The circumstances look as if God is not involved but He is. But then Joan has her own encounter with God. She is sitting at the coffee shop trying to make sense of her situation and along comes God. God (played by Morgan Freeman in this case) shows His care and compassion by noticing something is wrong. She begins to tell him her problems but his answers are always filled with the positive that she had not even looked at. She is complaining about her husband listening to God asking him to do something crazy and then God changes her way of thinking  by suggesting that she look at this crazy thing as an opportunity from God. If someone asks God for patience do you think that He gives them patience or does He give them the opportunity to be patient?  If a person prays for courage does He give them courage or does He give them an oppurtunity to be courageous? If a person prays for her family to become closer do you think He zaps them with warm fuzzy feelings or does He give them opportunities to love each other?  You see sometimes we need little reminders that if everything we asked for was handed to us really what we would be but spoiled little brats?? God knows what He is doing. We are women who want things and we want them now but God is a God who has His perfect timing for each and everything in our lives. He is so good to us. Earlier in the movie after Joan leaves and goes to her mothers Evan looks up to God and says I know you only do things because you love me but could you just not love me so much? We have probably all felt either that He loves us too much or that He doesn't love us at all through certain circumstances but we need to trust God that He is in control and He will work every bad circumstance out for good for those who love Him.

Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus and not on your circumstances and I will try to do the same and in keeping our eyes fixed on HIM we will have victory over our circumstances!!!! In the Mighty Name of Jesus!!!Amen!!!

October 13, 2008

Second Chances

Have you ever just felt like you have blown it with the Lord? He has asked you to do something and you somehow squirm your way out of it by making excuses or getting yourself consumed in earthly things instead of heavenly things. Or maybe you have just gotten tired of trying to walk this walk out. It seems like there are so many obstacles and that it is so much easier to act on the way your flesh reacts. I hope someone can relate to this because this is exactly where I am at on my walk. A year ago I had a clear picture of what God's plan was for me and my life and somehow I have gotten so consumed with earthly distractions that I had lost my heavenly perspective and now I am left with wasted time.

This morning I was reading in John 21 where Jesus appears to some of the disciples, Simon Peter being one of them. Peter is just the one disciple that I relate to the most. He was very impulsive and a little careless with his words. He was very close to Jesus. When they were together Peter would have done anything for the Lord. Peter never failed to follow but he often stumbled. My walk is so similar.

The last time that Peter saw Jesus, Jesus was being led away to be crucified and Peter had denied even knowing Jesus not once, not twice but three times. Peter was left broken knowing Jesus died and there was nothing he could do to protect Jesus. He had to live with the fact that he denied Jesus and the grief must have been overwhelming. So I can just imagine as Peter went out fishing that morning of how depressed he was, thinking of his betrayal to the Lord and then knowing that Jesus was dead and he could not make up for his mistakes. A voice calls from the shore, "Friends, have you caught any fish?" No, they all yell back but then John realizes that it is the Lord calling from the shore. Without any hesitation Peter jumps into the water and swims to his Lord. He probably could not believe his own eyes was it really Jesus standing before him? Did he really have a second chance to make things right with his Lord? Jesus welcoming all of them to sit down and have breakfast with Him. Peter must have sat so silently waiting patiently on the Lord to speak to him. Then the moment arrives Jesus speaks to Peter and He asks him three times, "do you love me?" Peter each time replied , "yes, Lord you know I love you." I am not sure why Jesus asked him three times the same question whether it was to remind him of the denial or to let him know that he was forgiven. Jesus has a way of getting straight into our hearts. I believe He was letting Peter know that he was giving him a second chance.

Our God is a God of second chances and He has enough grace and mercy to cover us in our stumbles. Sometimes we take our eyes off of Jesus and we focus a little too much on ourselves and that is where we lose our focus. We have to remember that this walk is not always going to be easy and that there will be bumps in the road but that He is big enough to carry us through the bumps. We have to go through the battles to win the war. So let us fix our eyes on Jesus and remember the road that He traveled not for Himself but so that we could be set free. Thank you Jesus for Second Chances!!!!

October 6, 2008

Communion

Once a month our church takes communion and yesterday was the day. It is always a time that we should take a moment to sit back and remember what it is that our Lord and Savior endured so that we could be set free. As I sat there yesterday in a time of prayer and just really concentrating on what took place on that cross some 2000 years ago I felt great sorrow. I felt sorrow for what I take for granted everyday in Jesus. I felt conviction over where my head has been lately, focused on all the wrong things.It was my thought life that saddened me and I know saddened the heart of my Savior. What we think about is so important because we start to act out on things that we think. I saw a really ugly side of me come out last week a side that I hadn't seen in quite awhile. I could easily justify it because of my gift of my discernment. I had become so angry over injustice that was being done to someone else so that another person could get ahead for themselves.The anger was not where I was in the wrong it was the way I reacted to the anger I was feeling that was wrong. In my anger I did sin. I focused on all the wrong instead of keeping my eyes on Jesus and my peace was taken from me. So yesterday as I sat and focused on the right things and really meditated on what Jesus did on the cross and how I proclaim that in my life that Jesus is alive and lives within me those reactions that I had seemed so little. I had realized that Jesus also died for that person that I was so angry at and that He bore that persons sin on the cross and that my job was not to be the judge but to show mercy and love towards that person just like Jesus shows mercy and love to me on a daily basis.

Communion was a ritual in the religion that I grew up in and I never really understood why we would take it. I was also never allowed to take it because I did not finish the classes required prior to receiving Communion so I have always felt a little awkward taking it. Today it is not a ritual at all. I take the time right before communion to really get with God and look at my heart. I invite Him to fill those dark places that still exist. I invite Him to show me where it is that I need His help in my day to day living. I confess what I need to confess and I remember what a sacrifice it was for Jesus to endure the cross. I ask Him to help me have the love and mercy towards others that He shows me everyday! I ask Him to help me keep my eyes focused on Him and not on me or my circumstances!!!!

We are doing a Beth Moore bible study at the Dwelling Place called "Living Beyond Yourself" and last night Beth was very passionate about us asking God to invade every part of our lives and she means every part not just the ones that we pick and choose. I have taken on the challenge and I encourage you to also. Let that be our prayer that we want God to invade every part of our being and that we would be open to Him taking over. I pray that His desires would become our desires. In the Mighty Name of Jesus!!!


September 22, 2008

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.

There are times when I wish this verse was tattooed on me somewhere. Today everything is so uncertain. We watch the news and it is horrible. There is no peace in our world. From financial trouble to wars breaking out amongst us and against us it is frightening. There are so many uncertainties.

I am guilty of often leaning on my own understanding. I do okay when things are going well but the minute that things start to look a little uncertain I tend to worry about everything. Last June my husband was laid off from his job of 20 years. He had worked there ever since I have known him, we met there. My first reaction was Praise the Lord, He has something better for us and for our family but as each day passes the worries and fears of not having the stability of his job weighs heavy on my heart. I have to admit I have been stressing out a lot lately. Life is costing more than ever and we are uncertain of where our income will come from. So my big challenge of today is to start living out my faith. In fact my husband told me the other day you need to practice what you preach about trusting the Lord. He is going to take care of us. Sometimes I get too busy telling others to trust God that I forget it for myself. As I go through this struggle I thank God for it because I know that I will know Him that much more when this trial is done. I know in my heart that He will provide every need that we have. I have to remember that I am a daughter of the King and that He will supply all of my needs.

We live in a very uncertain, scary world right now so I am just going to share with you some verses that will help us to look up to our God, the one who controls EVERYTHING and put our trust in HIM even when things don't turn out the way that we thought they should.

Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Joshua 1:9 Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

Psalm 40:4 Blessed is the woman who makes the Lord Her trust....


September 16, 2008

Martha, Martha, Martha

I think I know why the Lord has had me so focused on these scriptures in Luke 10:38-42 because with school starting and my new found freedom of all my kids being back in school I have been caught in the Martha syndrome which is why I haven't written in awhile.

I have found myself in both Martha and Mary's place and I wish I could say that it was Mary more than Martha but I can't. Let me explain. In these scriptures we find Martha who is only thinking about the details of dinner and how to best make her guests comfortable. She is so caught up in the food and the service part that she ends up frustrated with herself, her sister and even the Lord.

Then we see Mary. She probably rushed to Jesus and greeted Him at the door with her water and soap in hand to wash the dust from His feet. I can only imagine her sitting at His feet washing the dust from them when He started to speak and she became so enthralled with what He was saying that she forgot all about time and all about the details of dinner. She sat in awe of Jesus!

Martha lashes out at Jesus, "hello, can't you see my sister is just sitting at your feet doing nothing and here I am doing all of the work?" Can't you just picture Martha in the kitchen banging pots and pans around grumbling under her breath? I can't believe I have to do everything around here, I fix the meals, I clean the dishes it is always me doing everything and Mary is doing nothing! I can hear it clearly and that's probably because I can get the same attitude around my own house.

Mary and Martha were both serving the Lord but what Martha didn't realize was that in her desire to serve the Lord she was actually neglecting her Lord. After going to Jesus with her grumbling and complaining He gently responds not blaming Martha for being concerned about the details of dinner but that she needed to set her priorities straight. The focus is not so much a matter of service but of our heart. Mary had her heart in the right place. She saw what was important and that was to be still and know that He is God. While Martha was getting so caught up feeling sorry for herself that she actually missed quality time with her Lord.

Matthew 6:33 But seek first His Kingdom and His Righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.

Jesus said Himself that Mary chose what was better and He would not take that away from her. He wants you to sit at His feet. What details in your life are getting in the way of you sitting at His feet? Make time for you and Him!!!!

September 1, 2008

Finally Free

Oh how I love this story in John chapter 11. Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead. You can read the story in John 11:38-44. There are several points in this scripture. I love how it says that Jesus called out in a loud voice, Lazarus, come out! I often wonder if he had not said Lazarus' name would all of the dead risen by the sound of Jesus loud voice of authority? There is such authority in the words of Jesus and how often we under estimate that power that resides right inside our very being. If we only had the faith to use it?

But what has really had an impact on my life is John 11:44. The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped in strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, "Take off the grave clothes and let him go." I know that Jesus was speaking to Lazarus who was physically dead but every time that I read these scriptures I think of all of us who are spiritually dead until Jesus calls us by our name. We all have a time when that happens for us. But what stands out to me the most is that the dead man comes out with his hands and feet bound with strips of linen and a cloth around his face. Jesus says to the people gathered around, "Take off his grave clothes and let him go." How many of us are walking around still bound in our grave clothes? We have heard Jesus call us by name and we have yet to take off our grave clothes!

For six years after I heard Jesus call my name I walked around bound in strips of guilt and shame of my past. I was dragging it around with me wherever I went. These strips were weighing me down making it very hard to see the freedom that came with hearing Jesus call my name. I was alive for the first time in my spiritual life but was still walking amongst the dead.

There is a transformation that takes place when we accept Jesus' call. Our old grave clothes fall off and we become a new creation. (2 Corinthians 5:17). You now stand holy and blameless before your God. (Ephesians 1:4) You are redeemed and forgiven of all your sins. (Colossians1:14) You are complete in Christ. (Colossians 2:10) You cannot be separated from the love of God. (Romans 8:35-39) So why are we still walking around in those grave clothes? It is time to bury those grave clothes!!! It is time to walk in freedom girls!!! Freedom from your past, freedom from your mistakes, freedom from whatever it is that you just can't let go of!

I have met so many women that are still dressed in their grave clothes, it breaks my heart! They have been saved for years and they are still exactly where they were when they heard Jesus call their name! Satan wants to keep us bound and one way he does that is to continually bring up our past. You don't have to listen to that voice anymore. If he can keep us caught up in our mistakes and not fully receiving all that we are in Christ then he still has control. We need to start believing who we are in Christ and know in our hearts that the devil and all his lies have been conquered.

Girls He has called you by name now TAKE OFF THOSE GRAVE CLOTHES!!!!!!!! In the mighty name of Jesus!!!!AMEN!


August 23, 2008

Luke 9:57 As they were walking along someone said to Jesus. "I will follow you no matter where you go."

I wonder how many of us have actually had that encounter with Jesus when we come to that place of surrender when nothing else matters but following Jesus wherever He goes. What conviction I have felt this morning. I haven't followed Jesus wherever He has gone. In my heart I want to be there but my mind always seems to get in the way. There have been so many times when I hear Him calling and I chicken out! There have been times when I have been obedient to Him and He is faithful to carry me through whatever task He brings me to.

Jesus response is what really hit me this morning. He responds with I, the Son of Man have no where to lay my head. In other words it is not going to be easy I don't have a home. I don't know where I will be sleeping even tonight. He walks further along the road and asks another and another to be His disciple and follow Him but He got excuse after excuse. I wondered how many times I have had an excuse when Jesus has asked me to follow Him! I know that I have been at that place of surrender with Jesus. I have given Him my life and I often say Lord, Here I Am, Send Me and then often act as if I don't hear Him when He calls.

What Jesus wants from us is total dedication. He wants all of us not half of us. It is not up to us to pick and choose what we would like to obey or what is comfortable for us to obey. He wants all of us. He wants our heart, soul, mind and strength. It is not always going to be about receiving the crown sometimes we are going to have to carry our cross. Walking with Jesus is never easy when we try to do it in our own strength but when we give Him our heart, soul, mind and strength He can do anything and we just need to go along for the ride.

More times than not Jesus has asked me to step out of my comfort zone to fulfill something of Him. I love my comfort zone and I love routine and I have missed many a crown by loving that comfort zone. Instead of focusing on my comforts I need to focus on the comfort that comes from my Creator who goes with me wherever I go and goes with you wherever you go. Jesus is a gentleman and never forces anything on any of us.

As I was praying God took me to Revelation 3:15-16 I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish you were one or the other. But since you are like lukewarm water, I will spit you out of my mouth. Jesus was speaking to the city of Laodicea which was a wealthy city but it always had a problem with it's water supply so their drinking water was often lukewarm. I don't know about you but when I take a drink of lukewarm water that if the first thing I want to do is spit it out. It is not refreshing at all it is quite disgusting! That is what He was comparing these people too. The Laodecian church was comfortable and complacent. They had a lot of material possessions. They had one foot in the world and one foot following Jesus. They were doing all kinds of good things but by doing them they were depending on themselves not on God which lead them to be lukewarm.

I pray that we would be on fire for you Jesus. Lord we ask that we would be sold out to you and that nothing would get in the way of us following you and where you want to lead us. Help us Lord that as we get called to things that are out of our comfort zone that we will know that we are not walking this alone but with you every step of the way. I pray Lord that we would be shouting everyday HERE I AM LORD SEND ME!!!!!!!! I pray that you would give us the strength to carry our cross and endure the sacrifices that we will need to make in order to receive the crown that waits for us!!! I pray that as we act like that Laodecian church that we would feel strong conviction so that we don't become lukewarm! In the Mighty Name of Jesus!!!! AMEN!


August 21, 2008

Interruptions!!! How do you handle them? We have a certain plan for our day but something or someone comes along and messes it all up.

I sometimes wonder how God who holds the whole world in His hands could possibly understand interruptions? Then He showed me a story in Matthew 14:13-14.

It had been a long day for Jesus. He was tired! He had been teaching parable after parable to city after city. He had been amongst the sick and performed many miracles of healing. He had been traveling from town to town and had had no or very little sleep. He now receives the news that John the Baptist has been killed. It was probably one of the saddest days of His life. He wanted to withdraw from the people and go to a place of solitude where He could grieve the death of John the Baptist so He got in a boat and went to to a solitary place. His plans were to get away, be with His closest friends and mourn the death of His cousin. When He landed at this place there was already a crowd of people there waiting for Him. You can imagine the noise that He found when He arrived not even a glimpse of solitude. You can just imagine the shouts of despair coming from the mouths of all the people that were consumed with depression, disease and broken hearts vying for His attention pleading for His Healing. I have often wondered didn't it bother Him that no one cared about His feelings or what He was going through? Did anyone care how tired He was? These are all questions that I have when I have been interrupted? Doesn't anybody realize that it is my turn for my time? When I am tired and have just fallen asleep but one of my children come in and wake me because they have had a bad dream? Jesus didn't have these questions going through His mind and I know that because of His reaction to that crowd that was already there waiting for Him. The bible says that He had compassion on that crowd and that He healed their sick. He was always dying to His own wants and His own needs so that He could be there for others. Compassion means a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to take away the suffering. I can' think of a better word than that to describe our Savior. He didn't complain, He didn't grumble, He didn't get mad He just met their needs. He allowed His feelings to be put aside to deal with His interruption. He is our amazing Savior!!!!

There is another time that He lays His wants and His needs aside for us. The night before He is crucified He has great anguish over what is about to happen. He was God so He knew exactly what was about to happen to Him. He knew that He was going to be betrayed, beaten beyond recognition, embarrassed beyond anything we could imagine, spit on, ridiculed, mocked and then killed in the most horrific way. He would be nailed to a cross and hung there to die the most pain filled death known to man. He knew that as He took on all of OUR sins that He would have to experience separation from His Heavenly Father and that brought Him agony. As God He knew what He had to do but as a man, in His human nature He struggled. Because of that struggle He can relate to our suffering. Jesus did all of that for YOU.

I pray that for those of us that already acknowledge Him as Savior that we would be reminded of that sacrifice and that we would not live our lives as though we don't know of the suffering that our Savior endured. That we would go back to the cross daily so that we can sit at the foot of the cross and surrender our lives to Him daily even when it means that may be suffering included in that surrender. That as we get interrupted in our lives that we would take it as an opportunity to be more like Jesus not as an irritation.

If you have never asked Jesus to come into your life I pray that today is your day. I pray that you will feel that compassion on your life and that you would realize that it doesn't matter who you are or what you have done in your life you can openly accept His invitation of the deep sympathy and sorrow that He has for you. I pray that you would feel His strong desire to take away your suffering! He can only take away your suffering if you allow Him into your heart. He is standing at the door of your heart knocking answer Him with this....Jesus I surrender. Forgive me for all I have ever done that has been wrong in Your eyes. Teach me and show me how to live a life that is surrendered to you. Thank you for enduring the cross for me. I love you Lord! In the Mighty Name of Jesus!!!!AMEN!

August 14, 2008

Yesterday I took my kids to the free summer movie and it happened to be Daddy Day Camp. There was a line in that movie that I can't seem to get out of my head. "It is easier to remember the way you wished things were than to actually remember the way they were." It made me think of how many of us live back in our past or we live in the land of what could have been. Our mind is a powerful thing and we can do damage to our souls when we focus on the wrong things. When we have regrets and wished things could have been different we are not in God's will. The Word tells us in Phillipians 3:13 to forget what is behind and strain towards what is ahead. In Isaiah 43:18-19 Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. We need to forget the former things that hold us back from seeing the new thing that God is trying to do in us and through us. God remembers the good things and He takes our sins, our mistakes and the mistakes that have been done to us and He throws them to the deepest part of the ocean where they are never to be be remembered.

In Genesis we see what happens to a woman who looked back. In Genesis, God is about to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah but has found favor with Lot so He prepares an escape for him and his family. They were told to flee for their lives and do not look back. Lot's wife looked back and she turned into a pillar of salt. Her consequence for looking back was death. I don't think that we are going to turn into a pillar of salt if we look back longingly at our past or wishing things were different but I do think that our minds will be hindered from seeing the new thing that God wants to do in us

Girls we need to flee for our lives, the new life that we have in Jesus and stop looking back to our pasts. When we do get bogged down with past memories or in the what if things had turned out this way mentality we need to go directly to Jesus enter that throne room of grace and surrender those thoughts to Him there. Get out your bible and write down verses like Phillipians 3:13, Isaiah 43:18-19 and put them where they will help you (your bathroom mirror, right by the kitchen sink, in your car on the visor or on your desk at work).

Start putting into your mind what God thinks about you. Start focusing on His Promises to you His daughter. Start believing that you are chosen by God to do good works for Him. He has accepted you just as you are no matter what the past may hold. You are a new creation and the old life has gone and the new has come.

I pray that you would each be able to lay down your past and also to lay down what could have been. I pray that you would be open to the new life that you have in Christ and be able to press on towards what is ahead. I thank you Lord that You have taken away our old life and that You have given us a new life in You. I thank You that You take us just as we are and that You walk us through this new life cleaning up anything that is still hindering us from living out our new life in You. Help us to remember You and Your Word when we struggle with our pasts and what could have been! Help us to accept that you have us where you want us! In the Mighty Name of Jesus!! Amen!

August 9, 2008

The Faith Of A Gentile Woman

Matthew 15:21-28 tells of a story of Jesus and a Gentile woman. She came to Jesus pleading that He have mercy on her for her daughter who was possessed by a demon. I encourage you to go and read these scriptures as I am telling the story as I see it.

At first Jesus ignores her pleading. The disciples get irritated with her and urge Jesus to send her away because she was bothering them with all of her begging. You can just imagine this woman must have been screaming her pleading not just asking. She must have been acting out her pain over her daughter with moans and groans of agony.

Jesus then turns to her and says, "I was sent only to help God's lost sheep-the people of Israel." One of which she was not, she was a Gentile woman. A gentile woman who was considered unclean and untouchable by the Jews.

Although Jesus tells her no the first time she comes back and worships Him pleading again, Lord help me.

Jesus responds again, "It isn't right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs." Gentiles were known as dogs.

She replies, "Yes, Lord but even dogs are allowed to eat the scraps that fall beneath their Master's table.

Jesus says to her, "Dear woman, your faith is great. Your request is granted and her daughter was instantly healed.

It took me several times of reading this story to really understand this story. It was the first time that I felt awkward about the way Jesus treated someone. I had to read it over and over again to see was Jesus really turning someone away because of her race. Absolutely not!!! He was stating the truth of why He came. He was stating His original reason for coming to the earth to reveal Himself to the Jews, God's Chosen People as their Messiah that they were waiting for. He was also testing her faith. He was determining her trust for Him.

It is not so much Jesus words that I want to focus on but the Gentile woman. We tend to come to Jesus with our requests but we also have a list of the way that we would like those requests fulfilled. When He fulfills those requests with His way or with the truth and not our way we back away from Him. We are hurt and sometimes we get mad at God. We get offended. We look for other options.

We should learn from this Gentile Woman. She did not give up when she didn't get the answer that she wanted the first time. She could have easily been offended by His words to her. She wasn't focused on the answer that she got she was focused on the ONLY ONE who could fix her problem. She kept her eyes fixed on Jesus. When she didn't get the answer that she wanted The Word says that she came to Him again and worshiped Him, pleading, "Lord help me." She went back to Him boldly and confidently to receive grace. When she got no for an answer she went to Him and worshiped. I can just picture her bowing at His feet maybe wrapping her arms around His knees pleading with Him. Nothing or no one could get in the way of her faith. Jesus was her only option. There was not another option for her.

Do you approach Him as just one of your options? If you don't get the answer that your looking for do you move onto your next option? Jesus needs to be our only option. She had faith in Jesus. She kept her eyes fixed on Jesus. She admitted that she needed help. She didn't waver when things didn't go the way that she wanted them to go.

I pray that we would have faith like that Gentile Woman. That we would know exactly what we are after and that our faith would not falter just because things don't look like we thought they should have. May we have the same boldness and confidence that she had and go to our Jesus bowed at His feet with our arms wrapped around His knees pleading with Him and that we would not waver from the outcome. Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. May we stay focused on Jesus as our only option!!!! In the Mighty Name of Jesus!! AMEN!!!!

August 4, 2008

Psalm 103:1-5 Praise the Lord O my soul; all my inmost being, praise His Holy Name. Praise the Lord, O my soul and forget not all His benefits-who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.

I have been meditating on this verse in the last couple of weeks trying to memorize it so that I can bring it to my mind in this crazy mixed up world that we live in. Everything just seems backwards. It really feels like the world is falling apart. There are wars and rumours of wars. Earthquakes, hurricanes and tornados are happening in places that are unheard of. People are growing cold in their love for one another. Husband against wife and mother against child. Our Lord must look down on this earth with such sorrow. It is so far from what He created it to be.

Yesterday my family went to a Dodger game in LA. There is something about that many people in one place that always causes me to ponder how BIG our GOD really is. Just to know that He created each one of us and that His love covers us when we really don't deserve it. He has thoughts about each one of us that outnumber the grains of sand on the earth. His heart breaks as He watches one more child wander away and step out of His grace. But as I sat there and looked at the 50,000 people all around I wondered how many of them knew the benefits that they have in the Lord. I wondered how many of them knew that they had a Savior that layed down His life so that they could find forgiveness and healing. I wondered how many were stuck way down deep in their pits of sin. Some of us as believers don't even know these things.

I think we have made the benefits of God into our own comforts. We tend to think if we have wealth and prosperity in material things that we have received the benefits of God. We need to renew our minds to think like Jesus thinks and concentrate on the benefits that He describes are ours. Forgiveness, healing and deliverance. His Love and His Compassion! Where would we be without all of that?

I pray that as believers we would transform our minds to really soak in all the benefits of God. His Forgiveness and His Healing for our lives and as we fully understand those things for ourselves that we would pour that out onto others so that they could see the benefits of God. I pray that we not allow our circumstances to crowd out the benefits of God. In the Mighty Name of Jesus! AMEN!!!!

July 26, 2008

Phillipians 1:21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. For so many of us we look at dying as a sad time and yes it is full of grief for those of us that get left behind here to miss our loved one. But what could be better than meeting our Savior face to face? Because when we die here if we know Jesus that is where we go immediately in His presence. Oh how I long for that day!

I write this devotion with such mixed emotion. For most of you that read these devotions you have followed along with all of us about Lindsey Sowles and her battle with cancer. Her amazing parents that have been such an example of what true faith is. They have truly stood on the SOLID ROCK through this battle. In fact in the guestbook Ginger shares a great story about Debbie Sowles, Lindsey's mom completely trusting the Lord with her daughter. I encourage you to read it.

We can get so caught up in the why or how could God allow bad things to happen to good people? That is why God says in Isaiah 55:8 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord. We can't even begin to understand why God does what He does or allows what He does allow but we can focus on what a great God we do have. We can focus on His love, His mercy, His forgiveness and His great sacrifice of His Son Jesus.

Lindsey went home to be with the Lord Thursday evening and what a great gain for her! She is sitting at Jesus feet in awe of her Savior. She has no more pain and no more fear. I am sad to say that I never had the chance to personally meet Lindsey but have been deeply moved by her life and the love of her family not only for her but for our Lord. The Lord truly healed Lindsey maybe not in the way that we would have thought it should happen but that is when we need to go to Isaiah 55:8 again and again.

Two years ago my family also had a great loss. My cousin Frankie was in a serious car accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down. He should not have survived the car accident but did and lived another six weeks. In that six weeks my cousin and I continually prayed the same as the Sowles family to heal Frankie whether that be here on earth or in heaven with Jesus. In that six weeks Frankie accepted Jesus as his Savior and we all had some really great memories in those times of him being in the hospital. Was it the ideal place where you would like to make memories? No! But if we hadn't of had the time in the hospital with him we wouldn't have the memories! Those are little miracles of God working through these trials that we have here on this earth. He had started to recover from the other wounds but one night he went to sleep and didn't wake up here but in eternity. Frankie can now run in heaven and I know that he has been shooting hoops with Jesus ever since he arrived. He loved basketball.

Although we have a great loss with Lindsey and Frankie and many others going home at a surprising young age. This was not a surprise to God. They have experienced a great gain!They are exactly where He wants all of us to be in His arms. Pain, disease, accidents and harm cannot reach them now.

So as we miss our loved ones that have gone on to eternity before us let us keep our faith and concentrate on the love, forgiveness and mercy of our Savior. When the grief floods in let us turn to the Comforter. I pray that we would not let our minds wander to the why but focus on where they are IN THE PRESENCE OF JESUS SITTING AT HIS FEET IN AWE. Let us cherish the memories of them and hold them close to our heart until we get to see them again in eternity.

July 22, 2008

Deuteronomy 8:2 Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and test you in order to know what is in your heart, whether or not you would keep His commands.

Do you feel like you have been wandering in the desert? Do you feel like God may be a little quiet these days? This is always a hard season to be in with God. We think we are being punished for something that we have done but I don't think it is a punishment at all. I believe these are the times when God takes the time to clean our hearts out. 

Before discovering this scripture I automatically shut off in these dry seasons with God because I felt like I was being punished. Just like a toddler does when they are being punished they stop, drop and throw a tantrum in that same place until they feel the punishment is over or until they get their way. I stomp my feet and stay in that exact position fighting God instead of going with God and trying to figure out what it is that He is trying to purify out of me. He does this to test us and to humble us and see what is in our hearts. He wants to know if all of His work is paying off, if we will truly follow His commands. It sounds all too familiar with our own parent child relationships.

If we didn't have these dry seasons how could look at our lives and see what needs to be cleansed from us? Deuternomy 8:3 says He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. We can't really relate to being fed by manna but we have many other comforts that we run to in these dry seasons. Shopping, food, our spouses, friends or our careers! But just like the Israelites He is trying to teach us that we can't survive on manna alone (our manna being shopping, food, spouses, friends, careers) but we have to go straight to the word that comes from the mouth of the Lord, THE WORD OF GOD. In our dry seasons we need to be more in the word than ever. That should be where we are running to is straight into His word because it is alive and active and it convicts our soul and it shows us what we need to clean out of ourselves. These dry seasons are for our own good. Just like in Deuteronomy 8:7 says for the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land that is what God desires that we arrive in that good land with abundance not in the dry desert lacking and without!!!!

I encourage you to get into the word the next time you feel like you are wandering into the dry desert. Seek Him with all your heart and you will find Him. Instead of throwing the tantrum look at it as an opportunity to get closer to your Savior.

July 16, 2008

Micah 6:6-8 What can we bring to the Lord? What kind of offerings should we give Him? Should we bow before God with offerings of yearling calves? Should we offer Him thousands of rams and ten thousand rivers of olive oil? Should we sacrifice our firstborn children to pay for our sins? No O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what He requires of you; to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.

These verses are in the Old Testament so it might be hard for us to relate to the sacrifice part. Praise the Lord that we don't have to bring sacrifices to the Lord! Jesus was the Ultimate Sacrifice and through His blood we no longer are under the Old Covenant.We are privileged to be under the New Covenant that the acceptance of Jesus blood is the only sacrifice that is needed for us to be forgiven and be in right standing with God. Micah was speaking to Israel, God's Children and these same words can be a great reminder to us God's children. It looks like Israel was getting caught up in the religion more than they were caught up in the relationship. Sound familiar? We tend to get caught up in our religion and we lose Jesus in it. We often pray a certain prayer, listen to certain music, show up to church every Sunday morning sing a praise song just because it has become the routine of the Christian life. We can go a whole day without truly depending on God, repenting of our sin and worshipping Him. We miss out on the most important part to Him the relationship.Having a relationship with Jesus is much more than the routine of the Christian life. He longs for much more out of us. He wants to talk with you all throughout your day. He wants to be included in your life everyday not just the days you go to church. He wants to share all of your life with you. He wants to show you the things that He delights in and He wants to give you the desires of your heart.

The Jews missed out on Jesus when He arrived here on earth because they were so caught up in the religion and earning their way to God. They weren't willing to surrender to the Savior and have a relationship with Him. Instead they picked apart all of the things that He did right, they looked past His ability to love mercy and they were so caught up in the rules and regulations that they missed how closely and humbly He was walking with His God.

Are you walking humbly with your God or are you just walking through the motions of your religion? I encourage you to get as close as you can to the Savior! Make Him a part of your every second. Go to Him with your day and seek Him. He is waiting!!!


July 12, 2008

Today I just want to share an excerpt from Beth Moore's book Breaking Free. I think we can all relate to this. God has such a great plan for our lives and He wants the very best for His daughters. This really made me sit and think how many times I have wandered off His path or looked at someone else's and coveted their path. How many times have I concentrated more on the regrets that just accepting that God has a plan for those regrets and that I need to move forward!

Imagine going to heaven and standing by God as He lovingly shows you His plan for your life. It begins with the day you are born. Once you received Christ as Savior, every day that follows is outlined in red. You see footprints walking through each day of your life. On many of the days, two sets of footprints appear. You inquire: "Father, are those my footprints every day, and is the second set of footprints when You joined me?"

He answers, "No, My precious Child. The consistent footprints are Mine. The second set of footprints are when you joined Me."

"Where were you going, Father?"

"To the destiny I planned for you, hoping you'd follow."

"But Father, where are my footprints all those times?"

"Sometimes you went back to look at old resentments and habits. Sometimes you chose your own path. Other times your footprints appear on another person's calendar because you liked their plan better. Sometimes you simply stopped because you would not let go of something you could not take with you."

"But Father we ended up OK even if I didn't walk with You every day, didn't we?"

He holds you close and smiles, "Yes Child, we ended up OK. But, you see, OK was never what I had in mind for you." By Beth Moore......."Breaking Free"

Take some time to really ponder her message here. I cannot wait to stand face to face with our Savior. It is something my heart longs for every day but this definitely helps me to look at my walk with the Savior. Every step, every day counts. I would like to see two set of footprints when I look back, how about you?


July 8, 2008

It is amazing to me how much we focus on the outer part of ourselves and focus very little on the inner. We all get up each morning and put on our masks of make up and spend hours in our closets making sure we have the right outfit on. We will try on 5 or 6 different outfits before choosing the right one.There is nothing wrong with us taking care of our outer appearances but there is a problem when your not taking care of the inner appearance. 1 Samuel 16:7 says Man looks at the outward appearance but God looks at the heart.

So how are you doing in this area? Are you working on your inner self? Our world is so consumed with the outer appearance of things that we can so easily get caught up what the latest fad is and really make our outer self shine while the inside light is growing very dim. We all will someday stand before our Lord and He will ask us some real questions about our lives. He is not going to be asking what size we were, how much we weighed, what our homes looked like, if we wore designer clothes or not? He is going to ask us how did we treat people? What did you do with the marriage I blessed you with? He is going to go down deep inside our hearts and want to look at the motives of our hearts.

I encourage you to take these verses and pin them up somewhere. Maybe on the mirror in your bathroom where you get ready every morning, in the kitchen or maybe on the visor of your car but somewhere where you will be reminded to clothe your inner self.

Romans 13:14 Clothe yourselves with the Lord.

Isaiah 52:1 Clothe yourselves with strength.

Colossians 3:12 Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

1 Peter 5:5 Clothe yourselves with humility towards one another.

Psalm 30:11 God has clothed us in joy.

Colossians 3:14 Put on love.

Ephesians 4:24 Put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

Are you spending time with God and allowing Him to work on your inner self? Are you praying that God would be working on your inner self as hard as your working on your outer self? Are you putting on those clothes of strength, compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience? Remember that when we go to stand before our Jesus at the end of this life the only clothes He is going to worry about us wearing are going to be the clothes of righteousness, kindness, patience, gentleness and of course the most important LOVE.

July 2, 2008

I am doing the Beth Moore study Believing God with a group of girls at my church. We have been doing it for two weeks now and it is an amazing study. This is my second time doing it and already I am learning so much more than I did the first time.

On one of the study days Beth Moore says, "Sometimes our problem with God is that we don't like the rules. I can remember trying to hang onto both God and my idols." Wow we are so like that we want our cake and eat it too. We want to put on our masks and come to church on Sundays maybe attend a bible study but then live our life any way that we want to when we are not in those two places. God is always with us and He sees everything that we do. We may think we are hiding but there is no where that we can go that He is not. Read Psalm 139.

So after finishing my lesson for the day I took my kids swimming and I just kept asking God do I have any idols?

Immediately God reminded me of the Israelites wandering in the desert. They grew very impatient waiting for Moses to come back down from the mountain and tell them God's instructions. They had just been delivered from slavery in Egypt and already were forgetting their God. The more impatient they grew the more complaining took place and Aaron had had enough so he creates a golden calf an idol for them to worship. They are happy and worshipping a golden calf.

Your probably thinking the same thing I am. Well I don't have a golden calf in my living room so I am doing good. I don't sit and worship a figure. Then God spoke softly to my heart, Tiffany your idol is not a golden calf but you have grown impatient waiting on me and as you've grown impatient you have found comfort from investing in earthly things.

For the past six months or so I have been feeling like the Israelites wandering in the desert just waiting for some direction from the Lord. And as I was wandering I wanted something to make me feel better for the moment. Whenever I would get impatient I would run to Target or the mall and take my mind off of the wandering by buying something to make me feel better for the moment which had become an idol.

So as God is pointing out what my idol is I was already trying to justify my idol. You know how we can make excuses to God. I never spend much money it's just a little bit. Once again that oh so soft voice of God it doesn't matter if your spending $5 or $500 you are finding comfort and going to something other than me for comfort. When things get rough and tough I want to be the one that you are running to. Not temporal things that don't even mean anything to you. I am more than enough.

You see an idol is anything that we place before our Lord. What is constantly on your mind? What are you focused on the most in your day? What one thing can make you take your eyes off of Jesus? SO what has become your idol? Your looks? Your weight? A Habit? Earthly possessions? Your career? Your friends?

Going back to Exodus 32 Moses gave the Israelites a choice either lay down your idols and surrender to your God or die. It sounds harsh but it is the reality. We will end up spiritually dead if we don't lay our idols down. I believe that anytime we place something or someone in the place where God should be we miss out on Him. We miss out on all He wants to fill us up with and that feeling of being filled up the with the Lover of Your Soul is far better than anything this world can offer!!!!


June 11, 2008

In Matthew 25 once again Jesus is speaking in parables. He is talking about the ten bridesmaids that were going to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five of them were wise. The foolish ones were not prepared to meet the bridegroom, they did not bring enough oil to keep their lamps burning so that when the time came to meet their bridegroom their light would have burned out and He would not be able to see them. The wise ones had prepared themselves and were ready to meet the bridegroom. They had plenty of oil in their lamps because they had planned ahead, they were anticipating His arrival. As the foolish ones heard that He was coming they wanted to run to the wise bridemaids and borrow their oil for their lamps. The truth is we can't borrow anyones oil. We have to buy our own oil. We have to be ready on our own. We can't expect someone else to be ready for us. We have all been invited to this wonderful celebration of meeting our Savior , our Bridegroom Jesus but we are the only ones that can make ourselves ready for His arrival. Are you ready? What do you need to do as the time draws near in preparation for His arrival? What plans should you alter? What are some details that need to be attended to? What habits need to be removed?

It amazes me how far in advance we plan for earthly affairs. For instance our own wedding day we eagerly await the day preparing everyday a little more awaiting that beautiful day. We attend to so many outer details.We make sure that we have the perfect dress, the perfect flowers, the right colors that our hair and nails will be perfect. We tend to get so focused on the outer details that we ignore the inner details? Am I ready to be a wife? What is it going to take to be his wife?

I encourage you to really spend some time working on the inner self in preparation to meet your King, your Savior, your Redeemer and your Bridegroom. Are you ready? Are you putting oil in your lamp daily by being in His word? By seeking Him in all that you do? What is your main focus of the day? Draw near to Him and He will draw near to you. He loves you and He is greatly anticipating the day that He meets His bridesmaid. HE wants you to be ready for Him, ready for the celebration!!!

The foolish bridesmaids waited until the last minute and then ran out to buy some oil. But when they returned they were too late He had already come and taken the bridesmaids that were ready!!!! Be ready girls!! Take the time now to prepare!!!

May 28, 2008

There is a parable in Matthew 20 where Jesus tells His disciples about some vineyard workers. He is trying to explain how the Kingdom of Heaven is going to be. There is landowner and some workers. The landowner goes out early one morning and hires some workers and sends them to work. A little later in the morning He goes and finds more workers. Then at about noon and then again about 3 o'clock He goes and hires more workers. Once again at 5 o'clock the end of the work day He finds more workers and sends them out to the fields to work. As he calls everyone in to stop working for the day and is ready to pay them He calls the last ones hired first and pays them the full wages. You can imagine the first ones that started in the early morning were expecting to get more pay but as their turn came they got the same day wages.They started to grumble and complain to the landowner well we worked all day in the scorching heat and they only worked one hour that's not fair.

This doesn't seem fair in our finite minds does it? We want more because we earned more. But God is the one that determines those rules. He gives His final answer. Some may stumble in their walk because they get caught up in the fairness game. Well that is not fair I have been a Christian all my life and I have all these trials and that person just accepted Jesus and they have no trials. That is not how God works. We are all on different paths and He is using each one of our paths to make us more like Him. His fairness may not look anything like ours but isn't it fair that everyone get a chance to get into the Kingdom of Heaven and we all have our time planned out by God. If we spent less time worrying about others and comparing our walk with others then we would have time to focus on God's will in our lives and what He would have us do in our day. The simple truth is none of us deserve His grace and mercy. Instead of focusing on your neighbors faults or how their walk is going how about thanking Jesus for enduring the cross and being beaten beyond recognition so that we could experience His grace. Thank your Lord Jesus for His death on the cross that set you FREE! In Jesus name, AMEN!



May 23, 2008

As I read more and more about the Israelites and their walk with the Lord I just cannot believe how much they waver back and forth in their faith. One minute they are seeking and wanting God in their lives the next minute they are grumbling and complaining and I think how could they be so up and down but then I realized we are just like that. We like to be in the good spots with God. We like it when everything is going smoothly in our lives but whenever things get a little rough we want to grumble just like the Israelites. As I was reading in Exodus 3 and 4 it says over and over how God was watching over the Israelites and He was watching what was being done to them and He was concerned about their suffering. Even when we are going through trials God sees what we are going through. He walks through the pain with us in fact I believe that He carries us through those times.

While they were still in bondage by the Egyptians it says in Exodus 2:23 that the Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out and that their cry for help went up to God. Exodus 2:24 says God heard their groaning and He remembered His covenant with Abraham 2:25 So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them. He is concerned about our suffering. Even when we bring on the suffering to ourselves. He cares about His children. What is it that your suffering with? What are you a slave to? People, money, cancer, debt, divorce, insecurities, worries about today, worries about tomorrow, fear, fear of this world that we live in? Friend our God hears your cries to whatever slavery your in right now. He hears you and He is concerned about you. God is listening to your cries. Have you cried out to your God? He has a plan and He will deliver you from your slavery.

When the Israelites found out that God had heard their cries and knew that the Lord was concerned about them they bowed down and worshiped. They surrendered, they waved their white flag and they had hope. What holds us back from bowing down and worshipping God? DO we not realize that God sees us and that He sees our misery? Well now we know He does see our misery. He sees everything from the morning til night and He wants to rescue us from our suffering. We cannot give up even when the trial is long. We have to keep our white flag of surrender held high and keep our eyes focused on The One Who Sees Our Suffering because He cares and He will deliver us!!!!!!

May 15, 2008

IN CHRIST 

I am God’s child {John 1:12}
I am Christ’s friend   {John 15:5}
I have been justified {Romans 5:1}
I am united with the Lord, and I am one spirit with Him {1 Corinthians 6:17}
I have been bought with a price, I belong to God {1 Corinthians 6:17}
I am a saint, a holy one {Ephesians 1:1}
I have direct access to God through the Holy Spirit {Ephesians 2:18}
I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins {Colossians 1:14}
I am complete in Christ {Colossians 2:10}
I am free from condemnation {Romans 8:1-2}
I am assured that all things work together for good {Romans 8:28}
I am free from any condemning charges against me {Romans 8:31-34}
I cannot be separated from the love of God {Romans 8:35-39}
I have been established, anointed and sealed by God {2 Corinthians 1:21-22}
I am confident that the good work God has begun in me will be perfected {Phillipians 1:6}
I am hidden with Christ in God {Colossians 3:3}
I have not been given a spirit of fear but of power, love and discipline { 2 Timothy 1:7}
I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me {1 John 5:18}
I am God’s workmanship, created for good works {Ephesians 2:10}
I can find grace and mercy to help in time of need {Hebrews 4:16}

Did you know that if you have made that decision to make Jesus the Lord of your life these scriptures are your new identity? That your old life is gone and your new life in Christ has come? These are amazing truths that I pray you will renew your mind in and be able to replace the lies of your past with these truths. When I discovered these truths in scripture they changed my life. I thought that my past was what defined me and it did until the day that I met Jesus. I wasn't a horrible person so I thought I was doing okay. I was nice to everyone and I helped anyone that I could. I was a pretty good daughter obeyed my parents (well maybe wandered a bit in my teenage years) but I was pretty good. I had made some wrong choices that led to me dragging around with me guilt and shame everywhere. I did not save my purity for my husband. I used alcohol to numb my feelings of guilt and shame and both of those things led to me to being a single mom by the time I was 22 years old. It was not the life I had imagined and that guilt and shame was getting really heavy! So when I found the truth about Jesus and what He thought of me I quickly grabbed a hold of Him and His word. I exchanged my guilt and shame for love and forgiveness. He did just that He took away my guilt and shame and He can do it for you as well. You just have to hand whatever it is that you struggle with over to Him. It probably will not be as easy as one time because we tend to take it back a lot. But if you give Him your struggles and replace them with the truth that you are Gods creation and HE created you to do good works, that He has enough grace and mercy to help you in your time of need, that your past or anything else cannot separate you from God's love, that you have been forgiven of ALL your sins and that you are complete in Christ your life will start to change day by day.

Take whatever it is that you struggle with and lay it at the Lord's feet now. Lord I give you my pain, my guilt and shame and I am exchanging it for your truth that I am complete in You and that I lack nothing because You are my life. I am forgiven. I am whole because You died on the cross for me. In the mighty name of Jesus, AMEN!!!