Saturday, October 31, 2015

Sing Along Saturday

It's so easy for us to get caught up in our situations.  It's so natural for us to look upon our problems instead of looking beyond them to the comfort and support that Jesus offers in our need.  Today, try something different.  Instead of looking at your pain, fear, sadness, or anxiousness, look beyond them.  Silently wait and listen for that roar.  The reassurance that even though you are facing a raging sea, His roar will come to calm you.  Let Jesus calm your thoughts today.  Hear His roar!

AND, I will be quite honest........this is absolutely for me today, in this very moment I am desperate to hear this roar.  I can only see my here and now and it frightens me, I'm ready to give up and I just want to run away.  Not a good start to my weekend, but that's life, and I will lock myself in my room until I hear His roar!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Awesome Defined

Who among the gods is like you, Lord? Who is like you— majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders? Exodus 15:11

Today is a day to  slow down and enjoy the beauty of my creator. I'm tired of the rushing and just long to rest in the presence of God. I sit, cereal in hand, and gaze out the window. And then He joins me for our visit...
I sit at my desk, facing east this morning the sun was still low on the horizon. I see it in the distance a through the woods across the road, It is brilliant orange-red, but yet dull from it's low placement in the sky. I stop to take in the beauty of nature before me. With no buildings to block my view, I see Him, He is here to meet with me. Good morning, God! 
The woods is darker than last week, the brilliant colors now resting on the ground in dark masses. The color has faded, but yet standing are trees strong and resilient. Like my God!
The field of corn, now stubble, have been harvested and the remains remind me of God's provision. Man can plant the seeds, but God waters them and makes them grow!
My closest view is the flowerbed right before my eyes, surrounded by rich green grass. I sit, amazed at the beauty of the rose bushes and the intricacy of the leaves on my shrubs. Details. Diversity.  Even the ornamental grasses have changed and now the flowering feather-like blades dance in the morning breeze inviting me to come and dance with my Lord and King. Yes, God, I will take this moment to dance in your arms!

Just when my heart is overwhelmed with His presence the sun rises above the woods. Moment by moment it inches up into the sky. My eyes begin to squint as the brilliance overpowers the dark of night! I can't stop the smile that creeps across my face! You God, are the definition of Awesome!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

100 Times In Return!

And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for my sake, will receive a hundered times as much in return and will inherit eternal life.  
Matthew 19:29

Whatever you are going through and you think it's just not fair.......If you are trying to follow God's call on your life but you are hesitant to leave your comfortable job, or home or city, this scripture should be encouragement to march on.  Life isn't easy and God knows that.  We have difficult decisions every day that can have a lasting impact on us, our family and our faith.  Usually the reasons we stray from saying yes to God is because so many times He is asking us to leave behind something or someone we love.  That, my friends, is a tough decision!  Does God want us to be sad the rest of our life missing this person or that home or a really great job?  Absolutely not!!  But He does know that where he is leading is His best choice for us and His Kingdom.  

So often I miss my easy life having just 3 kids and a much less busy life.  I would be lying if I told you I love every minute of being a foster family.  I know it's where God called us over 3 years ago but it's not all fun and perfect.  We give up our space and our time and our comfort to care for those who need a home and this scripture is my reminder to keep going.  God has a perfect plan for our family and the life that we live.  He sees the struggles and He knows the sacrifices.  Some day He will give me the perfect time with just my kids.  Some day he will give us our space back and our sanity :)  Yes, everything we offer to God will be given back 100 times greater!  

Dear friends, keep pursuing the hard things, the things that really matter.  Follow God's call on your life and be willing to get out of your comfortable box to explore the adventures He has waiting for you!  Depend on God to return, in more than full, the sacrifices you make for Him!  When we are obedient He can do the most amazing things in our lives!

Father God,
 Thank you for this promise and the encouragement it gives me to continue pursuing your call on my life.  You are giving me some tough things to think about and taking me away from some people and things that I really love.  Give me the strength to say yes and the confidence to stick to your plan when things get hard.  Always bring me back to this scripture that gives hope and balance to my sacrifices.  Thank you for using me and choosing me to be your vessel.  In Jesus' Name  Amen

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

A Clear Conscience

Keep your conscience clear.  For some people have deliberately violated their conciences; as a result, their faith has been shipwrecked.
1 Timothy 2:19

Reading this reminded me of the times when I have fallen into a pity party.  Those times when nothing seems to be going well for me and I tend to start feeling sorry for myself letting those feelings turn into a moment, or a day, of wallering in my self pity.  I let satan entertain me with his lies and I deliberately violate my concsience by letting him stay around convincing me of things that aren't true, noble and good.  These feelings can be dangerous when we let them entertain us.  We can fall into a deep rut, or worse, get way off track by letting satan convince us there is something better or easier.  

Friends, I'm not saying I have this under control but I am sharing my warning with you today because I see the danger one wrong thought can have in one's life.  I have looked upon my past and the ways in which I did let others entertain me with wrong thinking, and it didn't take long for me to believe it was truth.  I deliberately compromised my faith and found myself shipwrecked a time or two.  And I see now that if I continue violating my conscience with my complaining and doubting and my negative thoughts I will find myself putting my vessel back together again and again.  Think about your life and the thoughts you entertain.  

Friend, I am praying for you to keep your conscience clear and to stay clear of satan's lies and the lies of this world.  Keep your eyes on eternity and the things that God says and you will stay upright in a world that is falling all around you.  Cry out to God the moment you find yourself violating your conscience and "fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable.  Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise."  (Philippines 4:8)           

Monday, October 26, 2015

Use Your Talents

Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that.  Don’t be impressed with yourself.  Don’t compare yourself with others.  Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can do with your own life.   (Galatians 6:4-5 Msg)

     God has given each of us talents. Yours are not like mine and mine are not like yours. But, Oh, the wonderful work we can accomplish together! Ask God to keep you humble. We have each done some really awesome things, but without God, none of them are possible. Praise him for the things he’s enabled you to do!  Spend some time reflecting this week on your own strengths. Thank God for the way he has purposefully designed you!

Dear Jesus,
You have designed me uniquely. No one else is like me, and you planned it that way! Help me to do the best I can in my job and in my relationships. Show me how to be creative with the talents you’ve given to me without fear of what others will think. You are the One I want to please!
Lord, you’ve created my friends and colleagues uniquely also. Their gifts are a blessing to me. Enable me to be an encourager and remove any jealousy from my heart.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Sunday Scripture

Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious - the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.  Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized.  Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.
Philippians 4:8-9 MSG

Friday, October 23, 2015

Answer to Prayer

Patient persistence pierces through indifference;
gentle speech breaks down rigid defenses.
Proverbs 25:15 MSG

This scripture was answer to my prayer. As a mom it just gets exhausting trying to keep up with all the arguing and the fits that get thrown around by our children.  We try to set rules and boundaries but there is always at least one child who will try to cross those boundaries and push the rules until they break.  After a few weeks of dealing with one of my children I was ready to let go of my control.  I knew that my way was not working and I was desperate for God to give me His strength and patience.  Now when I asked for that I was expecting a burst of energy to endure the arguments.  I was looking for a day off, a break from the disagreements and the persistent fit throwing.  I wanted an encouraging Word to give me peace and the confidence that I could win this battle.  Yes, God gave me all this but in an entirely different way than I expected.  He didn't just take over and give me a spiritual peace that gave me complete joy and an ability to ignore my surroundings.  He didn't lift me up with an encouraging scripture and remind me of all the times He helped someone struggling in the Bible.  No, God gave me more........He gave me wisdom.  The scripture above spoke to me in a way that only God can.  In my moment of just needing a relaxing break from the world's troubles God gave me guidance and wisdom to continue.  He didn't tell me the problems would be over or that He would give me a spa day to relax and unwind.  Instead, He gave me tools to continue on in my troubles.    

Dear God,
Thank you for speaking to me in my quiet time.  You are real and you hear my cries for help, always willing to guide and direct me.  Forgive me for the times I ignore your help and continue in my own strength.  Give me your wisdom to handle today's struggles.  Prepare me for tomorrow's burdens and keep me grounded in you.  Amen   

Thursday, October 22, 2015

To Be a Follower of Christ

Oh, what a powerful question was posed the other night at our Bible Study. One that makes my heart happy to see such deep contemplation of Christ and our love for him. Yet one that makes me sad because the truth is hard to accept. The question was...Will people who do good, but don't know Jesus really go to hell? The answer... Yes, not every nice person will enter the gates of heaven.

Scripture tells us that it is not enough to believe in God. James 2:19 tells us this, You believe there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that- and shudder. It is not belief in God that invites us to eternity with the Lord. It is our belief in his son, Jesus Christ, as savior of the world.

Humanitarians do many great things for other people. They spend their lives caring for and sacrificing for the good of others. But in the light of eternity, these works do not equate a relationship with God. Matthew 7:22 says,  Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!' God calls us to relationship. Just doing kind things or even doing kind things in His name is not enough. He judges our heart. He knows the motives and the depth of our love for him.

So, how do we confidently know if our lives are that of a true believer. Jesus gives us very clear verses to help us evaluate ourselves. Here are 3...

1. Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6  Our faith must be in God as the one and only true God and that our salvation is through his son, Jesus Christ, alone.

2. So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, "If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine"  John 8:31 Followers of Jesus, continue on in his word. They seek to know him more and to be known by him. They develop a personal relationship with him.

3. Jesus also says, "If you love me, keep my commands"  John 14:15  Our love for Christ is evidenced in our obedience to him. Our faith in him develops a relationship. That relationship spills over into good deeds done in his name for the good of others. It becomes faith in action for his glory and out of love for him!

Dear Lord,
You call us to be your disciples. Teach us how to live in relationship with you. Stir our hearts to live out your commands with joy and delight. Father, we lift to you those who do not know you and your son. Help us to be beacons of light for you that others may come to know you intimately.
Amen and amen

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Because Of Your Reverent Fear Of The Lord

Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything you do.  
Try to please them all the time, not just when they are watching you.  
Serve them sincerely because of your reverent fear of the Lord.
Colossians 3:22 NLT

Are you dreading the work that lies ahead of you today?  Do you wish you could sleep in and ignore that to do list that your spouse left for you?  That big project at work is due in a couple of days, are you working diligently to complete it?  You offered to help a friend with something and the work turned out to be harder than expected, are you still joyful in helping or has your willingness faded?  Is your teacher difficult to get a long with, or does she expect too much from you without clearly explaining the work?  Today we will all expererience work that we aren't fond of.  Someone will ask us to do something for them that we don't feel like doing.  It may be a boss who shows no compasssion for his employees or a teacher who doesn't care about her students.  We will all come into contact with someone who isn't fun to be around, let alone fun to answer to.  He or she will most likely ask us to do some kind of work and it is up to us to do it correctly.  

In his letter, Paul is neither condemning or condoning slavery.  He is merely showing believers that when we work for Christ the divisions we have with people will disappear.  When we work with Christ on our minds, as if we are working for Him, then the work doesn't appear to be so bad.  Our deep respect for God should bring us to our knees every time and when we are asked to do work we don't like or obey a person we don't like, we are much more willing to humble ourselves and complete the task.  If we are sincere about following God and learning from every circumstance we are in then serving out of our reverence for the Lord should come naturally.  And so when your mother asks you to do the laundry, your spouse asks you to run some errands, your boss expects you to stay overtime or your teacher gives you a difficult assignment..........serve them sincerely because of your reverent fear of the Lord.

Dear God, forgive me for the times I complain about my work and for the times I refuse to do something.  I should be dedicating my work to You, always, and working because I love you and want to serve you, not for the person who is demanding the work to be done.  Father, help me to see my day differently and react to people's demands out of reverence for You.  I do love You.  I do thank You and praise You for the great life You have given me.  Help me to show my thankfulness in my actions by living for You and not the people in my life.  Help me to serve others with You in mind.  Help me to serve others by first serving You.  In Jesus' Name    Amen 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

You're No Fun?

1 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

It seems that lately I've been told, "You're no fun anymore." several times by a few people. I've not let that thought be dismissed because when you hear something multiple times, it may have some truth to it that needs to be evaluated. Today God showed me why they are saying this to me. It's not that I'm no fun anymore, it's that what used to be funny to me has lost its flavor. I used to laugh at jokes that now make me sad. I used to watch things on tv or in movies that now upset my Spirit. To these people, I probably am no fun, but in Christ I am free and having more peace and happiness than ever. Fun looks different now!

When we are in Christ, we are becoming a new creation... we are becoming Christ-like. The old habits and characteristics should be discarded as we learn new truths. If we are not changing, then we really aren't growing in Christ. If those around us don't see a change, then they aren't seeing Christ at work in us. Now fun looks clean and clear. It doesn't come with guilt or shame. It is light hearted. I have fun noticing God's work in the world around me. I have fun laughing at simple joys and even at  myself when I've made a mistake. My speech has changed, my desires have changed, and I pray things continue to change.

Are others noticing a change in you? What are you convicted of that you are unwilling to compromise even when others don't understand?

Dear Lord, 
I am so thankful for the things you are changing in my life. I'm thankful that I don't have to look to an external source to bring me fun and laughter any longer. Thank you for the freedom to be myself; the self you created me to be! Lord continue to bring changes in me as I seek to know your truths. Make me more and more holy, as you are holy!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Don't Get Captured!

Dont' let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ.
Colossians 2:8

I ran across this scripture the other day and thought of the current state of our country.  At the moment we have several people claiming to have the answers to our nation's problems.  Many men, and even a woman, stand in front of huge crowds proclaiming that they are the next person capable of leading our country.  I couldn't just skim through Colossians and ignore this line.  I wanted to give you all the opportunity to see this in writing and I encourage you to look it up in your own bible.  Keep this close to your heart when you are making decisions on who to vote for and who to support as our next president.  Like Paul, I urge you to be aware of the false teachings and the people who offer their man-made aproaches to solving our country's problems.  Many of them disregard God when making their decisions.  Make sure you are reading the bible and searching answers for yourself.  You need to know God and understand His view on life's situations so that you can make the right decision.  So many people, today, are making their own decisions and taking the credit for saving our country without seeing that the real answer is not what, but who, Jesus Christ.   Make your decsions based on the bible.  Ask the Spirit to guide you when voting and know what God wants for our country. 

I know, in the past, I have not had all the facts when voting.  I am not good at keeping up with current events and I don't pay close attention to the who's and what's of an election.  I took this scripture as a challenge.  For the next year I want to take this election seriously.  I want to know what God wants for our country and I want to choose the person who is seeking answers from God instead of humanity.  I encourage you to join me!  Be intentional, do your research, and ask God to lead you.   

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Sunday Scripture

Isaiah 43:2

"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you."

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Sing Along Saturday

I heard this song the other day and was reminded of the power that we have if only we would let Jesus live through us.  Instead of trying to do everything on our own, including finding salvation.  I was reminded of the times we search everywhere for truth and acceptence when it's right there in us if we would just lay down our lives and let Jesus live through us.  Listen to the words of this message today and be encouraged to let go and let Jesus.  Let's stop wondering what life would be or could be and start living by the power of Jesus Christ who opened the eyes of the blind.  Praying over the result of this song in your life and the day that will progress when you let go and let Jesus.  Love you dear friends!  Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, October 16, 2015


"A blog?  But God I have nothing on my heart. I'm just worn out from this week. Tired. Needing a time of refreshment.  It's been a demanding week, and I've nothing to share"

That's how my evening went last night as I sat with God asking Him to lead me to what my GFF's needed to hear. And then I heard Him in my spirit, "Just be honest. Share that you're tired."

God rested when his work was finished. This example is for us. There is a time to rest, and we get the joy of doing it in his presence. Take time to rest and enjoy his presence this coming weekend!

““Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭11:28‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Thursday, October 15, 2015

A Request For Togetherness

If you've gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care - then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep spirited friends.  Don't push your way to the front; don't sweet talk your way to the top.  Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead.  Don't be obsessed with getting your own advantage.  Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.
Philippians 2:1-4 MSG

Father God, this is what You dream for Your children!  You long to see us acknowledging Your love in our lives and encouraging one another to live by the Spirit.  You love to see us communing together, with You at the center of our thoughts and plans.  You delight in watching Your children love each other with genuine affection working towards one goal, loving and sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ.  Help us to work together for You.  Help the body of Christ to put aside our selfish desires and come together helping the person next to us achieve more than ourselves.  Lord, we want to make you proud.  We want to follow your commands with our eyes on eternity and our hearts set on serving you.  Have your Spirit control us and move us toward becoming like Christ and guide us everyday to become the body that you dream for us to be.  Thank you for your patience and for the great love you shower on us daily.  Give us Your strength and Your power to succeed.  
In Jesus' Name   Amen 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Gather Your Friends and Pray

Then Daniel returned to his house and explained the matter to his friends Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. He urged them to plead for mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery so that he and his friends might not be executed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. Daniel 2:17-18

Daniel had just received the news. "At the royal order of King Nebechadnezzer, all the wise men and royal advisors of the king will be put to death!" David was included in the list of those facing death.

Why such a severe command? We have to back up in the story just a bit. King 'Neb' had had a dream that bothered him, and hew wasn't about to rest until he knew its meaning.  However, he wouldn't tell the advisors the details of his dream, lest they would make up a false meaning and trick. Thus he ordered their deaths because it was humanly impossible for them to tell him his dream and interpret its meaning.

Daniel heard the news and rather than panic, he gathered his friends, and they prayed. Daniel trusted God to give him what was needed! And in his faithfulness, God revealed the dream and the meaning to David. (Applause! Go God!!) Advisors and wise men rescued!

There's much more to the story, but today's verse leads me to ask, "How do you respond to bad news?" Do you have a melt down, instantly go into panic mode, cry, or simply deny the reality of the news? Or, like Daniel, do you gather together your GFF's (God First Friends) and pray fervently with expectancy?

Daniel knew his God could do the impossible, so on their knees, he and his friends poured out their hearts to God and sought His wisdom. Oh, how I long to have the faith and confidence of Daniel. Don't you?

So on our knees, as friends, let's pray for faith that boldly and courageously heads into uncertain circumstances trusting our God to do the impossible! Amen!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Suffering For The Good Of Others

I want to report to you, friends, that my imprisonment here has had the opposite of its intended effect.  Instead of being squelched, the Message has actually prospered.  All the soldiers here, and everyone else, too, found out that I'm in jail because of this Messiah.  That piqued their curiosity, and now they've learned all about him.  Not only that, but most of the followers of Jesus here have become far more sure of themselves in the faith than ever, speaking out fearlessly about God, about the Messiah.
Philippeans 1:12-14 MSG

Paul could have given up.  He had every reason to use his knowledge and reason that what he was doing was dangerous.  He could have chosen to quit after he began experiencing danger and imprisonment for preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ, telling himself that God wouldn't want this pain for him or God wouldn't want to keep him in this position.  But Paul was brave and selfless and he understood the call on his life.  He wasn't about to let his circumstances stop him.  Instead, he understood that his suffering wasn't as important as what he did during his suffering and how he responded to the negative circumstances in his life.  He vowed to stick with Jesus and he stood firm on his call to forever work towards making new believers in Christ.  While he was imprisoned he was encouraged by the positive things he saw.  There were soldiers who were won for Christ, and young believers gaining boldness to share the Good News in a time when it was dangerous to proclaim Jesus as Messiah.  This all gave him strength to continue.  Instead of hyperfocusing on his ill circumstances, he chose to pursue God's plan for his suffering.  He believed His suffering was for the betterment of others and he was willing to continue whether in life or through death.

We all have the same calling that Paul had.  God asks us all to spread the Gospel and make disciples reaching to the ends of the world.  No matter what our circumstances, He can use them to make disciples.  He can use our illness, our loss, our pain, our lack of funds, and even our sinful past to help others find Jesus Christ.  He doesn't promise that it will be easy, in fact, like Paul, most of us will have to go throught some hellish times.  We will have to experience real hurt and major loss, but if we handle it like Paul handled his suffering, we can be sure that our suffering will have the opposite of its intended effect.  Yes, satan wants to see us lose and suffer.  His main goal in causing us pain is to make us give up and drag others down with us.  Satan's purpose for decieving us and bringing us illness and suffering is to make us mad and sad and ultimately give up causing others in our midst to give up too.  

Friends, I know it's not easy.  I know things can get really bad and make you want to give up but don't.  Dig deep begging God for His strength to sustain you and vow to stick to His call on your life.  Make disciples and strengthen believers through your dire circumstances!  Don't focus on your hurt but on the good that can come from your hurt.  Don't look at your circusmstances without seeing the good you can do while you are there!

Father God, help me to see my suffering in a different way.  Dont' let me get selfish and think of only myself but give me the strength of Paul to use my suffering to draw others to You.  Let my circumstances have the opposite of its inteded effect and use my suffering to discourage satan from messing with me ever again.  Help me to show him that you are my strength and my shield and You will fight this battle and bring me and those around me victory.  Help me to be confident and strong and most importantly lead others closer to You.  In Jesus' Name     Amen