Monday, October 31, 2016

Be Careful Where You Go

Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in seasoned whose leaf does not wither- whatever they do prospers.
Psalm 1:1-3

Being a Christian means that Christ lives within us and that He is a part of all we do, all we say, and goes everywhere we go. We are blessed when we choose wisely where we will go. This verse calls us not to walk with the wicked, not to stand in the way sinners take, and not to sit with mockers. Not only is it important to watch where we go, but our posture is also important. In each of these scenarios, the posture of one's body becomes more and more comfortable with the ways of the wicked. Walking implies that we are going where the wicked go, standing insinuates the idea of being firmly planted in the way of sinners, and sitting assumes a comfortable position for conversation. Each position give the image of becoming more at home in the way of sin.

As Christ's followers we are called to be in the world, but not of it. We are to reach out and love sinners, meet their needs, and show them care and compassion. But we are cautioned about allowing their ways to direct our steps and take hold of our behavior. We must always be alert, for our enemy, satan prowls around looking to devour the righteous. Stand firm then and watch where you go and how you are postured. So, be careful where you go!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Sunday Scripture

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭3:17‬ ‭NIV‬

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

God's Ways

Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world's eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you.  Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise.  And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are  powerful.  God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important.
1 Corinthians 1:26-28 NLT

So much in these three sentences!  In a day of meditating I haven't been able to grasp all that God is trying to tell me through them.  I wanted to share with you anyway.  God works in ways we will never understand or be able to duplicate.  He takes what the world sees as nothing and silences the prideful with it!  He is not your ordinary problem solver.  God is unique in the way He works and so we should never get discouraged when we don't understand.  Instead, we should use those moments to draw nearer to Him growing in faith to withstand the long haul.  God is good in every way and we should always be ready for him to blow our minds.  He has the power to change things up when we least expect it! 

Dear God thank you for being so faithful!  You are the rock on which I can stand tall!  You are my strength and I trust you to fix any crazy situation through your unsuspecting ways.  Through weakness you bring strength.  From nothing you bring something big.  God you are so good!  I love you and praise Your Name!  Amen and Amen       

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Don't Look Back

Why is the Lord bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?” And they said to each other, “We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt.” Numbers 14:13

God had called the Israelites to leave Egypt. He saw them in the bondages of slavery, and he heard their cries of pain and saw their torment. He recruited a man named Moses as their leader to take the charge of moving them into the Promised Land, a land flowing with milk and honey. As they traveled through the desert, reaching their destination could have taken approximately 11 days. But it wasn’t until 40 years later that they reached Canaan. Their delay was because of their lack of faith, unwillingness to listen, and struggles with their own little gods.

Like the Israelites we have worshipped little gods and wondered in the desert. Little gods come in many forms such as money, time, sex, people, social media, TV, and especially the god of self. God will not tolerate other gods in our lives. He deserves and wants to hold first place in our heart, soul, and mind. He wants us to love him with our strength. God wants to be all we think about. He wants our work to be for him and his purposes. He wants our longings to be for more of him. And he will work to free us from our little gods. The problem is that often as he’s trying to free us from our slavery we long to go back to the worthless god. Why? Because leaving a god is uncomfortable. It is even scary. And, just like the Israelites, we can hate what we are leaving, but the hardships of making changes are so difficult. Although the Israelites were abused and taken advantage of, they did have food to eat and a place to sleep. There was good within the bad, but God’s desire is to move us to where it is only goodness! And that isn’t an easy journey.


When God is working to take a bad choice and bring you healing, don’t look back. If he is calling you to a new relationship, job, or location, don’t look back. Set your eyes on God and trust that what lays on the other side is for your good! It won’t be easy. You will have to learn to trust and have patience, but God never leads you into something that he won’t lead you through! And where he is leading is a Promised Land indeed.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Sunday Scripture

The Lord your God is with you, this Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you. In his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.
Zephaniah 3:17

Friday, October 21, 2016

Fools Rush In

The way of fools seem right to them,
but the wise listen to advice.
Proverbs 12:15 (NIV)

Fools are headstrong and do what they like;
wise people take advice. (MSG)


I have been so foolish. I look back on times in my life and realize that I rushed into situations without seeking wise counsel. I thought I knew, so I acted. Only to find out later that I was misinformed or that I misread a situation. Even when God clearly gave me scripture, I assumed it meant one thing, yet found out later he intended it to mean something else. Even in prayer we can rush into folly.

Just because you’ve been praying for a new home doesn’t mean the first one on the market is the one God wants you to buy. Perhaps you are afraid of being alone, so you rush into a relationship instead of waiting for the one God wants for you. Maybe a coworker rebukes you harshly, and you react rashly, knowing she needs to hear the words on your tongue, instead of waiting to respond in a way that is wise. Purchases on credit are often foolish. Failure to talk a situation through with wise counsel is sure to end in foolishness. Wise people wait and make decisions with the help of Godly people.

God is patient. He never rushes. Panic is not part of God’s character. As God works in you he will teach us to be patient and wise in your decisions. Where are you today? Are you a fool who rushes in? Or, are you growing in wisdom such that you find yourself waiting and seeking wise advice from God and Godly people?

Lord,

I confess my foolishness. I have rushed into situations when you were directing me elsewhere. I have spent money foolishly to meet a desires. I have spoken in harmful ways as I reacted to situations instead of prayerfully responding. Slow me down, Lord. Make me wise in all ways. And especially humble me to talk to others for wise counsel. Amen

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Celebrate Forgiveness

As I was mowing the yard today, listening to Casting Crown's newest album, I was reminded just how wrong I am when it comes to asking for forgiveness.  In the song, When The God-man Passes By, the story of the woman who was about to be stoned caught my attention.  The lyrics are this:

I was a runaway, a gypsy chasing shadows in the night
A prisoner of secrets till religion dragged my shame into the light
All my darkness was revealed, just when I thoughg my fate was sealed
My accusers dropped their stones and walked away
'Cause when the God-man cleansed my name
I knew I'd never be the same

Those last two lines........she knew that once she was forgiven her life would never be the same.  It made me wonder how often I just go through the motions.....asking for forgiveness for my sins and never really claiming my new life.  When I ask for forgiveness I should be excited to start over!  I should celebrate my forgiveness and the fact that my life will be forever changed because of that special moment with Jesus.  So often I just ask for forgiveness and move on.  I take for granted the grace I am given and I don't really accept the fact that my forgiveness has the power to change my life.  Asked just once, I am forgiven and made new.  God sees me dressed in white!!    

It's time we all get excited about being forgiven!  It's time that we repent and celebrate!  Grab hold of grace and let it renew us!  Jesus made it possible for us to change our old habits, our old life, our old choices and never be the same again!  Because of that one moment, our lives will be different forever!  Accept the forgiveness once and for all and put the shame behind!  Let the God-man cleanse your name and stand up tall knowing you will never be the same!     



Wednesday, October 19, 2016

For His Pleasure

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, 
Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. 
Psalm 19:14

What's on your mind right now? What is your current feeling? Does it really even matter? What words escaped your mouth today?  

When we are in a relationship with the Lord Jesus,  he resides within us. His presence is with us wherever we may go. We are to love him with our heart, soul, mind and strength. We are to abide in him and He in us. Therefore all our thoughts,  our words, and our actions should bring him pleasure and joy. Can you say that today your words and your thoughts are pleasing to the Lord? If not, take pause and ask God to help you refocus on him and his ways. Pray asking him to give you an awareness of his presence and a deeper love for his ways. 

Monday, October 17, 2016

A Heart for God

Lord, show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, For you are my God, my savior, and my hope is in you all day long. Psalm 25:4-5

David had a heart for God. God actually called him a man after his own heart (Acts 13:22). David longed to walk in the ways of the Lord. He sought to know His truths and for his heart to be changed. As we look at this prayer of David's we see the words you and your 5 times. David's heart was for the Lord! Let us examine our own prayers. Do we pray for more of God or more from God? Do we pray for answers that are for our own comfort and benefit or are our prayers saturated with heartfelt longing for the presence of the Lord?

David's prayer reminds us to take our eyes off of our earthly needs and refocus on God's will, ways, and truth.  As David proclaims, we will then find our true source of hope! 

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Sing-Along-Saturday

Casting Crowns has a new song you're gonna love! Put on your dancin' boots and get ready to kick up some good ole praisin'!

Click to listen to When the God-man Passes By

Friday, October 14, 2016

God Will Show Us Better Times

Many people will say, "Who will show us better times?" 
Let your face smile on us, Lord.
Psalm 4:6

This cry is not far off from what I hear people around me saying, as we watch the world go round, from the comfort of our homes.  Lives are being taken needlessly due to anger and addiction, there is a complete disregard for human life, amber alerts are alarming our phones regularly, our presidential candidates are acting like children, God's laws are being broken, people don't know how to communicate without a phone and our children are being bullied.  There are some really bad things happening around us and unfortuantely one look at the news will tell you the world isn't always a nice, loving place to be. 

Let us not become weary!  We must not be afraid of our future.  We must trust God that we will see victory and that He is more than capable of showing us better times.  Don't give up on God's ability to fix the ugly and save His people from destruction!  Stay in fellowship with Jesus Christ, obey God's commands and patiently wait on Him to come to the rescue!  Let His face shine on us!  As David proclaims, "You have given me greater joy than those who have abundant harvests of grain and new wine" (Psalm 4:7).  Give God thanks and trust that He will fix this ugly mess!  

Dear God, forgive me when I forget that You are in control.  Forgive my sin of doubt and build me up with confidence in Your ability to bring us better times.  Life is scary right now.  Please come to our aid and rescue your people!  God you are my refuge and protection from the world and all its evil.  Let Your face shine on me today and show me that you are here with me.  Do your thing and fix the mess that we are in!  In Your Son's Name    Amen  

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Victory

I watched 2 minutes of the presidential debate last night and I had to change the channel.  The voices were making me anxious and the arguing was making me angry.  The commercials I am seeing make me sad and I just can't find joy in the thought of voting for the next president.  Having the power to make my vote count and play a part in helping or hurting the country that I love is burdensome.  I don't like what I see happening in cities and towns across the nation.  As people fight for justice at all cost, and take matters into their own hands, my heart grows sad.  A feeling of hopelessness can easily sweep in and casue one to doubt during these times of uncertainty but we can be encouraged by John's words to believers:

For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God. 
1 John 5:4-5

Our faith in Jesus Christ is our foundation.  Not the constitution or the next president.  No matter what happens in November and no matter what evil continues in this world we will always be victorious through Christ!  We must not be scared.  I must not let the debates discourage me or make me anxious but turn to my Jesus who will bring victory in the end.  His perfect love can cast away my fears as I trust in Him and wait for His return.  

Monday, October 10, 2016

What you focus on you feast on!

Have you ever noticed that what's on your mind can control your entire day? If someone says something unkind to us we stew on it.  And pretty soon they are a horrible, ugly person...and have always been that way. We no longer have anything good to say about them.
Tell yourself today that we out can't have sugar. I grantee that within 2 hours you will have had some! 🍰 And not just one snack, perhaps 2-3.

Folks this is just the reason that we are told to focus on Christ! The more we think about him the more of him we desire. The more we desire the more we delight in receiving what we set our eyes on.  What you focus on (positively or negatively) is what you feast on.

“I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭16:8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Sing-Along-Saturday

Are you living in the freedom of Christ? Have you stood up from the mound of chains that the enemy heaped upon you? Let Bethel Worship lead you in finding that freedom.

Click to hear No Longer A Slave

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Keep Loving Until They Understand

Anyone who continues to live in him will not sin.  
But anyone who keeps on sinning does not know him or understand who he is.
1 John 3:6

All the more reason to love those who hurt us!  All the more reason to offer grace to those who are living life encouraged by sin and destruction!  People who don't love others and who continue sinning do so because they do not understand who Jesus is!  Then why are we judging those who are sinning instead of offering them forgiveness and mercy?  When someone sins against us our response should be forgiveness and love.  When someone makes a choice that goes against God's law our response should be truth spoken in love.  We don't have to adopt their actions as our own and we certainly don't have to agree with what they do, but we must love.  As christians we base our life on Jesus Christ dying on the cross for us.  Our sins were washed away by His blood and through that promise we are able to offer that same love to those who haven't yet received it.  Has it been offered to them, absolutely, but for some reason the timing wasn't right and or they didn't understand it.  This makes our actions most important.  How will we respond to those who sin?  Will we offer them love like Jesus or would we judge them and condemn them?  Which way will win their heart faster?  

Dear God,
Forgive me for the times I do not love as I should.  Help me to put away my tendency to judge others and instead give me the ability to love as you do.  Yes I can know who is your follower and who is not by her actions but it isn't my job to punish her for it.  You put me on this earth to love and be loved.  Help me to love well.    



Until the whole world hears and understands, we will keep on loving and sharing the Good News!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The Greatest Love

"I love my coworker, but he is so rude. I just can't take him anymore."
"I love my brother, but he is such a poor choice maker. I just can't stand it."
"I love the people who I work with, but they are so unreasonable that I just can't do this job another
     day."

All day long I hear the word 'love', but do we really love?

Love is this...
     A man murders your sister, so you lay your life down in order that he can be set free.
     A thief takes all of your belongings and destroys your home, and in exchange you serve his life
        sentence.
     A once called friend slanders your name across town, and in response you carpool her children
        when her car is broken down along the freeway.

Love is this...
     A sibling makes unwise choices, and you help pick up the broken pieces without question.
     Your spouse short changes you, and you clean the house and do extra tasks without being asked.
     Your loud, annoying coworker just won't stop talking, and you bring him coffee the next morning
         and thank him of helping finish the project on time.

You see, love looks past the sin and sees a soul that was created by a loving God. Love overcomes the sin and cherishes the sinner. Love cares more for others than self!

And what is more, the greatest love is this...
     Christ, bloody and bruised, for your sin, your mess-ups, your lies, and your unkind actions.
     It is Christ, on a cross, for your imperfections, your murderous thoughts, your selfishness, and
          your pride.
     It is Christ, God in flesh, dying on a cross so you can begin each day with a fresh, righteous and
          holy slate.
     Love is God, turning his back in unbearable, excruciating pain as his son suffered mocking,
          beatings, humiliating taunts, for your foolish and careless actions.
     God, in Christ, is love.

I accentuated the word 'your' because it sure is easier to overlook someone else's sin and annoyances when you remember that it was for your sin that Christ suffered and died. He died for all of us. We were each on his mind as he journeyed to Golgotha and hung on that rugged cross. Oh, how great a love is this!

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that anyone who believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16


Dear Jesus,
I confess that I am quick to judge, selfish with the love you generously give to me, and petty about others offenses. Give me eyes that see the value of each one I come in contact with today. Help me to live in the freedom of your grace, but let my sin never be so far from my memory that I forget the grace that you have shown me. Oh, Lord, teach me to love well. Amen

Monday, October 3, 2016

Remain In Fellowship

And now, dear children, remain in fellowship with Christ so that when he returns, you will be full of courage and not shrink back from him in shame.
1 John 2:28

Fellowship is two or more people bound together usually because they have the same interest or aim. Words to desicribe fellowship include: companionship, friendship, camaraderie, mutual support and togetherness.  Do any of these describe your current relationship with Jesus? John writes to the people urging them to stay in fellowship with Christ because the only way we can live like Christ is to know how Christ lives.  And the only way we can know how He lives is to study His life through scripture.  The bible is the single most important text we can read to help us with our relationship with Christ.  If we aren't reading it then we aren't staying close to Jesus.  How could we?  How could we possibly know what Jesus would do in a situation if we don't know anything about his life?  

If we back up to verse 24 John states that we must remain faithful to what we have been taught from the beginning......"If you do, you will remain in fellowship with the Son and with the Father"(1 John 2:24).  What things have we been taught?  How much have we studied?  There is a direct correlation between what we know and what we have studied.......if we are in our bibles studying the history and the stories about Jesus and God then we will know much about them.  We will know their commands and promises therefore we can obey them and base our lives on them, keeping us in fellowship.  Since we can't have dinner with Jesus and we can't go on a weekend retreat with God, in physical form, our fellowship is found in our meeting with them in scripture, from our willingness to obey and our devotion to remaining faithful to God's word instead of the world's.  

Friends, staying in fellowship with Jesus is the most important thing we can do!  Especially because we don't know when He is coming back.  The end times will be hard!  The world is already asking us to live with new laws that go against God's laws.....it will only get harder!  We must know God and find friendship with Jesus in order to stay strong until the end!  Please if you have any questions on how to get started or you need encouragement to keep in the Word don't hesitate to email us.  We want to help you!        

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Sunday Scripture


“I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.”
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭1:10‬ ‭NIV‬‬


Saturday, October 1, 2016

Sing-A-Long Saturday

What words flow from your mouth? Scripture says, "Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be." (James 3:10) So let's opt to let the words of our mouth and the meditations of our hearts praise the Lord!