Show me the one, show me the way, help me to know just how to share the love You gave.

Look around you! There is probably someone who could use some love! All too often, we find ourselves surrounded by people who are going through some difficult times. Perhaps you are! Whether it's unemployment, family problems, health problems, depression, loneliness, or whatever, all of us would like some relief from what we are going through. We need to see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel!

And there is! The Light of Lights, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, is willing and more than able to lift us from our darkness, into His pure and safe haven of light. He promises His love and presence to heal and deliver, to strengthen and help, all those who call on Him.

Like the beam from the mighty lighthouse, that directs ships safely back to harbor, His Light is there to show us the way to Him, for Jesus is truly the Way, the Truth and the Life.

It is my prayer that this site encourages you to reflect His light to those around you who need to know Him. Let Him use you to share His love. And as you embark on this remarkable journey, please share your experiences so that all of us can grow together in our quest to reach all the world, lest anyone should perish.

May God richly bless you!

"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16


Saturday, December 28, 2013

Don't Let Fear Creep In

This morning my husband read to me this verse from 2 Timothy 1:7 -

For God has not given us a spirit of fear,
but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

When I heard it, I really liked it, and thought about its meaning for my life. Sometimes I tend to worry about things. Doctor's appointments...unresolved situations...if my loved ones are okay...etc. I know I shouldn't worry because I know my Heavenly Father has already taken care of them all.

And we know that God causes all things to work
together for good for those who love Him
and are called according to His purpose.
Romans 8:28
Fear doesn't come from God, but from Satan. He places those thoughts into our minds to get our focus off of God and to not trust Him. We really have to guard our minds and pay attention to our thoughts. If they wander off and we find ourselves becoming fearful and critical, then we need to purposely focus our thoughts back on Jesus. To help me with this, I have a little notebook handy that contains a collection of my favorite Bible verses pertaining to hope and trust and peace. I have it near my makeup table so that each morning I can look at one or two while I am getting ready for the day. Some of them are actual prayers too.
The above verse tells us that fear can be wiped out by power and love and a sound mind. The power of the Holy Spirit in us can destroy those fearful thoughts and feelings. God's love reminds us that He is watching over His children and gives us what He knows is best for us in order to grow closer to Him. A sound mind of peace results from trusting Him. One of those verses I have in that notebook is this:
May the God of hope fill you with all
joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may
overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13 
We live in a world filled with reasons to be fearful of things, but God has already taken care of those things through Jesus' death on the cross. He wants us to trust Him. He is in control of all things. Letting Him take control of your thoughts will help you tremendously the next time you become fearful and overwhelmed by things. 



Friday, November 15, 2013

Convictions

I'm thinking about convictions. You know, the kind of personal convictions that Christians have on how God views things they do in their lives. Things like smoking, drinking alcohol, gambling, having sexual relations outside of marriage, observing a Sabbath Day, dancing, etc. Especially in today's culture, it appears to me that anything goes with the Christians I know.
 
Do you have any personal convictions that you uphold; in other words, is there anything that you would feel guilty about if you did them? I'm talking about those convictions that would violate a person's Christian belief system. I know people who love the Lord, very sincerely, and yet their convictions on issues differ. Different denominations have and enforce differing convictions. Some believe in abstinence from alcohol, and others don't feel that is an issue. I am wondering how this can be possible since we love and worship the same God, and read and study the same Bible. Is one person right and another person wrong? How can the Bible be vague on some issues? Does it really matter to God all that we do?
 
In my attempt to understand this, I feel it safe to begin with what the Bible requires of us. And that is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind, and with all our strength. - Mark 12:30 This is the first commandment, and by doing this, we can't go wrong in our convictions. Hebrews 11:6 tells us that without faith, it is impossible to please God. When we love Him with all our energy, and have true faith in Him, we are given the Holy Spirit to guide us in our decisions and actions. The Bible is clear about some things, and not so clear about other things. It is clear that we are not to be sexually immoral, dishonest, to get drunk with alcohol, etc. But it isn't so clear on how exactly we are to honor the Sabbath Day, smoke, or gamble. Well, the Bible does say we are to be good stewards with the money God gives us. So gambling is out. The fact of the matter is, if we live our lives in such a way that we inquire of God whether we should be doing this or that, then won't He bring to us the right convictions?

One thing I must say: a professing Christian who is doing things that the Bible clearly says is wrong, is not really a Christian, otherwise he would be paying attention to what the Holy Spirit is telling him. It would matter to him whether he was obeying and pleasing God, instead of willingly turning his back against God and doing whatever he pleases. And the longer he ignores God's warnings, the farther away from Him he is getting. It's not good to keep ignoring God's warnings!
 
Our bodies are the temple of God, that is, He has given us our bodies for the Holy Spirit to dwell and to use for His service and glory. Because of this, we should take good care of them. Not to abuse them, contaminate them, mark them, or disfigure them. We should make every effort to live in a healthy way. Also, to allow the Holy Spirit to be in control, we should not take in anything that takes over our inhibitions.
 
In Romans 14 -15, Paul talks alittle about differing convictions between believers, and he says that if you don't feel a conviction on something that another person feels convicted about, and you want to be a living example of a Christ follower, than you shouldn't do those things that could make that other person stumble or doubt your faith. That can lead to people judging others whether they are truly Christians by what they observe in them. In other words, what would Jesus do?
 
The conclusion I have about convictions is this: to place God foremost in your life and to let Him take control. Having an intimate relationship with Him on a regular basis will make you sensitive to His voice. Then, when issues arrive, He will let you know what He thinks about them. After all, He has placed inside of us an awareness of right and wrong, and if we truly listen to His voice, we will know what we are to do.  
 
Heavenly Father, I come to You now
to ask for Your help. I want to please You.
If there is anything I am doing in my life
that You disapprove of, then please let me know.
Help me to be sensitive to Your voice,
and yield to Your will.
In Jesus' Name.
Amen.

 


Saturday, November 2, 2013

Is There An Ark Being Built Now?

Today was one of those days when I was just thinking about Noah, what God told him to do, the people who were left behind to face the rain, and all that. If you're familiar with that story, you know that God was watching Noah. The story is in Genesis 6-8:
 
Noah was a righteous man,
blameless among the people of his time,
and he walked with God.
 
God also was aware of how the people in that day were living their lives:
 
Now the earth was corrupt in God's sight
and was full of violence.
God saw how corrupt the earth had become,
for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways.
 
I don't know about you, but this is looking very similiar to what is going on now in our world! There seems to be more families being broken, more violence, more disrespect, and just plain corruption and disregard for morals. Schools aren't allowed to let prayers be said, and Christmas is being replaced with 'Happy Holidays' because there are people who don't want the name of Jesus to be said.
 
Let's continue with this story of Noah:
 
So God said to Noah, "I am going to put an end to all people,
for the earth is filled with violence because of them.
I am surely going to put an end to destroy both them  and the earth.
So make yourself an ark.
 
I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life.
Everything on earth will perish.
But I will establish my covenant with you,
and you will enter the ark - you and your family."
 
The Lord then said to Noah,
"Go into the ark, you and your whole family,
because I have found you righteous in this generation."
God also told Noah to include the animals.
Noah did all that the Lord commanded him.
 
Now, let's imagine how the people were responding to Noah building the ark. First of all, it had never rained before, so there hadn't been a need for a vessel that would float. They probably thought that Noah and his family were crazy. Maybe they laughed at them, poked fun of them, and gave them a hard time. Even if Noah tried to explain to them what God had told him, they may have not believed it. They wanted to continue on with the lives they were living, and thought nothing would change. They didn't try to stop Noah, and even when the rains started to fall, they still were blinded to what was going on.
 
Think about what Christians go through today. Some are being persecuted for their faith. Some are ignored and ridiculed. Media is starting to censor Christian articles. And it will continue with intensity. Obeying God these days is becoming more and more unpopular!
 
Now see what happens to Noah:
 
On that very day (the rains were falling),
Noah and his family entered the ark.
The animals going in were male and female.
Then the Lord shut him in.
 
Did you see this? The Lord shut him in! Noah didn't shut the door of the ark. God did! Kind of reminds me that when an airplane door is shut before take off, there's no turning back! It stays shut until you reach your destination. I wonder if people started to bang on the door when they realized they were going to drown. Did they beg Noah to open it, to let them in, to save them?
 
Here, God was upset with the men in the world. He wasn't going to tolerate it any longer, and decided to show his wrath to destroy them.  But He saved the righteous family of Noah and the animals for a new world. He told Noah what to do, he build that ark, God shut them in, the rains fell, and all the men and remaining life drowned in the flood. After the flood, the rains subsided, the ark settled, and Noah and everyone on the ark were able to start over in a newly refreshed earth.
 
The Bible tells us  in Matthew 24:37: "As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man." Here, Jesus is talking about when He will return in the last days. No one knows when. But only His followers will know the time and the season, for the Bible gives us the signs. God gave Noah the signs too of what was about to happen. But the people didn't know, or care. After it started raining, it was then they knew, but it was too late. God had already shut the door. When the rapture comes, true believers in Jesus will rise up and be with Him, but unbelievers and evil doers in this world will be left behind. It will be too late. And as God showed His wrath on the evil doers in Noah's day, so will He also display His wrath on the evil doers of our day.
 
Friends, there is an ark being built right now! And this ark will rescue us from the wrath of God that is coming soon! Please take this seriously. Make sure you are ready, and have Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Believe in your heart that He died for your sins, and rose again, to give you a new life in Him. This is the real thing, not to be ridiculed, laughed at, or scorned. Because at the twinkling of an eye, as a thief in the night, when least expected, He will call His saints upward, and together we will be with Him forever!  And He will create a new heaven and a new earth, to establish His throne. The signs are here! The King is coming soon! Make sure you are on that ark!
 
 

 
 


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Complaining About Complaining

All of us are guilty of complaining about something. After all, this isn't heaven! I was made aware of this recently, and just have to vent! Guess I'm going to complain about complaining!
 
"I have to go into work again. Boy, don't I ever get a day off? They work me like a slave. Don't appreciate me, either."
 
"My kids are driving me crazy! I don't have any time to myself any more. They only come to me for money. They want this. They want that. They want me to babysit their kids all the time. Don't they know I need to save for retirement?"
 
"I don't have anything to wear! All my clothes are either worn out or out of fashion. Need to get more shoes."
 
"I'm too fat. I'm too short. My face is ugly. I don't like the color of my hair."
 
"My parents are weird. They just want to pry into my life and tell me what to do. Don't they get it? I need some space."
 
"I hope my parents don't expect me to wait on them hand and foot when they get old. I'm going to be busy with my own life. Let's see...which nursing home will they like?"
 
"Don't know how on earth we'll be able to fit everybody in for our Thanksgiving dinner. Too many relatives now, and they all want to sponge off on us. And their kids...why don't they make them behave?"
 
"Why can't we have a beautiful home like they have? Boy, they sure go on alot of vacations."
 
"Their kids don't give them any trouble. Why do ours seem to?"
 
My husband is such a slob around the house and never helps me.
 
Fill in the blank with one of your own!__________________________________________________
 
What's wrong with this picture? I don't think we even realize we do so much complaining... but we do. We tend to view the world based on our own comfort level, and sometimes we feel that life is unfair.
 
I heard Joyce Meyers say that when Christians complain about things in their lives, that it disappoints God. For what He has ordained for us isn't seeming to be good enough. Ouch!
 
The Bible has this to say about contentment:
 
Keep your lives free from the love of money
and be content with what you have.
Because God has said,
"Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you."
Hebrews 13:5
 
And Paul writes:
 
I have learned to be content in whatever the circumstances.
For I know what it is to be in need,
and I know what it is to have plenty.
I have learned the secret of being content
in any and every situation,
whether well fed or hungry,
whether living in plenty or want.
Philippians 4:11,12
 
My personal reflection on this is when we complain to others about what we have, there is always someone who doesn't have it, and wish he does. And perhaps we are complaining to the very person who wishes he had what we are taking for granted!
 
Imagine this going on in his head while you are making these statements: 
 
"I have to go into work again. Boy, don't I ever get a day off? They work me like a slave. Don't appreciate me, either."  At least you have a job. I've been looking for months and no one will hire me.
"My kids are driving me crazy! I don't have any time to myself any more. They only come to me for money. They want this. They want that. They want me to babysit their kids all the time. Don't they know I need to save for retirement?"  I wish my kids were around. They don't live near me anymore and never call.  My son died last year in a car accident.
"I don't have anything to wear! All my clothes are either worn out or out of fashion. Need to get more shoes." By the time I pay all the bills, there isn't anything left to go shopping.
"I'm too fat. I'm too short. My face is ugly. I don't like the color of my hair." When I was little, I was burned, leaving my face in scars. Chemotherapy has made my hair fall out.
"My parents are weird. They just want to pry into my life and tell me what to do. Don't they get it? I need some space." My parents are divorced and don't want me in their new lives.
"I hope my parents don't expect me to wait on them hand and foot when they get old. I'm going to be busy with my own life. Let's see...which nursing home will they like?" My parents died when I was a teen. I've had to raise myself.
"Don't know how on earth we'll be able to fit everybody in for our Thanksgiving dinner. Too many relatives now, and they all want to sponge off on us. And their kids...why don't they make them behave?" I'm the only child, and my parents are gone. Never married either. Guess I'll be alone again.
"Why can't we have a beautiful home like they have? Boy, they sure go on alot of vacations." We need to go on vacations to clear our minds from all the stress going on in our lives.
"Their kids don't give them any trouble. Why do ours seem to?" We never could have kids. 
My husband is such a slob around the house and never helps me. My husband died two years ago.
The next time we are in the mood to complain, let's stop and think. What if we were on the other side of the conversation? What if the very thing we are complaining about was taken away from us? Let's put things in proper perspective. Thank God for all that you do have. Thank Him for blessing you with the situation in your life, as this is what He sees fit for you at the current time.
 
And my God will meet all your needs
according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:19

 


Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Master's House - Sequel

The preceding post, The Master's House, gave two different scenerios of two different church experiences. The first one was of obligation, with no life being changed. The second one was very different. The person enjoyed attending and was prepared to meet God each time he went. He even went so far as to invite others to go with him.
 
But take note: near the beginning of this story, the writer says, "I'm not sure I would fit in." Did you notice that?
 
Why do you think he felt that way? Was his life so messed up that he didn't feel good enough to be among other "good" people? Did he feel they would look down on him? Or maybe, even, he felt too good, kind of self-righteous, and didn't think he would learn anything. He could have church at home. I've known both people, and must confess, there have been times when I thought I wasn't going to get anything out of the service, because there was a guest speaker, or whatever. So I stayed home. Or went elsewhere that Sunday. What about you?
 
God knows our hearts and motives better than we do, and He gave His life on the cross for everyone; the good and the bad. Everyone needs Him in their lives, and He has shown us His never ending love and mercy. No one is too bad to come to Him. He already knows what that person has done. In fact, He was watching when he did it. And no one is too good, for when he thinks that he is, he is already in sin. God hates pride.
 
Everyone who goes to church will hear God's Word being preached, and if his heart is receptive, the Holy Spirit will direct it to him in a personal way. The Bible says:
 
For the Word of God is living and active.
Sharper than any double-edged sword,
it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit,
joints and marrow;
it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight.
Everything is uncovered and laid bare
before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.
- Hebrews 4:12-13
 
Also, when songs of praise are sung from the heart to the Lord in church, He is there. Here is what  Psalm 149:1 and Psalm 150:6  says:
 
Praise the Lord. Sing to the Lord a new song,
His praise in the assembly of the saints.
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord! 
 
 
God loves you! He has His eye on you, and wants YOU to join others in church. Everyone who is there are forgiven, and He is pleased when His children gather together to worship Him. Come, no matter who you are, or what you've done. He has something special for you. Come, worship, hear His Word for you, and experience His touch on your heart. 
 


Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Master's House

Imagine this~

There's a get together going on down the street every week, and alot of people go. I know because I see lots of cars parked outside the place. I haven't gone, even though it's open to anyone. Not sure I would fit in. Anyway, I hear rumors that it's neat inside.  And I can hear the music that's played. Makes me wonder, though, what's the drawing card? Why do they go there, every week?
 
Well, the other day, I happened to run into a guy who I know has been going, and decided to ask him.
 
"What's going on there?" 
 
The rest of the story depends on your situation.
 
A. He replied, with a serious look on his face, "Oh, we get together at this place every week. When you walk in, you feel differently because of the way it's decorated. Not at all like my house, but this stuff he has there is what he likes, I guess. Seems like everyone goes, and it's a chance to meet up with everybody. I've been going for years...can't remember why I started going. But if I don't go, I'll feel like I'm letting them down." You then ask, "Well, what's the man like who has the house?" He ponders abit, then answers, "You know, I'm not really sure. I've seen pictures of him, but when I'm there, I don't run into him. Seems like I forget to look him up because I'm busy looking around to see who's there. He always seems to have something to say, but I'm distracted with something. To tell you the truth, I don't really think about the whole thing until the next week rolls around and it's time to go again. Maybe next time, I'll check him out."
 
B. He looked at me, smiled, and said, "You should come with me! It's great and I always leave with a sense that I needed that. The man who hosts it is so warm, you can't help but want to be with him. You know he really cares about you! And I don't know where he gets his wisdom, but everything that comes out of his mouth is worth listening to! He's amazing, for sure. Seems to know me better than I do! My life has sure changed because of him. And for the better. Oh, the music! So uplifting, and we sing it together for him! It's like a celebration of him! Yes, you should come!"
 
Now, think about the church you go to, and your experience. Why do you go? As you see in the first scenerio, the person goes to God's House, because he's been going for years. His family and friends go, and he feels obligated to go too. He notices the surroundings, but he hasn't met the Master! He hasn't bothered to look Him up to get to know Him. He goes through the motions, week after week, but doesn't know why. His life hasn't changed and he continues to live the life he's been living, even though it may be contrary to what's been preached.
 
The second situation shows enthusiasm, and the person even offers an invitation to go with him! He really likes the Master and pays attention to what He has to say. He expects to learn something each time he goes, and looks forward to going again. His life has been changed for the better, and it shows. Everything they do in God's House is to celebrate God's love. Their meeting there is uplifting, purposeful and life changing. The surroundings in this House doesn't compare to the radiance of the Master! They are energized to go out and share with others their meeting with Him.
 
How is it with your church experience? Are you going to church with the right purpose - to love God, to worship Him, to learn from Him? If you were the only person there, would you still be there for Him? Are you allowing Him to change your life? Or do you just go through the motions, getting nothing out of the experience, but to just say you went, and others saw you there.
 
I encourage you to think about this the next time you go to church. Prepare your heart beforehand to meet the Master. Spend time during the week getting to know Him. Pray. Really pray. Read the Bible, and ask Him to speak to you through the Scripture. Think about Him and what He's doing in your life. Focus on Him. Make Him the first priority in your life. And I assure you, that the next time you go to His house, you will meet Him face to face! You will connect with Him and experience His sweet presence. And you will have a life-changing going on inside of you that you will want to share with others! To God be the glory!
 

 
 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Let It Rain

This morning I was feeling somewhat grieved for what is happening around me. The news report is so very depressing... our government's decisions and actions, our financial situation, the destruction of families, the intrusion of being able to express our Christian beliefs in public, and even the lies that some of my Christian friends are believing. Not to mention the turmoil going on in the Middle East and Israel. What is going on here? Why are people being blinded? Why can't they see what is really going on? It even seems like the Word that is being preached is falling on deaf ears!
 
Friends, we are entering a time like never before. The way we have had it in the past is coming to an end, and there will be no going back. The Bible says in 2 Timothy 3:1-5,7 -
 
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.
People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money,
boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents,
ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving,
slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good,
treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure
rather than lovers of God -
having a form of godliness but denying its power.
Have nothing to do with them...
they are swayed by all kinds of evil desires,
always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth.
 

 I remember reading this when I was younger, say twenty years ago, and thinking that's awful; it would be terrible to be in a time like that. But now, I see this as describing what is going on now! What now? What can we do?
 
Amos 5:14-15 tells us to "seek good, not evil, that you may live. Then the Lord God Almighty will be with you....hate evil, love good."
Amos 5:4 says "Seek Me and live."
Matthew 22:37 reminds us to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind."
The Bible is filled with what we are to do, and all of us need to read it and apply it. We need to take His Word seriously!
 
As for the world, we should get on our knees and pray. Pray for our families, our towns, our country, our churches and Christian leaders. Pray that the Holy Spirit will influence them to respond to God's calling. We need a fresh awakening. A revival. Picture this: we are in a spiritual drought, and in desperate need of a Holy washing, a Holy Rain.
 
You heavens above, rain down righteousness.
Let the clouds shower it down.
Let the earth open wide.
Let salvation spring up.
Let righteousness grow with it.
I, the Lord, have created it.
- Isaiah 45:8
 
 We need the Holy Spirit to change us, and change the world. We need His cleansing. Let it rain.
 


Friday, October 11, 2013

God Moment In The Park - Part 2

As I reread my last post about the God moment in the park, I realized how limited my awareness is! Sharing that experience was meant to remind us all how God is at work in our lives. But it wasn't meant to intend that He was working only at that moment!
 
Think about it. We go on about our lives...we wake up after a night of sleep, we get dressed, eat our breakfast, take out the dog, go to work, eat lunch, do our usual things, eat supper, watch television, read books, and go to bed. We get immersed in our routines, without any realization that what we do is all because of God's love and grace on our lives! It's because of His protection that we get a good night's sleep. It's because of His provision that we have food to eat, a job to earn money, a home and bed to sleep in. It's because of His grace that we can go about independently without being on our backs in a hospital. And if we do find ourselves on our backs, He gives us the grace and peace to endure it. It's all because of Him! Not because of us!
 
God is in the control room, and He is at work at all times! He uses us to build His kingdom here on earth, and His purpose for us is to glorify Him, to have an intimate relationship with Him, and to obey Him, thereby sharing His love with others.  Are you fulfilling His purpose for you? Have you thanked Him for all that He does behind the scenes?
 
Every minute is a God moment. Take the time to thank Him!
 
"My Father is always at His work
to this very day, and I, too, am working."
- Jesus (John 5:17)
 
 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

God Moment In The Park

This morning I posted on Facebook: "Be blessed and be a blessing." Little did I know that this would be a reality to me.
 
After I dropped off my dog to be groomed, I set out for the park to take my walk. These days, the leaves are colored, and starting to drop. The temperatures are comfortable, and this gives me an opportunity to have my time with God. The half hour goes by very quickly!
 
As I returned to  my car, I noticed an older couple walking in the distance. Very slowly. They appeared elderly, and hand in hand, they were headed back to their car. I opened my door to get in, but was stopped as I felt a thought come into my conscience. "Go pray with them." Mind you, I've never gone to strangers before and offered to pray for them. This was not what I usually do. I reasoned, "But what if they refuse?" Another thought came, "At least you tried."
 
So, without closing my door, I walked over to them. They were getting closer to their car, and were about to get in. The man had to help his wife. As I approached them, I realized that this couple attends my church! I hadn't recognized them until I got closer. They were surprised to see me, and I told them that God wanted me to pray with them.
 
The three of us held hands as we prayed. I praised God for who He is, for His love and strength to get through life. I thanked Him for the beautiful park we can walk in, and for each day of life. I asked Him for blessings, and healing, and favor. And I told Him we look forward to spending eternity with Him in His kingdom. They responded while I prayed, and it was a beautiful, love-filled moment. We knew without a doubt that God was with us, and we felt His loving arms around us.
 
While I was blessing them, I was blessed! The exhilerating experience of responding to the promptings of God stayed with me, even after I left the park. We felt His Holy presence, and I am sure that they were lifted up also.
 
I am so glad I prayed with them. And I am so glad they were there to pray with! It was a gentle reminder to me that God is involved in His children's lives, and every now and then, we get a God Moment!
 
"Be blessed and be a blessing!" Yes, Lord!
 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

What Are Your Eyes Fixed On?

We used to have a dog named Dapper. He was a good dog, but when he was outside, he would wander away if we didn't have him tied up. If someone or something got his attention, he wouldn't hesitate to go there to check it out. Even if we were calling him back, he would ignore us because he was determined to satisfy his curiosity. Sometimes it would get him in trouble!
 
Now we have a dog named Maggie. She is also a good dog, and when she is outside, she usually stays around us... that is, if our neighbors aren't outside also. (they frequently watch her when we're away and she is fond of them). Wherever we walk, or whatever we are doing outside, she follows us, keeping our whereabouts in her mind. She knows we love her and will protect her.
 
What about us? What gets our attention? Are we wandering, satisfying our curiosity, and getting into trouble? Or are we fixing our eyes on the One who truly loves us and protects us?
 
We live in a world that is filled with enticements. Worldly pleasure. Some are good and some aren't. The Bible gives us guidelines to live by, and to help us as we explore our world. If we are wise and love the Lord, then we will listen to what the Bible teaches and abide by its guidelines. Most likely, then, we will stay out of trouble.
 
Therefore, since we
 are  surrounded  by
 such  a  great cloud
of  witnesses, let us
throw off everything that hinders,  the sin  that  so  easily  entangles,
and   let  us  run  with  perseverance   the  race  marked  out   for  us.
Let  us   fix  our  eyes  on   Jesus,  the  author  and   perfecter  of   our
  faith, who for the joy 
set      before      Him
endured   the    cross,
scorning  its   shame,
and  sat  down  at the
 right   hand   of    the 
throne      of       God.
Consider   Him   who
endured             such
opposition         from 
sinful men,   so   that
 you   will   not    grow
 weary  and lose heart.
Hebrews 12:1-3
 
We are loved by our Savior! And it was necessary for Him to suffer on the cross for our sinful tendencies to wander. His death and resurrection declared victory over sin and death! And knowing this, we are assured that when we fix our eyes on Jesus, He will keep His watchful eyes on us, and help us.
 
What are your eyes fixed on?
 



Sunday, September 29, 2013

Time To Reseed

We had a new home built this summer and the contractors seeded our lawn for us. There was straw everywhere! In the window vents, on the porches, everywhere! I thought they were going to spread it by hand, but I think they had a machine. It was a large area so I guess that makes sense. Most of it took hold and the grass has come up. But there are spots where we need to reseed. No grass...just dirt. If we don't bother, probably weeds will grow in those areas, and we don't want that! We have enough weeds already growing!
 
This reminds me of what the Bible tells us about spreading the Word of God. Jesus tells a parable of the sower in the book of Matthew:
 
A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell of rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no soil. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a large crop - a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. He who has an ear, let him hear."                                 Matthew 13:3-9
 
He continues on in Luke:
 
This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. Those along the path are the ones who hear; and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they cannot believe and be saved. Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. The seed that fell among the thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life's worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. The seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop. Luke 8:11-15
 
It occurred to me that even as my husband and I get a second chance at reseeding our lawn, so I believe we have second and third and even more chances in sharing the salvation news of Jesus Christ with those we have shared before, but didn't see results. We should never give up on those who we want saved but aren't "getting it"! Continue to pray! Continue to share the Good News! One of these days, the soil in their souls will be ready, and the seed will take hold. God will supply the rest. Just keep sowing! It is time to reseed!!
 



Friday, September 27, 2013

Just A Simple Prayer

Just a Simple Prayer

September 27, 2013 at 9:02am
There is only one way to know for sure where you will spend eternity...you can say that you don't believe in God or that when you die that you just go into the ground and that is the end. You can say that once, when you were a child, you prayed a prayer and so now you will go to heaven one day...but the reality is that one day, every one of us will have to stand before God and either be recognized as receiving Jesus as the Lord of our life and our Savior or be separated from God for all eternity by the choices we made in life. The heart of God does not want you to be separated from Him...and He did do ALL that He could to save you when He sent His one and only precious Son Jesus to die for your sins on the cross. After three days God resurrected Jesus again to life and finished the work that now makes the way for you to have eternal life. My heart is that each and every one of you would not just pray a prayer to ask Jesus to give you the gift of eternal life but that you would each recognize that this prayer, if you really mean it, is only the beginning of a life that follows the path Jesus walked Himself. It is a relationship that is a lifelong commitment that will change you completely from the inside out. You will find more joy, love, peace and pure happiness then you ever would have thought possible. It is something that can be yours...and once you truly receive it then you will never be the same again!!!

A friend suggested that I also post a prayer that you can pray to ask Jesus to be your Savior. The prayer does not have to be these exact words BUT it needs to contain all the elements you see here...#1 you need to acknowledge that you are a sinner [everyone has sinned no matter who they are and that means that every single one of us needs a Savior]. #2 you must believe that Jesus is the one and only Son of God and that he died for your sins and was resurrected by God again to life so that you could have eternal life through Him. He is the one perfect and sinless sacrifice and the only One who could make a way for you to have a new life that each of us does not deserve because of the sins and the life that we have chosen. Even a good person still needs Jesus since every one of us has sinned. #3 You must ask Jesus to come into your heart and into your life and to be your Lord and Savior.

Here is an example of the prayer you should pray: God, I know that I have not always lived for you, and I have sinned in ways I probably don't even know yet are sins. I know that you have plans for me, and I want to live in those plans. I pray to you for forgiveness for the ways in which I have sinned. I believe that Jesus died on the cross for my sins and that You raised Him from the dead to give me eternal life. I am choosing now to accept Jesus into my heart and I want to make Him the Lord of my life. I pray that You will fill me with Your Holy Spirit and that You will help me to live as You desire for me to live. I know that with Your help I can strive to overcome sin and no longer let sin control me. I put myself in your hands. I pray that you work in my life and guide my steps so that I continue to live for you. In your name I pray. Amen.

Next...you need to tell someone that you know is a Christian that you prayed this prayer and if you have a Bible then you need to begin to read it so that you can learn more about the life that God has for you. I good place to start is in the book of John. I also sincerely recommend that you begin attending church and spend time with other believers so that they can encourage you in the new life that you have chosen and so that they can help you grow.

Note from Who Needs His Love: the above was written by Melissa Sylvis, and she shared this on Facebook this morning. I truly believe that she was inspired by God to write this and share this so that someone who needs Jesus would read this and make the most important decision there is. All it takes is a willingness to surrender one's own will to the only One who truly loves and cares for him: Jesus Christ! This is my prayer: that today is the day of salvation for a precious, lost soul. The angels rejoice when a person comes to Jesus! Hallelujah!! Praise His Holy Name!!



Saturday, September 21, 2013

Church? Are You Looking At Me?

When you hear the word "church", what comes to your mind? A building with a steeple? A man in a robe standing before a group of people, preaching? A row of pews? Stained glass? A basket being passed around for people to put in their money? An organ? A large cross on the front wall? These are a few of the images that come to my mind when I hear the word "church". They come from my past experiences of going to church, and I'm sure most of you have similar thoughts.
 
The definition of "church" basically is a place where people of one faith gather together to worship their god. There are many different denominations, and many different ways of doing "church". People worship differently depending on the culture where they live. In America's South, people worship more flamboyantly, compared to the North where some people are more reserved. Music styles differ dramatically, even in the same church. There are Traditional services where people sing hymns to organ music. And then there are Contemporary services where praise and worship songs are led by guitars and drums. Some services incorporate dancing and sign language. There is no limit to how church is done. As long as it is done in a location where people get together to worship God.
 
But what happens to the church if something should happen to the building? A terrible thought, but is a building really necessary to have a church? Are the things we see in churches necessary to have a church?
 
We are the church. Yes, you and me are the church. Wherever and whenever we gather together to seek God, pray, read the Bible,  share His Word, and even have Communion, then we are having church. We know, as Christians, that where two or three are gathered together, Jesus is in their midst. Jesus is the Cornerstone of the church. Christ lives in us, and our bodies are His temple. We are the body of Christ and have received different giftings, all meant to work together to edify the body and glorify Jesus. We are a mobile church in a way. And the Holy Spirit inspires us to shine Jesus' Light ever more brightly. We are a testimony of what changed lives we are, all because we have let God reign in our hearts and souls.
 
You are fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the chief cornerstone. In Him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord, And in Him you too are being buillt together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit.
Ephesians 2:19-22

In this age today, there are too many people  who never step inside of a church building! They are hurting, and need a Savior, while not even realizing it. As we live our lives, following Christ and sharing His love, we are better able to reach others for Him. We can be the witnesses He has created us to be, just by being the church.
 
So the next time the Sunday morning worship service comes to an end, and you are leaving the church building, remember that though you aren't in that building, you are still at church... you and the Holy Spirit in you. Minister to others and share His love!
 

 


Monday, September 2, 2013

The Most Important Decision

I was away for a few days, and when I got home, I was able to get caught up on the news in my area. To my dismay, there had been a car crash, killing six people. Four were adults in one vehicle, and the other two were children in the other one. In the middle of the afternoon, these individuals were probably out for a joy ride. When they woke up that morning, they never, ever realized that in a few hours, their lives would be ending. Period. Could that ever happen to you or me? Yes! Will it? Only God knows.
 
Which brings me to this question: Did they ever accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior? We may never know, for only God truly knows a person's heart. But for anyone to be ushered into heaven when life ends, it is necessary to believe in the Lord, and receive His gift of salvation.
 
Jesus said, 'I am the resurrection and the life.
He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies;
and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die.'
John 11:25-26
 
 
The most important decision a person can ever make is the decision to accept Jesus. To surrender to Him. To trust in Him, accept His death on the cross for his sins, and to obey Him by living according to the Scriptures. Everyone is given a chance. Some say yes. Some say no. And some never decide. They think they have time. They don't believe their life could be taken from them in an instant, when they least expect it. Some people are so caught up in the ways of this world that they keep putting off the decision to submit to the Lord. They want control over their lives. They want to sow their oats. They figure later on when they want to settle down, then they'll "get religion". How unfortunate they are. Not everyone is guaranteed a long life. Only God decides how many days we have here on this earth.
 
How about you? Have you given your heart over to Jesus, to be Lord over your life? Or have you been putting it off? You may not have tomorrow. Or even tonight. Please make your decision now. It will be the most important decision you will ever make.


Thursday, August 22, 2013

A Little Flirtation Won't Lead To Anything... Or Will It?

I have noticed that there seems to be a relaxed attitude floating around among people, even among Christians; almost a tolerance of something, that is popping up more and more in our culture. They aren't aware that they are playing in quick sand, but feel that they can still stand on their own. They don't realize that they are being lured, being enticed, very subtly, right beneath their noses.  They see others around them doing the same thing, so it doesn't feel strange or wrong. They ignore the still, small voice that warned them not to get anywhere near this. After all, they want to check this out and see what happens. But once they sink in, they can not free themselves. Only someone who reaches out to them who isn't in the quick sand can rescue them, that is, if they take his hand. What is this quick sand that I am talking about?
The Devil. You've seen images of him carrying around a fork, with little horns on his head and a pointed tail. You've seen witches with pointed hats on brooms, with green faces. You've heard of the saying, "The devil made me do it." You may have even played on the Ougie Board. People go to fortune tellers, who convince them they know the secrets to their future. There is alot of talk of devil worshippers going on too. People take it too lightly and laugh about it, like it's a game. But it isn't! There are countless films, songs and books on violence, murder, bloodshed... you name it, it's there. And it is affecting our culture!  What is going on here?
The Bible clearly describes what is going on here, and Christians need to take it seriously.
Be self-controlled and alert.
Your enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion,
looking for someone to devour.
- 1 Peter 5:8
He hates us! He hates God even more, and wants to lure people away from God. He knows that his time and influence on this earth is limited, as Jesus Christ is coming soon to take His believers to heaven, and to throw the Devil and his followers into the eternal lake of fire.
And the devil, who deceived them,
was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur.
They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
If anyone's name was not found written
in the book of life,
he was thrown into the lake of fire.
- Revelation 20:10, 15
Our God is a jealous God, and He created us in His image. He is Holy. Awesome in Glory. And He wants us to worship Him, and Him alone. The Bible gives us all that we need to know, in order for us to stay clear of the Devil's antics, and to live victorious lives in Jesus' Name. Our Heavenly Father is grieved when people, especially His children, yield to the Devil, and He waits patiently for us to return. He is ready to reach out His hand to rescue us from the schemes of the enemy. But we need to take His hand! This is a point I'd like to make, though, that some people disagree with.  He will give us his hand for only a while. If we refuse His offer of help, because we have allowed our hearts to harden toward Him, then He will withdraw His hand.
Furthermore, since they did not think
it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God,
He gave them over to a depraved mind, to do
what ought not to be done.
They have become filled
with every kind of wickedness...
Although they know God's righteous decree
that those who do such things deserve death,
they not only continue to do these very things but
also approve of those who practice them.
- Romans 1: 28-32

People! Please take this seriously. We are in the end times, and we need to be fully aware of what we are aligning ourselves to. We can't walk the fence. We are either following Jesus, or we are not. God sees our hearts and He is watching us intently. We can fool others, even our Christian friends, but we can't fool God. He is not to be mocked. The time is coming soon when after the rapture, that is the calling up of true believers in Jesus, it will be extremely difficult for a person to receive Christ, and if he does, he most likely will be martyred for his faith.
How can we be sure we are following Christ? The Bible advises us to put on our spiritual armor.
And do this, understanding the present time.
The hour has come for you to wake up
from your slumber,
because our salvation is nearer now
than when we first believed.
The night is nearly over;
the day is almost here.
So let us put aside the deeds of darkness
and put on the armor of light.
Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ,
and do not think about how to gratify
the desires of the sinful nature.
- Romans 13:11-14



 Ephesians 6:11-18 gives an excellent description of the full armor of God that all of us need to put on each morning. Please read this, and make a personal note that you will apply these principles to your life. Your destiny depends on it!
So, can a Christian have a little flirtation with the Devil? The answer is up to you.


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Can A Christian Love?

This is the fourth in my series of Can A Christian ...? It's obvious that if we call ourselves Christians, or followers of Jesus Christ, that we think we automatically have these qualities...we know we should forgive others, we know we should trust God with everything, and we know we have the power of the Holy Spirit in us, but sometimes we struggle with those things.
 
This topic here is on love. Can a Christian love? When we think of God, we think of love:
 
For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son,
that whoever believes in Him shall not perish,
but have eternal life.
 
John 3:16
 
As Christ followers, we know that we are to love God first and foremost, and love others as ourselves. Jesus tells us that. My question to you is: How well are you loving others?
 
Honestly, this is a struggle of mine, and I realize that. I have asked the Lord to help me to love others the way I should. Compassionately. Patiently. Nonjudgementally. I know He loves me that way, and I so appreciate His mercy and grace, for I have fallen more times than I want to admit. No matter what I do, He loves me anyway.
 
How can we love others who are unloveable, at least in our minds? There will always be people who hurt us, offend us, gossip about us, cheat us, let us down. The reasons are endless. (But so is His love!) For me, as I meditate on this, I have come to the realization that I need to look at people differently than I have. I need to try to see them as Jesus does. Sinners in need of grace.
 
Sometimes people have no idea that they have offended others. And sometimes, because they have had terrible pasts of abuse and rejection, they are unable to show love to others. They may be hurting inside, and are just smearing that hurt on anyone who is within their space. Maybe you fall into that category. (I hope not!)
 
Because of that, when I think that others may have unknown reasons why they get on my "unloveable list", I get more tolerant. I am able to give them some slack. Another chance. After all, there have been times when I acted unloveable to another, and later on regretted it, hoping that person would give me some slack...another chance. God looks at the inside of people, where we can only look on the outside. He knows we are works in progress. Becoming a Christian doesn't immediately turn us into a saint, even though we are one. We are a work in progress indeed, and for some of us, it takes longer than for others. Sometimes it isn't easy to love everyone, but with God's help, we can get better at it. It takes deliberation, but I believe it brings alot of peace. Instead of fretting, we are forgiving. Instead of complaining, we are praying. Instead of hating, we are loving.
 
Is this possible for you? As you think about your relationships, are you able to truly love everyone? Yes, you can, with God's help. As He has loved us, so must we love others. Because Jesus is our model, we can love others the way He calls us to do.
 
Dear Lord, as we think about our ability to love others,
we realize that our efforts are limited.
We ask You to help us to love as we should.
To look at others through Your eyes,
and to treat them with compassion.
Thank You for Your love and mercy towards us.
Thank you for giving us another chance.
In Jesus' Name,
Amen.




Friday, August 9, 2013

Does A Christian Have Power?

In a recent blog, I talked about Christians trusting God, and shared Ephesians 3:20-21~
 
Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably
more than all we ask or imagine,
according to the power that is at work in us,
to Him be the glory in the church
and in Christ Jesus
throughout all generations
forever and ever.
Amen.
 
Then I took my long walk, and chewed on that verse. As I thought about it, and talked aloud to God to explain it to me, I realized that there is something profound in the middle of this verse. Did you catch it?
 
'according to the power that is at work in us'
 
What is this power that is at work in us? Acts 1:8 tells us that we will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on us. And Jesus tells us in John 14:12-13 ~

"I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in Me
 will do what I have been doing.
He will do even greater things than these,
because I am going to the Father.
And I will do whatever you ask in My Name,
so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.
You may ask anything in My Name, and I will do it."

Jesus shed His blood on the cross for the remission of our sins, and when we accept Him as our Lord and Savior, we receive power through the Holy Spirit. We can plead the Name of Jesus, and all authorities will submit to Him. Philippians 2:10 tells us 'that at the Name of Jesus, every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.' Since we are inheritors of the Kingdom of God, then we too have authority over the principalities through the power in the Name of Jesus.

It occurred to me that we can limit God's power in our prayers! If there is any ounce of doubt in us, then the power that He gives to us through the Holy Spirit is significantly reduced. If we don't believe He will heal, He won't. If we don't believe He will answer our prayers, He won't. The measure of our faith has a direct relationship to the miracles that God does in our lives. Jesus wasn't able to do any miracles in His hometown due to the lack of faith of the people there. After all, to them, He was Joseph's son, just a carpenter. This was an example of incorrect labeling, which can lead to another blog topic in the future!
 
If we want miracles in our lives, we need to fully believe that God CAN 'do immeasurable more than all we ask or imagine'. Without doubting. We need to surrender our wills to Him, fully trusting in His provision. Nothing is impossible with God. God is not limited by our failures. But He looks at our faith and knows whether we truly believe that He can. He has placed supernatural power in us through the Holy Spirit, and we can tap into that, if we believe. All we need is the faith of a mustard seed, which you know, is very, very tiny. In other words, the question may be "Is your faith larger than a mustard seed?" 
 
From time to time, we all need a miracle in our lives. Are you going to tap into that power?
 


Thursday, August 8, 2013

Can A Christian Trust?

Trust. What does it mean to you? When you ask someone to trust you, you want that person not to doubt that you will fulfill your promise. It's easy to trust someone who has never let you down. He is a man of his word. But if, for some reason, you break your promise and don't follow through, it can lead to someone doubting you and your word. And the next time you ask that person to trust you, it will be difficult.
 
The Bible talks about trusting God. Over 165 verses! God wants His children to trust Him with everything, and not to worry or doubt. He always keeps His promises... after all, He is God. He is in control of the universe, and nothing is impossible with Him.
 
If you are a Christian, do you trust God? Really trust Him? If you are dealing with something and take it to Him in prayer, asking Him to deliver you, are you trusting Him to take care of it? Or are you continually dwelling on it, telling God what you want Him to do about it, and secretly wanting to be in the Control Room in Heaven? We KNOW we should trust God, but sometimes we have a hard time doing it, don't we?
 
God knows us inside and out, and I believe sometimes He allows trials to come into our lives to develop our faith in His sufficiency. Sometimes we Christians can become too independent and proud in our lives, and our spiritual eyes wander from Him to ourselves, and to other things in this world. At other times, I believe He puts us through difficult circumstances to take us to a higher level in our relationship with Him. He wants to mature us. When things are going so well, how often are you on your knees before Him? And when things do go aury, and we seek Him for the answers, do we truly believe that He will give them to us?
 
I am reminded of a story where a man was walking a tightrope, back and forth. The people watching from below were hooping and hollering, cheering him on. They told him he was the best. He then took a wheelbarrow and pushed it across while walking that tightrope. They were so impressed and cheered even louder. He yelled down, "Who among you wants to take a ride in  this wheelbarrow?" No one answered. They didn't really trust him.

In the book of Matthew, two blind men came to Jesus, and said "Have mercy on us, Son of David!" When He had gone indoors, the blind men came to Him, and He asked them, "Do you believe that I am able to do this?" "Yes, Lord," they replied. Then He touched their eyes and said, "According to your faith will it be done to you"; and their sight was restored. Imagine that! We don't read this in our daily papers, but I believe it still happens to people today! Jesus still heals those who have "the faith of a mustard seed".  But if He chooses not to heal, then He has a purpose that we cannot understand. We need to trust Him.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
 and lean not on your own understanding.
In all your ways, acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 3:5-6
 
 Christians, do you truly trust God to take care of you? Do you have peace in your hearts, knowing that He loves you beyond measure... that He knows what you are going through, and is working on it? While you are waiting for the answers, are you resting on His promises? That He knows what is best for you, more than you do? Are you willing to accept whatever the outcome, knowing that He is God and His purpose is to draw you closer to Him? And to bring Him glory?
 
Now to Him who is able to do
immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine,
according to the power that is at work within us,
to Him be the glory in the church
and in Christ Jesus
throughout all generations,
forever and ever! Amen.
Ephesians 3:20-21
 
Yes, God is able to do abundantly more than we can ever imagine! Just trust Him!
 
 
 
 


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Can A Christian Forgive?

This is a sensitive topic which is meant for people who claim they are Christians. They have accepted Christ as their Savior, go to church, sing the songs, and even read their Bibles and pray. They may even go on mission trips and serve in their church. On the outside, they are models of Christ-followers. But on the inside.... they can't forgive someone who has wronged them. Why?
 
They hold on to their hurts, and feel they didn't deserve the deed done to them by another person. They want that person to pay dearly. Resurrective thoughts consume their minds. They dwell on their mistreatment, and are angry. In their minds, they wish their offender would vanish from the earth!
 
Christian - is this you? Is there someone who has wronged you and you are unable to forgive? Please take the time to read on. This may change the whole matter.
 
The Bible talks alot about forgiveness. In fact, there are over 95 verses on this topic. We know that our sin came from Adam and Eve's disobedience, and ever since then, mankind has fallen to sin. God is holy, but He hates sin. God created us in His image, and He loves us, even though we sin. He made a new covenant when He provided His beloved Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for our sins. We didn't deserve this sacrifice, and we still don't. But His love for us is so deep, that when we come to Him, asking Him to forgive us for our wrongdoings, He does...each and every time.
 
But is there a condition? Jesus taught us the Lord's Prayer. It says, "forgive us, as we have forgiven others." If we don't forgive others, will God not forgive us?

 
For if you forgive men when they sin against you,
your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
But if you do not forgive men their sins,
your Father will not forgive your sins.
Matthew 6:14-15
 

Our Heavenly Father wants His children to love each other, and that means to forgive each other when we are wronged. Especially if that person has asked for forgiveness and is repentent. Genesis 50:15 tells us that even though Joseph's brothers had left him to die, and God rescued him, bringing him into Egypt in high authority and rulership, he was to forgive his brothers. And he did. 
 
There are passages which especially apply to Christians offending other Christians.  Matthew 18:15-35 talks about a brother sinning against another brother.
 
If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault,
just between the two of you.
 If he listens to you, you have won your brother over.
But if he doesn't listen, take one or two others along,
so that every matter may be established
by the testimony of two or three witnesses.
If he refuses to listen to them,
tell it to the church.... (v. 15-17)
Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth
agree about anything you ask for,
it will be done for you by my
Father in heaven.
For where two or three come together
in my name, there I am with them. (v. 19-20)
 
Then Peter came to Jesus, and asked,
"Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when
he sins against me? Up to seven times?"
Jesus answered, "I tell you,
not seven times, but seventy-seven times." (v. 21-22)
 
[A king wanted to settle accounts with his servants.
One of his servants owed him a huge debt,
fell on his knees, and asked for time to pay him all he owed.
The king cancelled all of his debts and let him go.
But that servant found a fellow servant
who owed him, and demanded for him to pay him back.
That servant asked for patience, but he refused,
sending him into prison.
The king found out, called that servant in, 
scolded him, and sent him into prison.] (v. 23-34]
 
 This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you
unless you forgive your brother from your heart. (v.35)
 
 
Satan wants us to hold grudges. He seeks to destroy the Church. He hates us, and stirs up conflict and tension amongst the children of God. Just think... if we rebuked him, and forgave our offenders, and the world found out... what glory that would bring to God!! The world wouldn't understand, but those who belong to Christ would. Love cancels out sin. His love for us, as shown on the cross, cancelled out our sin. We are to carry our cross and do the same. 
 
Dear Christian - is there anyone you need to forgive? Is there any debt that you need to cancel? Take it to Jesus, in prayer, and ask Him to help you to forgive. Ask Him to help you to love that person as He does. He will, as this is His will for you! He will enable your heart to soften, and peace will replace the agony that controls your heart. Go to that person, and tell him/her that you forgive him/her. It takes courage, but it is the most rewarding thing you can do. Then, you can return to prayer, knowing that your heavenly Father is pleased with you. You have done the right thing!
 

 
 



Monday, July 22, 2013

He Met Me In The Woods

This morning I drove out to our city's park to take a walk. I really enjoy this park as it has many different areas; woods, fields, bridges over a creek, a playground, tennis courts and a park house with bathrooms!
 
My intention was to not only get some exercise, but to spend time with God. When I am outdoors surrounded by nature, I really feel close to Him. The winding paths lead me along really beautiful trees and flowers, away from people and civilization. People are at a distance, though occasionally I will pass by someone also enjoying the park. I just love the smells of the woods, and the creek was so clear as the water passed underneath me on the metal bridge.
 
Because no one was nearby, I felt free to talk aloud to God. I started with thanking Him for His blessings on my life, praising Him for who He is, and asking Him to watch over my loved ones and to bless us. As I went on, my prayer became more intense and I could feel His love all over me! I knew He was listening, and I could feel His response. I even sung parts of Matt Redman's "Bless The Lord, 10,000 Reasons" to Him. The walk could have gone on and on, as time just stood still.
 
You know, we all need quiet times like this, and sometimes it's necessary to get away from the busyness of life to connect with God. He deserves our complete attention, and getting away by ourselves removes the distractions.  And that means no cell phones along! Just you and God.
 
Yes, I went to the woods to meet Someone, and He was there.
 


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Do You Know Where You're Going?

Summer is a great time to travel. What my husband and I love to do is to get in our little Miata, put the top down, and just go. Sometimes we don't know specifically where we're headed, but we just follow the road. We have made some great memories along the way, and I'm getting in the habit of taking my camera along to capture those beautiful scenes. If something catches our attention, and we have the time, we'll pull off and check it out. At other times, we take a map or use the G.P.S, especially if it's a long distance away. Once winter comes in our neck of the woods, and the snow starts taking over, we tend to stay home and cocoon! How about you?
 
This reminds me of life. We all have a road ahead of us, a journey to take, and it is our choice as to where we want our destiny to be. Some of us are free spirits and just go with the flow, not caring where we end up. If something lures us, we'll pull off and check it out. Others go by the book, and try not to veer off. We have a goal in mind and aim for reaching it.
 
  
 
This billboard, which is on a highway in Pennsylvania, pretty much sums up what I want to share. All of us are on a life journey. What influences you as you make decisions on how you live your life? Where do you want to end up? What are your goals? Do you even have goals?
 
God has given us a guidebook, called the Bible, to help us in our life journey. It is filled with words of wisdom, through His inspired Word, to help us make the right decisions. God wants the best for us because He loves us immensely.
 
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord,
"plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you a hope and a future.
Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me,
and I will listen to You.
You will seek Me and find Me
when you seek Me with all your heart."
Jeremiah 29:11-13
 
God wants to be right by your side as you embark on your life journey. Some days will be nice and easy, and others will be difficult. Some of the road will be filled with potholes, and some will be smooth. Have you thought where you will end up? Do you want to go to heaven, or don't you care?
 
Jesus tells us that He is the way, the truth, and the life, and no one can come to the heavenly Father except through Him. Only a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, will ensure eternal life. Not your works. Truly believing that Jesus came to pay the price for your sins on the cross, accepting His forgiveness, and desiring to live for Him will ensure you that your life journey will lead to eternal life.
 
But it is not easy to follow the road that leads to heaven, as the world, motivated by Satan, will attempt to lure you away from your heavenly destination. Jesus said, "Enter through the narrow gate. for wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. Small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." (Matthew 7:13-14)  
 
What does your road look like? Are you keeping your focus on Christ, and what He wants for you? Are you letting Him guide you every step of the way? Even if you momentarily find yourself off the road He has designed for you, you can ask Him to help you get back on and He will. He wants the best for you, and by following His road map for your life, the best is yet to be!
 
As we continue on our life journeys, enjoy the scenery along the way! In the end, I hope to see you on the other side.... heaven!