Saturday, March 30, 2013
It is up to you as parents to not only teach your kids about Christ but to show them how to live a life as a follower of Him. They most likely won't learn it from school or television but will instead be shown a worldly, sin based lifestyle. The liberal and atheist movement is in full force now but we must stand firm in God's way of living, not man's. 'Strive to be Biblically accurate, rather than politically correct.'
Children are a reflection of us. They are little repeaters and they will imitate what they see. What is important to you, will plant a seed in them but you must cultivate it into their daily lives.
We need to teach them church isn't a Sunday routine but it is something we apply into our everyday lives. Build a foundation in them that will stand forever. 'On this Solid Rock I stand.'
Friday, March 29, 2013
Today is Good Friday, so what does that mean to you? A day off from work and a three day weekend? A day that you hope will bring you good things? Or the day when we remember Jesus sacrifice on the cross for our sins?
He paid the debt for our sins because we had no way to bridge the gap between us and God. Our sinful nature separates us from God. ''God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.'' 2 Corinthians 5:21
What a time of mourning it would be if we didn't know His Resurrection was coming in three days? Jesus foretold them to ease their minds back then but they in turn had to believe.
The same is true today. The Bible tells us of both things of the past and the future but it is up to us to believe it. Faith helps us to believe even when we don't understand.
It is a Good Friday to me because my appointment in eternity is set and confirmed because of His blood shed for me.
Thursday, March 28, 2013
The following is from my friend, Buster Godbee. It is from his Sunday School lesson on 8 problems that we would encounter if there were no resurrection of Christ. As Easter approaches, I hope this will help you consider the importance of The Resurrection more deeply/
In Jesus’ time many of the Jewish religious leaders did not believe in the resurrection. In fact the entire sect of the Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection[Matt 22:23;Act 23:8]. Even some Epicurean and Stoic philosophers called Paul a babbler when he spoke of Jesus and the resurrection [Acts 17:18]. In our time also, many religious leaders and skeptics do not believe in the resurrection. In I Cor 15 Paul provides seven (7) major problems for all people who call themselves Christian, if Christ was not raised from the dead. Finally, in Romans 10 Paul gives in a single verse the ultimate 8th problem. Therefore, we have Seven Problems - Plus One.
1 Corinthians 15; 1-19
Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. 3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance[a]: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas,[b] and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born. 9 For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. 11 Whether, then, it is I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed. 12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.
In verses 1-4, we are given the definition of the Gospel--the death, burial and resurrection of Christ
In verses 5-11, we are told of the 500 plus witnesses of the resurrected Christ
In verses 12-19, we are given the 7 problems if there were no resurrection
1. Previous teaching about the gospel would be incorrect [verses 1-11].
2. Current preaching is in vain [verse 14]
3. Our Faith is in vain [verse 14]
4. All the writers of the New Testament along with all teachers and preachers that followed, would be false witnesses of God (verse 15). Even Christ would have to be considered a false witness since he spoke clearly and often about His impending death and resurrection.
5. Our faith is worthless and we are still in our sins [verse 17]
6. Those Christians who have fallen asleep [dead] have perished [verse 18]
7. We of all people are most to be pitied [verse 19]
8.The ultimate problem - One cannot be saved unless one believes in the resurrection.
Romans 10:9 - If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
You may say that all this sounds pretty radical.
I would agree.
But remember, prophesy is radical;
The resurrection is radical;
The cross is radical;
So is Jesus, our Lord and Messiah!
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
I'm going to take a little creative twist on a common phrase and say 'It is better to have lived and lost, than to have never lived at all.' Now this could be taken in different ways so I'll explain what I mean by it.
'It's a God thing' that my neuromuscular disease wasn't just onset, but progressive. That might sound a little perplexing but it's true. I have been blessed in that I've spent the majority of my life with the physical ability to do what I've wanted to do. I've been able to experience education to my desired level, travel to far off places, and live my own life for twelve years. The progressive nature of my illness has allowed me to adapt to the weakness it causes with time. Although I cannot do what I once did, I'm thankful for the times I could. I can often think 'been there, done that.' I'm sure God has His purpose in both my active and less active years.
We all have a progressive problem that causes weakening. It's called 'aging.' So mine is two-fold and has a faster rate of speed but the message is still the same. Adapt as you go but just keep going.
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Yes, there are times when we feel as if we are being swallowed up by our troubles. Yes, there are times when we want to choke the living daylights out of those troublemakers. Yes, those anxious moments make us sweat and question 'is it worth it?'
Kick that doubt out the door and never give up. If you still have breath, then use the fight still left in you. 'Greater is He that is in you, than in the world.' God gives us trials to make us stronger in Him. 'Out of my distress, I called upon the Lord; He answered me and set me free.' Psalm 118;5 Abraham responded to his doubt and fear with faith, unquestioning action, and prayer. How do you respond?
Trials are not a coincidence, they have purpose. 'God leads us to troubled waters, not to drown us but to cleanse us.' Let Him finish the work He started in you and don't give up on Him or yourself.
Monday, March 25, 2013
I think this caption helps to remind us to 'be thankful in all circumstances.' Do you see the clutter as a hardship or a blessing? We are blessed with so much that we take it for granted. There is a bright side to everything but we must look for it, even if it's hidden and not so obvious. Always have an attitude of gratitude for the blessings God has bestowed on you. Many people pray for what you've been given already.
We must be leary of our desire for always wanting more. I know it's in our nature and downsizing is rarely done freely or willingly. When is enough enough? Are we ever satisfied and count those blessings?
God's grace gives and provides what we do not deserve. We are saved by grace alone, not by anything we have done or could do. Some people consider what they have as the result of their own hands but nothing is provided without God's provision. Remember, all that we have is His first.
Saturday, March 23, 2013
Yes, I believe the man is the head of the house but I also believe Eve was made from the rib at Adam's side, not his foot. Therefore, as women don't have their place in everything, I don't think 'weaker' is the right word in a lot of cases.
For those who think a woman's place is in the kitchen, how come the cooks at most restaurants are men? If women didn't invent multi-tasking, well then I know they've sure mastered it and reinvented it better than men ever could dream of.
'Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.' James 1;12
Like the true mother of the baby being fought over in the Bible, women will often sacrifice their own desires for the good and well-being of others. What a characteristic of strength.
Friday, March 22, 2013
'Lord, I do not know what tomorrow will bring, but You do and that's enough.' Is that enough for you? We are not meant to understand everything but having faith provides the bridge between the seen and the unseen.
Below are a few quotes that I hope will make you think about your purpose here.
'Don't be afraid, just believe.' Mark 5;36
'Let the beloved of the world, rest secure in Him.' Deuteronomy 33;12
"We need men so possessed by the Spirit of God that God can think His thoughts through our minds, that He can plan His will through our actions, that He can direct His strategy of world evangelization through His Church." ~ Alan Redpath
'Non-Christians don't read the Bible, they read Christians.'
'Purpose is found in those quiet moments when no one but God sees the work of your hands.'
'The purpose of life is a life of purpose.'
Don't ask yourself 'why am I here?' but ask yourself 'what should I be doing?' Make the most of your purpose driven life.
Thursday, March 21, 2013
Okay, I'm going to try to write this post with 'class' but I don't guarantee anything. I think there should be a class on 'class' because it's a rare find. We all try to have class but of the three things above, we usually fail in one area.
'Knowing what to say' is the first step. Is it true, helpful, important, necessary, kind......THINK it thru first. Always be encouraging and kinder than necessary. Sure there have been times I've wanted to use this blog to vent but is that really what I want to pass on to others? No. What I say should uplift others.
'When to say it' is important because timing can be everything. Just because it popped in your head doesn't mean it's always the right time for it to pop out of your mouth. Sometimes I have to be careful that my blog post isn't reflective of a recent event and therefore someone could take it personally.
'When to stop' is the hardest for people, I think. Get to the point or you're going to lose me halfway. People get caught up in the details when the listener just wants the overall picture. Some people think my blogs are too short, while others like the brevity of them. I think we remember things better that are short and that make us think, like Psalm 23 or the chorus of a hymn.
So I can say for myself that my writing might be in a more upper class form than my everyday speech but that just proves how if we 'think' about our words then we can be a little classier.
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
I wanted to follow-up last week's blog about switching to my mask air machine with a little more on how it has helped me. 'It's a God thing' that I am able to use my machine in the car, shopping in Canton, concerts, etc. It allows me to enjoy events without even thinking about being short of breath, like most of you. The portability of it allows me a much broader range to venture out. I can save my energy for what I want to do, rather than use it all up getting there. It refuels my oxygen level and gives me more energy. It's a comforting thought to know it is near by when I need a boost. It's kind of like when football players use oxygen on the sidelines to recharge for the next play, but mine is just regular air not oxygen.
It is also like Jesus always being near to us but we have to turn to Him. He can also refuel us, comfort us and give us strength to carry on.
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
This is Phil from the show, Duck Dynasty. I don't know why I'm hooked on this show but the redneck girl in me is. It's funny yet not so pleasing to the eye. They have a good faith based message in every episode as they gather around the table together for dinner. I guess it shows that everyone can share the gospel with others in their own unique way.
I think the popularity of the show points to what people would like to watch on television. We want clean humor with a life message. I think the History channel's 'The Bible' is also popular right now because of the seeking of our hearts to understand The Word. Hopefully it will turn people to the written Word because the Book is always better and truer than the movie.
God cares about our hearts and what it shares with others more than anything else.
Monday, March 18, 2013
How we see life and death is a great testimony to others. Do you view them from an earthly or heavenly perspective?
Life is not just about the here and now. It's not about what you can get out of it either. It is about the purpose in which God made you, to do here for Him. Life is a series of joys and trials that hopefully will draw on your need of a Savior. We can use our gifts and blessings to enrich the lives of others instead of living in a 'me' state of mind. It is said, 'when I get to heaven, I want to have no talent left because I used it all up here to further the Kingdom.'
Death is not just an end but a new beginning. For believers, it is something we anticipate with joy and hope. My friend lost his mother suddenly this past week and despite the grief, he openly praised the Lord that she was with Him now. The Bible promises us that we will one day be resurrected like Jesus was, because He conquered the grave. 'Death has lost it's sting and become a victory.'
2 Corinthians 2;14-16 ''But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life.''
May your life and perspective be a light to the world that makes others want to turn to it.
Saturday, March 16, 2013
Yes, I need these kind of days every so often. I don't want four weeks in a row of it but just occasionally. I think it's good for you. Spending quiet time reading my devotionals this morning gives me time to think and listen to God's whispers to me. I've also spent time this morning just laughing to myself at all the funny captions I've found on the pinterest website. Some I will share with you on future blog posts and some just personally hit my funny bone.
Yes, I know it's a pretty, sun shiny day but I'm not one to be on the go all the time. I've been there, done that and my body and soul have felt the after-shocks. I guess I'm kind of like my computer battery, I work better with a regular recharge than to burn out all that I have saved up.
Psalm 62: 1-2 ''Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.''
Thursday, March 14, 2013
Who hasn't had a bad hair day? Have you ever woke up looking like Don King? [not my uncle but the boxing promoter.. lol] Some days there is just not enough gel in the world to calm the static on your head. Of course, if you wanted a little volume and lift then your hair is going to be limp as a wet noodle.
Our hair is a big part of how we define ourselves. We go to great lengths to cut it, curl it, tease it, and style it in various ways. We often take it for granted until we start to lose it due to age, illness or medication. Then we freak out or at least I did when it happened to me for a short while. Humbling comes in all forms and sometimes out of left field.
There are so many things in life that we don't realize how important they are to us till they're gone. Take a moment today to be thankful for all the things you have, like hair even if it's not as much these days, before they're gone for good.
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Sometimes in life people will try to convince you something is right, when you know good and well it's wrong. This could be a moral issue or a physical issue. It is up to you to stick to your guns and say 'No, it's not right.'
I think it was the Monday after Halloween weekend of 2004 that my doctor put me in ICU. How sick was I? I wore my nightgown and leggings to the Dr's office, now that's pretty sick. This was when I transitioned from my old machine to my mask machine to help my breathing. I did fine on the hospital's machine but when the medical home supplier brought a machine for me to use at home, it didn't feel right. I told the lady it didn't feel the same and I couldn't breathe with it. She told me I just needed to get used to it. At that moment, 'it was a God thing' that my doctor came in and heard the discussion. He asked her if she had calibrated the machine before bringing it to me. She said No and he lit into her like a match to gasoline. A new calibrated machine was brought over and I could breathe comfortably with it and be discharged to go home in a few days.
2 Timothy 1;7 ''For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.''
[I think I've shared this story before but I thought it was worth repeating. Don't settle for less than you expect in what you think is right.]
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Okay, if you know me at all then you know I love a little bling. I think a little sparkle can spruce up anything that seems plain. It catches the eye with it's shiny illumination.
Don't you want your life to add a little sparkle into the lives of others? How can we add sparkle? Your smile should be contagious. Your mood should be uplifting. Your actions should be inspiring. Your words should be encouraging and motivating.
I think when our hearts and our actions are together in a Spirit led mind then we will leave a little sparkle wherever we go. The beauty of a diamond is formed by pressure so let the pressures of your daily life turn you into something just as shiny and beautiful.
Monday, March 11, 2013
The circle of life is often not pleasant and a harsh lesson in humility. We think 'that' won't happen to me but time is the true revealer. I've heard two stories recently about caregivers dealing with moments that were far from comfortable. So, I thought I'd give a few humbling points.
1. Your body is just like everybody else's, it's your pride that makes you think you're different.
2. Whatever has been an embarrassing moment has happened to someone else before you.
3. Learn from your experiences and next time it will be better.
4. Pride is concerned with who is right, Humility is concerned with what is right.
5. Humility is a fertile soil that grows spiritual fruit.
6. Being kind is often better than being right when helping others.
Humility is a tricky thing, just when you think you've got it is right when you lost it. Be nice and full of mercy when helping others, you never know when you'll be on the receiving end.
Sunday, March 10, 2013
It's Monday so let's start the week off with a positive attitude. Let's look for the good in everything that comes our way. Don't look to see if the glass is full or not, but instead be glad you have a glass.
I personally am feeling good and have high hopes for the week. 'My future's so bright, I gotta wear shades.'
Saturday, March 9, 2013
The world is often one big marketing strategy. The Bible says 'there is nothing new under the sun.' So we just put a new spin on the same old thing and call it new. Today's topic was sparked by my hair gel. The last time I bought it, it was Aussie Sydney Smooth but now it's Aussie Miraculously Smooth. There was no miracle done in the lab to make it any better, nor does it do any miracle on my hair. It's the same stuff with a flashier name to get me to buy it.
The Bible never changes. People often take away or add to its message to make it more appealing to us but that is wrong. The Word of God is what is and that's enough. The church today often tries to turn worship into entertainment but what our souls really need is the Truth, plain and simple. We will all be held accountable to what the Bible says, not what our culture deems as right or wrong.
Friday, March 8, 2013
Don't we all like unexpected good surprises? I was awakened by a friend this morning dropping off an easter present for me. She was putting 'encourage and build each other up' into action. She was also letting me know that her thoughts were with me even tho we hadn't seen each other in bible study lately.
Hebrews 10;24-25 'And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.'
Our lives do get busy but we should never grow weary in doing good. A little effort goes a long ways in a recipient's heart. Love isn't love until you give it away. As we all like the getting, we should love giving even more.
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Have you ever felt the flame of the fire without getting burned? I think God lets us know we've done wrong as a warning without pouring all of His wrath upon us. His mercy is defined as withholding what we deserve and we should be grateful.
So let us rewind down memory lane back to my Levy cruising days. Let me just preface this as a one time learned lesson, not a habit repeated. My two friends and I were in the front seat of my Honda Prelude with bucket seats. We got pulled over by a cop and found out it was illegal to have three people in the front seat. Who knew? Well we all had to exit the vehicle so he could look in the car. Well on this one night, we had split a wine cooler between us. We were all thinking about the trouble we'd be in if he found it. It was a 'God thing' of mercy that the empty bottle had rolled out of sight way up under the driver' seat. Oh yeah, I felt the heat because I did get a ticket and had to go to court but I didn't get burned.
Mercy is priceless.
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
This caption has been my daily motto for awhile now. I've been stuck in a holding pattern of sickness or what one may see as forced captivity at home. I haven't lost hope because I do know there will be a tomorrow coming to look forward to here on earth and eternally.
We must not see our bad day as having a bad life. There are no rainbows without the rain. The trials we encounter help us to appreciate the joys even more. Trials also help us to see our weaknesses more clearly by being up close and personal. We can therefore see our desperate need for our Healer, Comforter, and Savior through these moments. Where there is faith there is hope and where there is hope there are His promises about our tomorrows.
'Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya. You're only a day away.'
Monday, March 4, 2013
Who does this? Seriously, I see it but wonder what they are thinking. The odds of you seeing people you know goes up exponentially with how bad you look. Oh but the rollers let them know you're going to look great later right...lol.
You can never make a second first impression. I encourage people to care about how they look. A lot can be said for clean, decent and appropriate in the way you care for your appearance. Are you the 'Pigpen' of the Peanuts gang? Cologne can never beat a bar of soap and water...just sayin'.
Saturday, March 2, 2013
This caption yells out to me 'Ding Ding, Ding Ding'. It all points to living your authentic self with others. You can be true to yourself without an obtrusive approach.
Pretending...... you can only act for so long. Your true colors will bleed thru eventually. Be who you are meant to be, not the crowd's wannabe.
Depending..... love without expecting. God loved us while we were still sinners. His love isn't dependent on ours.
Defending.... not a word is heard when you're building your case in your head. Ears can't be shut like our mouths for a reason.
Offending..... reword it. You can make your point without making an enemy. Say it nice or just keep your advice.
Friday, March 1, 2013
I heard on the news last night, Arkansas was ranked 46 out of the 50 states where people were the least happy. Really? Happiness is a choice, it's not by chance. If your happiness is dependent on your circumstances, then your life will crash as often as a wave hits the shore.
'Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one remembers to turn the Light on.' The peace of God will sustain you. As I wind up my third week of being sick, I could be bitter or better for this down time. I choose better and that starts with the quality of my thoughts.
If you're not happy, look within. Then look above and count your blessings. Lastly, help yourself by helping someone else be happy.