Monday, May 28, 2018

True Freedom

        Memorial Day is a day of remembrance to the brave and heroic military persons that gave it all for us.  Today, we honor those who have served and sacrificed their lives, so that we may live freely and enjoy the freedom that America offers in our every day lives. 
        As great as our freedom is here in America, many are still bound by the chains of sin.  They do not know the freedom that is gained by knowing and accepting Jesus Christ, as their sin redeemer.  "The greatest freedom we can experience is the forgiveness of our sins, liberation from the strongholds that have held us captive, and the restoration of our relationship with our Maker and His creation."
        According to the Bible, men and women are either slaves of God or slaves to sin.  Rom. 6:16-18  " Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed,and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness."  There is no middle ground. The latter serve Satan by feeding their own selfish impulses. Meanwhile, the “slaves of God” enjoy true freedom. They honor the Lord by keeping away from those things that imprison the body, emotions, or thoughts.  []
        "Awake, awake, Zion, clothe yourself with strength! Put on your garments of splendor, Jerusalem, the holy city. The uncircumcised and defiled will not enter you again. Shake off your dust; rise up, sit enthroned, Jerusalem. Free yourself from the chains on your neck, Daughter Zion, now a captive." Isaiah 52:1-2
        When I read the verse above, it encourages me to fully rely on God's love and words of encouragement.  It frees me from the hurtful words from the world.  Jesus leads my life, not people or their opinions.  Do you know how liberating that is?  It's a confirming feeling that I am on the right path in my life.  Psalm 56:11  "In God I trust and am not afraid. What can man do to me?"
rist came to set us free from the prisons we have lived in for far too long. When we clothe ourselves in the strength and splendor of our great God, no weapon forged against us will prosper. When we envelop our souls with his brilliance and power, we put on the armor of God–and his gleaming garments of light will push back the darkness of defeat. Instead of wallowing in the dust, we rise up as a royal priesthood, seated with Christ in the heavenly realms."
        The truth of God’s Word can set you free from the prison of shame, fear and defeat. Whenever you sense those lies creeping back in, remind yourself that you are covered, clothed, and surrounded by the strength and splendor of your Father.  

The Word of God holds many promises of freedom for those who put their trust in Jesus. For example, we have freedom: []
In Christ (John 8:36; Rom. 8:2; 2 Cor. 3:17; Gal. 5:1).
From sin (Acts 10:43; Rom. 6:6-7; 1 Cor. 10:13).
From fear (Rom. 8:15; Phil. 4:6-7; 2 Tim. 1:7 ).

Monday, May 21, 2018

A Confident Hope

      Sometimes, events in life cause me to be at a loss for words on what to blog about.  When I turn to God's Word, I am overwhelmed because I feel like every verse is a comfort or a leading passage to my heart and it's hard to choose.  So today, I choose what helps me to persevere... the Hope I have in Jesus Christ.
      Confident hope is different than hope that could go either way, like 'I hope it doesn't rain today.' God is Hope.  It is based on His promises that do not and will not fail.  ''Confident hope is based on the full assurance that God is trustworthy, reliable, and able to fulfill His promises.  That He will keep His word.''
      'Hope is looking forward with expectation and anticipation of something we believe will happen.  Confident hope does not waver even when rough times come.  Confident hope does not let circumstances diminish its power or boldness.  Confident hope believes every circumstance, no matter how unpleasant at the time, is working on our behalf to grow us, mature us, and cement our hope.  Challenges give us the opportunity to give God the opportunity to prove His power, His might, His ability, and His willingness to come to our aid.  Confident hope relies on God.  Given the opportunity, God answers and gives us more reason for confident hope.'

1] Along with faith and love, hope is an enduring virtue of the Christian life (1 Corinthians 13:13)

2] Love springs from hope (Colossians 1:4-5).

3] Hope produces joy and peace in believers through the power of the Spirit (Romans 12:12; 15:13)." 

      Charles Spurgeon said, "What mercy it is that it not your hold of Christ that saves you, but His hold of you." 
      R. C. Sproul said, "We are secure, not because we hold tightly to Jesus, but because He holds tightly to us."
     My prayer for you is that, if you do not know this Hope, you will seek the Word of God and let it speak to you through study and worship time alone with God.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Lord, I Need You

Psalm 40:17  "But as for me, I am poor and needy; may the Lord think of me. You are my help and my deliverer; you are my God, do not delay."

Philippians 4:19  "And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus."

Hebrews 4:16  "Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."

       Saturday night, five of us had a girl's night out and attended Worship Night Out at Verizon Arena.  What an evening of worship and praise!  As this week has been a hard one to fathom, this concert had perfect timing to remind us where our focus, praise and attention should always be--on God.  I want to share a few points, that I can remember, from last night that were from song or spoken word.  These are just to provoke your thoughts individually, there is no group theme, except God calling us to Him.

Points to Ponder:

1] Love has a name- Jesus, Hope has a name- Jesus, Victory has a name- Jesus

2] When the church starts praying, the world starts changing

3] One of the biggest hindrances to revival is the hindrance of expression to God in worship

4] Your affection to God can only be expressed by you, no one else can do it for you

5]  Your comfort does not trump God's commands... follow, trust and obey

6]  God's grace is enough for me...He is my hope and stay, my Deliverer

7]  The book of Psalms is full of the word 'praise', but there are 7 Hebrew words for praise that have different meanings:

       a] Yadah-- to worship with the extended hand-It carries the meaning of absolute surrender as a young child does to a parent - "pick me up, I'm all yours".

       b] Tehillah-- to sing a spontaneous new song
       c] Barak-- to kneel or bow in adoration to God
       d] Halal-- to be boastful in praise - where the word 'hallelujah' comes from
       e] Towdah--  a thanksgiving of what has been received and for what is to come by His will
       f] Zamar-- to sing with instruments
       g] Shabach--  a loud adoration or shout of praise

    I share this with you today to remind you that you are never alone because God is always with you.  He is our Rock and Cornerstone that never fails.  He deserves our highest praise--unashamed glory for all the love, grace and mercy He gave on the cross and continues to give today.  Hallelujah and Amen!


Monday, May 7, 2018


Proverbs 12:22  "The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy."
1 Peter 2:1  "Rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind

        Have you ever pretended to be something you're not?  Were you trying to be accepted by, pleasing to, or like.. the world around you?  Romans 12:2  " Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."  The devil plants thoughts into our minds that we are not enough just as we are.  With and through the blood of Christ, we are enough.  Christ in us needs no additions.  His gift of grace is enough.  The world will never be satisfied with who and what we are, but His mercy sees each of us, as beautiful and enough.  "Not what I was, but who I could become thru His blood."
       "The qualities God wants in His people further reveal His concept of beauty. The beatitudes reveal some of God’s standards of beauty. An awareness of one’s spiritual poverty, sorrow for wickedness, hunger and thirst for righteousness, mercy, purity of heart, and being a peacemaker are all qualities of beauty. The epistles also stress attributes valued by God: keeping a living faith while enduring physical hardships, controlling the tongue, enduring personal harm to protect the church’s influence, making sacrifices for the good of others, and living by Christian convictions in the face of ridicule. All these are beautiful to God.  We must remember that just as it is possible to be one of society’s most impressive people and be ugly in the eyes of God, it is also possible to be an unknown in society and to be radiantly beautiful in His eyes."  []
        E.E. Cummings said, "To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing it's best, night and day, to make you everybody else_means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting."
       As for myself, I've not always embraced my authentic self.  In my teenage years, I would lie about my soft voice saying 'I was hoarse from yelling at the football game.'  It's taken me many years to embrace my physical weaknesses as part of God's will for my life.  I now have the courage to be vulnerable and imperfect because I am who God made me to be, just as He wanted and designed.
        C.S. Lewis addresses the authenticity of God by saying, "I want God, not my idea of God."  God clearly states who He is and what He stands for in the Bible.  Sin twists our thoughts of God into who we want Him to be, not who He really is.  A common phrase is "God is love"..yes, but finish the sentence.."God is love and just."
        Exodus 15:11  "Who among the gods is like you, Lord?  Who is like you— majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?"  God is incomparable to anything or anyone.  He is never changing. He is authentic and trustworthy in all things, beyond our capability and thoughts.  "In Christ we are loved, forgiven, and secure. In Christ we are adopted, justified, redeemed, reconciled, and chosen. In Christ we are victorious, filled with joy and peace, and granted true meaning in life. What a wonderful Savior is Christ!"

May we embrace and grow into who God intended us to be.  Be true to yourself and to God  personally, publicly and privately.

       O to be like Thee! O to be like Thee,
Blessed Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart. —Chisholm