Wednesday, December 15, 2010

For God is Great and His Love is Wondrous...

December 15, 2010

Psalm 86:9-10 All the nations you have made shall come and worship before you, O Lord, and shall glorify your name. For you are great and do wondrous things; you alone are God.

I read in a book recently about a woman on the mission field who was experiencing extreme homesickness at Christmastime. Through several events, she learned that not only did God have her in that place for her to show God’s love to them; He also had her there so that He could show her His love through her circumstances. I found that very comforting that God wants to show us His love and some of the ways He does so might not have been our picks; yet, they are wonderful. They are wonderful because He is wonderful…”For you are great and do wondrous things; you alone are God.”

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

No Not One...

December 14, 2010

Psalm 86:8 There is none like you among the gods, O Lord, nor are there any works like yours

“…nor are there any works like yours” only the one true God could put smiles on the faces of my children. Only the one true God could put love in the eyes of my husband and a knowledge in my heart, that he will always be there for me because our marriage is grounded in Him. Only the one true God can make you know that even while we may be crying now we will be rejoicing later. Only the one true God can make the faithful firm in their faith when everything around them is falling down. These are just a small list of the “works” of God. There is none like our God; no not one.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Confidence of Prayer...

December 13, 2010

Psalm 86:6 In my day of trouble I call upon you, for you answer me

Interestingly the Psalmist doesn’t say, “all I have left to do is pray” or “when all else fails pray.” He doesn’t tell us what else he is doing along with praying; no, he simply says “I call upon you, for you answer me…” I find myself wondering, why when we find ourselves in trouble, our first response isn’t hitting our knees in prayer. I wonder why we don’t go to God with the confidence that He will answer us. I think that perhaps we fear the answer. I’m sure that most believers are firm in their belief of God’s power, but there is nothing we can do about the answer. That is solely in God’s hands and His plan. We can however, be confident in knowing that His plan is in our best interests.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

My Thoughts for The Day...

Check out "My Out My Other Side" for my thought's for today!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Praise and Answered Prayer...

December 9, 2010

Psalm 86:6 Give ear, O LORD, to my prayer; listen to my plea for grace.

I think it’s easy to fall into the trap of assuming that if we aren’t given the answer from God that “we” think should happen, then for whatever reason God didn’t hear our prayers. Only if our plans are satisfied, is He worthy of praise for answered prayer. It’s harder to understand that every prayer we pray is answered, but sometimes not in the manner in which we want. Recently, I had a “BIG” prayer, and God saw fit in His plan to answer it according to my desire. Of course, I praised Him; He is worthy of that praise. However, I have asked myself repeatedly, if the answer had been something else would I have been so quick to praise? I hope so.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Abounding In Forgiveness and Love...

December 8, 2010

Psalm 86:5 For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in love to all who call upon You.

And aren’t I glad that God is forgiving. I think that God’s forgiveness goes beyond even what we can comprehend as forgiveness. We, as humans, are incapable of it. God chooses to no longer remember, not that He couldn’t if He wanted to, our sin; this is even more amazing considering that God Hates sin! He can do this, completely forgive us, because when He looks at us, He sees His Son. The fact that God can love me is always amazing to me but He is “abounding” in “love”. Abounding is defined as…”to be rich or well supplied.” God’s love is rich and is plentiful for everything we may experience.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

For He has Made Me Glad...

December 7, 2010

Psalm 86:4 Gladden the soul of your servant, for to you, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.

How surprised I was to read “Gladden the soul of your servant…” I don’t know why; of course, I know that we aren’t always “Glad”. However, if we are to pray for gladness perhaps we are supposed to always be glad. Glad has several definitions listed in the dictionary but this one…characterized by or showing cheerfulness, joy or pleasing looks. So, perhaps we aren’t really “in the mood” to be glad, or we are having a rough day, or we are just tired and grumpy; yet, we are to be glad. We are to be glad because He has made us glad. And once again I’m learning that our circumstances have little to nothing to do with our gladness.

Monday, December 6, 2010

He Hears My Voice...

December 6, 2010

Psalm 86:3 Be gracious to me, O Lord, for to you do I cry all the day

God is gracious in that He, the creator of the universe, is available to me. He wants me to cry to Him. Psalm 116:1-2 says, “I love the Lord because He hears my voice and my supplications, Because He has inclined His ear to me, therefore I shall call upon Him as long as I live.” As we live out the lives planned for us, we can call and know with a certainty that we can have with few other things that God hears us!

Thursday, December 2, 2010


December 2, 2010

Psalm 86:2 Preserve my life, for I am godly; save your servant, who trusts in you—you are my God.

What is trusting in God? Simple question and I’m sure that the words would come easy. Of course, we trust in God. However, what does the countenance of our faces reflect? I’m a smiler; I mean I smile all the time, mostly I don’t even know I’m doing it. For all of my life I have had people remark on this and sometimes ask me why am I smiling. My answer is usually “I don’t know” it’s just something I do. However, if I am truly trusting in God, His power, and His control over every situation; what is there to not smile about. Being able to trust is being able to rest in the knowledge that God holds us…”Your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me (Psalm 139:10). As a believer who is resting in God today…smile! :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

With Your Strength...

December 1, 2010

Psalm 86:1 Incline your ear, O Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy

A sweet dear friend of mine recently included part of this Psalm in a recent email; the verses really spoke to my heart and I decided to spend some time thinking on each verse in it. How true is the part that I am “poor and needy” but not the most amazing part of this verse? Nope, the most amazing part of this verse is the fact that we, as believers, can call upon God and He will listen. We can know that God’s ear is always available to us. It’s true that God’s plan will never take us to places that His grace can’t keep us. Yet, what we sometimes forget is that it isn’t our strength that keeps us there. It isn’t our strength that causes us to fly on wings of eagles. No it is His strength that sustains us; that allows us to walk. We can only walk by faith if we are walking in His strength daily not just in time of trials but every day. “You answered me when I called to you; with your strength you strengthen me” (Psalm 138:3). In both of these verses the Psalmist is calling out to God. Have we called out to Him lately because without doubt He will answer?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas is to me...

November 30, 2010

Hebrews 1:1-3

V3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature…

I love Christmas; I mean I really love Christmas, and not just the worldly aspect of in; not in a commercialistic sense. I love Christmas because of what it says about Jesus. In this verse we learn that He, Jesus, is the “radiance of the glory of God” and the “exact imprint of His (God’s) nature” and yet, this glorious being came to earth as a baby. He humbled Himself and made His earthly appearance to a young girl who was not of royal birth, who was not well known, and His first bed would be a trough used to feed animals. This is what He did for me. This was how my Savior came to earth; how could I not love Christmas and all that it represents? Yes, it’s easy to get caught up in the worldly aspects of Christmas, but at it’s heart Christmas is the first chapter in the gospel!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Trusting...and letting go

November 29, 2010

Proverbs 3:5-6 “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.”

I must remember this…

Friday, November 19, 2010

Being Thankful is Being Content

November 19, 2010

Psalms 100:4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him, bless his name!

Being thankful isn’t a selfish experience. What I mean is we must take our focus off of ourselves and what’s happening to us and just be thankful. It’s taking time away from our “busy”-ness and coming to God with a heart that is satisfied. One of my favorite verses is Genesis 31:34 “…and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness declares the Lord.” To be satisfied is defined as “content.” We are to be content in what has been given to us and in that contentment there is thanksgiving. We will never be able to be thankful if we are never content in what we have.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Even When it Hurts...

November 18, 2010

Psalms 50:14 Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving…

In many of the verses dealing with thanksgiving, an attitude of sacrifice is always called for. Granted in the Old Testament this most likely meant an actual sacrifice of the best of someone’s animals, but how could this apply to us today. Make no mistake it does apply because I believe firmly that God is the “same yesterday, today and tomorrow”; so this verse can apply to us. I think that sometimes it is a sacrifice to give thanksgiving in certain situations. Many would say that thanks are only required when the circumstance or situation is good, but God’s Word says in all situations give thanks. This I believe is our sacrifice: even when it hurts we should give thanks because every situation we go through is an opportunity to become more Christ-like, an opportunity to cut away at our flesh and allow God’s glory to shine in our lives… Even when it hurts.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

For the Lord has Done Wondrous Things For Me...

November 17, 2010

Psalms 26:7 proclaiming thanksgiving aloud, and telling all you wondrous deeds

The one thing that stands out to me in all these verses on thanksgiving; is that we are called to be loud, we are called to tell everyone, to cry out to the world what God has done for us. We are told to tell what He has brought us through; what His strength has allowed us to accomplish. The many bountiful gifts that He has given to us; we are to tell others of this. His glory should be proclaimed on our lives because of what He has done for us. Is this happening in my life? Do I shout for all to hear the goodness of God in our lives? God has blessed me beyond measure: He gave to me salvation, He has given me a husband that loves Him and will make great sacrifices for our family, He has given me three beautiful children that I’m striving to raise in the “fear and admonition of the Lord”, He has blessed our company beyond measure. I thank God for and give Him glory for the life He has given me!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Heart of Thanksgiving...

November 16, 2010

Psalm 9:1 I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds

Again, like yesterday, there is no mention here of circumstances. Just a proclamation that we are to tell others what God has done for us. Give to Him thanksgiving; in all things. How many times have we sat in our houses and looked around at the bounty God has provided? True, there may be bigger houses on the block or newer cars, yet, aren’t His provisions plentiful. In order to give thanks to God, we must first realize that all things come from Him, and despite our circumstances He is worthy of our thanks and praises.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Our Circumstances and Our Thankfulness...

November 15, 2010

Colossians 3:15 and let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.

In honor of the Thanksgiving holiday, I’m going to do a little word study on what God’s word says about being thankful. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be vastly different than what the world tells us about being thankful. When I read the verse above, what caught my attention was what wasn’t in it. There is no mention of your circumstances. We are called to let, or allow, Christ’s peace to control us. If we are believers we have the peace of Christ, but it’s up to us what we choose to allow our minds to dwell on. Our peace or our thankfulness aren’t dependent on our circumstances; it is even possible to be in a bad circumstance and still experience peace and thanksgiving. This is because our peace and thanksgiving are dependent on who Christ is. However, I totally get how this is so much easier to say than to do. Yet, it is all in what we allow our minds to dwell on…”To set the mind on the flesh is death…to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace (Romans 8:6)”

Friday, November 12, 2010

He Knows Us...

November 12, 2010

John 10:1-3

V 3…the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out…

What I love about that verse is “he calls his own sheep by name.” He knows us. How wonderful is that. If you are God’s, then you are known by Him. I find great comfort in that. No matter what might be going on in our lives, good or bad, we can rest in the fact that we are known by Him. Our circumstances are not unknown to Him either. God’s word says that, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purposes (Romans 8:28).” We can rest knowing that no matter what is going on in our lives, God holds us because we are His, and He is faithful.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Being Afraid...

November 11, 2010

John 9:4-41

V 22 His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone should confess Jesus to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue V 23 Therefore his parents said, “He is of age, ask him”

This is within the passage where Jesus healed the man born blind. Jesus healed this man who had no other means to support himself but to live the life of a beggar. He was the lowest member of society, yet Jesus healed him; gave him an opportunity to “see” for the first time. Naturally, the Pharisees hated that Jesus had the power to heal the blind. They hated that people would look at this man and know that Jesus had power that could only come from God. So, they tried to find ways to discredit this miracle. They sought to attack this man’s parents, and they were to some degree successful. These parents feared the Jews and didn’t stand up for their son. What does fear keep us from doing?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The "Real" Power of Positive Thinking...

November 10, 2010

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things

I’ve been thinking about this verse a lot lately. God’s word promises us as believers “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you…(John 14:27). It is clear throughout scripture that God is the giver of Peace. Yet, we, as believers, cannot just expect peace just because we want it, and we certainly don’t deserve it. I think that in order to enjoy that “peace that passes all understanding” we must obey. Isaiah 26:3 makes this clearer “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you because he trusts in You.” In order to enjoy God’s peace we must only allow our thoughts to dwell on what we know to be true. For me it is this…”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 hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Are we useful?

November 8, 2010

John 9:1-3

V2-3 and his disciples asked him “Rabbi, who sinned this man or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him”

How many times did that blind man wonder why he had been born blind? I’m sure that his life was filled with much difficulty; I’m sure that many pondered why he had been given this affliction. However, I’m guessing that the thought that he might be able to give God glory never crossed his mind. Likewise, when we are dealing with something difficult in our lives, I’m sure that our first thought is “Woe is me”; rather that how can I glorify God through this. God had a very specific purpose for this blind man, and He has one for the affliction that faces us. In order for us to trust God, we must be hanging on to Him; we must be consumed by Him. Otherwise our problems will overshadow any usefulness we may have to God.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Our paths...

November 7, 2010

John 8:49-59

V 59 but Jesus hid himself

At the moment when this angry mob wanted nothing but for Jesus to die and was willing to stone Him; he left. It wasn’t in God’s plan that Jesus die from stoning at the hands of an angry crowd; so, it didn’t happen. God’s word says “I know O Lord, that the way of man in not in himself that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps. (Jeremiah 10:23).” When the way of our life gets very difficult, and we wonder how much more can we take the answer is this; as much as it is in God’s plan. Which we can be assured will not be more than we can handle. There is comfort in that.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Confronting Sin...

November 3, 2010

John 8:36-48

V 48 the Jews answered him, “Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?”

As I have been reading this exchange between Jesus and the Jews I’m amazed at the audacity of these people. They are being confronted by their sin and they don’t like it. In fact they hate it and are attacking Jesus. Are we guilty of that? We might not attack Jesus but perhaps we try to down play our sin. Perhaps we fail to recognize it’s destruction or maybe we even choose to ignore it all together. These Jews were refusing to believe that they were in fact wrong and were trying to push the blame onto Jesus. Do I do this too? Am I willing to question or look for any excuse instead to confronting the sin in my life?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Their Eyes are Watching...

November 2, 2010

John 8:31-35

V 34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a save to sin.

Perhaps I’m the only one who deals with this but I’m constantly confronted by sin. My sin, unfortunately, and sometimes I see my sin coming out in my children. This breaks my heart. It hurts to see the issues I battle daily coming out in them. I mean where they learned the behavior is obvious; from me. How easy it is to be consumed with self and forget that others are watching you! I can only hope that they will also learn from me that we must try on a daily basis to die to sin and turn to God.

We are not alone...

October 29, 2010

7:40-53, 8:1-30

V 29 And he who sent me is with me, He has not left me alone…

We will never be called to perform any task that could in anyway be compared to the one Jesus had before Him. His task was huge, was filled with pain, and would eventually end in his physical death. Yet, for this task ahead of Him He knew that His Father would be with Him. We, as believers, can depend on God being with us. Some of the things that we are called to go through will be huge, and filled with pain, yet we are not alone. God will not call us to a task and leave us adrift. Instead, He guides us. His hand holds us. I think that it’s easy to get caught up in our circumstances and forget that God goes before us. His strength can get us through. However, it is in those difficult moments that we must choose to believe all that God has told us; we must choose to believe that He is sufficient to meet our needs.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Are we thirsty?

October 28, 2010

John 7:32-39

V 37…”If anyone thirsts, let him come to him and drink”

As I’ve been on a journey to be more physically healthy I’ve learned some things. One of those things is that generally speaking we are more dehydrated in the mornings. Our bodies are thirsty. In the summer, I run in the mornings but I’m a total chicken once the weather gets cooler, so I run in the afternoons. What I’ve learned is that after the morning run I’m parched. I really need a drink, my body is craving water. The same is true about our spiritual lives. As we are “running the race” we get thirsty. We get tired, and without a steady diet of the “living” water we will be unable to complete what is set before us. Just like our physical bodies crave and thirst for water first thing in the morning; so do our “spiritual” bodies. Becoming dehydrated in a spiritual sense is just as dangerous as dehydration of our physical bodies! Yet, we have an endless supply of living water set before us.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Is Seeing Really Believing?

October 27, 2010

John 7:25-27

V 27 Yet many of the people believed in him. They said, “When the Christ appears, will he do more signs than this man has done?”

I mean really, what more did these folks need? Right, they had seen him heal the blind, lame, and dead. They had seen him feed the 5,000. What more did they need, right? Yet, we are no different. We require Jesus to do all sorts of things for us also. When our prayers are not answered like we want them to; then God no longer answers prayers. When bad things happen to “good” people; we wonder where is God. The fact is God doesn’t have to perform to our standards because He is God and I am not. Jesus is worthy of being worshiped just from being Jesus not for what He may have done for us or for any miracles He has performed.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Learning to decrease

October 20, 2010

John 3:30 He must increase but I must decrease

For a while now I’ve been on a journey to have Him increase in my life. That has been a productive endeavor, and of course, all thanks are to God. Yet, as I’ve also discovered lately this is only half the battle. The rest, and quite possibly the hardest part, is decreasing your “self”. This is the battle. The only way to really allow God’s word to affect your life is if you allow it to change your life. There are many things we can “know” about God and His word, and it is great to learn them, we are commanded to learn them. However, it is only when we put that knowledge to work in our lives that we will see the differences. “He must increase BUT I MUST DECREASE”

Monday, October 18, 2010

"...But judge with right judgement"

October 18, 2010

John 7:14-24

V 24 Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment

Wow, how often do we judge others by what we think they should be doing? How often do we look at what people are doing, or better yet, not doing and judge them by our standards? How often do we hold others to a stricter standard than what we are willing to hold ourselves to? I’d say the answer to that is often. I’d say that we are more willing to look into someone else’s behavior or actions before our own. Interestingly enough, this same thing was happening to Jesus during this passage. The Jews were judging Jesus because He healed a man on the Sabbath, yet, they were guilty of circumcising someone on the Sabbath. The Jews were also judging Jesus because His knowledge was vast and they couldn’t figure out how He had come by it.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Fear of Man...

October 13, 2010

John 6:38-71, 7:1-13

V 13 yet for fear of the Jews no one spoke openly of him

Can you imagine living during the earthly time of Jesus? Can you imagine being at the wedding were He turned the water to wine? Can you imagine seeing Him heal the sick or cast out demons? I can imagine that even if you never saw it personally, you knew someone who did or had heard of it. So, after all that had been going on, people were too afraid of the Jews to talk of the miracles Jesus performed or of the great wisdom with which He spoke. I began to wonder as I read verse 13…are we any different. Yes, we have never seen with our own eyes the miracles Jesus did while on Earth, yet, we know that they are preformed every day. We pray for them when our loved ones are sick or hurting. We haven’t heard with our own ears the actual voice of Jesus teaching. Yet, we can pick up the Bible and read them whenever we want. And like these early believers we often times fear the world too much to tell others of Him.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Forever Held...

October 12, 2010

John 6:36-37

V 37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out

How comforting to know that if we are His, He will never cast us out. Despite the fact that we will still sin, that we will at times choose the world over Him, that we will choose not to start our day by reading His word, or all the other failures that we will make along the journey of our lives. He will never cast us out. Of course, this isn’t due to any goodness on our part or the fact that He just can’t live without us. No, this is due to the fact that He is who He is. How wonderful that it isn’t dependent on anything I can do.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Bread of Life...

October 11, 2010

John 6:28-35

V 35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life, whoever comes to me shall not hunger and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.”

To be free from hunger; is to be full complete. To not need anything; to have all that will sustain your life. Jesus is that. He is what makes us complete; He alone gives us all that we need to sustain our lives. We can and do find it in Him. If we are hurting; He is our comforter. If we are overwhelmed by the trial of our lives; He is our peace. “I am the bread of life…” that’s one of my most favorite things Jesus said. To have no food will eventually lead to your death; no doubt about it. The same can be said for our spiritual food; if we never have any we will experience spiritual death. The believer must have a steady diet of God’s word.

Friday, October 8, 2010

What are we laboring for?

October 8, 2010

John 6:22-27

V 27 do not labor for food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life

To labor is defined as physical or mental exertion. We are told to not labor for the things of this world but to labor, instead, for things eternal. What I find interesting is that we are told to labor for food that will benefit us eternally. Meaning, it won’t come easy; we won’t just have a relationship with God simply because we won’t one. No, we have to pursue it; we have to sacrifice for it.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Be not Afraid...

October 6, 2010

John 6:20 It is I do not be afraid

Jesus sought to calm the fears of the disciples; He didn’t want them worried. Worry is an easy sin for believers to get into. I’m not saying that the disciples didn’t have cause to be frightened because, hey, it’s not every day you see someone walking on water! Yet, Jesus wanted to assure them that their fear was unnecessary. God’s word says “Be strong; fear not! Behold your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God He will come and save you. Isaiah 35:4” Of course, this isn’t easy and in some cases it’s certainly a battle. However, God’s word is clear that He will provide us with a path to not worrying but we must choose it.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Where do you turn?

October 5, 2010

John 6:5 Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bead, so that these people may eat?”

We know the whole story. We know that this is the one who will rise from the dead; this is God as man asking this question. However, the disciples weren’t exactly privy to the end of the story yet. So, when they were confronted with 5,000 people to feed, they didn’t immediately think of Jesus. I suppose that feeding people seems mundane to all the medical miracles that He had performed in front of them. But not one turned to Him and asked Him to provide food. Yet, that’s just what He did. It’s easy for us to read this account and totally blast the disciples for their faithless unbelief that Jesus was their answer. Yet, are we any different. How many times for us is prayer our last and final choice? How many times have we said “all I can do is pray”? How many times do we turn to other things instead of scripture to answer our questions or solve our problems? I’d say that if we were honest the answers to those questions would be all the time. Yet, do we, like the disciples know and believe that God can do all things?

Monday, October 4, 2010

A Life that Glorifies...

October 4, 2010

John 5:31-46

V 44 How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?

I recently had a discussion with someone about giving God glory. I think that sometimes the selfish humans that we are think that giving God glory is somehow about us. We sometimes think that singing loud or raising our hands and shouting in a worship service is giving God glory. Now, I’m not denying that God isn’t glorified in worship that is centered on him. However, sometimes God is glorified in our suffering. Or rather how we handle ourselves in our suffering is glorifying to God. Of course, God wants us to praise Him, but to live a life that truly glorifies Him, we must move out of the worship service and into our real everyday lives. We must make decisions that the world around us may think strange. We must realize that it takes more than emotion to glorify God; it takes lives centered on Him, it takes a growing relationship with Him.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

With Your Strength you Strengthened Me...

October 2, 2010

1 Corinthians 10:39 So whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God

Psalm 138:3 You answered me when I called to you; with your strength you strengthened me.

In January, I started praying that God would help me to rid myself of this overwhelming love for vast quantities of food. I mean I really like food, and lots of it. So, I knew that this was wrong, and sought God’s help to get rid of it. He did. I also around May started praying that God would help me in my physical fitness. He did. Every morning He would convict me to get out of my bed (even in the summer) to go run. Well today I’m doing my first 5k this is something totally foreign to me but God brought me here. Thank you!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Hanging on...

September 30, 2010

John 5:30

V 30 I can do nothing on my own

No truer words have ever been said!..For me at least. I am finding that this is even more true lately in my life. I am almost drowning and my only means of staying afloat is hanging on to Him who strengthens me.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Children do What They See...

September 28, 2010

John 5:19-29

V 19 Truly, truly I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing…

I know I’m going way out on the comparative limb here. I know that in this passage Christ is affirming that He is sent by God and is doing the work of God and has authority given to Him by God. However, I was caught by the thought that Jesus “sees the Father doing.” As I thought of that I wondered if my children would be so rightly influenced by what I am doing. If they were to live their lives by what they saw me doing would that be good for them, spiritually. I must sadly admit that the answer to that is sometimes. Sometimes, they would but sometimes they would not. However, as I continually point them to Christ He will always show them how to live and walk godly. And that’s really the point…to show them Christ.

Friday, September 24, 2010


September 24, 2010

John 5:1-17

V 5 One man was there who had been an invalid for 38 years

I am amazed at the contrast between Jesus and the Jews. Of course, there really isn’t any comparison between the two but in this story the fact that Jesus is compassionate and the Jews are not is glaringly obvious. This man had lived his life for 38 years with some sort of disability; in this day in time to live to be 38 was in and of itself unusual but to do so with an infirmity is even more so. According to the passage, he would go to this pool and would try to be the first one in. It was believed that the first one in when the waters were stirred would be healed. Yet, this man was never first. I can’t help thinking that no one knew of this man’s plight. No one knew that he needed help. Yet, no one came to him; no one offered him an ounce of compassion. Until he meets Jesus, and is healed. The Jewish hierarchy of the day has nothing to say except to condemn Jesus for healing on a Sabbath, and reprimand this man for carrying his bed roll. What? Yet, are we different. How many times have we ignored someone who needed help? How many times have we begrudged someone something because we thought they didn’t need it or worse wished we had it? Unfortunately, I’m afraid that on occasion we have a lot in common with the Jews.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


September 23, 2010

John 4:46-54

V 50…the man believed the work that Jesus spoke to him

A distraught man, possibly a soldier in the Roman army, is chasing after Jesus in order that Jesus could heal his son. I think that’s it’s interesting that this man knew where to go in times of trouble. Same is true with us; when we have trouble we know where to go, to Jesus. However, unlike this man; we don’t always believe. This man immediately knew that Jesus had healed his son. He asked and knew that Jesus would answer. I think that sometimes when we pray we only half-way do it, never really expecting that God could answer. Now we would never say that because we KNOW that God answers prayers but our actions speak louder. When instead, of letting God work in the situation we try to fix it ourselves. This man turned around and left believing; he knew there was nothing else he could do, Jesus had done it all.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Bravery in Unusual Places...

September 21, 2010

John 4:15-45

V 39 Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony…

The fact that this woman came to the well in the middle of the day in the sweltering heat meant that she wanted to avoid people; probably due to the fact of her sordid history. In this day in age, the fact that she was living with someone to whom she wasn’t married wouldn’t be unusual. However, in her day it was pretty much unheard of. Yet, still Jesus started a conversation with her and actually chose to make her the first person to whom he admitted to being the Christ. This woman whose life and reputation was less than stellar; yet, she was more than just a woman with a bad reputation. Instead, of hiding what she had learned she went and told everyone. She had to face people that she had tried to avoid, but she went to them and told of all she had learned. Through her willingness to tell others were saved. Are we willing to tell what God had done for us, what we know of Jesus like this brave woman or are we scared?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Living Water...

September 20, 2010

John 4:1-14

V 6…so Jesus, wearied as he was from His journey, was sitting beside the well

V 9 “How is it that you a Jew ask for a drink from me?”

Two things stand out to me in this passage: one, Jesus was tired and two He was willing to go to anyone with the gospel. It’s easy to forget Jesus’ humanity; I mean, hello, He’s God, but never forget human too. It is in His humanity that we can look to for help when our trials are too hard and long. It is in His humanity that we can see that we can overcome sin in our lives, and of course, it is in His humanity that He takes our sin to the cross for our salvation. He desires that all come to Him; not just the pretty or just the rich, or just the popular but everyone. In fact, Jesus often went out of His way to go to those that society considered unworthy. Perhaps, this was for us also. Perhaps, we are to see that maybe we aren’t unworthy of knowing Christ; maybe our sin isn’t too great for Christ’s salvation. Maybe we need to learn not to turn our noses at others that we consider unworthy. Before God we are all the same, sinners who have had the “living

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Gift Beyond Measure...

September 15, 2010

John 3:22-36

V 34 For he whom God has sent utters words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure

These verses deal with John’s followers who were upset that Jesus might be growing more popular than him. This, of course, didn’t concern John because he always knew that “one was coming after him that was greater”. However, his followers didn’t agree. This disagreement leads John to get into this lengthy discussion on how qualified Jesus was. Verse 34 deals with Jesus and the fact that God gave Him the Holy Spirit. What I found interesting is that He got the Holy Spirit “without measure”. Meaning he got all of it. The same can be said of us; at salvation, we are given the Holy Spirit. To lead us and guide us; how often do we take advantage of this gift?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Being a Light...

September 14, 2010

John 3:16-21

V 19…the light has come into the world…

Absolutely, no doubt about it, this verse is referring to Jesus and through His birth He brings salvation to us. Those of us who have been saved are called to be the “light”. Through our lives and actions others will see Jesus. This is a daunting task to me because I know that many times my actions and life doesn’t always show Jesus. I wish it weren’t true but alas it is. Matthew 5:14-16 says “You are the light of the world…let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven”. Some days I’m a good old-fashioned 100 watt bulb, but sometimes I’m a new swirly 30 watt bulb. Same Holy Spirit residing in me both days so there’s no excuse for this; it’s all a matter of sin. So, maybe, we should ask ourselves each day “how is our lights shining today?”

Monday, September 13, 2010

Being Faithfull...

September 13, 2010

2 Timothy2:13 If we are faithless He remains faithful…

“If we are faithless” meaning we could go either way; we could choose to remain in God’s will for our lives, whatever that may be, or we could choose to allow bitterness to grow within us as we dwell on our situations. This is our choice. That choice may come in one blinding moment or in simple seconds that pile up on each other until we end up in a place we no longer recognize; until we become someone we no longer know. We choose daily whether we will honor and obey what God has brought to us or whether we will rebel and refuse to accept His will. Our joy is ours to give away or to keep. The truly blessed thing is that either way we go God is faithful. He never turns from us, ever. Psalms 94:14 says “For the Lord will not forsake His people; He will not abandon His heritage.”

Thursday, September 9, 2010

As the Wind Blows...

September 9, 2010

John 3:1-15

V 8 The wind blows where it wishes…

Today this fits my mood. I know in my heart that God’s plans for me are for my good, and that they are made to grow me to be more Christ-like and through them I will prosper. However, it’s sometimes hard to see that while we are in the growing phase. “Wind” is actually a reference to the Spirit. He goes to whom He wishes; He both gives and takes away. We will experience plenty and we will experience thirst, and through it all He holds us carefully in His hand. Sometimes, it’s hard to remember that.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Heart of Man...

September 4, 2010

John 2:23:25

V 25…for he himself knew what was in man

No matter how I might smile and pretend that all is ok—Jesus knows what is truly in my heart. He knows my innermost thoughts; what I hide from others. This hurts me; this thought that I can’t hide my worst from the one who has done so much for me. How I would like to appear better than I am to the one who died so that I might live, but I cannot.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Cleansing the Temple...

September 3, 2010

John 2:13-22

V 15 And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple…

I love this story of Jesus. I think that this tells a different side of Jesus that the world would sometimes like to forget. The world will portray Jesus as a weak man, I’m speaking in terms of physical strength, they deny that He is God and inherently strong. No doubt that He kept His strength in check and of course was never cruel, but He was a strong man who took the reverence of God’s temple seriously. This verse tells us that He “made a whip”; He was very angry at how the Jewish people were making money in the place they should have been worshipping God. He was righteously angry that His Father’s house would be desecrated in this manner, and of course, He never sinned in His anger, He wasn’t mean but He did manage to get His point across quickly. That amazes me; since, I can’t seem to get through a day without sinning in my anger!! How about you?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Jesus provides...

September 2, 2010

John 1:35-51-2:1-12

V …But you have kept the good wine until now

In this vast passage of John I read today, there is Jesus’ first earthly miracle, changing the water to wine at Cana. Apparently at the reception of a wedding that both Jesus and his mother, Mary, attended they ran out of wine. When the servants told this to Mary, she sent them to the only one who could do anything about it, Jesus. He tells the servants to fill jars to the top with water, and that water became wine. Naturally when Jesus turns water to wine, it isn’t bad wine or even mediocre wine, but “good wine.” The custom of the day was to serve good wine first and then later in the evening put out the not so good wine. However, Jesus gave them “good” wine. This is so true with everything he gives to us. We can rest assured that no matter what flows from his hand to ours, it is good.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Fullfillment of Faith...

September 1, 2010

John 1:19-34

V 32…I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove and it remained on him

I like this picture of the Holy Spirit like a dove. John had merely been doing what he had been called to do. To prepare the way for one that was greater than him, and he was. This would have been a great moment; for him to see God fulfilling His promise. Sometimes God gives us these kinds of moments, those times when we know that what we have believed in is true. Sometimes we actually get to see the fulfillment of our promises. And sometimes we just have to believe even if we never see; that is faith.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

"...and we have seen his glory"

August 31, 2010

John 1:6-18

V 14 …and we have seen his glory

Recently in our Sisters class we discussed Martha and Mary. Now this verse has absolutely nothing to do with Martha or Mary I realize that. However, during my studying I discovered how close these two sisters were to Jesus. The Bible says that “Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus (John 11:5)”. They knew his glory. They looked at him and knew he was more than a man. They knew that when he spoke his words were more than mere talk but he was speaking from his Father. I often wonder what that might have been like to “have seen his glory.”

Monday, August 30, 2010

A Bright Light in a Dark World...

August 30, 2010

John 1:1-5

V 5 The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.

This is my Savior. He willingly came to earth to a people who would hate and revile Him; in order to offer to those that are His, eternal life. In a world full of darkness, He was the only light, is the only light. What more can I add?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Big Things come in Little Packages...

August 27, 2010

1 Thessalonians 5:20-28

V 28 He who calls you is faithful; He will surely do it

There are two little words in this verse that I love. There not the main focus of the verse yet, nevertheless they are very important. Is and Will, can you imagine this verse without those words. Would this verse give to you the same since of confidence, rest and peace if they were missing; I think not. God is faithful; He doesn’t leave us or forsake us. He will complete His will for us in our lives. He doesn’t just bring us to paths and decisions for no reason. There is a plan, His plan and He is always faithful to complete it.

Well, that's it for 1 Thessalonians, I think I'm off to John tomorrow!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Can't have Your Cake and Eat it too....

August 26, 2010

1 Thessalonians 5:18-19

V 19 Do not quench the spirit

To quench is to subdue or destroy. Doesn’t sound too great when your applying it to the Spirits control of your life does it? However, this is the result of habitual unrepentant sin in our lives. Luke 16:13 puts it like this “No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other…”. In a more secular way, “you can’t have your cake and eat it too!” If we desire the Holy Spirits control over our lives then we must be willing to give up the pet sins that plague us. We must be willing to daily evaluate our lives to see if we are in anyway “grieving the Spirit” as a result of our sins. We must be willing to “die” to our flesh daily. Doesn’t sound fun does it? But it is rewarding!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Prayer...A Never Ending Process

August 25, 2010

1 Thessalonians 5:16-17

V 17 pray without ceasing

I was just praying for a specific need in my life this morning. It’s a need that’s dear to me and at the moment sort of consumes me. I was unsure how I should proceed; then I read this verse. “Pray without ceasing” this is how I am to accomplish this task set before me. This is how God answered my prayer. That if I am to be successful at what I have been called to do…I must pray at all time. Ceasing is defined as “to put a stop to or end to”. There is to never be an end to my praying because when I cease to pray I start trying to handle things on my own and that never works out!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Never Having to Wish...

August 24, 2010

“Reckless faith isn’t fake. It doesn’t pretend. It feels deeply and lives fully. It ask questions, cries out, and tests boundaries. It has dynamic conversations with God. It molds its understanding as it encounters new situations. God has a plan is not a cliché. God has a plan is a mantra for a way of life that says you don’t have to have all the answers to proceed. You can throw yourself toward the Red Sea and believe if it parts, praise God you knew it would!” –Beth Guckenberger

I read this in an email this morning sent to me from a family who is on their way to South Korea, simply because God called them to. I was impressed by this quote; then my second thought was “oh, to have that kind of faith”. I was immediately upset with myself because there is no reason why I can’t have that kind of faith. To say that I “wish” is just giving me the excuse not to pursue it. For the truth of the matter is this, it is much easier to “wish” than to pursue because in the wishing there never has to be any change. I can still travel along in my little box and never step out of my comfort zone; never attempt anything that the world would find unusual or strange; there is no fear in the never trying. “He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” Mark 4:40.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Have you Rejoiced lately?

August 23, 2010

1 Thessalonians 5:16

V 16 Rejoice always

For a verse of only two words this is a very difficult one to obey and accomplish. For all this verse says there are some things it doesn’t say. For instance, it doesn’t say: if your happy, if you’re getting your way, if you’re having fun. Nope, no matter how hard we look, we won’t find any qualifiers in this verse. God is saying here, that we are to always rejoice no matter the circumstance. Whether we are happy, sad, mad, or just average we are called to rejoice. Rejoice is defined as to be glad, to take delight in, to make joyful, and gladden. Perhaps we must examine our lives to see if we are rejoicing at all times.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Finding the Pause Button...

August 20, 2010

1 Thessalonians 4:9-5:15

V 5:15 See that no one repays anyone evil for evil…

What a battle of the flesh this is? Right. How easy it is to hit first, whether with words or actual physical blows, then ask questions later. Our lives would be so much eaiser if we only had a pause button. We could hit this button; then calm down for a moment, then react biblically. However, this is not how we were designed. Instead, we have the Holy Spirit who is constantly counseling us on how to conduct ourselves in the faith, and through this we can learn how to pause ourselves. We can learn how to stop, then react; no matter what the circumstance. That feeling we all get when we know that we have reacted unbiblicaliy is a terrible one; we are guilty because one we have disobeyed God and for another we have lost an opportunity to be a witness to a lost world. Never doubt that how we react to situations shows others to depth of God’s love for us.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Knowing God More and More...

August 19, 2010

1 Thessalonians 3:13-4:8

V 4:1 …that you do so more and more

I think that Paul is telling the Thessalonians and us that we can never know too much about God. We can never get to a spot where we can say I know enough; I don’t need to do anything else. It’s easy to get into a routine…our time with God can easily become automatic. We get up, we pray the “same” sort of prayer each day and then we read a passage, and we think were set. We think we have enough to deal with all that will be thrown at us that day. It’s been my experience that when my time with God becomes routine, I can no longer deal with my frustrations in a way that’s pleasing to God or me really. I find that I slip into the sins that often plague me. In order to just deal with life, I must seek to know God “…more and more.”

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

To Love or Not to Love...There is No Question....

August 18, 2010

1 Thessalonians 3:4-12

V 12 and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all…

We can’t deny that God wants us to love our fellow man, both the believer and the unbeliever, and how hard that is sometimes. Our heart is a selfish creature that is only and always looking out for itself. This, of course, is contrary to what scripture is calling us to do; God’s word says that the second greatest commandment is to “love one another.” No matter how hard you look you will not find the words “as long as they haven’t done anything to you…”, there just not there. Unfortunately, God didn’t put any stipulations on this commandment; He simply said to love. I assume that’s one of the reasons Paul says “may the Lord make you increase…” because he knew that this wasn’t something that anyone can do on their own.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Shark Attacks and Afflication...

August 17, 2010

1 Thessalonians 2:14-3:3

V 3 For you yourselves know that we are destined for this

I always find those shark attack reports interesting. How people are shocked to hear that there are sharks near the beach and that they will on occasion bite unsuspecting swimmers. I mean, really, the ocean is their natural habitat. Being out in the depths or close to the shore really doesn’t matter; sharks are predators that live in the ocean, and anyone who swims there runs the risk of being bitten just because this is how it’s meant to be. I think that the same could be said for affliction. God’s word tells us that the world will hate us; Jesus said that the world hated Him and it will hate us in the same manner. The believer who is trying to carry out God’s will for their lives, like the unsuspecting swimmer, should consider the possibility of being bitten.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Looking Beyond Personalities...

August 16, 2010

1 Thessalonians 2:10-3:13

I’m just sitting here reading this passage in a sort of awe at Paul and his feelings for the Thessalonians. I mean he genuinely loved these believers. His love comes through with every word. He wasn’t faking it; he wasn’t just saying it but he meant it. He wasn’t allowing whatever petty little problem that may have been there getting in the way of his genuine love for this church. The one thing that is without doubt is this: I’m sure someone at that church was annoying. There is always one and sometimes more than that that will try your patience. However, in this passage Paul never allows any of that to enter into his love for these fellow believers. It’s like Paul is above that, but Paul wasn’t like a super Christian or anything. He is the same before Jesus as me. However, he was giant leaps apart from me in terms of being able to love. It’s hard to remember that to love we must look beyond personalities and see the Holy Spirit in each other.

A Little Time Away...

If anyone noticed that I was missing for a few days here's the reason. Terry and I recently celebrated 13 amazing years together. To commemorate this important event we went on a short was fun had a blast!! Now it's back to our day to day life...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Being Different...

August 11, 2010

1 Thessalonians 2:9

V 9 …our labor and toil: we worked day and night, that we might not be a burden to any of you

Apparently the false teachers in Thessalonica were always after money. They didn’t work to make their own way but instead, tried to make money off their religion. In order to show that they were different, to show that their gospel was real, Paul didn’t do this. Instead, he worked and was also sent money from other places. He never asked them for money. This made him different; set him apart from the other “religious” people of his time. Do we, believers today, look different from others? If the lost world where to look at us would they see a mirror image of themselves or something totally different. Paul went out of his way to look different; he not only worked to spread the gospel but worked to support himself monetarily also. This must have been difficult; it would have been much easier to allow the Thessalonica’s to provide him with money. However, the easy isn’t always the path that is best.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Giving Yourself...

August 10, 2010

1 Thessalonians 2:5-8

V 8…we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us

As if sharing the gospel that would save them wasn’t enough Paul cared enough for them that he gave them himself; he put himself out for these believers. As a Mom I can understand his illustration used in verse 4 “like a nursing mother taking care of her own children.” I know what it is to love my children so much I’d be willing to fight anyone, to give them anything that is to their benefit if it’s in my power to do so, even so much as to lay down my live for them. However, what I can’t understand is how Paul was able to feel that way for someone who wasn’t his children; someone who he didn’t have such a deep emotional attachment to. However, in His word God commands us to “love your neighbor as our selves” and really who do we love more than our selves, right? In fact, He calls it the second greatest commandment. Unfortunately, God didn’t say only when they aren’t getting on our nerves, but all the time. We are to be like Paul and look at others as “very dear to us”, just wish that sometimes that wasn’t so hard.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Pleasing God...

August 9, 2010

1Thessalonians 2:3-4

V 4…so we speak not to please man, but to please God

How hard this is. For most of us, myself included, the approval of man is a hard thing to battle against. It’s difficult to decide to follow God’s will for your life when you know it will go against what “man” deems appropriate. This seeking approval from man starts very young and becomes something we do almost like second nature. Some, of course, aren’t concerned with what others think of them. These few will make their own paths and not be bothered with the opinions of others. Not all of us are like this. The second half of this verse reads like this “…please God who tests our hearts.” God knows if we are out to please man or Him. God knows if our hearts are turned to him or to pleasing man. There is never any benefit to doing what “man” tells us to do, and there can be only great benefits for doing what God tells us to do. Isn’t it a shame that sometimes that’s a difficult choice to make?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Seeking Boldness...

August 7, 2010

1 Thessalonians 2:1-2

V 2 …we had boldness in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in the midst of much conflict

Paul epitomizes preaching the gospel in conflict; to name a few, he suffered beatings, false accusations, and prison. His body was marked by the scares he carried as a result of this conflict and his unwillingness to give up. Yet, he persevered. Of course this was not a testament to his strength but rather, a testament to the sustaining power of the Holy Spirit. We can look in awe at Paul’s ability to share and spread the gospel at any cost, but the same power resides in every believer. Recently I came to the realization that if someone is going to ridicule me for making a decision based on God’s direction why should I feel bad about it. Why should I be the one forced to defend my actions? I need no one’s approval but isn’t it interesting that often my actions reflect my need for approval. God’s word says “for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control (2 Timothy 1:7).” Perhaps, I need to live like I have this “power” within me, and not cower at the least little opposition.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Turning to God Daily...

August 6, 2010

1 Thessalonians 1:8-10

V 9 …turned from God from idols

This verse is specifically speaking of repentance. These Thessalonicaian believers were saved. However as I read this I thought about my own life. An idol doesn’t have to be a golden calf but it can represent anything that takes a part of our lives that should belong to God. For many years issues with my weight have been my idol. It has taken me years and years to even be able to admit this because it’s just so much easier to deny the presence of idols in my life than to confront them. However to truly be who God is calling me to be I must confront them. This has been a long hard journey and to be honest it’s still not complete; I understand that this will probably never be completely out of my life. It is my desire to turn from my idol to God. Anyone else have an idol their struggling with?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Mark of a Believer...

August 5, 2010

1 Thessalonians 1:6-7

V 7 so that you became an example to all believers in Macedonia and Achaia but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say anything

According to John MacArthur, the word example was the Greek word used to describe the seal that marked wax or a stamp that minted coins. He used this because in both of these instances what was made was the exact representation of the original. These Thessalonican believers had lived lives that reflected Christ. Their lives were “stamped” with the impression of the Holy Spirit. He directed their actions, their choices, their words. I can only assume that the lives of these early believers weren’t easy; both physically and mentally draining, yet they were able to live lives that left no doubt that they loved Christ. Their circumstances did not dictate their devotion to Christ; does mine?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A Life of Character...

August 4, 2010

1 Thessalonians 1:4-5

V 5 …you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.

Paul led a life of character. In his life, you would find nothing to refute his claim to being a believer in Jesus Christ. John MacArthur says this “The quality of the message was confirmed by the character of the lives of the preachers.” We aren’t all preachers, of course, but we are all responsible for how our actions reflect Christ. If those around us know we go to church and claim to love Christ, yet our actions seem no different than those who do not, something is wrong. I often wonder what others see when they look at me; do they notice my level of devotion to God. Do they notice the differences in my life lately? I hope so.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Being Steadfast

August 3, 2010

1 Thessalonians 1:3

V 3 remembering before our God and Father you work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ

Steadfast is defined as: fixed in direction, firm in purpose, unwavering. In this verse Paul was referring to the ministry efforts of the believers in the Thessalonica church. They were only able to be faithful because they had faith, hope and love in Jesus Christ. The NKJV uses the word patience instead of steadfastness. I was comparing my attitude about ministry to those of these early church believers to see how I would measure up. Am I patient, or steadfast in my ministry efforts to others? I think that sometimes I could answer that with a Yes, but often the answer would be No. I think that I get tired, worn down and sometimes aggravated this would not reflect and attitude of “steadfast hope”; I often lose sight of the most important aspect of ministry, God is the one who actually changes people. I can only do what He has called me to do. God actually brings about the change and that might not happen in my timetable. Realizing this is always hard for me. I want change to happen NOW!!! Anyone else like that??

Monday, August 2, 2010

Meditate on it day and night....

August 2, 2010

Psalm 119:27 Make me understand the way of your precepts, and I will meditate on your wondrous works

I’m going through the book of 1 Thessalonians but decided to take a brief detour today.

Meditate is defined as to engage in thought or contemplation, to consider as something to be done. We are called to meditate on God’s word; as Christians this isn’t an option for when we have the time, but a daily habit we must develop. Meditation is the power that allows God’s word to produce results. We must “know” God’s word before it can effect us, change us. I don’t mean a vague general “know” like most who have at least some knowledge of God’s word would “know” John 3:16. The “know” that I’m referring to is the knowledge that goes so deep within you that you couldn’t get it out; God’s word is hammered into your mind. That can bring about within you a desire to do the will of God in your life despite what others might think or say. Joshua 1:8 says “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it…”

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Being in Constant Prayer...

July 31, 2010

1 Thessalonians 1:1-2

V 2 We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers…

As I’ve read many times in all of Paul’s letters, he mentions how he is constantly praying for each church and the people there, and all their specific needs and problems. I was imagining this morning what his prayer time must be like. I sometimes have a hard time with prayer; personally, I’d much rather just dive into God’s word, but truthfully; only with prayer can you feel the deep impact of God’s word. Since I am someone, who sometimes struggles with keeping my prater life up and going, I’m in awe at someone like Paul. Paul didn’t have such modern connivances as a laptop to keep up with things or hey, even a prayer journal like mine would not have been readily available to him. I can only assume that the love he felt for each person, each church, and each city was so deep it made a lasting impression on him and his prayer life. Paul shows us we don’t need anything to be close to God, to pray to him; well, nothing but a willing heart that is.

My Journey...A New Begining

On January 27, 2009 I made a decision that changed my life. This decision wasn't salvation, that one happened years ago, but this one was no less impactful on my life. My idea was to change my personal quiet times; I had discovered that this time I spent with God had become rote, only something I did because I had to. My intention was to radically change my personal devotions to God. I wanted to know "Him" more and have "His" imprint on my daily life. And...WoW...did it ever.

I always thought that only "special" people get to really know God. I never really pictured myself as someone who could "know" him. This is of course contrary to scripture. He tells us through His word that if you seek Him you will find Him..."And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you , O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you. (Psalms 9:10) I discovered day by day as I met with my God that I could know him.

The funny, maybe not funny, but certainly ironic thing, is that lately my personal life has gone through changes. Some of those changes have been down, some of them have been up, and some of them have been surprising.  However, in the midst of that, I have grown so much closer to God. I know Him much deeper that ever before. Much deeper than I thought possible for myself. He has changed me. I think that's it's impossible to meet with God and not be changed. He changes us.

So, way back in 2009, I set out on a journey. I have been on that journey with some very special people. People who have allowed me to crowd their "in boxes" with my daily ramblings, and more importantly gave me some personal accountability. I was just fine with the status quo, and never thought to change...until. I got a call from my sweet, sweet husband, who I'm madly in love with, Terry. He calls me and sort of out of the blue says to me..."I was reading your My Journey today and thought of should do a blog that's just about your devotions." I must admit I was flattered, I mean this guy who I love, would think that my ramblings would be blog worthy...and I was also intrigued. So, I decided to go for it. This is my first official post...and a new Journey begins.....