11.25.2012

Grace Makes Room

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”James 1:17

God in His gentle way teaches us Kingdom principles through the practical. Like Jesus Christ while He walked the earth taught the twelve disciples, and the throngs who followed through parables. He made it possible for those of us who hear to take His teachings and make them applicable in our everyday lives. He’s a multifaceted God with straightforward instructions. The Holy Spirit doesn’t write in secret code, or like a puzzle that is near impossible to figure out, or a hard to find treasure within its pages. No, He’s much more loving and compassionate than others speak, write, or teach of. Moreover, He’s approachable and accessible than other generations before us made Him to be.

In weeks prior, God was coaxing me through the Holy Spirit both directly and indirectly through others that I was to make room in my life and my family’s life for others. The crux of the matter was the loneliness of my only daughter who was experiencing sorrow in great measure with each week that passed. It was a challenge to say our goodnight hugs and kisses without us both crying.

For far too many reasons a second child was not considered. The most evident was the age of my husband and myself, though I know God has never been concerned with age. Abraham and Sarah were clearly a good example of this. Still, sometimes we humans are persistent on having things are own way. There are countless scenarios and reasons why we do or don't do certain things, but the gist of what I’m saying is that our current circumstances are not always God’s best for us.

You might ask the question could it be better, could things in my life be enhanced to a status of joy and blessings that I hadn’t even considered. The answer is, “Yes! Yes! Yes!” Not by way of things either. He is determined, if we are willing, to expand our territory so that we can share His overflow.

“I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10b

Through the extra effort made of including others in my family’s life for the sake of my daughter it seemed that God was pleased and taking notice. Though at first there was some resistance, I was being strengthened by the Holy Spirit to a healthy stance that easily won over antiquated thinking and routines that were now of little or no value. Simply said, what worked before doesn't apply. And I sense that God is saying this to His children on many levels and in different situations. I’m getting it, and I hope you are too!

On an ordinary Thursday morning on route to a client's home I spotted a Corgi prancing down a dirt road into a high speed common thoroughfare. I stopped my car without even a thought, got out, and invited the lost dog in my SUV. She was beautiful, but certainly panting and in need of rest. My spirit was unusually joyful with a slight mixture of hesitation. I can only describe it as follows, I’ve been trying to have a baby and that was fun, but now the doctor just confirmed I’m pregnant. Uh oh! Now what do I do!

Long story short, she was pampered and treated at my Vet’s office as well as my home until the evening when her people claimed her by way of Craigslist. I know her family was over joyed to be reunited with Gracie. Meanwhile, my daughter was experiencing a broken heart. It was a tender moment though fortunately didn’t last long. Somehow Gracie’s presence in our hearts and home, though for a day, gave way to the possibility and truth that having a dog was a right choice for our family regardless of the many reasons why we thought it shouldn’t or couldn’t be. I made up my mind to find a four-legged canine to call our very own. Though in years past we preferred felines, and the year prior had said goodbye to our lifetime friend of 14 ½ years, we were ready to move forward and in a new direction. Bright and early the next day my daughter and I met up with friends and then headed off to the humane society and came home with a lovable, playful, and loyal pooch that is a perfect fit for our small family. Gracie made room for Molly*!
 
God’s grace can make room in our life for joy and blessings unspeakable. Grace is God’s unmerited favor, and something we don’t deserve, but God in his goodness and sweet nature makes it available through Christ Jesus.

Have you ever made a decision to make room for grace? Are you perhaps in a season of giving grace room to grow while you step down and surrender? Let God’s grace -- mercy, love, and forgiveness through Jesus -- make a difference in your life today, and in your eternity.

“John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, "This was He of whom I said, 'He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.' “And of His fullness we have all received, and grace** for grace**. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.” John 1:15-18

*pictured
**Greek Transliteration: charis khar'-ece: acceptable, benefit, favour, gift, grace(-ious), joy, liberality, pleasure, thank(-s, -worthy).

11.16.2012

Hinds Feet on High Places

A dramatic interpretation based on the allegory Hinds Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard.

Book Description The story of Much-Afraid and her journey to the High Places with the Shepherd. Filled with exciting adventure and a triumphant conclusion.

Much-Afraid had been in the service of the Chief Shepherd, whose great flocks were pastured down in the Valley of Humiliation. She lived with her friends and fellow workers Mercy and Peace in a tranquil little white cottage in the village of Much-Trembling. She loved her work and desired intensely to please the Chief Shepherd, but happy as she was in most ways, she was conscious of several things which hindered her in her work and caused her much secret distress and shame. Here is the allegorical tale of Much-Afraid, an every-woman searching for guidance from God to lead her to a higher place.

About the Author Hannah Hurnard suffered from many fears and phobias. She even developed a stuttering problem that got worse when she had to speak in front of strangers. By the time she was 19, Hannah was deeply depressed. She even considered suicide, but her fears prevented her. God received the sacrifice of Hannah’s speech problem and used it for His glory. He took away her stuttering, so that she was able to share the gospel with others clearly. The Bible became a treasure and a delight even though she continued to wrestle with a spirit of fear. Over time, however, Hannah found deliverance as she continued to follow the Lord in obedience. Later, she was to write the best selling Hinds' Feet on High Places as a result of her experiences with the Lord. She went to Israel as a missionary to the Jews in 1932, and lived there through the war for independence in 1948. In Israel, she served as a housekeeper in a hospital—a kind of work she had detested before her surrender, but now loved.

11.14.2012

My Steps Are Ordered

Psalm 37:23 "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, And He delights in his way."

I'm overwhelmed with the goodness of God and where He's taking me. My steps are ordered by the Lord! There is no height of joy or depth of pain that can separate me from His love and His divine destiny concerning my life. I have come a long way, my journey not an easy one, but oh it will be worth the victory when I see Him face to face!

While praising God in my car singing I Smile on this beautiful sunny day I was filled with the truth that Jesus Christ is the center of my life, He is on the throne of my heart and mind. He reigns in me!

But to encourage those today who are weak and weary and still searching, know that those who are called according to His purpose are to be confident that we are More Than Conquerors.

Amen!

My Steps are Ordered - Fred Hammond (4.26 on don't miss the end!)

God is asking the true followers of God to step out and be counted. He wants to finish the work in you so that you may go and be effective for Kingdom work.

Numbers 23:19 “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?

Prayer: God the Creator, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, be it unto to me what you have purposed. I set aside my plans. I empty myself. I wait for the answer(s). I wait upon the Lord that He may direct my steps. I thank you that in the waiting I am growing and your plans for me hopeful. I will not be discouraged. I disconnect from all disappointment and doubt. I cling to the cross and confident that Jesus is my hope, which does not disappoint. In Jesus' Name I pray!

Wherever and whatever season you're in you have reason to praise Him. Be intentional and seek out and recognize your blessings in the ordinary day. You'll find that thankfulness gives way to a better perspective and the bonus is it's contagious. Begin to disconnect from disappointment and doubt and cling to the cross today and everyday. Because of Christ's redemptive work (He calls us. He saves us. He empowers us.) we look to eternity, and in Him we have hope that does not disappoint.

Alleluia!

9.11.2012

Praise God!

When I think about the goodness of God, my heart can hardly contain the joy, blessings, and favor I have experienced thus far since I first asked Him into my heart and took His hand.
 
For JESUS has done so much for me that I cannot tell it all!

Worship with me...




8.12.2012

Laugh About It!

"...but we also glory* in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us." Romans 5:3-5

*glory - boast or rejoice

Let the enemy’s antics be reason to run to our God who is faithful and cares for us. Let this storm or season of trouble be the fuel Believer’s use to press in the more for a deeper relationship and to reap a greater anointing. 

Like Paul, I rejoice in nonsense of life and the agenda of darkness. Go so far as to recieve the joy in the midst of circumstances.  Yes, I have laughed!  That's the biblical "joy of the Lord."  It casues me to run the more to my source of strength, Jesus Christ, from where cometh my help. 

Let’s praise Him for His goodness, mercy, compassion, and steady hand upon our lives regardless of our present tribulation. Reflect and give Him all the honor and glory for what He has done, what He is doing (even the unseen), and what He will do!

"He who sits in the heavens laughs." Psalm 2:4 ESV

Jesus Laughing prints here.

Study Scripture:
Psalm 9
Psalm 28

8.08.2012

Take My Life

I remember some years ago while near the end of a difficult and dark season, and God spoke to my heart, "I will fill the empty space."
 
My sweet Lord, how I love thee!

Emptiness looks and feels different for us all. Even those that have parallel life stories for no two journeys are exactly alike. That's why it's imperative to our spiritual survival and growth that we have personal fellowship with Our Heavenly Father. This is truth—and I can testify that the more we surrender and give up control the more HE fills us, and might I add until overflowing!

Be encouraged my sisters and brothers, no matter the storm or circumstance, your reality can shift. Yes, God is in the business of changing lives!

8.07.2012

Philippians 1:21

Charles Spurgeon Morning Devotional
"For me to live is Christ." Philippians 1:21

"...and when by grace he was brought to see the dying Saviour making a propitiation* for his guilt."

 *propitiation - turning away of wrath by an offering

My, my, my. I was stirred up thinking how true, when Paul said "to live is Christ but to die is gain." My focus is on the "joy set before me." No matter the obstacles or opposition I will continue this journey, which the Lord has deemed worthy that includes celebration and suffering. Amen! Let not my soul revel in only the seasons of celebration, for the seasons of sorrow and suffering are also needed, and attribute to my testimony of God's goodness. For how can I be thankful or grateful with such exuberance if the Lord had not taken me through and preserved me.

Praying that you would come to live in Christ and for Christ.

Jesus is seeking that which is lost, and He is wondering are you ready for the mission. Are you a true follower or just a fan of His? There is a succinct difference between the two. Which are you?

Study Scriptures:
Philippians 1:21
Hebrews 12:12
Philippians 3:10
Romans 8:17-18
1 Peter 4:12-13

8.03.2012

The Goodness of God: Do You Acknowledge It

For those who are not yet convinced of God's goodness I challenge you to take inventory on your blessings today, yesterday, and perhaps this week alone and review them. Then, take the time to rehearse the blessings that you have experienced thus far in your life. I bet there are numerous experiences or events where God supernaturally intervened and made a way out of no way. Yes, give Him the praise because He is your Way Maker.

For those who have yet to turn to God in full surrender -- making Him Lord and Savior -- it is written that it's the goodness of God that leads a man to repentance. So what are you waiting for? Give God -- the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob -- a reverent and perfected praise from a heart of thankfulness for His goodness that is leading you to a 180-degree turn—an about-face from the ways of your flesh to God's way.

Study the Scriptures:
Romans 2
Deuteronomy 11

"Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?" Romans 2:4 Or despisest - This word properly means to contemn, or to treat with neglect. It does not mean here that they professedly treated God's goodness with neglect or contempt; but that they perverted and abused it; they did not make a proper use of it; they did not regard it as suited to lead them to repentance; but they derived a practical impression, that because God had not come forth in judgment and cut them off, but had continued to follow them with blessings, that therefore he did not regard them as sinners, or they inferred that they were innocent and safe. This argument the Jews were accustomed to use (compare Luke 13:1-5; John 9:2); and thus sinners still continue to abuse the goodness and mercy of God. - Barnes' Notes on the Bible

7.31.2012

Denying Self

In my quiet time with the Lord I was inquiring in my heart about my “stuff.” It’s too much to mention here, and dare I say not important, as every man has the weight of his own life – failures, interruptions, struggles and the more – to carry. My introspection went further regarding my destiny and how it’s much closer than ever, and within reach. Still, while there are days that I am excited and hopeful, there are days that are questionable. I suppose many of the faithful in the Holy Bible experienced the same. They wondered how the Creator -- the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob -- would use their weakness and inadequacies to bring about a glorious testimony painted with such color and vibrancy then they could have ever imagined.

Jesus said, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.”(Luke 9:23-24)

My cross can be heavy at times with its rough edges chaffing at my flesh. It’s unfortunate, but it’s part of the journey. Denying my selfish desires, even those that seem good, but are contrary to His plan and purpose for my life is the commitment of a true disciple. No matter how much I want for something or think it okay, the Holy Spirit pricks my heart to choose His ways, because His direction is the only direction that will fully satisfy.

When we follow our own direction it leaves us empty with false sense of safety, but when we follow Jesus and loose our life to save it, we find true fulfillment in the promise of eternity – freedom in this life and in the next. Though the Biblical Disciples and Disciples in this century are often found in costly situations they are fearless, and live ultimately to serve God and people.

Have you considered the cost to deny self, take up your cross, and to follow Him?

I have—and it’s worth it!

7.26.2012

Grow In Faith

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1

Faith is what moves God—and faith believes what is before it’s ever manifested. Faith if tiny like a mustard seed can move a mountain. Mere words don’t move or motivate God in your direction. Mere words without faith as its fuel cannot shift or accelerate the supernatural; it’s only by faith that we receive.

Grow In Faith

If you want help of the divine kind I implore you to start working those spiritual muscles. Get in the Word of God and find out what He says through the God-breathed scriptures and think, talk, and agree with it.

I promise you, that as it is written, “with God all things are possible.”

Get Him involved and in the midst of your predicament becasue there is no dilemma He can’t demolish!  There is no sickness He can’t stop!  And there is no devil He can’t defeat!

Scriptures:
Hebrews 11 (Faith Hall of Fame)
Matthew 17:20
Luke 17:6
Luke 18:42
Matthew 19:26
Mark 10:27

7.15.2012

None More Beautiful

"I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; The humble shall hear of it and be glad. Oh, magnify the Lord with me, And let us exalt His name together. I sought the Lord, and He heard me, And delivered me from all my fears." Psalm 34:1-4

There is none more beautiful than Jesus!

7.01.2012

The One & Only True God

"Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: 'Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.'" John 17:1-3

Let us look closely at verse 3:"And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent."

Jesus is praying for the disciples in these verses above and explains eternal life -- that they may know the one and only true God.

There are many who hold the assurance of GOD -- a deity -- but it is more of a universal God for all. Meaning, many paths lead to GOD.

Jesus himself is explicit in saying that His Father is the only true God and that you must know Him and Jesus who He sent to be assured of eternity (paradise).

If your faith challenges a One True God then I invite you watch five remarkable testimonies of four men and one woman who now know Jesus as Lord and Savior. The common thread for these converts were that they were seeking to know God on a more intimate level with all their heart. Regardless of their geographic location, sin, or religious upbringing, Jesus in their native tongue made himself real to them. He then proclaimed that they belonged to Him and to follow Him. It was an experience that brought about change of the everlasting kind.

Watch the life stories of Khalil (Egypt),Mohammed (Nigeria) ,Dini (Indonesia), Khosrow (Iran),and Ali (Turkey) and may their spiritual hunger inspire you on to make room for Jesus in your heart today.

The Holy Bible -- the Words of God -- where Jesus prayed for YOU!

"Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them."" John 17:24-26

6.28.2012

Giving Up To Receive

"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:21, Luke 12:34

What is treasured in your life?

Does it look like this:
- Bible Study
- Prayer
- Fellowship
- Assembling of the Saints
- Serving the Kingdom of God

or

Does it look like this:
- Devotional with Morning Coffee
- Television
- Secular Books on How to Improve Skill/Career or Success Books
- Occasional Attendees at Church
- Exercising
- Dinner & Movies

Which one of these scenarios do you think has more impact on your Spirit Man?

While I was sensing a shift in my spirit -- God was about to accelerate things of the spiritual realm in my life -- He was specific on what I could continue to do and that which I could not do. It's wasn't too hard for me, but there was certainly a huge blessing that came from that obedience.

Are you hearing the same? If so, I encourage you in that direction. God has something better in mind to take place of all you give up. Perhaps to experience heavenly realms, or to birth a ministry, or to walk with a greater anointing for His Kingdom purpose. Regardless of the treasure found, we know that, "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him." (1 Corinthians 2:9)

Wisdom From the Spirit

6.27.2012

Behave Wisely

In my study starting with Saul and on to David what stood out in the book of 1 Samuel 18 was that even with Saul's anger, jealousy, and his wanting to kill David -- God's anointed and new King -- David behaved wisely. It's mentioned four (4) times in chapter eighteen (18).

Clearly the Lord is saying something about behaving wisely while under authority that perhaps persecutes, ridicules, or puts undue stress on you—and might I add motivated to kill you or nullify your calling.

As a learned student of the Word of God I remain at His feet for instruction and revelation. How about you? Are you eager to learn and hear what the Spirit of the Lord is saying?

Galatians 6:9
Leave The Rest To God

6.26.2012

Provoked To Anger

What does a Bible believing Christian do when provoked to anger? It's not always a pretty sight. Sometimes we aren't as easily taken in or quick to react, but there are other instances when we fail, and miserably.

"A quick-tempered man acts foolishly, And a man of wicked intentions is hated." Proverbs 14:17

"The end of a thing is better than its beginning; The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. Do not hasten in your spirit to be angry, For anger rests in the bosom of fools." Ecclesiastes 7:8-9

Ouch!  The Word of God is a mighty two-edged sword. (Hebrews 4:12)

Solomon the author of the book of Ecclesiastes and most of Proverbs was a wise man. He was the son of King David and Bathsheba, and the successor of the throne. One evening God asked Solomon what he wanted in a dream, and instead of asking for long life, riches, or the life of his enemies, Solomon asked that he might have an understanding heart to judge -- to discern between good and evil -- God's people. God was pleased with Solomon's speech and gave him what he asked for and also what he had not asked for. (1 Kings 3)

Don't you love when God lavishes us with blessings and favor? I do. I get excited when our souls and spirit are in agreement and God is pleased. But let us not miss the point to be slow to anger, not easily provoked, just as God is not in our foolish ways. Remember also that His mercies are new every morning, and we get another chance to do better, act right, and be more patient. (Lamentations 3:22-23)

6.15.2012

Blessed Is Jordan

The Beatitudes

Matthew 5:1-12 Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them, saying: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."






Update: Medicaid has agreed to continue to provide Jordan with 24 hour nurse care! They have said they will provide this care until she graduates college. Thank you for all of your efforts and support. Your voices were heard!! Praise Jesus. It is by his deep provision that this has come to pass. "21 Disabled" will continue to fight this battle until permanent policy is made to ensure the livelihood of disabled young adults. 'Like' us on facebook to stay involved with our cause.

Florida Medicaid: Maintain skilled nursing care services for disabled young adults after they turn 21 years of age.

6.10.2012

Conviction By The Spirit

For years I thought conviction by the Spirit (for the Church, Believers) was for some and not for others on particular matters. I have said that out of my own mouth. Shame on me!

How merciful is He—patient and silent in our foolish ignorance. Nevertheless, the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth and when He abides in you -- taking residence -- the truth that Jesus preached is front and center in our thinking. Our scales are removed and worldly perspective is exposed and the truth pertaining to the full Gospel is revealed.

Common mistakes where deceit can cloud our vision/revelation, which the Bible says we will perish because of it:

Believing that the Bible is inspired and fallible.
Believing that Almighty God only loves and is not a God who would bring judgment.
Believing that continual willful sin is okay.
Believing that He tolerates wickedness.

Proverbs 29:18
Hosea 4:6
Matthew 10:34
Proverbs 8:13
Proverbs 6:16-19
The Work of the Holy Spirit

6.04.2012

I Have Decided

Decisions! Decisions! Decisions!

Everyday I make them. Some good and some miss the mark. Still, I keep putting one foot in front of the other with the prize before me.

Paul writes to the church at Philippi, "I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call (heavenward) of God in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:14)

Tonight in an intimate moment of prayer I thought about my life in a flash, and though beautiful, I pondered on my mistakes and sins made. Suddenly I felt undeserving of eternity—I am the thief on the cross who hung next to Jesus. His failures were before him. Yet, in faith I know that Jesus Christ is my righteousness and He is also the mediator between me and Almighty God, and will accept me in paradise.

"Then he said, 'Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.' Jesus answered him, 'I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.'" Luke 23:42-43

I am assured of my eternity in paradise because I have been born of God's spirit. But that's not all of it, a true follower has his (present, not past or future) sin always before him. He is careful not to be puffed up, but to always in humility be in communion with the Father daily to be sure there is no error in his ways. It is possible to live like this and reap the eternal promise.

I have decided to follow Jesus. The cross before me, the world behind me.

What about you?



I Have Decided To Follow Jesus



Related Post:
Are You Ready?

Study Scriptures:
Luke 9:57 1 Corinthians 1:30
1 Timothy 2:5
Psalm 51

6.01.2012

Fill Me Up!

Jesus, the Son of God, is the only person that can fill that void or emptiness in our life. Why are so many faking it?! They have pleasure and treasure, but it's nothing of divine value. Stop running from God and run to Him! He has rewards and treasures that are eternal. Let go of the world and get a tight grip on Jesus of Nazareth. Many are shackled to the world for the love of money, for the taste of pleasure, for fame and fortune.

"Jesus said, 'If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? Matthew 16:24-26

Press in and let the Lord fill you up! Get lost inside His love and peace.


"Jesus answered, 'Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.'" John 4:13-14

Lord, let your fire fall on every reader as their hearts surrender to the One True God of all nations. Lord, let the river of Living Water spring up on the inside of them. Let your glory fill them! We in faith ask for forgiveness of sins of our past. We in faith believe that you are the Healer that heals. We in faith ask that you free us from bondage and set the captive free. We in faith believe that Your yoke is easy and light. We thank you Lord for every good and perfect gift from Heaven. Free! Delivered! Healed! Spiritual barrenness you are a stranger!




5.30.2012

Lie! Lie! Lie!

The enemy's camp has many destructive lies they feed the world, and unfortunately men and women of God are fed some of the same: I'll live long enough to "get right" with God, but now I can do as I want. Pleasing and gratifying myself all the day long, day after day, month after month, and year after year.

Listen up, tomorow is promised to no one!

Young or old it matters not, we are born and we will die—and when that moment comes there is no turning back. Whatever you've done, said, or not done, will come before the Lord and either withstand the fire or be burned up.


Study Scriptures:
James 4:13-17
1 Corinthians 3:12-15

5.29.2012

God Is Love!

God is love! We hear that always, and know it's true. There is nothing dark or sinister about Him, nor in the Son -- Jesus Christ. In James 1:17 we read, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning." He and His Word will never change. We thankfully have the scriptures, "which is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work." (2 Timothy 3:16)

So why then, if we know that God is love, that He changes not, and the God-breathed scriptures are there for instruction in righteousness to be complete do we ignore His law and continue to sin.

We are deceived to think that God is only love. The fullness of Him includes justice and judgement. His heart is for us to be His children (born of the Spirit) and to live Holy. Yet, most people tend to concentrate on only parts of the Holy Bible that fit their needs. If it is too harsh or restricting they ignore it, and would rather please themselves than die to self (the flesh).

Mothers and fathers love their children with great love that truly cannot be described, but with that love comes rewards and restrictions. When children are well behaved parents are apt to lavish them with love and gifts -- blessings of all kinds. Nevertheless, when children make wrong choices, depending on the severity, a parent will pass judgment and then a consequence will follow.

Are we foolish to think that God should be different? If He is Our Heavenly Father, and we are His children (God has no grandchildren) then we are blessed and judged according to our obedience.

"You have a mighty arm; Strong is Your hand, and high is Your right hand. Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; Mercy and truth go before Your face. Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound! They walk, O Lord, in the light of Your countenance." Psalm 89:13-15

Study Scripture: 1 John 4

5.25.2012

Reinventing God

~ revised ~

There was a commercial on a Christian radio station yesterday that was for what seemed to be a "good" idea relating to Jesus and a Christian product. Without naming names, it was sharing Jesus in a worldly medium.

It grieves Him.

When Jesus overthrew the tables at the Temple His frustration was that any practice that interferes with worshiping God should be stopped.

Matthew 21:12-13 Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. "It is written," he said to them, " 'My house will be called a house of prayer,' but you are making it a 'den of robbers.' "

Why are we reinventing God so that we can gain our own wealth and prestige. Seekers of success were in the Temple when Jesus walked among them and still exists in our generation.

We have got to get back to the ancient ways and be about our Father's business as Jesus was reading and studying scripture. I am reminded of Acts 3:6 when Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk."

Let us be careful of exploiting the brethren. God's house is a place of worship not a place to make a profit.

Study Scripture:
First Time Jesus cleared the temple. John 2:13-17

5.24.2012

Are You Ready?

The Bible says that "now" is the day of Salvation. Are you ready for eternity? The truth is that when we die, life begins. There is no holding place or temporary punishment in Hell. Once you're there, it's permanent -- eternal separation from the One True God. He, Almighty God who created you and knitted you together in your mother's womb. We are born of flesh, but to be Children of God we must be born of His Spirit. This rebirth must be your decision as we all have free will to accept or reject the truth -- Jesus Christ. Being a Child of God is not something that can be passed on from one generation to the next or through baptism at birth. It is a decision one makes to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior and then lives crucified and sanctified.

Even with the unknown ahead, one thing we can be sure of "God is not willing that any should perish, but everyone to come to repentance."

Scripture References:
2 Corinthians 6
2 Peter 3
Matthew 25
John 3
Psalm 139

5.21.2012

The LORD is My Light

Like the days of Noah the world is flooded with wickedness, and the scriptures tell us that trouble is sure to come. Nevertheless, we know that we will overcome and receive the crown of life if we fail not. We are confident of this knowing that the Lord is our light and our salvation. No matter how brutal the days ahead are we must believe that committment and obedience will be worth the cost.


Scriptures:
James 1:12
Psalm 27
2 Timothy 3

4.30.2012

Heaven Come Down

Believer, my heart is that you are soaking in prayer and pressing in like never before. Let a song of hope come from the depths of your soul, and may it encourage you knowing that Jesus is by your side always.

"Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Matthew 28:20

Kindness Begets Kindness

Kindness begets kindness. I'm sure I've heard that somewhere before. It bubbled up when I pondered about an unexpected act of thoughtfulness I received through the mail last week. Surprise! A thoughtful card with kind words and a $5 Starbucks card.

Often are basket looks empty, but if we look hard and long enough we can be a blessing sharing kindness in ways that are more meaningful than handing someone a large check, or paying off someone's debt. Nonetheless, these are things I wish to do someday—and if it be God's plan too I'm excited about Him fulfilling that secret desire.

Lately I've turned my focus to a more heavenly prespective. Meaning bringing heaven down -- it's beauty, love and comapssion -- in intentional tangible ways to others.

My heart is always alert and ready to share my wealth in whatever form to bless and share kindness with those I know and don't know.

Summer is approaching, and with warmer weather and bright colors all around it stirs my spirit to give. My prayer is that God continues to reveal ways where I can be a blessing and to appreciate the gift of being blessed as well.


"The generous soul will be made rich, And he who waters will also be watered himself." Proverbs 11:25

4.21.2012

Who Am I Kidding?!

I have these fabulous Sticky Notes on my desktop that work wonders for reminding me of upcoming bills and due dates. Last week I wrote two new sticky notes that specifically were about avoiding the grocery store and to find free recreation. I was thinking my daughter could venture to the park and ride her bike like the week before. It was a great idea and with motivation behind it, but it was short-lived. We have embarked on summer weather here, and it's only going to get worse. So, I did what any good mom would do—I ignored that sticky note and joined the Y for family fun.

The grocery store reminder though equally warranted was unsuccessful as well. Unfortunately, food is a necessity. Even though a short-term goal fails I'm confident of the bigger picture -- making one right choice at a time. I have realized that money can be a blessing. Nevertheless, the mismanagement of it can be quite burdensome.

Summertime means different things to different families. Some look forward to summer vacations out-of-state for an extended time, while others schedule for camp at weeks at a time. Disney vacations are often a highlight too for families. However, for me and my family we're excited this summer about using less fuel (staying close to home) and visiting the local Y.  As an overseer of sorts, I'm committed to making the most of what's realistic for our family budget.

"Act your wage." ― Dave Ramsey

"If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else." ― Dave Ramsey

4.12.2012

Attention Kids! Money Lessons for the Carnival

There's a carnival in town setting up for this weekend. We're excited, but not the part about spending lots of money. Reality can suck the pleasure right out of excitement! Nevertheless, I'm thankful for new learned habits and realizing how destructive instant gratification can be. Not to mention the letdown when we get home from the carnival (or arcades) and find out how much money we spent because of the thrill of it.

The other night I surfed Dave Ramsy's site and found on Kids (3-12) "Careless at the Carnival" an MP3 Audio Download for only $2.99. A lesson on spending. Bonus is at the end of the audio the listener is asked, "Let's see what you learned."

"Have you ever wondered how you spent so much money without even realizing it? Junior learns this lesson the hard way."

My dauther especially liked the story and requested to hear it twice! After listening we have a plan to eat before and go with a set amount of money for rides only.

4.10.2012

Family Lives in Tiny House


Downsizing is a must for some, and should be for most. 

Watch the video and visit their website

Could you do it?  I think I could while watching my bank account grow!

4.09.2012

Change of Habit

Last November, I challenged myself to ditch the papertowels in bathrooms and in the kitchen leaving only one roll in the laundry room for messy messes.

Having a senior cat then it was difficult taking the first step knowing there would be those unfortunate accidents or incidents that paper seemed best for. Still, I made up my mind, and my family followed my lead.

It's now April, six months later, and we have successfully converted -- using other means rather than disposable paper towels to wipe or clean up. I'm thankful we changed that expensive habit, especially considering the rising costs of fuel, food, and healthcare.

There's a sufficient amount of undue stress on all of us trying to move money from one column of our budget to another, but we're still learning of ways to do without and be okay in the process.

"Money is 80% behavior, 20% head knowledge. It's what you do, not what you know." - Dave Ramsey

Related Link: I Did It!



4.08.2012

The Real Easter Story

"Some used to say the sun actually skipped for joy every Easter morning, and if you got up, you'd see it."

A touching story about Easter traditions and the real reason Christians celebrate Easter.

Easter Bunny, Are You For Real?

Buy book here.

Christ Is Risen



Christ Is Risen by Matt Maher

1 Corinthians 15:54-55
Isaiah 25:8
Hosea 13:14

4.07.2012

Yes I Did!

On New Year's Eve I returned a Christmas gift and left with $43.03 store credit. I was happy to use the credit in the near future. Then I dared to return another Christmas gift from the year before found in my closet at the end of January. I'm very organized and so is the gift-giver so I had gift receipts for both. Those handy receipts really make life less complicated. Before going to the store I pondered for about thirty seconds at the possible rejection at a gift purchased in October 2010, but it would be worth it. I was able to add another $33.91 on store credit to my tin can.

Some saavy retailers have lienant and straightforward return policies and it makes for a postive experience. No huge hassels, just in and out with a friendly smile. They're betting that I'm coming back to spend my credit and then some. A win-win for both of us!

Friday my daughter and I had fun shopping and spending the last of our store credit.

$76.94 well spent for:

1 Ladies Flip Flops
1 Candie's Sunglasses
2 Girls Leggings
1 Designer Purse

4.05.2012

Creative Adult


Yes indeed! I love to color, create, and design using a plethora of resources online to personalize gifts as well as organize photos and videos to share with family and friends.

I've been in "creative mode" all day—literally. I'm shocked at how many hours and hours these things take to do. The only bad part is the crick in my neck. I really must put the brakes on, but with gas prices at such a ridiculous high I need to find other ways on how to fill my tanks*.

Commuting long distances are a real issue now and so I'm waiting on new opportunities and ideas to fill the gap on what was usual last year or the year before. Adjust and adapt. Change is like a welcomed friend.

But I digress.

Have you checked out ArtsCow? I have hit them twice in two weeks with sales that were harder to pass up for items of good quality. It's not nonsense stuff either.

First Order: 4 XL Cosmetic Bags (10"x8") for $12 total with FREE shipping. A savings of $61.92.
Second Order: 3 L Cosmetic Bags (9"x6") for $14.97 total and FREE shipping. A savings of $34.97.

I received my first order today in the mail and I was eager to open the package. Wow! I was not disappointed—hence, my order this evening.

There's nothing worse for me than daily routines without humor, friendship, or anything creative to make an okay day better.

Ancient Proverbs say it best, "An idle mind is the devil's workshop." or "Idle hands are the devil's workshop."

Devil, please find the nearest exit!

Matthew 18:18 Believers have authority in Christ.

*spiritual, creative, love...

4.04.2012

Mistakes!

Mistakes, they happen to the best of us—and I'm no exception. I've made a few recently that thankfully weren't life-altering. At worst, they imitate a child's owie on the playground. It's true; adults are not immune to letting excitement, thrill, and convenience win over logic.

In February, I decided to take myself first, and then in the same week my daughter to replace a pediatric sick visit with a conveniently close walk-in clinic. Mistake -- costly, misdiagnosed, and incorrect doses for OTC medicines. I can only surmise that in this case my own nasal congestion had interfered with rational thinking.

This month, I chose to order a product featured on a TV infomercial. Happy to admit this was a first and last time for me. It was only an hour after calling in my order that I had buyer's remorse while searching for reviews online. Insert hand gesture, "L" on the forehead! Mistake -- overly influenced by the ad's enticing pitch and cost me out-of-pocket shipping and handling $25.14, after forthcoming credit for product returned.

Allegorically I'm sitting with skinned knees writing about my missed jumps on the park Jungle Gym these past two months.

Hoping next time I'll be the wiser!

Let us all remember the old truism, "look before you leap!"

3.23.2012

Hard Lessons

The "money" lessons are the hardest for some, but how sweet the rewards when we get it.

My daughter's Spring Break came with much excitement. We were both planning and ready for lots of fun and delicious local fare. It began with two half-days last week and we did enjoy ourselves immensly throughout, and on a few occassions toasted to our celebration. There's something special about a mother and daughter breaking bread with big smiles and a sun-filled sky.

Today, the last day of break, I found out how successful I was after entering all my receipts in my bookkeeping software. It wasn't bad at all. In fact, I'm feeling great about all the decisions I've made this week including today's off-limits for dining and recreation.

Saying "No!" to yourself and your child can be a very good thing.

18 Ways to Say No Positively

3.01.2012

Rise!

I heard this morning a poignant statement: As Believers, it's in our DNA to rise. If that's not good news I don't know what is!

As we prepare for Easter with prayer and pressing in let us be cognizant of Jesus' resurrection power—and that we are also endowed with power from on high to rise above life's problematic issues and the enemy's strategies. In the book of Romans chapter 8 verse 37, it says "we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us."

Life Application Study Guide: In the beginning in the Book of Ezekiel, "Ezekiel gives us a vivid picture of the unchangeable holiness of God. We too must gain a vision of the glory of God, a fresh sense of His greatness, as we face the struggles of daily life."

2.18.2012

What Choice Have You Made?

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 6:23

I have heard twice this weekend on two separate occasions that "our life is eternal and that is God's Gift to us, and this life is our gift to God."

Believer, we must ask ourselves are we giving Him our best. Is our gift (our life) worthy of gift givning in the sight of God or have we taken advantage of today.

You Time Might Be Running Out
Maybe you're reading this and thinking I don't even believe, and where do I start. How can I begin this journey of being in right-standing with God. Invite Jesus into your heart and life. Let the Holy Spirit guide you and teach you.

For it is written that God is "not willing that anyone should perish." (2 Peter 3:9)



Tomorrow - The Winans

Jesus said Here I stand

Won't you please let me in

And you said I will tomorrow

Jesus said I am he

Who supplies all your needs

And you said I know but tomorrow

Ooh

Tomorrow

I'll give my life tomorrow

I thought about today

But it's so much easier to say

Tomorrow

Who promised you tomorrow

Better choose the Lord today

For tomorrow very well might be today

Jesus said here I stand

Won't you please take my hand

And you said I will tomorrow

Jesus said I am He

Who supplies all your needs

And you said I know but tomorrow

Oh Tomorrow

I'll give my life tomorrow

I thought about today

Oh but it's so much easier to say

Tomorrow

Who promised you tomorrow

Better choose the Lord today

For tomorrow very well might be today

And who said that tomorrow would ever come for you

Still you laugh and play and continue on to say

Tomorrow

Forget about tomorrow

Won't you give your life today

Oh please

Don't just turn and walkaway

Tomorrow

Tomorrow is not promised

Don't let this moment slip away

Ooh

Your tomorrow could very well begin today

2.16.2012

Leave The Rest To God

Live simply.
Love generously.
Care deeply.
Speak kindly.
Leave the rest to God.
- Ronald Reagan


We come up against many a battle, and for some, it seems constant. Even so, let us follow Jesus and do as He would do. Knowing that "we should count it all joy when we experience various trials." (James 1:3) Let us be filled with "peace that surpasses all understanding" (Philippians 4:7) as we carry on and never give up! “Let us not be weary in doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart." (Galatians 6:9) Remember you are "more than conquerors" (Romans 8:37)!


1.29.2012

Bribe 'Em

My child had convinced me that not eating fruits and vegetables is okay. Um, what rock have I been under?! Goodness gracious my mother made me eat that stringy spinach from a can. Hello! Not to mention holding my nose for that awful cup of milk with dinner. Admittedly I’ve been picky, but in my generation it didn’t really matter.

I recently came across a disturbing news article involving a teenager’s diet that consisted of no fruits and veggies with an addiction to chicken nuggets. It was a turning point for me and I was on a Mommy Mission. I did some light research online about tips and methods to help my daughter try a variety of healthy options. I came across professional advice that included a controlled study involving bribing the children. Those children (probably toddlers) who received a sticker or something of value began eating fruits and veggies on their own after the study was completed, and in good amounts.

Potty training was a success for us using a reward method with a chart and this is of the same vein. I woke up Saturday morning motivated and ready to execute. Even though I was enthusiastic, I needed to keep in mind that small steps of success is sometimes best.


I experimented with a mini sweet pepper -- cutting a small section and then diced into 6 tiny equal pieces. I also put a crisp $1 bill on the counter next to the plate. There was no long session of explanation either, which was the same approach I took with her potty training reward method. And just like the toddler of years ago my now elementary school girl got it.

“Mom, I’m gonna get that dollar.”

“Oh, I know you are.”


It was not as painful to eat that pepper as she has bamboozled me into thinking either. Yes, she crinkled her nose, moved the plate far away (more than once), gave me some moans and disputed, but I was determined that together we could change some old habits and create some new ones.

Next on the list are pear and banana!

1.27.2012

He Is Faithful!


Pray! For we know God has not forsaken us, nor forgotten our dreams and desires. He is full of compassion and never overlooks our sorrows or despair.

Praise Him! We thank Him for His mighty power and peace that surpasses all understanding.

Matthew 6:33-34 The Message

"If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don't you think he'll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I'm trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God's giving . People who don't know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

"Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.

1.11.2012

30-Day Challenge

It's the NEW Year...2012! Let's start off right with a few good disciplines:

1. 10 Reasons To Pick Up Your Bible Today
2. Listening to only Christian music for 30 days

K-Love has this challenge, and recently I heard a young man tell the listening world that him and his best friend are taking the challenge and stopped smoking pot.

Hello out there! Jesus is The Great Physician who can heal your diseases, hurting heart, addictions, and whatever else steals from your right as a Child of God to be free and whole.

Surrender and seek God, and immerse yourself in all things Him! I'm hopeful that He will not only show up, but show off.

Change For A Dollar

It doesn't take much to be the change in someone's life.

1.10.2012

Two Dogs Dining

Watch Two Dogs Dining. Hysterical! Belly laughs all the way! The best 6 min you'll spend online. Promise!

1.08.2012

Meatballs!

I'm so tired of poultry! If I eat another wing, tender, or even ground chicken or turkey I'll start to cluck and grow feathers. I mean it!

Today after church I decided to make meatballs with a side of thin spaghetti. I was inspired by an Italian chef, Fabio, who has a great accent with dash of humor. His recipe, The Perfect Italian Meatball. My rating: Molto Bene (Very Good)



What I loved even more than these tasty moist meatballs were the time it took to cook. How about 30 min or less on the stove top to fill my home with a home cooked aroma and Italian perfection in our bellies.

It's time to start searching through my favorite recipes for a change up. I already know what's on the menu for tomorrow. A groovy crock-pot dish that includes chicken, but has an ethnic flare that trumps the usual tenders with ranch dressing.

1.07.2012

WWJW: Jeremiah the Prophet

Everything we take in through our ear and eye gates does effect us. While some things we watch or hear carry more weight (good or bad), others leave only a slight impression. In either instance, we need to be alert and guard our gates!

Jeremiah the Prophet (1998) *Full Movie* Starring Patrick Dempsey

1.06.2012

What Would Jesus Watch?

Okay, so you're standing at a movie rental kiosk and scanning through the newest titles. Do you ask yourself, "What would Jesus watch?" if we were hanging out tonight.

I'm drawn to movies that are based on true accounts, have a powerful message, are feel-good, tickle my funny bone, romantic, and are family-friendly.

Lately I'm having a hard time finding anything that's worthwhile and adds to my life. I really have to seek out a good one, which sometimes means up to thirty minutes. Then I think, I could be doing something else, because time is precious.

Your ear and eye gates are to be guarded at all times—if you haven't grasped the seriousness of that as a Christian (Follower of Christ) you soon will. We must always keep in check that our attractions (entertainment selections) push us in the right direction, and never sidetrack or send us on a detour.

Having said that, we have all made wrong choices or perhaps agree for another's sake. No matter the case, afterwards we feel grieved and sometimes convicted. Hopefully we learn from those mistakes and make better choices. Perhaps we even find the courage to speak up that it's not our preference. Otherwise, if continued on a detour filled with choices that Jesus wouldn't make, could prove harmful to us.

Guard the gates!

2 Peter 3

"Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position." 2 Peter 3:17

1.03.2012

Hallelujah Chorus

This is what Heaven must sound like—angelic voices filled with praise.

King of Kings, and Lord of Lords!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

1.01.2012

Let God Be God



Let God Be God by Phillips, Craig & Dean
I think I‘ll let God be God, I‘m giving up control
I think I‘ll relax, step back, It‘s time for letting go
© Cup of Goodness. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.