Sunday, December 21, 2008

Motivation

There is a reason to live right, be nice to people, and "proselytize" or share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Do you really believe there is a heaven and hell? Do you really believe that people die and go to an everlasting fire prepared for the Devil and his angels? Do you believe there is a heaven and that everlasting life is really possible?

Shouldn't you tell someone?



"There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, "Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him."

Jesus answered and said unto him, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."

Nicodemus saith unto him, "How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?"

Jesus answered, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit."

Nicodemus answered and said unto him, "How can these things be?"

Jesus answered and said unto him, "Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God."
John 3:1-21

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

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Commitment

"Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil. Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few. For a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words.

"When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay. Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands? For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities: but fear thou God."
Ecclesiastes 5:1-7

I've been meditating on commitment for many days now. We seem to live in a culture that has abandoned the concept. When I was young, quitting was a shame — not any more. Husbands and wives quit. Parents quit. Children quit. Christians quit.

I've said before that I've been in church almost my whole life. I started out in the church nursery and I've been everything from a deacon's kid to a bus kid to the preacher's wife. Through the years, I have seen literally thousands kneel at an altar and make a commitment to the Lord. Sadly, without a scientific study, I would say that near 90% of those commitments are abandoned. The person who keeps a vow is the rare exception.

But why?

That question is the base of my meditation and I don't know that I have any answers yet.
What do you think? Why do folks not keep the commitments that they make to the Lord.
I know the basic answers like "the cares of this world," "decisions made in haste," "peer presure." But are those the root reasons?

Tell me what you think.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Something is on my heart

And I'm still trying to articulate it. I haven't posted in a few days because I really want to convey the thoughts I have.

In the meantime, think about this:

When you made that commitment to the Lord, did you mean it?

"I have inclined mine heart to perform thy statutes alway, even unto the end."
Psalm 119:112

Friday, August 15, 2008

As Mount Zion

"They that trust in the LORD shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever. As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the LORD is round about his people from henceforth even for ever."
Psalm 125:1-2

It is such a comfort to me that the LORD is round about me. Today, I want you to meditate on His care and His presence.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The answer

  • The question:

"How long wilt thou forget me, O LORD? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? how long shall mine enemy be exalted over me? Consider and hear me, O LORD my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death; Lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him; and those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved."
Psalm 13:1-4

  • The answer:

"But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation. I will sing unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully with me."
Psalm 13:5-6

Don't worry about how long. Just trust in His mercy. Rejoice in His salvation. Sing to Him because he has dealt bountifully with you.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Do you ever?

Do you ever have those moments when, no matter how grounded you are in your faith, you waver?

So I remind myself.

"Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God."
Psalm 90:2

"And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail."
Hebrews 1:10-12

Friday, August 8, 2008

Never Alone

Words by Ludie D. Pickett

I’ve seen the lightning flashing, I’ve heard the thunder roll.
I’ve felt sin’s breakers dashing, which almost conquered my soul.
I’ve heard the voice of my Savior, bidding me still to fight on.
He promised never to leave me, never to leave me alone!

Refrain
No, never alone, no never alone,
He promised never to leave me,
He’ll claim me for His own;
No, never alone, no never alone.
He promised never to leave me,
Never to leave me alone.

The world’s fierce winds are blowing, temptation sharp and keen.
I have a peace in knowing my Savior stands between—
He stands to shield me from danger when my friends are all gone.
He promised never to leave me, never to leave me alone!

When in affliction’s valley I tread the road of care,
My Savior helps me carry the cross so heavy to bear;
Though all around me is darkness, earthly joys all flown;
My Savior whispers His promise, never to leave me alone!

He died on Calvary’s mountain, for me they pierc├Ęd His side.
For me He opened that fountain, the crimson, cleansing tide.
For me He waiteth in glory, seated upon His throne.
He promised never to leave me, never to leave me alone!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Do you know Him?

Do we know God?

"That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;"
Philippians 3:10
"But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ."
1 Corinthians 2:14-16
"He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not."
John 1:10
"And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart."
Jeremiah 24:7

Do you know my Hero, my husband?

Where was he born?
How many sisters does he have?
How many brothers?
Hold old is he?
When he was in high school, what career did he want to pursue?
When did he get saved?
What is his favorite color?
What is his favorite pastime?
What is his favorite food?
What is his favorite drink?
What was his first job?

I, of course, can answer all these questions, why?

Because I have spent time with him, listening and talking to him.

Do you spend time with God, listening (Bible reading) and talking (praying)?

"And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments."
1 John 2:3
"Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God."
1 John 4:7


What can we know about God?

  • His knowledge of us
"But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?"
Galatians 4:9
"Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity."
2 Timothy 2:19

  • His care and love of and for us
"And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God."
Ephesians 3:19
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?"
Romans 8:35

  • His control in our lives
"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."
Romans 8:28
"For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day."
2 Timothy 1:12

Monday, August 4, 2008

Holy, Holy, Holy

"And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory."
Isaiah 6:3

Holiness is probably the overarching attribute of God. He is Who He is because He is holy. And yet, it is probably the hardest attribute for our sinful human minds to comprehend. I've read many, many attempts at explaining the meaning of holiness and yet no one seems to be able to wrap up the meaning of Holiness in human language.

He is the antithesis to sin. Nothing in the human experience equals the complete absence of something. Light is the antitheses of darkness and yet, even in the light there are shadows. Life is the antithesis of death but life is subject to death in any given moment.

God's holiness banishes the very essence of sin. The two things cannot coincide.

And in the midst of this incomprehensible concept, God says

"Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God."
Leviticus 20:7
"But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy."
1 Peter 1:15-16

As much as is possible, we should strive to live apart from sin. That will keep us busy for some time to come.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Who is He?

"…but the people that do know their God shall be strong,…"
Daniel 11:32


I love taking walks. I think it is so romantic just to take a walk. Imagine walking hand in hand with the one you love down a tree-lined path, his hand warm in yours.

Now imagine you don’t know the guy! Yikes! We have a relationship with someone based on a knowledge of that person. That seems simple and obvious doesn’t it?

I believe the primary reason we struggle in our relationship with God is that we don’t know Him. Far too often, we base our Christianity on how we “measure up” to the Christians around us, especially those Christians we feel are more spiritual.

Then we are left feeling empty and disillusioned when one day, we find out our measuring stick—that so-called spiritual person—isn’t who or what we thought she was.

Our emptiness and disappointment comes from the fact that we were trying to find fulfillment in the practice of the religion and not in the Person of the relationship.

So, who is God? Why does He care about me? And how do I get to know Him?

For thousands of years, philosophers and theologians have pondered and debated the concept of God. Go to the philosophy or religion section of any bookstore and there will be shelves full of man’s musings on the person of God.

When I first met my husband, I heard others talk about him­—some good, some terrible. But I didn’t get to know him based on the opinion of others. When we started dating and were engaged, he began writing to me and I read those letters over and over. We would sit and talk for hours about nothing. (Now we think that if we get 10 minutes alone to talk we have had a special treat!) I got to know him and his heart through his words.

It’s the same with God. We get to know Him through His Word. God has personality, attributes, and feelings and He conveys all that to us through His Word.

When I think of God, one of the first things I think of is His Holiness. The other thing I think of is how much He must love me.

I took a doctrine class in Bible College and it was b-o-r-i-n-g. It seemed so mechanical to memorize:
God is holy.
God is omnipotent (all powerful).
God is omniscient (all knowing).
God is omnipresent (everywhere at one and the same time).
God is immutable (never changing), etc.

However, that boring class gave me a starting point from which I could take my Bible and get to know God.

What does it mean that He is holy and how does that effect me? One of my girls was taking doctrine in her homeschooling and I gave her an assignment that she found difficult at first. She had just read about the attributes of God and I asked her to write me a one-page essay on the subject of “How one of God’s Attributes effects me.” She had never thought about how the person of God had anything to do with her. When I made the assignment, it seemed like a no-brainer to me. But, I’ve been saved for 42 years and I’ve been through some minor fires and I’ve had to get a glimpse of who God was and what that meant to me.

All of that was an introduction to what will be a series of articles on who God is.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Lift up someone else today


"Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do."
1 Thessalonians 5:11


“Christians are like the flowers in a garden, that have each of them the dew of Heaven, which, being shaken with the wind, they let fall at each other's roots, whereby they are jointly nourished, and become nourishers of each other.”

John Bunyan
1628-1688


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Be still

"Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth."
Psalm 46:10
"But the LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him."
Habbakuk 2:20
"Be silent, O all flesh, before the LORD: for he is raised up out of his holy habitation."
Zechariah 2:13
"That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth."
Psalm 83:18
"Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture."
Psalm 100:3
"Now I know that the LORD is greater than all gods: for in the thing wherein they dealt proudly he was above them."
Exodus 18:11
"This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel."
1 Samuel 17:46
"And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word."
1 Kings 18:36
"Be thou exalted, LORD, in thine own strength: so will we sing and praise thy power."
Psalm 21:13
"Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens; let thy glory be above all the earth."
Psalm 57:5
"Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all."
1 Chronicles 29:11
"The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day."
Isaiah 2:11
"And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day."
Isaiah 2:17
"But the LORD of hosts shall be exalted in judgment, and God that is holy shall be sanctified in righteousness."
Isaiah 5:16
"Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD."
Ezekiel 38:23
"And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest."
Revalation 15:3-4

Sunday, July 27, 2008

A Thousand Generations

"Be ye mindful always of his covenant; the word which he commanded to a thousand generations;"
1 Chronicles 16:15

In my last entry on the thought of "Be ye" I posted this verse. That phrase "a thousand generations" really caught my attention. That's a long time.

In the genealogy of Christ listed in Matthew chapter 1 and Luke chapter 3, we can calculate that the time from Adam to Jesus was 63 generations. A time period of roughly 4,000 years covered only 63 generations.

I have often sat bewildered trying to understand a generation that assumes that God should adjust Himself for the times. But He said He commanded his word to a thousand generations.

I for one am immeasurably grateful that I have a God who never changes.

We Have an Anchor
by Pricilla Owens

Chorus:
We have an anchor that keeps the soul
Steadfast and sure while the billows roll,
Fastened to the Rock which cannot move,
Grounded firm and deep in the Savior’s love."

Will your anchor hold in the storms of life,
When the clouds unfold their wings of strife?
When the strong tides lift and the cables strain,
Will your anchor drift, or firm remain?

It is safely moored, ’twill the storm withstand,
For ’tis well secured by the Savior’s hand;
And the cables, passed from His heart to mine,
Can defy that blast, thro’ strength divine.

It will surely hold in the Straits of Fear—
When the breakers have told that the reef is near;
Though the tempest rave and the wild winds blow,
Not an angry wave shall our bark o’erflow.

It will firmly hold in the Floods of Death—
When the waters cold chill our latest breath,
On the rising tide it can never fail,
While our hopes abide within the Veil.

When our eyes behold through the gath’ring night
The city of gold, our harbor bright,
We shall anchor fast by the heav’nly shore,
With the storms all past forevermore.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Be ye mindful

"Be ye mindful always of his covenant; the word which he commanded to a thousand generations;"
1 Chronicles 16:15

We live in a world where mindless seems to be okay. One of the late-night talk shows has a segment where they randomly interview people on the street and ask them questions that seem to have obvious answers. I guess the answers aren't quite so obvious.

Question: "Who is the president of the United States?"

Answer: —blank stare—

This happens more times than we want to think.

Mindless eating … mindless entertainment … mindless violence … mindless work … mindless behavior … (you get the picture.)

But God wants us to be mindful — mindful of His covenant: His covenant which He commanded to a thousand generations.

How much of His covenant are you mindful of? Did you read your Bible today? Have you studied it this week? this month? this year?

Are you passing His covenant on to the next generation?

Be mindful.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Be ye thankful

"And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful."
Colossians 3:15


"Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;"
Ephesians 5:20

"Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God."
Philippians 4:6

"In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."
1 Thessalonians 5:18

"I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;"
1 Timothy 2:1

"By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name."
Hebrews 13:15

"Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen."
Revelation 7:12

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Be ye kind

"And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you."
Ephesians 4:32

"She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness."
Proverbs 31:26

"Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil."
1 Peter 3:8-12

Whatever happened to kindness? We live in a culture that prides itself on being in your face! Rude is the rule rather than the exception. But God said "be ye kind."

Kind just means pleasant and gracious. This really is one of the easy be ye's. Do you know if you cultivate kindness in yourself, you will be much more likely to behave yourself as a Christian showing God's love to those around you? A kind woman will speak pleasantly to the checker at the grocery store who may be speaking rudely to you. You never know, maybe she is having a terrible day and your kindness can make all the difference. I have experienced that many, many times.

If you are a kind person, you will act with kindness towards those around you.

Be ye kind.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Be Ye & Be Not

Many years ago (more than I would like to admit) I was reading through Romans and came to Romans 12:1-2: "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."

As I read the words "be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed" I remembered something I had heard a pastor say:

If you will be what you are supposed to be, you will do what you are supposed to do.


And it got me to thinking … how many times did God say, "be ye." This all happened so long ago, that the Bible program I had on my little Mac SE was limited and would not search common words like "be" and "ye." So, I got out my trusty Strong's Concordance and that was a no go, too. Do you know how long it took me to look up just 5 or 10 occurrences of the phrase "be ye"?

So the thought was placed on the back burner for a while. Then we got a more powerful computer and Bible program and viola!! I could look up the phrase!

There are so many times God says "be ye" that it will take a while to cover it. I may cover a few, take a break and revisit the study but over the coming weeks and months, I hope you find the study as interesting as I do.

For today, think on this one:

"Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not."
Luke 12:40

In my observation over the past 40+ years of salvation and church attendance, it is, I think, when Christians forget that the Lord is returning; earth is temporary; there is a life in heaven ever after that Christians struggle more with serving the Lord.

If we "be ready" then we will be compelled to serve Him.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Great Is Thy Faithfulness

“His compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is Thy faithfulness"

Lamentations 3:22-23

Words by Thomas O. Chisholm

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.

Refrain
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Take a walk with God


  • Walk in the ways of the Lord
"They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways."
Psalm 119:3
  • Walk in the light of the Lord's countenance
"Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of thy countenance."
Psalm 89:15
  • Walk in the ways the Lord commands
"But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you."
Jeremiah 7:23
  • Walk in a perfect way
"Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me."
Psalm 101:6
  • Walk at liberty
"And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts."
Psalm 119:45

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Take a Walk With God


  • Walk worthy of the Lord
"That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;"
Colossians 1:10
  • Walk by faith not by sight
"(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)"
2 Corinthians 5:7
  • Walk in the light of the Lord
"O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the LORD."
Isaiah 2:5
  • Walk after His commandments
"And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it."
2 John 6
  • Walk in the way of good men
"That thou mayest walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous."
Proverbs 2:20

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Take a Walk With God


  • Walk in integrity
"But as for me, I will walk in mine integrity: redeem me, and be merciful unto me."
Psalm 26:11
  • Walk circumspectly
"See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,"
Ephesians 5:15
  • Walk after the Lord
"Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him."
Deuteronomy 13:4
  • Walk after the Spirit
"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."
Romans 8:1
  • Walk in newness of life
"Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life."
Romans 6:4

I'm humbled

(Rough translation: Wow! What Art!)

Deborah, from Songs From My Journey gave me this wonderful award! Deborah is another adoptive mother and our paths have crossed several times on the web. I love reading and hearing the songs she has written

Here are the rules for those who receive this award:

Pick 5 blogs that you consider deserving of this award, whether for creativity, design, interesting material, contribution to the blogging community.

Name each nominee and link to his/her blog.

Show the award and the name of the person who presented you with this award, and link to their blog.

Link to Arte Y Pico, the originator of the award.

Post these rules.

Here are my nominees for this award:
The Preacher's Wife I met Starr on a fellowship board and was so excited when she began blogging. Her thoughts always bless my heart.
My Life and Ponderings Michelle is an amazing sweet Christian who's insight has always challenged me to think.
Time with Tami This is one of the very first blogs I started reading. Since then Tami and I have become very close friends and my family even took a vacation to visit hers. Tami is also a pastor's wife and posts some amazing devotions.
A Home Away From Home I've known Tori since before there was an Internet that people blogged on. Tori is a devoted missionary wife and she shares her life on the mission field. I have always had a burden for missions (I wish God would send me!) and I look forward to Tori's posts.
ByGrace Someone else I've known since before we connected in cyber-space. When my husband first started our church in Kansas City, Susan's husband came with a group of young men to knock doors and hold a revival service. They were such a blessing to us. Susan shares her daily life on the mission field in Canada.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Take a Walk with God


  • Walk before God
"…I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect."
Genesis 17:1
  • Walk in the light
"But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin."
1 John 1:7
  • Walk in the truth
"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth."
3 John 4
  • Walk in the Spirit
"This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh."
Galatians 5:16
  • Walk in His paths
"…and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths…"
Micah 4:2

Monday, July 14, 2008

Take a Walk With God


  • Walk in Love
"I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;"
Ephesians 4:1-2
  • Walk Honestly
"That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing."
1 Thessalonians 4:12
  • Walk Uprightly
"He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly."
Proverbs 2:7
  • Walk in Wisdom
"Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time."
Colossians 4:5
  • Walk in the Law of the Lord
"Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD."
Psalm 119:1

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Wonderful Grace of Jesus

WONDERFUL GRACE OF JESUS
Hal­dor Lil­le­nas, 1918

“The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.”
Romans 16:20

Wonderful grace of Jesus,
Greater than all my sin;
How shall my tongue describe it,
Where shall its praise begin?
Taking away my burden,
Setting my spirit free;
For the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me.

Refrain
Wonderful the matchless grace of Jesus,
Deeper than the mighty rolling sea;
Wonderful grace, all sufficient for me, for even me.
Broader than the scope of my transgressions,
Greater far than all my sin and shame,
O magnify the precious Name of Jesus.
Praise His Name!

Wonderful grace of Jesus,
Reaching to all the lost,
By it I have been pardoned,
Saved to the uttermost,
Chains have been torn asunder,
Giving me liberty;
For the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me.

Wonderful grace of Jesus,
Reaching the most defiled,
By its transforming power,
Making him God’s dear child,
Purchasing peace and heaven,
For all eternity;
And the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Are You Wise or Otherwise?

Do you know what it really means to be wise?

  • Wise people listen to instruction, especially the Word of God.
A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:
Proverbs 1:5

Bow down thine ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply thine heart unto my knowledge.
Proverbs 22:17

Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.
Proverbs 23:23
  • Wise people fear the Lord.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Proverbs 1:7

Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.
Proverbs 3:7

The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.
Proverbs 8:13
  • Wise people associate with wise people.
He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.
Proverbs 13:20

That thou mayest walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous.
Proverbs 2:20

Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.
Proverbs 9:6
  • Wise people preserve what they’ve gained and they use it.
Wise men lay up knowledge: but the mouth of the foolish is near destruction.
Proverbs 10:14

The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.
Proverbs 13:4

A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing.
Proverbs 9:13

  • Wise people flee from sin.
A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident.
Proverbs 14:16

The highway of the upright is to depart from evil: he that keepeth his way preserveth his soul.
Proverbs 16:17

A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.
Proverbs 22:3
  • Wise people discipline their speech.
The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips.
Proverbs 16:23

In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.
Proverbs 10:19

The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things.
Proverbs 15:28
  • Wise people are diligent in their work.
Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds.
Proverbs 27:23

Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
Proverbs 4:23

Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.
Proverbs 6:6-8

  • Wise people seek to influence others to trust the Lord.
The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.
Proverbs 11:30

There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health.
Proverbs 12:18

A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.
Proverbs 15:4

Has the Word of God shown you to be wise, or otherwise?

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Be Prepared: The Body

There are a lot of quotes that people attribute to the Bible that aren't there. One of them is "Cleanliness is next to Godliness." That is not in the Bible.

However, having a clean, healthy body is part of the preparation for serving the Lord. Not only is our strength increased if we are clean and free from germs, but our testimony is also increased. Don't you hate it when the dirty, scary guy is holding up a Scripture sign? It's not a great testimony.

This is a pretty simple concept, but in order to prepare yourself to serve the Lord, take a shower!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Be Prepared: The Body

I don't know if you, my friends, are just comment shy or if this topic of caring for the body has us all stumped. Just in case it's the latter, I thought I'd share a few verses on the importance of care for our body, the temple.

"Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?"
1 Corinthians 3:16

"What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?"
1 Corinthians 6:19

"Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."
1 Corinthians 10:31

This body is the only vessel we have with which to serve God. Are you caring for it in light of that?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Come on People!

Give me some suggestions for eating right in order to maintain your strength to serve the Lord!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Be Prepared: The Body, part 2

"And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment."
Mark 12:30

In part one, we talked about getting enough rest. This time, I want to talk about getting proper nutrition. I want to talk about it, but I struggle with it. I eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and I take a good supplement, but I still don't feel like my diet is optimum for serving the Lord. I've even begun preparing two meatless meals a week for the family, but this is one area of real struggle for me.

So I'm going to do something different. I'm going to ask you. If you have any ideas, Scriptural and or practical for supporting your strength for serving the Lord with the things that you eat, post a comment and let me know.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Be Prepared: The Body

"And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment."
Mark 12:30

We are supposed to love the Lord with all of our strength. To better serve the Lord, we should maintain our strength. I believe the number one cause of women not having the strength to do the things that would please the Lord is that we do not get enough rest.

The Lord never intended for us to wear ourselves out serving the Lord while neglecting our bodies. Even to the disciples he said:

"And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat." (emphasis mine)
Matthew 6:31

The disciples were so busy that "they had no leisure so much as to eat." Sounds like a busy woman, doesn't it. When their lives reached this point, the Lord called them apart to rest a while.

The things we should do in order to get enough rest to serve the Lord with all our strength are simple things that we often forget.

  • Go to bed.
I know it sounds simple, but it is so easy to want to do those few extra things after the rest of the household had gone to bed. It seems productive to work while everyone else sleeps, but it will catch up to you. The living room may be dusted and the laundry may be put away but your strength will not be such that you can love the Lord the way you should.

  • Pace yourself.
It has been said many times but life is a marathon, not a sprint. Plan those things you must accomplish in such a way that you do not destroy your strength.

  • Take time to come aside and rest.
I try to take a short break once an hour. For 10 minutes or so, I stop … drink some water … maybe step outside and enjoy the weather … just something to restore my strength before continuing on with the task at hand.

Prepare yourself to serve the Lord by getting enough rest.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Love of God

by Fredrick Lehman


The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
It goes beyond the highest star,
And reaches to the lowest hell;
The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled,
And pardoned from his sin.

Refrain
O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure
The saints’ and angels’ song.

When years of time shall pass away,
And earthly thrones and kingdoms fall,
When men, who here refuse to pray,
On rocks and hills and mountains call,
God’s love so sure, shall still endure,
All measureless and strong;
Redeeming grace to Adam’s race—
The saints’ and angels’ song.

Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above,
Would drain the ocean dry.
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.



Monday, I will return to the series on Preparing to Serve the Lord and we will look at the preparing our bodies.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Back to Basics

I'm not afraid to say that I am 47 years old. The number doesn't mean much to me. I laugh when someone turns 30 and thinks that they are getting old.

I am amazed though, that at 47 years old, I find that my thoughts often dwell on lessons I learned when I was four. I teach two- to five-year-olds in Primary Church every week and I am very aware that many of the Bible principles that sustain me, I learned in Primary Church.

This week, I found myself walking around singing

Faith is just believing
What God said He would do.
He will never fail us,
His promises are true.
If we but receive Him,
His children we become.
Faith is just believing
This wondrous work is done.

The song comforted me and I realized that I first learned this song when I was but four. Never underestimate the basics, or the things that you teach your small children.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Having Hope When All Seems Hopeless: Conclusion

So, can anyone name the six things?

  • It’s okay to cry.
  • Keep God real.
  • Remind yourself of the good.
  • Focus on the good—not the bad.
  • Look for something every day to remind you God loves you.
  • Look to the future.


I had no idea why God let me suffer the things I suffered. There are some things we will never know. But I do know that I have been able to comfort others. And I can tell you there IS hope when everything seems hopeless.

"I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD."
Psalm 27:13-14

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Having Hope When All Seems Hopeless: Look to the future

Okay, quick what are the first 5 things to remember when all seems hopeless?
  • It’s okay to cry.
  • Keep God real.
  • Remind yourself of the good.
  • Focus on the good—not the bad.
  • Look for something everyday to remind you God loves you.

And finally
Look to the Future

Remember, this too shall come to pass. Believe me, I know how hard it is to look ahead when the present is so overwhelming. I have been through trials that I was sure would never end, and yet, the sun came up the next morning and I moved on.

Know that God is doing a work in you for a purpose.

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
Philippians 1:6

For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
Philippians 2:13

You may not know this side of heaven what that purpose is, but He is working.

Pillow your head tonight with the assurance that the sun will rise in the morning and you will move forward.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Having Hope When All Seems Hopeless: Remind Yourself of God's Love

One of the keys to keeping hope when all seems hopeless is to remind yourself constantly that God loves you. Look for things to remind you.

I love ladybugs. I decided a long time ago that every time I see a ladybug, I would remind myself that God loves me. Then, I surrounded myself with ladybugs. There is not a room in my house that does not have at least one ladybug in it. My little grandson knows about my ladybugs and every time he finds one, he runs to me to tell me about it.

And all those ladybugs around me make it impossible for me to forget that God loves me. There is so much hope in that one thought.

I have friends who have chosen redbirds, or hummingbirds, or even sand to remind themselves that God loves them. Try it! But above all, remember that God loves you!

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
John 3:16

"Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins."
I John 4:10

"But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,"
Ephesians 2:4

Monday, June 23, 2008

Having Hope When All Seems Hopless: Don't focus on the bad

"For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness."
Psalm 107:9

Along with reminding yourself all the good things God has done you must

Be mindful of the good and don't focus on the bad!

It is in our nature to see the bad. When all seems hopeless, you have to force yourself to look away, especially if the bad is something that you cannot control. Illness can't be controlled. The actions of others can't be controlled. Natural disasters can't be controlled. When those things are overwhelming you, you must find the good and quit dwelling on the bad.

  • Imagine a hedge around you, don’t look at the gap—look at the protection!

Between December of 2006 and September of 2007, I spent 39 days in the hospital. I was very ill and experienced multiple complications from my surgeries and my treatments. I couldn't control that. Instead of despairing, I learned to be thankful for the marvelous medical treatment that I had access to. If I had not had that care, I certainly would have died. Because I did not dwell on the illness, I laughed my way through the trial.

  • If the bad is in the past, keep it there!
I know so many people who suffer because they can't get over the past. You cannot do anything to change what has already happened. If you continually "play the video" in your mind, you will never undo the past, you will only re-live the pain. Put the past where it belongs. Look to the Lord and the future.

"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."
Hebrews 12:1-2

Friday, June 20, 2008

Having Hope When All Seems Hopeless: Remember the Good

When all seems hopeless,

Remind yourself of all the good things God has done!

"Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s."
Psalm 103:2-6

His benefits are numberless! Every last one of us has so much to thank the Lord for. Even in the depths of trials, God has given us breath. That is a blessing!

Do you have someone who loves you? A friend? A sister? A parent?

God had done GREAT things for you! When all seems hopeless, take your mind off of the bad and think on Him.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Having Hope When All Seems Hopeless: Keep God Real

One of the most important things to maintain hope is to remember to

Keep God Real!

This is one of the hardest ones, because when all seems hopeless, the devil wants us to think that God is a fairtale—He’s not really there. If you begin to doubt God, you will lose hope.

"But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."
Hebrews 11:6

"But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works."
Psalm 73:28

Some ways to keep God real are:

  • Walk with God, page after page, verse after verse, day after day.
  • Read your Bible according to a plan. Read a Proverbs every day and complete the thought: “A wise woman will . . ."
  • Keep a prayer list and check off answered prayer
A relationship with a real God will give you hope regardless of the circumstances. Keep Him real!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Having Hope When All Seems Hopeless: It's Okay to Cry

First I want to tell you
It's okay to cry!

"Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book? When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me. In God will I praise his word: in the LORD will I praise his word. In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me. Thy vows are upon me, O God: I will render praises unto thee. For thou hast delivered my soul from death: wilt not thou deliver my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living?"
Psalm 56:8-11

It's even a good thing to cry unto the Lord. He wants to comfort you. It's a good thing physically because a good cry washes stress out of your body.

"My friends scorn me: but mine eye poureth out tears unto God."
Psalm 56:8-11

The Lord is with you even when everyone else has left. He wants us to throw ourselves into His loving care and pour out our grief. Because He cares for you so much that he knows how many hairs are on your head.

"But the very hairs of your head are all numbered."
Matthew 10:30

Sometimes we get to thinking that tears are a sign of weakness. They are not. They are a sign of grief and the strongest among us suffer grief. Sometimes we just need someone to tell us we can break down and cry. I'm telling you it's okay. So first, when all seems hopeless, go ahead and cry. You'll feel better. The Lord is waiting to hear from you.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Having Hope When All Seems Hopeless: Intro

After a short break, I will continue our series on Preparing to Serve the Lord. In the meantime, I want to share a few thoughts with you on Having Hope.

"For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope."

Romans 15:4

I wasn’t always a 44-year-old grandmother. Long ago, when dinosaurs walked the earth, I was a 13-year-old girl who thought all was lost. My mother suffered from serious mental illness. From the time I was eight until I was nineteen, she spent more time in mental hospitals than she did at home with us. I was the oldest of five children and it fell to me to care for them. Don't get me wrong, I love them all dearly, but children aren't the best choice for raising other children. As I entered puberty, I faced not only the usual fears and struggles of a 13-year-old girl, but I faced those things alone with more responsibilities than many grown women shoulder. I thought all hope was lost.

I'd been in church since I was two. I had been saved when I was only five. I had surrendered my life to the will of God shortly after I turned eight. It was only my relationship with the Lord that carried me through.

Since that time, I have experienced many trials during which I found myself clinging to the Lord.

Over the coming days, I want to give you 6 things that will help you have hope, when all seems hopeless.

Those things will be:
  1. It’s okay, and even a good thing to cry.
  2. Keep God real.
  3. Remember all the good things God has done.
  4. Be mindful of the good things in your life and don’t focus on the bad.
  5. Look for something everyday to remind you that God loves you.
  6. Look to the future.
"Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God."
Psalm 42:11

Monday, June 16, 2008

Be Prepared: The Mind, Part 5

"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross."
Philippians 2:5-8

Ultimately, the mind prepared to serve the Lord belongs to a person who strives to have the mind of Christ.

  • The mind of Christ is the mind of a servant.
"And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all."
Mark 10:44

  • The mind of Christ is humble.
"The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility."
Proverbs 15:33

  • The mind of Christ is obedient.
"If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love."
John 15:10

In review, a mind prepared to serve the Lord will be
  • A Renewed Mind
  • A Willing Mind
  • A Mind Stayed on God
  • A Mind That Recalls
  • The Mind of Christ
"And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself."
Luke 10:27

Sunday, June 15, 2008

I haven't forgotten

The weather events here have just had me a bit distracted. I will be posting part 5 to Preparing the Mind tomorrow.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Be Prepared: The Mind, Part 4

"This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD."
Lamentations 3:21-26

A mind prepared to serve the Lord recalls some things.
  • God is compassionate.
  • Great is His faithfulness
  • He is our portion.
  • He is good.
  • We can hope in Him.
  • We should wait quietly for Him.
Aren't those all wonderful things to recall? When you are hurting, He is compassionate. When you feel alone, He is faithful. When you feel destitute, He is your portion. When it seems as if only bad things surround you, He is good. When all seems hopeless, you can hope in Him.

Quiet your mind. Recall and wait for Him.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Be Prepared: The Mind, Part 3

"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee."
Isaiah 26:3

In preparing our minds to serve the Lord it is important that we learn to keep our minds stayed on the Him. One of the biggest hurdles in serving the Lord is avoiding worry. We worry when we look at our circumstances instead of our God.

I don't have a lot to say about this. When you worry, just quit it! My mom was the queen of worriers. Once when my husband was teaching a Bible study on this subject he said, "Do you realize that 90% of what you worry about, never happens?" My mom piped up and said, "See how good it works!"

It was funny, but she was wrong. It is not worry that protects us, it is the Lord.

Keep your mind stayed on God!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Be Prepared: The Mind, part 2

"For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not."
2 Corinthians 8:12

In order to prepare our minds to love the Lord and serve Him, we need to develop a willing mind.

Have you ever asked someone to do something and though that person agreed, she did it unwillingly? Doesn't that drive you crazy? My grandson is four. Almost always when I ask him to do something, he jumps up and does it right away. Every once in a while, he doesn't. Just last week, he decided to see what happens at bedtime if he takes very slow baby steps on his way to his room. He was not going willingly. (By the way, he did not like what happened.)

God delights in a willing servant. So how do we develop a willing mind?

To begin with, the verse says our willingness is based on what we have, not on what we don't have. To develop a willing mind, we should
  • Asses our abilities.
What are we good at? What are we capable of? Now this is not necessarily what we like to do, but what we can do. For example, I really am a shy person. Very few people who have met me get that. I don't act shy. I don't act shy because I am capable of speaking to others. It's not something that I like naturally, but I am capable of it. I reached a point in my life where I needed to be willing to allow the Lord to use that ability.

On the other hand, I am not a musician. I can sing, but I cannot play an instrument. I even took piano lessons as an adult because I wanted to have that ability for God to use. It is just not one of my abilities. I suppose I could have continued lessons and devoted massive amounts of time to practice in order to become marginally competent, but I came to a point when I had to assess my time and decide what was good stewardship of my talents and abilities. Instrumental music is not one of them.

So assess your abilities, and then
  • Thank God for your abilities.
If you realize that your abilities came from God, it is easy to be willing to use them for Him.

Finally,
  • Look for ways to use your abilities.
There is so much to be done for the Lord that no ability, no matter how insignificant you think it is, will go unused if you are willing.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Be Prepared: The Mind, Part 1

“And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.”
Mark 12:30

Last week we looked at preparing our hearts to serve the Lord. This week, I want to take a look at preparing our minds. When I began searching my Bible for what God says about our minds, I was actually surprised at how many things there were. Sometimes in Christianity there seems to be an attitude that “if your heart is in it” you’ve done all you could. That’s not always true. We have a responsibility to serve the Lord with all our minds.

So where do we start? According to the Bible, we should have a renewed mind. That would be a good place to start.

  • A Renewed Mind

A renewed mind is a renovated mind. Let’s talk for a minute about renovations. There is a difference between remodeling and renovating. In this house, we remodeled our bedroom. We repainted and redecorated and repaired some things, but we kept the same basic structure of the room. A remodel is a makeover. To renovate literally means to make new. In our last house we renovated the kitchen. We stripped the room all the way down to the studs and the subfloor and started all over again with new floor, new walls, new fixtures — the whole enchilada. We made a new kitchen.

Too many times, we try to remodel our minds — keep the same basic thoughts but do a makeover. That’s not enough.

We need to start over and that begins at salvation. Before we are saved, when we are lost, our minds are blinded.

“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”
2 Corinthians 4:3-4

“This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. ye have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”
Ephesians 4:17-24

Once we have received salvation, we have to begin the daily job of building our minds up in Christ.

“Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Isaiah 55:7-9

Concentrate on the thoughts of God. This is why it is so very important to read the Bible every day. The Bible is God’s written record of His thoughts. In our frail humanity, we will never fully grasp His thoughts, but Scripture is the only place to begin.

So read the Bible every day.

In Sunday School we sing the little song:

Read your Bible
Pray every day
Pray every day
Pray every day
Read your Bible
Pray every day
And you'll grow, grow, grow!

Tomorrow, we will begin looking at the characteristics of a renewed mind — a mind prepared to serve the Lord.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Good Ol' Gospel Train


I know I haven't mentioned it on here before, but my grandson lives for trains. He loves trains. He eats and breathes trains.

Some Sundays, when our church attendance is down, he is my only student in Primary Church. I found a song to teach him and had the opportunity today.

It goes like this:

I am traveling on the Hallelujah track
On the Good Ol' Gospel Train.
I am on the right track
And never will go back
To the station of sin again.

I need no fare
I'm traveling on a "pass"
Tis' the blood for sinners slain.
I am traveling on the Hallelujah track
On the Good Ol' Gospel Train.



Many, many times, when I am teaching my little ones, my heart is blessed beyond measure by the lesson. That was the case today. When we came to the line, "I need no fare, I'm traveling on a pass, tis' the blood for sinners slain," my heart welled within me once again in remembrance of the awesome gift of salvation.

Since I was a little girl myself, sitting in Children's church, singing Jesus Loves Me, it has never ceased to amaze me what Jesus did for me!

"Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:"
1 Peter 1:18-19

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Every Day With Jesus



Every day with Jesus,
Is sweeter than the day before.
Every day with Jesus,
I love Him more and more.
Jesus saves and keeps me,
And He's the One I'm living for.
Every day with Jesus,
Is sweeter than the day before.



Walking with Jesus,
Walking every day,
Walking all the way.
Walking with Jesus,
Walking with Jesus alone.

Walking in the sunlight, walking in the shadow,
Walking everyday, walking all the way.
Walking in the sunlight, walking in the shadow,
walking with Jesus alone.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Be Prepared: The Heart, Conclusion

So how do we prepare our hearts?
  • Meditate on your state.
"Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah."
Psalm 39:5
  • Meditate on the awesome God!
"Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered."
Psalm 40:5
  • Commit yourself to Him that judges righteously.
"Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:"
1 Peter 2:23
  • Prepare your hearts unto the Lord, and serve Him only.
"And Samuel spake unto all the house of Israel, saying, If ye do return unto the LORD with all your hearts, then put away the strange gods and Ashtaroth from among you, and prepare your hearts unto the LORD, and serve him only: and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines."
1 Samuel 7:3

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Be Prepared: The Heart, Part 3

To prepare our hearts, we can't be critical of ourselves or God. The next thing?

Don’t be critical of others!

"Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge."
James 4:11

We are blessed beyond measure and yet we complain.
  • Complaining about the price of Christian things.
I don't want to get off track here, but why do people often think that Christian things should be cheap? We pay full price for quality things of the world and then want Christian things to be a bargain. Shouldn't it be the other way around?
  • Complaining about who does what and who doesn’t.
"And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;"
1 Thessalonians 4:11

I used to repeat over and over to my children, "You answer for you. Don't worry about them." Too any times we find ourselves cheering Martha on: "Yeah! Why isn't Mary working?! I'm busting my chops here and she's just taking it all in!" This isn't a lesson about Mary vs. Martha, but too often we identify ourselves with Martha in more ways than just the working.

You answer for you. Don't worry about them.
  • Complaining about . . .
"Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;"
Philippians 2:14-15

If all you knew of the Christian life was the words that came from your own lips, would you want to be a Christian? Do you know that your own complaining can affect you? If you complain enough, your own heart will become discouraged.

Instead of complaining, suffer yourself to be defrauded! Esteem other better than yourself! Give up your way and live for others!!

"Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?"
1 Corinthians 6:7

"But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also."
Matthew 5:39

21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:
23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:
24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

I Peter 2

Instead of complaining, commit yourself to Him that judgeth righteously. It's good for your heart.