Thursday, November 29, 2012

Morning thoughts


Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving Holiday! Jeff and I went out this year for a change…The restaurant was so beautifully decorated for Christmas, that it inspired me to decorate our house early this year.
Anyone who does not live under a rock…not the swanky kinda rock with cable TV and internet…knows about the unrest in the middle east surrounding Israel lately…
Don’t forget to pray for Israel as we are commanded to.

 Here is a link for a good sample prayer: http://www.prayingscriptures.com/jerusalem.shtml


Sunrise over Jerusalem
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A little perspective
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And, on a lighter note…
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It’s getting cold in the north…I caught these three together in front of the heater this morning, which is a rare occurrence to find all three together close enough for a photo! They all seem to call a truce whenever the heater kicks on, otherwise Emma, the chihuahua will not tolerate the others encroaching on her territory (sorry about the poor quality…I just woke up, and used my smartphone to capture this.) Actually, It’s never easy to get a good picture of black dogs in a dark house…especially when one or both suddenly start moving about as soon as they see me with the camera! Last weekend I caught my husband sound asleep and spooning with Buddy (did I mention it’s getting cold in the north?)…luckily, for him, My camera died just as I was about to take the shot…He still doesn’t believe me. I sure wish I had a picture to prove it to him.

Well, that’s about it for now…My brain needs more coffee.

~Have a blessed day~

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Grace Among Thorns

And … there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to bruise me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
For this thing I sought the Lord three times, that it might be removed from me…

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And he said unto me

My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.
( 2 Corinthians 12:7-9)

The rose in the above picture just bloomed this week! What a surprise to see this vibrant red rose amongst all the dried out vines and leaves in the yard.
Had it bloomed a few weeks ago, when everything was so colorful, we may not have even noticed it…but now with everything so dull and colorless, this beauty really stands out.
Isn’t that how God’s grace is? I mean, when things seem at their bleakest, and all hope seems lost, we struggle with finding the joy and purpose in anything…and just when we are about to give up….that’s when God gives us more…More of His Holy Spirit, more of His love, more of His presence in our loneliness, more of His strength in our weakness!
Even though we are surrounded by a sinful world. Even when the enemy whispers in our ear, and we sin…God is nearby. His Spirit is ready to forgive us our sin and wash us clean again when we repent…This silences the enemy…The thorn is still there, but God’s grace is sufficient to cover over it again and again….

The enemy says….You are a sinner.

But, GOD says…

There is now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit….(Romans 8:1)

And the spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are… the children of God.  (Romans 8:16)

And the children of God say…~Amen!~





Monday, November 12, 2012

Chasing Feathers

 
...the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell...James 3:5-6


I wish I could take back the words I said…But
that idea is as futile as trying to catch feathers blowing away in the wind…the feathers are like words spoken in a moment of anger, or carelessness.
I asked the Lord to reveal a sin to me very recently. I just did not have peace in my walk, or in any aspect of my life lately. He didn’t reveal the sin that was in my heart right away, it took a couple of days, but when I seen it for what it was,  I was struck with such a sickening feeling about it, and I repented of it immediately!
Now, I know that the Lord forgave the transgression, and even cleansed me from it, but in this case, He was requiring me to do something further…since it was the sin of bringing accusation against the brethren, against the pastor of the church I was attending…accusation based on assumptions made about a man with whom I have never even taken the time to get to know…and then using my words to fuel the fire of others who were less than impressed with the man, and with the church.
I even encouraged my own husband to quit attending church…My husband, by the way, whom I have prayed would join me in attending church for a long time!
So, why am I writing about this on here? you might be asking.
Because, my dear sisters and brothers, I want to let you know, that I felt that I could not continue to effectively minister to anyone unless I came clean about what I have done to the body of Christ, to part of our family…and ask you to please pray that the enemy, who is the accuser of the brethren will not feel free to ever use me in this way again!
You see, in all my years of being a Christian, I have tried to understand exactly what my gifts were in the body of Christ, and it was made very clear that my gift is to edify the church, to encourage my brethren to not lose hope and to understand that in His presence is fullness of Joy…so that when the enemy comes along to try to steal your hope and take away your joy…you would understand that out of Jesus flows the living Water of life eternal, and His Holy Spirit dwells within you guaranteeing access to His Holy presence 24/7…This hope and joy can not be taken unless it is given away! This is my ministry…this is what the Lord has equipped me to do!..And it is not of myself, but through Him all glory belongs!!
So, the enemy, through his subtle deceit, used me to act in opposition to my calling in Christ, and this was a sin done out of my own weakness and stupidity. There are no excuses for what I did. I am forgiven, God has forgotten this sin already, but I must remember to never let it happen again…Amen, and Thank you Jesus for this cleansing!~
So, although I may never catch all those elusive feathers that I so so carelessly released out into the wind…I am entrusting God to help me do some damage control in that situation….If only I can catch one of those feathers...



 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:29


Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person  Colossians 4:6

Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.  Proverbs 16:24

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Right Attitude

Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God... Romans 13:1
 
It's been a few days now since the United States Presidential election.
Since the results were revealed early Wednesday morning, I have read pretty much the same kind of posts on many Christian blogs and other media concerning the outcome. Everyone is expressing their feelings of impending doom, fears of further econimic breakdown, and the continuation of social and moral decline. There is definately a dark cloud of oppression hanging over our heads, it would seem.
 Christians are really upset, some are scared, some are angry, and some just don't seem to know how to describe exactly what they are feeling. The latter would be where I best fit into....That is why I did not intend to post anything at all directly, or indirectly, about the election, before or after, that is, until I came across this following article...It is a good and honest example of what our attitude as a Christian should be in regards to the subject...
 
Please read:

Dear President Obama,


Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/letter-to-president-obama-from-a-christian-jazz-musician-84652/#1eAO0RcP0sIxAGvL.99

 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Lost rewards, no big deal?

"Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work" (Revelation 22:12)

Look to yourselves, that ye lose not the things which we have wrought, but that ye receive a full reward. (2 John 8)











Quite honestly, I must admit, I am guilty of not trying as hard as I should to do more things for the Lord. I rest in the blessed assurance of my salvation through the grace of what Jesus accomplished on the cross, but then get a bit slack when it comes to what I can do for Him. (of course there is nothing we can possibly do to pay Him back fully!) We are incapable of this, just as we are incapable of paying the sin debt ourselves in the first place.

However,

In my anticipation of the glory of what living forever in Heaven with my beloved Savior might be like...I am stunted in my vision of that splendor. I tend to envision a wonderful beauty beyond imagination...which is, of course, true.
But, what I am not seeing, is that, whle earning rewards are like a 'bonus' for us to enjoy when we get there...I tend to think I will be happy enough to just get to live there forever...and that rewards are just some extras...
So, here's a little exercise the Lord gave me to do...it's a visionary exercise:

Imagine a place, a day,or event here on earth where you were at your happiest ever...where you often revisit in your mind...a place of peace and calm, joy and love....Go ahead and get that picture in your mind...I'll wait.

Here is one of mine (in case you need some help)~


 


 

Now, imagine that place looking more like this:


Still pretty, but not as much, right?

Well, in context of where we live, we can draw assessments of whether a place is beautiful or just pretty, glorious or just ordinary.
Of course the most beautiful place here on earth will pale in comparison to the least glorious place in Heaven! 
 I hope you can grasp the meaning behind this little visual exercise, in order to appreciate the importance of wanting to do as much as we can for the Lord, whenever we have opportunity, while here on earth (in our mortal bodies).
Because, not only does God want to bless us above and beyond our wildest imagination...but the more we please Him, the more it blesses Him and brings Him glory!


~Bless The Lord O My Soul~

Chorus:
Bless the Lord, Oh my soul
And all that is within me
Bless His holy name


Verse:
He has done great things
He has done great things
He has done great things
Bless His holy name
....by Andrea Crouch

Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. (Galations 6:10)
 

Barnes' Notes on the Bible (continue for more insight and commentary)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

About prayer


Lately I have been asked to pray for more people than at any other time in my entire 27 years as a Christian.

Philippians 4:6 free christian wallpaper download

Here I am, a weak, and (often) scared little woman with fragile bones, and scattered brains…sitting down with the Spirit of Almighty God, and just talking about how people need Him so much. They need His provision to pay their car insurance so that they can get to work, they need His healing touch upon their sick child, or husband, or upon their own body, to take away the cancer, the lung distress, the heart condition, the depression, the anxiety, they need a job to pay the rent before the date on the eviction notice comes, and their little children and them will have no home. Then there is the call from a friend, who is on the other end sobbing, and just tells me she has an unspoken request, and would I please pray?
I can only imagine, but God knows. I can only pray, but God gives His grace as only He knows best. His will is perfect…He is the author and finisher. Even what little bit we may do…it is not by our own righteousness, but by Christ’s righteousness that He does it all. It is through His grace we are saved, we are healed, we are delivered, and we are blessed.
Here is a little secret: I do not always feel like praying. Sometimes I am instantly overwhelmed by doubt, or emotion, or fear, anger, etc...But I know I must ask the Holy Spirit to intercede with groans instead of my own words…I know God deserves to be praised for who He is,  So I praise Him… I am humbled in His presence and my fear, and doubt, and anger is replaced with hope and joy and love for the Savior and for the Father, and gratitude for the Holy Spirit.
And then I read another prayer request online, another email, and the phone rings once again…I grow weary, and I feel inept. Am I depressed again? I ask. Why are we getting so attacked? I ask. Are any of us going to make it, or is the enemy going to pick us off one by one, hour by hour? 
Lord?…
Are you still there?

A thousand shall fall at thy side…

So weary, I can’t even seem to open the Bible.

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For you, Deb

Discouraged.... Where is my faith?

... and ten thousand at thy right hand;



I turn on the TV for distraction from my gloom, I am forced yet again to think about the election, and politics, war, and wickedness. I turn the channel and am reminded once again of the victims of Hurricane Sandy…another storm coming, they say.
I flip through the channels and am disgusted at the blatant immorality displayed on the screen in front of me, and at the consumer greed that fuels commercial after commercial. No, we do not need a better cellphone! People need to call on God! That is the only sure and dependable communication available to us!
I turn off the TV, and go to bed. I am angry, not at God, but at the enemy. What I feel is indignation…righteous indignation. I realize, that this is not my own anger, but God’s anger welling up inside. The Holy spirit is showing me that I must not fall asleep spiritually.
We must all remain sober and alert. Do not grow numb. Pay attention…Do not turn off that News Broadcast, Do not turn your face away! God wants us to see, He wants us to see enough to bring us running into His throne room, to keep us on our ‘spiritual’ knees. He wants us to know that all the ‘unspoken’ prayers from our hearts are being heard, and that all the spoken prayers from the saints are being delivered and He is delighted to share with us His grace and mercy!
He will always answer, and sometimes we may even be able to hear that still, small voice amidst the thunder and the bombing, within the humming of the MRI scanner, and the crying child….

Be still and know that I am God



In the morning I awake to the phone ringing. I am reluctant to answer, thinking it is just another of the ‘robo-calls’ from one of the political groups, attempting to stretch the truth about the propositions in order to fool me sway my vote…
But something tells me to answer it…My friend sounds really happy, she thanks me for praying…everything has been resolved. We praise the Lord for His grace and power.
I complete my morning routine with a bit of a bounce in my step now, as I sing praises to the Lord. I read an email, and then another…praises for answered prayer! I visit a blog…What? God did what?…surgeons prepare to attach valves to a baby’s heart, only to find that the valves (that were believed to be missing), are not only there….but are already attached!… Wow God!
Then the phone rings…Mom, the rent will be paid!  the Lord has shone His favor, giving grace once again…Yes, it was my own daughter and grandchildren being threatened with eviction; and because she and her ex husband are in process of divorce, and  my daughter has just began a job recently while going to school as well, we could not move them here. All we could do was pray, and God intervened. Now they can stay in their home, and school and job!
Back online…I was praying for a friend having trouble, going through a ‘dry spell’ some time ago…she is back to blogging, and I can sense the renewal of purpose in her posts! Little did she know, that even while I was trying to reassure and encourage her, I too was parched then….but God’s Word never returns void…He works through us and in us….
Encouraged, I answer the phone and can speak with confidence to the caller as she sobs…Don’t worry, honey because God is answering our prayers, and he desires to bless us…I share with her about all the others…and reassure her she will be next! God is so good…

Got the call just today…Another praise…You were right Mom, (yes, another of my own)…God is good and worthy to be praised…

9 Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;
10 There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling

Where is our dwelling place?



He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.   (psalm 91:1)

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So do not fear,  for I am with you;      do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen  you and help  you;      I will uphold ...