Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Wasting Time

It's Wednesday...Hump day.  We get over this hump and only two more days until Friday!!  How often do you hear, "Monday...ugh!" "Is it Friday, yet?"

We wish our weeks (years) away, looking forward to the weekend, as if today is of no importance.  After all, only Saturday and Sunday count, right?  That may not be exactly correct.

James 4:14 tells us, "The reality is you have no idea where your life will take you tomorrow.  You are like a mist that appears one moment and then vanishes another."  We can't dismiss today, and look forward to the weekend, when we never know what the next day...or the next moment will bring.

David tells us in Psalm 118:24: "This is the day which the LORD has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it." THIS is the day.  Rejoice in TODAY.  Don't wait for a day that may never arrive!  Search for opportunities to find joy in every day of the week.  You may discover a treasure that is much more special than any weekend could offer!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

John 3:16



For God    ~    the Almighty Creator of the Universe
so loved    ~    Adored, Cherished, Treasured
the world    ~    us, sinners, His unfaithful creation
that he gave    ~    turned over, relinquished, dispensed
His only Son,    ~    His Child, His Beloved, Jesus
so that everyone   ~  all, no exceptions, any person
who believes in Him    ~    knows, trusts, has faith in 
shall not perish    ~    die, be destroyed, end
but have    ~    accept, acquire, gain
everlasting   ~    eternal, forever, undying
               ~    LIFE.    ~    

Friday, August 9, 2013

Burning Arrows



Burning arrows.  They are shot at us from all sides.  We face them every day. 
They come in the form of whispers of doubt in our heads:

"You're not good enough!" "You are stupid!"  "WHY did you do that?!"  "Everything is YOUR fault!"

Flaming darts that invade our hearts.  "No one loves you."  "You're worthless." "You are all alone."

Scorching coals that smolder in our very souls.   "Because of that one bad choice, your life is now over...You might as well end it all."

How can we protect ourselves from those weapons of deceit?  God knew we would be bombarded with those searing missiles.  He gave us protection against them...a whole suit of armor.

A belt of truth to wear, that lets us know that those whispers are nothing but lies.  They are deceitful daggers that attempt to make us doubt our worth and God's Love.

We have a breastplate of righteousness to wear, to protect our hearts.  We protect our hearts with the 'right' things to do and say...the things that God wants us to do.

We possess a shield of faith that we use to extinguish all of this searing ammunition.  Faith that we have a God that is in control, and that He loves us beyond measure.

We are given shoes of peace to wear.  They come in handy when situations arise in which we are tempted to walk down a violent and quarrelsome path.

We can accept a helmet of salvation to protect our minds against those feelings of hopelessness.  For when we accept the salvation of Christ, we know that we are loved so much, He chose to die for us.  We know that we have a forever home with Christ in heaven, one day.  If you have any questions about this, please click here.

Most importantly, we have a sword.  A sword of the spirit...which is the Word of God.  But there is a responsibility with this piece of equipment.  It must be continually used and nurtured.  We must know as much of the Word as we can, to protect our heads from the constant whispering arrows shot at it.

Finally, we must not forget to pray.  Continually keep in contact with your Spiritual Commander!  He will give you the constant power you will need to defeat the enemy.

So get ready to face the day.  Put on that armor...and know that you will be victorious!!



Ephesians 6: 11-18 (GNV)   "11 Put on all the armor that God gives you, so that you will be able to stand up against the Devil's evil tricks. 12 For we are not fighting against human beings but against the wicked spiritual forces in the heavenly world, the rulers, authorities, and cosmic powers of this dark age. 13 So put on God's armor now! Then when the evil day comes, you will be able to resist the enemy's attacks; and after fighting to the end, you will still hold your ground.
14 So stand ready, with truth as a belt tight around your waist, with righteousness as your breastplate, 15 and as your shoes the readiness to announce the Good News of peace. 16 At all times carry faith as a shield; for with it you will be able to put out all the burning arrows shot by the Evil One. 17 And accept salvation as a helmet, and the word of God as the sword which the Spirit gives you. 18 Do all this in prayer, asking for God's help. Pray on every occasion, as the Spirit leads. For this reason keep alert and never give up; pray always for all God's people."
  

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Master Plumber

The other day we had to work on a plumbing problem at my mother in law's home.  The kitchen sink has had an extremely slow drain for years.  Over the years, we have tried all sorts of solutions, but nothing worked, including calling a plumber.  He mumbled something about small pipes, and gave us a bill.  The drain seemed to get slower and slower.

So, Steve went up on the roof with a plumber's snake and a water hose to try and clean out the plumbing pipe..  It only resulted in both kitchen sinks being filled with black, horrible smelling water.  He tried to think of what to do.  Then he remembered that there might be a clean out valve buried by the front of the house somewhere. After digging up part of the flower bed, he found it.  It looked as if it had never been touched.  The cap was rusted tight.  He steadily worked on it, until after about a half an hour, he finally got it to move.  When the cap was removed, he saw a muddy looking plug.  After prying it out, there was a rush of greasy black water.  To make a long story short, It took him hours to get all of the accumulated gunk out from the pipes.  Fifty years of sludge.  He had to use 3 different plumber's snakes to do it.  Finally the last one went up about 45 feet under the house, and whoosh!  The sink drained perfectly!!

We guessed that in all of the time that his mom lived there, even though she was an extremely meticulous housekeeper, residue had built up in the pipes.  It didn't happen right away.  It built up slowly over time.

Isn't that like us?  We let little things come into our lives, through our eyes, and ears, and our actions.  We may think we're living a clean life..  It slowly begins to build up, without us noticing it.  Then we may be aware that things aren't the same. We start to feel as if something is missing..What do we do?  We could try all sorts of solutions...drinking, drugs, relationships, or a quest for money....but that doesn't work.  We just seem to get more filled with...gunk.  It can seem hopeless.  But there is a solution!

It is a Master Plumber.  Jesus came to get rid of our filthiness. With one call, He can be our Clean Out Valve, instantly releasing us from all of the black gunk that has built up in our lives.  By His death on the cross, He is able to make our pipes--our lives-- 'whiter than snow'.  And the best thing...it is free!  You don't have to pay a thing!

If your life is filled with a grimy mess, the answer is in a simple, heartfelt prayer, like this:   "Jesus, I am sorry for all of my sins.  I want You to come into my life and clean me from all of my bad choices.  I want You to be Lord of my life."

Maybe you are already a Christian, and your spiritual life seems to have slowed down a little...or a lot.  The Master Plumber is there to remove any blockages you may have...He's only a call away!!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Covered

It's hard to turn on the news today without getting nervous...or downright scared.  Between all the wars, and threats of wars...financial uncertainties, and violence everywhere you turn, it makes you want to close your eyes and hide in a corner.

During these uncertain moments, I love to think of Psalm 91..It has been one of my favorite Bible references for many, many years.  Here it is:  Which verse speaks to YOU?

Psalm 91
Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
    will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
This I declare about the Lord:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
    he is my God, and I trust him.
For he will rescue you from every trap
    and protect you from deadly disease.
He will cover you with his feathers.

    He will shelter you with his wings.
    His faithful promises are your armor and protection.

Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,
    nor the arrow that flies in the day.
Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness,
    nor the disaster that strikes at midday.
Though a thousand fall at your side,
    though ten thousand are dying around you,
    these evils will not touch you.
Just open your eyes,
    and see how the wicked are punished.
If you make the Lord your refuge,
    if you make the Most High your shelter,
10 no evil will conquer you;
    no plague will come near your home.
11 For he will order his angels
    to protect you wherever you go.
12 They will hold you up with their hands
    so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.
13 You will trample upon lions and cobras;
    you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!
14 The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.
    I will protect those who trust in my name.
15 When they call on me, I will answer;
    I will be with them in trouble.
    I will rescue and honor them.
16 I will reward them with a long life
    and give them my salvation.”

So even though there are trials all around us, we are protected. Our Heavenly Father tells us to open our tightly closed eyes and see...He's got us covered.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Kisses from God

Have you ever experienced an unexpected answer to a problem, without you even voicing the problem out loud?  I've experienced this many times, but one particular "kiss from God" comes to mind. 

When our kids were younger, we went through a couple of tough spells, financially. It was getting close to Christmas, and my husband and I were wondering what we were going to do.  We didn't say anything to anyone, but secretly tried to figure out how we were going to pull this off.

One Sunday, a week or so before Christmas, our pastor came up to my husband and slipped an envelope in his pocket.  He said that someone had wanted to give it to us, and he was just making a delivery.  It was enough to let our four children have a nice Christmas.  We never found out who our benefactor was. A few days later, a knock came to our door, and a very special couple said that they wondered if our two little boys would like to have a train set that their boys had outgrown. The kids were thrilled!  I'll never forget that feeling of awe and wonder.  How did they know??  We hadn't said a word  But God knew.

 How amazing is that?  On second thought, why should we be surprised?  Psalm 44:21 tells us: 
"would not God have discovered it, since he knows the secrets of the heart?"
God knows each of our hearts.  He knows the innermost secrets that we hold.  The most awesome thing is, the Creator of the Universe, the great I AM, actually cares about every aspect of our lives.  He cares and provides answers to the problems we face.  He will place people that we need at exactly the right time. He does this because He loves us and wants good things for those who love Him.  Psalm 139 is full of the proof of how much God cares for us:
New Life Version (NLV)
 O Lord, You have looked through me and have known me. You know when I sit down and when I get up. You understand my thoughts from far away. You look over my path and my lying down. You know all my ways very well. Even before I speak a word, O Lord, You know it all.You have closed me in from behind and in front. And You have laid Your hand upon me. All You know is too great for me. It is too much for me to understand.Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I run away from where You are? If I go up to heaven, You are there! If I make my bed in the place of the dead, You are there! If I take the wings of the morning or live in the farthest part of the sea, 10 even there Your hand will lead me and Your right hand will hold me. 11 If I say, “For sure the darkness will cover me and the light around me will be night,” 12 even the darkness is not dark to You. And the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are the same to You.13 For You made the parts inside me. You put me together inside my mother. 14 I will give thanks to You, for the greatness of the way I was made brings fear. Your works are great and my soul knows it very well. 15 My bones were not hidden from You when I was made in secret and put together with care in the deep part of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw me before I was put together. And all the days of my life were written in Your book before any of them came to be.
This doesn't mean that we won't go through more 'tough times', but when we do, our "kisses from God" help us to remember that God is never far away.

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