Are You A Quitter?

Posted: February 24, 2014 in DAILY LIVING, FAITH, GOD'S LOVE
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Proverbs 24: 16

For though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again.

Are you a quitter? As children, we knew being called  a quitter was bad. Right up there with being a chicken or having cooties. But as adults we know there are times when it’s right to quit, but when?

Certainly, we aren’t called to quit just because things get rough. Or when it takes longer than expected. Or when our feelings get hurt. Or when we’re just plain tired.

I can’t tell you when it’s the right time to quit. That’s between you and God, but I can tell you when to rise up again because the Bible tells me the answer. When you fall! Seven times? Maybe, but it could be even more. Just as Jesus answered Peter when he asked how many times he had to forgive someone–seventy-seven came the answer.

Giving up is easy. Rising up again and again and again isn’t so easy. In fact, it can be quite difficult, but we learn so much when we rise again after the fall. Rising up again strengthens us and matures us as Christians. Each time we rise again that mustard seed of faith grows a bit more as does our dependence on God.  And never forget someone somewhere is watching you. Each time you rise, you show the power of God.

I’m struggling now–physically, but not spiritually. In spite of all my health issues, I’m at peace. At least most of the time. I won’t say I don’t get discouraged because I do. But when I am discouraged I remind myself of  two different verses.

First, Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Second, Romans 8:28: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

As I remind myself of these two wonderful promises, God gives me the strength to rise up and face the day once again.

I pray the same for you.

 

LOVE ONE ANOTHER

Posted: February 12, 2014 in DAILY LIVING
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Mark 12:29-31

“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.  Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.”

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. And that means LOVE!   Valentine’s Day is all about the ooey–gooey romantic type of love. And that’s all fine and good. I love romance as much as the next person.

But God calls us to love one another–every day all day!

And who are we to love?

This verse tells us to love our neighbors. And who are our neighbors? We know from the story of the Good Samaritan that our neighbors are all people, not just the ones who live next door. Another verse tells us to love our enemies. That’s a tough one, but with God’s help, we can do that as well.

But, do you know who often gets the least of our love?

It’s the people we love the most–our family.

We take them for granted.

We’re too busy to do the extra things for them.

They know we love them–even if we don’t always show it, right?

Love should begin at home, but so often we forget that. We’re kind and polite to others when we’re out and about, but don’t bother to make the effort at home.  So what if your spouse and/or your children  aren’t perfect! Neither are we, but we want to feel special in spite of that. We want them to make the effort to make us feel good about ourselves.

And our family wants the same thing. Take a little extra time and effort to make them feel good, to make them feel loved.  I’m not saying it will be easy. I’m not saying that because you do it for them, they will reciprocate. (But I hope they will.) But God calls us to love one another and that includes our family.

So let’s not forget about showing them love, not just on Valentine’s Day but every day.

Deuteronomy 30: 11-16

Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach.  It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” Nor is it beyond the season that you have to ask, “Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it. See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction.  For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess. 

Sometimes it feels as if it is almost impossible to follow God the way we want to. It feels overwhelming. Afterall, we have so many problems and so many temptations, and so many…. The list could go on and on, couldn’t it? But the Bible assures us that it is NOT too difficult or beyond our reach. In fact, the Bible tells us that all that we need is very near us.

And what we need is God’s Word.

God’s Word gives us all that we need to be victorious in this life and in the next life.  But we must know His Word and then we must follow it to reap the promises of God.

God is so good and thanks to Jesus, we live in an age of grace. We don’t have to sacrifice animals and follow a myriad of regulations. We have righteousness with God through Jesus, but we still need to love God and walk in HIs ways, if we want to reap the promised rewards.

And the rewards are many!!

I found Deuteronomy 30 a great chapter to read. It encouraged me and blessed me, and it may do the same for you as well. So, if you have time, take a few minutes to read the whole chapter.

Proverbs 18: 21

The tongue has the power of life and death; and those who love it will eat its fruit.

2 Corinthians 4:13

It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak.

The power of life and death!

That’s powerful.

I’ve come to the conclusion that one of the ways God shares His power with us  is through the words we speak. The above verses show that concept. We believe in faith, and then we speak that belief.   Joel 3:10 says:  let the weakling say, “I am strong.” Why do you suppose that is? Does it mean we are supposed to lie? No, because we know that lying is a sin so God would never suggest such a thing.

I believe that God is showing the concept that the words we say can change our life. So, each time we say that we are strong, we become stronger. Studies have shown that we believe the words we hear and the more we hear them the more we believe them. So, we should speak words that empower us.

I’ve been struggling with health issues for almost two years. That’s a long time, believe me!

Last year, I bought Joel Osteen’s book, I DECLARE. It talks about this concept of our own words containing God’s power  much more in-depth than I can here. Anyway, I read the book, did the declarations, and it worked! I felt better, stronger, and my treated tumor finally “died.” And I got on with my life.

But as happens with so many things, my morning declarations fell to the wayside. Now that I’ve had my second treatment and all the side effects that come with it, I’m struggling with just getting through the day again. Last week, I started with my morning declarations again. Here’s the ones I speak right now:

I am blessed, physically, emotionally, spiritually, financially, and creatively.

I am strong, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

I am kind and generous to others.

Guess what?  The yucky feeling in my brain has dissipated–not all but a lot! Enough that I went bowling this week.  I worked out every day this week, today for 30 minutes. I even put some clothes in the dryer and I never do that–just ask my husband! I came up with an idea for a new novel and started writing it as well.

Now, I suppose that could all be a coincidence, but I think not.

That is the power of God working in me.

And I accessed that power through prayer as well as through speaking the words ALOUD. Yes, I feel silly saying them aloud, but I did it anyway–in faith. Knowing that is one of the tools God gives us to access His power. If God gives our tongue that sort of power and we know He did because we just read it, then God wants us to use our words to empower ourselves and others.

God doesn’t want us to live a defeated, powerless life. He wants us to have faith in Him and believe in His promises. And one of the ways we show our faith is through our own words.

So, what are you going to start speaking in faith? What do you need more of God’s power for in your own life. Share it here and then start speaking it.

Zepheniah 3: 17

The Lord your God is with you. He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you.

He will quiet you with his love, He will rejoice over you with singing.

The holidays are over for another year and it’s time to get back real life, right?  For some people that’s a good thing and for others maybe not so much. As  we get caught back up in the daily drudgery of life, we soon forget about all the peace, joy, and love we celebrate during the Christmas season.

We were cleaning off our Christmas porch today and as I saw each of my fourteen trees along with my snowmen and Santas go back in the box a thought occurred to me. Couldn’t I keep up at least one tree all year, just as a reminder?

I didn’t actually mention the idea to my husband. It was quite obvious he was a man on a mission to not only clear the porch but to do it as quickly as possible. But you must admit, it’s a good idea! A year-long Christmas tree to remind us of God and his love.

It’s so easy for us to forget God is with us–all the time.

It’s so easy for us to forget God loves us–all the time.

So, as we pack up our Christmas trees and decorations, find another way to keep remembering God and His amazing love all year long.  Perhaps, it’s a Bible on a coffee table? Or a favorite verse on the refrigerator? Or tune your radio to a Christian music station?

Whatever way you choose, I can guarantee that as you remember God each day, it will bring more joy, peace, and love to your life each day. And that’s a wonderful thing!

 

Luke 1: 29-33

Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

 

With Christmas just past, Mary and Joseph have been on my mind. I think there are some valuable lessons to be learned from them.

The first two that come to mind are faith and obedience. Both Mary and Joseph proved their faith in God when they were obedient.  They chose to follow God’s will for them in spite of the difficult circumstances. Being pregnant before marriage was not just frowned upon then, it was a sin punishable by death.

That’s a lot faith and obedience.

But the real lesson I want to focus on is that in spite of their faith and obedience, God did not make their chosen path easy for them. As so many of us face adversity, whether physical, emotion, or our circumstances, we may question whether God is punishing us. Whether we are doing what God wants us to do. Whether we are living a life of obedience and faith. Whether God still loves us.

The message of Mary and Joseph clearly shows that we can be obedient to God and doing exactly what he wants us to do, but life can still be difficult for us. Surely, if anyone had a right to believe God would make their path easier it would be Mary and Joseph, but clearly the circumstances Jesus was born under show that didn’t happen.

They had to face all sorts of trials and tribulations even as they brought God’s son into this world. They had to face the shame and humiliation of Mary’s pregnancy with their family and friends. They had to make a journey that was difficult under normal circumstance, but it was made even more difficult by Mary’s pregnancy. Then they had no place to stay, Jesus was born in a structure of some sort with the animals.  Talk about a tough situation. Then as they were getting settled in a new life, they had to flee for their lives.

No, God did not make their path easy in spite of their faith and obedience.

Most of us will face adversity in one form or another in the coming year, remember the message of Mary and Joseph and know that you are still loved by your heavenly father.

A Prayer For The Hurting

Posted: December 24, 2013 in MUSIC MOMENT-video

This song came as a request. I admit I didn’t know it, but what a wonderful song it is. And what a powerful message it carries. In fact, it carries several powerful messages.  Breath of Heaven  (Mary’s Song) by Amy Grant  (click on the link)

And as always God’s timing is perfect.

As I write these words, my own heart is aching. My beloved brother-in-law passed away suddenly yesterday without warning.  Eric was a generous and kind  man. He was a good brother-in-law, but an even better husband to my sister. He is missed.

I wanted to focus on a few words that brought me comfort as I listened to the song.

I am  frightened by the load I bear

In a world cold as stone

Must I walk this path alone?

Be with me now.

Be with me now.

Breath of Heaven

Hold me together

Be forever near me

MUST I WALK THIS PATH ALONE?  The answer to that question is a resounding no. We do not have to walk our path alone. God is with us every moment because of that very first Christmas long ago. So, if like me, you are hurting for some reason this Christmas; know that God is with you and He loves you.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!