Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Song

God Gives A Song
by Jan Couch


Read: Romans 5:6-11; I Peter 1:18-21; Philippians 4:6-8; and Romans 8:35-39

As sojourners, we find ourselves in unusual and varied circumstances. A journey has many teachable moments. Mentors who really want to know their students seize the opportunity to take a trip with them.. Along the way, unpredictable incidents occurs. It is how we react to these and how we interact with each other that become great teachable moments..

Move on to the challenge..

God is taking us on a trip to know us better and for us to know Him better. All we experience along the way can deepen our personal relationship. He varies the trip. It is customized to each individual. However, there is on thing we all must have in common we all must go through the blood of Jesus:
  • Because He leads us through the blood we stand boldly in His righteousness.
  • Because He leads us through the blood, we don't fear losing our redemption.
  • Because He leads us through the blood, we know the work is complete in us.
  • Because He leads us through the blood, Satan has no authority over us.
  • Because He leads us through the blood, we have salvation, healing, and restoration.

Experience joy in your journey...

No one knows what awaits just around the next bend in the road, but we can rest in knowing who is lading us along. We have peace knowing that we have been lead through the blood, by His grace, and no circumstance can change that.


HAPPY NEW YEAR


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Peace He Gives

I know not why my pathway leads through valleys rough and steep, but this I know, while waking there I've found communion sweet with those I love, and best of all, with Him who climbed for me, beneath a heavy cross, the hill that led to Calvary.

I know not why so many props have gently been removed, but I do know through every loss His arms unfailing proved. I have no reason, none at all, to doubt His Precious Word; though all I loved be swept away, His voice would still be heard above the storm, and as I lift my tear filled eyes to Him, The Great Creator, Lord of all He whispers "Peace," within.

So as I look beyond today, I pray that I may share this peace He gives with those who have a greater cross to bear. I know not now how long 'twill be before He calls me home, but this I know beneath His wings I'll never be along!
~Alice Hansche Mortenson

He gives Quietness

"... and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price" (I Peter 3:4)

Read: Mark 4:36-41

Quietness amid the dash of the storm. We sail the water with Him as we reach the center most portion., far from land and in the dark of the midnight, a sudden storm sweeps down. All earth and hell sweeps down against us. Each billow threatens to overwhelm our very being. Then He arises from sleep and rebukes the wins and the waves. His hand becomes an order to cease to the raging tempests surrounding us. His voice alone is heard above the howling wind, "Peace, be still." Listen for that voice. Can you hear it? Once you hear those words, there is an instant calm.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Take Time . . .

Take time to play...
it is the secret of youth.
Take time to read...
it is the foundation of knowledge.
Take time to work...
it is the price of success.
Take time to think...
it is the source of power.
Take time to dream...
it hitches the soul to the stars.
Take time to laugh...
it is healing medicine.
Take time for friendship...
it is the source of happiness.
~Katherine Nelson Davis

Day By Day

Each day brings us a new adventure in living. Each twenty-four period holds the promise of experiencing things we've never known before. There are new paths to take, new directions to follow, new challenges to meet, and new endeavors to pursue. And, then, there are the sorrows, the disappointments, the frustrations, and the uncertainties.
Remember: Life is in segments of time. For life to have meaning and purpose, make the most of the following segments.

Monday, December 28, 2009

A Dewdrop To Remember

Life is a journey; a road that leads up hills, over mountains, across valleys, through wilderness, and over deserts. It is long and it could be frightening, but you have a guide.
Read: Joshua 1:9
Psalms 73:23,24

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Saturday, December 26, 2009

My peace I give when prayer seems lost, unheard; know my promises are ever in my Word


All the peace, happiness, and power of the Christian life hinges on one thing. That one thing is taking God at his Word, believing he really means exactly what he says.
~frances Ridley Havergal

Friday, December 25, 2009

Enjoy

Finding the Strength to Go On

" I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, 'You are my servant'; I have chosen you and have not rejected you. 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 you with my righteous right hands."
Isaiah 41:9-10
No matter what you are going through, it is essential that you remember that God
~the I Am
the living God
the Savior
the Redeemer
the provider
the Healer
the Nurturer
says:
I am with you
beside you
behind you
and ahead of you.
He also says, Don't be discouraged depressed defeated or troubled. For I am your God: You are mine, I won't let anyone harm you or anything defeat you; and I am yours, I am not a borrowed God not a foreign God not a stranger to you not unaware of your struggle. I am yours, completely. I will strengthen you to carry what I have given you to carry, and I will help you. I will carry you. You will not fall nor fail; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand with strength and wisdom.
How can we help but trust such a loving Father? How could we not believe in Him? How could we not let Him have His way in our lives? How could we possibly resist giving Him our pain and struggle and let Him make sense of it all?
God Bless, Love You and Have Yourself a Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Live in Hope

"Moses answered the people, 'Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still."
Exodus 14:13-14

On the most discouraging of days, take the time to quiet yourself and turn your heart toward God, you will hear Him say, "Let not your heart be troubled" (John 14:1)

There are so many times that we face fearful circumstances. But the Word of the Lord remains: Stand firm, hold your ground (Psalm 40:2). God offers us the hope of deliverance. We can see it for ourselves, in our very lives and circumstances.

When you are struggling with pain, living a long time with a difficulty, take hope. When you are discouraged, or threatened by the giants you live with and face every day take courage. You are not in this battle alone. The Lord will fight for you. Even when you think God can't help this time, He can. He can make sense of the most senseless situation right in the middle of it . And all the while you are becoming an over-comer.

Question for thought:
What desire have you had that seems delayed in its fulfillment?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Walk in Integrity

"Vindicate me, O LORD, for I have led a blameless life; I have trusted in the Lord without wavering. Test me, O LORD, and try me, examine my heart and my mind; for your love is ever before me, and I walk continually in your truth."
Psalm 26:1-3







People of integrity correct their mistakes whenever possible, make amends when ever necessary, and repent when they have sinned. Persons of integrity grow form their mistakes and missteps, holding the goal of honesty, openness, and truth ever in the forefront. To be a person of integrity requires that we sacrifice pride and selfish attitudes.


Persons of integrity, who are aware of their shortcomings, prejudices, and failures pray with the psalmist: "Test me, O Lord, . . ." Psalm 26:1-2



Question of thought:
If you were to walk in integrity, what would that do to your perfectionism?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Living on God's Word

" How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word."
Psalm 119:9



The Christian life that is based on God's Word is capsulized in Psalm 119:9-16. If you are really serious about becoming an over-comer, you would do well to pattern your daily disciplines after the ones contained in this wonderful passage:

Seek God with your whole heart.
Hide His Word in your heart.
Remain teachable.
Speak of His words and ways.
Rejoice in God's will.
Mediate on His precepts, consider His ways.
Read God's Word frequently.

No matter how tough the day, no matter how much sleep we've lost the night before, God's Word must be our priority.


Question for thought:
How is you quiet time routine?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Cry Out to the Lord

"The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them form all their troubles."
Psalms 34:17
The Bible shows us how godly men and women cried out to God:
Cry out to God alone. Psalm 57:2
Cry from the deepest part of your heart and your pain. Psalm 130:1
Speak of your pain and your need to God. Psalm 5:3
Ask for mercy. Psalm 6:9
Ask for help. Psalm 5:2
Look to Him for shelter. Psalm 57:1
Trust God. Psalm 143:8
Wait for His response. Psalm 5:3
Rest. Psalm 62:1-2
Question for thought:
Why do we hesitate to ask God for shelter and refuge?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Saturday, December 19, 2009

~Margaret Bottome


What I really needed was the deep ocean of God's love, and the high mountains of his truth within me. His wisdom had depths and heights that neither the ocean nor the mountains could contain and that could not be compared with jewels, gold, or precious stones.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Eternally

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
John 3:16


How long the years ahead of us seem, and how short the ones behind us. We think in terms of seconds, minutes, days, weeks, months, and years, no wonder it's so difficult to grasp the concept of living eternally.


All through the scriptures we are reminded that God is forever, not just forever in the future but forever in all that has come before. Genesis 1:1


So when God speaks to us of an eternal perspective, it seems beyond our comprehension. Fortunately, He does not require that we fully comprehend it before we accept it. We don't make facts true by believing them; they are true whether we believe them or not.


We don't wait for eternity to begin, eternity has no beginning, it was forever and will be forever. God had no beginning and has no end. Knowing Him is how we plug into eternity, the means by which we catch hold of something that has no beginning and promises that never end.


Knowing who you are in Christ is your connection to eternity.
Question for thought:
When you are struggling and it seems to go on endlessly, what thought patterns could you choose to change, not to minimize the problem, but to maximize your hope?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Being Different


"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is, his good, pleasing and perfect will."
Romans 12:2
"Don't Get Mad, Get Even," says the world system. "Grab all you can get; and do unto others before they can do it to you." "Take things into your own hands; watch your back; don't trust anyone."
The Christian culture is different. We order our lives and live them by the principles of God's Word. We answer our accusers with truth, not anger. We choose to live open handedly and generously. We choose to make lifelong commitments and to love those in our lives with unconditional love. We make decisions to trust, even though we may have had our trust violated. We select attitudes based on what Jesus teaches instead of what life hands us. This is not a legalistic or perfectionist way of life; it is one of freedom and love as we pursue every godly principle until it becomes natural and the norm for us.
Living counter to our culture is our assignment and our goal.
Question for thought:
How have you chafed against the world recently?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Life in a New Dimension

"And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you."
Romans 8:11


How do we navigate such stressful times? We begin by taking hold of several important truths:
1. God's life within us does not exempt us from the realities of this life, but adds a new dimension to it, as we saw in Romans 8:11
2. God's life within us does not mean we will not feel pain, but that we will have the strength to endure it and grow through it. (Isaiah 43:2)
3. In our Lord and Savior we find our identity when our reputation is damaged. (I John 3:1)
4. With Jesus by our side we answer our accusers. (Psalm 110:5)
5. Because of Jesus e are able to make sense of pain and struggle. Because of Him we have the strength to go on. (Psalm 9:11-12)
Living life in the new dimension means that we are no longer afraid to feel the pain of our struggles, and that we are confident of the strength to go on.


Question for thought:
What difference does life in a new dimension make in coping with everyday struggles?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

"Papa, God"

"For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, 'Abba, Father.' "
Romans 8:15
When you and I received Jesus, we became His children: "To all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God" (John 1:12-13).

Read: Hebrews 4:16, Ephesians 3:12 and 2 Corinthians 6:18.

I once lived apart from God, doomed to isolation and loneliness. But because of Jesus that has all changed. Now I am a child of God, part of His family, and I live in relationship with Him. Knowing who I am in Christ means that I must fully realize my relationship with my "Papa, God"; take advantage of the privilege of knowing Him; and find every excuse and reason for entering His presence as often as I can.


Question for thought:
If you were to climb up on God's lap and He were to tell you the story of how He loved you and found you, how would He begin?


Monday, December 14, 2009

Bought at a Price

"You are not your own; you were bought at a price."
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Jesus has come before God and all the universe to present you for adoption into His family. By accepting His redemptive work, your legal status has changed: You have become an heir! "For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will to the prise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves" (Ephesians 1:4-6)

You were granted a changed status, both legally and spiritually, when you accepted Jesus Christ. As His heir, you now share all rights, privileges, and responsibilities with Jesus. You also bear some responsibility in fulfilling His purpose, and you are entrusted with stewardship over everything He places into you hands. As an heir, you can understand more abut His purpose, and you can grow in a more complete understanding of his will.
We are His children and He loves us.
Question for thought:
How does knowing your change in legal status help you to know who you are in Christ?


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Squeezing Lemons


As I pondered the lemonade award. I thought of how each of us have or are experiencing lemons in our lives. That makes us understand each other. We are all in some way kindred spirits.What do we do with all the lemons? Do we allow them to rot in our midst or do we make lemonade and share it with others. As I pass this lemonade award to each of you, I pray you will make lemonade and share it with the less fortunate around you. Let's not allow a single lemon to rot and stink up our lives! Get to squeezing, dear friends. Take all the "yucky stuff" in your life and make lemonade!
Squeezing lemons,
Andrea

1 Thessalonians 5:23

May God Himself, The God Of Peace, Sanctify You Through And Through.
1 Thessalonians 5:23
Holiness makes the soul like a field or garden of God, with every kind of pleasant fruit and flower, and each one delightful and undisturbed, enjoying a sweet calm and the gently and refreshing rays of the sun.
~Jonathan Edwards

Friday, December 11, 2009

Too Heavy Responsibilities



"A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, 'Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! my daughter is suffering terribly . . .' "
Matthew 15:22


Have Mercy On Me?
What is this woman saying? Her daughter is suffering terribly, yet she asks for mercy for herself. How can that be? You see, caregivers need mercy too. They walk the fine line between care-giving and care-taking. They try to adjust to living under permanent stress without giving up hope for healing and change. They face terrible reality every day, and they consciously, purposely fight to maintain a level of faith in order to survive.
Are you a caregiver? Have you sought answers and healing for someone in your care with no results? Perhaps you are one of a growing number of people sandwiched between elderly parents and the needs of your children. Are you pressured by the pain of someone near to you? If so, it's perfectly appropriate to pray for yourself and ask for mercy.
Ask for His mercy, and expect His grace.


Questions for thought:
Do you know a caregiver who could use a friend? Could you be that friend?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Never Good Enough

"And Jacob . . . finished the week with Leah, and then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife. Jacob lay with Rachel also, and he loved Rachel more than Leah."
Genesis 29:28,30
The Leah Legacy
Imagine Leah's sadness. She always lived in the shadow of her lovely and charming sister, Rachel. Unloved, unappreciated, unwanted, will this be Leah's only destiny? Is doomed to this painfully existence all her life?
There are women who feel like Leah, who live her legacy every day. For those afflicted with the "Leah Legacy," there is hope. God wants you to know:
1 He remembers you and does not ignore your needs. (Psalm 9:12)
2 Only He can and will supply all your needs. (Isaiah 58:11)
3 He gives strength to your just when you need it. (Psalm 29:11)
4 He promises to wipe away all your tears. (Revelation21:14)

Question for thought:
Who loved you enough to die for you?


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Do It Yourself Trap

"So she said to Abram, The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my maidservant; perhaps I can build a family through her. Abram agreed to what Sarai said. So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian maidservant Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife."
The Sarah Syndrome
Sarah loved Abraham. Her marriage was built not only on love, but on respect and partnership. Where he went she went, not as a shadow, but as a strong influence. By his love and respect for her, we can see that Sarah enjoyed an equality with Abraham that was rare for a woman in her day. But like so many capable women, she developed a set of symptoms that, when left unchecked, only lead to trouble. When we do so, we will find ourselves living with the sour consequence of a do it yourself life and will be lift like this.
1 Impatience.
2 No understanding of divine delay.
3 Jumping to the wrong conclusions.
4 Devising an alternative plan to "help" the promise along.
5 No satisfaction.
6 Complaining.
7 Shifting the blame.
8 Making the best of a bad situation.

Now lets take this and turn it around for the better. Sarah's way of overcoming her do it yourself syndrome.
1 She heard a word from the Lord. (Genesis 18:10)
2 She realized God moves in His time, on His terms, in His way, for His purposes. (Genesis 21:1-2)
3 She submitted to God.
4 She used wisdom in dealing with unbearable situations. (Genesis 21:8-9)
5 She asked for justice. (Genesis 21:10)
6 She experienced freedom/ (Genesis 21:14)
Question for thought:
Name one time when you took things into your own hands and ended up with sour consequences?


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Overwhelmed By Circumstances

"Don't call me Naomi, she told them. Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty... The Lord has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me."
Ruth 1:20-21
The Mara Misery
Naomi was all alone, far from home, and feeling' blue. Her life was quite a change from ten years before, when she and her husband took their two sons and set out for Moab and the chance for a better life! For ten years the dream was working. Then tragedy struck, and her whole life crumbled.
When Naomi's circumstances became more than she could handle alone, she wanted family, she wanted to go home. Naturally, many of us turn toward home when we are overwhelmed by trouble. Whenever circumstance threatens you, whatever bitter experience intimidates you, remember this: You too have a Kinsman Redeemer. Jesus has already paid that price for you.
Bitter experiences that harass you will become sweetness as He touches them with His mercy. The pain that has dominated your life and affected your decisions must subside when embraced by His comfort and love. Let Jesus redeem not only you, but the hard places of your life.

Question for thought:
What circumstances are crushing your joy?

Monday, December 7, 2009

Assaulted by the Devil

"Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; Joanna the wife of Cuza, the manager of Herod's household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means."
Luke 8:1-3
The Magdalene Malady
Meet Mary outgoing in public, miserable in private. She was a woman of influence, a woman of position and means, and yet she was troubled by assaults of the Devil. Something much stronger had control of her. Mary was demon-possessed. Seven demons had attacked and invaded her, then drove her without mercy, so that she lived in a personal hell. Then she met Jesus and her whole life changed. Mary the tormented became Mary the triumphant.
We need not attribute every cross moment, every sinful or compulsive action to Satan or to demons, though as Christians we do believe there are dark influences around us. But perhaps you, too, enjoy good standing in your church or community while living each day in your own personal hell.
Well there is good news. The same Jesus who freed Mary can free you. The freedom Christ offers turns victims into victors. You no longer have to be known by the battles you fight, but by the victories you win.


Questions for thought:
How has Christ touched your life? What difference has that made?


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Our God is in Control~Enjoy!


Steven Curtis Chapman

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Circle of Friends















Thank you Andrea.

Be still, and know that I am God ~Psalm 46:10

Place the storm of your individual troubles on God's altar of everyday trials, and the same night, the Lord will appear to you. His rainbow will extend across the subsiding flood, and in your stillness you will hear the everlasting, music.
~George Matheson

Friday, December 4, 2009

Betterness Not Bitterness

"My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life."
Psalm 119:50
If anyone ever had a reason to be bitter it was Naomi. Far from home, her husband and both her sons had fallen ill and died. With no way to provide for herself, in grief, she turned to her daughters in law and begged them to return to their families. She had nothing to offer.
"Don't call me Naomi,' she told them. Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. (Ruth 1:20-21) You know the story, Naomi did not remain bitter. She chose betterness instead of bitterness.
Is an obstacle of bitterness keeping you from a new life?
When tempted to be bitter, remember these five important principles:
1 God knows what you are going through. (Exodus 3:7)
2 He feels what you feel. (Isaiah 63:9) & (Hebrews 4:14-15)
3 He is on your side. (Romans 8:31-32)
4 He will work it out while He is at work in you. (Romans 8:28)
5 You can be encouraged hope is ahead. (2Corinthians 4:18)
You may have been drinking from waters of bitterness, but today Jesus is offering you a fresh cool drink from the sweet waters of betterness. ( John 4:14)
Question for thought:
If you weren't carrying bitterness, how would your life change?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Obstacles~Opportunities




"We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body."

If you sincerely want to make sense of pain and struggle, it is required that you be able to see opportunity in obstacles. This is not the same as adopting a simplistic "silver lining in every cloud" philosophy. Rather, it means truly facing every obstacle, feeling every stress, and then, with determination, choosing to look beyond the obstacle to the opportunity you would not have otherwise.


In spite of all the obstacles you face, right now at this very moment God wants to show the life and love of Jesus through you, too. Will you let Him ? Will you allow Him to turn your obstacles into opportunities?





Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Stumbling Blocks~Stepping Stones

"When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, 'I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but have the light of life.' "
John 8:12
You may be presented with a great difficulty before you inherit what God promises. You can let that problem be a stumbling block if you choose.
Your problem can intimidate you. You can choose to live near the promise,
within view of it. You may even be able to convince yourself that you're content. You can congratulate yourself on how far you've come and what it's taken you to get this far.
But nothing can keep you from reaching your promise unless you give up. No pain, no struggle, no past failure, no inability. There is nothing that can prevent you from finding the strength to go on, unless you choose to camp on the side of God's promises.
"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:38-39)
Question for thought:
What has God promised you?
What is in the way of your possessing that promise?





Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Blind Alleys~New Revelations

2 Peter 1:19
Lets Say your life is great. You are secure, serene, and at peace. Then God whispers something into your spirit: There is something you are convinced He wants you to do. You swallow hard. What God seems to be asking may ruffle things a bit. You like things smooth and calm, so you ignore what you have heard in your heart and decide to simply pray about it. You convince yourself that God didn't really mean for you to do what He has shown you.
Then the storm starts to brew in your spirit. God's Word is not as alive and exciting anymore. Quiet times become a bore, then a chore. Uncertainty replaces serenity, doubt corrodes peace.
Suddenly, its evident you've turned into a blind alley, with no light, no direction, and no way out.
In the bible Jonah's experience gives us the benefit of hope for getting out of the blind alleys we've entered.
1 He recognized how he got into the mess. (Jonah 1:10)
2 He took responsibility for his part and was read to pay the consequences. (Jonah 1:12)
3 He surrendered. (Jonah1:15)
4 Then God moved on Jonah's behalf. (Jonah 1:15)
5 Jonah prayed. (Jonah 2:2)
6 It got worse before it got better. (Jonah 2:3)
7 Jonah attempted to bargain with God. (Jonah 2:4)
8 He gave up hope. (Jonah 2:5-6)
9 He changed his focus. (Jonah 2:6-7)
10 He becomes thankful that he serves a living, powerful, wonderful God. (Jonah 2:8-9)
11 God saved his life. (Jonah 2:10)
12 Then God spoke again. (Jonah 3:1-3)
Don't believe for a moment that you have missed it. God hasn't changed His mind. Don't take chances with disobedience. The will of God calls you still. Obedience is not only the way out of your blind alley, it's a whale of a good deal!
Question for thought:
What "whale" is threatening to swallow you?

Monday, November 30, 2009

Dead Ends New Beginnings

" When he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my fathere and say to him" Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men' So he got up and went to his father."
Luke 15:17-20
Not all obstacles are put in our way be others; we create a fair amount of obstacles on our own. Like the prodigal on, we to seek to grab out inheritance and go our own way. Eventually, though, we end up in a dead-end situation, with no apparent way out. Worse, we realize that we had the major part in arriving at that situaton.
But with every self-made obstacle, we can make a decision whether or not to "stay stuck"
To escape our dead end, we must do like the prodigal son: First, recognized when we've come to the end of our resources. Second, come to your senses, a pigpen is a good place to help you come to your senses. Next, make a decision, the prodigal son also planned his approach. And at the core of his plan he accepted full responsibility: "I have sinned," No defenses, and no excuses.
Decisions motivate to action.
We have been like this wayward son. We've gotten ourselves into some hard situations and found ourselves all alone, with no one to blame. We've had to retrace our steps and go back to ask for reconciliation. Its hard to do, but we've always been glad that we did. Now we can honestly thank God, who was waiting for us on the pathway home, for each obstacle that has brought us to our senses and given us a chance for a new beginning.
Question for thought:
What dead ends have you faced in your life?
What dead end threatens you right now?




Sunday, November 29, 2009

Beautiful. Enjoy!


YOU DON'T KNOW THE COST OF MY PRAISE

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Jesus Went Up On A Mountainside By Himself. Matthew 14:23


~One of the blessings of the old-time Sabbath day was the calmness, restfulness, and holy peace that came from having a time of quiet solitude away from the world. There is a special strength that is born in solitude. Crows travel in flocks, and wolves in packs, but the lion and the eagle are usually found alone.~

Friday, November 27, 2009

Keep Your Eyes On the Prize

"Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you."
Proverbs 4:25

Patient Persistence often spells the difference between success and failure, between satisfaction and disappointment. If we can receive promises by patiently waiting, we can lose them by impatient demands. And I am convinced that we can also lose the fulfillment of what God has promised because, in the waiting, we forget the promise.
Isaiah 46 provides the wonderful process by which we keep our promise of overcoming always before us and the hope of its fulfillment: "Remember this, fix it in mind, take it to heart, you rebels. Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, form ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please" (Isaiah 46:8-10)

1 Remember.
2 Fix it in mind.
3 Take heart.

Question for thought:
What have you had your mind fixed on before now?
If God were to fulfill His will concerning a major prayer on your heart differently than what you have asked, how would you handle it?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Patiently Waiting

" I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry."
Psalm 40:1
Living only for the moment requires that we have within easy reach every push button convenience. We want to live without any delays, and many of us lose the ability to wait.
But patient waiting is an investment in the future. It gives us hope for today and hope for tomorrow.
When you set your mind on winning the war you are agreeing to wait through all the struggles to come to victory.
Making sense of pain and struggle takes time and great patience. It requires that many of us learn to wait. But patiently waiting can become our defense against anxiety. When we decide to take the giant step toward maturity by waiting, we are released from the pressure of instant gratification.
James 5:11 said, "We consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard . . . and seen what the Lord finally brought about."
We are not longer in a hurry. We lose our need for selfish demands and embrace instead the urgency of kingdom matters. And then just when we think it will never happen we discover a promise whose time has come. And what's more, we're ready for it.

Question for thought:
What emotional signals do you send to others when you do not want to wait?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Surviving the Ups and Downs

"My soul is in anguish. How long, O LORD, how long?"
Psalm 6:3
David know defeat long before he knew victory. He knew sorrow before he knew joy. He knew well what we would call the "ups and downs" of life when he penned this prayer:
"How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? Look on me and sleep in death; my enemy will say, 'I have overcome him,' and my foes will rejoice when I fall" (Psalm 13:1-4)
This was written long before David wrote the following words of praise.
Psalm 63:4-9
What made the difference in David's life? He learned to navigate the downs and climb the ups of life. And so can you. You can survive the ups and downs when you put the following principles to work in your character:
Offer sacrifices of praise. (Hebrews 13:15)
Learn to be still. (Psalm 37:7)
Walk in His ways. (Isaiah 26:8)
Don't give up hope. (Lamentations 3:25)
Trust in God. (Isaiah 8:17)
Speak truth to yourself. (Lamentations 3:24)
Enter into worship. (1 Chronicles 16:28-29)
Don't wait for the Lord's Day. Worship Him today!

Question for thought:
Which of the seven principles is the easiest for you? Why?
Which is the most difficult? Why?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Are We There Yet?



"For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay."
Habakkuk 2:3
Some things can't be measured by minutes or a target date circled on the calendar. For example, we can not predict our spiritual maturity. It's so tempting to go to God and ask, "Am I there yet?"
Have you ever called out to God, in the misery of a personal crisis, "I can't take any more!" (I have) Have you ever wondered how long it takes to become an over-comer?
It takes as long as it takes and that is a lifetime: a lifetime of wounds and scars; a lifetime scarred by sin and renewed by grace; a lifetime of joys mixed with sorrows; of learning and struggling to learn more; of replacing doubt with faith, error with truth, and bad habits with good discipline.
But the over-comer's life is touched with mercy, motivated by grace, covered with love. It is seasoned with self control, and held together with the promises of God.
Are we there yet? No. But we're getting there!
Question for thought:
How much time have you been given to become an over-comer?

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Message for the Mature

"Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready."
I Corinthians 3:1-2
As Christians we are apart of God's army. We are soldiers for the Lord. What would happen if we responded to duty by saying, "I'm a new soldier, I think going to church should be my choice, not my obligation." "I don't have the time to be a daily Bible reader." "Tithing is an Old Testament teaching." And on and on. If you were accused of being a Christian would there be enough evidence to make the charge stick?
We are all in training. Not in case we go to war. God's army is at war! Ephesians 6:12
We are all on duty, every hour of every day, every place we go. We must be dressed in uniform and completely armed at all times. Ephesians 6:13-18
Once you are born again, you find yourself immediately in the trenches. It's time to switch from milk to meat. Time to leave behind the excuses we sometimes use to stay immature and irresponsible. It's time to continue growing.
We grow when we allow ourselves to be trained by pain and struggle. We will find the strength to go on because we have chosen to learn how to become over-comers.

Question for thought:
Which piece of God's armor do you find still doesn't quite fit you yet? Ephesians 6:10-18

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light trust in the name of the LORD. Isaiah 50:10

Only the peace of God will quiet our minds and put our hearts at rest. We must place our hand in his as little child and allow him to lead us into the bright sunshine of his love. He knows the way out of the dense, dark forest, so may we climb into his arms, trusting him to rescue us by showing us the shortest and most reliable road.
Dr. Pardington

Friday, November 20, 2009

Becoming Unshakable

But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers/sisters stand firm. Let nothing move you.
1 Corinthians 15:57-58
Stand firm, God's Word says. Let nothing move you.
The Evil One would unleash his fury against you. His goal is to cause you to abandon your belief in a heavenly destiny. But we know who we are; we know that victory is ours, we know that, while we may fight the battle, the Lord has given us the victory. Therefore, we will not be shaken!
Amen
Question for thought:
When are you the most tempted to quit or give up?
What do you say to yourself when you experience a temporary setback?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Destined For Victory



With God we will gain the victory, and he will trample down our enemies.

Psalm 60:12


We know the story: David knocked out the harassing Goliath with a simple stone expertly flung between the giant's eyes, then cut off his head with a sword.

David stated it in simple, yet powerful words: "You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty... It is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD'S, and he will give all of you into our hands" (I Samuel 17:45-47)

Whatever we face, we can go in the name of the Lord. Whatever threatens, whatever challenges, whatever defies us will have to reckon with God. The battle is His, and the victory is ours.

Remember: we are not spared from battles. There can be no victory without it. But the promise of God's presence and power goes with us and gives us courage.
Question for thought:
If you knew you could not fail, what would you attempt?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Destined To Produce Fruit

I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me an I in him, he will bear much fruit.
John 15:5

Did you know that you were destined to be productive? To accomplish great things? In today's complex world it is easy to feel useless. We are overwhelmed by artificial intelligence pressured by busy schedules, and wounded by cultural prejudice, making us feel inadequate and isolated.
Being a Christian should make a difference. Why, then, does being a Christian sometimes make the struggle seem worse? I believe, first of all, it is because a person who belongs to Christ is out of step with the sinful world. This battle is only won by laying hold of the truth of God's Word.
When you are overcome by feelings of worthlessness and defeat, let God breathe new life into you by telling yourself this truth: No matter what I've done or what I've been because of Jesus, I now have the ability to live a life worthy of the Lord. I may not be able to please anyone else, but I can please Him. I can bear the fruit of good work. I am growing in the knowledge of God.
Colossians 1:10-12

We need to be productive and fruitful. Why settle for mere survival.

Question for thought:
When was the last time you prayed with someone instead of promising to pray for them?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Destined To Be Like Christ

For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
Romans 8:29

We are related by adoption through the new birth experience that makes us family, but none of us resembles the other, at least not on the outside. Our relationship comes through His blood that was shed for us, blood that covers our sin.
In time, we do grow to be more like each other, though in fact it is Jesus who we are growing more to be like. You and I have been destined to be conformed to fit, as it were, into the image of Christ.
Strange as it may seem, even our struggles and our pain can help us to be more like Christ. The struggles of our life are the heat that brings the impurities to the surface. God does not cause the struggles in our life, but He can use them if we allow Him to.
Let us let the pain of those struggles motivate us to seek Christ at a deeper level and bring us closer to His Word and to His principles for living. Our problems can been the very thing that give us more compassion, patience, and tolerance with others who are struggling.
I want to look like Jesus.

Question for thought

In what ways do you think you are more like Christ than you were several years ago or months ago?



Monday, November 16, 2009

Destined For Relationship

Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God...
John 1:12

I am not sure about God being lonely, but here in The Creation Johnson attempts to describe the blackness before God created light. The words he uses describe the darkness, the hopelessness of life without Christ.
God created physical light by setting the sun in our sky. But creating spiritual light required more than His creativity, it demanded His sacrifice. And here is where his Son comes in.
By sending His Son, Jesus, God the Father gave us spiritual light. He showed that He was willing to give himself. We no longer have to live apart from Him. We each can accept His Son.
We believe the fact that He died for our sins, and we enter a loving, personal relationship with our true Savior.
It is amazing that we can know Him. It is even more amazing that a relationship with God is the destiny of everyone who turns his or her spirit over to Jesus Christ.
As sons and daughters we are now full heirs to the family fortune and estate: Romans 8:17
Designed for relationship with God, destined to sonship in His Son, Jesus. Accepting Him is the first step in the first strategy to becoming an overcomer. It is where all life begins where eternity begins.
The struggles you and I have are not eternal, but our life in Christ is.


Question for thought:
How do sons and daughters of God approach problems differently than those who have no relationship with him?






Sunday, November 15, 2009

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Surely I Am With You Always. Matthew 28:20



Do not look ahead to what may happen tomorrow. The same everlasting Father who cares for you today will take care of you tomorrow and every day. Either he will shield you from suffering or he will give you his unwavering strength that you may bear it. Be at peace, then, and set aside all anxious thoughts and worries.
~Frances de Sales

Friday, November 13, 2009

God giveth quietness. Job 34:29

God gives quietness in the midst of the raging storm...
He waves his hand, signaling the end of the raging tempest and the beginning of the restful calm. His voice is heard above the screaming of the wind through the ropes and rigging, and over the thrashing of the waves. "Quiet! Be still! (Mark 4:39).
Can you not hear it? And instantly there is a great calm.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

In the wilderness shall waters break out.


Feeling a little anxious about life?
No that the Lord is to be our source of supply. In him are springs, fountains, and streams that will never be cut off or run dry.
To those who are anxious comes the gracious promise of our heavenly Father.
If he is the source of our mercies, mercy will never fail us.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Proverbs 3:21-26

My son and daughter, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck. Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble; when you lie down , you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Acts 24:16


I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man.
How about you?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Keep it clear

In your heart set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 1 Peter 3:15-16

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Whats your idea of REST?

Two painters were once asked to paint a picture illustrating their own ideas of rest. The first chose for his scene a quiet, lonely lake, nestled among mountains far away. The second, using swift, broad strokes on his canvas, painted a thundering water fall. Beneath the falls grew a fragile birch tree, bending over the foam. On its branches, nearly wet with the spray from the falls, sat a robin on its nest. The first painting was simply a picture of stagnation and inactivity. The second, however, depicted rest.
~Drummond

Friday, November 6, 2009

Children of believers belong to God

Remember Parents
I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.
Gen 17:7

Thursday, November 5, 2009

~Will Rodgers

Don't let yesterday use up to much of today.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The answer to spiritual bondage.


By nature alone all are in sin's bondage.
BUT CHRIST SETS US FREE.
John 8:31-36

Monday, November 2, 2009

Every day is a good day to lead a person to Christ

Romans 5:12-19
Just as sin has entered the world through one man and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned.
Just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
JESUS

Saturday, October 31, 2009

God in the Center


When God is the center of a soul, although disasters may crowd in on all sides and roar like the waves of the sea, there is a constant calm within. The world can neither give nor take away this kind of peace.
Archbishop Leighton

Friday, October 30, 2009

Humble trust in the LORD



I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.
Ps. 4:8
I know its not as easy as it looks, but let it go and rest.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Are You Self-Centered?


Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus. Phil. 2:3-5

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Serving Others


1 Peter 4:9-10
Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in it various forms.
Serving leaves you with such a wonderful feeling inside. Give it a try.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Romans 6:10-14

The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Imitating Jesus



We, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
2 Cor. 3:18.

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Through endless ages

This my song through endless ages, Jesus led me all the way.
The shepherds of the Alps have a beautiful custom of ending the day be singing an evening farewell to one another. The air is so pure that the songs can be hard for very long distances. As the sun begins to set, they gather their flocks and begin to lead them the mountain paths while they sing, "Thus far has the LORD helped us."
1 Samuel 7:12 Let us praise his name!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Peacemakers


Make every effort to live at peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no on will see the Lord. Heb 12:14

Romans 12:18 also says, If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

Did you know that God takes delight in seeing his children living together in unity?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Answered Prayer



I cried out to him with my mouth; his praise was on my tongue. If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened: but God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer. Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!
Ps. 66:17-20
Praising for answered prayers and blessings on the way.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

OBEY

Obedience
If you're told to do a thing, And mean to do it really,
Never let it be by halves, But do it fully freely.
Do not make a poor excuse, Waiting, weak, unsteady;
All obedience worth the name Must be prompt and ready.
Anonymous
To obey is better than sacrifice.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Perfecting Holiness

2 Cor. 7:1
Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God 2 Cor. 7:1





His promises are enough, LET IT GO.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fix Your Gaze



Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left, keep your foot from evil.
Proverbs 4:5-27
There are great things ahead for you.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Silent Worship

I sat and gazed in silence
At the azure sky overhead;
In the glory of that moment,
A simple prayer was said.
I thanked God for all the grandeur.
For His beauty everywhere,
I praised the Great creator,
As I sat in silent prayer.
I found an inspiration
And a peace within my soul,
I took the time to worship
And I felt myself made whole.
Louis Anne Williams

Friday, October 16, 2009

He Will Direct Your Path

We all know this scripture and verse, but do we really trust?
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6



Roses

Thank You Sitka