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

Roses

Thank You Sitka