Thursday, May 30, 2013
Sunday, May 26, 2013
(video courtesy of youtube.com)
“I will give you hidden treasures,
riches stored in secret places,
so that you may know that I am the LORD,
the God of Israel, who summons you by name.”
~Isaiah 45:3 (NIV)
Since I have precious little of your time, today I’ll be brief with my words and ask you to watch the video inserted above and answer this question: Are the treasures He’s hidden for you (not from you) not worth risking your life to find?
Found 63 times in the King James Version of the Bible
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
~II Timothy 1:7 (KJV)
“For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.”
~Matthew 16:25 (NIV)
Sunday, May 19, 2013
|(photo courtesy of www.spiritualwisdom.org.uk)|
I touch relatively few hearts and minds in light of all the lives being lived at this moment. But, every adult I encounter has betrayed God at one time or another, perhaps even on a daily basis.
In the place of decision-making, we can identify with Judas, who betrayed Jesus then went out and hung himself; he was unable to forgive himself and unable to believe that God could forgive him as well.
But, we can also identify with Peter, who denied Jesus three times (that we know of) yet submitted himself to God and received forgiveness for what he’d done and went on to share the gospel of Jesus Christ in a glorious manner, denying himself for Christ’s sake.
One of my favorite scripture choruses declares, “It’s Your kindness that leads us to repentance, O Lord….” It derives it’s message from Romans 2:4 (probably the NIV). Looking at the Amplified Version, we read more clearly, what the author says. “…are you [so blind as to] trifle with and presume upon and despise and underestimate the wealth of His kindness and forbearance and long-suffering patience? Are you unmindful or actually ignorant [of the fact] that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repent (to change your mind and inner man to accept God’s will)?”
Too many times I’ve beat myself up over my own bad decisions, choices I’ve made which glorified sin and turned my back on the God Who loves me unconditionally. Too many times I’ve watched others go through the same thing, sometimes refusing to admit they’re wallowing in guilt and shame; running from God and His antidote for the sickness that destroys them.
The whole point of the gospel is to reveal the Savior that came to take our guilt and shame and the punishment for our sins, so that we could live life abundantly and in harmony with Him, forever. Jesus died in our place so that we could have eternal life with Him. His love is beyond our comprehension. He IS love.
The darkness that envelops us comes from the enemy, and from within our own hearts.
God is still kind to you. He’s still leading you to Himself. He does not condemn you. He still trusts you to choose eternal freedom through Christ Jesus. He has not forgotten you.
It’s your move.
Saturday, May 11, 2013
The hardest thing a mother goes through, short of watching her child die – is to watch them hurt, and that is particularly agonizing if we blame ourselves for their tears or anger.
As mothers our hearts are connected to our children’s hearts in a way that creates such vulnerability that the things we do for our children’s sake sometimes surprise us. We can be stronger than we ever imagined or we can be sillier than expected, some mothers even lie or commit crimes, somehow thinking it’s for their child’s sake. We can be fiercely protective, yet we can be humbled and taught so much at our child’s hand. The path of our lives becomes as crazy as the path across a Chinese Checkers board.
If there’s a mother out there that hasn’t cried over her children she is surely an anomaly. We cry good tears, sad tears and tears of disbelief. There are times when we hide our tears and times we simply cannot.
Most children have the amazing talents to both make their mothers proud and embarrassed, sometimes within minutes of each other. They can make us laugh, they can hurt us, they make us want to shout from the rooftops, “That’s my child!” and they teach us to pray like nothing else – because nothing else quite matters like our children do.
Our children redefine the word “joy” like nothing else. They give answers to the questions of the meaning of life, but prompt so many more questions.
I have friends who have never had children. I have friend who have lost their children. I have friends who are frustrated with their children. There are women out there who think they should never have had children; each with their own private thoughts that I will never know; their heartaches – and their victories.
God completes us all in His own personal way whether we become parents or not. But without Him, we will never be complete.
“As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:
Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power” - Colossians 2:6-10 (KJV)
“If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” – John 15:10-12 (NIV)