Tuesday, September 1, 2009

True Hope

I saw a quote today. It said that "True hope is believing God is good no matter what He decides to do."

I like that quote and I dislike that quote. I love the quote because it is true that God is good. I dislike the quote because I know that God doesn't always decide the way that I think that He should.

God is in control even when my circumstances look bleak. God is in control when my circumstances look great. I guess the real question is, "Do we trust God no matter what?"

I am comforted in knowing that God loves me so very much that He will do what is best. The best is not always in my comfort zone...but I have made a choice that I will believe in Him and His plan...no matter what. God has a way of taking the worst case scenerio and turning it into something good, not just good but amazingly good!

Remember the story of Lazarus? If you would like to read the story it is found in John 11. Jesus loved this family. He heard the report that Lazarus was very sick. Jesus didn't rush over to their house and heal him. Verse 4 says, But when Jesus heard about it he said, "Lazarus's sickness will not end in death. No, it is for the glory of God. I, the Son of God, will receive glory from this."

I have to tell you that Lazarus dies...but it didn't end there. He was all stinky because he had been dead for four days. If I was one of the sisters I would be thinking that the circumstances didn't look real hopeful to say the least. They were grieving. But they had the same advantage that we have...they knew Jesus.

He felt compassion for his friends. They didn't understand why He allowed Lazarus to die. They even questioned Him. The Word says that He was deeply troubled and that He wept. He had said from the beginning that the situation would bring glory to God.

But when I read the passage I saw one thing that caught my eye. The conversation between Jesus and Martha...Jesus told her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die like everyone else, will live again. They are given eternal life for believing in me and will never perish. Do you believe this, Martha?" "Yes, Lord," she told him. "I have always believed you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who has come into the world from God."

She chose to believe even after her brother died. He had been dead for long enough to start stinking. It didn't turn out her way and yet she chose to believe. She had hope in the Eternal Life Giver. She was grieved in her heart for the loss of her brother and she didn't understand but she chose to believe.

The ending turns out better than you can imagine! Jesus had them roll the stone from the grave and He prayed out loud so that everyone would hear Him and believe. He called out, "Lazarus, come out!"

Lazarus hopped out all bound up in the grave clothes. Jesus told them to unwrap him and let him go! What a joyous occassion! Now Lazarus was still stinky but I am betting those sisters were so glad that they didn't even care! He turned their mourning into dancing at that very moment.

Let me add that there was no doubt that Lazarus was dead. Jesus took the impossible and made it possible.

Do you have "True Hope"? Do you believe that God is good no matter what He decides to do? It won't always turn out the way we think it should or will but I can tell you that He will use it to bring Him glory. He will take something broken, stinky or worn out and make it like new again. I have seen Him do it over and over again. It might not be comfortable in the process but the end result is amazing. Better than we can imagine...just decide to trust Him. He loves you.

Shanin

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Summer Has Run Away With ME!

It is amazing to me that I have let the whole summer fly by and have hardly blogged. My apologies. My life will soon be structured again in order to fit everything in so I should be more dedicated in blogging once more.

I am amazed that God loves me so much that He knows exactly what it takes to get me to do some things! Let me explain...I have always loved to sing and I have always had the desire to play the piano but never took the lessons or stuck to it to accomplish the skill. God knew that it would take me moving to a church with no one to lead worship or play the piano in order for me to learn. It was a crash course by God! I am so thankful (now that I have actually learned to play) that God placed me in that position so that I had to do it! That was one desire of my heart to play the piano...

Another thing that God is working in me right now is a college education. Something that I would have never pursued on my own. He has placed me in a position where it is mandatory for me to go to college and learn. I would have never had the confidence or motivation to do this on my own accord. I have to tell you that I dread going back to class next week but I am thankful for the opportunity. I was out walking the other night and I had to laugh that God loves me so much that He knows what is best for me and sometimes that is arranging my circumstances to "make" me do things that I will appreciate later.

As parents sometimes we have to make our kids do things that aren't fun or pleasant but is good for them. Example...you do not ask your child if they would rather go to the dentist or the candy store! They would choose the candy store! You make them go to the dentist...not fun but in the long run better than rotten teeth!

God loves me so much that He arranges for me do things that I wouldn't choose on my own so that I will benefit from them! It is all a part of the plan! The best part is that He loves me. Even when the enemy sets out to mess me up God takes it and turns it out for my good! God is awesome!

Shanin

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I Will Trust You, God

Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved. Psalm 55:22
Whenever I am afraid, I will trust You. Psalm 56:3 NKJ


I don't always understand things. Sometimes I look for sense in what appears to me to be an absolute senseless situation. There have been times that no matter how hard I look I still don't get it and that is when I have to just take God at His Word.

Faith. Not at what is seen but at what is unseen. God's Word says that when I give Him my hurts or burdens that He will sustain me! When I am afraid I will trust in Him! I will to trust Him...I will make a conscious decision to trust Him.

It is easy to trust Him when everything goes the way "it should" or "my way." That really isn't faith now is it? Faith is trusting God when things are complex or scary or simply cannot make sense. When that happens run to Him! Run to His Word. Spend time in worship. Quote scripture out loud! And He will sustain us! If I trust Him, really trust Him....I won't be afraid!

Jesus, I will trust You! Thank You so much for sustaining me!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Get Ready, Get Set, GO!

Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. Matt 24:44NKJ

Get ready! Jesus is coming back and we need to be ready for Him! How exciting! We have so much to get done before comes to get us. We need to spread His Word. There are so many who don't know Him that need Him.

He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, Out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, [And] established my steps. Psalm 40:2 NKJ

Get set! He lifted me out of the pit and He set me on the Rock! He set me on His firm foundation! I love it because He set me on a safe place (Him) and I want to stay there in His protection and the secure place in Him!

And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. Mark 15:16 NKJ

Go! He saved us, equipped us and then instructed us! We need to go into our community, workplace and world and share His salvation with everyone! We need to live it and show them the way. We need to love the world. He loved us enough to die for us then we need to do our part and tell everyone!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Parenting is Tough, But You Can Do It!

15 The rod and rebuke give wisdom, But a child left to himself brings shame to his mother. Proverbs 29:15 NKJV

Kids are so cute but don't think that they are innocent. Think about it...when you see your child look over his or her shoulder before doing something that he knows is wrong then he is not innocent! If they are "innocent" then why would they "sneak" to do something? Because they know that what they are doing is wrong!

If you do nothing to correct them it won't get magically better on it's own! You have to correct the behavior. You need to give guidance and supervision! If you are consistent in your parenting and disciplines then they will have a great start! You desire a great future for your children and it takes work. If only child birth was the hardest part! It takes energy, effort and endurance! Don't think that when they hit jr. high that you are done! Whatever you do, do not give them large amounts of unsupervised time!

We tell our parents that God gives us a promise! Leave a child to his own ways and he will shame his mom! So Mothers, know where your children are and know what they are doing! The bible doesn't lie! One of the most important things to teach your kids is that God gives us a spirit of self control we just need to exercise it! I used to tell my kids that God already equipped them but I had to teach them to use it!

I just want to encourage the parents. Parenting is a race of endurance...don't give up...finish the race! Be consistent. It pays off! Teach them God's truth and principles so that when they are older they will love Him too! You can do this! There is no greater reward than to watch your kids worship and serve the Lord when they are adults!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

A Soft Answer

1 A soft answer turns away wrath,
But a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1


Have you ever had someone think that they were going to resolve an issue with someone by "confronting" them? Then they are surprised when the person is defensive? Wouldn't it be easier to come to discuss something without the confrontation attitude? There is a time for confrontation but we should try to work out things in a "give you the benefit of the doubt" attitude?

It is easy to be misunderstood in letters and emails because they can be miss interpreted...you can take one letter or email and reread it in many different tones and voice inflections and get something totally different each time you read it outloud!

Same thing in the physical world too. I have come across angry or upset before simply because I was intense about something or I have been misunderstood thinking that I have sounded funny and in realty I have come across harsh or rude. Sometimes it might not be you either...it might just be that someone has been injured in that area before or they are having a rough time and you might be the "lucky" one to say something that they take the wrong way!

I would like to suggest a soft answer approach. Does this mean that you have to let people run over you? NO! But if we can resolve things with a soft answer instead of esculating things with a harsh tone wouldn't that be better? Set boundaries, pray, take a deep breath and then speak in love.

As my mama used to always say, "You can draw more flies with honey than vinegar!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Repeat Worth Reviewing

God's desire for us is for us to be healthy and flourishing and fruitful. In Matt. 12:20 it says, A bruised reed He will not break, and a smoldering which He will not snuff out, till He leads justice to victory. NIV The enemy loves for you to be offended so he can get you to isolate!

So what stunts our growth or separates from the vine?

I. The Offense
Like mold the offense starts to grow and spreads all over you. It's a trap! It's the trigger on the mouse trap. It robs you of your blessing while you are in the trap. However, the offense is an opportunity for growth and release. How to escape from the trap is forgiveness.

II. Admit The Offense To Yourself.
We have all been trapped and we have all trapped. In Luke 17 Jesus tells us that it is impossible not to be offended and it's impossible not to often people and He teaches that it is hard on both ends. You are not the only on that this has happened to.

III. Admit The Offense To The Other Person.
Let's state this very clearly...Admission is not accusation!!! You can never know what their motive was! Generally they were oblivious or careless or hurt. How often have you "plotted" to hurt someone? Most usually it is a misunderstanding and the enemy uses it for his advantage (to set that trap). Please make sure that your heart is right with the Lord before going to do this. LOVE needs to be your motivation. Don't go to "confront" the person...go in love.

IV. Forgive The Offense.
God forgave us for so much how can we not forgive for so little? Be mature, make the first move, right or wrong. We have to make the choice to will forgiveness. When we forgive, it releases the issue to God so He can take care of it. When we forgive that is letting the vine dresser to lift us up out of the mud. He then washes the mold off and stakes us to the vine so that we can produce fruit.

Unforgiveness cuts us off from the nutrients of the Word, Prayer, Worship and Fellowship.

V. Get Back Into The Game.
Once we get out of the mus we need to get back into the exercise of reading the Word, praying, worshipping and fellowshipping which equals ABIDING!

Pray for God to reveal any unforgiveness in your life. Unforgiveness is like poison and as it courses through your veins it kills you! Do not let the enemy plant a seed of bitterness in your life.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Ponder the Path of Your Feet, Mind and Heart

20 My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings.
21 Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart;
22 For they are life to those who find them, And health to all their flesh.
23 Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.
24 Put away from you a deceitful mouth, And put perverse lips far from you.
25 Let your eyes look straight ahead, And your eyelids look right before you.
26 Ponder the path of your feet, And let all your ways be established.
27 Do not turn to the right or the left; Remove your foot from evil.
Proverbs 4:22-27 NKJV


The cleanliness of your heart is really an important issue. When your heart is bitter or entertains things that are not of the Lord it is only a matter of time before it spills out of your mouth and/or actions.

Just this week we were talking to a young man about some of these issues. He had been watching some things that “were just funny” but very inappropriate. We explained to him that if you “just watched” these things that it would pollute his heart and mind. It would lead to thinking and entertaining perverse thoughts. He didn’t want to “judge” these things. How sad...that is definitely a worldly thought pattern. The bible says to take every vain thought or imagination at knife point!

It is so sad how the enemy uses whatever method he can to dilute the Word of God and to pollute your thought patterns and your heart. His goal is to rob, kill and destroy. If he can take ground in your mind then he has a great advantage. He is very patient and will slowly set the trap...hoping that we will take the bait. At first it might not “hurt” us oh but it does affect us! Don’t believe the lie that a little sin won’t hurt you. It does. A compromise is a compromise. Would you eat a bowl of soup if someone had spit in it? It would just be a little spit and you could eat around it...I am betting that you wouldn’t eat from that bowl.

Ponder the path of your feet, mind and heart. Let all of your ways be established. Remove your foot from evil.

Lord help me to nip sin in the bud before it makes a place in my heart.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Some Wisdom

13 Happy is the man who finds wisdom, And the man who gains understanding;
14 For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, And her gain than fine gold. 15 She is more precious than rubies, And all the things you may desire cannot compare with her. 16 Length of days is in her right hand, In her left hand riches and honor.17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness, And all her paths are peace.
18 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, And happy are all who retain her. Proverbs 3 13-18 NKJV

This speaks for itself. Jesus help me to gain wisdom and understanding....

Monday, May 25, 2009

No Sin Too Big

10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:10-11 NKJV

I am so grateful for my salvation. I love this passage because it says He died to sin ONCE for ALL. I am so glad that the God I serve is not a discriminating God. He died for all. Not only for everyone but for ALL of our sin...no matter how big or how small.

There is not one thing that if you are truly sorry, He won't forgive. He knew what we would do (and died for it) even before we did it. I have heard some say that there is no forgiveness for murder...but that isn't true. The apostle Paul (whose name was Saul before his conversion) persecuted and murdered christians before he found Christ. God not only forgave him but used him for great advancement for His ministry...not to mention writing major portions of the bible!

Because of this great sacrifice I don't want to take it for granted by thinking that no matter what I do I will be forgiven...I respect God and His mercy and grace. I am thankful that He has forgiven me much and because I love Him I want to do my best in becoming like Him. I want to be a light for others so that they too can experience this great salvation!

Striving for Excellance in Him!

Shanin

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Keep the Faith

17 as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations” in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; 18 who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” 19 And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. 20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. 22 And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Romans 4:17-22 NKJV

Interesting...I love the story of Abraham and I have read it many times...but I never noticed that God spoke in past tense to Abraham, "I have MADE you a father of many nations." Then it says that Abraham believed in God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist AS THOUGH THEY DID! I love this! Abraham knew he was old and that Sarah was old and had never given birth, yet he did not waver at the promise of God...it wasn't about what his body could do, he already knew that they couldn't become pregnant, he based his belief on what God could do and said He would do, he was strengthened in faith! He gave glory to God to what HE was going to do then in verse 21 it says that being fully convinced that what HE had promised HE was also able to perform!

We need to be fully convinced that when God says He is going to do something that He will! God has spoken some things to my heart about what He will do when this or that happens...then when it has been a long time I get complacent instead of becoming fully convinced that HE will carry out HIS promise! We need to give glory to God about those things because if God speaks isn't that good enough? He spoke and the earth was created. So we need to be convinced that what He says is true and then we need to act faithful and be faithful and then we will be strengthened in faith too!

How do we do this? Spend time with Him....read His Word...recount all of the answered promises and prayers...give glory to Him....believe...and we will be strengthened in faith! Speak as though God has done it or is doing it!

Then verse 22 comes...and it was accounted to him for righteousness. God accounted Abrahams' belief and faith in God to him for righteousness.

I never finished this blog last night because I fell asleep while doing it...then today as I was leading worship practice the Lord spoke to my heart about my songs...True are Your promises, true are Your promises, You never fail, You never fail Oh God, so we lift up holy hands, and praise the Holy One, Who was and is and is to come... God is so faithful that even when my faith starts to fade that He would breathe life on it and it reignites and starts to flame again. Thank You God that You love me/us so much that You would stir the faith inside of me to burn once again.

Don't give up...keep praying and keep the faith...most of all keep praising the One who brings about His promises! God keeps His Word...we just have to keep the faith and be obediant!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Unconditional

Rom 6:10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. NKJ

Just today I was talking to someone about acceptance. My friend, was talking about not being able to measure up to her family's expectations. I explained to her that Jesus didn't want a performance based relationship. He loved her just the way that she is...He died for her sins all at once. He loved her knowing that she would make the decisions that she has made and will make in the future.

It is hard to grasp sometimes...Jesus loves us! He loves me! No matter how the world measures success and how I measure up to that...Jesus loves me! He died for everything that I have done or will do. Plain and simple yet amazing. So unlike human acceptance. The best part is that we don't have to be perfect to be loved in God's family.

Does that give us license to do whatever we want? No. We need to pursue a relationship with Jesus and become more like Him. He loves us so much that He gives us free will to choose whatever we want to do...He loves us so much that He will wait for us to return to Him with open arms. His desire is for not one person to perish. He loved and loves us so much that He died for us.

Thank you God for loving me even with all of my weaknesses and shortcomings. You have given me the most amazing gift...unconditional love. Thank You.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

One Word....Faithful!

Oh, love the LORD, all you His saints! For the LORD preserves the faithful, And fully repays the proud person. Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart, All you who hope in the LORD. Psa 31:23,24 NKJ

Tonight I heard one word when I was thinking about blogging. The word was faithful. I went and started looking up verses with faithful in it and this one stood out to me. I believe it is meant to encourage someone tonight.

The Lord will preserve the faithful! That is you! God loves you so very much and He loves that you serve Him with a faithful heart. It is the enemy that would like to tell you otherwise. The Lord sees what you are doing. He knows what you have invested and it is not in vain. He preserves the faithful!

So tonight be of good courage! He will strengthen your heart. Don't give up, just remain faithful. He will take of the rest!

Friday, May 15, 2009

A Safe Place...a Refuge!

1 God is our refuge and strength,always ready to help in times of trouble.
2 So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea.
3 Let the oceans roar and foam. Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge!
Psalm 46:1-3 NLT


No matter what we see on the news or hear on the radio or read on the internet we have the comfort of knowing that God is our refuge and strength! I love it where it says that He is ALWAYS ready to help in times of trouble! So when everyone else is freaking out about anything and everything happening in the world today we can remain calm and trust that God is big enough to take care of us...the best part is someone will notice and desire that peace that you have from knowing God.

Thanks for taking care of us God!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Pretty Feet

And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “ How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!” Romans 10:15

I have a wonderful daughter-in-law that thinks feet are gross. Not beautiful. It is fun to tease her somedays.

Feet are important! They are listed in the bible 243 times! But in this passage they are really important! Why? Because they are on people who are bringing Jesus or Salvation to the people who don't know Jesus! Like my feet! Like me!

There are so many who don't know Jesus. They don't have hope or have a purpose in living. How sad...they need a hope and to know that there is a plan for their lives! Jesus loves them so much.

We need more people with pretty feet! Feet that bring the gospel. Anyone who knows Jesus is qualified! You don't have to have a degree or be an eloquent speaker. You don't have to be perfect either. All you have to do is to be willing to share with people the goodness of the Lord. That is so easy when you serve a God that is good!

There is one more passage that I want to share on feet.

He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, Out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, And established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth--Praise to our God; Many will see it and fear, And will trust in the LORD. Psalm 40:2-3

You see, God delivered me out of the pit. He can deliver you no matter how deep of a pit that you might be in. Not only can He deliver you, He can use you. Everyone has something to offer, to bring if we know Jesus. He will put a new song in your mouth too! And when He does people will see the difference and will want to trust in God.

Thank You Lord for pulling me out of the pit and setting my feet firmly on You. Thanks for giving me pretty feet!

PS. See Aubrie, there ARE such things as pretty feet!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

He's Everything

29 “For You are my lamp, O LORD; The LORD shall enlighten my darkness. 30 For by You I can run against a troop; By my God I can leap over a wall. 31 As for God, His way is perfect;The word of the LORD is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him. 32 “For who is God, except the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God? 33 God is my strength and power,And He makes my way perfect. 34 He makes my feet like the feet of deer, And sets me on my high places. 35 He teaches my hands to make war,So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. 36 “You have also given me the shield of Your salvation; Your gentleness has made me great. 37 You enlarged my path under me;
So my feet did not slip. II Samuel 22:29-37 NKJ


Isn't we awesome that God is so huge that He can be everything to us? He is the light in my darkness, with Him I can face an army! With Him I can leap over a wall! Now we know that is the only way I can leap over a wall! LOL. But really He has moved "walls" in my life that I could have never gone through much less get over. He is my shield and protector! He is my Rock! God is so big that He can train me for war yet His gentleness and love is amazing. He really is everything.

I am thankful that I serve a God Who is everything to me, and not just to me. He is a one size fits all. He has perfect timing, shoot, He created time! He is the solution for every situation and problem. Verse 37 says that He enlarged the path right under my feet so that I don't slip and fall! He is right there with me. There is a song that says, "You're all I want, You're all I need, You're everything, everything." That says it all in a nutshell.

Thank You God for being everything.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to everyone who has ever loved and guided a child. Happy Mother's Day to birth mom's who gave their children up out of love. May Jesus bless you and comfort your hearts. Happy Mother's Day to people who invested in my life!

Happy Mother's Day to my mom. She is with Jesus but she left me a great inheritance! A rich legacy of eternal life with Jesus. She couldn't of given me anything greater!
Was she perfect? No. But she loved me the best she knew how. I love you mama.

Happy Mother's Day to my Aunt Pauline! She stepped into my mother's shoes when she went home to be with Jesus. I love you Aunt Pauline! You are the best Aunt that I could ever want! You said you would take me from the day I was born and for that I am grateful! I hope that I have as much spunk as you and my mom!

To everyone else...find a mom to love if you don't have one...there are many out there! Just have a great day!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A Sure Investment

12 Who is the man that fears the LORD?
Him shall He teach in the way He chooses.
13 He himself shall dwell in prosperity,
And his descendants shall inherit the earth.
14 The secret of the LORD is with those who fear Him,
And He will show them His covenant.
15 My eyes are ever toward the LORD,
For He shall pluck my feet out of the net. Psalm 25:12-15 NKJ


This makes sense! When you spend time with someone getting to know them and developing relationship that you would learn from them! If you invest in something it only makes sense that you would benefit from it! I heard once that if you want to become an expert in something study it for one hour everyday for three to four years. I am not an expert by any means but I do invest in my relationship with Jesus everyday. I want to know more...He wants to teach me! What better combo is there than this?

The benefit is awesome! I get to be one of His descendants! I'm His kid! How cool is that?

There is a song that we sing in church and it is called, "The More I Seek You." It goes like this: The more I seek You, the more I find You, The more I find You, the more I love You. I want to sit at Your feet, drink from the cup of Your hand, Lay back against You and breathe, and feel Your heart beat. This love is so deep, it's more than I can stand. I melt in Your peace it's overwhelming...

This song is so descriptive and loving...and it is what I desire. I want that kind of relationship with Jesus. I love spending time with Him. If you don't know Him and would like that kind of relationship I would love to introduce you to Him. If you do know Him I would like to challenge you to invest in your relationship with Him...it can only benefit you!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Dancing Shoes

11 You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,
12 To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent.
O LORD my God, I will give thanks to You forever. Psalm 30:11-12 NKJ


I have seen God pull many people out of deep pits...I have seen Him give them their "dancing shoes" but not always did they choose to put them on. Some times it's because it isn't familiar to them to rejoice or "dance". I have seen some people decide that they would rather stay in their slump than to venture into something new or to learn a new behavior. A lot of times it is painful to go through the healing process and they just don't want to go through the pain to get to the healing. They want a band aid fix but not the surgery to cut out the cancer. Let's face it, no one likes to go through the painful process but it is so worth it once you are all healed up.

God desires to deliver us! He desires to turn our mourning into dancing! He wants us to be clothed in His gladness.

I am so glad that the Lord has pulled me out of the pit and gave me dancing shoes! Was it an overnight event? No. But He was so gracious with me...did I always like it? NO! There were many times I didn't want to hear the truth but I am so thankful that He placed people who loved me enough to tell me the truth and then to walk me through the process.

Sometimes we all need a little help lacing up the old dancing shoes...but it is so much better than the mourning. Thank You God for loving me enough to reach into the slimy pit to pull me out and thank you for those pretty dancing shoes...I rejoice in serving You, the Redeemer! Now let's celebrate!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

A Rich Inheritance

23 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 19:23

Why is it hard for a wealthy man to follow the Lord? I have often thought about this passage. It is where the rich young man came and asked the Lord what it would take to follow Him.

One time when I was visiting with my wealthy uncle it reminded me of this scripture.I was walking through the beautiful home and had went and laid by the pool and ate my breakfast in the morning sunshine. It was sooooo nice. My uncle came and talked to me. He said, "Your father would have been a very wealthy man if he had of stayed here. Your old farm is worth millions now. I thought about that. I was later alone and was talking to the Lord about what my uncle had said to me. I told the Lord, "God my life would have been soooo different if my family would have stayed here!" He responded to me, "Yes, but what would have happened if you were to gain the whole world to lose your soul?" I thought about it some more...later that evening the whole family came home for coney islands. A family tradition for my Tulsa family. We sat around laughing and talking and catching up. It was fun but something was so missing. In the midst of a heavily drinking family it all made sense to me...if I would have stayed I would have gotten caught up in the lifestyle and very likely would have been just like them...without Jesus.

They didn't need God. Their money could provide for whatever they needed or wanted. My uncle was a self made man. He made who he was! He went from poor boy to rich man all on his own. He didn't have a need for God. How sad.

It made me so grateful that my family had listened to the Lord years ago and had sold the farm to a Christian Missionary who made a boys ranch. It made me so thankful that we didn't have "a lot" growing up so my mom would pray in God's provision. I did indeed have a rich inheritance. Just not the same as my other family. I have an inheritance that will last for eternity. One to pass down to my children! I am a wealthy woman! I am rich in the Lord!

Fast forward another six or seven years. I went "home" again. My uncle had horrible dementia, Alzheimer's. I had the privilege of praying for him and my aunt. No extended family around...a God appointment. I have no way of knowing for sure if they accepted Jesus but I sure hope so.You see, that day no amount of money could fix things...there was a need for God. That was the last time that I saw my family. Hopefully one day I will see them again in heaven because I took advantage of that one opportunity of need and shared and prayed. God is so good.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Good Stuff Is Going To Happen...Just Wait and See!

I would have lost heart, unless I had believed That I would see the goodness of the LORD In the land of the living. Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD! Psalm 27:13,14 NKJ

No doubt...there would have been many times that I would have totally lost heart if it wasn't for my belief in the living God that I serve. I have no idea how people face the daily grind of life without Jesus. Life would be so hopeless if I thought that there was nothing but this life...no real purpose...I am confident that there is life after death and I know that I have a Hope! His Name is Jesus. He loves you and me so very much. I am fortunate because I have seen the goodness of the Lord here and there is so much more to see!

If you don't have a hope please let me share mine with you. Life is so much better when you know Jesus. Your life will have purpose!

Those of you who already know Jesus Be of good courage! He will strengthen your heart! He is sooooo good. You wait and see...good stuff is going to happen!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

He Knows Me Inside and Out!

1 O LORD, You have searched me and known me.2 You know my sitting down and my rising up;You understand my thought afar off.3 You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways.4 For there is not a word on my tongue,But behold, O LORD, You know it altogether. 5 You have hedged me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me.6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain it. 7 Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? 8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there;If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.9 If I take the wings of the morning,And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea.10 Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,”Even the night shall be light about me;12 Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You,But the night shines as the day; The darkness and the light are both alike to You. Psalm 139:1-12 NKJ


He knows my thoughts and every word that proceeds out of my mouth. Now that can be scary when I think of that one. Why is it that we think that we can hide things from God? But I know that we do think that some days...I need to keep this passage of scripture in my heart always. I think that would be a great filter for the tongue.

I love it because God knows me so well! He understands my heart and my daydreams! Even in my darkest times God is with me...I don't have to be afraid of the dark because He is there with me. I love it because He knows me inside and out. He is such a great God.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Testing.....

Hello Everyone!

Just a quick note to say that I will be back to my normal blogging in a couple of days. I am in college finals and I am cramming, working and trying to keep my head above water. I want to say PRAY FOR ME! I need it! And in the meantime I will do my part to not to quit in the final stretch of this particular race....I will finish!

Shanin

Friday, April 24, 2009

Deal Or No Deal

I just watched the ending of an episode of Deal Or No Deal. The man was down to two cases. One case had $1.00 in it and the other had $1,000,000.00 in it. The offer was $416,000.00 dollars. The choice was his...Deal or No Deal? His mother was telling him to take the money. Another lady was telling him that he had the million dollar case. He chose NO DEAL! He then had the choice of trading the case that he had picked for the other case and he turned that option down. When Howie opened the case that the man had kept it contained $1.00. How awful. The man had $416,000.00 dollars and he turned it down for the chance of more. His mother was just sick. You could see it in her face.

We all say what we would do in that situation but most of us will never be in such circumstances. But all of will be in a "Deal Or No Deal" situation. It is a salvation or no salvation situation. I have heard so many people say that "As long as you lead a good life or as long as you are a good person you will go to heaven." That is so not true! There will be good people who reject Jesus who will go to hell. You see, people don't go to hell for "doing something bad", they go to hell for rejecting Jesus. No one is deserving of salvation. No one is good! We are all on a level playing field...Jesus died to give us the free choice of salvation...all we have to do is make a decision to accept it or reject it...deal or no deal.

"Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, that you and your descendants might live! Deut. 30:19

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Preapproved!

9 As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” So he arose and followed Him.
10 Now it happened, as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. 11 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12 When Jesus heard that, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” Matthew 9:9-13 NKJ


I love this because Jesus wasn't afraid to go anywhere with anyone! He was the same everywhere He went. He looked at the potential in a person. Matthew was a tax collector when He called him. I love it because Jesus knew that relationship with people was important. He ate with tax collectors, sinners, and harlots. He wanted to know them and for them to know Him. He knew that everyone needed a Savior. He didn't select just the elite or the "good" people...He came for everyone! I am so glad! He came for me. It doesn't matter who you are or where you come from or what class you are...He wants to know you and you to know Him. There are no disqualifications, you really are "preapproved!" He loves you just where you are. All you have to do is to accept Him as your Lord and Savior!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Don't Panic, He's Right There With You!

18 And when Jesus saw great multitudes about Him, He gave a command to depart to the other side.
23 Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. 24 And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep. 25 Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!”
26 But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. 27 So the men marveled, saying, “Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?”
Matthew 8:18;23-27 NKJ


LOL I love this passage. Why? Because it reminds me of me when I took a different look at it today. I used to think, how could they be afraid when Jesus was right there in their boat with them? But you see, just like me, Jesus told them where to go and went with them and when it got rough they thought they were going to die!

How many times has God spoke to your heart about the direction you should go and when times got rough you cried out to Him? He was right there with you! I remembered when God called us to Burley, Idaho. I wasn't thrilled but I was obedient. We came and it wasn't easy. I remember many days when I was praying that I told God, "God, I know that You didn't call me to Burley to die and the rent is due in x amount of days...I need the rent money, Lord." He provided every time. But every time it got tough I was back calling out to Him! He was right there with me the whole time! He was the One who told us to go to Burley...He would see us through...and He has.

After God calmed the sea in verse 27, they marveled at who this Jesus could be that even the seas obeyed Him. I know who He is and even still I marvel at His greatness. He is still in the miracle business today. Do you have a storm brewing in your life? Cry out to Him and He can calm even the roughest storm

Monday, April 20, 2009

Bridge the Gap



I was looking at all of my pictures today for some thing new to place as my computer background and I found this bridge. I love bridges. I like bridges of all kinds, historical, modern, rustic, covered...you name it I like it. I like this bridge because it uses giant stepping stones or rocks as the walkway and it has wooden rails to help you as you cross so you won't slip and fall. It made me think...how am I a bridge? How do I bridge the gap into our community and into people's lives? Jesus is the big bridge but He uses us to be bridges too. We should look like Him! Our churches (our body) needs to bridge the gap into our community.

What type of bridge are you and your church? Are you a big modern one? Are you a nice historical bridge? There are all types and they are all needed but the most important thing is that you are a bridge that helps bring people to Jesus!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Just a Sheep Tender?

7 But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees;[a] for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” I Samuel 16:7

Aren't you glad that God doesn't look at our physical appearance but He looks at our hearts instead? I am so grateful that God doesn't look at just the "pretty" people and say that they are the ones who will minister or be favored! I am so thankful that God sees past what the world sees and values. He loves me for me! He knows my potential that even I don't always see in myself.

David was the youngest brother. He was normally looked down on or "pooed pooed" by his brothers, but God knew David's heart. David worshipped Him when he was alone in the fields tending the sheep. God knew David' potential. God gave David on the job training while he was tending the sheep. He killed the lion and the bear...and one day he would face the giant. God built David's faith while he was in the field tending sheep. God knew that David would be anointed King. His brothers never thought that their little brother, David, would become King...he tended the sheep!

So when you have a job like tending sheep, maybe just maybe, God might be training you for a much bigger purpose. He looks beyond what the world sees and what our eyes see...He sees our heart! Remember He knows our hearts AND our potential! He has great things planned for our future. We need to take the time wherever He places us to worship Him whatever situation we are in and know He has us there for a reason. God taught David important things while he was tending sheep. Where does God have you at the moment? What is He teaching you? I can assure you that it is all part of the plan!

Remember He looks at the heart and He sees your potential!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

He is Risen!

Today is the celebration of the ressurection of Jesus. I am so thankful that I serve a God who doesn't "rule" by guilt. He loves us. He desires a real relationship with us.

New life. That is what you can have in Jesus. A fresh start, a clean slate. He already paid the price for anything and everything you and I have ever done or will do. We don't have to be "good enough" you see, He doesn't want a performance based relationship He wants the real you. He already sees us where we are so why not be honest with ourselves and God? He loves us just exactly where we are and who we are. He sees the "gold nuggets" inside of us. After all He made us.

So celebrate with me today! Jesus conquered death for you and me. Join in the celebration of salvation.

Shanin

Friday, April 10, 2009

Listen Up!

1 Now the boy Samuel ministered to the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was rare in those days; there was no widespread revelation. 2 And it came to pass at that time, while Eli was lying down in his place, and when his eyes had begun to grow so dim that he could not see, 3 and before the lamp of God went out in the tabernacle[a] of the LORD where the ark of God was, and while Samuel was lying down, 4 that the LORD called Samuel. And he answered, “Here I am!” 5 So he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.”
And he said, “I did not call; lie down again.” And he went and lay down.
6 Then the LORD called yet again, “Samuel!”
So Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” He answered, “I did not call, my son; lie down again.” 7 (Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, nor was the word of the LORD yet revealed to him.)
8 And the LORD called Samuel again the third time. So he arose and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you did call me.”
Then Eli perceived that the LORD had called the boy. 9 Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down; and it shall be, if He calls you, that you must say, ‘Speak, LORD, for Your servant hears.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
10 Now the LORD came and stood and called as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!”
I Samuel 3:1-9 NKJ


Samuel was a boy and God spoke to him. He didn't recognize God's voice at first...he heard Him but didn't "get it". God called his name three times and he still didn't get it. Not until Eli instructed him on what to do did he recognize His voice. The important thing was that Samuel responded!

Now check this out... God did not give up when Samuel didn't recognize His voice or even respond "correctly" not even after three times! God was patient with Samuel! God is patient with us! He knows that we need instruction. He loves us.

God still speaks to us today. He loves us so much and knows when we don't "get it." If we miss His voice the first time He will speak again...just listen. Talk to Him. Ask Him, "What do You want to say to me God? Help me know Your voice." Will you "get it" right everytime? No. But keep practicing...He is patient. He is faithful. He loves His kids!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Dedicated to God

18 But Samuel ministered before the LORD, even as a child, wearing a linen ephod. 19 Moreover his mother used to make him a little robe, and bring it to him year by year when she came up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice. 20 And Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, and say, “The LORD give you descendants from this woman for the loan that was given to the LORD.” Then they would go to their own home.
21 And the LORD visited Hannah, so that she conceived and bore three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile the child Samuel grew before the LORD. I Samuel 2:18-21 NKJ


When I read this today I cried. I cannot even imagine the love that Hannah had for her son Samuel and for the Lord. She kept her word that she would dedicate her son back to the Lord. It truly must have been a sacrifice. First of all she had been baren and then when God did give her, her baby boy she gave him back to the Lord for service not knowing if she would become pregnant again.

In verse 18 it says, "But Samuel ministered before the Lord, even as a child." To me that is so awesome. I have said this before and i will say it again, you are never too young to minister.

God honored His Word and God honored Hannah too. It says in verse 21 that the Lord gave Hannah three more sons and two daughters! Then it adds that "Meanwhile the child Samuel grew before the Lord."

Hannah gave her first born son, Samuel to serve in the temple where Eli raised his wicked sons in the temple yet Hannah trusted her son to the Lord. God took care of Samuel too. In the middle of the chapter describing the wicked things that Eli's sons did and prophecy against them there is one verse placed :26 And the child Samuel grew in stature, and in favor both with the LORD and men. That speaks volumes!!! God took care of the young man that was dedicated to His service. Hannah trusted God to take care of Samuel and He did. God is good.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Becoming Immune to the Stink

Today at my work they evacuated my half of the building while I was gone to school. The reason was that the owner had sprayed the pesticide on the outside of the building but the fumes came inside. The reports on the effects were different depending who you spoke to but the manager decided to move our office temporarily to a different location until the fumes cleared. I guess one of the warnings said that if you can smell it then it is harmful. I guess that some of the people had gotten used to the smell and hadn't thought of it being that loud until they left the building got into some fresh air and then re-entered the building.

Isn't that how sin is? If you aren't careful you can become so desensitized to it that it doesn't bother you anymore. We need to go before the Lord daily so we can get our dose of "fresh air" so we can live in a sinful world but not become desensitized to it.

Lord help me to never to get accustomed to sin but to be sensitive to Your voice.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Don't Give Up!

16 That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are[a] being renewed every day. 17 For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! 18 So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever. 2 Cor 4:16-18 NLT

Everything here is temporary. We need to remember that when things are going the wrong way. If we keep it all in perspective, (that this is only temporary) and our long term goal is eternal life with Jesus then we can maintain our focus! We need to take advantage of our time here! We have Kingdom business to do and accomplish! We need not to get distracted or wrapped up things that keep us from growing in the Lord! Remember we fix our gaze on things that can't be seen. Thank You Lord that even when our physical bodies get tired and worn our spiritual lives can increase and grow! So don't quit! Keep up the good fight!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

He is my Rock!

39 But the salvation of the righteous is from the LORD;
He is their strength in the time of trouble.
40 And the LORD shall help them and deliver them;
He shall deliver them from the wicked,
And save them,
Because they trust in Him. Psalm 37:39-40

It doesn't say that we won't have times of trouble but it does say that He is our strength when those times come. He wil help us and deliver from the wicked and save them....and here are the key words for me...because they trust Him.

In order to trust someone you have to have relationship with them. It is easier to trust Him when you have that relationship with Him!

We need to trust Him when those tough and scary times come. We have to trust in Jesus to take care of us and not to run ahead of Him to take care of ourselves. When we keep our focus on Him the other things aren't as scary or as big! He is sooooo big!

Who else do we have to trust? There is a scripture that says, some may trust in horses and some may trust in chariots but we will trust in the Name of our Lord!

I am glad that when things get tough I can run to Him. He has my back and my front...He loves me!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Satisfaction's Secret...

Tonight I thought I would share from our Wednesday night class notes. It was a great lesson...credit to my Jason, my hubby. Thanks Babe for letting me glean from your teaching!

10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ[a] who strengthens me. Phil 4:10-13 NKJV

What is contentment? It's not apathy, laziness or complacency. It is independant from circumstance. You do not base your happiness on the situation around you. Happiness comes from within.

How to experience real contentment:
I. Learn to avoid comparisons!
Paul said that he learned to be content! That means we can learn to be content too!

Misconceptions about happiness are: I must have what others have to be happy...I must be liked by everyone in order to be happy...Having more will make me more happy.

The root problem: Comparing myselt to others.

II. Learn to adjust to change!
In verse 12 it says that I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound...

Types of circumstances:
-Those we can control and do control
-Those we can control and don't control
-Those we can't control

Key to adjusting: A sense of humor!!!!! Man, laughter is an awesome tool...the joy of the Lord is our strength! Don't take yourself so seriously and life will be so much better.

III. Learn to rely on Christ's power
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. vs 13

The Jerusalem Bible says it like this: There is nothing I cannot master with the help of one who gives me strength.

What do you need to master? Your attitude? Your mouth or temper?

IV. Learn to trust God to meet my needs.
Phil 4:19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Matthew 6:31-33

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Hosannah!

Palm Sunday. We celebrate the triumphal entry on Palm Sunday. The day that the disciples went and found the colt, right where He said it would be, and He rode it into town. The people threw their coats and clothing down for Him to ride across their clothing. They waved the palm branches...the children shouting, "Hosanna, Hosanna in the Highest!" He should have been riding a fine horse but instead a young donkey...the Savior of the World with the people whom He loved. The ordinary people not the elite and rich just the regular people and the kids...

I am so thankful that Jesus loves us, the ordinary people...His kids. I am excited for this Sunday to come and see the kids in our church celebrate Jesus with their Palm Branches. To worship the King...I have been picking the music and when I hear it and imagine the children in my mind waving the Palm Branches for Jesus it makes me cry. I can only imagine how He felt and He knew what was coming! Then I get excited to think how He must feel seeing His kids worship Him! Yeah...thank You Jesus for coming and dying for me...for them, for all of us....for the ordinary and the elite. Thank You for loving us...thank you for riding in on the donkey.

Monday, March 30, 2009

It is sooo Worth It!

58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. I Cor 15:58


Planted deep....immovable...always consistently abounding in the work of the Lord. How do we do this? By staying in the Word and putting one foot in front of the other. Not quitting! Keeping focused on God!

Whenever I get discouraged I think that is when I struggle with the "knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord." One time I had questioned the Lord about moving to Burley because it just didn't seem to grow like I thought it should. I remember very clearly as I was leading worship. I looked out in the congregation and there was "Aunt Mary" worshipping the Lord with her hands raised. Mary is an elderly woman who didn't know Jesus her whole life. She accepted Jesus late in life through our ministry. I heard the Lord ask me very clearly..."Would you have come just for her to know me, just for one?" I replied, "Yes Lord, just for Mary...just for one."

God is so good that He would send us to Idaho just for Mary to know Jesus....now I know that we have reached many more than Mary but it certainly put it in perspective for me! He knows how I work! He ministered to my heart. It so blesses me so to see Mary worship Jesus! Her salvation alone makes me to know that my labor is not in vain!

We need to take time to reflect on the victories that the Lord has given us. It encourages us and reminds that our labor is not in vain.....it is worth it all even if we only get to lead one to Jesus. Thank You Lord for giving me the honor to lead people in Your Salvation.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Out of the Box

4 There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: I Cor 12:4-7

I am so glad that I serve such a big God that He ministers in many ways in different people! He gives us different gifts! One God but many avenues of ministries.

We, as humans tend to put God in a box. Actually it isn't God who is in the box. He isn't limited either! We need to poke our heads out of our box, (that we try to put God in), and look for God moving and ministering! We need to pray and seek God to see if He would have us minister in a way that will reach people out of our comfort zone.

Remember there are diversities of gifts but the same Spirit! Different ministries but the same Lord! So how do you know? Does it line up with scripture? Because God will not go against His Word. Is the ministry producing fruit? Does it profit the body of Christ?

Lord Jesus, please help me not to limit You and Your ministry. Expand my view of You and help me to be open to where You would lead me! Thanks God! I love You!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

An Escape Plan

12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape I Cor. 10:12-13

I had a friend many years ago who told me something that I would never forget...it truly was a piece of wisdom that I have kept close to my heart. I had asked her how someone could cheat on their spouse especially when both of them were Christians. She told me as soon as you think it can never happen to you or that you would never do that (no matter the situation or sin) then be very careful because that is just where the devil wants you! It's a trap!That is when or where he will trip you up! Vs 13 says no temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man! It is the ordinary everyday stuff that can trip you up especially when you get comfortable and unguarded!

The good news is that the bible says that He will always make a way of escape when we are tempted! God is faithful! Cry out to Him when you are tempted! He will provide a way out! Whew! An escape plan...be aware, and when you feel like nothing can trip you up that is when you are vulnerable. When you find yourself surrounded by temptation stop and pray. Cry out for help and the Deliverer will provide the escape plan for you! The bible says to flee or to run when temptation comes! Don't hang out around it!

Thank you Jesus that You know our weaknesses and that you have planned a way for escape for us. Help me be aware of the enemies traps and help me walk circumspectly! I love You Lord!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Good News!

29 The Lord is far from the wicked,
but he hears the prayers of the righteous.
30 A cheerful look brings joy to the heart;
good news makes for good health. Proverbs 15:29-30 NLT

I am so excited that God hears our prayers! He is so faithful to answer our prayers. We are what I like to call "prequalified" not by anything that we have done but just simply because He died for us and we accepted His gift of Salvation. It grieves my heart when I hear people say, "God doesn't answer my prayers." He always answers them...it isn't always yes, but He will always give us an answer. God loves to spend time with His kids. The question is "Do we like to spend time with Him?" Do we listen for His answers? Do we work to keep the lines of communication open? Are we keeping our hearts clean?

In verse 30 it talks about a cheerful look brings joy to the heart. I think a cheerful outlook and good report (or news) brings joy to the heart! So sometimes I have to go and look for the good report because I might just not be "seeing" the good stuff. The Word of God is full of great reports!

The other day I was in the car and the old song "Whose Report Will You Believe" came to my mind. I started singing it and it says whose report will you believe...we will believe the report of the Lord! For His report says I am free His report says I am healed...you get the gist of the song...anyhow it stirred my heart up! I got so excited! You know the devil is a liar and he would love for us to buy the lie but if we go to our "good report" it reports the truth! The good news!

When we share good reports it stirs others too! Whenever I pray for someone lots of times I will share about good reports that God has done before and it stirs my faith and their faith! So share good reports! Do it for yourself and for others!

Whose report will you believe? We will believe the report of the Lord!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

He Loves Me As High As The Heavens!

10 He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; 12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; Psalm 103:10-13

I am so thankful that God doesn't treat us like we deserve to be treated! I am really glad that he doesn't repay us according to our sins! Not only does He not do both of those things but it says as far as the east is from the west he has separated us from our sins! YES!

He loves us so very much. He has compassion for us! God has compassion for us. He just doesn't put up with us or allows us to simply exist...He LOVES us! He LOVES ME!

I think if we could just grasp that He loves us soooo much we would live our lives much differently. He loves us as high as the heavens are above the earth...that is really high! Woo Hoo I am loved by the Almighty Living God!

This week I want to challenge you to say "God loves ME" every time you pass a mirror. Look into that mirror into your own eyes and say it....God loves ME! Then act like it! Act like God loves you....I think it will make a difference in your life. Then do one more thing....after doing this for ten days write me and let me know how it changed your thinking! Okay?

Have a really blessed week!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Don't Quit

18 Then the LORD said to Joshua, “Stretch out the spear that is in your hand toward Ai, for I will give it into your hand.” And Joshua stretched out the spear that was in his hand toward the city.
26 For Joshua did not draw back his hand, with which he stretched out the spear, until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai. Joshua 8:18;26

Joshua had experienced failure in war against Ai before this victory. He went before the Lord and asked why they lost the battle and God told him that there was sin in the cammp. Joshua then didn't ignore the sin and went on he went and searched it out and then got rid of the sin and then went back before the Lord again and this is when God says to stretch out his spear and that He would give it to Joshua's hand.

It wasn't over once God gave the promise. Joshua still had to go take the city or land of Ai. Do you think that it was easy for Joshua? I don't. It was still work, but I love verse 26 For Joshua did not draw back his hand, with which he stretched out the spear, until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai.

Joshua did not turn back. He didn't quit. Joshua took God at His Word and he did his part too. When things didn't go right he went before God and found out what was wrong, he searched out the sin and dealt with it and then he didn't quit or give up until the promise was fulfilled!

Are things not going right? Have you gone before God to see what is wrong? Have you searched to see if there is sin in your "camp"? If you find sin are you going to deal with it and get rid of it? Are you going to give up or are you going to "not draw back your hand" until God's promise is fulfilled?

I want to see everything God has promised to me to be fulfilled! I am not quitting! And do you want to know the best part? God will go with me!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Just One Stone of Many

21 Then he spoke to the children of Israel, saying: “When your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, ‘What are these stones?’ 22 then you shall let your children know, saying, ‘Israel crossed over this Jordan on dry land’; 23 for the LORD your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we had crossed over, 24 that all the peoples of the earth may know the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty, that you may fear the LORD your God forever.” Joshua 4:21-24

We need to set up stones so that when our children ask in time, "What are this stones?" We can tell them what God did in our lives!

So what has God done in your life? In my life I have seen God miraculously provide for us in ways I could have never figured out on my own! I have seen God heal cancer! I have seen God's hand move in many circumstances. But tonight I want to share a story to you about a man name James

In the eighties we lived in Bend, Oregon. My husband worked at the mill. Now during this time Bend was a predominately white community. There was a young man named James who came to work at the mill who happened to be black in color. My husband hit it off with James right from the start. They would tease each other and play practical jokes on one another. My husband would share with James about the Lord and then always say, "When are you going to come to church with me, man?" James never came. Well, one night on the way home from work James was jumped and beaten pretty bad by a few men. My husband was concerned for his friend. James started selling drugs because it was better money than the mill and before long he quit the mill job. We lost contact with James after he left the mill. We soon moved to the valley which was about four hours away from Central Oregon.

We thought and prayed for James often. A few years later and after we had a son that we named James, we were around the house talking about our friend James. I asked my husband, "What do you think happened to James?" He said that he hoped that he didn't get sucked into the drug lifestyle. End of the discussion and we went to bed. The next day my James and I were getting ready to go to the mall. Now my husband hates the mall and the crowds and we were leaving so that my hubby could study and write his sermon. As we were getting ready to leave my husband told us to wait that he wanted to go shopping with us! WHAT???? Yes I heard what he said. We waited and he came.

We made it to the mall and my son and I were at Kaybee Toys, my husband went to a book store. After a little bit I heard my husband yell my name. I looked out to the hall and my husband was standing smiling from ear to ear with his arm around James, our friend! He had been at the bookstore with his back facing the mall. He said that he felt a large presence standing in his space and he heard a voice whisper in his ear, "What are you doing in my store boy?" He spun around to see James smiling! He got him! LOL The very next thing out of James' mouth was, "When are you going to come to church with me man?" God is so good. James moved away and later found Jesus. He is serving the Lord. And God was so gracious to us that he let us find out that James accepted Jesus before we got to heaven! That blessed us so very much and still encourages us when we think, reminese and talk about it.

It was such a God appointment. Jason hates the mall. God arranged for James and Jason to be at the mall at the same time and for James to see Jason with us both being so far from our old surroundings and years later. A true miracle.

That is just one story of so many miracles of God in my life. One stone of many. One stone to pass down to our kids and grandkids. Take time and think of a stone that represents something that God has done in your life. I would love to hear about your stones if you would like to share them with me! We can praise God together.

Thank You Lord that you have done so many things in my life. Thank You for letting us see James once more and most of all for his salvation. Thank You for arranging that meeting this side of heaven! You Rock!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Be Bold and Strong! God is With Us!

6 Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. 7 Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. 8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:6-9 NKJ

Be strong and courageous!Do not turn from it to the right hand or the left...so how does a person do that? Well, the word tells us how in the very next verse, this book of Law shall not depart from your mouth! Meditate in it day and night. How much stronger we would be if we truly did meditate on and in it day and night? I know that when the enemy starts to try to plant seeds of doubt or fear that if I quote the Word of God it doesn't effect me like it does when I go with it or entertain it or have not spent time in the Word! God's Word is true! It is still applicable to us today!

So let's make a commitment to be strong and courageous! To not be afraid or dismayed because our Lord is with us! Wherever we go! The biggie is meditating in and on the Word and not letting it depart from our mouths!

Thank You Lord for giving me courage and boldness! Thank You for making me prosperous and blessing my life! You are such an awesome God. Thank You for Your Word too!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Worship and Rejoice!

“Then you shall set it before the LORD your God, and worship before the LORD your God. 11 So you shall rejoice in every good thing which the LORD your God has given to you and your house, you and the Levite and the stranger who is among you.
Deut. 26:10-11 NKJ


This is talking about bringing the tithe before the Lord after they possessed and dwelled in the promise land which God gave them...just because God gave them the land didn't mean that the work was over. They had to possess it and then live in it and work the fields. When the harvest came they gave God the first fruits, that is where this verse comes in.

Then you shall set it before the Lord your God and worship before the Lord your God. I love verse 11 so you shall rejoice in EVERY GOOD THING which the Lord your God has given to you and your house! Man, how often do we get caught up in the work of things that we start to complain instead of rejoicing in every good thing? It wasn't easy to possess the land. Then after they possessed it they had to dwell there, plow the land, plant, weed, and water the crops and then you have to harvest.

We always get excited when we think of the harvest but in all reality, the harvest season is hard work! Long hours...I think that we tend to romanticize it. It is true that it is exciting to see the reward of your hardwork but it doesn't mean that the hard work is over. In the midst of every stage of this process we need to remember to worship, be thankful and rejoice! Rejoice for every good thing! God has given us so much to be thankful for and we need not to get caught up in the pace of our lives that we forget to be thankful for every good thing that the Lord has given us. We need to rejoice in the Lord! We need to rejoice when the Lord blesses others too.

Worship and rejoice today! Look around and take time to reflect on what the Lord has given us...big and small and rejoice! Don't forget to tithe too. He gets the first fruits not the left overs. This is of our time too. Make sure you give God your attention so that when He speaks to you, you will hear His voice.

Thank You Lord for being so faithful to us even when we are not always faithful to You. Thank You for blessing us. Thank You for giving us the land, help us live well in it and not quit...help us in the harvest. Thank You God for the harvest.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Celebrate revised edition

Hey I was so tired when I posted last night so I thought that now while I am awake I will fill in some of the great details.

I said that my husband got to lead someone to Jesus but it was a great example of team work. Someone planted the seed and many of the guys watered the seed. Then yesterday at a meeting the guys had been sharing and my husband got to harvest the seed. What a great example of sowing, watering and reaping.

PTL! God is good. This makes the second salvation in a week's time. God is moving. So please remember some of you are planting, some are watering and some get to harvest but everyone plays an important role in the whole process. Don't get discouraged when sharing the faith...because even when it doesn't seem to make a difference because someone is watching! Live your life for Jesus and share when you can and pray all the time!

Keep the faith!

Shanin

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Celebrate!

Today I have a reason to celebrate...my husband had the wonderful opportunity today to lead someone to Jesus. Man, that means that the angels were celebrating big in heaven tonight! Yes...another life saved.

I have another praise too. I received a raise yesterday. I am thankful for a good job that God provided for me.

Have a blessed night and don't forget to reset your clocks tonight. it is time to spring forward!

Shanin

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Blind Bart

46 Now they came to Jericho. As He went out of Jericho with His disciples and a great multitude, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the road begging. 47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48 Then many warned him to be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
49 So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be called. Then they called the blind man, saying to him, “Be of good cheer. Rise, He is calling you.” 50 And throwing aside his garment, he rose and came to Jesus. 51 So Jesus answered and said to him, “What do you want Me to do for you?” The blind man said to Him, “Rabboni, that I may receive my sight.” 52 Then Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road. Mark 10:46-52 NKJ


I love the story of Blind Bart. First of all he cried out to Jesus. They warned him to be quiet but he yelled even louder. He was desperate, what did he have to lose? Jesus stood still and had him called! Jesus heard him...he heard his desperate cries.

I love this next part...Bart threw aside his garment and rose and came to Jesus. He threw off his garment...he stepped out of his comfort zone...he knew what he wanted/needed and he asked, "Rabboni, that I may receive my sight."

Do you realise that you need Him so much that you will cry out? Even when they try to hush your cries will you cry out even more? Will you not let anything stand in your way of Him? Will you throw off your coverings or garments, expose who you really are with all of your problems to Him? Will you ask for His help?

He will hear your cries. He won't reject you. He will heal your hurts, injuries or disabilites. He loves you...and me.

The best part I saved for last...not only did Jesus hear and heal him but Bart (who was no longer blind Bart but a new improved Bart...a new creation) followed Jesus on the road! Who knows maybe Bart got a new nickname...Roadie Bart? Or Bart, the guy that used to be a blind beggar? Or Bart the follower of Jesus?

Monday, March 2, 2009

Jesus I Believe, Help My Unbelief...

23 Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” Mark 9:23-24 NKJ

Man, I am so there this week. Lord Jesus, I believe but I really need help with my unbelief...the flesh part of me. God has given us promises and there are days that I get weary in believing if they will ever happen during this lifetime. Then I *know* that God's word is true and He says all things are possible to him who believes. I believe that God can change the hearts of Kings...I believe that man cannot stand in the way of what God has planned or promised. Yes! God can do anything! He has a plan...it is so big and so detailed that I cannot even fathom how it will come about but I do know that God delivers on His promises....not in my time in His time, which is perfect!

I get excited when I look back and see where the hand of God has moved in my life. Just like Mary did when she recalled all of the things that God did for the children of Israel when exiting Egypt...she was building her faith...an angel had appeared to her to tell her of Jesus birth...how impossible was that? But it happened just as God said! So I am going to do just that tonight....

I have seen God heal cancer. I have seen God provide miraculously. I was there when God spared our lives in a wreck. I have seen God move things with His hand that only God could arrange! I have seen divine appointments! I have witnessed God's favor in action. I have seen God defend us when things looked pretty bleak. I have seen hardened hearts softened. God provided our church building and then sent people to remodel it! LOL I remember my husband saying one day we will remove this old false front and put a stucco finish on it and it will look so nice and I was thinking how will we ever have the money to do that? Guess what? It is finished...and it is beautiful. God is faithful to carry out His promises!

Thank You Lord for answering prayers and hearts desires. Thank You for delivering on the promises that You give. I can hardly wait to see how You will have it all come together... and it will be amazing because You do the impossible! I am glad that I serve the God that no matter what circumstances surround me Your Word stands true. To God be the glory.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Offended?

God's desire for us is for us to be healthy and flourishing and fruitful. In Matt. 12:20 it says, A bruised reed He will not break, and a smoldering which He will not snuff out, till He leads justice to victory. NIV The enemy loves for you to be offended so he can get you to isolate!

So what stunts our growth or separates from the vine?

I. The Offense
Like mold the offense starts to grow and spreads all over you. It's a trap! It's the trigger on the mouse trap. It robs you of your blessing while you are in the trap. However, the offense is an opportunity for growth and release. How to escape from the trap is forgiveness.

II. Admit The Offense To Yourself.
We have all been trapped and we have all trapped. In Luke 17 Jesus tells us that it is impossible not to be offended and it's impossible not to often people and He teaches that it is hard on both ends. You are not the only on that this has happened to.

III. Admit The Offense To The Other Person.
Let's state this very clearly...Admission is not accusation!!! You can never know what their motive was! Generally they were oblivious or careless or hurt. How often have you "plotted" to hurt someone? Most usually it is a misunderstanding and the enemy uses it for his advantage (to set that trap). Please make sure that your heart is right with the Lord before going to do this. LOVE needs to be your motivation. Don't go to "confront" the person...go in love.

IV. Forgive The Offense.
God forgave us for so much how can we not forgive for so little? Be mature, make the first move, right or wrong. We have to make the choice to will forgiveness. When we forgive, it releases the issue to God so He can take care of it. When we forgive that is letting the vine dresser to lift us up out of the mud. He then washes the mold off and stakes us to the vine so that we can produce fruit.

Unforgiveness cuts us off from the nutrients of the Word, Prayer, Worship and Fellowship.

V. Get Back Into The Game.
Once we get out of the mus we need to get back into the exercise of reading the Word, praying, worshipping and fellowshipping which equals ABIDING!

Pray for God to reveal any unforgiveness in your life. Unforgiveness is like poison and as it courses through your veins it kills you! Do not let the enemy plant a seed of bitterness in your life.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Even the Wind and the Sea Obey Him!

39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. 40 But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”[d] 41 And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”Mark 4:39-41 NKJ

Who can this be?????? Are you kidding me? Who can this be??? They lived with Jesus, walked with Him, saw Him do miracles and then they were surprised when He spoke and the storm ceased. This makes me laugh until I examine my own life...

Even though I haven't lived with the physical presence of God I have seen Him do miracles before my very eyes. I have seen Him provide in miraculous ways. He has never left me yet when certain crisis comes up I am right there where the disciples were saying, "Do You not care that we are perishing?” How do I look at that passage and criticize them when I am guilty of the very same thing?

Jesus has spoken things to my heart and I question how they can happen yet I am talking to the very man who that even the wind and the sea obey Him! We need to remember that even the wind and sea obey Him...whenever we start to doubt or get afraid we need to say, "Even the wind and the sea obey Him...He will take care of it,,,He is in control!"

I am so thankful that He is the same yesterday, today and forever...still yet even the wind and the seas obey Him! Yeah!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Jesus Healed Her!

29 Now as soon as they had come out of the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 30 But Simon’s wife’s mother lay sick with a fever, and they told Him about her at once. 31 So He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and immediately the fever left her. And she served them.
Mark 1:29-31


Jesus healed Peter's Mother-in-law. The next verse is important...And she served them. Peter's mom-in-law didn't sit and think, "I had better wait and see if I am really healed..." She didn't think that she should rest in case she had a relapse. She got up and served them! She took her healing and then used it. She served Jesus...probably in a practical way like getting them lunch.

Whenever the Lord heals you, you need to act on it! We need to take advantage of that healing and serve Him! We need to be thankful to the Lord! Rejoice! But whatever you do, do not let the devil talk you out of your healing! Take that healing and see where God will use you.

Excited to Serve the Healer!

Shanin

Friday, February 20, 2009

Psalm 121
1 I will lift up my eyes to the hills—From whence comes my help? 2 My help comes from the LORD,Who made heaven and earth.3 He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber.4 Behold, He who keeps Israel Shall neither slumber nor sleep. 5 The LORD is your keeper;The LORD is your shade at your right hand.6 The sun shall not strike you by day,Nor the moon by night.7 The LORD shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul.8 The LORD shall preserve your going out and your coming in From this time forth, and even forevermore.
NKJ

Somedays I look at the hills or mountains that our city is at the foothills of and I quote this scripture. It really is a good reminder that I don't need to look for the Calvary to save me when I have God. I don't need to look at man for answers or help when I have God. He made heaven and earth!!! Why would my problems seem so big in comparison to that? He is God who can do the impossible!!!

I am so glad that I serve the God who is in control of everything...He has a plan indeed, a plan for me! Does your life seem out of control? Don't look to the hills for help look to God but look to the hills for a good reminder of Who you serve. You serve the CREATOR of those hills and of that ocean and of that valley...there isn't anything too big for God to handle.

Thank You Jesus.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Better is One Day

One thing I have desired of the LORD, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD, And to inquire in His temple.For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock. Psa 27:4-5

dwell 2 a: to live as a resident

Awww the benefit of being royalty...you can live in the palace! How many of us take advantage of that? To truly dwell in the presence of the Most High.

So many advantages for those who do choose to dwell with the King. First of all we will get to really know Him. When you live with someone you really get to know who they really are. Intimacy. You can share secrets and inside jokes. You develop relationship. You can recognise His Voice. You start thinking more like Him when you really spend time with the King. You think about Him...

What better place to be than to be protected by The King Himself? When the enemy comes to bother you, you can say, "Do you know who my Dad is?" Oh yeeeaaahh...the advantage of being a son or daughter of the King. You can have the inheritance of the King...you can go before the throne boldly! Anytime day or night...you can inherit eternal life.

I love the song...better is one day in Your Courts, better is one day in House. better is one day in Your Courts than thousands elsewhere...than thousands elsewhere.

Enter into the Courts of the King...you are so welcome there and you won't ever be rejected...don't just be a visitor...come and live with the King.

Shanin

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A Great Love Story

Today I am going to suggest that you read a great love story. The book of Ruth (in the bible) is a short love story. It has death of loved ones, respect and love for her mother-in-law and then a journey to a foreign land where she finds love once again. It is a redemptive love story that everyone should read! Ruth goes to work in a field to glean food for her and her mother-in-law where she meets the land barren Boaz. Boaz is an older man who is a compassionate and caring man.

Will she find true love with Boaz? Will her mother-in-law approve of this relationship? Or will another man step in the way of this budding romance?

This is a "have to read" romance approved for any age!

Shanin

Friday, February 13, 2009

Sustaining Hope

"Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, And whose hope is the LORD. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, Which spreads out its roots by the river,
And will not fear when heat comes;But its leaf will be green, And will not be anxious in the year of drought,Nor will cease from yielding fruit. Jer 17:7-8


I have never really "absorbed" this scripture before. It doesn't say that we will never go through a drought or hard times.But it does say that Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and whose hope is in Him! Because when we do go through the drought He will be with us. If our roots are planted deep in Him we don't have to fear!

I love this last part...during the "heat" our leaves will be green and we will bear fruit!!! The drought won't effect us like those who don't know Jesus. When tough times come we cling to Him! He is our source of living water! With Him we will bear fruit! Even when we are going through the desert. We won't dry up and die! He is our HOPE! He is our source of help even in the times of trouble. He is with us.

If you are going through a "desert period" and need prayer, I would be so glad to pray for you. Drop me a line and I will pray for you! Remember we have hope in Jesus. He will sustain us.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Do You Someone that is Paralyzed?

1 And again He entered Capernaum after some days, and it was heard that He was in the house. 2 Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door. And He preached the word to them. 3 Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. 4 And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying.5 When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.”
Mark 2:1-5 NKJ


When I read this passage this week I thought to myself...how many friends do I know that are paralyzed? Paralyzed in fear, rejection, in hopelessness? I know so many that are paralyzed maybe not in the physical but worse yet but in the spiritual. Do I, as their friend, do everything I can to get them to Jesus? Am I such a good friend, that I would rip open the roof to lower in my friend so that he or she might have healing and eternal life?

Do we as Americans do everything we can, in our freedom, to get our sick friends to the Ultimate Healer? Or are we afraid that we might “offend” someone? We should take advantage of our freedom to share Christ with everyone! Now this means with our lifestyle not just lip service. Remember we are being watched every moment to see if our lives match our Lord.

Jesus forgave the paralytic of his sins first and then He healed him of his physical disability. Let’s get the broken to Jesus so that He can save them and heal them. He can meet all of our needs according to His riches in glory! It’s our job to be “good friends” and introduce them to the One who can save and heal them.

In His Ability Not Mine,

Shanin

Monday, February 9, 2009

Featured Guest Blog - Bread Today

I was reading my husband's blog today and I just loved his devotion on this passage so I thought that I would feature his devotion on my blog today! Enjoy...

But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed.Acts 16:25-26 NKJV

As I meditated on this passage I was struck with the way scripture connected prayer and worship with destroying the prison, opening doors and loosing the captives. These men had been imprisoned for setting a demonized woman free from her spiritual bondage that was being used to profit her masters’ wallet. They had been seized by the crowd and drug before the magistrates only to be beaten by the crowd, beaten with rods by the magistrates’ order and then locked in stocks by the jailer without any of their rights being observed.

As Paul and Silas lay in the prison on their wounded backs, they prayed and sang and their fellow prisoners were listening to them. When we worship in Spirit and in truth others are opened to the presence of the Lord. The prisoners wanted to know about a God who inspired singing and praying after being unfairly treated.

Then the foundation of the prison was shaken. As we praise and worship God we too are shaking the prison we and those around us are trapped in. We are God’s ambassadors to the captives around us. They ministered to God and the other prisoners were effected too. Worship is foundational. It changes things at root level.

Immediately the doors were opened because God is interested in getting us out of bondage and not just improving our jail. He intends to set us free not make our prison comfortable. He wants us to be moved beyond what limits us in Him even the comfort zones.

And everyone’s chains were loosed! Whom the Son sets free is free indeed. Jesus desires our complete freedom. His plan isn’t just to make our lives tolerable or better than they were. Jesus told us His plan was for abundant life now.

Freed By Worship,

Pastor Jason

Saturday, February 7, 2009

It's Your Choice!

5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil. 8 It will be health to your flesh, And strength to your bones. Proverbs 3:5-8

This is wisdom in a step by step formula when you break it down:

Step 1 Trust the Lord with all of your heart...don't leave room for any doubt or second guessing...

Step 2 Lean not on your own understanding! Boy this would seem to be a no brainer however this one is the one that can trip me up if I am not careful.

Step 3 In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths. Note the first part of this sentence...in ALL YOUR WAYS acknowledge Him...this is back to consulting with Him first on everything and then don't ignore Him or His advice! This is so irritating to me...ask me to do something or consult me then ignore everything that I say! If you are not going to listen to what I have to say then why ask in the first place? I can only imagine how God must feel because His direction is right on the money everytime but how many times do we ignore what His Word says or ignore His voice? After we acknowledge Him and Him being God and Lord of our lives and listen to what He says then of course He will direct our paths/ways!!! If we would only listen!

Step 4 Do not be wise in your own eyes....don't hold yourself or think of yourself above God...now I know many of you are thinking, "Oh, I would never do that!" but in reality whenever we do what we want instead of what God desires aren't we in fact doing that? Thinking that we know best? Arrogant huh? Ugly too...but sometimes the truth hurts!

Step 5 Fear the Lord. Respect the Lord! We all should have the fear of God in our hearts...sometimes Christians tend to get "buddy buddy" with God and forget that He is ACTUALLY GOD! He does desire to be our friend but we still need to never forget that He is God and we need to respect Him.

Step 6 Depart from evil. Another no brainer but how many times do we (like little kids) find out where the line is and stand with our toes right on the line? God says to depart or flee from evil. Don't hang out with it...don't entertain or flirt with sin... that is evil.

Then comes the promise: It will be health to your flesh, And strength to your bones.

When we do things our way it is the school of hard knocks but when we do it God's way it will be health to our flesh and strength to our bones! Think about it...my way or God's way....scripture says His ways are higher than our ways...it all comes down to choice...He loves us so much that He gives us free will. We have to choose to serve Him...we have to choose if we want to do it His way or our way...then we get the consequences of our choices...life or death it is our choice.