Saturday, January 31, 2009
Thank You Lord, that Your timing is perfect. Thanks for including me in Your plan. Thank You for sparing Josiah's life and thanks for pizza too! :0)
Friday, January 30, 2009
Acts 6:8-15 NKJV
Verse 8 says a lot about Stephen! He was full of faith and power. did great wonders and signs among the people. Then when people started converting because of his testimony, the bad guys plotted against him with rumors and accusations. They arrested him and then set up false witnesses to lie against him. They stoned Stephen...then the very council who sentenced him to death, who murdered him, saw his face as the face of an angel...even unto death Stephen maintained his testimony...even with his face.
Later this was instrumental in Saul's conversion. You know, sometimes people say rumors or false things about you and me...what is our response? Do we maintain the testimony of Jesus or do we stoop to their accusations so worried about being wrongly accused or defending ourselves instead of keeping our focus on Jesus and the ultimate goal? When we keep our focus on Jesus things will be worked out for His Glory. Who would have thought that the murderer of Stephen would one day serve the One that Stephen was martyred for? Saul who became the apostle Paul!
There is another point to this story. Never give up praying for people's salvation. No matter if you think that there isn't a chance in the world for this person to serve the Lord, Most High. Saul was the leader of the persecution of the church! He did what he did whole heartily! I am sure that no one would have ever thought that He would one day serve Jesus. But when he turned his heart towards God, he served Him whole heartily! He went from the persecutor to the persecuted.
I have someone who I am praying for to one day to serve the Lord. (well, I have more than one...) There are times when I get discouraged but eventually I return to praying for him and his wife. He is a rich atheist. From the worlds view technically he has no need for God in his life. I want him to be in heaven with me one day. Just this last week I heard that he is attending church! Yippee! That's a start! It encouraged me to pray even more and not to give up...you see Jesus loves him even more than I do. If the God I serve can change Saul's heart then He can change any one's heart! I will then do my part and pray for the lost that God puts in my life. With God nothing is impossible!
So keep the faith! Even if you are being "stoned" to death don't waver...keep your focus on Jesus. He brings all things around to His Glory.
Monday, January 26, 2009
I love this because "Peter said" these things to them. Remember he was the disciple who had cut off the guard's ear, he denied knowing Jesus three times and he ran to the tomb to see for himself that Jesus rose from the dead and was so excited! Peter loved Jesus, he was friends with Jesus and he was discipled by Jesus. He saw first hand of the many miracles Jesus did! Was Peter perfect? No but he loved his Lord. And Peter knew this: “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”
Read verse 39 one more time...for the promise is to you and to your children and to all who are afar off! His salvation is for everyone! Even for those of you who think you've gone too far or have "done" too much. He died for your sin...the price is already paid. He knew that you would do what you did before you did it! I am so excited that this promise is for everyone! Rich, poor, old, young, no matter the color of your skin or no matter what you have ever done...nothing disqualifies you as long as you repent and accept Jesus as your personal Savior and have a relationship with Him! He wants to spend time with you! He wants you to know Him. The promise is there waiting we just have to take Him up on it!
Thank You Lord for Your promise that crosses all barriers! Thank You for Loving me! I love you Jesus...You rock!
Saturday, January 24, 2009
How excited the women must have been. They went to take care of Jesus' body and He was alive! They went and told the disciples. Can you imagine the excitement? I can just hear the guys telling them to "Calm down! Slow down...tell us what happened." This news couldn't be true! But the next part is what I love...Peter jumped up and ran to the tomb! He went to investigate for himself...he found the linen cloths where they had been left behind...and then he left, marveling to himself at what had happened. Peter, the one who had denied Him three times...I am sure he was rethinking everything that Jesus had ever spoke to him about. Putting two and two together...
I have done that! The Lord has spoken something to my heart and I have it all worked out in my head how it's going to go down...and then it doesn't happen. I then go back and go over what was spoken to my heart and pray again. Then when it actually comes to past I then think ooohhhhh that is what He was saying to me! Oh, that is what He meant!
How exciting for Peter! His Friend and Savior was/is alive!!! The Messiah...back from the grave! Thank You Jesus! Peter marveled back then and I marvel now...Jesus spoke back then and He is still speaking today! Thank You Jesus!
Friday, January 23, 2009
This paragraph stood out to me this time when I read this passage. The man was named Joseph. The next part was what stood out to me...he was a council member, a good and just man and he had not consented to their decision and deed. Wow...such huge information in two sentences. He was there and he did not consent with the majority! He was on the council and didn't go along with the popular vote! He did what was right. This good and just man was not a yes man...and then there is yet more important information revealed...he was also waiting for the kingdom of God.
You never hear a lot about this man but he took care of the funeral arrangements of the Messiah. Joseph went to Pilate and asked for His body...Joseph tended to His corpse...Joseph wrapped the body in linen...Joseph laid His body in a tomb that was hewn out of the rock where no one had ever lain before. Later that same tomb would become vacant.
I want to meet Joseph when I get to heaven. I want to know this man! I want to hear of all of the details of how he found out about Jesus rising from the hewn rock that he had so carefully laid His Body! He was waiting for the kingdom of God and he was there when it happened...he participated...it was recorded!
Thursday, January 22, 2009
When I read this passage a few stand out to me. First of all how must of Jesus felt when Judas betrayed Him with a kiss? Normally an act of affection or greeting of endearment used as a betrayal? Someone who was in His inner circle of friends. Judas sold him out for thirty pieces of silver. It had to be done but still yet it had to be heart wrenching.
The second thing that I notice was in verse 48 when Jesus asked Judas if He was betraying the Son of Man with a kiss? I cannot even imagine how Judas must of felt. I wonder if he felt shame or did he feel any remorse at that moment? Later he hung himself...
Then the last part was when "one of them" struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear. I have to confess that part of me loves that one of them swung his sword in defense of the Lord...not great aim but he still took action. However there is the part of me that says that he shouldn't of reacted and he should have waited on the Lord instead of acting in the flesh.
I love it because even though this guys were coming to arrest Jesus for no wrong doing Jesus cared enough that He healed the man with the cut off ear! Wow I serve a good God! He loved the one who was going to help kill Him. This is my biggest question, "What happened to the healed guy?" He had to of realized that Jesus was who He said He was! One moment he had a severed ear and the next moment it was reattached!
I won't know my answers until I get to heaven but I can look at this portion of scripture and see where I have played all of these roles...I have been betrayed by friends before...not to the extent of Jesus but I have been betrayed and it crushed me. I have betrayed Christ before...I have hurt Him by not acting the way I should (sinning)...after He gave His life for me...how shameful on my part. I have jumped ahead of God and swung the sword and injured someone instead of waiting for Him to give me direction. And as a result of that Jesus had to heal someone....Last but not least I have had the Lord heal me...I do know the answer to that question though...I know what happened to me! I know Who Jesus is! He is my Lord and Savior and Healer! He loves me so much that He would reach out to heal me knowing that I will still mess up at times, (knowing that I helped crucify Him)...I will one day live eternally with Him! I am on the winning team! I serve an awesome God...the One and Only God. I have eternal life because God sent His One and Only Son to die on the cross for every sin that I have committed and will commit. He did this knowing that I would still mess up...He did this because He loves me and you.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
You are never too poor to give. This poor widow gave so very much even though it might of appeared small to the others. She gave with sacrifice. Let me tell you an amazing example of giving that I witnessed.
When we did mission work in Mexico we had the privilege working along side a woman named Pastor Ruth. Pastor Ruth lives in a very poor neighborhood in TJ Mexico. She ministers to anyone and everyone. I was with her when she would go to a dirt road filled with shacks made out of wood pallets. She then called out to the neighborhood for everyone to come out. She would sing a song while pounding a a tambourine. She would then tell them about Jesus and the story of salvation and give an invitation to receive Christ. About ten or twelve people received Jesus. She invited them to church told the families that she would feed their children four days a week and told them where to come. The families then dispersed and she looked at me and then said, "Now we pray." I answered, "Okay, for what?" She responded, "For food to feed the children." Talk about a woman of faith! She promised to feed them and then she relied on God to provide for them.
Now I can't even begin to describe their living conditions. She was still so faithful to serve and give everything that came in to the church. We were so blessed to build a church on top of the existing basement they were using. This "church" had openings but no windows. We were able to place a cross on the roof when we were finished. Nothing fancy...bare floors. She was so very grateful.
We returned a year later to bring clothing and food and just to visit with our friends. We were so blessed to join a service with Pastor Ruth. I noticed at the front of the church there was a wooden church box with a slot in the top. I asked Ruth what the box was for. I loved her response...it so convicted me...she told me that it was their offering for the "poor people". To me they were so very poor, they literally prayed in the food that they ate...but she would save all year long so they could go and minister to the "poor" and tell them about Jesus. I can not even fathom the rewards that await Pastor Ruth for her giving and sacrifice that she does on a daily basis.
I hope that this story convicts you like it did me...you are never too poor to give. We are so very blessed...and we need to remember that. It is a privilege to give!
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Joseph wept because he had truly forgiven his brothers and they didn't believe his sincerity. Joseph was content in knowing that his family was restored and issues resolved and then he found out that even though he had forgiven his brothers they didn't believe him! They didn't totally receive the forgiveness offered to them.
I wonder, how often do we reject God's forgiveness? We are waiting for the punishment instead of the acceptance of God's love and forgiveness He has already given us. He died on the cross so that we would be forgiven. The price is paid and yet we still try to "barter" or "pay" for what has been given to us! We will never "deserve" God's forgiveness and we can never earn it. It is a gift.
In the last portion of this scripture it says that Joseph comforted them and spoke kindly to them. He reassured them and told them that he would provide for them. What an awesome picture of God's love for us! He loves us, reassures us and continues to provide for us!
Thank You Lord for continuing to pour out Your love for us. Thank You for your forgiveness of our sins. Please help me to grasp and accept the forgiveness You have already given me. Thank You for loving me no matter what!
Monday, January 19, 2009
Luke 19:1-9 NKJ
Whenever I read this story it reminds me of the song I sang when I was little! (Zacchaeus was a wee little man and a wee little man was he!) Zacchaeus lead a profitable corrupt life before he met Jesus. He didn't let his size stop him from getting what he wanted in life. He certainly didn't let it stop him from seeking out Jesus when he wanted to see Him! He sought out Jesus and what did Jesus do? He called his name and told him that He was going to his house to stay! Zacchaeus sought out Jesus and Jesus accepted him! Zacchaeus made things right with the tax payers....he found what he was really looking for, Jesus the Messiah.
There were people complaining that Jesus went to stay with a "sinner". I love it because Jesus nipped that right in the bud when He told Zacchaeus this, And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; 10 for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
Jesus came to seek and save the lost! If you aren't lost how can you be found? Zacchaeus realized that he was lost... he sought out Jesus...he realized that he was lost (a sinner) and he made steps to resolve those issues... the people who complained were complaining that Jesus went to stay with Zacchaeus, the sinner, but didn't they recognise that they themselves were sinners?
I am glad that Jesus came to save the lost, the imperfect! Because I fit in that category. Jesus reaches out to those who seek Him...I seek Him!!! YAY! I might not be short in stature like Zacchaeus but I do have shortcomings. I am glad that I serve a King who doesn't look at my shortcomings but He looks beyond them and sees something valuable. I am so glad that Jesus didn't come for the "altogether people" but he came to save the lost. All you have to do is seek Him and He will help you right where you are.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Have you ever had a child pray for you? If you are sick, go get a kid to pray for you! Because I am here to say, they can pray! I have had the privilege to teach our kids at church to pray. I tell them it is just "talking to God." We pray for everything! From sick bunnies to people with cancer it doesn't matter! Nothing is too big or small for God and kids understand that! When they pray God listens...when they pray they are sincere and believe! I am sure it does nothing more to please God than when his little ones pray. I might not understand everything they are saying (especially when they are two years old!) but Jesus understands every word. But whatever you do, do not discourage them from praying.
We need to follow their example of sincere, uncomplicated prayer. Remember it is conversation with God. You don't need a certain format, just speak from the heart. He loves to hear from his kids, any age. One more thing, with God nothing is impossible and He loves you unconditionally.
You can pray anytime, anywhere....and you don't have to fold your hands or close your eyes!
Saturday, January 17, 2009
It wasn't that Joseph didn't have "feelings" because he did. It says that he went somewhere to weep. He had a job to do. I love it because he didn't deny his feelings and that he needed to cry but he didn't let it control him. He left the room, cried, washed his face and then restrained himself. He regained his posture and went back in and functioned!
God gives us a spirit of self-control so we need to use it. That takes practice! It doesn't deny that we have feelings but that we can be in control of ourselves. There are times when we feel like falling apart but we can't and we need to function! So we can rely on what God has given us to equip us. If you need to cry, go cry and then ask the Lord to help you to finish what you need to finish! He is so faithful to help us and the Holy Spirit is there to comfort us. So I have some great news...you can do it! He has equipped us! He will help us!
Friday, January 16, 2009
How devastating to be falsely accused. Joseph seemed to have one thing after another strike him. First his brothers sold him to slavery and then he had gained favor with His master and was in charge of everything. It says that LORD made all he did to prosper in his hand. Then because he was righteous and didn’t sleep with his master’s wife, when she propositioned him, it made her mad and she falsely accused him of trying to rape her. The master, who felt betrayed, threw him into prison.
Verse 21 says “But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him mercy and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison.” Wow, it doesn’t say that God rescued Joseph from the liar...because He didn’t. It does say that God was with Joseph everywhere he went and gave him favor. God was with Joseph even in the depths of prison. (Like the old show, The A-team, it is all part of the “plan”)The amazing part to me is that Joseph remained faithful to serve God no matter his circumstance. He didn’t become bitter and he never quit serving the Lord Most High. He did his best.
I will cut to the end of the story...Joseph was taken from prison and placed second in command to the Pharaoh. He later was reunited with his family. You have to read Joseph’s story! It is amazing. Joseph was faithful to God no matter his circumstance. Was it a walk down easy street? Absolutely not! You will have to read this one for yourself to see all of the crazy details that only God could have worked out for Joseph’s good. Talk about miraculous...from prison to second in command to the Pharaoh, in one move, is huge alone. Then how Joseph’s dream (from when he was young)manifested with his family years later...makes me realize that some of the promises God has given to me that seem impossible is so very possible with the God I serve. My job is to be continually obedient to God and to keep my heart clean from bitterness no matter the circumstance and He will take care of the rest.
Monday, January 12, 2009
I looked at that whole passage a little differently today. I recognised the history or heritage of manipulation throughout Jacob's family. Rebekah manipulated her husband and Jacob participated too then Laban, who was Rebekah's family, totally manipulated Jacob. It doesn't stop there because then the two sisters that Jacob married manipulated things too!
What sins does your family history have? Be really honest with yourself. For me it was fear. Fear had a very strong presence in my life. I decided that I was going to take a stand and break that in my family. It had to stop with me. When I looked back in the history of my family it didn't just start with me but fear had its hold on my family for at least two or three generations! It wasn't just one simple prayer and it was finished. It has been an on going process.The best part was that I didn't have to face it by myself. My Dad was right there with me. Now there are times when fear doesn't raise it's ugly head for weeks and then out of the blue it will try a back door approach. Sometimes I catch it quick and then other times it will sneak in undetected before I notice and then I deal with it. All I know is that I do not want to participate in passing fear down any further in my family line. It stops here.
It is my desire for my children and grand children to inherit the qualities of my adoptive Father. I want my kids to have the rich inheritance of truth, love and perseverance(and eternal life!). Truly a treasure that does not rot or decay. There are so many wonderful characteristics they can inherit! I want to do my best to reflect my Dad's characteristics so that they will see them in action! After all, they are heirs of the King too.
What type of legacy will you leave your children?
Saturday, January 10, 2009
The splendor of the King, clothed in majesty, let all the earth rejoice, let all the earth rejoice. He wraps Himself in Light and darkness tries to hide, it trembles at His voice, it trembles at His voice. How great is our God, sing with me, how great is our God and all will see how great, how great is our God.
I love the part where the darkness tries to hide, it trembles at His voice! You know this is so true. If only we would grasp this to the fullest. He has given us His authority. If your dad was a millionaire you wouldn't have a problem what so ever to sign a bill or a check and I am betting you would dare to say, "Do you know who my dad is?"
So I am here to say, "Do you know who my Father is? He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords. He is God Almighty!" I am His daughter! I get to go before Him anytime I want! He LOVES ME! He loves it when I talk to Him about anything. He loves it when I spend time with Him. I want everyone to know "who my dad is".
I am sure of this...the enemy doesn't want you to "know who your Father is!" He definitely doesn't want you to realize that you can walk in the authority given to you. The enemy would love nothing more for you to feel unloved or fatherless. The enemy doesn't want you to discover your identity in Christ. The enemy loves to lie to you and bully you. I challenge you to search out your heritage with the King. Spend time with my Dad, get to know Him. He loves to spend time with His kids.
One last thing...do you know Who my Dad is? If you don't I would love to introduce you. He is the best Dad ever! My Dad is sooooo big that the darkness trembles at His voice. His Name is Jesus.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
I was mulling these three verses over in my head and I thought....hmm... Peter and Andrew were already fishermen. God created them to be fisher of men. They had the fishing part in their “blood or dna”. They then took what they knew when they met Jesus and used it for Him!
When I look at so many different people who don’t know Jesus but they have a gift/talent that God created in them. They are just using it without knowing it was placed in them to bring Him glory. But if you talk to most of those people they will tell you that “something is missing” in their life. I know what that something is! You see God gave me this incredible desire to sing from the time I was tiny. I have sung in many venues but nothing “satisfies” me like it does when I am singing or worshiping the Creator.
What has God gifted in you that you never have given much thought? You might not have thought that it was a God given gift that you can use for the Kingdom. For example...scrapbooking. You can have scrapbooking parties or events to develop relationships that can lead to an opening for ministry! Are you good at cooking? You could hold a cooking class to teach those who don’t know how to cook, how to fix a meal for their family! Do you like to hike, ski or play halo? God can use many avenues and it doesn’t even have to be “all spiritual” but just be real. Bottom line is that all of these things can be used to be Jesus to others. Wouldn’t it be just like God to use something that you enjoy doing for the ministry?
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Abram was obediant. Even bigger Abram was obediant out of his comfort zone. He left everything he knew as home. That is pretty big but bigger still in verse 7 is when the Lord told Abram, "To your descendants I will give this land." You see Abram's wife, Sarai, was barren. Yet God told Abram that He would give the land to Abram's descendants. That had to be even more foreign than the land itself.
Has the Lord every spoken a promise to your heart and it is just so foreign or distant that you had trouble believing it? Or maybe you were refreshed or excited at first but with time you lost hope? Well, then the lifestory of Abram and Sarai or Abraham and Sarah will be of great encouragement to you! It refreshens my faith and convicts me at the same time. It convicts me because Abram was obediant to God even beyond his comfort zone when sometimes just being "tired" can be my excuse for not doing something! The comforting part of that is Abram wasn't perfect but still sought the Lord consistently. The refreshing part is that God did as He promised. He did the impossible! You will have to read it for yourself but it is amazing!
So don't lose heart. Hang in there. God is faithful even when people aren't. If He has promised you something He will deliver. It might not happen the way you think it will happen and it might not be in the time frame you think either. But God's timing is perfect and His ways are higher than our ways. Be encouraged!
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Every have trouble sleeping? This is a wonderful solution. So picture this: I am laying in bed wide awake, my mind is running a hundred miles an hour, when this happens I quote this scripture to myself and then start thinking on everything that is true (God's Word is always true), pure, lovely, honorable and right. Then I will pray, now pay close attention because if you aren't careful you will start to fret again but take that thought captive and go back to fixing your mind on the above things. (II Cor. 10:4-5) I am here to tell you that you will fall to sleep when you practice this! It works for me. May the God of peace be with you.
Sunday, January 4, 2009
I love this translation of this scripture. Instead of worrying, pray about everything! Talk to God about everything! He knows it anyway. I think that the next part is really important...and thank Him for all He has done. Wow if we really did that I think that it would do two things. I think that it would build our faith and remind us of the things that we are quick to forget. We're human so we tend to remember the negative things and not the positive, so by doing this it would remind us at how faithful God is on a daily basis even when we are not faithful to Him. The second thing that I think it would accomplish would be change our perspective, because when we are thanking/praising the living God it takes our focus off of us and places it on Him, where it belongs!
I challenge you to do this for one of your new year's resolution...it will have an impact on your life. This will take commitment. It might sound easy but it will take practice. You might have to start small. For example if you are worried about the electric bill, I would first pray for provision and then I would say, Thank You Lord for this electric bill because that means that I have electricity! Thank You Lord for my warm house, etc. It will "prime the pump" so to speak. I think you will be amazed how it will change your attitude, heart and outlook on life!
Saturday, January 3, 2009
How wonderful for the birth mom’s prayer to be answered. She got to nurse her own son and he would be allowed to live. How heart wrenching it must have been when she had to send him to live in the palace to be raised as an Egyptian. The very people who enslaved the Israelites and with the very same family who ordered the murders of the baby boys.
Pharaoh’s daughter must have fallen in love with the small boy. She raised him in the luxury of the palace and taught him all of her customs. The Pharaoh’s daughter became the boy’s mama.
I know that Moses’ birth mom continued to pray for him and perhaps even watched him at a distance. I know that the mom’s love for her child never faded. I wonder if she ever questioned God about how her son’s life was spared? I’m sure she never dreamed that her prayers would be answered the way that they were answered. I wonder what her attitude was towards Moses’ mama?
I may not know the answers to my questions but I do know this… God had a plan for Moses. God knew the big picture! He knew that one day the little boy in the basket would grow up and lead the children of Israel out of bondage, out of Egypt. I do know that all of the years of growing up in the palace learning the language, culture and customs was for a purpose.
As I thought about all of this it made me evaluate my heart’s desires and prayers. Prayers that have been answered and ones that I haven’t seen answered yet and ones that weren’t answered in the way that I thought they should be answered! Do I always trust God with the big plan? Shouldn’t I trust God? God sees the “Big Picture”! I need to trust Him when things aren’t “going my way”! I at least need to act like He knows what He is doing! LOL. God is very detailed oriented. I have looked back and thought, “How did I get here from there?” Sometimes I have looked back and thought, “That is the reason I had to go through that! It makes sense now!” Almost like God had a plan the whole time! So I challenge you to trust God with the big plan of your life. Instead of getting mad at Him, pray and trust that He loves you so very much that He will work all things together for the good of those who serve Him.
Friday, January 2, 2009
I am hoping to share bits and pieces of my life and some of the fringe benefits of being royalty and living in the courts of the King. You too can be grafted into the King's family. He loves a big family and He has lots and lots of room.
Excited to get to know you soon!