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!