Monday, December 20, 2010

Great News!

I have been thinking about Christ's birth. I love it because the angels announced it to the shepherds. They were not the upper crust of society. They were stinky and poor, basically the outcast. Back in the day before Christ not everyone could be accepted or embraced in religious settings. But Jesus brought love and acceptance for EVERYONE! He wasn't limited to the poor because the rich Wisemen came to worship the new King too.

How awesome is Jesus that He would want to reach everyone reguardless of our background, history or status? I am so thankful for the birth of our Savior, Jesus. He came to us in a very humble beginning, born in the barn with the animals. He came for us all.

Thanking Him this Christmas Season,

Shanin

Monday, November 22, 2010

Amazed

Today I am amazed by God's goodness. I am blessed beyond measure by a wonderful family, church and friends. I look out my office window and I see beautiful snow. I am not one who loves snow but I can appreciate the beauty of it as it falls gently to the ground. I am blessed with a great job. I am blessed with the opportunity to attend college to further my education.

Thank You Father with all you have blessed us with! Thank You for my salvation and for a relationship with You, the Almighty.

Love,

Shanin

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Voting

Today is voting day for our Nation. Be sure to go and place your vote. Men and women have sacrificed their lives so that we have the freedom to vote. Don't let it be something that you take for granted until that priviledge is gone.

We can never express our gratefulness to those who have given their lives. How can we ever say thank you enough to the ones our soldiers left behind? Thank you to our veterans who have given so very much of their lives so that we can have the right to vote, have the freedom of speech, and the right to own guns. I am sorry there are those who don't fully grasp how wonderful it is to be an American. What an honor to live in our Country where we can speak freely, worship in the church of our choice, own a home, and a bible if we so choose.

Voting Proudly Today,

Shanin

Monday, November 1, 2010

Western Civilization

I am taking a college course titled, Western Civilization. I like my professor however I have been skeptical on some of her views and teaching capabilities. I have gotten past those obstacles and have enjoyed the class and literature.

It is funny because this class has made me embrace the Word on a different level. My teacher is obviously not a believer so her point of view is much different than my own views. I have learned more about the Greek and Roman cultures. It has helped me because when I read the bible now I see where the culture plays into it. I am excited because even though many have tried to prove the bible to be a work of fiction, historcal accounts confirms it to be true. I loved it when we started studying about the apostle Paul. My history book states that historical accounts verifies that an "event" took place on the road to Damascus that day, which changed the life of Apostle Paul. They are not for sure what exactly did happen, whether it was an accident or what, but one thing that they do know was that it was a life changing experience for this man named Paul.

Now I can hardly wait because we get to choose our topic for a comparative paper. I am choosing to do a comparative on this man named Saul, before "the event" happened, to the "new" man named Paul. I am so excited. My teacher knows nothing or has said nothing about Saul. She has talked about martyrs and Christianity and how they changed Western Civilization. I am so excited to share about this educated, born Roman citizen who persecuted and ordered the deaths of the christians. He was at the stoning of a christian named Stephen and saw a face of an angel. He later was on the road to Damascus when an event happened that rocked his world and ours too. There had to be something of substance that changed a man from the persecutor to the persecuted. So changed, that eventually the very people that he tormented and hunted, loved and accepted him as their leader and teacher.

Isn't God good? He is a life changer/redeemer. He took my college class and brought it to life for me. He added another dimension to the Word as I read it. He is the same, yesterday, today and forever. I can hardly wait to take the next semester's class, part II. I am so thankful that I serve a living God who is everywhere and in everything when I just take the time to look for Him.

In Him,

Shanin

Friday, August 20, 2010

Swords Drawn

Hello!

This week started to be a challenge to me in many ways. But then I was reminded that I needed to refocus! Refocus on God and not get distracted by the surrounding circumstances. My week got much better and I was able to "see" things so much more clearly. The enemy loves to get us off track. If he can do that by throwing things at us or simply by derailing us then he has the battle won.

I am not going down that easily. I am a child of the King. The Most High is MY DAD! So I went running to my Dad and things didn't seem to be as big of a deal as they first appeared. My week straightened right out and it went so much better!

Remember, when things seems to be spinning out of control, to refocus. Realign your gaze on the Most High and everything else will be placed in perspective. Read the Word, spend time in worship and draw your sword! There is a battle going on out there. You are in the midst of the battle whether you want to be or not. Be prepared! Don't get caught off guard. Remain focused. Don't be afraid because Jesus will take care of us! We are in this together. If you see someone struggling, encourage them! Remind them that we are in a battle but we will win the war!

Swords Drawn,

Shanin

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Political Position or Serving Him?

42 Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God. John 12:42-43

How sad that they believed in Jesus but they didn't confess Him as Lord and Savior. Even more sad that they loved the praise of men more than Jesus. This scripture is after the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. They were there to witness the miracles. They knew that He was the Christ. Politics happened even way back then. This portion of scripture supports the fact that you cannot serve more than one god. We are fortunate to serve the one true God. The praises of men here on earth are temporary at best but the praises of God will be eternal!

Let this be a reminder for us to pray for our rulers. I pray for them to love Jesus and recognize him as the one true God, more than they love the praises of men. That we would return to a God fearing country instead of a man pleasing country.

Lord help me to live this prayer by example. Remind me to pray for the leaders of our local government and our country's government leaders.

In Your Name,

Shanin

Friday, August 6, 2010

Caught In The VERY Act

7 So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” 8 And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience,went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her,“Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?”
11 She said, “No one, Lord.”
And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and[k] sin no more.”
12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
John 8:7-12 NKJV


So the Pharisees caught this woman "in the very act" of adultry. They brought her up to be sentenced by Jesus. They didn't bring the other participant "of the very act" but just her. Jesus stoops down and writes in the sand. I have wondered what he was writing but obviously that wasn't so important or it would have been written in the book. But the next part of the story is very important. He challenged the accusers in a very calm manner, "He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” He then went back to writing on the ground and one by one they left. This is where it gets really good...

Jesus showed so much compassion to this woman. He didn't lecture her or treat her less than, He simply told her to go and sin no more. Then He spoke the very last verse in this section: "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life."

Not only did He not condemn her, but he set a precedent for everyone in that statement! He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life! He just told her to go and sin no more...she was not discounted for her sin. She could still be a follower of Christ! She just needed to not walk in the darkness anymore and she could have the light of life! She could be a Christ Follower! How exciting. Not only did Jesus spare her from the death sentence at that moment but He was giving her a chance for life! I love this! In their culture she would have been stoned. If you look at it just right, today was her lucky day! She got caught "in the very act" and not only did Christ spare her from a death sentence He offered her life!

I am so glad that Jesus does not disqualify us from choosing life in Him. He is so very forgiving. He wants us to choose life. For that I am very thankful!

In His Light,

Shanin

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Take a Stand

1 Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem. 2 And he did what was right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the ways of his father David; he did not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.
3 For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was still young, he began to seek the God of his father David; and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of the high places, the wooden images, the carved images, and the molded images. 4 They broke down the altars of the Baals in his presence, and the incense altars which were above them he cut down; and the wooden images, the carved images, and the molded images he broke in pieces, and made dust of them and scattered it on the graves of those who had sacrificed to them. 5 He also burned the bones of the priests on their altars, and cleansed Judah and Jerusalem. 6 And so he did in the cities of Manasseh, Ephraim, and Simeon, as far as Naphtali and all around, with axes.[a] 7 When he had broken down the altars and the wooden images, had beaten the carved images into powder, and cut down all the incense altars throughout all the land of Israel, he returned to Jerusalem.
2 Chronicles 34:1-7 NKJV

I love the first two verses in this section of scripture. It tells a lot about Josiah. He was only eight years old when he became King and he was king until he was 39 years old. Verse two is huge! He did what was right in the sight of the Lord...he did not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. Wow. When he was only sixteen he started seeking the God of his ancestor David when he was twenty he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of the high places of all of the idols and altars. Let's talk about that for a minute. He was twenty years old, a young man with power yet he didn't let it go to his head. He was serving God in the best way he knew how. He obviously wasn't concerned about man pleasing because at the age of twenty he did the unpopular thing and went and purged all of the high places of idol worship! Now this was not a small feat. It was not only unpopular (it was a money maker for the people too), it was a very spiritual event. Breaching enemy territory and tearing it down! I love it because he broke it up and then made dust out of them and scattered it on the graves of those who had sacrificed to them! He did not let man pleasing or fear stand in his way of serving God.

Josiah took the wealth and equipped the workers to restore the areas of worship that the past Kings had destroyed. When they found the book of the law that had been lost he had the scribe read it to him. He then realized how the past kings had not served the Lord and he fell on his face before God and mourned! He wanted to make things right in his kingdom. God honored Josiah's heart and desire to serve Him.

Josiah didn't stop there. He then took the Book of the Covenant and gathered everyone. He read it to them so they would know the Word of the Lord. But then he did something even greater...
31 Then the king stood in his place and made a covenant before the LORD, to follow the LORD, and to keep His commandments and His testimonies and His statutes with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant that were written in this book. 32 And he made all who were present in Jerusalem and Benjamin take a stand. So the inhabitants of Jerusalem did according to the covenant of God, the God of their fathers. 33 Thus Josiah removed all the abominations from all the country that belonged to the children of Israel, and made all who were present in Israel diligently serve the LORD their God. All his days they did not depart from following the LORD God of their fathers.
2 Chronicles 34:31-33


Josiah took a stand! He stood and had his people take a stand too! He made a covenant to follow the Lord and worship him with all of his heart, soul and to do what was written in the book! He didn't stop there he went and finished removing every abomination in the whole country! He took his kingdom and served the Lord...his WHOLE kingdom. Josiah was young yet he took a stand not only for himself but for his whole kingdom. I love the last verse in this chapter because it says that all his days they did not depart from following the Lord God of their fathers all because Josiah took a stand and served him with everything.

I know the youth of our church is taking a stand. Will you take a stand with us? Will you purge your whole life and household (your little kingdom) of every high place and idol or abomination and serve Him with your whole heart? Regardless of how unpopular it might be? We can make a difference if we start by taking a stand.

Standing!

Shanin

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

How Dare Him?

6 When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?”
7 The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.”
8 Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” 9 And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked. 16 For this reason the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill Him,[c] because He had done these things on the Sabbath. John 5:6-9;16 NKJV


I am amazed that Jesus went to this place and healed a man that had been crippled for 38 years! He took time to talk to him and ask him if he wanted to be healed. The man responded with a yes and Jesus healed him! WOW! I get so excited when I think of this scene. I wish I could have been there to witness every detail. He got up from where he had laid for years and walked! What a miracle!

It's the response form the people that kill me! They were so upset because he healed him on the Sabbath! They missed it! They were so appalled by the "breaking of the Sabbath" rule that they didn't "see" the miracle that happened right before their eyes. They got offended! They took offense because Jesus didn't fit the mold.
They were hunting for Jesus, not to express their gratitude that He took a beggar off the streets and healed him, but, to kill Him. How sad. There was this great story right there and they missed it. I would want to ask this guy that could now walk, what did you see? What did His eyes look like? Were they filled with compassion? What did your legs feel like? Were they wobbly at first? Hey, do you want to run with me? I could think of a million things to ask or to look for but being offended because He healed him on a Sabbath isn't one of them!

Do you know a person that ever been guilty of being so offended that they missed the bigger picture or a ministry opportunity? That is so sad. Do you know someone who has taken up the offense of someone else? The people in this story did that very thing. They were so offended that Jesus healed this man on the Sabbath that they missed the miracle! The man wasn't offended! He was healed! He was free! It was the people who got so offended over Jesus breaking a rule, that they missed the whole event. In many ways they were robbed. They missed the healing and the celebration that surrounded that even and they missed something even greater. They missed an encounter with the Savior of the world. They missed Him. They missed Jesus.

I do not want to miss even a glimpse of Jesus! I do not desire to allow an offense or someone else's offense to cloud up my focus of Him. I do not want to become so judgemental that I miss an opportunity to share Him with others because of how they look or sound. This means that sometimes I might be a little uncomfortable but that is okay. I can do it! Lord Jesus give me compassion to touch those around me. Help me not to miss a "God moment." Help me to be sensitive in the right way but not easily offended in other ways! I am excited to see what God is doing!

Looking Everywhere!

Shanin