Monday, April 15, 2013

My Safe Place

The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed,
    a stronghold in times of trouble.
 Those who know your name trust in you,
    for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you. Psalm 9:9-10 NIV

Our God is faithful. No matter what situation we face we can take comfort in knowing that God is the safe place that we can turn to. We can run to Him and know that He will always be there for us.

Today another senseless act of violence has shaken our Country but I know that God is my refuge. He is the One that I trust in. I am thankful for that assurance that no matter what...no matter what...God is our comforter, safe place and protector. I can trust in Him and He will never let me down.

Trusting in Him,

Shanin

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Joy Suckers

I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart;
    I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High. Psalm 9:1-3
Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous;   it is fitting for the upright to praise him. Psalm 33:1
Joy suckers are the things or events that try to sneak in to suck the joy out of you! Joy suckers can be as small as an innocent comment taken wrong or disappointing news. Joy suckers come in many different shapes, flavors and colors. But how do you guard against Joy suckers? You guard your heart and mind with the Word! Put on that Christ like filter and if you find yourself falling into the trap pick yourself up, dust off your pants and start rejoicing!
It is fitting for the upright to praise Him! We are the upright! What better way is there to drive the enemy out of our presence than to enter into God's presence?  Sing praises! If it is an offense that is robbing you of your joy then forgive them and move forward. Do not give any time to entertaining thoughts that are not edifying or exhorting yourself or others. If you need help, turn on some worship music! That's right...get your praise boogie on! When we focus on Jesus instead of circumstances then we can be joyful!
Let me give you one of my favorite sections of sciptures that is great to meditate on when your mind keeps slipping into a slump:
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Phil. 4:4-9

Remember Joy is an attitude. The Joy of the Lord is our strength! Sometimes we have to choose Joy.  I will sing the praises of Your name. Yep, there are those days that we have to make a decision to be joyful and we can do that with Jesus!

Choosing Joy!

Shanin

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Take the Challenge!

23 “Now then,” said Joshua, “throw away the foreign gods that are among you and yield your hearts to the LORD, the God of Israel.”
24 And the people said to Joshua, “We will serve the LORD our God and obey him.” Joshua 24:23-24 NIV
Before Joshua spoke to the Israelites, he gave them a Word from the Lord reminding them of where their journey had begun. Their journey began with their ancestors Abraham and Nahor and they served other gods before serving the Great I Am. The Lord gave Abraham, Isaac and all of the descendants that God had promised Abraham. God then reminded them of the journey out of Egypt and the miracles and victorious battles that God had given them. Then Joshua picked up where the Word of the Lord stopped.
Joshua told them that they should fear the Lord and serve Him with all faithfulness. He then gave them “the challenge.”  He told them that they needed to choose whom they would serve. They could either pick the gods of their ancestors, or the gods of the people whom they had destroyed in battle because God had given them the victory or the Lord God. Joshua then told them “But for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
The Israelites answered, “Far be it from us to forsake the Lord to serve other gods! It was the Lord our God himself who brought us and our parents up out of Egypt.” They went on to describe the victories that the Lord had given them and they finished with, “We, too, will serve the Lord, because He is our God.”
Joshua made sure that they understood the commitment that they were making. They made the declaration that they would serve the Lord. Then let’s pick up in verse 23 “Now then,” said Joshua, “throw away the foreign gods that are among you and yield your hearts to the LORD, the God of Israel.”
These are the same people who had just said, “Far be it from us to forsake the Lord to serve other gods!” (vs. 16) Yet Joshua knew that they had foreign gods in their homes.  Joshua instructed the Israelites to respect and serve the Lord with all faithfulness.  He didn’t shame them but he did instruct them to get rid of their idols and to surrender their hearts to the Lord. Joshua made a declaration to serve the Lord. He challenged them to make a choice and they did. The Israelites made a commitment or a covenant to serve the Lord God and no one else.  Joshua gave them good teaching and instructions in cleaning out the areas of their lives that they had compromised.
How many of us claim that we serve the Lord God because He is good and He has been so faithful but still have other gods hidden in our living space? Can I challenge you today that if you have compromised in some (any) areas of your life, to clean those areas up? It is time to do a heart inventory and ask the Lord to show us what area of our lives need to be gone through and cleaned up. We serve the same God that Joshua served.  He deserves our respect and for us to serve him with all faithfulness.
Doing Some Cleaning of My Own,
Shanin