On this 15th day, I LOVE my crazy life! Even though we have a tendency to bite off more than we can chew, over-schedule our week, and make life changing decisions at the worst possible time, God manages to carry us through! Very thankful that although I had things to do this weekend, God allowed me some much needed rest. Now…to hit the floor running in the morning!
On this 13th day, I LOVE sprinkling happiness around! If someone is on your mind, God put them there for a reason. Let them know they’re on your mind and say a prayer for them. Even if they just cross your mind. There’s no such thing as coincidence. They are whispers from God and He wants to work through you. Let Him! You’ll be glad you did!
On this 11th day I Love all of the blessings that God gives us! If God gives you the words, say them. If God puts a song in your heart, sing it. If He gives you love, share it. God doesn’t give us blessings to tuck away & save for later. He gives us an unending supply if blessings to share with others because He wants to work through us.
On this 9th day I LOVE that I grew up with parents that whipped my rear when I needed it, taught me the value of a dollar and that I had to WORK for something if I wanted it, and although I didn’t appreciate it then, I love that they were over-protective and didn’t allow me to do everything I wanted to. I managed to make enough mistakes with their guidance. I can only imagine how much trouble I could’ve gotten into without it. I pray that we can instill the same values in our girls as well as guiding the girls in choosing the path of righteousness.
On this 1st day I LOVE that I grew up with parents that whipped my rear when I needed it, taught me the value if a dollar and that I had to WORK for something if I wanted it, and although I didn’t appreciate it then, I love that they were over-protective and didn’t allow me to do everything I wanted to. I managed to make enough mistakes with their guidance. I can only imagine how much trouble I could’ve gotten into without it. I pray that we can instill the same values in our girls as well as guiding the girls in choosing the path of righteousness.
A few years ago we had an old horse that wintered really hard. So the next year, we gave her supplements with her feed and when it was really cold or rainy we put a turn-out blanket on her to keep her warm and dry. You see…she couldn’t tell us anything was wrong but God gave us eyes to see. Eyes to see that she was losing weight. Eyes to see that she had a tiredness about her. So why…if God gave us eyes to see…is it so easy to look past a friend, a family member, or even a stranger who is struggling? They probably won’t tell us…but if we are looking, God gives us eyes to see. God also gave us a mouth. So why aren’t we whispering words of encouragement and raising our voices in prayer instead of gossiping? God also gave us arms. So why aren’t we wrapping them around someone to let them know that we care instead of holding them at arms length? God also gave us feet. So why aren’t we using them to carry us to someone who has lost their way instead of running from the situation? God also gave us hands. So why are we only using our fingers to point instead of using our hands to lift someone up? God also gave us knees. So why aren’t we on them praying for God’s guidance every single day? God also gave us a heart. So why are we filling it with hate, discontentment, jealousy, and deceit, instead of filling it with the love of God? We are the body of Christ. If we aren’t using all of our parts for His glory, then whose glory are we using them for?
Thought for the day. Sometimes I think ice storms and other natural disasters serve as a lesson to show us that we are absolutely powerless and that God is in control. We’ve gotten to the point that electricity, hot water, and phones are necessities instead of conveniences. But when it is all stripped away, God is our only true necessity. And If we serve Him, He will provide for our real needs. Remembering a small ice storm we had about 6 years ago and I was so proud of how my girls handled the loss of power. They wrote stories, put puzzles together, acted out plays, and managed to not fight or kill each other whenever I had to go out to take care of all our critters. That night I was so thankful for the reminder that God is in control. I remember also being very thankful that it was only a 24 hour lesson…lol.
If I ate a bowl of fruit with a few nuts, oats, and a little yogurt on Monday morning, but then ate cupcakes, candy, cookies, and soft drinks for every meal the rest of the week, I probably wouldn’t be very healthy. Not only that, I probably wouldn’t feel very good. I would be physically and mentally unhealthy because it matters what you consume.
So when I find myself or my family in this unhealthy state, do I blame the grocery store? I mean after all, they sold me all the junk food. Shouldn’t they have done a better job making sure I bought healthy food…maybe more fruits and veggies? Should I blame my stove? I mean, it should be providing me and my family with healthier alternatives shouldn’t it?
Of course not! I’m pretty sure that if my weekly diet consisted of one healthy meal and 20 unhealthy ones that I would have nobody to blame but myself. After all, I am solely responsible for making sure that what I eat will be nourishing. Because I know that it matters what I consume and it matters what I feed my family.
So why would I think that my Spiritual appetite and health are any less important? Why do we think we can consume Spiritual nourishment on Sunday morning and then spend the entire rest of the week gossiping, cussing, watching inappropriate things on television, listening to inappropriate music, and essentially feasting and filling ourselves with everything we can get out of this world?
And then when we find ourselves struggling in our relationship with God, drifting farther from Him, and watching our kids starting to make decisions that we know are wrong, who do we blame? Do we blame the church? After all, it’s their job to feed us Spiritually isn’t it? Do we blame the media? I mean, there is so much bad stuff out there telling us that wrong is right and right is wrong, it’s no wonder we’re all struggling.
IT MATTERS WHAT WE CONSUME! Whether it enters through the mouth, the ears, or the eyes….IT MATTERS!
Who chooses what we eat? Who chooses what we listen to? Who chooses what we watch on television? Who chooses what we gossip about? Who chooses who we help or who we hurt? Who chooses what we allow our kids to consume? Who chooses what we allow them to watch or listen to? Who chooses who we allow them to spend time with? Whether by word or by actions… YOU CHOOSE!!!
And it matters what you choose. Because whatever you choose to consume the most of, will eventually consume you.
“For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
Luke 6:43-45 NKJV
Why do we go to church and what is the church to you? Well first of all, most of the time when we ask what the church is, people say it’s a building…God’s house. The building…God’s house…is where the church congregates but it’s not the church. We are the church. We are the body of Christ. Flesh & bone…not boards & shingles. So why do we “go to church”? Well…I prefer to say the church gathers since we are the church. So why do we gather? Is it to be entertained? Is it to show the world that we’re ‘good people’? Is it to be fed? Is it to try to cram a weeks worth of God into one day? Is it because we have kids & we think they probably need to be in church? Or is it to worship God? To give God the holy reverence that He should be given? Sometimes it seems that the world has lost the point of worship. We…me for sure…can’t seem to keep that humanness in us/me from turning what should be all about God into all about us/me. And then we leave church, and think we’re good until next week. If we only spoke to our spouse once a week, what kind of marriage would we have? A relationship with God is no different. Honor Him on his day, pray and meditate on Him the other 6. And don’t try to cram A week’s worth of God into one day. Think about it…what if God thought about us, only as much as we think about Him?
(Throwback to 2014)
My hubby moved our horses to a new place today. Four of them loaded into the trailer fine but one gave him all kinds of trouble. Four of them have been loaded and unloaded pretty often. They know what to expect & that they will be safe and protected. The other one has only been hauled a couple of times. And the last time was several years ago. All she knew is that she was perfectly happy in her pasture eating grass and that she didn’t want to go into that metal noisy thing. What she didn’t realize was that the place that she was going had more grass, a bigger pond, and that she would be much happier there. I think that becoming a Christian is kind of like that. We might agree to put the halter on but when Jesus starts pulling on us we have a tendency to set back & dig our hooves in. But every time we give in & go where He leads us, we find that there is a blessing waiting for us. And eventually we quit pulling on the lead rope as hard. And hopefully by the time we head home & see those pearly gates, we’re at a full gallop.
Spring’s abloom with flowers of faith!! On this 24th day I’ve been thinking about negative people. I know we are all negative at times but honestly…if we all stopped & thought about how blessed we are, we would never complain again. The communities that we complain about living in, are the same communities that come to our aid when we lose a loved one or suffer a tragedy. The jobs that we complain about, are the jobs that pay our mortgages, car payments, food and clothing. The groceries that we complain are too expensive are readily available, while there are countries where entire communities could live for a year on what we waste in a week. We are given everything that we need by the grace of God but we complain because we WANT more. We don’t need it but we want it. We are all guilty. What we need to remember is that we have to trust and thank God for allowing us to have what we do and realize that when we complain, what we are actually doing is criticizing HIS blessings. We need to humble ourselves before God and praise HIM in the sunshine and in the rain. And when we do that, flowers if faith will bloom!
Once upon a time I was somewhat artsy. I enjoyed painting with water colors but the problem with them was, if I made a wrong stroke, it wasn’t easy to fix it. I could paint over it but if you looked closely, you could still see it. Pen & inks yielded the same challenges. I did some pencil drawings also. The great thing about those was that you could erase a mistake and never even know it was there. It was also very easy to smudge a line between black and white so that you couldn’t tell where one ended and the other began. Sometimes I think we want our lives to be in pencil. We want to be able to smudge that line between wrong & right and we want to be able to erase the parts that we don’t want anyone to see. Problem is, everything we do is permanent. Even when you try your best to hide a mistake, it’s still there & satan makes sure that there is always someone there just waiting to point out where you’ve messed up. The only way you can completely get rid of all the mistakes is to cover them with the blood of Jesus Christ. It will remove even the ugliest mistakes and guide you in creating a new work of art. And although Satan is still going to provide plenty of people to remind everyone what a mess your canvas used to be, all that will actually matter is that now you are the Master’s masterpiece.
On this 24th day, I LOVE how even though, I have a relationship with God and can feel Him moving in my life no matter where I am, that when I am in His house, I can feel His spirit wash over me even stronger. I cannot imagine trying to maintain my relationship with Him without spending time in His house worshiping and giving Him praise and glory. I know I have His holiness in me no matter where I am but spending time in His house is like fuel for my soul that gets me through the week. I absolutely hate that I missed yesterday because my daughter and I are both sick. I somehow feel incomplete when I miss church. God doesn’t want us there to occupy time or warm a pew. He wants us there to worship, praise, fellowship, and do His work & bring Him the glory. He died on the cross for me. I intend to live for Him.
When Jesus walked the earth with His disciples, He spent His time teaching. Teaching them about Him. Teaching them about the new law. Living as an example of how He wanted them to go forth and teach others. He was an example of what He wants all Christians to be. His second command was
Mark 12:31 And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
So my question is, why does it seem that too often, a new Christian is given a handshake, an “we will be praying for you” and expected to know how and what to do? It’s almost as if they are often set up for failure by the ones that are supposed to be teaching them how to walk with Christ. Because you see, a new Christian is a new disciple and the elder disciples should have enough love for their neighbor…their brother or sister in Christ…to help guide them.
Oh be careful little eyes what you see…. Gonna try really hard to be a living testimony for my girls. The bible says to honor your mother and father and I don’t want to make it hard for them to do. They will have enough challenges in this life without me making it even harder for them. My job in this life is to put God first, my husband and my children next. And as long as I am doing God’s Will, and living my life for Him, He will take care of my every need and fill my life with joy. The second I start thinking that I need more or different joy, that’s the second that Satan gains entry and convinces me that somehow I am more important than God or my family. Kids are very intuitive. They will not be fooled by empty words when our actions do not back them up. So my prayer is that, although my actions in this life haven’t always been honorable…with God’s help, they will be honorable in His sight, my husband’s, and my children’s. And that my words have the actions to back them up because you can’t fool you kids and you certainly can’t fool God.
I’m hungry so I’m sitting here debating on if it’s too early to have lunch and it has occurred to me….I’m hungry! So who cares if it’s not the customary ‘lunch time’! When we are hungry, we should eat. When we are empty, we should be filled. God is always willing to feed us, we need only to seek Him. We don’t have to wait until Sunday. He’s there for us 24/7/365. So if you’re hungry, be fed!
There are smart phones, smart cars, and smart houses. Wouldn’t it be cool if we could walk around every day wearing a smart armor? Something that would protect our bodies, minds, and hearts. Something that would allow us to move freely but still fully protect us from the evils of this world? Wouldn’t it be awesome if we had a smart armor? An armor…dare I say…of God? A helmet that would protect our minds by keeping them focused on Him and to hold the knowledge that we receive from His Word. A shield to guard us from Satan’s attacks. A belt to carry the tools that we would need for any situation. A breastplate to protect our hearts. The Bible to serve as our sword to slay evil with the truth of God. And shoes that would always keep us on the path to righteousness. Wow! Wouldn’t a “smart armor” be awesome?!? Well…we have one! But we have to put forth enough effort to put it on. We have everything we could ever need…if we would only prepare ourself. God has provided the armor. Now are we smart enough to put it on?
Heavenly Father, Thank YOU for YOUR whispers that guide us. The whispers that tell us right from wrong, good from bad, and the whispers that tell us YOUR Will. Help us to be patient and listen for the whispers. Help us to silence the shouts and cries of the world around us and to listen for YOUR voice. Forgive us when we fail to muffle the outside noise and concentrate fully on YOU. For it’s in the peaceful silence that we can be still and know that YOU are GOD. All glory be to God. Amen.
During the summer, my plants are beautiful! They are full and green. But every year I bring them in for winter. Right now they aren’t looking so great. I keep them watered but no matter how well I take care of them, unless they get a lot of sunlight, they just don’t do as well. I can usually get them through the winter but until it warms up and I move them somewhere that they can get lots of sunlight, they simply survive. Then I realized that I spent a lot of years simply surviving and I didn’t even know it. It wasn’t until I received the Son’s light that I began to thrive. You see…we all have needs and although we can exist on this earth…in this world’s ever present darkness….if we want to live, we’ve got to allow God’s light to shine within us.
If you’ve ever flown, you know that when the flight attendant goes through the little safety demonstration, you are advised that in an emergency, you are to put your oxygen mask on before helping anyone else. They tell us this because if there was an emergency, we are only helpful to others if we have taken the appropriate precautions to help ourselves first. We can’t help out anyone else if we pass out because we failed to first put our own mask on. God wants us to spread His word and plant seeds but He doesn’t want us to get so busy doing this that we fail to grow in Him. We can (&should) tell a million people of His love for us, but how well can we do that if we aren’t learning & growing in Christ ourselves? How can we help others if we aren’t first infused with the Holy Spirit? That way, you can show God’s love to many instead of using up all of our oxygen on one.
A vehicle is a pretty big investment. So we take care of it. We make sure the oil is changed regularly, we keep fuel in it, drive it with care. We watch for the “check engine” light or other warnings & try to take care of them before we have a serious problem. But do we spend that much time & energy on our marriages? Are we making sure that our spouse is getting the care & attention that they need? Are we watching for warning lights with them? Everyone has ups & downs but I believe the best way to increase your odds of having a successful marriage is to put Christ right smack dab in the center of it. If Christ is the glue that holds your marriage together, then nothing can ever break that bond. However…you may want to warn your spouse before you start being more attentive. I was extra sweet to my hubby this morning & I think he left for work worrying that I was up to something…heehee.
Thank You Lord, for Your amazing grace. For just as David was a man after Your own heart, I pray that You would help me to nourish and cultivate a devotion to You, and that You might see me as You saw David. I desire to behold Your beauty, and dwell in Your house. Let seeking Your heart be the goal in my life, even in busy and stressful times. No…ESPECIALLY in busy and stressful times. Help me discover the emotions and purposes of Your heart. And teach me to align my heart with Yours. Help me to recommit myself to You daily, choosing to seek Your face. In difficult times, open my heart to receive Your revelation and guide me in Your purpose. And in everything I do, let it all be for Your glory. Amen!
Are you going to church tomorrow? If so, why? Are you going out of habit? Are you going because that’s just what you do on Sunday? Are you going because you have responsibilities? Are you going because that place would just fall apart without you? Are you going so that you can show God what all you have done for Him this week? Are you going so that you can put a checkmark next to your list of good deeds? Are you going so that you will be considered an upstanding citizen? Are you going because someone has guilted you into it? Are you going so that you can share your beautiful voice with others? Are you going for the meal afterwards? Are you going because you have made the building your legacy? Or are you going to the building to worship God as part of His body…as His church? Are you going because you have..or desire to have a living, loving, relationship with Christ and you want to spend the day worshiping and praising Him? That’s why I go. But what do you do when you get there & you can’t feel the presence of the Holy Spirit? I’m going to be brutally honest & say that there have been times that i felt exactly like that. So I asked myself why…and when I couldn’t come up with anything, I prayed & asked God. Yes. I should’ve started with Him to begin with but as is human nature, I wasted a lot of time trying to figure it out myself. And this is what I heard in my heart….’why would the Holy Spirit come to a place that He is not welcome or has not been invited?’ I mean after all, humans are nothing if not self absorbed. We want and expect the whole world to revolve around us so why would we be any different at church? So here’s my prayer…. Oh dear precious Heavenly Father, Thank You for Your protection, care, provision, and council this week. Thank You for taking care of me every minute of every day. Forgive me for the time I wasted this week on anything that wasn’t for Your glory. I pray that if it is Your will for Your children to attend a meeting of Your church tomorrow, that they come for reasons that glorify You and not themselves. I pray that each and everyone will personally invite Your Holy Spirit into their worship services tomorrow and that they will worship and praise You in a manner that is pleasing to You. And I pray that nobody will attempt to quench Your Holy Spirit, but instead, allow You to infuse them and guide them in their words and their actions. I ask these things in the holiest of names, Jesus Christ. Amen.
I held the sweetest little baby the other day. She was a tiny little thing and I couldn’t help but think, “I could just hold her all day!” But then, after about 30 minutes, I noticed my arm starting to get tired. Then I remembered when my girls were little and I would have to hold them for long periods of time. After a while, it didn’t matter how much or how little they weighed. What started out as something very light would eventually feel very heavy. My arm, shoulder, neck, and back would eventually start hurting and I can remember a few times thinking that my precious, tiny little angels seemed to weigh 1000 pounds and I thought my arm would fall off if I didn’t lay them down. It occurred to me that worries, problems, non-forgiveness, and sin can have the same affect. If something is troubling me and I think about it, and worry about it, and continue re-hashing it over and over again, then something that may have started out very small, now seems very large and is weighing on me. And the weight of the burden is not due to the burden itself. It’s due to the fact that I picked it up and never put it down. So just as the weight of a tiny baby can affect your back, shoulders, arms, & neck….the weight of worries, problems, non-forgiveness, and sin and affect all areas in your life. So when you start to feel the all too familiar weight of the world on you shoulders, remember that all you have to do is give it to God and let Him hold it for you.
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30 NKJV
Yesterday I was reading something I wrote about pride & jealousy. The more I ponder it, the more I think that unmerited jealousy is actually fear. If we live in fear that someone we love might hurt us…it’s most likely because someone in our past hurt us. And out of some sort of self preservation, our instinct is to lash out at others before they have a chance to hurt us. But in doing this we are removing God’s protection over our relationship. We’re saying, “God, I don’t trust you to protect my marriage, friendship, relationship, etc.”. Every accusation that we throw is actually us pushing God away. We’re allowing Satan to control our minds and our actions and we tell ourselves that it’s because we love this person so much. Relationships are hard enough. But when we remove God’s protection from them, we leave them open for Satan to slip in. WE open the door. Nobody else. Just us. By not trusting God, and instead trusting ourself & fooling ourself into believing that our actions are warranted, we have left our relationship vulnerable to Satan’s attacks. And he will attack. Every time we level an accusation, he attacks. Every time we allow our tempers to flare in a jealous rage, he attacks. Every time we lash out because of our own insecurities, he attacks. Every time we take our past out on our present, he attacks. We are all broken. If we don’t forgive and forget those in our past, then we allow Satan to control our future. The bible tells us 365 times to have no fear so I’m pretty sure God is serious about it. Let go of the fear, jealousy, and pride and trust God to cover and bless your relationship. And don’t open that door!
A few years ago I began having pains in my big toe. I had been working on our new house, moving stuff in & on my feet a lot…up & down ladders… stairs…climbing on countertops to reach shelves…all the things us short peeps have to do…lol. So I figured it was from all that. I had a couple of days that I wasn’t on my feet much & my toe stopped hurting. But then as soon as I was back on my feet it started up again. I finally realized I had managed to develop a callous on the bottom of my big toe (because I hardly ever wear shoes) and it was causing my toe to hit the floor unevenly when I walked. A callous doesn’t just show up overnight. It takes a long time to form. And we don’t even notice it at first. In fact, it’s not until it causes us pain that we even pay attention to it. It’s kind of like when we let sin creep into our lives. We might say a bad word…I mean we aren’t in church right now. Or find something & rather than exhausting every effort to find the real owner, we decide that we must be meant to have it. Or we might tell our kids a “little white lie” because we’re just too exhausted to deal with them when we tell them the truth. And since we’ve benefited from all these sins, we might as well miss church Sunday because we’d much rather sleep in but let’s tell them we’re sick (aka lie) so that we don’t feel guilty. And then before we know it, we have built a callous of sin between us & God. A callous that has affected your walking to the point that you have strayed from the path. So… to prevent callouses, anoint your feet with lotion & anoint your soul with the Holy Spirit!
Why is it, when someone asks us to pray for them, our knee-jerk reaction is to think, “I wonder what’s wrong? I wonder if it’s their health? Their marriage? Their kids?” I’m as guilty as anyone. I don’t do it hoping for these things to be troubled…I don’t think anyone does. It’s simply an automatic reaction. But the fact is, God knows their need and it’s none of our business. Our first reaction should be to go straight to God and then let Him handle it….no questions asked. Because sometimes, the most powerful prayers are the ones that are not clouded with our opinions of the situation.
I realize that I expect a lot from my kids. I also realize that when I’m frustrated about their behavior or attitude that they are still better behaved than a lot of kids. I realize they’re not perfect and that they’re going to mess up. I realize that most parents allow their kids more lead way than I do when it comes to language, sarcasm, and sassing and that what I consider bad behavior, most parents wouldn’t. And I realize that in the broad scope of things, my kids are awesome and what little trouble I have out of them at home, at least their behavior is really good everywhere else. I realize all of this. But I also realize that God has entrusted me to prepare them for life. It is my responsibility to teach them to be kind, respectful, grateful, and to follow instruction. It is my responsibility to teach them to obey those who are in authority unless those in authority are trying to harm them. It is my responsibility to teach them everything that I can until I can no longer teach. Jesus was teaching His disciples right up until He was arrested and crucified. So why on earth would I ever assume that my kids know how to make right decisions when there are still so many things to teach them?
The heart wants what the heart wants. But the mind makes the decision of what the body does. The desires of your heart may come from God, but they may also come from Satan. The only way to know the difference is by knowing God’s Word. Because while you may feel that the desire is either right or wrong….it really depends on what you are basing it on. Is your right & wrong based on what the world views as right and wrong? Or is it based on what God says is right and wrong? Only one is correct. God. If you allow Satan in your head, he will tell you that happiness is anywhere but where God wants you. Outside of your marriage, outside of your church, outside of God’s will & protection. He can make feel like you will be happier, wealthier, healthier, more powerful, or that you “deserve” more. But only you can allow your actions to follow. Only you can choose to ask God to allow you to bloom where you are planted. Where He has planted you. Your happiness in life is not based on the desires of your heart. It’s based on making decisions in your life that are pleasing to God. Only then will you have true happiness.
Dear Lord, there are people all over this world hurting. There are families mourning the loss of loved ones. There are people suffering from physical, sexual, & mental abuse. There are children that are going to bed tonight hungry & cold. There are some that have made so many bad decisions that they can’t see a way out. There are people who have have been hurt by those they trusted & have hardened their hearts. There are those fighting health battles. There are those, who although they know deep inside their hearts that You are real, have grown up in a world full of people who tell them that You’re not. So many tragedies and You know each and every person who is going thru those tragedies. So today I pray for comfort, healing, peace, love, forgiveness, and that each and every heart that has been hardened by the things of the world would be softened to allow Your mercy and grace to seep in. I pray that tomorrow, as people wake up, instead of looking to news or social media for answers of what’s going on, that they will begin their day with You asking for eyes to see the best in people, ears to hear only what concerns them, tongues to glorify rather than justify, arms to extend a helping hand, and hearts that are filled with Your love. And in everything that we do, I pray that we do it all for Your glory and in all thankfulness to you. Amen.
We all walk a moral line. Sometimes we veer off, we may even change lines, but nonetheless, we walk a line. The question is, whose line are we walking? Are we walking the line set by our parents? One set by our school? Maybe it’s one set by our government and law enforcement. Or are we trying our best to walk God’s line? If all the different lines we could choose, there is only one that never changes. Every other line can change. Laws change, rules change, opinions & attitudes change, but God’s word doesn’t. Other lines may run parallel, cross over, or even run along with God’s for a short time, but at some point, the other lines will go in their own direction. And God’s line is the only one that will lead you to Him. So when you’re deciding what moral line you want to walk, you need to realize that although there are lots of good lines that may take you on a lovely journey, they won’t get you anywhere. Only Jesus can get you on the right path and keep you there. Even when you make a mis-step, He will reach out & give you a hand to steady you.
After reading a post “welcoming opinions” today, I offered up my opinion. The request was regarding Jesus, and I guess from my answer, it must have been apparent that I was a Christian, because boy did I get pounced on. Not by the original post-er but by others that were following the post. I was accused of not answering and avoiding the question but the fact is, I answered it according to my belief. The problem is, too often, people ask our opinions but unless we answer the way they WANT us to answer, then they really don’t want our opinion. Sometimes I think that’s why so often we put off praying about something. We don’t want to ask God because we don’t really want His answer. We want Him to tell us what we want to hear. We want to believe that our own opinions about things are fact, when really, Jesus is the only truth and the only way. So while I will be more careful about falling into the “what’s your opinion” trap from now on, I will also try my best to care and respect what God’s opinion is on all things and attempt to live my life for His glory. Because in the end, His opinion is the only one that matters.
Have you ever been trying to concentrate on a task while someone is standing in front of you yelling? And whether they are yelling at you or someone else, it can break your concentration and cause a mistake. This was happening to my daughter a few years ago and my advice to her was to close her eyes and ignore everything and everyone except what she was supposed to be doing. Easier said than done, but that’s all I had for her at the time…lol. But isn’t that what Satan does to us? He gets in front of us and tries to make us take our eyes off of Jesus. And we make it so easy for him to do it. He uses the news, the Internet, people, our finances, even our own family and friends. We get so wound up trying to control the world that we forget that God isn’t on the other side of our problems. He’s inside of us. We allow Satan to put things between us and God, but as long as we have the Holy Spirit inside of us to guide us, Satan has no power, because all we have to do is close our eyes and know that God is with us and He will never leave us.
Hebrews 13:5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,“Never will I leave you;never will I forsake you.”
So a little while back I noticed that I was having trouble seeing the computer screen at work. I chalked it up to a new system with smaller fonts & every day eye strain because it was worse when I was tired. I even bought reading glasses but they didn’t seem to help much. So when I quit work, it actually got better & I packed away those silly reading glasses that I obviously didn’t need. Then…a few months later, I noticed that the words in our church hymnals were getting smaller & harder to see. So low & behold, when we moved, I unpacked a box & there were those silly old reading glasses that I obviously didn’t need. But if I didn’t need them, why didn’t I just throw them away? Hmmm…maybe there’s a reason I kept them. So I put them on. And holy cow! I could see!!! I could see & didn’t even know that I couldn’t before. That’s what it was like when I accepted Jesus! Suddenly I could see and yet I had walked around blind as a bat for years & didn’t have a clue! My point is…if you have packed Jesus away because you think you don’t need Him, unpack Him and everything will become clear!
When you’re moving, you take down all your pictures and shelves. And when you’ve taken everything off the walls, you can see every nail hole. So you set about filling them in so that the new owners don’t have to see them. But no matter how hard you try, when the light hits that spot just right, you can still see the hole. You move your furniture & discover the massive amount of dust and cobwebs that have accumulated so you sweep, mop, & vacuum so that everything is clean. We do all this to remove all the ugliness. How often do we try to do this in our lives too? While…with the help of Christ…we can clean up our lives & behavior, remove parts that clutter up and collect dust, no matter how hard we work, there are still scars. Scars that no matter how hard we try to cover them, will always be visible to others. But even covered in scars, we should be thankful that we have them. Because by the scars endured by Jesus, we are healed. And with no healing we would have no scars. We would have open wounds.
I remember one day when I was packing up our old house to move. While some rooms were overflowing with boxes, others just got emptier. I began to notice that the more stuff that I removed from a room, the easier it was to hear even the smallest noise. I had a small solar operated flower in my kitchen window. When the sun was shining, it moved back and forth. This little flower had been in my window for at least 2 years and until that day I never knew that it made any noise. We are very much like a house. When we are filled up with things from the world it is sometimes hard to hear that still small voice guiding us. But when we start removing the unnecessary things and instead fill that space with the Holy Spirit then it gets easier and easier to hear what God wants us to hear.
My oldest child has the strangest habit of wrapping herself up in her sheet like a mummy when she goes to bed. It drives me crazy because I just know she’s gonna suffocate or strangle herself some day. So I can’t sleep until I make sure she’s asleep & unwrap her head every night. Because while she appears to be sleeping, it’s hard to tell if she’s breathing. It sounds awful but there’s a fairly fine line between sleep and death. Our relationship with God is very similar. So many people say they are Christians but when it comes to being an active Christian, it seems they are sound asleep. My biggest fear is that when Christ returns, He won’t find sleeping Christians but rather dead ones. Because if you want the Holy Spirit of God alive in you, you have to be alive in Him. Wake up & be revived!!!
Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who mistreat you. Holy cow!!! How are we mere humans supposed to do that?!? Especially when Satan is right there providing every blunt rude remark or reaction that we desire & calls it ‘speaking our mind’. He’s telling us to enjoy others misery and calls it karma. All this & what he’s basically saying is, “Trust me. Don’t trust God.” Because he knows that God will handle it at the perfect time and in the perfect way. He knows that by obeying God and holding our tongue and guarding our actions, we have disarmed him & his control on us. So back to my question. How are we supposed to do that? We simply let go & let God.
I’ve seen many people hurt by careless words in my life. Sometimes the words weren’t meant to intentionally hurt but sometimes they are. Sometimes they are words of judgement. Sometimes they are proudly stated because an inability to control the tongue is confused with boldness and speaking ones mind. And I have suffered from many of these same afflictions. But then I think about Jesus. And all the times that He had every right to be angry. And all the times He could’ve lined someone out with a good tongue lashing because the fact is He was ALWAYS right. But He didn’t. He always chose His words carefully. Controlling His tongue at all times. And never using His words as a weapon. Because where our tongue goes, our body follows. Just as a horse that is bridled goes in the direction that you pull the bit.
Proverbs 17:27-28 The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint,and whoever has understanding is even-tempered. Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent,and discerning if they hold their tongues.
We found a snake under our equipment shed a few years ago. We hadn’t been able to mow because of all the rain & had never really organized & de-cluttered out there since we moved. We also had an abundance of field mice that liked to eat any spilled horse or chicken feed so it was like an all you can eat buffet for snakes. It took a snake to kick us into action. My hubby cleaned & organized under the shed, I mowed as soon as it was dry enough too, and we got some cats that were happy to keep the field mice to a minimum.
Snakes only show up when there is adequate food and plenty of places to hide. Sin is much the same. When we quit feeding the desires that lead to sin…when we clean out all the clutter in our lives so that God’s light can shine into all the places we like to keep hidden, sin will not be as apt to slither in. And when and if it still manages to find a way in, cut its head off. Because there are no good sins. Plus! If you keep the clutter out & the yard mowed, it’s a lot harder to forget how green your own grass is.
I’ve been thinking about a woman I know. By the time she was around 12 or 13 she was sentenced to death. Not for any horrific crime. She was guilty of many offenses but nothing serious. She actually considered herself to be a pretty good person overall. Problem was, it was all of her own doing. She actually CHOSE the death penalty. She was approached many, many times and given the option of having her entire record wiped clean and start fresh. Each time she simply ignored the request. You would think there was some sort of catch for her to turn down the offer each time but there wasn’t. As the years rocked on & she inched closer to the point that her sentence would be carried out, she was once again approached and offered freedom and to have her entire past record wiped clean. This time she accepted. She asked the One offering, what it was she had to do for such a gift. Especially since she had made so many mistakes, forgiveness was completely undeserved and she had so foolishly turned it down so many times. He simply said, “Just follow Me.” I was that woman and I chose Jesus over death. I don’t know how many times Jesus would have offered to expunge my record and release me from the prison that I had put myself in…nobody knows. All I know is that I’m so thankful I accepted His gift before my sentence could be carried out. We are all headed to the exact same fate…sentenced to death for the same crime of unbelief….until we choose to follow Him.
We’ve been working on our property for 6 ½ years. We may never get it exactly like we want it, but we keep working which means we may always have brush piles to burn. We went out last night and the wood was damp so we put some feed sacks on it and lit it. It finally caught and burned. But even if the sacks didn’t work, I’m pretty sure Todd would’ve thrown a little diesel on it. My point is, we didn’t let a little moisture stop us from accomplishing what we went out to do. So why do we let Satan stop us when we’re trying to bring glory to God? I remember a time when, if the sun didn’t come up just right on Sunday, we would just stay home from church. If I didn’t want to keep a promise, I’d just pull out the quickest excuse…aka lie…that I could think of. Thankfully God kept adding fuel and we finally caught fire.
Why do we donate blood? I’m pretty sure that most people that give, do so because they hope that their gift of blood will save someone’s life. We give less than 30 minutes of our time to give a small amount of our blood, retrieved by a tiny needle, in completely sanitary conditions, in an air conditioned area, and then we are usually given a snack. Any questions that are asked that could be the least little bit embarrassing are asked in a room where nobody else can hear. So basically we aren’t even inconvenienced for the most part. Jesus on the other hand, was beaten, made to carry His own cross, stripped naked, and rather than a tiny needle, they used nails. And He didn’t just give a little bag of blood. He gave all of His blood to save anyone who is willing to accept Him. And because His blood is guaranteed to save anyone who chooses to receive it, He is the one true universal donor.
Awhile back, on separate occasions, I spoke with 2 ladies about gardening. One lady told me that you can’t get anything to grow in Arkansas & that she has never had anything but bad luck with gardening since she moved here. The other lady told me that we are blessed to live here because you can grow anything here. The lady that had such skepticism about gardening, has the same attitude about everything else in life. And while she will tell you that she’s a Christian, her actions tell a different story. The other lady has devoted most of her life to living for God & to helping others. You never have to wonder if she’s a Christian because her actions tell you. And while I have seen both ladies bring in bountiful harvests, I have only seen one give the glory to God. Maybe if everyone would give God the glory, then it wouldn’t matter how many veggies we grow….maybe we would appreciate that God allowed us to have enough.
It’s all about your line. Some may argue but I believe every parent has a “line” that their children know not to cross. However….some peoples lines are much further away than others. While some may view a particular behavior as acceptable, others would be mortified should their child behave in such a way. God gives us a line. And His line NEVER moves. It is in the same place no matter where we are. Inside of His line we are protected by His mercy and grace. Outside of it we are not. His line makes a complete circle around Him. Inside that circle, we have eternal life. Outside, an eternity of torture. But it’s our choice. Choose the circle of life.
We planted some trees a few weeks ago and they are thriving. Several of them already have fruit on them. But a couple of days ago, after a lot of rain and wind, I noticed one of them had blown over. We stood it back up & it’s still doing well. It just simply hadn’t had enough time to take root. Withstanding the wind is one of the reasons that a good root system is so important. Another is so that in times of drought, the roots can reach way down into underground water supplies and survive. Todd & I have been on a type of journey for the last few months. We have felt like God is calling us to draw closer to Him. It’s as if we feel the need to become more deeply rooted in Christ. Life is always going to have storms and even droughts. But the deeper that you are rooted in Christ, the stronger you will be.
I was eating lunch the other day & saw a squirrel in our yard. My daughter was all excited & didn’t understand why I was concerned about it. I explained that as it got closer to the back of our house, it was also getting further & further away from a tree, and that if our dog saw it, then it was going to have to be really fast to get back to safety before she caught it. Nonetheless it kept inching closer & closer until we tapped on the window & it ran back to safety. Unfortunately a couple of days later we discovered that it had ventured too far and wasn’t fast enough to get back to a safe haven before it met its fate. The world is full of things that we would like to have. If we could just get a little closer. And sometimes even when we get really close, nothing bad happens. So the next time we get even closer. And then one day, we don’t even realize that we have walked away from the only true safe haven that we have. The loving, protective arms of God. We are so enamored by the things of the world that we don’t even realize it. So when Satan attacks, it’s not because God has left us. It’s because we have left Him. And just for the record, my dog is not Satan. She just really likes to play with squirrels…unfortunately until they die.
Thought for the day. This may only happen to me, but seems like every time we get lots of rain, suddenly I find spiders in my house. I’m assuming that they are trying to move to dry ground. When it’s dry & sunny I rarely find one in the house. But you let a little…or a lot…of rain fall & here they come. Pretty sure God is up there shaking His head thinking, “Yes little spider. Why do you always wait for the rain to seek My shelter?” And it’s true! So often we think we can handle something on our own and the next think you know we are swept away, trying to keep our heads above water. But the thing we have to remember, is that even when we fail to move to God’s higher ground…even when we are being washed downstream…even when we can’t see any way out, all we have to do is ask & God will lift us from the swift waters, dry us off, and shelter is from the storm.
There have always been bullies in the world. I’ve been trying to figure out how the cruel, mean, hateful actions of others seem to have much more devastating results more often these days than they did years ago. Part of me wonders if it’s because everything is headline news now whereas before social media, it was confined to word of mouth gossip or nasty note passing campaigns. Or maybe the results were as horrible then as they are now but we didn’t learn of suicides and mass shootings for such things because news didn’t travel as fast. Or maybe…just maybe…there wasn’t as much bullying because more kids were raised in church with biblical principles and parents were less likely to spare the rod when they misbehaved. And maybe the victims of bullying didn’t feel like they were all alone in a world full of people that hated them because they knew that no matter what, God was with them and would never leave them or forsake them because they accepted Him. Perhaps the world had more love in it back then because it allowed more God in it. Perhaps marriages succeeded more often because they were based on biblical principles rather than worldly desires. Maybe…just maybe…if we would let God back into families…back into our children…back into our government…back into our schools…back into our work….back into every portion of our lives…then maybe there would be so much love in the world that evil would cease to exist. Because evil is the absence of God and cannot exist when God is present.
I made homemade chocolate chip cookies yesterday. I’ve baked them dozens of times but I still look at the recipe so I don’t forget anything or measure wrong. Life is full of steps and measurements. There are ingredients that benefit our life and some that leave a bad taste. You can go through life not following a recipe and in turn make a lot of bad cookies or you can follow the recipe that Jesus left for you. The bible has everything you need to know. It has the recipe for a perfect life within its pages. But you have to follow it. Problem is, too often if we decide we don’t necessarily like one of the ingredients…or we think it’s gonna be too hard or too much trouble to get…so we decide to leave it out. But for an abundant life, you must follow the recipe of God’s word…just like you follow a recipe to make a good homemade chocolate chip cookie. Complete and in full.
There are a lot of different paths you can take to get to the grocery store. But nonetheless, if you want to buy a package of ground beef in my hometown, you have to take at least one of those paths. Chances are pretty good that you don’t always take the same one every time. Although Jesus Christ is the only path to salvation, there are many paths that you can take that will bring you to a closer relationship with God….prayer, church, scripture study, fellowship, daily devotion…..Problem is, Satan knows every single one of them. We expect him to attack us through certain directions, but some we don’t expect at all. We forget that even our family, friends, our church, and even our own minds, are not off limits because Satan doesn’t respect boundaries. So how do we move forward when we have been attacked….even when there has been no repentance? We forgive. Even when we’ve been hurt. Even if when it feels like someone we love has thrown us under a bus. Even when there is no repentance. Even when we just don’t feel like it. We forgive and we move forward. We may be bruised. We may be sore. We may even still be hurt. But we continue moving toward one destination…God.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
John 14:6 NKJV
When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, Then You knew my path. In the way in which I walk They have secretly set a snare for me.
Psalm 142:3 NKJV
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV
“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Matthew 6:14-15 NKJV
I heard once that bad moments don’t make bad mothers. Thank goodness because I’ve had my share of bad moments! But I just keep trying to remind myself that it’s not the circumstances that define you. It’s how you handle those circumstances. So when I was standing calf deep in the mud…freezing…tractor stuck…wanting to cry…I looked around, realized that God allowed me to accomplish what I needed to before I managed to get it stuck, and the tractor was just as happy parked there as it would’ve been at the house. So I thanked Him for giving me enough sense to put on my muck boots and trotted myself back up to a warm fireplace to thaw out.
The people who are unhappy are the ones who have put their faith in someone or something. The people who put their faith in God will never be disappointed and even in difficult circumstances will usually accept that God has a plan and something good will come. So…even when I have bad moments…as long as I hold tight to my faith…they will remain moments…not hours…not days…and certainly not a lifetime!
Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, Whose hope is in the Lord his God, Who made heaven and earth, The sea, and all that is in them; Who keeps truth forever, Who executes justice for the oppressed, Who gives food to the hungry. The Lord gives freedom to the prisoners.
Psalm 146:5-7 NKJV
It would probably make for a sad ball game if a baseball coach just walked out onto the field and picked a team out of the crowd. We probably wouldn’t watch many games if that was how it worked. Athletes train hard to perform their best. They practice and work hard, building muscle, and improving skills and knowledge. They eat a specific diet. Sleep an appropriate amount of time. They suit up in the appropriate clothing and equipment. All so that they are ready for the big game. So why do we think that we can flex our spiritual muscle one day a week and assume we have a strong relationship with God? We should live our life being in constant spiritual training by praying, reading our bible, praying, worshipping, praying, praising, doing all things for the glory of God, and suiting up in the armor of God every single day! (Yes I know I said praying 3 times but it’s just that important). That way, when the time comes for us to play in the big game, we will be ready.
Went out to feed the horses yesterday. All but one came up as soon as they heard us. So we fed the ones that came up and headed out to look for the one that didn’t. We finally found her all the way at the back of our property. She had found a patch of grass back there & was content burrowing her nose through the snow to eat it. I thought, “You silly horse”! Little did she know that I had a big bucket of yummy feed and half a bale of fresh hay for her. She was missing out on the good stuff because she thought she had found something better. Once she realized what I had to offer, she forgot all about that snowy patch of grass. But aren’t we all pretty silly sometimes. We wander away from God because Satan tells us that we can find something better somewhere else when all along, God has the good stuff and will give us everything we need if only we could just keep our noses out of places they don’t belong and our eyes on Him.
If it hasn’t rained at all for a week and the sun is shining, chances are pretty good that you’re not going to be in a flood today. If you find one flea on your dog and put a flea collar or treatment on it, chances are you’re not going to have to worry about an infestation today. If you are doing something that causes a spark that ignites some dry grass and you immediately extinguish it, then you probably don’t have to worry about starting a forest fire. Because you see, a flood happens one drop of rain at a time. An infestation happens one flea at a time. And a forest fire starts one spark at a time. And while some tragedies can’t be helped, others can be stopped as long as you don’t ignore them. A tragic life doesn’t happen all at once. It happens one sin at a time. Left ignored, sin can become a flood, an infestation, a raging fire…..that only the grace of God can contain. He is there for you…willing to help…24/7/365…but you have to be willing to call on Him.
Proverbs 15:32 ESV
32 Whoever ignores instruction despises himself,
but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence.
Luke 21:34 ESV
34 “But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap.
I was thinking about marriage this morning. I scroll through my social media feeds and see a lot of jokes about husbands and wives and how they are handling this season of quarantine. My hubby and I even joke about it a lot. Sometimes I think his favorite scripture is Proverbs 21:19…
Better to dwell in the wilderness, Than with a contentious and angry woman.
Proverbs 21:19 NKJV
But what did God have in mind when He ordained marriage between a man and a woman? He intended it to be a union in which the two complemented each other. He intended for it to mimic His relationship with His church.
Now…how do we (the body of Christ…His church) treat Him? Do we stomp our foot when He doesn’t pay enough attention to us? Do we belittle or ridicule Him for not doing something that we thought He should’ve known to do? Well I certainly hope not! We shouldn’t anyway! Unfortunately we don’t even always treat our Savior the way we should. And if we don’t treat God with the respect and gratitude that He deserves, then I’m pretty sure we don’t treat our spouses the way we should either.
So in this season of togetherness that we are in, let us use it as a time to work on our marriages. Doing all things in love.
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NKJV
Do we go buy a fire extinguisher AFTER our house is already on fire? Do we put on our seat belt AFTER we have already crashed our car? Do we put on a life-jacket after we have already drowned? NO we don’t!! We do all of these things before tragedy strikes. Not after. So why do we wait until our marriage is in turmoil before we start working on it? My husband and I are part of a couple’s bible study. I view it as a type of vitamin boost to our marriage. Not because we’re having trouble…because we’re not…but because we don’t want to have trouble. We realize that we are 2 broken people but we want to be broken together. We don’t want to look back and say, “If only we had worked on our marriage…” Marriage is a sacred bond, ordained by God, and, IF SEALED BY God’s protection, can NOT be broken. But we have to ask God’s protection over it and continue to maintain it. It’s when we neglect it that Satan finds an opening to creep in. So I’m encouraging you…don’t wait until there is a fire, invest in your marriage now. And if it’s too late for your marriage, ask God if it’s really too late or if that is just Satan whispering in your ear. Because it ain’t over until God says it is!
How often do we skim down our newsfeed and just catch the headlines or highlights? I do it most of the time. If it catches my eye, I might go ahead and read the whole story or article, but otherwise it’s on to the next item. Here’s the problem with that. Too often, the headline is misleading. And once it has entered your mind, it’s there. So unless you make the effort to read the rest of the story, whatever you have in your mind may or may not be correct. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve seen someone post that Jesus said to let he who is without sin cast the first stone….mainly because they want to deflect attention away from their sin. Problem is, they have failed to read the rest. If they had read just a little more they would have seen that Jesus also told the woman to go and sin no more. My point is…you can’t just skim the bible, reading only the headlines or highlights, and know the whole story. You have to read it all. Because assuming you know it could cost you your life if you’re wrong.
If you saw a train tipped on its side…hovering above a bunch of children…being held up by only a few people…in the middle of a storm…what would you do? The people holding the train up are exhausted because not only are they holding up this huge train, but they are also putting out fires, shining lights to show others the way out, helping to patch up those that make it out, trying to tend to their own injuries, attempting to keep others from sliding under… all while trying to stand firm and working to set the train back on solid ground. Would you jump in & help? Would you decide it to be an impossible situation and walk away? Would you hesitate for fear of being hurt? Would you stand back, criticizing those who are trying so hard to help because you think they are doing wrong? Would you decide to leave it up to the professionals? I can’t imagine anyone walking away & not helping…or could I? People, WE are the church. And WE ARE a train wreck! God has blessed each and every person with a gift. Can you even imagine what WE the church…WE the body of Christ could accomplish if we put God first, took up our cross, and followed HIM?!? So Sunday morning when you wake up, instead of listening to one of the 4,726,937,927,275 excuses to NOT go to church that Satan will have readily available, remember that you can either listen to him & walk on by, or you can jump in and be a part of God’s amazing grace!