Monday, November 7, 2011
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
On Sunday's our preacher often prays for God to hide him behind the cross so we will see only Gods message to us not his deliverance of it. Yet after church we shake his hand and say "Great sermon, you did really well today." or something similar. I've never thought to tell him "Thanks for being Gods instrument "He" blessed me with a wonderful message today." We have been greatly blessed with an awesome preacher, but every aspect about him that allows him to deliver a powerful, touching sermon is God given. His personality~God, skill of public speaking~God, ability to capture attention~ God, knowledge~God, all God. Now don't get me wrong I feel he not only knows this but acknowledges this as well. My question is do you know this? Do you realize that NOTHING you have, do or accomplish is through you. God brought you into this world and God gave you His only Son so you could join HIM when you leave it. He, He, He. Not me, me, me.
Friday, September 23, 2011
We've all felt pain before. Some have felt pain as excruciating as Jesus felt being nailed to His cross. They have lost limbs, been beaten and tortured. There are those who know what real physical pain feels like.
We've all felt loneliness. Jesus had spent his life being around people. Loved by his family and for his last years followed and pursued by thousands, so much so He had to actively seek alone time. Yet when he died on the cross those closest to Him left him. Some people have felt this solitude. Children are abandoned daily, they live in orphanages that have no love for them. We can know His loneliness.
We've all experienced humiliation. Jesus suffered the humiliation of being stripped of all His garments, watching others play games to win His personal belongings, being ridiculed and laughed at, taunted and teased. These are all things that we here and now have felt some even to the extent that Jesus felt them.
We all carry some burden of responsibility. There are those that give their lives for others. They walk a path knowing that at the end of it they won't be walking back. They fight for our freedoms giving all not only for me and you but also for what they know is right. Just as Jesus carried this burden for us.
BUT NONE of us have felt the despair of having God the Father turn his eyes from us. He has never looked at us and been so saddened by what He saw that he looked away.
Jesus felt this.
As Jesus suffered through pain, loneliness, humiliation and the burden of His responsibility He also carried the complete and utter blackness, the vileness of our combined sins. When I think back to the sins I knowingly committed I feel shame, and sadness. Yet I know there are others who have committed sins far, far, far worse than me. Knowing how mine feel for me to carry, imagining how adding more and far worse sin would feel added to mine, I can barely comprehend how broken my Jesus must have felt. Just imagine your worse sin. Think how it makes you feel even now AFTER you've been forgiven and you've set it in your past. Now add murder, theft, rape, and child abuse to it. Feel that. That's how our Jesus felt, only he didn't have to imagine it He felt it.
Jesus was the lamb, the sacrifice for our sins. When God looks at you He doesn't see your sin after repentance. Only you covered by the blood of Jesus. As Jesus hung on the cross there was no others blood to cover him. No sacrifice to stand between Jesus and our sin. God saw every sin that we poured upon His Son. Jesus carried our sin and accepted the punishment for us. We all think that His death was that punishment but He accepted not death because He overcame death but He accepted Gods divine wrath upon Him for our sins. Matthew 27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice saying. "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?" that is "My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?" Jesus then felt something we will never feel if we have accepted Jesus as our savior. He felt the lose of Gods joy,His wrath, and His rejection. For that one moment He felt what true pain, loneliness, humiliation, burden and rejection was like. Then it was finished.
You see God will never turn from us. We will never feel that rejection or wrath because Jesus took that for us too. He lived a sin free life only to die covered in our sin. We live sin filled lives only to die covered by His blood. It still amazes me.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Matthew 6:25 "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?
30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?31 So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
I was reminded that by not standing fully on my trust in Jesus then I was AGAIN robbing Him of His glory. Its amazing that no matter how many times I rob Him of His glory He still lets me back into the room with Him. No wonder he loved the theif on the cross he was me. No matter what the situation is He is the anchor in my storm. If I don't have faith that after following His will and praying to my Lord and God Almighty that He will take care of my needs then I've learned nothing and all that was sacrificed for me was in vain. I really don't want to be that girl.
Thursday, March 31, 2011
Salvation "if anone is in Christ" This my friend is the easiest thing we can do yet we make it such a battle. If you were saved as a child it was probably very easy. You learned about Jesus in Sunday school, talked to your teacher, took your parents hand and walked forward. You might have been a little scared with so many people around but that's probably it. As an adult you might have struggled with this. "Are people watching me? What will they think? I'll wait one more Sunday when there aren't as many people here." I know there is internal struggles but that's on us. All in all though its fairly easy to become a Christian. God made it easy for you. Simply accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, know that He died on the cross for your sins and your saved.
Creation~ " he is a new creation" The creation process, its bitter sweet! Your new. God Himself told you so and that's that! Unfortunately we make it much harder. It takes a lot of work to be a new creation. Everyone sees this, they want to look and see if your really new. Think about what you do with new things in your life. New car, show it off, take it for a spin and see how it holds up. New toy, show your friends, play with it. New hair show it off too and then get home and play with it, see how it looks in different styles. One thing we all do is show it off to our friends who in turn judge it. Its the same with your salvation. You want to show it off for all of your friends to see. Your happy about your salvation (as you should be!) your excited about Jesus and find yourself telling everyone you know about His love for them. This is the great part about being new but remember there are those who are judging it. They're waiting to see if its real, if your really new. They're watching your every move asking " Is she really new or did she just cover the old?".
Change- "old things have passed away" This my friend is where the rubber meets the road! Man now its getting tough. "old things have passed away" That's such a hard thing to let happen, letting go of your old self. We each have sin in our lives that we hold onto. We struggle with and keep trying to step away from it but its not easy. The problem is we keep trying to deal with it. Its only through the shed blood of Jesus Christ that sin is overcome. We had nothing to do with it. We can not overcome sin in our lives. If you try to fight your sin you will lose. Simple as that, you can't do it. Ah but Jesus can and did. He overcame sin, died on the cross for our sin and rose again to sit at the right hand of the Father. When the temptation to sin rears its ugly head call on Jesus to handle it. This is one of those really aggravating things in life. Its so easy a caveman can do it yet we don't! You have a problem with a sin in your life, pray about, give it to Jesus to cover under His blood and that's it. Every time it pops up do this. Its not hard but we just don't like to release our control even though we're not really controlling anything. This is part of that getting rid of the old things. Turn your life over to Jesus.
The big reveal "all things have become new." Drum roll please!....Tadaa its the new and improved you!! Once you've done the above things you have become new. You now have a new way to think about things, a new way to handle sin. When it pops up you turn to God. People will still see things happen but NOW they will also see you turn to Jesus for strength and forgiveness. Just like any makeover though you have to maintain it. Except your spiritual maintenance is very different from physical maintenance. To maintain a physical makeover you have to take control of your life. To maintain a spiritual makeover you have to relinquish control of it. Everyday you have to give Jesus control over every aspect of your life. There was one word in that sentence that I bet you missed. Its one word that causes us all to stumble...EVERY. That's right every thing in your life. Not just some parts but all parts. Its so hard not to pull things back from God but if we remember that He created us, in Him we have been made new and in Him we will find strength to carry on life will be easier and better! My prayer is that you too will accept the "makeover" God is offering you. Trust that He knows what looks best on you and how to bring out all of your beautiful qualities.
http://www.aholyexperience.com/2011/03/how-christians-create-art-she-speaks-scholarship/ I posted a link above to a wonderful website that is offering a opportunity to win a She Speaks scholarship. The She Speaks Conference is an opportunity for women to reach out to other women and bring them closer to God the Father. I'm very much looking forward to attending this and pray I have the opportunity to this year!
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Today I want to think about Mary and Elisabeth. I got to tell you, I think that was a friendship forged and strengthened by fire. Mary and Elisabeth were cousins so you have to know that Elisabeth knew all the questions going around about Mary's pregnancy. If you look at her situation in today's society you can get a good idea about what Mary might have suffered. I'm guessing the family didn't just say "Oh hey its all okay!". She was probably shunned, ignored, not invited to sit with the other woman and help in the daily chores. Unlike Joseph they wouldn't have understood that she was carrying our Lord Jesus Christ. No angels appeared to them to make her life any easier. Imagine not having ANYONE to talk too. Wow no thank you. I talk way too much to not at least have others pretend to listen! Poor Joseph. If that would have been me I would have been talking my husbands head off!! As it is Dean will say " Honey its bedtime PLEASE go to sleep!" and that's AFTER I've been around friends to share my day with! Then to be pregnant with no one to turn to. How scary that would have been. Today you can't walk through the store without someone telling you some little bit of knowledge about your pregnancy. Imagine how scarred she would have been. Pregnant, new family, new husband, and all alone.
We learn that thank you God, Mary had Elisabeth. Oh what a great comfort they were to each other. One who was pitied for not being able to have children the other shunned for already being with child. Elisabeth was so much more to Mary than just a cousin and friend she was her go to girl, her mentor. Her mother in essence. When Mary married Joseph she left her family to join his. Then his family most likely shunned her, leaving her with no one. Elisabeth believed her, loved her, and gave her the support and caring she need to carry Jesus.
So I ask who's your Elisabeth? If you can't answer this question and feel good knowing that she will carry you and support you even when your shunned, then join us for our next "Sisterhood Supper" we have a lot of Elisabeth's. We love to share!
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Lets do a little "experiment"! Are you ready? Okay now I want you to stick your finger in your eye. Thats right just do it. I know, I know. Tell me how did it feel? It hurt didn't it. Could you see clearly after you did that? I bet not at first. That is sin in our lives its like a finger in the eye. It hurts us and causes us to not see things clearly. When we judge others we're judging with imperfect vision.
Matthew 7:4 ASV
Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me cast out the mote out of thine eye; and lo, the beam is in thine own eye?
So often we judge others. I catch myself doing this daily. Whether its their clothes, hair, makeup or actions I tend to judge. I'm trying to remind myself that this person that I'm judging either likes what they're wearing, how their hair looks or what they are doing OR its the best they're circumstances allow. There are times when your asked to sit on a jury and judge someones actions but thats not what we're talking about here. This is our daily sin of judgment. I ask, are you perfect? Are you sinless? Have you never done something similar? Were all of your fashion choices in life runway approved? Were you a kid in the late 80's and 90's if so we know you had hair to repent for!
Matthew 7:1 NIV
"Do not judge, or you too will be judged.
Luke 6:37 NIV
"Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
Matthew 7:2 NIV
For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
The scripture goes on and on for this subject. Hmm I wonder if God was trying to tell us something?
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Sunday, February 6, 2011
The truth is I can give you a solid answer on part of it. Yes you are to forgive. Yes that means EVERYTHING. Is it easy to forgive no, but through the shed blood of Jesus Christ we have been forgiven of ALL of our sins as long as we choose to accept Him as our Lord and Savior. Forgiveness doesn't always come quickly or easily. It takes work but if your not willing to understand and forgive then what does that say about you and your relationship with Jesus? I'm not going to type the entire passage but grab your bible and read Matthew 18 21-35. Go ahead I'll wait for you to finish! ~~~~~~~~ Good your back. We have been forgiven shouldn't we share that same mercy. Have you never hurt another? Is there nothing in your life that you need to ask forgiveness for? Jesus said in Luke 23:34 Father, forgive them for they know not what they do. He was asking forgiveness for those who hurt him. Aren't we to live like Jesus? Are we not suppose to model Him? Who are we to do any less?
What if the person who hurt you isn't a Christian? What if they haven't asked for your forgiveness? What if they don't feel they have hurt you? Luke 23:34 Father, forgive them for they know not what they do. You can't dispute the word of God. At this point I would suggest understanding. I was abused as a girl. We hear that statement and think "Oh bless her" but we don't look past it. I was beat, tormented and terrorized by someone who was suppose to protect me. I have forgiven my abuser. Through understanding and Gods grace I can forgive. I can be in a room with this person, talk to them even have a somewhat relationship with them. They have never asked my forgiveness. They have blocked this from their life. I unfortunately can not. (that's tomorrows blog!) The point is my forgiveness is not based on them. Its based on me and Jesus. Once I gathered an understanding of why then I could work past it. I'm not saying what they did was okay, or right, but I can see why they did what they did. Can you? Can you look past your hurt for understanding? It doesn't always make sense and its not usually how we would have handled things but it is what it is. Can you forgive?
Next we'll work on the forgetting part.
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Since then God has made a few changes in my life. Through his conviction I've given up things that were keeping me from Him, and put him TRULY first. I now can say I feel like Beth Moore and Angela Thomas!! Okay maybe not just like them but woo hoo its close!!! God has blessed me with so many things in my life right now! Working with so many of you on Women's Ministry has just blessed me so much that I almost feel guilty for this overwhelming fullness of the Holy Spirit that its crazy! I now get it, the go tell it on the mountain high so many talk about! I want all of my friends to have this! To know My God in such a personal and profound way. I was trying to explain it to my husband the other day and could only say that I have found a level of "Jesusness!!!" that I didn't know before! You like that didn't you! I know some of you are thinking "What is she talking about "Jesusness" that makes no sense." Well those of you who speak "Angela" you get it don't you! There's just a deeper level to my relationship with God that didn't exist before. Now I'm overwhelmed with the blessings He has bestowed upon me, with the trust He is placing in me to do His will and His work. Its humbling. With this new responsibility though has come new freedoms. Tonight I raised my hands, praised my God with what is only in His ears a joyful noise and didn't care one bit who was around. I simply let the Holy Spirit free to praise my God. Tonight I no longer cared, considered or even thought about others as I worshiped. I must say if freeing! I also watch others do the same and thought that if we all let go of us and simply gave God His reign what an awe inspiring, awesome experience that would be.
Monday, January 24, 2011
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Its kinda like the president, we don't have to like everything about them but we have to honor the posistion. I honor the fact that my parent gave me life, raised me, did the best that they knew how to do by me. I don't have to like their choices or even respect and honor those choices. I do have to respect and honor the position. I have to give this parent the same consideration I give my past abusers. They have a past. That said past has shaped who they are and the choices they have made. For the good or bad its there. I don't have to submit myself to them. I'm now an adult and a parent myself but without them I simply wouldn't be who I am today.
I told my brother the other day that we have to look at our parents and the mistakes they made with us so we don't make them with our children ( we get to make new ones!!). How else do we learn. We try so very hard to keep our children from making our mistakes yet we sometimes repeat our parents. The writer of yesterdays devotional made it a point to open her self, kids, and home to her parents. Well truth be told more power to her! Thats not always fesible for all of us BUT we can open our hearts to them. I dont have to let my parent have free range with my children, I don't have to go to their house, invite them to every occasion. I do need to pray for them. Open my heart and mind to them. Know that God is in control and if He can remove this acorn VERY far from the tree than he can strip the tree down and renew its growth. I don't have to be there physically for that to happen but I do need to be there spiritually.
How can I know that Gods grace saved me and not believe that it can save them.
Monday, January 17, 2011
Today was about honoring our parents. Sounds normal. As a parent I try to instill in my children that they honor me and their father but do I honor mine. They answer to that is no. I love the both immensely. But honor them both not so much. I think its because I tie honor into respect. I feel they go hand and hand but they don't. Today's story truly hit home for me. The author had bad parents who were not believers. She pulled her life away from theirs and avoided them. Let me just say that sounds VERY familiar to me.
God said EXODUS 20:12 Honor thy father and thy mother;that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. Often times we feel that only applies to "good" parents. Well we're wrong. God wants us to honor our parents period. There is no scripture that says "Honor your father and mother BUT only if they are good, holy, christian parents." It just says "Honor thy father and thy mother.
What is honor. Honor is (verb) * to hold in high respect or revere * to confer honor or distinction upon * to show a courteous regard to * to accept as valid and conform to the request or demands of.
By not honoring our parents period we are not honoring God. He commanded us to honor our parents. So what does this mean to us who have had less the "Godly" parents? I don't know. Yes I'm sure your now thinking, "What? You don't know? Whats the point if you don't know?". Well I don't know that either! I'm still working this one out! If you know me personally than you know my story. If not call and I'll tell you. But at this point in my life I don't honor one of my parents. I don't respect them. They have given me nothing to respect. Yet I'm muddling through Gods command for me to honor them. Where is the line for this. At what point do we get to say I'm done or do we? Is God the Father ever done with us? What if he just says "I'm done".
Hmmm Questions, questions, questions. Lets toss this one around and pray on it some more. Did it give you something to think about. It did me. I'll have my nose in my bible a whole lot for this one and I might have to bust out some knee pads!
Thursday, January 13, 2011
EPHESIANS 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
Todays daily devotional was about the tongue. Yes the almighty tongue. For such a small body part it is amazingly strong. I read somewhere that is was the strongest muscle in your body.(this may or may not be true) I do know it can be the greatest detriment to the body of Christ or our most powerful tool to further His kingdom. JAMES3:10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. We can use our tongues to praise Gods holy name and blasphemy it as well. Often times from the same tongue. We can do good and evil with that small little muscle. It has the power to save, kill, build you up to your highest and knock you down to your lowest. Animals show their love with licking. Humans show their hatred with the vileness that spews from it. We can hurt someone with the smallest comment or make their day. That is one powerful muscle.
A few months ago a good friend made a comment about what I was wearing that day. I thought I looked nice but her innocent remark made me question my choice of outfits. She meant nothing by it ( I hope!), but was simply saying she tried something simlar and didn't look good in it. I then had to seek affirmation from others. Hers was a simple remark that did damage, caused doubt.
Jenna was singing at church one Sunday when she started getting a little extra joyful in her song. I told her to bring in down just a notch. Well I broke her heart, crushed her spirit at that time. My comment no matter how well intended did damage.
Most think our tongues don't come with warning labels. Ah you would be wrong! We sometimes forget we have an entire owners manual. The Bible. It directs us in how to operate EVERY part of our body and our lives. Oh but so many people just toss out the manual and wing it. They think they're smarter than the Author and Creator only to figure out later they do need the directions. I am often one of those people. (Not the smarter part just the winging it part!)
JAMES3:2 For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.
I am not perfect and in many things I offend others. Its a daily battle to wield my tongue with careful precision and not reckless destruction. Words are like legos it only takes one to finish a masterpiece, but remove the wrong one and you will destroy an entire creation.
Sunday, January 9, 2011
Where you bold today? Now that's a loaded question! Some days my clothes might be bold, some days its my actions and more times that not its my mouth but what about your worship?
For those of you who read my previous blog the answer is YES I openly praised and worship my Lord today! I felt self conscious and thought "Is anybody watching?" and raised my arms in adoration anyway. I watched one of my favorite people today worship in song and praise and as I watched her boldly share her love for our Lord and Savior I remembered that there will always be those who will think your making it about you. That's only because they don't know Jesus love so fully to understand its only about Him. Being brave isn't about not being scared its about acting in spite of that fear. Well worshiping boldly isn't about being a outgoing person its about worshiping God no matter what others might think. I learned that if your brave and give yourself over to the Lord someone somewhere is watching and just maybe your boldness will give them the strength they need to be bold too.
To my very special friend who was bold today. Thank you. You have blessed me more than words can say. I'm happy and blessed to say there are probably a few of you who are asking yourselves " Is she talking about me?" The answer is YES!!!
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Open worship has always been a difficult thing for me. Lifting my arms and worshiping the Lord with others around I feel self conscious. I have this fear of someone looking at me and thinking " What is she doing, or Look at her," or all sorts of silly things. I didn't want anyone to think I was bringing attention to myself and I didn't want to draw attention to myself even though I've had the urge to left my arms in worship on occasion! Now that being said I have a few friends who openly worship with all they have. So I thought to myself do I think they look silly? Well yes but not because of their worship!! Just Kidding!! No, when I even noticed them (because I was focused on Jesus or should have been) I thought they looked beautiful and free. I admire their boldness in fully worshiping our Lord the way the Spirit called them too. I told myself I would left my arms in praise the next time the spirit urged me too. Well I chickened out! My hands were halfway there when I again got an attack of the "Oh is anyone watching?" and grabbed some wood. (That would be the pew in front of me.) I later realized that I didn't lift my arms because I wanted my worship to be all about my Lord and not about me. That makes sense except by me NOT worshiping the way the spirit urged me to I then made my worship all about me and NOT my Lord. It was an AHA moment! Then as if that epiphany wasn't enough I open my daily devotional and read a commentary about Wholehearted Worship! I mean come on God is good and He likes to make sure He gets his point to you! It was about a young girl worshiping with abandon, not worrying about what others might think. The author jokingly referred to her own worship as sedate, refined, upscale and mature. The mature part binged for me. My earlier post was about I might be growing older but I'm newer in Christ each day. Well Christ urged us to have a childlike faith in him. I'm also seeing that we should have a childlike abandon in our worship to him as well. See its okay to be a little childish! Sometimes we get a little to "refined" in our worship and forget to worship fully. That being said I promise to be bold, make my worship about God, not me and raise my arms in praise when the spirit tells me! What about you?
PSALM 95:1-4 O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.(2) Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. (3) For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.
(left to rigt) My cousin MaryJo, Deana and myself.