"Best start putting first things first." Cause when your hourglass runs out of sand You can't flip it over and start again Take every breathe God gives you for what it's worth.
Yesterday, we got the news that my nephew had died suddenly. We are still not sure what caused his death. It was so shocking because as far as we knew, he was healthy. He was only thirty five years old. He leaves behind him, three little girls and a wife. Please pray for His Dad John, his Mom Dianne and his brother John, as our family tries to deal with this tragedy. Hold your own loved ones closer because you just never know when the sand will run out for anyone. The hourglass ran out of sand for Danny, yesterday.
Danny accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior at an early age. We comfort ourselves with this scripture: 1 Thessalonians 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
"Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to seek your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says, "Woe to those who call evil good," but that is exactly what we have done.
We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values.
We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery.
We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare.
We have killed our unborn and called it choice.
We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable.
We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self esteem.
We have abused power and called it politics.
We have coveted our neighbor's possessions and called it ambition.
We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression.
We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment.
Search us, Oh God, and know our hearts and hear us today; cleanse us from every sin and set us free. Amen!"
Commentator Paul Harvey aired this prayer on his radio program, "The Rest of the Story,"
Remember when love of God, family and country were what made us tick. What happened to us? How did we get our priorities so messed up in such a short time. We are headed for becoming a secular society if we don't stop and turn it around now. No one recognizes sin for what it is anymore. I am sure we will get past this financial crisis we are in but the spiritual breakdown needs more than a quick fix. It takes a revival in the hearts of our people. Let's pray for a revival together.
There's a ring around the moon tonight And chilling wind But I don't have to be afraid Cause we're old friends
There's a heartbeat of our Mother Earth And it's so deep within Oh, and I'm never short of company Cause we're old friends
So let it snow 'til it's ten feet deep Let the mist roll in 'Til I am too blind to see Let the waters rise Encircling me Old Friends -- we'll always be And Heaven is a perfect place At the journey's end Oh and I'm looking forward to that day Cause we're old friends
I am a prayer warrior on a prayer chain and I am amazed right now, how many of the requests for prayer all get down to the same three. They need healing for themselves or for someone they know or love. They need financial help. It seems everyone is having a hard time right now, making ends meet. They want a relationship restored. There are not as many request for salvation for their friends and family as I would expect.
I ask, Dear Lord that you lay it on people's hearts to care about the salvation of their family and friends. I know our daily trials are getting us down right now, but I pray we don't lose sight of the most important prayer of all. The prayer for the lost. I pray for all the families who read my post Father, that their loved ones will find their way home before it's too late. Save them Lord, bring them into the fold. I ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.
I then shall live as one who’s been forgiven; Ill walk with joy to know my debts are paid. I know my name is clear before my Father; I am His child, and I am not afraid. So greatly pardoned, Ill forgive another; The law of love I gladly will obey.
I then shall live as one who’s learned compassion; I’ve been so loved that Ill risk loving, too. I know how fear builds walls instead of bridges; I dare to see another’s point of view. And when relationships demand commitment, Then Ill be there to care and follow through.
Your kingdom come around and through and in me, Your power and glory, let them shine thru me. Your Hallowed Name O may I bear with honor, And may Your living Kingdom come in me. The Bread of Life, O may I share with honor, And may You feed a hungry world thru me.
Billy is great at starting things but he doesn't always finish them. If you are reading this, love you anyway, Dear. Sometimes he has to quit due to lack of funds. Other times he just abandons them simply because he decided it was too tough or taking too long. We all do this, not just Billy. I do, but I don't attempt things on a grand scale the way he does. He tries to build mountains, I build molehills.
There is no question that life gets hard sometimes. There are days when we may have to push ourselves just to make it though. It is easy to just give up on things. But it is those determined people who pick themselves up and keep on going that accomplish great things. “Remember when you see a man at the top of a mountain, he didn't fall there.” I love this quote. We may give up on projects we start in this life but Heaven is a more worthy goal. We must keep on fighting the good fight and seeking the top of that mountain.
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me... To comfort all who mourn, To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified."
Isaiah 61:1,2c,3 (New King James Version)
Below is an excerpt from a sermon delivered by C. H. SPURGEON. I wanted to share it with you this morning. It blessed me and I hope it will bless you too. He died in 1892 but his sermons live on.
"Observe, in the text, the change Christ promises to work for his mourners. First, here is beauty given for ashes. In the Hebrew there is a ring in the words which cannot be conveyed in the English. The ashes that men put upon their head in the East in the time of sorrow made a grim tiara for the brow of the mourner; the Lord promises to put all these ashes away, and to substitute for them a glorious head dress—a diadem of beauty. Or, if we run away from the word, and take the inner sense, we may look at it thus:—mourning makes the face wan and emaciated, and so takes away the beauty; but Jesus promises that he will so come and reveal joy to the sorrowing soul, that the face shall fill up again: the eyes that were dull and cloudy shall sparkle again, and the countenance, yea, and the whole person shall be once more radiant with the beauty which sorrow had so grievously marred.
I thank God I have sometimes seen this change take place in precious saints who have been cast down in soul. There has even seemed to be a visible beauty put upon them when they have found peace in Jesus Christ, and this beauty is far more lovely and striking, because it is evidently a beauty of the mind, a spiritual lustre, far superior to the surface comeliness of the flesh. When the Lord shines full upon his servants' faces, he makes them fair as the moon, when at her full she reflects the light of the sun.
A gracious and unchanging God sheds on his people a gracious and unfading loveliness. O mourning soul, thou hast made thine eyes red with weeping, and thy cheeks are marred with furrows, down which the scalding tears have burned their way; but the Lord that healeth thee, the Lord Almighty who wipeth all tears from human eyes, shall visit thee yet; and, if thou now believes "in Jesus, he shall visit thee now, and chase these cloudy griefs away, and thy face shall be bright and clear again, fair as the morning, and sparkling as the dew. Thou shalt rejoice in the God of thy salvation, even in God, thy exceeding joy. Is not this a dainty promise for mourning souls?"
I once heard a song that had the words, "He rocks me to sleep"...I thought that was so much how I feel when I go to sleep at night. I do think of God as a Father and me as his child. I don't feel like I am a grown up yet. I am trying to grow more mature but I know I still have a long way to go. I think I am no longer on milk but I don't think I have grown enough to say I am totally eating just the meat of the word. I am probably somewhere in between.
I do not study my Bible enough and I do not stay in constant prayer, a concept that I still have not wrapped my mind around yet. I do pray every night before I go to sleep and special prayers for those I know need the extra attention in my life. I know I could do so much better but I think I am weak. Not in faith, I believe with all my heart, but in being able to discipline myself. To really buckle down and study is one of my main goals. I love the word but I seem to always be doing other things when I should be reading my Bible.
I think I am going to pick out a particular subject for next week and just study all the scriptures on that. I have joined bible studies but can't seem to stay focused. It is a failing and I ask for prayer in this area of my life. Lord help me to study to show myself approved.
The painting is by Richard Serrin. "Paul on the road to Damascus".
Every believer has a unique story of how they came to be saved. Some even keep a journal of their journey. I wish I had kept one but I didn't realize the impact being saved would have on the rest of my life, at the time.
Some are saved after years of drugs and immorality. Others attended church every Sunday and came to Christ after years of sitting in the church and not paying attention. Until one day, something clicked and they realized they did not have a personal relationship with Jesus.
The apostle Paul had a dramatic encounter with the Savior that turned him from a persecutor of Christ's followers like Stephen, into a preacher of the gospel (Acts 26). Timothy's story was quite different. He studied the Scriptures from early childhood, resulting in his salvation experience (2 Tim. 3:14-15).
No two people will have the same journey. But when each turn to the Lord Jesus in faith to be saved from sin and to receive a new heart, they are welcomed into the family of God with equal love. It doesn't matter where you start but where you finish that matters.
I don't know if you realize it or not but today is "National Day of Encouragement" Day. No kidding. I have never heard of this before, but I am all for it. We all could use a little encouragement along the way.
A group of frogs were traveling through the woods and two of them fell into a deep pit. All the other frogs gathered around the pit. When they saw how deep the pit was, they told the two frogs that they were as good as dead. The two frogs ignored the comments and tried to jump up out of the pit with all of their might. The other frogs kept telling them to stop, that they were as good as dead. Finally, one of the frogs took heed to what the other frogs were saying and gave up. He fell down and died. The other frog continued to jump as hard as he could. Once again, the crowd of frogs yelled at him to stop the pain and just die. He jumped even harder and finally made it out. When he got out, the other frogs said, "Did you not hear us?" The frog explained to them that he was deaf. He thought they were encouraging him the entire time.
The National Day of Encouragement was the idea of a few high school students attending the National Leadership Forum in Searcy, Ark in June of 2007. The students were challenged to come up with what they believe to be the biggest problem in their school. They decided that at the root of most problems, such as drugs and alcohol, lies discouragement. So, as one-way to help that, let’s have a day where we focus on encouraging one another. Get together with students from your church, school, other organizations or just yourself, and find ways to encourage people around you. Also, you can try and get your mayor or governor to sign a proclamation declaring September 12, 2008 as the Day of Encouragement for your city or state.
On Friday, November 16, 2001 Alan Jackson had the lyrics of his song "Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning" read into the Congressional Record by His Honor, Congressman Mac Collins. HONORABLE MAC COLLINS of Georgia House of Representatives Friday, November 16, 2001
"On September 11th, 2001 our nation suffered a cataclysmic attack of unprecedented proportion. More than 6,000 Americans lost their lives in less than 1 hour's time.
In the two months following that tragic day, our citizens have struggled for ways to accept and deal with such a horrific loss. We have held candlelight vigils, all night prayer groups, talked of memorials and rebuilding. We have launched a major military campaign to seek justice for those victims. But one young man, whose name is known to many of this body and many of the American people, has found a way to genuinely memorialize those victims and that day in song.
Alan Jackson was born in Newnan, Georgia in 1958. Since that time he has grown into one of the nation's most loved Country Music stars. Some have called him the conscience of Nashville for his actions and the type of music he makes.
On November 7th. at the Country Music Awards, Alan sang a song he wrote, which more than any other that I have heard, expressed the wide range of emotions experienced on September 11th, 2001. I would like to read those lyrics to you now. "
Where Were You [When The World Stopped Turning] By Alan Jackson
Where were you when the world stop turning on that September day
Were you in the yard with your wife and children Or working on some stage in L.A.
Did you stand there in shock at the sight of that black smoke Rising against that blue sky
Did you shout out in anger, in fear for your neighbor Or did you just sit down and cry
Did you weep for the children who lost their dear loved ones And pray for the ones who don't know
Did you rejoice for the people who walked from the rubble And sob for the ones left below
Did you burst out in pride for the red, white and blue And the heroes who died just doin' what they do
Did you look up to heaven for some kind of answer And look at yourself and what really matters
I'm just a singer of simple songs I'm not a real political man
I watch CNN but I'm not sure I could Tell you the difference in Iraq and Iran
But I know Jesus and I talk to God And I remember this from when I was young Faith, hope and love are some good things He gave us And the greatest is love
Where were you when the world stop turning on that September day
Teaching a class full of innocent children Or driving down some cold interstate
Did you feel guilty 'cause you're a survivor In a crowded room did you feel alone
Did you call up your mother and tell her you loved her Did you dust off that bible at home
Did you open your eyes, hope it never happened And you close your eyes and not go to sleep
Did you notice the sunset the first time in ages Or speak to some stranger on the street
Did you lay down at night and think of tomorrow Go out and buy you a gun
Did you turn off that violent old movie you're watchin' And turn on "I Love Lucy" reruns
Did you go to a church and hold hands with some strangers Stand in line and give your own blood
Did you just stay home and cling tight to your family Thank God you had somebody to love
"I would like to take this opportunity to commend and congratulate my former constituent, a great American who has used his gifts as a songwriter and performer to lift the American spirit in this great pursuit for justice. Alan Jackson has crafted a thoughtful memorial to the victims of September 11th and serves as an example of how all Americans can help heal our nation from the wounds we suffered on that tragic day. Thank you Alan, for helping us to remember those we lost and for helping to keep their memory alive."
When I first got saved, I had a wonderful preacher who could bottom line anything. When I ask him how much faith I needed to be healed, he didn't give me the usual, "faith as of a grain of mustard seed", scripture. He looked at me squarely in the eye and said, "You need to worry about putting whatever amount of faith you have into action, it will be enough". I though of him when I saw this poem below. It doesn't matter how much faith you have if you don't use it. Activate your faith. Faith in motion is an awesome thing.
A THOUSAND RED BIRDS
We clutch our tiny bits of faith in tight fists shoved firmly in our pockets. We clutch it suspiciously, so unwilling to let it go we don’t want to lose it. We clutch it fearing that once it is spent, we will be without hope, cast adrift, out of luck. Help us loosen our grip. Help us to pull our hands out of our pockets. Help us to uncurl our fingers stiffened over time. to grow, to shimmer, to pulse, to explode into the air like a thousand red birds.
Sam, Rusty, Howard and Vestal Goodman, known as the Happy Goodmans were a gospel singing group. Vestal is known for her powerful vioce. In this video, Rusty's daughter sings a song written by her Daddy who died of cancer in 1990. Sam died in 1991. She reachs out to touch Howard's hand when she sings this and you know they are both thinking of joining Rusty and Sam in Heaven one day. Sweet and touching. You don't have to be a Christian to be touched by this song, but if you are saved, it isn't a sad song at all. It is a beautiful reminder of that day when we shall all see Jesus and our family's once again.
Verse When you finally make your entrance to that city Of jasper walls and bright golden avenues As you behold all its beauty and its splendor Remember there’s just one request I make of you
Chorus Look for me for I will be there too I realize when you arrive there will be so much to view After you’ve been there ten thousand years A million, maybe two Look for me, for I will be there too
Verse As you go down your list of firsts there’s no question We’re gonna have to see our loved ones, me and you And when you feel you’ve shared your story with the last one Who wants to hear just how you made it through
Chorus Look for me for I will be there too I realize when you arrive there will be so much to view After you’ve been there ten thousand years A million, maybe two Look for me for I will be there too
Look for me for I will be there too I will be there to
Happiness to me is to feel fulfilled in all areas of my life. Each area brings it's own happiness. I am happy eating a great meal. I am happy when I am using my mind and learning something new. But for me, true happiness comes from knowing the answers to the big questions.....answers that the world''s smartest men may never know...Why am I here?....What is life all about and What happens after we die? All the answers to these questions can be found in the top selling book of all time. The Bible. God says this information is available to everyone.
You don't have to be a bible scholar or have a great intellect to know the answers. You know what God has to say about those who are looking for answers with their intellect only and not with their heart? 2 Timothy 3:7,,,He says they are, "ever searching and never coming to the knowledge of the truth". The only way to find the answers is to search for them with all your heart and soul. On the day you do that, you will find God and you will know.
Deuteronomy 4:29 (King James Version) King James Version (KJV)
29But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
Edie on her website Rich Gifts has asked three questions. What's your passion or passions? What has God given you a heart for or about? How is it revealed in your life?
Now, I don't usually get involved with memes but this one is one I though I would like to do. So I am going to try and give as honest answers as I can. Check out Edie's website if you get a chance. It will bless you.
My main passion in life is to introduce Jesus to as many people as I can before I die. By whatever means I can, including the Internet. I do believe that God can use anyone and anything to win souls for him. God uses even the least of us.
My heart aches for those who think they know it all but they don't know the one who could change their lives forever. That is who and what, I have a heart for. I think back to how I was before I learned the truth and I just want to tell them, "I know you, I know how you think, because I have been there". And the difference in my life is night and day since I found out who I was created to be. Not a person without hope for tomorrow but a blessed child of the King.
How it is revealed in my life is a bit tough. I don't go up to strangers to talk about Jesus, like Kirk Cameron and some others who are so good at witnessing. But I try to live my life so I will never have to be ashamed of the things I say or do. I don't wear a T-shirt that says WWJD on the front but I do ask myself that question from time to time. I am just an old prayer warrior who prays for people when I hear they are in need. I have been saved for 28 years and knowing the things Christians struggle with from time time, I hope that in some small way I can bring them a word or a song that will make their struggle a little bit easier. Lord I want to be a witness.
Lead me Lord, I'll follow. Anywhere you open up the door Let your word speak to me, show me what I've never seen before Lord I want to be your witness, you can take what's wrong and make it right Daystar shine down on me, let your love shine through me in the night
PAINTING BY JOAN BAKER There is power in forgiveness. Sometimes we see amazing results when we forgive someone we have had problems with for years. We find inner peace and, often, improved physical health as well. As Dr. O. A. Battista says, "One of the most lasting pleasures you can experience is the feeling that comes over you when you genuinely forgive an enemy -- whether he knows it or not."
Forgiveness must be genuine. We can't just say we forgive, it must come from your heart. It may not always restore a broken relationship but it will set you free to move on. Forgiveness sets you free from bonds that hold you to your past. Let go of bitterness, let go of any preconceived slight or hurt. Reach out your hand to someone for forgiveness. If they take it, you have restored a friend or a family member. But even if they don't, your heart will feel peace.
The bible means so much more to me now than it did when I first opened it's pages. The promises haven't changed but I have. I know three things I didn't know then. I know now that his promises are true. I know his blood saves me and you and I know without a doubt, his love is real. These three things I know.
I have written the thoughts of my own heart on this blog, from the viewpoint of someone who has been saved for twenty eight years. I would say to those who fear their prayers are in vain, when they are feeling God doesn't hear them---God is good. He will not forsake you, and he will see you through.
If you will just believe and bring your case to Jesus Christ, you shall see the hand of the Lord stretched out to help you. People will fail you, but His word never fails. He has been so faithful to me, more times than I can count. Trust Him with all things. But don't expect him to do things the way you think they should be done. He has his own way of working things out for you. "Let go and let God"...he won't let you down.
A BOWL of daffodils, A crimson-quilted bed, Sheets and pillows white as snow— White and gold and red— And sisters moving to and fro, 5 With soft and silent tread.
So all my spirit fills With pleasure infinite, And all the feathered wings of rest Seem flocking from the radiant West To bear we throw’ the night.
See, how they close me in, They, and the sisters’ arms. One eye is closed, the other lid Is watching how my spirit slid Toward some red-roofed farms, And having crept beneath them slept Secure from war’s alarms.
So touching how he deals with the war by remembering his sisters and the farm, back home. Please pray for our troops.
" My interest is in the future because I'm going to be spending the rest of my life there." --- Charles Kettering
I couldn't have said that better myself. I am thinking about streets of gold and gates of pearl. That is where I am planning on living for eternity. I plan on loading up as many on that train, as I can. The legendary Eva Cassidy sings this with such emotion. Reat in peace, Dear Heart!
Ohh people get ready There's a train a-coming You don't need no baggage You just get on board All you need is faith To hear diesels a- humming You don't need no ticket You just thank the Lord Yeah yeah yeah
Personal experience is the best evidence you have for the truth of the Bible. "He that believes on the Son of God, has the witness in Himself." There is nothing that Satan can do to you that will make any difference, if you are born again.
If you have this weapon to use, the Sword of truth, don't let it sit there. Proclaim it loudly wherever you go. You have no reason to tremble before atheists and those who would mock your God. Your sword is invincible.
Beautiuful rainbow by photographer Dan Bush. This is a rare double rainbow. What makes this one so interesting, he got both ends with his camera. Click on this to see it bigger. It is awesome!
"And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud" (Genesis 9:14).
I have read a lot of blogs lately where people are getting thier share of rain. Sometimes a little more than thier share. But we know that God will never again destroy us with rain. The covenant which the Lord made with Noah stands fast, and we have no doubts about it. Why then, if we beleive in that covenant, do we worry when storm clouds appear in our lives? Shouldn't we also trust him to bring us a rainbow?
Faith should always see a rainbow at the end of the storm. When the storm clouds start to gather, just remember that God left us a witness to his love. When it looks like the Sun want ever shine again, God will send you a rainbow!
I suffered for five years from a disorder that is rare and has no cure. I tried many doctors and had no relief. Then, one day I was reading about the woman who like me had tried many physicians and was still sick. But she had reached out in total faith to touch the hem of Jesus garment and was healed, not because she touched his garment, that was only a touchstone but because she believed. It touched something in me and I realized that as a Christian, I really had not been trusting Jesus to heal me. I thought I was trusting him, but where there is doubt, there can be no healing.
So in July-2007 I threw all the medicines away and said, "Okay, God", it is me and you now."...I started slowly getting better. At the same time, I quit focusing on myself and how I felt, and started praying for others. I joined a prayer chain. In the beginning I was doing it for selfish reasons I think. Hoping that God would heal me for doing good. But the more I got to know these people, the more I cared and that is when I feel like, I finally got it. Maybe that is the lesson God was trying to teach me all along.
I'm not telling you to stop trusting your doctors, your circumstances may be different. God uses many ways to heal us, including Doctors. Not all healing comes in the form of a dramatic miracle. Sometimes healing is gradual, like mine. But all healing does come from God. Don't stop praying and trusting him but do it without doubt in your heart, believe when you pray, that he will heal you.
But let him ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. James 1:6
And Jesus answered, saying to them, "Have faith in God. Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be taken up and cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it shall be granted him. Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them and they shall be granted you."Mark 11:22-24
I watched a shooting star not too long ago and was awestruck by it's beauty. It was surrounded by little diamonds in the night sky. Like a band of brothers, the other stars seemed to watch it's flight. Sometimes I will go out late and night and stare up at the sky and just admire the vast darkness and beauty of it all. It looks so peaceful. I'm always hoping I will see another shooting star.
Strange how a dying star can capture your imagination. It makes you wonder at the nature of things. Will the angels watch us as we ascend to the arms of God when we die. For a fleeting moment, will we look like a shooting star. Dying to our earthly life but taking on a new life in eternity. Or will our passing go unnoticed?
Lord, I want to shine like a star and draw others to your grace and mercy. When my days are over and you look upon my life, will I be like a wonderful shooting star in your eyes? Will I shine bright and true and end my days in a blaze of glory, always faithful to the end? Lord, let your love shine through me in the night!
Lily of the Valley, let your sweet aroma fill my life Rose of Sharon show me how to grow in beauty in God's sight Fairest of ten thousand make me a reflection of your light Daystar shine down on me let your love shine through me in the night
I don't know about you but I have made many poor decisions on my way to God. But God was faithful and merciful in forgiving me and I don't look back or beat myself up over it. God said, He has cast our sins into the depths of the sea, never to be brought up against us any more. If God can forget them, then so must we. He also says our sins are as far away as the East is from the West.
Psalm 103:12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. (NIV)
David says east and west not north and south. The distance between north and south is finite. You can only go so far north and you must then start going south; the same with going south. You can travel east or travel west forever. The distance between east and west is infinite. I'm no scholar but I looked this up and this is what I found out from those who do about these things.
I do know we have a heart changed by the healing power of God. His forgiveness is eternal, his love is unconditional.
Here is some lyrics from a song by Casting Crowns:
Jesus can you show me Just how far the East is from the West Cause I can’t bear to see the man I’ve been Come rising up in me again In the arms of your mercy I find rest Cause you know just how far the East is from the West From one scarred hand to the other
I know you’ve washed me white Turned my darkness into light I need your peace to get me through To get me through this night I can’t live by what I feel But by the truth your word reveals I’m not holding on to you But you’re holding on to me You’re holding on to me
HE IS HOLDING ON TO YOU...take hold of that thought and don't let go!
Did you know that nothing ever grows on the tops of mountains? Growth always comes in the valleys. That's when we gain our strength, when we are struggling and fighting our way to the top. God never promised us we would always have sunshine in those valleys. For things to flourish and grow, we must have a little rain sometimes. Face those storms with courage, welcome them, with the knowledge that with every storm we weather, we will grow stronger. So let the lightning flash and the thunder roll. Eternity is waiting for us, on the top of the mountain. I'll meet you there. What a day of rejoicing that will be!
John 16:33 says "In this world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world."
Romans 5:2 through whom we also have our access by faith into this grace in which we stand. We rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Grace is God’s unmerited favor, unconditional love, for us. We don't deserve it and we can do nothing to deserve it. It is given freely. We all know about God's grace when it comes to our salvation. But do you realize you experience grace on a daily basis. We stand in his Grace.
God's grace unfolds each morning with the rising of the Sun. The very breath you take is because of God's grace. His Grace is on you all the day long. Watch how he brings you through one trial after another. Time after time, his grace is amazing. You walk in his favor because you are his child. As undeserving as you are, he loves you and sheds his grace upon you every day of your life. As you go about your daily chores today, think of where you would be without his grace. If you woke up tomorrow morning and could not stand in his grace, if this life is all there would be---what a miserable, hopeless person, you and I would be.
God's grace is abundant, and it never runs out. The amount of God's grace is always greater than the depth of our sin. Paul tells us that grace multiplied where sin increased (Romans 5:20). We can be confident that it is always sufficient for us.
Picture of Oprah and Eckhart Tolle, author of "The Secret".. according to Eckhart Tolle there is no such thing as Sin!
Oprah Winfrey on her show was praising and showcasing several New Age luminaries. But when a Christian woman in the audience asks Oprah, “What about Jesus?,” Oprah insists Jesus “can't possibly be the only way” to God.... And the sparks fly! Although raised Baptist, Oprah Winfrey's faith has undergone a significant transformation towards New Age spirituality. Oprah denies the Biblical Gospel of Jesus Christ by teaching tens-of-millions of her viewers that there are many paths to God.
When you were born on this Earth, you were born into the family of man. To receive the inheritance of God, you must be born into the family of God. In other words, you need to be born again as a spirit man, into the spiritual realm of the Holy Spirit. Flesh and blood cannot inherit his Kingdom. There is a lot of "New Age" Ala Oprah, being taught that says, you are already a child of God just by virtue of being born into this world. The bible clearly tells you this is not true. There is only one way to become a child of God and that is through the blood of Jesus. Oprah denies this and tells her audience, there are many ways to God. I fear for those who follow this woman and hang on her every word. The day Oprah denied Jesus as Saviour is the day I stopped watching her.
Since, to a lot of people this is old news, I wasn't going to make a post about it. The other day I was talking to someone who watches Oprah all the time. I mentioned this and she hadn't heard about what Oprah said. So I though I would do it, in case others missed that show. Make no mistake, there are those who hang on her every word, buy what she tells them,,,especially books. This makes her a dangerous woman with a lot of influence on the young Mothers who watch her faithfully, every day. And through all this, she still insists she is a Christian and that may be the most dangerous statement of all for those who do not read their Bible.
Sometimes in our lives, we all have pain, of the heart, the mind, the soul and just don't have the strength to face life. Most people have been blessed with family and friends. They know when they are feeling weak, they can turn to a friend or a family member. But what if you are alone and there is no one you can turn to or ask for help?
I have good news for you! You do have someone and he is as close as your next heartbeat. Show him your weakness, tell him your deepest sorrow and lean on him. His name is Jesus and he loves you with a love that is unconditional. He can carry your burdens, you don't have to carry them alone. He will lead you through the valley of darkness you are in and help you find the mountain top.
He will be your friend in the night. I have talked to him many times when I thought all hope was gone. He has never let me down, not once. I may not have understood at the time but when I look back on all that has happened to me, I know that he was there. He does not always give us help in the way we expect and in the time limit we put on him but he is always on time.
He loves you and if you don't know him, it is never to late to learn of him. He is standing at the door of your heart. All you have to do is open that door. Ask him into your heart. I promise you, You will feel peace like you have never known. Do it now! We are not guaranteed tomorrow.
Are you hurting tonight because God gave you a mountain? Are you trying to hang on to faith, but it just seems like when God answers one prayer, another trial of your faith is there? I don't know why some people get more than their share of sorrow, but I do know one thing. It won't rain always if you put your trust in him. One morning you will wake up and there will be Sunshine! It won't rain always, God's promises are true, just like the song says. This is for someone who is hurting tonight!
IT WON'T RAIN ALWAYS (Gloria Gaither / Bill Gaither / Aaron Wilburn)
Sung here by Cynthia Clawson
Someone said that in each life some rain is bound to fall And each one sheds his share of tears And trouble troubles us all
But the hurt can't hurt forever And the tears are sure to dry And it won't rain always The clouds will soon be gone The sun that they've been hiding has been there all along
And it won't rain always God's promises are true The sun's gonna shine in His own good time And He will see you through
We will hear what God the lord will speak: for He will speak peace unto His people, to his faithful saints; those who turn to Him in their hearts." Psalm 85:8
There once was a king who offered a prize for all the artists who lived under his kingship. The prize would go to the artist who could paint the best picture reflecting "real peace". Many artists participated in this contest.
The king looked at all of the paintings when the artists were finished, but there was only two that he really liked and he had to choose between the two.
The first painting was that of a calm lake, with towering mountains on all sides. Trees and flowers were in full bloom. Overhead the blue sky glistened with fluffy white clouds and birds glided through the air. All who looked upon this picture thought that this was the best depiction of "real peace".
The second picture had mountains also, but they were rugged and desolate. Above was a stormy sky of black clouds from which rain fell and lightning danced. Down the side of one of the mountains tumbled a foaming waterfall. This painting surely did not reflect peace at all. But when the king looked closer at this painting, he saw behind the waterfall a tiny bush growing out of a crack in a rock. In the bush a mother robin had built a nest. And there in the midst of the rush of the turbulent water below sat the mother bird on her nest of delicate eggs.
Which painting do you think won the king's prize? The king chose the second picture. When asked by his court why he chose this painting, the king replied:
"Because," the king said, "peace does not mean that a place will be without noise, trouble, or uncertainty. Peace means that you can be in the midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart."
Isaiah 26:3 says, "Thou will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth Thee."
One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples." [Luke 11:1]
If you are a Christian already, does the peak of your prayer life consist of nodding in agreement when the Preacher prays, while your mind wanders off in all directions?" You can do better than that. A lot of people who call themselves Christian do not know God as a living, personal God. They need to learn how to make that connection with him and to do that, you have to know Jesus. As you learn about Jesus, you come to know God for they are one and the same. I know there are poeple who were raised in the church, and yet they do not have a personal relationship with Jesus. No wonder they don't know how to pray! They don't know him.
The woman in the picture is giving thanks to God for her food. That is prayer in it's simplest form. Jesus gave us a perfect example of how to pray when he gave us the scriptures we know as the Lord's Prayer in Luke 11:2. Now, he was not giving us a prayer to memorize and recite. It was to serve as an example of how to pray.
In Psalm 100 it says: Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and praise his name. That's where you start. Thank him for the blessings he has given you. Praise him and give him all the glory for the good things in your life. Prayer is not about what you need. God knows what you need. Prayer is about spending time with him. Get to know the one who made you and loves you.
Prayer is not just words alone. It is the offering of our heart, mind, imagination and our whole self to God. Even if you just sit in silence, God is with you. He hears your silent prayer.
Let his peace surround you as you sit quietly. Let the hurry and worry of your life fall away from you. God loves you and cares for you. He is here with you now – and always. Speak to him slowly and thoughtfully.
Lord in heaven, please listen to all those who are praying to you now. Those who are sad and crying, those who have lost friends and family, those who are alone and frightened. Help them to remember, that you are there and you are listening. Amen
Psalm 121:1, "I will lift up my eyes to the hills - from whence comes my help?"
I think so many people get confused by this scripture because they fail to read the next verse. The psalmist goes on to say in the next verse, "My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth." There is the answer. Don't look to the things the Lord has made like the hills, trees, moon or sun for your help. Help does not come from these things - it comes only from Our Father Who made them.
People today are used to immediate gratification. But the bible says we are to wait on the Lord. When we ask him for help, we must learn to wait for the answer and in God's own time we will receive. It is only when we lean on our own understanding and try to control the situation that we get off track.
“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart. Take courage; yea, wait for the Lord.” (Psalm 27:14).
You will receive the help you need if you learn to wait for God's answer to your problem. You do not know in what form your help will come. But you do not need to know. Just take the next step. Your help will come from the Lord in his own time.
"The Sun"s gonna shine in his own good time, and he will see you through." to quote that beautiful song by Cynthia Clawson.
Proverbs 25:11 says, "A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.
"Whoever said "Sticks and stones can break my bones but words will never hurt me," must have been deaf. Words can hurt. Relentless teasing can be devastating to a child. Harsh words from a husband and wife to one another, can hurt. Verbal abuse is, about Power and Control. When we feel we are losing an argument, we will resort to verbal abuse or name calling. Some abusers have such a low self-esteem that to make themselves feel better they need to Control a person or thing. They will do anything to make themselves feel better. So they use words they know will hurt.
But there is another side to this story. As destructive as words can be, they can also build someone up and restore their self esteem. Tell someone thank you for being there for you in a time of trial. Tell a friend how you admire him for the way he handled a difficult situation. Don't forget to tell a person who works for you, the boy who cuts your grass, the girl who cuts your hair, the grocery store clerk, how you appreciate the good job they do. Even babysitters like to hear they did a good job. Tell people you love, how thankful you are to have them in your life. Tell them you are grateful for the way they always have your back. Tell your husband or wife, what a blessing they are to you. Use words wisely, they can hurt or heal. What you say and the way you say it, does matter. Strive to be a builder, not a destroyer.
Respect, love, gratitude, and admiration expressed with honesty are words that can heal.
There was a wonderful old man who loved everything. Animals, spiders, insects.
One day while walking through the woods the nice old man found a cocoon.
Feeling lonely he decided to take the cocoon home to watch its beautiful transformation from a funny little cocoon to a beautiful butterfly.
He gently placed the cocoon on his kitchen table, and watched over it for days.
Suddenly on the seventh day the cocoon started to move It moved Frantically! The old man felt sorry for the little butterfly inside the cocoon. He watched it struggle and struggle and struggle!
Finally the old man feeling so sorry for the cocooned butterfly rushed to its aide with a surgical scalpel and gently slit the cocoon so the butterfly could emerge.
Just one slice was all it took, and the butterfly broke free from its cocoon only to wilt over in a completely motionless state.
The old man did not know what to think. Had he accidentally killed the little butterfly? No, it's still moving a little bit.! Maybe it's sick!
Who the heck would know? He was dumbfounded, and quite perplexed! What should I do, he said. Well he felt so sorry for the little creature that he decided the best thing he could do for the butterfly was to place it gently back into its cocoon.
He did so, and placed a drop of honey on it to seal the cocoon, leaving the butterfly to nestle in its natural state.
Well the next day he noticed that the cocoon was moving again. Wow, he said! It moved and moved and struggled and struggled. Finally the butterfly broke free from its cocoon and stretched its wings out far and wide. Big time yawn! Its beautiful wings were filled with wonderful colors! It looked around and took off! It was flying! Its so beautiful! The old man was jumping with joy! Wow!
Go Baby, Go! And that wonderful butterfly did that just that, it flew and flew till it was almost out of the old mans sight. What a joy, he exclaimed! But then he started to think. What did I do wrong by trying to help that beautiful little butterfly out at first?
The old man went into town. Found the library, and read every book he could on butterflies and cocoons.
Finally the answer appeared. The butterfly has to struggle and struggle while inside the cocoon. That's how it gets its strength.
That's just what they are designed to overcome in order to be strong and beautiful.
Well needless to say the old man was shocked, saddened, and somewhat relieved now he knows the reason why they do what they do. It was only his perception that made it appear that the butterfly was having a hard time. Well from then on the old man knew that loving something sometimes means to pray for it and cheer it on!
He realized that God was wonderful, and that sometimes appearances aren't what they seem to be. That we all are beautiful butterflies, even though we have our apparent struggles in life...
A friend of mine tried very hard to fit in with the family she married into but no matter how hard she tried, she was always on the outside looking in. She had been alone most of her life and the idea of a family seemed like the most wonderful thing in the world. One day one of the Sons told her, she was not family. She was just their brother's wife. It stung her and she walked away in defeat. She didn't know God then and for many years she felt unwanted whenever she visited his family with him. Although her husband loved her, she still wanted to be loved by his family.
Then she got saved and found this verse. It dawned on her that the Lord was her strength and he loved her. She could take the high road and walk on those high places. She did not have to let this defeat her. In the midst of her deep Winter of sorrow, she couldn't see any victory ahead. But with God's help, and through his strength, she has learned how to celebrate in the midst of defeat. She has learned to trust, and she has gained a much bigger family, the family of God.
Habakkuk 3: 17-19 A prophet's prayer
 Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls:
 Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
 The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk upon high places.
Lord, My prayer for today...Give me the trust to celebrate in the midst of defeat and have confidence, like that of a sure-footed mountain deer. It is easy to celebrate and trust in the good times but when I feel defeated and nothing seems to be going right, that is when I need more than ever to trust. Help me to understand that even though I feel defeated, I can still walk on high places because you are my strength. Amen
Sometimes it seems like life is just all uphill. Your funds are low, debts high. It is hard to smile and be happy when faced with economic difficulties. That is the time when you need to rest in the Lord. You have heard the expresson, "Let go and let God"? It is not quitting to turn things over to him. You never know just how close you are to victory. When you think there is no way things can work out. That is when God loves to work.
Phillip Keller, once a shepherd himself, in his book A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23, relates: The strange thing about sheep is that because of their very makeup, it is almost impossible for them to be made to lie down, unless four requirements are met. First, due to their timidity, they must be free from all fear. Next, because of their sociability, they must be free from friction with others of their kind.
Third, they must be free from flies or parasites if they are to relax. Lastly, they will not lie down unless free from hunger. And it is only the shepherd who can provide release from all anxieties.
When we will learn to listen only to his voice and look to him for our needs. He will provide if we trust him as sheep trust their Shepherd. It is when we stray too far from the fold and go looking for greener pastures that we get lost. But the shepherd is never far away and when one goes missing, he will leave the others in a safe place and go looking for that one. If you get lost, it is okay to yell for help from your shepherd. He will hear you, come get you and bring you home. He knows your needs, he knows the desires of your heart. If you will worship and trust him, lay your anxieties on him, he will lead you beside still waters and restore your soul. That's a promise.
"Get a bigger, better ladder!" That is what I overhead one friend tell another when she said she was afraid to paint the trim around her ceiling because of her rickety old ladder. I thought how that applies to other areas of our life as well. We overlook the obvious thing to do. If in life, we can't reach our goals, we shouldn't give up, we just need a bigger, better ladder.
In my walk with God, I sometimes think I can't be the person he wants me to be but then I remember that I am not perfect, Jesus is. He is my ladder, and he will help me make it to the top. All I have to do is trust him, and mirror my life after him. I couldn't make it on my own but with him as my ladder, I can. One day I am going to have to stand on the top rung of that ladder to finish off this journey and even though, every time I climb up another rung, I start shaking and sweating. I won't give up. I have always been a little afraid of heights, but I don't think I will be afraid when I get to the top of this ladder. I am standing on the shoulders of Jesus!
I am a little afraid of falling as I climb up though...Have you ever fallen?...It is the scariest feeling and it takes forever to hit the floor or ground. You can't imagine how many thoughts can run through your head in that short space of time? Many times when I though I was falling off my spiritual ladder, I have had all those destructive thoughts we tell ourselves. "I can't make it, I"m not good enough or strong enough. God doesn't really care or he wouldn't let me suffer", but if I reach out and grab the ladder I feel steady again.
I did fall through a hole in my floor once and broke my foot but after a lot of crying and feeling sorrow for myself, I got up somehow and made it to my bed, where I lay until Billy came home from work. I got up as soon as I could, first on crutches, then with a cane and before you know it, I was back to full physical health. I do the same if it is my spiritual health. When I fall off, I climb back up again. I know where the ladder is. It is as near as my heartbeat. I just have to reach out and take hold once again.
I am a Christian. I just love saying that and it is the thing that since 1980 has clearly defined who I am. I try to stay healthy in mind and body to the best of my ability but I often slip. I won't watch movies with violence, nudity or coarse language in them. I try to dress in a modest manner and I do not use profanity..well unless you count the times when Billy makes me so mad!!!... A spouse does know the buttons to push don't they? I am always contrite and deeply disturbed and ashamed after I let off steam, just to know that I can still go back to that place so easily after all these years bothers me a great deal. You would think I'd know better by now.
I'm not saying, what I eat, what I wear or what I watch, should apply to anyone else. It is my journey and we all have to walk our own walk, the best way we know how. You are welcome in my home and I'll feed you,,, : ) even if I don't agree with you. We all come into this world unsaved, until somewhere down the road we come to a fork. I'll love you anyway, if you chose another road from the one I chose. But in secret, I may shed a tear or two for you and pray for you. If we don't believe with all our hearts that we are right in our choice, then faith means nothing.
I am a plain speaker and one who barely knows an adjective from a pronoun. If you are looking for good grammar, this may not be the blog you should be reading. My take on the English language will drive you crazy. I am from the South and we speak Southernese here. I'll try to keep most of the drawl to myself and the whadugits (what did you get) just don't translate to type anyway, so you should be safe there.
So, welcome to my blog about my spiritual journey. I feel like Senator Clinton when she said, "I have finally found my voice". I had no idea I could find anything to write about when I just recently started blogging and this is my third. Please check out the others. They are clean and tidy, I promise. I really wanted to do a blog like this from the beginning but things didn't feel right. Maybe God thought I needed to practice first. LOL
I have three cats,,two boys and a girl and a little, eleven year old mixed dog named Solo. That's my little
girl, Meshe in the pic..She is much prettier than I am, so I chose her for my pic. I also have a very nice DH named Billy. He's a keeper.