Wednesday, September 30, 2009
In last weeks YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL, I asked the following question, "what helps you to recover when you are tense?" The top 3 answers were:
81% of those polled, said that what helps them is spending time in prayer.
45% voted and said that spending time in God's Word helps them recover from tension.
36% of those voting said that listening to an uplifting song helps them.
JOHN 17: 39 "Take away the stone," He said. "But, Lord," said Martha, the sister of the dead man, "by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days." (40) Then Jesus said, "Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?"
What Jesus was about to do for Lazarus was something much more than just a special favor for a special friend. It was a demonstration of God's power over death and certainly an illustration of what is to come for each of us who believes in Christ.
We are much like Lazarus clothed in his grave clothes when we doubt the power of God. But when we respond to the calling of God and believe on Him, like Lazarus, we step out of the grave clothes to start a new beginning.
I recently returned from a long and exhausting trip to Texas. It was not only exhausting physically but emotionally as well. We traveled 8 hours to bring our youngest son to college in Texas. It was much harder for me to do than I thought.
On the long and sad ride home (without him), flashbacks of sweet memories of our children as they were growing up flooded my mind and I found myself wondering what I had taught my children. What were the lasting things that will stay with them now that they have flown to conquer their world? Was it enough to sustain them?
When I think about what I learned from my own mother and other female role models in my life...I can think of some really great things that still remain with me. Things like learning to bake a cake, how to balance my checkbook, and how to write thank you notes.
Actually, when you think about it ... there isn't a lot that we do, that at one point in time, we didn't have to learn. Even when our kids are babies, we still have to teach them to eat, to walk, and to talk. We as parents, have a huge responsibility when it comes to teaching our kids and every single day we are teaching them whether we realize it or not. We teach through our example, with counseling and guiding, by explaining, and we even teach through our discipline.
It is funny to watch my older children interact with the younger ones. Often times, we have overheard the oldest telling the younger ones the same kind of advice I can recall my husband and myself giving him at a younger, more tender age. Whether you realize it or not ... our kids are watching, they are listening and they are learning.
The Bible says that the most important thing that parents should teach their children is the lesson of fearing God! It is our job to show our kids what it is like to treat God with reverence, what it sounds like to talk to Him in prayer, what it means to give our worship to Him, and what it is like to trust Him in not only the good times but the bad.
PROV. 1:7 "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction."
So, I ask you ... the things that you are teaching your children ~ is it enough? Is it enough that they will stand firm in their faith and be all that they can be in Christ? It is my prayer that it is enough!
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
1. 45% of those voting said that they would like to have a fresher, more innocent view of the world.
3. 18% of those polled said that they would like to be without adult responsibilities.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
Have a great weekend!
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
There are two levels of knowing people ... the first level is just knowing who a person is. For instance, I know who Diane Sawyer is. I know who she is because of what I have seen on the news or read in the paper. But I don't really know who she is. I don't know what kind of person she is once she comes from behind the camera, I don't know what she believes in or what her convictions are. I don't even know if she does her own hair!
Anybody can match her name with her face. But if I really, REALLY knew Diane Sawyer, then I would know important things about her character, I would know what I could trust her with and how much I could confide in her.
It is really difficult to find someone that we truly can know. Recently, I had an encounter with someone that I thought I really knew, but some things about their character came to light and I quickly realized I didn't know this person as well as I thought I did.
I wish I could magically hold a key that would unlock what a person truly is like. If I possessed such a key, then I would know ahead of time exactly the time and the hour that someone was going to be genuine and when someone was going to be fake. A "key of knowledge" would also show me if someone had a gentle spirit or an angry one.
Last week in the YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL, I polled the readers the following question about keys..."What would you most like to have a key to?" The response was:
1. 20% of the voters said that they would like a key to the locker room of a favorite sports team.
2. Another 20% voted and said a key to the vault at Fort Knox would be incredible to have.
3. 20% of those polled said that they would want a key to the Oval Office.
It would be pretty cool to have a key to one of these places, but how much more would it benefit us if we could hold a key to really knowing someone?
When I studied scripture this week, I realized that there is only one person Who we can truly know. He is not like any other that you will find.
This may seem strange that Jesus was asking what others were saying about who He was. But how many times do we often wonder what others are thinking of us. When a couple is courting and is ready to take the next step, do they not ask each other..."Where is this relationship going?" or when you go in for your annual employment review, do you not ask "Do you think I am ready for a promotion?"
We want to know what others think or are saying.
Jesus wanted to know what others were saying.
But when it came right down to it, Jesus wanted to know what His disciples thought, the men that He spent time with everyday ... Who did they think Jesus was?
Do you know Jesus? Really know Him? His hand is outstretched and all we have to do is accept it, by doing so we can truly get to know Who Christ is.
WEDNESDAY WEEKLY WORD is a weekly blog post dedicated to my personal reflections of a personal study that I am currently doing. This week, I meditated upon "Who do you say I am?" and I was challenged to live my life not by word alone but that my actions would tell people that I am a believer in Christ. I hope it challenges you as well to be all you can be for Christ in your world!
NEW POLL... be sure to vote in this weeks poll in the YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL!
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
"When you focus on the world, you lose perspective. When you focus on God's promises, you gain clearer perspective."
Monday, September 14, 2009
I am joining the discussion this week over AT THE WELL as we discuss how technology affects the Titus 2 woman in today's world. Are you a techno savvy woman?
I have to admit, I am not really all that techno savvy. Sure, I have all of the techno stuff that seemingly we cannot live without these days. You know, a cell phone with the ability to text and a laptop computer with access to the web, face book, twitter, etc. But if truth be told, I usually have to ask my 14 year old to show me how to operate and maneuver with all of this communication technology.
Kind of scary, if you ask me.
But what is even more scary to me, is that these days, if you want the world to know all about you...all you have to do is create a website with a profile. Profiles can tell the whole world about your likes, yours dislikes, interests and abilities.
Today's technology has taken communication to a whole new level. It can reveal anything and everything about you to a world that does not even know you. It also takes the "person" out of communicating with those people that do know you. Why on earth do we need to have a face to face conversation with someone when we can just twitter, update our face book or my space account, text them, email them or send them a fax!
Now don't get me wrong ... there are good things that go on with this new technology. In fact in the 2 years that I have been blogging, I have seen how God is using the Internet to spread His Word and Truth among the cyber world. But I also have seen how very easily it is to blog, twitter, text or update a status and someone surely will misunderstand what you are saying.
It is so easy to mistakenly leave one word out in a message and the entire context will be changed. When this happens, people misunderstand, they get confused and sometimes even get hurt. "Choose your words carefully" is not just a saying that moms like to say ... truly in the world of cyber ...our words must be chosen carefully!
While we are trying to establish a connection with people online, I can't help but think about how Jesus established His status with others. When God wanted others to know about Him, He did not express Himself on a web page but He established Who He was in history! His status was known by how He dealt with people.
Look at the Israelites...we may wonder why God poured out ten plagues on Egypt and then delivered His people through the incredible act of dividing the Red Sea. And more significantly, why did He allow His people to become slaves in the first place?
The awesome power of God was established through an amazing series of events - from spectacular miracles to devastating tragedies. We can see God's character and purpose all throughout the Bible. We can see how He related to people, and how He had an understanding for people thru His relationship with them.
I can't help but think that sometimes we have removed the face of God from our relationships because we are too busy to truly get to know others. We have fallen into the trap of "technology Christianity" - we would rather text or email someone than to take time to have lunch or dinner or even take time to talk to them on the phone.
CLICK HERE to read other posts on today's topic over AT THE WELL!
Friday, September 11, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Thank you for joining us this week for THANKFUL THURSDAY, this is the place to meet as we join our grateful hearts together. What is on your heart today that you want to give God thanks for? Share your post with us by linking up below in Mr. Linky! -I am so thankful for each of you, Laurie
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Most of us, if we got stranded on an island or in the desert today, it would be purely by accident, possibly because we ran out of gas or the car got overheated. None of us would deliberately choose to be stranded on an island or in the desert.
But Jesus did.
I wonder, if we were to be stranded in the desert and we knew about it ahead of time - what would be the one thing we would take with us? Hmmm ... I'm thinking it would be hot, so a fan or air conditioner would be good. Or I'm thinking that a desert is dry and humid, a vast supply of water would also be a good idea.
Jesus thought His knowledge of Scripture was a good idea!
MATTHEW 4:1 "Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil."
The knowledge of Scripture was the most crucial survival tool that Jesus could have with Him as He faced a time of temptation right there in the desert.
Each and every day we are faced with temptations. In fact, last week I polled the readers the following question in the YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL, "What area do you feel tempted?" The top answers were:
1. 66% voted and said that they feel tempted in the area of "eating".
2. 33% of those voting said that they are tempted with "habits."
I found the results of this week's poll very interesting. First of all, it proves that we are all faced with temptation of one sort or another. Secondly, that the top answers falls right into place of what I studied this week...
Scripture tells us that Jesus went into the desert. While there, He fasted for 40 days and nights. Why do you suppose Jesus went into the desert to fast? First, I believe it indicated a sincerity in fasting, (it is pretty hard to show off your fasting if you are alone in the desert) and secondly, going into the desert to pray showed that Jesus was earnestly seeking God's will.
While there in the desert, the tempter came and tempted Jesus. It is in this hour that Jesus depended upon that one thing that He brought with Him to the desert. It wasn't water, and it wasn't a fan, but it was the Word of God. He didn't bring with him a bunch of scrolls ... no the Word of God was in His head and in His heart. No matter where He stood or sat or laid in that desert ... His survival tool was with Him at all times!
In Deuteronomy 8:4, it says that "Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God." Jesus was in the habit of meditating upon the Word of God - the food that gave Jesus strength during His temptation was God's Word.
If you were stranded on an island or in the desert ... would His Word be enough for you to feast on? Could the Word that you have hidden in your heart be enough for you to survive?
YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL: take time this week to vote in the new poll. On this blog ... your opinion really does matter!!
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Friday, September 4, 2009
It amazes me how some people can say just about anything to anyone and not even realize the damage that comes with their words. Our words need to be lifting up and edifying. Just because someone does something wrong in your eyes does not give anyone full authority to slam them. It is not our place to put judgement on anyone ...that honor belongs to God!
I am married to a pastor, and it seems like my kids are held under a microscope just because they are pk's. I have a huge secret to tell ... my kids are no different than yours: they are ALL sinners saved by grace! Pk's are no better nor worse than yours!
(ok ... I'm coming down off of my soapbox now ....)
Let's remember to encourage one another and when our brother or sister gets down ... let's not kick them, instead lets reach out a hand to lift them back up! and remember that none of us is perfect, so be careful before you cast a stone.
(whew I feel better...how about you?) Some things just need to be said!
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Did you know that the state of "hurrying" affects our spiritual life? When there are too many things on the "to do" list, what is the one thing that usually does NOT get crossed off? Prayer and spending time with the Father, most likely.
Jesus was not in a hurry. Can you imagine Jesus jumping up and down, saying to His disciples, "Come on boys, get up! Get up, up, up! Get this camp cleaned up! Come on, we have to get going ... we have some preaching to do. Get those camels packed up boys! Come on ... Let's go, let's go!"
No that isn't the picture of Jesus at all! In fact, when I think about Jesus, I picture nothing but peace. He slowed His pace enough that He could hear from God all day long! Now isn't that a pace that we could strive after?
JOHN 14:27 "Peace I leave with you; My own peace I now give and bequeth you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid."
Today I am thankful that it is alright for me to SLOW DOWN and spend time in His presence. How about you ... what are you thankful for today? Why not share your grateful heart with us today, share your post below in Mr Linky.
(you will find THANKFUL THURSDAY here for the month of September... I look forward to being your host once again!)
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Getting your clothes clean is as easy as using spot removers or pouring bleach into your washing machine water. But how easy is it to clean up your conscience? How do you wash away regret and shame? Is it easy to remove the stains of inappropriate thoughts, bad attitudes, jealousy or fear?
The Bible says that "The blood of Jesus, His Son, cleanses us from all sin." (1 John 1:7) Isn't it strange...that if we were to spill blood on our clothing, we would instantly reach for that stain remover I talked about. When we think of blood, we think of it as something that causes stains rather than what is used to wash stains.
But the blood of Jesus is the only thing that can clean a guilty conscience. When the blood of Christ covers our hearts, it washes away our sin and makes us completely clean before God. His forgiveness is the only spot remover we need...it is exactly what we need to become clean and white as snow.