Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A PIECE OF MY HEART...choose sacrifice!

As followers of Christ, we are taught to put others first.
We are to love, honor and serve others more than we love, honor and serve ourselves! But this is not always easy. In fact, such a sacrifice may almost seem too difficult for us. After all, putting someone first may mean we don't get what we want, when we want it!

If it didn't hurt alittle bit, then it wouldn't be much of a sacrifice, now would it?

No matter how difficult it may seem, nothing is as difficult as the ultimate sacrifice that Jesus gave for each of us. His sacrifice extended to the vilest of sinners, the unwanted, the unlovable, and the needy as well as those who were already His followers.

PHILIPPIANS 2:3 "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves."

Putting others first may mean that we have to give up that close parking spot at Wal-Mart, or it may mean doing something that you don't really want to do. No matter how difficult the sacrifice may seem, remember, Jesus didn't HAVE to give His life...He CHOSE to!

What can you give up for someone today?

and this has been a piece of my heart today!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Living on leftovers?

Today is the day that we live on leftovers.
Leftover turkey, leftover ham, leftover dressing and all of that leftover pie! We go to the refrigerator and dine on whatever is leftover from the big Thanksgiving Day feast!

Sometimes, in our walk with God, we do the same thing. Feast on the leftovers. We try to get by on where we were with the Lord yesterday. We forget that His mercy and goodness is new every  morning. We don't have to be satisfied with what was, when God has so much more in store for us!

LAMENTATIONS 3:23 "Thy mercies are new every morning."

May today be just as satisfying with God as it was yesterday.
In fact...may it even be MORE satisfying! Let's not live on leftovers!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

THANKFUL THURSDAY...Happy Thanksgiving!

Have you ever had a child beg you for something and when you finally gave it to them, they forgot to thank you?
 In the book of Luke, this very thing happened with some lepers:

"Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, "Jesus, Master, have pity on us!" When he saw them, he said, "Go, show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, they were cleansed. One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him--and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, "Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" Then he said to him, "Rise and go; your faith has made you well." (Luke 17:11-19)

In Jesus' time, leprosy was an incurable skin disease. People with Leprosy were hated, feared and looked down on by other people. They couldn't live with their families or community. They were outcasts, and had to live with other lepers. It was a lonely life, a terrible way to live!

All ten of these people who had leprosy knew that Jesus had the power to heal them. In fact, they cried out for Him to have pity on them so they would be healed. And Jesus did heal them, but once they were healed, they forgot to show their gratefulness. Well, all of them except one. Only one took the time to come back to Jesus to say thank you.

On this THANKSGIVING DAY, may we understand the power that God has in our lives and may we live our lives like the one leper who returned to God to give thanks.

"For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless." Psalm 84:11

Please share your grateful heart with ours here at THANKFUL THURSDAY by linking up your post below. Next week you will find TT over at (Grace Alone), Iris will be hosting for December. It has been a joy to be your hostess this month and from my house to yours, I wish you a very blessed and bountiful Thanksgiving!


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

WEDNESDAY WEEKLY WORD...responding like a dye pack!

God created all of us with a need to interact with others and to rely upon each other.
It was His plan that we would all be born into a family, His desire is also that we contribute to our community and connect with other like believers. There is no avoiding it - we are connected to mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, children, friends, spouses, co-workers, pastors and so many more. All of these relationships have the potential to strengthen and bless us, they also have the potential to cause us pain.

This has always been something that people struggle with. Face it, people hurt us and we hurt people. Either intentionally or unintentionally. Hurt often times cause damage, not just to our relationships but to ourselves. It is not the hurt itself that causes the most damage though, it is how we respond to the hurt and how we react to those who have hurt us.

In last weeks YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL, I polled the readers the following question, "What do you do when someone hurts you?" The top 3 responses were:

1. 50% of those voting said that they PRAY when they get hurt.
2. 25% voted and said that they HIDE how they feel when they are hurt.
3. Another 25% responded and said that they HURT THEM BACK.

I love how 25% of the voters were honest with themselves. To be honest, I think that percentage would be higher if I asked "how many of us have just "thought" about getting revenge!" Bitterness starts with a thought and it doesn't take long before it begins to grow.

HEBREWS 12:15 "See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled."

How can my bitterness cause someone to be defiled?
Well another word for defiled is "stained" and often times my action or reaction to someone can certainly stain our relationship or worse...my relationship with God!

This reminds me of the dye packs that banks use on their money. When a robber steals the money, after a certain amount of time, the dye explodes and everything near by is covered with permanent ink, including the money. There is no removing this ink stain, you can't wash it off, rub it off or get rid of it.

This is exactly what this passage in Hebrews is saying. At some point when bitterness takes root, it will eventually explode and color everything. It will affect all of the relationships that God has ordained us to be in. It is God's desire not only for us to have relationships, but that we show His love and grace to those around us ... yes, even the ones that hurt us!

Don't let your dye pack explode!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A PIECE OF MY HEART...accepting what we don't deserve!

As we fast approach Thanksgiving, I can't help but to think about all the wonderful blessings that I have been given. This time of year is always so great as we take time to reflect on the things that we are so thankful for. But why do we need a special day to do that? Isn't being thankful an attitude of the heart and not just a special day?

Sometimes, I think that we forget to give thanks, especially when everything is going great in our life! And when we don't get what we think we deserve, having a grateful heart is probably not happening, in fact, many times I find myself grumbling, complaining and whining.

Instead of having an attitude of gratitude, we have an attitude of "I deserve!' I DESERVE that promotion! I DESERVE to get an "A" in this class! I DESERVE to go on this expensive vacation!

DEUTERONOMY 8:18 "Remember the Lord your God, for it is He Who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms His covenant, which He swore to your forefathers, as it is today."

May we never forget where our blessings come from!
They come from His Hand and not because we deserve any of it. We are not any more deserving than anyone else. He blesses us because He loves us and because His Grace is sufficient. We may not deserve this awesome gift from God - but He gives it, freely, to all who will accept it!

Have a grateful heart today!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Gather up those crumbs!

In my kitchen, there seems to be no use for crumbs.
When the last piece of bread has been taken from the bread box, the crumbs are tossed away. The cookie jar gets lots of attention, until the last cookie is taken and nothing is left but some crumbs. Face it, crumbs just don't seem to matter!

I am so glad that God does not think this way about the crumbs in our life. You know, those things in our life that others find no value in but yet He sees the important potential each of them has. God never tosses those imperfections out, in fact, He gathers up those fragments of our lives and uses it!

JOHN 6:12 "When they were filled, He said unto His disciples, gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing will be lost."

When Jesus fed the 5000, He made sure that every crumb was collected carefully. Each crumb mattered to Him and He used each particle of bread that day. If just one crumb of bread was so important to Jesus, how much more value and worth are we to Him?

When we look within ourselves, we may see nothing but crumbs but God sees so much more! Our crumbs are really worth something these days!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Attitude adjustment!

When it comes to disappointments and frustrations with life, Paul certainly had his share! But inspite of all of that, he also knew how to keep the right attitude!

I am not sure that I share the same attitude that Paul had. Face it, sometimes when life is hard and people let me down, I get the wrong attitude! I get angry, I get bitter and sometimes I even feel sorry for myself. Face it, from the very first days of daycare, we are all prone to want to get our own way. And when we don't get our way, we sulk, we pout and we cry about it.

But this is not the right attitude to have for a Christian!

James tells us to "Count it all joy when we fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of our faith produces patience." (James 1:2,3)

James is not saying that we will not have frustrations or trials, because until the end of time, people will let us down and we will let people down. It is just the way the world turns. But when we take on the attitude that Paul had, things change. What changes is not just our attitude, but our perspective.

Do you need an attitude adjustment today?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

THANKFUL THURSDAY...Are you having a Cain or Abel Thanksgiving?

It is hard to believe that next week is Thanksgiving!
As we all begin to prepare our kitchens for the big day, I wonder if we have taken time to prepare our hearts as well?

I was reading the other day about one of the first Thanksgiving's. No, not the traditional Pilgrim Thanksgiving that we all know so well. But the first Thanksgiving with Cain and Abel...

"At harvest time Cain brought to the LORD a gift of his farm produce, while Abel brought several choice lambs from the best of his flock. The LORD accepted Abel and his offering, but he did not accept Cain and his offering. This made Cain very angry and dejected. "Why are you so angry?" the LORD asked him. "Why do you look so dejected? You will be accepted if you respond in the right way. But if you refuse to respond correctly, then watch out! Sin is waiting to attack and destroy you, and you must subdue it." (Genesis 4:3-6)

Here we have one thanksgiving, two men, two offerings, and two totally different reactions.
The Lord was looking for both Cain and Abel to realize Who God was and Who He was not! Thus, creating in my mind, the first Thanksgiving, a challenge of who would give gratefully from their heart.

I don't really know why God rejected Cain's offering, but clearly, Cain had a mind-set that just did not set right with God. Abel, on the other hand, gave his offering with a grateful heart and this caused God to smile back at him.

It is that smile on God's face that I want to see. Yes, the turkey turning out just right is important, and having plenty of seats for all of the dinner guests is also very important. But if giving thanks this year is just to please others and not to please God, something will be missing...His smile will be missing from our thanksgiving celebration!

As we all take time to reflect on life and respond with gratefulness, may we not forget that God cares so much more about the attitude behind the gratitude!

So what is on your menu this Thanksgiving? Are you going to have a Cain or a Abel kind of Thanksgiving? Join us this week for THANKFUL THURSDAY and share with us your TT post by linking up below!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

WEDNESDAY WEEKLY WORD...walk, don't run!

The Psalmist David writes in Psalms, "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death." (Psalm 23:4) Notice how David writes, "Even though I walk..." He does not say IF I walk, but rather he writes as if he already knows that he will go through a valley.

One thing about knowing what lies ahead is that it gives us time to prepare.
For instance, when I know that friends are coming over for dinner, I have time to make the preparations. I go to the store, I bake a pie the night before, I make sure the house is straightened and that there is plenty of cokes on hand to drink. David, as a shepherd of a flock had to make some preparations:

Depending on the time of year, a shepherd would have to move his sheep from one geographical place to another. In the springtime, the sheep would graze down near the Jordan River, but when summer came the shepherds would steer their flocks towards the hills, where the temperatures were cooler and there was more grass to graze on. In Jerasulem, there was a valley known as the "valley of the shadow of death". I read that it was about 4.5 miles long and 1500 feet deep. The passageway was narrow and I would imagine that David had quite the challenge to manuever his flock of sheep thru this area.

But David knew what the valley was like, and he was prepared to get thru it safely!

The valleys or difficulties that we face are no different. Sometimes it almost seems unbearable or unpassable, but with preparation and faith I believe that we can safely cross thru. In last week's YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL, I polled the readers the following question, "When you experience difficulty, what is the first thing that you do?" The top 3 responses were:

1. 61% of those voting said that they get stressed out!
2. 38% voted and said that the first thing they do is pray!
3. 15% responded and said that they cry!

No doubt we all experience all three of those things when hard times hit us. But David shows me in the 23rd Psalm exactly how we can prepare our hearts for these trying times...

"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me." (Psalm 23:4)

David says, " I fear no evil". God never intended for the believer to be ruled and troubled by fear! We must REFUSE to become discouraged in our time of difficulty. David is not denying that evil exists, however, he simply refuses to fear it. 

Going thru the narrow passageway, the flock of sheep learned to trust their shepherd. When we have confidence in the Shepherd (our God), we can walk through our valley, not run, not stumble, not get worked up in a panic frenzy ... but trust His leading!

The Shepherd is watching over His flock, and it is not His desire for one to fall away. He has you in His palm. Are you in a diffiucult situation right now? Be prepared to walk thru this valley and trust His leading, He will not let you fall! 

Monday, November 15, 2010

A PIECE OF MY HEART... Do you have any IOU's?

Using a credit card is nothing more than a big IOU! You see something that you want or can't live without but you don't have the cash? NO PROBLEM ... just swipe your credit card and sign your IOU and walk out with the new CD that was just released!

Once you walk out of the store with your new purchase, you probably don't give any more thought to the IOU you signed until later in the month when you get your credit card statement and you see your $20 CD is now costing you $25, $29 or $32! All of a sudden, you wish you wouldn't have made such a promise to pay that much for something you probably didn't need.

Paying our debts is very important. Each of us is faced with a decision ... do we pay our debts on time or do we blow it off? Keeping our promises does not just apply to financial debt that we accumulate, when we make commitments to friends, families and co-workers, do we honor our promise or do we just blow them off?

Jesus ALWAYS keeps His commitments to us!

He promised, "My purpose is to give life in all its fullness" (John 10:10), hasn't He filled your life with good things?

He said, "I... have come to seek and save those ... who are lost" (Luke 19:10),  and that's exactly what He did when He died on the cross.

He promised, "I am with you always, even to the end of the age" (Matthew 28:20),  and haven't you sensed that He is really there for you?

So when God asks us to pay what we owe and make good on the promises that we make, He is asking us to do something that He has already done...and continues to do!

Do you have any IOU's? Make sure you fulfill the promises that you have made!

and this has been a piece of my heart today;

zoned out!

I am a busybody!
Not like as in gossiping but as in always having something to do. The truth be told, I would say that I am a modern day Martha. Busy with this, busy with that. I hardly ever take time to just sit and relax.

Sometimes I get so busy with things that I just tune everything out. The phone, the TV, the radio, the dogs, and yes, even sometimes the kids. The kids seem to know exactly what to do to get my attention when I am in one of my "zoned out" states. They will call my name...
"Mom?"... "MOM?"... "LAURIE!!"

The first two times usually does not get my attention, but when I hear the kids call me by my given name ... believe me, I listen then!

I hate to admit this, but sometimes in my time with the Lord, I also find myself "zoned out!" Instead of listening for His voice, I find myself just talking and talking about what is on my mind and in my heart. I go from one thing to another, never focusing on what He is trying to say to me. It is no wonder God has to call out my name sometimes...

"Daughter?" ..."DAUGHTER?" ..."LAURIE!!"

PSALM 46:10 "Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."

I need to sit at His feet more and just be still, it is in these quiet moments that I will be able to hear His very still voice. I do not want to miss out on what He is saying to me just because I cannot hear Him over my own voice.

"Dear Lord, please teach me to be still before you. I want to listen to You and Your ways, I don't want you to have to shout my name to get my attention. I give You my heart, my thoughts, and my ears! Speak to me Lord, I am listening!" -AMEN

Friday, November 12, 2010

LACED WITH GRACE...to save a life!

Today I have shared a devotion with the readers over at LACED WITH GRACE! My devotion today is entitled, 'To save a life!" ...

Several years ago, the term “to save a life” took on a new meaning for me.

It was a cool, crisp November evening, I remember it so vividly because we were returning home from celebrating my birthday. As we crossed over the Mississippi River to come into our town, we came up on a stopped car on the bridge. It was really strange, because there in the middle of a busy highway, a car being stopped in the middle of it all just didn’t seem right.

My husband had the same intuition that I had and he immediately pulled our car over to the side of the road and sprinted from our car to that parked car in the middle of the road. Call it intuition or the leading of the Spirit – whatever it was – it was the difference in a persons life.

Right before we came up on the scene, apparently there was ... CLICK HERE to read the rest!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

THANKFUL THURSDAY...life is an adventure!

This week I celebrated yet another birthday! Birthdays are always fun, especially when you get to be my age. When you are in your 20's, you look forward to what is yet to come, but the older you get, it is fun to look back and see where you have come from.

This being my 47th birthday, I enjoyed taking a stroll down memory lane. Remembering all the things that I have gone thru to get to where I am today. Life hasn't always been a bed of roses, but even the tough stuff has been worth it all! Without any of it, I would not be the person I am today.

Life is a great big adventure!
 It is full of enemies and friends. Victories and defeats. Ups and downs. Joy and disappointment. Good things and bad things. But without it all, we would not grow, we would not learn to trust Him, we would not become who God wants us to be.

PHILIPPIANS 4:8 "Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things."

Today is Thankful Thursday and I am so grateful for the adventure God has led me on. Every memory that I have has been worth it, without them, I would not be who I am today!



What are you grateful for this week? Write about it and link up your post below!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

WEDNESDAY WEEKLY WORD ...stop for directions

I think alot of people are going thru life without having any clear understanding of what their purpose is. We all have dreams and goals for our future, but what happens when some of those dreams go unfulfilled? Many times it leaves us feeling empty or aimless.

I have a friend that makes every decision on a whim. He has no clear direction in his life, he goes from job to job, relationship to relationship and just seems to wander thru life with no purpose. I wonder how many times I fall into this trap as a Christian? Living as though I have no direction or purpose.

David writes, "He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His names sake." (Psalm 23:3b)

To lead someone or something, you must have a concept of destination.
 A good leader will have a specific goal and plan. When I think about the Shepherd leading me, He clearly has a destination in mind! But in this particular passage in Psalms, David says that He will "guide" me! Guiding is all about the process not the destination, it is about the journey!

God is walking alongside me, guiding me thru the curves and ruts of life. He guides each footstep, never leaving my side. There is no doubt that God can guide us, the question is will we let Him?

So many times we ask ourselves, "I don't know what to do? If only God would give me some guidance!" But the truth is God is willing to guide us but we often times refuse to follow Him. When I wander around aimlessly, it is usually because I have come to rely completely on my self-direction instead of the loving, guiding hand of God.

Self-direction is never fulfilling.
We can't have it both ways - it is either our way or His way. Finding purpose once again may mean we need to make different choices! Whose leading will you follow?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A PIECE OF MY HEART...hide and seek

When my boys were young, one of the greatest things we did was play hide and seek in the house! We lived in a 2-story older home and it had some incredible hiding spots. We would turn off all of the lights and the boys would all try to get into the darkest, most hidden spot they could find. It wasn't rare to find them deep in one of the walk in closets, sitting up on a shelf with blankets all around them. They thought they were sneaky and could escape the eyes of the seeker! lol

The seeker was very clever though! The seeker was me!

Jeremy, who was very small was always the one to give themselves away. Even daddy would be hiding with him, he would cover Jeremy's mouth so he would not giggle or make some sort of noise that would give their hidden spot away. But I was too clever for that ... I was the master mind of seeking in the game of hide and seek!

After awhile of not finding them, all I had to do was say ..."Jeremy...I have some ice cream? Do you want some ice cream Jeremy?" (said in a very enticing voice)

IMMEDIATELY... squirming and laughing and the sound of running little feet could be heard. BAM! It worked every time, no one could escape and hide from me! (well, not as long as there was ice cream and Jeremy involved in the game!)

PSALM 139:7 "I can never escape from Your Spirit! I can never get away from Your Presence!"

Many times we play a game of hide and seek with God.
Except with Him, He does not use trickery to find us. We try to hide in our darkest corners and escape His eye but truth is that God knows where we are at all times. He sees us when we are down in the valley and He sees us when we are up on top of the mountain. He sees us when we are deep in our sin and He sees us when we are on our face, repenting before Him. He sees us when we are sad, happy, angry, disappointed, discouraged, and lost. There is no place dark enough for us to escape His eye, or His love!

No matter how hard we try to escape and hide from Him, we can never get away from the outstretched hand of His Sweet Spirit. He longs to bring us out of the darkness into His light, so we can forever enjoy the sweetness (the ice cream) of His embrace!

Isn't it time to stop playing hide and seek with God?

and this has been a piece of my heart today;

Monday, November 8, 2010

I need someone to do my heavy work!

Physically, I am not a very strong person. I mean when it comes to being able to move or lift heavy things - I am just a weakling! I often think about joining the local gym and getting myself a personal trainer so I can improve on my muscles so I would not be so dependent upon my husband or sons to do my "heavy" work. But I have decided that that would be a terrible thing to do! If I was strong enough to do all of my lifting and moving of the hard stuff, then I wouldn't need my "boys"!

It is the same thing with God.
Sometimes I wish I wasn't such a weak person spiritually ... but if I was completely strong and could move all of the heavy things of life out of my way ... I would not depend upon God's strength. It is in His strength that the mountains are moved not my strength.

I may be weak (physically and spiritually) - but it is in His strength that my weaknesses are made strong:

2Co 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

His name is glorified and lifted up when we call upon Him and we are dependent on Him. I was thinking, maybe I don't need a personal trainer after all...as long as I have God!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

THANKFUL THURSDAY...gratified or grateful?

I am so excited to be hosting THANKFUL THURSDAY once again. I always look forward to spending Thursday's with my sisters in Christ as we all share our grateful hearts. As we enter into THE MONTH of gratefulness ... the month leading up to Thanksgiving, I couldn't help wonder if I am truly grateful or am I just merely gratified?

Evidently, there is a difference between the two. And indeed an important difference.

Gratified or Grateful?

When my focus is on being "gratified", I am focusing on me! What makes "me" happy? What makes "me" look good?
 Me, me, me! It's all about me!

However, when I focus on being grateful, I am focusing on God. He is the giver of good things. Even when things seem "bad" in my life, He still brings something good out of it. Having gratitude is being able to see God in our life. Not focusing on the problem but rejoicing in His answer!

1 THESSALONIANS 5:18 "In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."

These next few weeks as you contemplate the dinner guest list, the decorations and the trimmings around your Thanksgiving table, take time to reflect on your heart of thanks ... are you thankful because you are gratified or because you are truly grateful?

There is a difference.

Join your grateful heart with ours today for TT by linking up your post below. Let's all try to encourage one another by a quick visit to each others blogs. I know we are all very busy, but let's try to visit at least 5 other sisters and bring them encouragement! HAPPY TT everybody!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

WEDNESDAY WEEKLY WORD...the sheep has fallen and can't get up!

It is a fact of life ... people will hurt us.
They hurt us sometimes by the things that they say and at other times by what they do. Or don't say or don't do. Sometimes the hurt is inflicted upon us intentionally and at other times it is unintentional. The problem really does not lie within how the other person hurt us, the issue really is how are we going to handle it?

In last week's YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL, I polled the readers the following question; "What do you do when someone hurts you?" The top 3 responses were...

1. 100% of those voting said that they pray about it.
2. 16% voted and said that they talk to the person about it.
3. Another 16% responded and said that they just ignore it.

I was so glad to see that "retaliation" was not one of the high percentages. Even though, if we were to all be honest, at one time in our life, "getting even" was probably high on our list. But the truth is paying one evil for another is more damaging to us than the other person. When we react negatively to hurt it only becomes resentment which will lead to bitterness. This is a crippling state to be in.

We cannot always choose our circumstances of life...HOWEVER...we can choose how we respond to them!

JOB 5:2 "For anger slays the foolish man, and jealousy kills the simple."

So many people settle in with their anger and choose to not forgive. Often times this deep seeded bitterness gets carried to the grave with them. The irony of this kind of bitterness is that usually the one that hurt us is not even the one affected by it. While our bitterness, anger and unforgiving paralyzes us, the other person often times aren't even aware of our feelings. They probably haven't given another thought to the offense or maybe even to you. Maybe they moved away or they have died. The only one left to hold on to this crippling grudge is you!

David once asked the question, "Why art thou cast down, O my soul?" (Psalm 42:5) The phrase "cast down" is also the same term used for sheep that have fallen down and stuck on its back. For a sheep, when this happens, it is a life threatening situation.

You see, when a sheep falls on its back, its legs will be in the air and as the blood leaves them, they become numb. To save the sheep, the shepherd does not flip it over right away, he lays the sheep on its side and massages its legs. Once the blood is circulating again, the shepherd slowly turns the sheep upright and holds it until the sheep is restored.

This image is EXACTLY what God wants to do for us!
He sees the unresolved guilt and unrepentant grudge, He wants to take us and hold us until we can catch our spiritual breath. Like the fallen sheep, God (our Shepherd) wants to lift us up to an upright position and restore us to healing and forgiveness.

Been hurt? Don't stay down on your back, allow God to help you breathe again!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A PIECE OF MY HEART... cast your vote!

Today is election day! I hope that you plan to visit the polls if you haven't already to cast your vote. It is not only an American privilege but it is a Christian responsibility!

When the world puts "Christianity" and "Election" together they come up with two words... Abortion and Homosexuality.

Christians are labeled to be 2 issue voters. While it is important for Christians to take a stand on these two issues, the Bible also gives clear direction on other beliefs that should be taken to the poll.

God's Word helps us to think through the issues brought to the voting booth, we need to understand the kind of impact that Christians can have during election time. The deciding factor on how we cast our vote should be based on faith in God and Christian love for humanity. Have you seen fruits of this in your choice of a candidate?

MATTHEW 6:33 "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."

Are we seeking HIM when we cast our vote?
Election time is a great time to share our Christian values around the break room at the office. People don't want us to beat them over the head with a Bible, but they DO want to know what we think is best for humanity and why. Election time is much more than having influence at the polls ... we have such a greater impact on people as we share our beliefs and why we believe the way we do.


We MUST know what the issues are and more importantly, we MUST know what the Bible says about those issues!

Cast a responsible vote today!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Who is behind that mask?

Now that the Halloween parties are over
We can put the costumes and masks away for another year. Some of the best costumes are those who you cannot tell who is behind the mask. Once the mask is removed, the true identity is revealed.

The masks that some people wear are not just a Halloween disguise, many people hide behind spiritual masks. Trying to be something they are not. Trying to portray a certain perspective that is far from the truth. Many times what we see on the outside is NOT at all what is accurate for what is on the inside.

We can fool alot of people, but we can NEVER fool God. He knows who we truly are. He knows what lies behind our mask.

PSALM 139:1-3 "O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my ways."

God knows everything about us.
He knows what is really going on on the inside of us. He knows when our outer shell is just a disguise. When we seek Him and allow Him to give us a complete makeover, we can then put away our mask and be EXACTLY what He created us to be.

God is looking for some authentic Christians ... not imposter's!