Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A PIECE OF MY HEART...carry me

When my children were little, they liked to be carried. Especially if they were afraid of  something. My daughter at age 2 did not like to get her feet wet. If the lawn was wet, she would look up to me with her hands outstretched asking me to pick her up and carry her. Once we got past the wet grass, she felt safe to get down on her own again.

I was thinking about that and how I often times need to be carried just like my children did. When things come across my way that seem difficult or scare me, I would like to just stretch my arms out and feel like someone is carrying me thru the bad stuff.

Truth be told, just like a parent who will pick up and carry their young children, our Heavenly Father does the same thing for His children. When I am sad, scared, disappointed, discouraged, unsure, apprehensive or just needing some direction, with each step God carries us.

Isaiah 46:4 - Even in your old age and grey hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.

My children are grown now, and probably have outgrown me physically picking them up and carrying them. But just like us, they are never too old to be carried by God. His love will sustain us for all time. No matter what our age or circumstance. All we have to do is reach our hands out to Him and He will carry us thru.

Going thru a difficult time? Lift your eyes up and allow God to carry you thru!

Monday, July 25, 2011


Today you can find me over at LACED WITH GRACE!

I have shared a devotion entitled "Do over" today. We all deserve second chances, but what exactly do we do with the "do overs" that we are given?

CLICK HERE to read todays devotion!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

THANKFUL THURSDAY...what a friend!

This week I was reading about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, the 3 Hebrews thrown into the fiery furnace. What is so remarkable to me about these three is the kindred spirit that obviously appeared between them. They seemed to be very close friends. They certainly supported one another. Look at how they stuck together when everyone else deserted them. When everyone else was bowing down to false gods, these three stuck together and weathered out the storm. Their dedication to one another could not be shaken, not even in the fiery furnace.

I don't know about you, but, I need to have some friends like this.
The godly kind that will stand with me in the testing of the waters. The kind of friends that will not be swayed by what the popular belief is, but the kind of friends that will stand upon the Word of God. The kind of friends that will stand up for what is right and the kind that will steer away from what is wrong. And the kind of friends that no matter how hot the fire gets, they stand by my side and don't turn on me.

Such a friend. If only we could find one!

It is really difficult to know really what your friends are made of. I have found that the friends that I deemed my closest, actually were not that close at all. The best way to find out what your friends are made of is go thru a difficult time. Now, I cannot think of too many people who set out to bring difficulties upon themselves just so they can find a true friend. But believe me, when trials and difficulties come, many friendships will fail the test. Friends will run away from the fire instead of go thru the fire with you.

But this shouldn't shock us. I know it does. But it shouldn't. After all, Jesus had alot of fair weathered friends. He had plenty of friends when he was dishing up the bread and fish. Plenty of food for everyone, and everyone wanted to be His friend. When He was healing and preaching love and compassion to everyone, everyone wanted to be close to Him and be His friend. But look at what happened when Jesus got arrested...where did His friends go? Many left His side as soon as the heat got turned up. They fled and some even turned on Him and accused Him.

A true friend will be loyal to the end. Have you found such a friend in your life yet? I have been so let down by friendships in my life. I have had friends turn on me and I even have had friends accuse me, but one friend that I can always count on and Who will be by my side no matter how hot the flames get is my friend Jesus.

He has never left me, and He will never forsake me. He doesn't disappoint me. He doesn't hurt me. He doesn't ever leave me. He is always at my side. Loving me, protecting me, guiding me, forgiving me and believing in me.

My, my, my...what a friend we have in Jesus!
The truest friend you will ever have. Today I am so thankful for His love and friendship. It is one of a kind. The kind that will outlast any blazing fire!

Isaiah 43:2 "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze."

LYNN is hosting THANKFUL THURSDAY this month. We would love to hear what you are thankful for today. You can visit her site and link up your TT post HERE!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Don't forget the "I"!

Many times I have heard people tell others "Love ya!" and I, myself have done that. It seems to me that loving others may not be what it use to be. What ever happened to saying "I love you?" When someone takes the "I" out of it, it just doesn't seem to sound the same.

I John 4:16-17 (NLT)
We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.

God never forgets the "I". It is evident in everything that I see as I look around. His creation speaks more than just a "love ya" gesture. Every intricate thought and design of the flowers, the animals, the sky, stars, moon and the oceans bellow "I LOVE YOU" to me from God.

When I think about God's love, I can easily compare it to the ocean.

Have you ever stood in the ocean as the raging tides came crashing in? I wonder what would happen if you would stand there and with all your might and power commanded the waves to stop?Most likely, the tide would still roll and the force of it would probably knock you down.

God's love is like the ocean because it is ever so consuming and cannot be controlled by humans. It is so powerful and so complete. Like the tide that goes in and then out, so is the love of God. We either find ourselves "in" love with Him or "out" of love with Him.

There is no in-between.

There is no partial commitment to God for us. We are either hot or cold. Obedient or disobedient. God is looking for some swimmers in His ocean of love, not just waders. Some of us are like little children who run out to the waves and then run right back in. We get our feet alittle bit wet and then have to dry them off.

God did not send His very best, His Son, to die for you and me for us to just be waders in the ocean of His love. His waves of grace says so much more than just "love ya"... with each splash of His Spirit, you can clearly hear Him say, "I love you".

As we dive into God's ocean of love, may we never forget the "I"!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A PIECE OF MY HEART... becoming the real me

Recently, I have been going thru alot of stuff that has caused me to do some real deep soul searching. I am trying to figure out who I really am. I know that I am a wife, a mom, a writer, a friend, a Christian...but what about really deep down.

 Who am I really?

Have you ever had someone speak less than positive things in your spirit? Maybe it was a put down, or name calling or possibly you have been judged inaccurately. For many of us who have experienced these things, when we hear it over and over, we start to believe it ourselves. Even if it is not an accurate assessment of who we really are.

I have found myself to be in a place that the enemy is whispering lies into my ear. He is trying to tell me that I am less than I am. He is using people whom I once respected and adored to speak negativity into my spirit. It is difficult sometimes to dismiss these voices that try to tell me I am something that I know that I am not.

But God says...

God says that I am so much more. He has made me what I am and He has made me for a purpose. People who have hurt me with their destructive words and behaviour cannot have the last word of whom I was created to be. They are not my Creator. They have no authority over me.

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” Psalm 139:13 (NIV)

I was not designed to be what others expected me to be, or even wanted me to be. I was created to be ALL that God desired for me to be. Many times I think I get lost in the process of "becoming". I get busy trying to meet the demands that all my roles come with, I get caught up in trying to be what others think I should be, and I get tricked in believing that I am not as worthy or as important as others. I wonder if the "real me" just doesn't get buried in the busyness of life and people pleasing efforts.

As I have looked inwardly, I have seen a bunch of mangled up emotions but at the same time I have seen sensitivity, creativity and a passion that has only grown with each and every trial and test. I know alot of women who are much stronger than me, more beautiful than me and have more experience than me, but God has shown me that He DID NOT create me to be like them. He didn't create me to be like you nor did He create you to be like me. He created each of us to be used in a unique way.

It is so easy to neglect who we really are because we get so busy trying to be who others want us to be...but when we do that, we risk closing off a place in our spirit where God's gifts and dreams are just waiting to be revealed.

So, how well do you know the real you?

Have you ever considered what God created you to do? When we surrender our unique personalities and passions to Him, He will lead and guide us to be all we can be for Him!

His voice is the voice we must listen to. Who says we are beautiful, strong and unique?...HE SAYS!

and this has been a piece of my heart today;

Friday, July 15, 2011

Miracle from the womb

Can you imagine what it must have been like for Sarah and Abraham to become parents while in their 90's?
I am nearly 50, and news of such sort would knock me off my rocker.

You know the story, both were in their 90's, God told Abraham that he would be the father of many nations, and that his wife, Sarah would be the mother of the child. When Sarah heard this, she laughed. (If that was me, I would laugh and cry at the same time!) But the result of God's promise to Abraham was a child named Isaac.

"By faith Abraham, even though he was past age—and Sarah herself was barren—was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise. And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore." Hebrews 11:11-12

If you have ever uttered the words. "I don't know how You are going to do it", then you have experienced faith. It was not Abraham or Sarah's "problem" to know the "how", it was God's. All Abraham and Sarah had to do was believe and trust.

No doubt, God performed a miracle in Sarah's womb. Even though I was much younger than Sarah, God also gave me a miracle in my womb over 26 years ago. After having my first son, I experienced some medical issues that down the road resulted in the doctor informing me that I would not be able to have more children. One of the options that the physician gave me was to go on fertilization drugs to see if that would rectify the problem. After months of analyzing the pros and con's, my husband and I decided to explore this option.

During the next couple months, I had a few appointments, at which time, the doctor would always start my visit off with running a pregnancy test. To my disappointment, the test results would always be negative. Finally, we came to the day that the fertilization drugs would begin. Prior to administering the drugs, my doctor ran one final pregnancy test.

 Negative. Again.

I will never forget the look on my doctors face after he had given me my exam. He scooted his chair back and with a perplexed look on his face, said to me, "You DO want more children, right?"

Alittle concerned of what his perplexity was about, I asked him what was wrong? He informed me that he didn't know how it was possible but I WAS pregnant. He didn't know how the pregnancy tests came back negative, because I wasn't alittle pregnant, I was alot pregnant...4 months pregnant to be exact!

"This is medically impossible." - He said to me and then he congratulated me.

5 months later a beautiful baby boy was born. Our miracle baby. Today, our miracle (Jeremy Paul) celebrates his 26th birthday. I went on to have 2 more babies after him. Every baby is a miracle, but when I say Jeremy is my "miracle baby", he truly is.

I don't know if you are in need of a miracle today, but if you are, here is the living proof that God is still in the miracle business!

(My miracle baby...all grown up!)

If He can do it for Sarah and for me, He can most definitely do it for you. I have several friends that yearn to have a baby, but have not received their miracle yet. To them and to you, I say "hang on, your miracle could be just around the corner."

Be faithful and know that what seems impossible to man is totally, completely and absolutely possible with God!


Thursday, July 14, 2011

THANKFUL THURSDAY...refreshment!

You know when you live in the south and the hot summer temperatures peak over 100 degrees, there is only one thing to do to cool down. Well OK, maybe 3. Sit in the nice cold air conditioning, take a dip in the pool or drink a tall iced cold glass of lemonade!

I get so parched in the heat. Some things just don't quench my thirst. Not a coke, not juice, not milk. But when I take a big drink of iced cold water or ice cold lemonade, I feel so refreshed.

Truth of it is, my spirit gets parched from time to time. When things get so busy at my house and I find it hard to spend time with God, my thirst for Him increases. Sometimes what I need to do is turn off the distractions, put my feet up and just quench my thirst with a big tall dose of His Spirit.

Now doesn't that sound refreshing?

1 Thessalonians 5:19 "Do not quench the Holy Spirit."

When we see the word "quench" in scripture, it means "suppress" or "extinguish". When we do not allow the fire of God to rise up in us, (the Holy Spirit) then we are taking a risk of quenching His Spirit in us, and without His Spirit, fresh and anew in us, it is difficult to fight off the heat of the enemy as he prowls around to deceive and destroy us.

Don't let the heat (devil) burn you up, instead, get you some refreshment....drink in some of God's Word and allow His Spirit to breathe freshness into your soul today.

LYNN is hosting THANKFUL THURSDAY today. What is bringing praise and thanks to your heart today? Link up with us over HERE!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tear down the walls

Remember the Berlin Wall?

 For nearly three decades, it was known as the iron curtain that separated people from freedom. The German Democratic Republic began construction of the wall in 1961. Once it was completed, the concrete structure enclosed the city of West Berlin.

It has been over 20 years since that wall came down. People still go and visit it, and remnants of the wall are popping up all over, from museums to personal collections. I read a report that in the 28 years of the walls existence that 5,000 people tried to escape by climbing that wall. 200-300 resulted in death.

You may recall President Ronald Reagan's famous speech, given at the base of the wall at Bradenburg Gate, "Tear down this wall". Soon, the wall began to crumble and a new found freedom was found for the people of Germany.

Some of the same kind of new found freedom is still sought today by many. But the kind of freedom I am speaking of is a different kind of freedom sought. We build walls around us that need to be torn down. We build walls around us emotionally and spiritually that at first seem to protect us and keep us safe. But all along, the walls keep us from people, from things. The walls keep us from doing what God desires for us to do.

Walls are built to either keep people in or keep people out. That sounds like confinement to me. It doesn't seem to resemble freedom at all. Within Christianity, I think walls can be built. Often times, we lead one or two ways: by encouraging freedom or by stifling one another.

It is the most frustrating thing for a Christian to know what God has called them to do, express a desire to do what they are called to do, but leadership not giving them an opportunity to do what God has called them to do. There is no freedom in just sitting and not fulfilling what God has burned in your heart.

Hebrews 11:30 declares: "By faith, the walls of Jericho came tumbling down."

If God has spoken a vision to you. Do not let the walls keep you from crossing over and fulfilling His work. May God give us the courage and the counsel to bravely brazen the walls that restrict us. Man may build the walls, but God is the One who can tear them down.

Got some walls that need to come down?

Have faith! For 28 years people tried to cross over the Berlin Wall ... now all they have to do is walk thru. I know that our faith in God is even greater than that, what He did for Berlin, He can do for you!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A PIECE OF MY HEART...follow the leader

Yesterday I posted about following God's directions. It amazes me how easy it is to follow someones directions when they are leading us down the right road. I don't know about you but if someone gave me a map to follow and it ended up leading me down a dead end road, I would probably not trust their leading any longer. But God gives us a map to follow that will never steer us wrong. He always has our best at heart. When it comes to explaining the importance of following God's instructions, I can't help but think of a story that a Missionary from Brazil shares:

As a family in Brazil got ready for their day of work and school, the mother had to explain to her family that there was no food in the house. They had nothing. The husband would have to go to work with no breakfast to eat and no lunch to carry. The children could eat lunch at school, but there was no cereal or oats to fix for them for breakfast. As her family scurried off hungrily to their day, the mother found a place to kneel in her living room and prayed to God.

She prayed that somehow He would provide because at the end of the day, her husband and her children would return from their day very hungry and she had nothing to offer them to eat for dinner. She got up from her altar place and even though she did not hear an answer that moment from God, she knew that somehow He would provide. Later in the day, she heard God speak to her. He told her to go down to a local grocery store. It was a store that she had never been to before.

"I have no money to go to the store?"

God told her to go to the store. She was obedient and went. Upon arriving, she said "OK God, I am here now what am I to do?" God said get as many buggies as you need and go get everything you need for your family for a months supply.

"But God, I have no money, I don't have a check or a credit card. I have no way to pay for this."

God said go. She was obedient and went and filled up not one buggy but two buggies full of everything she needed to feed her family for the next month.

"God, I have done what you have said. Now what? How am I going to pay for this?"

God told her to go to check out lane #7. She wheeled her buggies to lane 7 but nobody was there checking out. But she knew God said to go to lane 7. She stood in lane 7 waiting. The check out clerk in lane 6 saw her and said, "Lady, you can't check out in that lane. You will have to come to this lane!"

"God said I was to check out in lane 7!!" She replied.

Alittle perplexed the cashier told her again, "I'm sorry lady but you CANNOT check out in lane 7."

"GOD SAID I was to check out in lane 7!" She explained.

The cashier just shook her head and said "OK lady, but I'm going to lunch now so you will have to go to a different lane to check out."


The cashier returns. The lady is STILL standing in lane 7! "Seriously?", the cashier thought, she went over to lane 7 and said to the lady, "Why are you still standing here?" The lady said, "I told you, God told me to check out in lane 7." So the cashier said, "Alright, put your things up here and I will check you out."

The lady still had no idea how she was going to pay for her groceries. But she began to put her items up on the check out one by one. As the very last item crossed the scanner and the cashier printed off her receipt, a loud voice came across the PA system..

"Hello shoppers. I am the District Manager of this grocery store chain and today is the 7th anniversary of our Grocery store. To celebrate our anniversary, we are going to give away some groceries. Whoever just checked out in aisle 7 - your groceries are FREE!"

I don't know about you, but when I heard that story and heard that last line, I just about did a Jericho march! Isn't God awesome! Just like the widow lady who had none, this lady had to follow some directions before obtaining her miracle. So many times we don't want to do that. We want to see instant answers. But miracles come by faith, and faith sometimes is trusting in the things we don't see.

God is in the miracle business.

PSALMS 46:10 "Be still and know I am God."

In order to follow His leading though, we have to know His voice.

Would you know It if you heard It?

and this has been a piece of my heart today;

Monday, July 11, 2011

Simon Says what?

Have you ever played the game "Simon Says"? As a child, I played it with my friends alot. It is a game that really initiates following directions. If you remember right, whatever Simon said, you would have to do. But listening carefully was the key to the game. You could only follow the instructions if Simon said so, but once in a while instructions were given without Simon. If you followed these instructions, you were out of the game.

Following directions aren't always that easy.
Especially when it comes to following God's directions. We make it more difficult than it needs to be. One of the biggest problems of following His directions is because its alot like the Simon Says game...we don't listen to the right voice. Often times we proceed without waiting to hear His voice.

I think that sometimes we miss out on a miracle because we do not wait and follow God's directions. Look at the miracle of the widow. Elisha came to her and asked her, "How can I help you?" (2 Kings 4:1) Once she revealed that she had nothing, Elisha gave her clear instructions to follow. It would have been so much easier for God to have Elisha bring what the widow lady needed. That in itself would have been an amazing miracle. But instead, God used Elisha to allow the widow lady to follow directions to obtain her miracle.

3 Elisha said, “Go around and ask all your neighbors for empty jars. Don’t ask for just a few. 4 Then go inside and shut the door behind you and your sons. Pour oil into all the jars, and as each is filled, put it to one side.”
5 She left him and shut the door behind her and her sons. They brought the jars to her and she kept pouring. 6 When all the jars were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another one.”

The widow's son looked, and found there were no more jars left. As soon as the last jar was full of oil, the oil stopped. There was no more. Just the amount that the widow lady started with. When she told Elisha that the jars were full, he told her to go sell it and live on what she made from the oil.

In order for the widow to get her miracle, she had to follow directions. I wonder what would have been the outcome if she had not followed Elisha's instructions. What would have happened if she tried to cut a corner and not do exactly what the man of God told her to do.

She might have been robbed of her miracle.

Many times I think the devil robs us of our miracle  because we are not following the directions. The directions of God can be found in His Word, The Holy Spirit also gives us directions but many times we do not listen. The problem is like the Simon Says game, we aren't listening carefully enough for the instructions. It's not about what Simon (or Laurie or insert your name) says...it's all about what God says!

Don't lose out on your miracle!

Friday, July 8, 2011

No Regrets!

Today I shared the following devotion with the readers over at LACED WITH GRACE! Please visit take time to visit this great Christian website that shares uplifting and encouraging devotions daily. www.lacedwithgrace.com
Each day I pray that I can make it to the end of the day without having any regrets. Some days it is difficult to complete everything on my “to do” list. When I have unfinished business left on my daily agenda, I pray that something has not been overlooked that I will regret tomorrow.

Regrets come not only in daily agendas, but often times a person can be affected by the mountains of regret that hovers over them. In relationships, I find that we drift in and out of each others lives. The drifting can occur intentionally or because it is just unavoidable. When we become separated from people, it could be permanently or just temporary. Either way, separation is never easy.

Two of my four children live in another city. One of them in another state. Even though I am not in their daily lives, our relationship still remains intact. We have a strong, thriving and loving relationship with one another. I may have to miss out on some special days with them because of the distance, but I never regret that my kids are happy, living on their own and making their mark in their world. Our time of separation is never marked by regret or remorse because they are just a phone call or text away.

But what about the relationships where distance becomes not just miles, but literal emotional and physical distance? Often times, I wonder if we don’t stay connected with people, if the distance could be equated with lost love? I have found that distant relatives are called that because they are exactly that…distant!

Broken relationships can bring so much regret. Many times if we lose someone because of death or divorce, we tend to ask the question, “What if?” especially if our relationship had been less than perfect. Sometimes we ask those kind of questions way too late. Maybe after someone has died and we can never get the answer to our questions.

I am reminded of King David. He became heartbroken over not repairing the broken relationship he had with his son, Absalom. King David learned way too late that death can slam the door of reconciliation completely shut.

“And for the whole army the victory that day was turned into mourning, because on that day the troops heard it said, ‘The king is grieving for his son.’ ” 2 SAMUEL 19:2

It is my prayer that I can live my life generously to others, and love so abundantly that I have no regrets. Loving during the living years is much easier than asking the “what ifs” after it may be too late. Living life with no regrets may mean that you will need to call someone today, send them an email or a personal letter and initiate reconciliation.

Think about it, we were all separated from God’s love and forgiveness but because of the Cross, we have been reconciled:

2 CORINTHIANS 5:18 “Now all things are of God, Who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation.”


I dedicate this devotion to my Dad, whom I was separated from for 40 years. 7 years ago, I met him for the first time and reconciled with him. I didn’t want to live my life with any regrets. Yesterday, my Dad went to be with the Lord. I am so grateful for a loving, forgiving and merciful Heavenly Father that forgave me so that I could also extend forgiveness. I am living my life with no regrets!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

THANKFUL THURSDAY...I'm proud to be an American and so much more!

This past week as we celebrated the 4th of July, the words of a song kept playing over and over in my head: "I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free..."

FREEDOM...something we take for granted.

Yesterday in the newspaper I was reading an article about a group of people who became US citizens on the 4th of July. The headline read, "American dream comes true for 43 new citizens." One woman, from the Philippines, said that this dream started when she was in high school as she watched American television. Lenie Walsh, 29 years old, said that she watched TV and people in America were really wealthy and had clean living. They had cars.

 "I dreamed of coming here, It was my dream." Said Walsh
As I drove downtown Memphis the other day, wealth and nice cars was the last thing that I saw or thought of. The abandoned buildings and hobo's sleeping on the park bench was probably not the vision or dream that people like Walsh had.

But even with that, many people flee here for better jobs, better living and better opportunity. Really what it comes down to is having freedom and once you are free...what you are willing to do with your freedom.

Certainly here in the good ole US of A, there are far more opportunities than other poverish nations. It is no wonder so many are fleeing here and dreaming of becoming free. It is in our land of the free, that we stand and say, "Were proud to be an American, where I know I am free!"

But is that enough? T
To be a proud American?

Seeing an American flag, hearing the national anthem or coming face to face with a soldier in his fatigues always gives me goosebumps. As a mother of a son who has served our country, I cannot sing the national anthem without tears rolling down my cheeks. I am certainly proud to be an American, but with as much pride as the flag brings me, I have to wonder "Am I just as proud to be a Christian?"

Philippians 1:20-21 (NLT)
For I fully expect and hope that I will never be ashamed, but that I will continue to be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past. And I trust that my life will bring honor to Christ, whether I live or die. For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better.

For those new citizens, it is not enough to just dream of America. Immigrants cannot come to our free land and just blend in. With citizenship comes responsibility. The same is true for us as Americans and certainly for us that claim to be a Christian. It is not enough to just say we are Christians, we cannot blend in a dying, sinful world. We must take a stand and become responsible Christians.

As an American and a Christian, we must not only glorify God with our life but we must use our life to advance God’s Kingdom. It is much too easy to work diligently to blend in rather than continue to stand for the founding principles of this great nation. But we are bound by our citizenship to America and to God’s Kingdom to continue in spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ with every person who we come in contact with.

Our life is an example. To share love, hope, faith, compassion, kindness and truth with those who brush against us each day. It was mandated and agreed upon by those who founded our nation and as an American it is our duty to honor this covenant even when others would try to destroy it. It is the responsibility of every person to uphold this faith in order to experience God’s continued prosperity on our land.

Freedom doesn't just come with proof of citizenship. It begins in the heart of each person who cries out to God in repentance. It is not the responsibility of the government but of every single man and woman. As we surrender to God, we can then yield to our country.

I am an American. And I am proud of it. In addition, I am a Christian, a choice that I made a long time ago to put God first in every aspect of  my life. And I am proud of that as well. I am free. Yes, free indeed!

I am so thankful for the freedom that comes with being an American, but the freedom of knowing Christ far outweighs anything. LYNN is hosting THANKFUL THURSDAY and we would love to hear your grateful heart today. CLICK HERE for more TT posts!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Voice

Last week, I watched the final result of the show THE VOICE. This television show is where contestants can come and sing in front of a panel of 4 already successful musicians. The catch though is that the panel of musicians have their back to the singer, and they are judged according to their voice and not how they look.

One of the things that I like about this show is that the talent of the those competing is based on what is heard and not what is seen.

Have you ever heard the saying, "children should be seen and not heard?" I used to hear that all of the time when I was growing up. In other words, its great to have kids around but they should be quiet, unless spoken to. But you and I both know that is not how it works. Kids have voices and they are going to use them.

When the kids grow up, guess what? They still have a voice. Adults tend to use their voices inappropriately sometimes. All you have to do is turn on the television or go watch a movie at the theatre to hear what I am talking about.

Have you ever considered what your voice projects? I wonder if we were to go thru life with others looking only at what comes out of our mouths, what would they hear? There is another great saying that I use to hear growing up, "Actions speak louder than words." And this is so true. And inspecting our fruit is very important. But today I am just talking about our voice.

When I worked with teenagers not too long ago at our church, one of the things I learned is that teens feel like they don't have a voice. Adults tend to look down on them. They don't listen to them. They feel like their opinions are not of value.

It's no wonder there is a generation gap. Teens need to be heard. They have a voice. If we would just listen, we might be surprised at what they have to say. But many times we can't get past the long hair, the earrings, the piercings and tattoos. We judge according to what we see and not what we hear.

1 Samuel 16:7 "...For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

Often times, I think we, as adult children of God, do the same thing. We look at the visible. We yearn to see proof that God is at work. Instead of just listening to His voice and trusting what He says, we want to see for ourselves how He is working. We look at what we can see instead of what we hear.

"My sheep listen to My voice; I know them and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of My hand." (John 10:27, 28)

Have you been listening to God's voice?
Even if you can't see the answer to your question, you can still trust what you hear Him say. His voice is THE voice!

Monday, July 4, 2011

What would our forefathers have to say?

Happy Birthday America!

As I look back and remember what our great land was founded on, I can't help but to think that the hard toil that our forefathers went thru for our freedoms have been forgotten or at least taken for granted.

Most of us celebrate the 4th of July with a cookout, gathering with family and friends to eat hot dogs and hamburgers and light fireworks. Some of us take off for the weekend and head to the lake and make a weekend of it. Celebrating a 3 day weekend with fishing, swimming and grilling out. The 4th of July Holiday for us is this and more. It's a paid day off of work. A day to sleep in. Go to the movies. Do whatever you want to do with no worry about meeting deadlines or facing your boss. It's a FREE day for most Americans.

But do we really realize how FREE it is?

Compared to other nations, we here in America have it good. But I wonder if we are continuing in our forefathers footsteps or have we gotten away from the principles that our nation was founded on?

I believe if our forefathers could talk to us, they would tell us a few things:

First of all, they would tell America to promote equality. Our nation was founded on equality. "WE, the People..." But WHO exactly is this "We, the people?" It doesn't say "We, the white people" or "We, the rich people". We the People covers EVERYONE. (White, black, Hispanic, rich, poor, etc)God sees people, He doesn't see color. His blood was shed for all, not just for a few.

It's time for America to get back to equality.

Second of all, our forefathers would tell us that in order to remain free, we must contribute. We must give back to our nation. We must contribute to our land. One way that we can contribute is by working hard. Another way is letting our voice be heard. Did you know in the area that I live (Memphis, TN) that 70% of eligible voters in the last election did NOT vote. 70%! We don't vote, but yet we complain when things in government doesn't get done. We can no longer complain about the things that we allow.

It's time for America to contribute. Not just nationally, but locally.

Another thing that our forefathers would warn us about is that we have become a nation that has forgotten how to pray. Our nation was founded on God and what He stands for. Prayer has been taken out of our country, out of our schools and unfortunately it is not found even in some of our homes.

Without prayer, our country will not become stronger. It's time for America to pray!

Finally, if our forefathers had a chance, I believe they would tell us that it was time to occupy our nation. It is time to go after it. Reclaim it. Restore it. Replenish it. Recover it. Occupy it.

“And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.” Luke 19:13 KJV

Our Forefathers have labored greatly so you and I can have freedom, while there is still work to be done, I wonder why we just sit, doing nothing. Same is true for our spiritual freedoms. God already made the biggest sacrifice of all so we can be free...His Son, Jesus Christ. Without the blood, we would have no freedom. But while His sacrifice was enough, there are still people whom we come in contact with that do not understand what such a freedom cost. There are many who still have not heard the  message. They have not received the Free gift the Cross offers. But while there are still people to be reached, souls to be won...we just sit, doing nothing.

What would our forefathers have to say?

Go out and reach your world. Don't waste any more time. Occupy the land....until He comes. Freedom didn't come without a price. But what kind of price are you willing to pay?

May God bless America! Literally.