Thursday, April 26, 2012

THANKFUL THURSDAY...feeling comfortable in our dust

One of the things I LOVE about this time of year is that I can go barefoot! Wearing closed toe shoes or shoes at all just constrict me, that is why during the summer you will find me around the house barefoot.

Many people are not like me. In fact, it is very rare that you see anyone running around with no shoes on. There is something about getting dirt between our toes that we do not like.

 I can remember as a kid, I loved stepping onto a pile of mud and feeling the coolness ooze up between my toes. Strange, I know. But sometimes I think what we need to do is just go back to the basics, I don't mean rolling around in the mud, but go ahead and let some dust roll on us, after all that IS what we are made of...

Then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being. –Genesis 2:7

You see, we are all just merely nothing but dust balls! I'm thinking that it would have been more appealing to think that God might have put in alittle bit of sugar and spice but instead, He swooped down and grabbed a handful of dust and formed man.

So if we are made of dust, why are we consumed with cleanliness?

When I think of a image of a dusty man, I think of the cartoon Peanuts and the character of Pigpen. Now here is a guy that is comfortable in his own dust. No matter how clean he tried to get himself, it seemed like a cloud of dust still lingered with him. Apparently it was who he was.

We were created from the ground, with the hands and breath of God, but yet, we are afraid to let our bare feet touch the ground that we came from. May we not forget where we came from and once in awhile may we all just go barefoot and let alittle dust ooze between our toes.

Today is THANKFUL THURSDAY and I am thankful to be a dust ball. No bar of Ivory soap, or bottle of body wash can clean me up like the blood and love of Jesus. May we all become like Pigpen and be comfortable with who we are...dust and all!

Join your grateful heart with ours by linking up with IRIS, she is hosting this week. Next week, TT will be hosted right here for the month of May! See you then.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

First things first

Some days I need to have a to-do list in order to accomplish all that needs to be done in my day. With my list in hand, off I go running, checking off each item as I go.

Go to the grocery store, get gas, pay the cable bill, pick up dry cleaning, call the insurance, deposit paycheck, on and on the list can go. But where in all of that was God?

Does God even make it on our "to-do" list?

Many times He doesn't and if He does, as soon as we spend a quick minute with Him, off running we go again. Feeling abit accomplished because we were able to check off our list "spend time with God".

In the book of Matthew, it says:

"Seek ye FIRST the kingdom of God."  (Matthew 6:33)
But what exactly is first?

Is it the first thing that we accomplish in our day? I always thought that it meant that spending time with God should be the very first thing in our day. It has been proven in my own life that when I do start my day out with Him, everything else usually falls into place alot easier and much more peaceable. But what if I didn't start my day with Him, does that make me less accomplished?

I am afraid that the mistake many of us make is that we put God on our list of things to do and then we are satisfied when we cross Him off of our list. The word "first" is not to be taken in a numerical sense. If we look at it like that, then we will check God off of our list and move onto #2, leaving the Kingdom behind, saying to ourselves "been there!" "done that!"

Instead of looking at spending time with God as a numerical thing, we need to understand that putting Him "first" is putting Him above everything else. Top priority. Yes, it is good to start our day off with God, but putting Him "first" is seeking Him in ALL things...ALL day!

I guess you could say that when we seek God all day long and never cross Him off of our list, that is putting "first things" first!

Be blessed today as you tackle your to-do list, but don't attempt it without Him!

Monday, April 23, 2012

A PIECE OF MY HEART...can I be satsified?

Recently, I began to seriously watch my sugar and fat intake. Yes, I have become one of those label readers, turning over every can and box I pick up at the grocery store and checking the label for amounts of fat, sugar, carbs and sodium. Most of the things I pick up end up right back on the shelf because the numbers are just too high.
I have been keeping a log in my phone with a calorie counter app I found to keep track of my daily intake. I am happy to report that my fat and sugar intake has been low, and so has my calorie intake. My family has been alittle upset with me because they feel like my daily calories are too low.

It is difficult for them to see how I could possibly be satisfied with such low numbers.

Honestly, to be satisfied with a diet or a exercise regimen is truly a matter of the mind and heart. You have to first make up your mind that you are going to make some changes in your eating and physical activities. Secondly, you have to put your heart into following thru with your decision to eat right, exercise and live healthy.

Now that I think about it, this is exactly what it takes to not only be satisfied physically but also spiritually. To be satisfied in this life, we must make up our mind to follow Christ and with our whole heart, chase after Him and the things that He offers.

Truth be told, because of the message that the media and society throws out at us, we are nothing more than circumstance seekers. The world teaches us to measure our contentment according to our circumstances. For too long we have been shopping at Burger King...trying to "have it our way". Think about it...
  • When we buy something but end up not liking it...we return it!
  • If a relationship seems too difficult...we end it!
  • If we don't like our job...we quit it!
  • When our neighbor buys a new car...we want it!
Face it, there will always be something that we want, or that we could improve on. But trying to find satisfaction in our circumstances will only leave us disappointed and discouraged, and sometimes very lonely. But when we place our trust in God for all of the things that we need, (I didn't say want...there is a BIG difference!) He will provide every need that we have. Having Godly contentment will far exceed any circumstance.
 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
                                             Philippians 4:6, 7
As I chew on this awesome promise of receiving Gods peace, I find I can truly be satisfied. In Him. Can you?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

THANKFUL I my brothers keeper?

Last night at Bible Study, during a discussion of the happenings of Syria, a question was posed..."What is our responsibility for those we do not know?"

The discussion went in different circles, some were opposed, and some were for our involvement. But the one thing that I could not get away from was that particular question about what our responsibility was.

Not politically speaking, but spiritually speaking...what exactly is our responsibility?

It is so easy to take the middle of the road approach when it comes to taking responsibility for the lost. Many times when we see someone in distress, we don't want to get involved, especially if it is a complete stranger. It is easier to walk away then become entangled with the unexpected. When it comes to being our brothers keeper, I wonder how many of us have the attitude of Cain...

Then the Lord said to Cain, "Where is your brother Abel?" "I don't know" he replied "Am I my brothers keeper?" (Genesis 4:9)

Cain's response to God was a callous one if you ask me. One that is all too familiar in today's society. We are too busy with our own life's to be involved in others, especially those that are strangers to us.

“When a person is unconcerned in the affairs of others and takes no care when they have opportunity to prevent hurt--especially in their souls,--that person in effect speaks Cain’s language.” -Matthew Henry

Becoming our brothers keeper spiritually is what I am talking about. Whether it is our brother over in Syria or our brother right here in our backyard, praying and interceding on their behalf is the least that we can do. The church was never intended to minister to only a certain segment of people, there is to be no distinction which means with their gender, race or where they live. To wash our hands or turn our back on any of our brothers, no matter what their belief or situation is saying that we do not believe that God in His mighty power can change hearts and lives.

As my brothers keeper, we DO have a responsibility. I am thankful that someone cared enough about me to intercede on my behalf when I was lost in sin and despair. Don't lose sight of what our responsibility is not only as an American but as an American Christian.

Pray for our nation. And pray for the countries that have made it difficult for Christians to share His gospel. Both here and over there are lost souls, souls that are God's prodigal children whom He waits for their return. Won't you take the Christian responsibility and pray?

Today is THANKFUL THURSDAY, and we have much to be thankful for. We live in a country that we can freely worship and pray to our God. A privilege that we should never take for granted. IRIS is hosting this month, link your grateful heart up with us over HERE!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Power up!

The other day I was shopping for some vitamins for my family. I had no idea that there were so many different kinds, for so many different things. While looking over everything I also noticed a big variety of something else in the same aisle...power enhancements. Since I am not a weight lifter or ever had the need to enhance my power (physically), I was unaware of all of the different power drinks, power tablets, and power bars to enhance my strength and muscle.

In another section of the same aisle were diet pills and shakes. With so many things to choose from, it occurred to me that there is a huge market to help us shape up, trim down and get strong. The extent that many of us go to in order to become physically strong is unbelievable but what is even more unbelievable to me is that we don't seem to have the same drive to become spiritually strong.

The greatest temptation in life is to turn away from God when great trials and disappointments hit us. After all, how is it possible to hang onto God when it is all we can do to get up in the morning and not cry ourselves to sleep at night? It may seem easier to just give up and turn away from God, but trust me, life will only get harder not easier if you do this.

It is at this very moment that you cannot depend upon your own strength, but you must depend upon the strength of the Lords. There will be days that you will not be able to muster up enough strength to face all that you will have to face. Sickness, death and unexpected twists and turns of your life will leave you feeling weak, vulnerable and defeated. It is in this moment that you will need to have a power drink, or a power bar to get you thru to the other side...the kind that comes only from God!

Just like the conditioning that a weight lifter must endure, we as Christians also must condition our minds and hearts to be more like Christ.

"Come to Me, all you who are weary and find life burdensome and I will refresh you. Take My yoke upon your shoulders and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart. Your souls will find rest, for My yoke is easy and My burden light." MATTHEW 11:28-30

We must never lose sight of the fact that God has us in the palm of His hand, even during those dry, difficult times. When we cannot see past our pain, He already sees the purpose. We must never be without His yolk upon our shoulders, It is what makes us strong. Those times that we feel alone, hurt and disappointed is not the time to turn away from God, in fact, it is in these moments that we must run to Him.

We can do all kinds of things to get strong physically, but none of that will do us any good unless we place our life in His hands. There are no power bars that we can consume to receive Gods strength unless we recieve Gods love. It is then that we can power up and be strong in Him.

TODAY'S PRAYER: "Dear Lord, Help me to trust You with my life. Even when things go wrong in my life, I will remain faithful and true to you. It is Your strength and power that I desire in my life, to help me, guide me and protect me. I commit all of my weaknesses to You, for You are my strength." AMEN

Thursday, April 12, 2012


When arriving home from work yesterday, I noticed something on the walkway in front of my door. At first I wasn't sure what it was, it was pinkish in color and just seemed to be lumped in a pile right there on the ground.

As I moved closer, I could see the little feet, the few feathers and what seemed to be the facial features of a tiny little bird. It must have fallen out of the ginormous tree that is in our front yard.

 After coming in the house, I thought about that little bird. The long fall from that tree must have been pretty scary for such a little fella, and where was the mother? I did not see any sign of her. How sad that this creation of God had to be all alone in its final moments.

But was it all alone?

"Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows." MATTHEW 10:29-31

According to Matthew, God is aware of it all. He is concerned even with the birds, not one falls to the ground without Him knowing about it. If God cares for the birds, how much more does He care for you and me?

There are days that we may feel like we have fallen out of tree. We may feel so discouraged that we just want to lay on the ground and die. It may even seem like it is you against the world, and the as the world passes by, nobody seems to care about you. But God does. He loves us and He knows when we are hurting, or in trouble, or sad, or feeling all alone. He also knows about the times that we are happy, in good health and everything is going great. He knows the good and the bad that happens to us. In fact, He knows what kind of a day we are going to have before we even know.

There is comfort in knowing that there is Someone Who cares about us so much that not one detail of our lives go unnoticed. Today on THANKFUL THURSDAY, I am so grateful that in the midst of it all...GOD KNOWS!

IRIS is our TT host this month...please link up with us over HERE!

Monday, April 9, 2012

LACED WITH GRACE...Let God do the dusting

Today you can find me over at LACED WITH GRACE where I have shared a devo with the readers entitled "Let God do the dusting." ...

"For the past ten years I have owned a cleaning service business. One of the greatest qualifications that I possess for this kind of business is being OCD. It really comes in handy especially when I meet people like I did the other day. I went to give a residential quote to a woman and the first thing she said to me is, “I HATE dusting!” Well, she called the right person because I LOVE to dust and clean and organize.

In fact, I probably love it way too much. Sometimes, I tend to go overboard with my compulsive cleaning mentality. It embarrassess..."

CLICK HERE to read this entire post!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

THANKFUL can't take Christ out of Easter!

Next to Christmas, Easter is my favorite holiday. During one holiday we celebrate the birth of Jesus, while the other holiday we remember His death and resurrection.

But for many people, Easter has become nothing more than egg hunts, hiding Easter baskets and coloring eggs. We have done a good job at commercializing yet another holiday that averts our attention away from what it really is about.

While shopping the other day, I couldn't help notice the large assortment of Easter merchandise. Chocolate bunnies, Easter baskets, Easter dresses and bonnets to just name a few. Aisles and aisles of candy and treats that are often associated with this holiday. As I strolled past the Easter merchandise there was one thing that really stood out to me...

The signage!

Apparently to some merchants, we no longer refer to this holiday as "Easter", instead the signage (advertisements) were for "Spring is here sale". No mention of Easter. No mention of the Cross.

Is it possible that we have taken Christ out of Easter?

How is that even possible?

For the Christian, that seems almost appalling, but I am seeing more and more how the world is trying to put their own twist on such sacred holidays. But for me, no matter what signage you put on it, nobody can take Christ out of Easter for me. Easter is about Christ. It is about the sacrifice. About the suffering. About the Resurrection.

Today on THANKFUL THURSDAY I am so thankful that we still celebrate Easter and not just a "spring is here" day. Spring represents new life and honestly without the blood of Jesus, there cannot be new life.

2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come."

IRIS is hosting THANKFUL THURSDAY for the month of April, join your grateful heart with ours by linking up over HERE! May you and  yours have a very blessed EASTER weekend!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Before the rooster crows...

There is no doubt in my mind that when someone you love betrays you, it is difficult to understand and sometimes difficult to move past. However, betrayal and denial is often times misunderstood. When someone is the betrayer, I would suggest that they are not fully understanding what love is.

"I tell you the truth, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times." -Jesus to Peter (John 13:38)

Peter lacked the understanding of love. He thought he loved Jesus but clearly Peter did not walk by Christ's love for him. What came pouring out of his mouth did not match with what was going on in his heart.

"I am prepared to die with you" -Peter (Luke 22:33)

But Jesus already knew his heart.

"I tell you Peter, before the cock crows this day, you will deny three times that you know Me." (Luke 22:34)

Often times I think we deny those around us the love that they truly deserve. Peter denied Jesus, but later regretted it. Regret is a sad place to be. It is crippling to ones spiritual welfare. It is not where God would have us remain if we have been betrayed or denied. Jesus didn't want Peter to stay there. That is why after His resurrection we see a different scenario...

Peter, do you love Me?
And Peter said, Lord, You know I love You.
Again, He said, Peter, do you love Me?
Lord, You know I love You.
And once again, Peter, do you love Me?
And Peter said, Lord, You know everything. You know that I love You.

It was then that Peter fully understood love, the kind of love that comes from the Father. It wasn't just words spoken, Peter now had love that came from the heart.  "Then feed My sheep!" Jesus responded. Peter was now ready to act upon his love.

Betrayal has left me feeling crippled in the past, but honestly, until I knew who I was in Christ I was limited in what I could do for Him and others. I realized that no matter who betrays me, gossips about me, throws stones at me, or stabs me in the back that there is a love, a genuine love that I can have for my betrayers.

God knows exactly what all of that feels like, He sent His Son to die for us and in the process He was falsely accused, spit upon, called names, lied about and nailed to a wooded cross where He suffered in anguish and bled to death. All because He loved both His friend and His foe.

There isn't anything spoken or done to us that God does not see. He understands. And because of His great love is why we can also walk in love and bring what John speaks about to fruition...

"By this, everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another." John 13:35

Make sure you love and forgive ...before the rooster crows.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Don't be a fool!

I wonder how many of you were pranked yesterday? Or were you the pranker?

When my kids were younger, they liked to try to trick us on April Fools day. Even when I was onto them, I would go along with the trick just so they could holler "April Fools!" and we could all have a good laugh.

Even though all of that was in good fun, the Bible says that a real fool is not a laughing matter...

  "A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion." Proverbs 18:2
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction."
Proverbs 1:7
"If a wise man has an argument with a fool, the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet." Proverbs 29:9
"A wise man's heart inclines him to the right, but a fool's heart to the left." Ecclesiastes 10:2