Wednesday, May 29, 2013

THANKFUL THURSDAY...forgiveness and mercy

I remember watching Sesame Street with my children when they were young. Often, they sang a song on the TV show that went something like this...

"One of these things is not like the others, one of these things doesn't belong." "Cake - Pie - Pudding - Motor Oil"

It was always fun to watch my kids pick out what they thought did not belong. If we as Christians could play that game, it might sound something like this:

"Mercy - Kindness - Compassion - Unforgiveness" "One of these things is not like the others, one of these things doesn't belong."

It is difficult to forgive others without mercy. Today, what I am giving God thanks for is His forgiveness and His mercy. And praying that I could have such mercy towards others.

"Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven." Luke 6:36-37

PRAYER: Dear Lord, give me the ability to forgive others. Even when others hurt me or do me wrong, may I extend mercy to them just as You have extended to me. May Your love shine not only upon me but thru me. AMEN.

I am so blessed to have been your host for THANKFUL THURSDAY this month, next month you can find us over at Iris's place. Won't you join your grateful heart with ours today?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

THANKFUL THURSDAY...Cleaning up the dust!

Dust mites love dead skin and some of the best places they feast on are pillows, bed covers, and blankets. This is not meant to freak you out, (but it may have). It is more to share the spiritual analogy between “dust” and “sleepy Christianity”.
Isaiah 52 says, “Awake, awake! Shake yourself from the dust, arise!”
I suppose we could say that sometimes we become sleepy Christians or dusty ones.

For the past 11 years I have operated a cleaning service business and one thing that I attack is DUST!  One thing that I have come to learn about dust is this.... it only comes from one thing - neglect! If we neglect our daily/weekly cleaning routine,  a build up of dust is inevitable.

As Christians, we must not neglect our clean up routine, otherwise our neglect will result in...

  * A dusty Bible, A dusty Prayer Closet and dusty, nasty Attitudes.

I am so thankful for the power of God's cleansing pledge, the cleaning power that wipes away every particle of unwanted dust in our hearts and minds. So friends, lets get on board with Isaiah and ARISE!

Today is THANKFUL THURSDAY and I am glad for Gods cleansing power! How about you? What are you grateful for today?

Monday, May 20, 2013

But He knows...

As I read 1 Peter 1:7, I see that trials are only tests of our faith…

In Job, Job records his search for God…

“I go east, but He is not there. I go west, but I cannot find Him. I do not see Him in the north, for He is hidden. I turn to the south, but I cannot find Him.” (Job 23:8,9)

It may have seemed to Job that God had abandoned him. All of his efforts to find God’s presence in his turmoil led to nothing. Well, until we come to verse 10, which says,

“But He knows…”

Job acknowledges that God does know his state, and if God knows, then He MUST be near!

“But He knows where I am going, and when He has tested me like gold in a fire, He will pronounce me innocent.” (Job 23:10-12)

Hardly seems like words of anxiety or fear. In fact, Job expresses from his heart that he has an assurance of God’s faithfulness even despite of his trouble.

The question I would like to leave with you tonight is “Has God ever failed you before?”

I know. He has never failed me either. So, why would He fail us now? His faithfulness of the past is also the peace of our present and future.


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Make me a sincere Christian!

Genesis 17:1 "And when Abram was ninety years and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram and said unto him, 'I am the Almighty God; walk before Me, and be thou perfect.' "


What does God really mean when He tells us to be perfect?
The word “perfect” actually has the meaning of “sincerity.” To be sincere, not to be masked or to present yourself as something you are not. In ancient times, when someone would go to the potter’s house to buy a clay vessel, they would choose a beautiful vessel that met their needs and they would set it in the sun for a short period of time. The sun would soon reveal any cracks the potter may have repaired revealing an “insincere” vessel. It appeared to be one thing but all the while it was a damaged vessel.

God wants us to be sincere! To be absolutely honest before Him. If there is a “crack” in our lives, He wants to be the Master Potter and repair it! No other repair job will do. No other potter’s hands can do the work of the Master Potter.

The question is today, do you want to be whole and complete?

The Master Potter wants to mold us, make us and fill in any damaged holes. He is looking for some pure, blameless and complete vessels. May we all be perfect before Him. Sincere in all that we do, think, say and believe.

My prayer is that I could be a SINCERE Christian! How about you?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

THANKFUL day at a time!

Well, here I am, embarking on the one weekend that nine months ago I was dreading. My baby girl is graduating on Friday night from High School and my son is graduating from college Saturday morning. Two life changing, thrilling, exciting, and bittersweet memories, all wrapped up in less than 24 hours of each other.

This weekend begins my empty nest. All my babies are now completely grown up, making their own decisions and flying, the best they know how to.

I thought that I would be really sad about this turn in my life, but strangely enough, I have a peace in my spirit and in my heart. Sadness is replaced with a joy of the time that I have been blessed with four great kids who now are making their own mark in their world. This momma is so proud and blessed.

I know that as both Anna ventures off to college and Jeremy ventures off into the work world, both of them, along with our two other grown children will make a difference wherever they go, whatever they do. For they have the Lord on their side. Placing each decision, each step and each adventure in Gods hands. I can't think of any other possible wish a momma could wish for.

"Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6

For me, as the house becomes silent, and the all I have is memories of days gone by, I will take one day at a time, remembering all that was and looking ahead for all that will become.

Aren't you thankful for the memories that God has given you? I am. Today is THANKFUL THURSDAY and I am glad that you have joined us.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Does your heart need alittle rest?

What causes you unrest and anxiety?

Outward circumstances? The unknown and unproven? Regrets and apprehensions? Is it because you trust in your own abilities, your own experiences, and your own resources?

Whenever we think it is all up to us, stress rises, our adrenaline surges, and our blood begins to boil. Sometimes we lose the ability to reason. We get confused. We envision... all the problems that could possibly occur.

But, when we trust in God, in His Word–we do not lean on our own understanding; instead we rely and depend on God. When we rely on Him and His proven promises, He will still our heart and calm our spirit; He will give wisdom and discernment to our minds.

When that happens, our bodies relax, and our heartbeat slows. He creates such a state of refuge that we cannot grasp or describe it with human words. Even now, my words seem inadequate to even describe the calming peace that comes from God and His Hand. However, you know it when you have it!

Peace. You will recognize it just as you recognize God. God’s peace releases an inner confidence that will set your faith in place.

Such power will calm the turmoil of an anxious heart. PEACE…it is as certain as when Jesus calmed the raging seas for the terrified disciples.

Jesus will do the same for us. “Peace I leave you…”

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29

Isn’t it time you give your heart some rest?

Thursday, May 9, 2013

THANKFUL THURSDAY...a tribute to all Mothers

Today on THANKFUL THURSDAY, I have to take time out to say a HUGE thank you to all of you Mothers out there. What a joyful, but yet stressful job at times. But worth every sweat, every tear, and every giggle.

The first Mother’s Day was celebrated in West Virginia in 1912. Mothers were to be recognized as an important part of our culture and lives. The heart of a mother is like a rare jewel. They love their children during the worst and best of times.

Yet, all mothers are not the same. In a women's conference, I heard Author and speaker Patsy Clairmont say,

“Normal is just a setting on your clothes dryer.”

 So true. We are all different. She shared that as women we may “struggle, fail, start over, and celebrate.” But we are mothers who can love unlike any other person.

God created families and He gave mothers a very unique place. We can love, we give of ourselves, we cook, clean, wash clothes, put Band-Aids on scrapes … we are often the first one up in the morning and the last one to bed at night. We juggle a lot of things including raising children, working jobs, managing a home, and sometimes (rarely)  finding time for ourselves.

Each day is a new beginning. We have a destiny, purpose, and the power to do and be all that we are called to be. Nothing can stop us except ourselves. If you are a mother, be encouraged to know that no matter what stage of life you are in, that God loves you and in Him is where you find your strength.

If I had to pick a scripture that best describes mothers, it would be Philippians 2:1-4:

“If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others."
All of us ladies are really mothers, you know, no matter if you bore your own child or not, we are ALL called to nurture, love and mentor, especially the children. Who can you impact today with the love of Christ? May we all do what this passage says and love others with such a motherly tenderness and compassion.


We are so happy you joined us for THANKFUL THURSDAY today, please link your heart with ours by linking your post up below.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Pass the bolt please!

Last night, at our monthly women's meeting at church, I sat back with pride and joy as I watched our beautiful ladies work together on a missions project. It did so much more for me than just completing a task, it really made me feel the unity among my sisters.

In his letter to the Philippian church, Paul passed on advice about successful living:
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4).
Paul addressed a destructive attitude—selfishness. Focusing on ourselves and our own interests at the expense of others will ultimately leave us isolated and ineffective. I loved the feeling of unity I felt last night. There was not one selfish body in the room.

Jesus wants His disciples to model unselfishness. During the 1964 Olympics, in the two-man bobsled competition, a British team driven by Tony Nash had just completed its first run and was in second place. Then they made a most disheartening discovery. They had broken a bolt on the rear axle of their sled, which would put them out of the competition.

The Italian bobsled driver, Eugenio Monti, who was in first place, heard of their unfortune. He removed the bolt from the rear axle of his own sled and sent it to them. The British team placed it on their sled and then raced down the mountain, winning the gold medal. Monti’s Italian team took the bronze medal for finishing in third place.

When asked about his act of sportsmanship, Eugenio Monti modestly replied, “Tony Nash did not win because I gave him a bolt. Tony Nash won because he was the best driver.”

God honors unselfishness. It is the only attitude that will make us winners in the end. Any coach for any sports team will tell you that winning takes a team effort. The same is true for church and, what’s more, it is true in everyday life.

If needed, may we all pass the bolt.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Talk about having a bad day.

Sometimes I think I have the perfect plan for my day. In my mind’s eye I see everything coming together and working perfectly together. But that isn’t always how things end up.

Today, things did not start off good. I was running late for work, I couldn’t find my car keys, and then when I got to work, I couldn’t find some items that I needed for the day. It is days like this that a little voice in my head can be heard asking questions…

Why me?”
“Doesn’t God care about me?”

I would imagine that Joseph had similar questions as things unfolded in his life. (Genesis chapter 39) At one point, everything seemed to be going well in his life. But within a matter of days, his entire world caved in. I bet that the day this happened, he woke up with having a perfect plan in mind for his day, but only to find himself kidnapped and sold in slavery by his own brothers.

Talk about a bad day!
I wonder if Joseph ever questioned God or lost faith?

I am sure Joseph had many questions, but through it all, the one thing that remained was God. Right smack dab in the middle of Joseph’s terrible circumstances, the Bible says that “The Lord was with Joseph.” (Genesis 39:21) Even in the darkness of the well he was thrown in, the fear of being sold into slavery and the uncertainty of whether he would ever see his family again, God remained with Joseph and He had a plan all along.

What appeared as bad was actually good, because God was already working His perfect plan. If we fast forward into Josephs life, we will see that God used every single detail of his circumstances to save an entire civilization.

Now that is a bad day turned good.

Perhaps, you have had a bad start to this Monday like I did. But I assure you that even when you can’t see past your frustration, that God IS working on your behalf and He WILL turn everything into something good.

“The Lord was with him; and whatever he did, the Lord made it prosper.” –Genesis 39:23

If God did it for Joseph…He will do it for you too!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Obediance before sacrifice.

I grew up with 2 brothers. To make matters worse...I was the youngest and the only girl. Often times, I was the main target for teasing and I was the most easiest to shift blame on for things they did wrong. I guess that just goes with sibling rivalry.

Thankfully, no matter how much my two older brothers got on my nerves, if someone else was to mess with me or hurt me, nobody came to my side quicker than my two older brothers.

I wish the same was true for those we call our "brothers and sisters in the Lord". Standing by one another, that is. But often times, what happens is someone says something or doesn't say something like we think they ought, and we right away want to write them off.

People are leaving churches today over a misspoken word, or the changing of the color of the carpet or because the preacher stepped on their toes. Sometimes people are gone and we never know the reason for it. My husband is a preacher and I have first hand seen this. One week they are there and the next they are gone, for no apparent reason.

But that is never the case. No apparent reason, that is. There is ALWAYS a reason. But unfortunately, instead of dealing with the matters of the heart, we ignore it, or talk to all of the wrong people about it and we go on, from church to church, never dealing with the issue. Now the unresolved issue becomes bitterness, unforgiveness and disobedience.

Do you have unforgiveness in your heart and still sing praise and worship in church? Have you stopped going to a certain church because you do not like a brother there? Jesus says to make up with these people. Extend forgiveness BEFORE you offer up praise to Him...

Matthew 5:23-24  "Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift."

Samuel told King Saul that the Lord desires obedience BEFORE sacrifice. Do you have an offense against someone today?

Go to them, and them alone (Matthew 16:15) and make things right so you can freely offer up a heart of praise and thanksgiving to God. God will honor you for your obedience.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

THANKFUL THURSDAY ... Like a good neighbor

State Farm Insurance isn't the only one who knows about being neighborly. Years ago, when my husband and I first were married, our neighborhood always had a annual block cookout. It was the highlight of our summer, but not only that, as neighbors, we always looked out for one another all year long.

Isn't that the way it use to be?

Having block parties, neighbors checking on neighbors, helping your neighbor out with things, baking a cake when your neighbor was sick, etc.

I just don't think it is still like this in our neighborhoods, but I know it should be. I recently paused to consider what kind of neighbor I am.

My family recently moved out of our home where we lived for 20 years to live in the parsonage where my husband is pastoring. Our old neighborhood over the years has changed so much. New families moving in, and everyone is busy, busy, busy and they keep to themselves. I ran into my long time neighbor today and told her that we had moved a month ago. She had no idea.

If we were neighbors like State Farm suggests, than I would expect that somehow my neighbor would have known that we had moved out. Not to slight her, or put blame on her for not noticing, but shame on me for not telling. After all, isn't that what neighbors do?

With the fast pace life that we live, social media taking over our communication process, slowly but surely we are getting away from being neighborly. I don't like that. And I know God doesn't either.

" And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.  And the second is likewise, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these." Mark 12:30,31

Being neighborly isn't just about knowing your neighbors name. To be a neighbor like the Bible suggests, we must love and love unconditionally.

I will be hosting THANKFUL THURSDAY this month and today I am giving thanks for my neighbors, the ones from my old neighborhood and the ones from my new neighborhood. May I strive to be a State Farm neighbor and like a good neighbor .... be there for them!

Join your grateful heart with ours this week by linking up below. God bless you in all that you do.