Friday, April 30, 2010

The Golden Rule

This week I read that a burglary occurs every 14 seconds! Does that not just astound you? How would you like to make the world a better place? I think that we can improve on this statistic if we could see people practicing the golden rule.

Is there such a thing as the golden rule? Jesus made Himself very clear in Matthew chapter 7 that we are to treat others the same way that we would want to be treated.

MATTHEW 7:12 "Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets."

Sometimes, it is not so easy to follow this golden rule, especially when someone has hurt us or mistreated us or betrayed us. It is difficult to know exactly how we should treat others in times like this. When in doubt, knowing how to treat others is as simple as looking in the mirror. Ask that person you see in the mirror how they would like to be treated - and the answer you recieve will tell you exactly how to treat others.

"The mark of a Christian is that he will walk the second mile and turn the other cheek." - JOHN MAXWELL

Thursday, April 29, 2010

AT THE WELL: time is precious

You can also find me today sharing a devo from my heart over at the AT THE WELL site:

I just attended the funeral of a friend. She battled cancer for the past year and half. She leaves 3 precious, beautiful teen daughters. She was only 38 years old.

I am certain if you would have told my friend two years ago that she had such a short time left on this earth to spend with her girls, she would have not believed you. But just like a blink of an eye, our lives can change. It did for my friend. And it has changed the lives of 3 precious girls forever.

Each of us has been given an allotted time on this earth. And God has given each of us purpose with that time He has allowed. There is purpose in the... READ THE REST HERE !

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

THANKFUL THURSDAY... supersize it!

I just love living in America! Here in the land of the free - the bigger, the better!

We drive BIG cars!
We live in BIG houses!
We have BIG bank accounts!

With two words, we even make the small things BIG...SUPERSIZE IT! Yes that's right, we even like our french fries and drinks to be BIG!

But what about our faith? So many times I feel like "if only my faith could be BIGGER!" But the Apostles also asked that same question in Luke, they said to the Lord..."Increase our faith." and the Lord replied:

"If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mullberry tree, 'Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,' and it would obey you." (Luke 17:6)

So really ... is BIGGER better? Not really, God says that all we need is faith and the power is not in the size as it is in having sincere faith. God is a BIG God and He has the SUPERSIZED power that will empower us to do great BIG and mighty things.

I'm thankful for the awesomeness of His power. His SUPERSIZED power!

What are you grateful for today...join your grateful heart with ours over at Lynn's as she is hosting THANKFUL THURSDAY today. Join us right here next week as I will be hosting TT for the month of May! Happy TT!!

WEDNESDAY WEEKLY WORD...something worth cherishing

It is so easy to trade old, worn things in for something new. Take your car for example, when it starts to have trouble, the first thing we do is take it to the mechanic. Sometimes the problem can be fixed, but when the repairs begain to get expensive and it seems like our car is just too worn out to be fixed ... we trade it in. We never trade down either, we always get something that is newer, shinier, and with more bells and whistles.

The problem with our world today is that often times our relationships with each other are often treated just like this. In our marriages. In our friendships. With our places of employment.

When things start getting tough, instead of trying to work things out and fix what seems to be broken - we go for the "trade-in". We get new friends, we get a different job, we get a younger spouse.

Can you imagine if you hurt your hand, and instead of going to the doctor, you just got the sharpest knife you could find and just cut that hurt hand off! How crazy does that sound? But this is exactly what we do when it comes to broken relationships, it is easier for us to sever it than to mend it.

Paul addresses the marriage relationship in the book of Ephesians:

EPHESIANS 5:28,29 "Husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it."

In last week's YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL, I polled the readers the following question: "What is the one thing that you cherish the most?" The top 3 answers were:

1. 46% of those voting said that they cherish their loving family the most.
2. 38% voted and said that it is their Bible that they cherish.
3. 7% responded and said they cherish something but not sure what.

I am thrilled to see that cherishing our family is number one. But only 46%? What happened to the other 54% ... have they already taken their broken relationship to the local garage and traded it in for something else?

What a difference we could make if we took Paul's advice and cherished the relationships that we have. Not just in our marriages, but can you imagine if we loved people as much as we love ourselves ... what could possibly happen? Cherishing and nourishing could be the perfect tool to fix what seems to be broken!

Our family. Our friends. Our co-workers. Our neighbors. Our church members.
The homeless. The sick. Strangers.

These are people ALL worth cherishing!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A PIECE OF MY HEART...totally revealing

Have you ever had one of those days? You know, the kind that is just horrible, terrible and just down-right bad! The kind of day that starts out bad and instantly goes downhill.

Everything goes wrong:  the alarm did not go off, you are late for work, you forgot your important sales presentation at home, your credit card is denied at the restuarant for lunch, the school calls and your son just vomited, your car blows a tire on the way to get Johnny from school, upon arrival at home - you discover you forgot to pay the utility bill and your lights have been shut off, the dog chewed up your favorite pillow shipped from Korea, and your husband calls and says he just got layed off.

Well, as bad as that may sound, In the Bible, Job could easily win in a "bad day" contest. No question! In a single day, Job lost all of his wealth, his house collapsed and fell on his children, killing all ten of them. And to top that off, Job had painful sores all over his body.

Falling to hard times can certainly be revealing about a persons character. When hardship hit her family, Job's wife did not respond very well. She totally lost sight of God, she was overwhelmed by the pain and she simply revealed what I would say was wimpy faith.

JOB 2:9,10 "[Job's] wife said to him, 'Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!' He replied, 'You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?' In all this, Job did not sin in what he said."

Job had a different kind of reaction to the same set of circumstances. He responded with integrity. He chose to trust God in the hard times just as he did the good times. God had not changed, only Job's circumstances.

What about you? In times of trouble, are you more like Job or Job's wife? Will your character remain the same as it was in the good times?

No matter what your circumstances, remember God remains the same. May our character and integrity totally reveal our faith in the good and the bad!

and that is a piece of my heart today;

Monday, April 26, 2010

Welcome Home!

It is hard to believe that a year has almost passed since we took our son to college. But here it is the final week of his freshman year. I have some things to take care of this week as I prepare for his return home for the summer. How I have looked forward to this week with great anticipation!

As much anticipation as I have for my son's return home, I can't help think that our Heavenly Father must have even more anticipation as He awaits for His children to come home.

JOHN 14:2 "In My Father's house are many mansions, if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you."

God's anticipation for His children to come reside with Him is so much greater than anything you or I can experience. What joy there must be as I think about the reunion that takes place when one of God's children comes home. I cannot even imagine anything sweeter than hearing the Heavenly Father say to one of His Own ... WELCOME HOME!

My son is coming home this weekend, but in order to get home, he must know the right roads to take to get here. Much like this, we, God's children, must find our way to get to our heavenly home... Do You Know The Way?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Contagious Christianity

Don't you just love people who come around you that have something contagious! Like a cold ... and they sneeze all over everything and anybody who is close enough to catch what they have. Wouldn't it be awesome if we were so excited about our faith in God that we would spread it to everyone we come in contact with - much like a sneeze.

Genuine, heartfelt Christianity is contagious. If we are enjoying a life-altering relationship with God, than shouldn't our relationship have an impact on others?

MATTHEW 10:32 "All those who stand before others and say they believe in Me, I will say before My Father in heaven that they belong to Me."

If we are to be contagious Christians, we might consider sneezing alittle bit of Jesus on someone! It's something worth spreading!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

THANKFUL THURSDAY ... a young boys lunch

Have you ever had one of those days that you felt like you had very little or actually absolutely nothing to offer God? I know some days it feels like we have nothing to give, but we just might be surprised at what we actually have to offer.

Just look at what God did with a young boys lunch. He took a small lunch and multiplied it enough to feed thousands of people. (Read about it in John, chapter 6) Have you ever wondered what may have happened if that young boy had not offered his lunch? Even if that HAD happened, God would have found another way, but then the young boy would have missed out on being a part of the miracle.

JOHN 6:9 "There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?"

Sometimes what I have to offer seems insignificant or too small to even matter, but like the young boy, if I do not offer what I have (small or large) I just may be missing out on being part of a miracle that God is preparing. God doesn't NEED my small token of something but He WANTS it!

We all have something small to give, God doesn't need it but He wants us to be part of a miracle. I am so thankful not only for the young boys lunch but that God takes what we have to offer and He multiplies it. How awesome that what I see as insignificant, God sees as miracle material.

What are you grateful for today? Please join your thankful heart with ours over at LYNN'S  (SPIRITUALLY UNEQUAL MARRIAGE). Lynn is our host for THANKFUL THURSDAY this month! Happy TT day!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

WEDNESDAY WEEKLY WORD... unconditional love

If someone were to ask you, "Why do you love your mate?" - What would you say?

Most men would probably mention something about their wife's beauty, her sense of humor, her kindness or her inner strength. They might even mention her ability to cook or what a great mother she is. Women would probably say something about her husband's good looks or personality. Most likely they would compliment their man on being steady and for having a consistent character. They might mention how they are always there for them, that they are kind and helpful.

We are all attracted to our mates for various reasons. In fact, last week in the YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL, I polled the readers about this very thing. I asked, "What was the first thing that you fell in love with about your mate." The top 3 responses were:

1. 43% of those voting said that it was their sense of humor.
2. 37% voted and said they fell in love with their kindness.
3. And 6% voted and said it was because they loved God.

Loving God was only 6%? Apparently God was not the attraction, but is God what holds your relationship together now?

What would happen if over the course of years, your mate stopped loving you? Would you still love them? Based on the poll I took, I would say no because it appears that loving our mate has something to do with their qualities and we all know that "qualities" can quickly fade or disappear.

The only kind of love that will last a lifetime is unconditional love! Truth be told, love is not determined by the one being loved but rather by the one choosing to love.

ROMANS 5:8 "God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

Now this is a kind of love that surpasses everything. God does not love us because we are lovable but He loves us because He is loving.

If someone says to their mate, "I have fallen out of love with you" - could it be that they in a sense are saying, "I never loved you unconditionally to begin with." This kind of love is an example of phileo or eros love. There must be a stronger foundation in a relationship than mere friendship or attraction. Unconditional love or agape love will not be swayed by time or circumstance.

From time to time, we will all fail at this thing we call "love" but thank God for the encouragement we find in 1 Corinthians - "Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." (13:7) Loving your mate based upon God's plan will take you from "I love you because..." to "I love you ...period!"

Unconditional love ... a love that will last a lifetime!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A PIECE OF MY HEART...there is no salvation family plan!

Growing up around Christians or even going to church on a regular basis does not instantly make someone a Christian. Knowing God is not at all like joining a cell phone company. God does not offer a "family share plan". He does not let us tag along and get "free minutes" just because our parents or grandparents have already paid for it. (or lived it). God wants us to choose for ourselves to serve Him, not because of our who are parents or friends are. He wants us to choose Him because we WANT to!

John the Baptist spent some time with people who thought they were part of a "salvation family share plan." They figured that since Abraham had an "in" with God, and they were his descendants, then they were good with God also. John was quick to tell them that salvation is not about your family relationship with God but it is about YOUR relationship with Him.

JOSHUA 24:15 "Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve."

Know Whom you believe in and why ... because there will be no piggy back riding into heaven!

and this has been a piece of my heart today;

Monday, April 19, 2010

The REAL thing!

Coca-Cola has told us for years that their drink was the REAL thing! But is it really? Is it really the REAL thing? How can we be sure that what is labeled on the outside of the soda can is what we are really getting?

How absurd would it be for us to punch the button on the vending machine and think we are getting a Coca-Cola ... but once we pop the top and take a drink, we find it to be something else on the inside. Most of us would probably want a refund! Especially if what was on the inside was something unpleasing to our taste buds.

1 John 2:27 tells us that it is God's anointing that will teach us what is the REAL thing! Without God's anointing, leading, guiding and prodding - it will be easy for us to thirst after imitation things! Do not be tricked - just like the can of Coke - we have to look on the inside to see what we are really getting!

Jesus is the only REAL THING that you will find. Once you taste of His love and power ... you will thirst for no other!

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Fire

I just love sitting out in our backyard around our firepit. I like to sit up close to it, and then when the fire gets too hot, I scoot my chair back away from the fire. I think that life is like this sometimes - the heat of the storms in our lives get so hot that we try to get away from the flames of the fire.

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego had a fire to face. (Read Daniel chapter 3) These 3 young men had a choice to make: either be true to God or get tossed into a fiery furnace. They chose God!

These young men chose to trust God! They faced the fire, knowing that God could save them from it - but maybe, just maybe, He might have a different plan. Despite this though, they still kept their faith!

DANIEL 3:17, 18 "If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it...but even if He does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up."

It's easy to say that we would never allow our faith to waiver, but in honesty, the test usually comes when we are facing the fire. We probably won't ever get tossed into a fiery furnace like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego did, but the things that we face in life can be just as hot and blistering.

No matter what we face in life, we can trust God to take care of us just like He took care of the 3 men in the fiery furnace. Just as He was with them in their fire, He will also be with us in our fire.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

THANKFUL life with no regrets

I was thinking the other day, how it seems like yesterday that I was a teenager wondering what it would be like for me after I graduate from high school. Where would I go to college? Who will I marry? How many kids will I have? Where will I work?

Its funny how difficult it is to imagine what our life will be like down the road. As a young girl, I imagined that I would live in a big mansion, be married to a rich man, have tons and tons of friends and have the prettiest, smartest and most successful children.

It all seems like forever ago that I dreamed such dreams, but really in reality when I get to the end of my life, as I breathe my last breath, what will matter the most? The kind of house I lived in? Whether I was rich or poor? Who my friends were? How many children I had?

 Would my dreams leave me with any regrets in life?

I like to think that I am living my life with no regrets. To some people, living life with no regrets would be going after all they can get in the business world. Climbing the ladder. Getting rich and famous. Rubbing shoulders with the celebrities. Driving fast cars. Living in big houses.

As I think ahead to what the rest of my life holds ... I know that fast cars and big houses probably are not part of my future. But I will still be able to say, "it's been a good life"! "I have no regrets"! I can boldly say this because I have spent these final days, years, moments walking with Jesus!

MARK 8:36 "What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?"

If we are not careful, we can build a life that gains the whole world but costs us our soul. Each day we live, we have another opportunity to live life with no regrets. As we submit our hopes, dreams and plans for the future to God, He will enable us to live life in a way that we can have no regrets.

Forget the things of this world, set your eyes upon the eternal things. This is a life worth living! I am so thankful that God empowers me to live life with no regrets. Today is THANKFUL THURSDAY and LYNN is our host this month. Join your grateful heart with ours today by clicking HERE!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

WEDNESDAY WEEKLY WORD...lasting first impressions

The Bible has ALOT to say about greetings, probably more than you would expect. One of the things that I love about the Apostle Paul is how he was such an encourager! Have you ever noticed, when reading the Scriptures, how Paul took time to encourage and greet others warmly whenever they met? Near the end of Paul's letter to the Romans, he asked his fellow believers to greet 27 of his friends and loved ones for him. He even went so far as listing them by name.

Leaving a lasting impression with a warm greeting is not just for our friends though. Jesus noted in His Sermon on the Mount that even pagans speak kindly to people they like. It is easy to speak nice to those we like, but Jesus took it even a little further by suggesting that to be godly, we are to be humble and gracious enough to address even our enemies with kindness. This makes me question myself about how I address people in my world...
  • How do I greet my friends, my co-workers and my neighbors?
  • How about those people who I meet in public?
  • Do I greet these people differently than those that are closest to husband, my children, my pastor?
  • What do I do that leaves a lasting first impression?
In last week's YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL, I polled the readers the following question: "What leaves a good impression on you?" The top 3 answers were...

1. 69% of those voting said that a genuine smile leaves a lasting impression.
2. 47% voted and said that someone who encourages leaves a good impression.
3. 30% of those polled said that they are impressed with a stranger helping them out.

Seems to me that this poll is saying that actions speak louder than words! It's probably something we don't think about very often, but what is the first thing you say to your loved ones when you wake up? What kind of look is on your face when you ride in the car? What does your voice convey when you speak on the phone?

1 PETER 5:14 "Greet one another with a kiss of love."

I am asking God to make me more aware of how I greet others, not just strangers but my loved ones as well. I want every opportunity that I am given to be like the Apostle Paul's - to greet others with warmth, enthusiasm and like a kiss of love. Wouldn't that leave a lasting first impression?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A PIECE OF MY HEART...hoarders

I sat down last night and for the first time in a very long time, I actually watched some television. Scanning the channels, we came across this show called "The hoarders", and we decided to camp here for a bit to see what it was all about.

It utterly amazed me how some of the people they showcased lived. Now, first of all, let me explain what a "hoarder" is ... it is someone who complulsively buys things, mostly things that they don't need and keeps them stored usually in a disorderly fashion.

I guess you could say that I am a "hoarder" that has OCD. Because I have some things that I buy, that I don't neccesarily need... like that 3rd pair of black shoes. Nah, I probably don't need those. What about that basket full of scrapping paper and I'm gonna scrap anytime soon! But my things are put in a closet or in a storage bin. That probably doesn't sound too OCD to you, but if you had seen "The Hoarders" show like I did, you would understand why I look OCD compared to them.

One family had so much stuff piled high everywhere in the house that only a small pathway could be used throughout the house. As much as I was amazed that someone could live like this, I was thinking to myself that often times as a Christian, I also live like this. I don't mean that I "hoard" possessions and pile them up in my house, but what I do do sometimes is "hoard" up on things like selfishness, pride, envy, jealousy and greed. These things can pile up and pile up and when we don't take care of it, it can leave our path to God's house a very narrow passageway.

May we all be careful that what we are storing up are treasures in heaven and not earthly things.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Go against the flow

Do you ever walk down the street, going in one direction but feel like everyone else is pushing right by you in the opposite direction? It may even feel this way at your office or your school. Because of your stand for Christ, you stand alone in your circle of friends or co-workers.

Sometimes it is hard to go against the flow and to be looked upon as "different". This is exactly what Caleb did, he went against the flow:

NUMBERS 14:24A "because My servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land."

Are you chasing God wholeheartedly or do you find yourself getting lost in the shuffle of life? God has promised a land, a kingdom to those who go against the flow and follow Him!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Liar, Liar - pants on fire

Have you ever heard the old saying, "LIAR LIAR PANTS ON FIRE, HANG 'EM FROM A TELEPHONE WIRE?" Most of us know that as a childhood chant, but have you ever considered what it means?

Other than chanting it to kids that are trying to tell a whopper of a story, I'm not sure that the creator of this saying had much of a meaning except that it involved lying and what would happen if you lied.

Thru spiritual eyes, I suppose you could say that it means if you lie, you will go to hell and your pants will be consumed with fire. Whatever the meaning is behind this saying, what I DO know is that there is nothing good that comes from lying. When a person appears to get away with lying, it is only a matter of time before the truth will be revealed and it will be like a fire consuming them.

Proverbs 6:17 says that "a lying tongue" is an abomination to God. "Lying" means telling a deliberate or intentional falsehood. There are many forms of lying. Could it be that we are guilty without realizing it?

There is the type of lying that I call "half truths", or not telling the entire story! Another form of lying is "false promises", or deliberately promising something that you know you cannot fullfill. (ouch) and then there is the form of lying called "hypocrisy". How many times are we guilty of these forms of lies but yet we do not recognize it as lying.

After careful consideration, I wonder if our pants would be on fire for the things that come out of our mouth?

Dear Lord; help ME to control my tongue and with it - speak truth! Forgive me for the times that I may have fallen and spoken lies. I need you Lord. I need your Holy Spirit to lead me and guide and help me to control my tongue. May the fire of your Spirit consume me rather than your fire of wrath! AMEN

Thursday, April 8, 2010

THANKFUL THURSDAY... the filling

The best thing about eating oreo cookies has to be the middle or the filling! There is no better way to eat a oreo cookie than to take the cookie apart and eat the middle first. I have yet to eat a oreo cookie without having to have something to drink. A big tall glass of milk always seems to quench my thirst at times like this.

When we become Christians, we are filled with His Spirit. Just like the oreo, His filling (His Spirit) is the best part!! Just like thirsting for a glass of milk after eating that cookie, we must thirst after Him and never quench His Spirit...

1 THESSALONIANS 5:19 "Do not quench the Spirit."

I am thankful for His Spirit that leads and guides me. It is because of His filling in my spirit that I need not to thirst anymore. He is enough!!!

What are you grateful for today? Join us over at LYNN'S for THANKFUL THURSDAY!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

WEDNESDAY WEEKLY WORD ... love is not jealous!

Bigger cars. Nicer homes. Dream vacations. Perfect marriages. Seems like we all know someone who is doing better than us, looks better than us and has more than us. Jealousy is a common struggle for many.

Oftentimes, jealousy is sparked when someone else upstages us and gets something that we want. Like that promotion at work! This can be a very painful thing for us, if we have selfish motives. A selfish person will fume in anger and think bad about the person who got the promotion, instead of congratulating them. If we are not careful, jealousy will slither in like a viper and destroy our heart, our motivation and our relationships.

In last weeks YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL, I polled the readers the following question: "What do you find yourself jealous of?" The top 3 answers were...

1. 50% of the readers said that they don't really get jealous.
2. 28% of those polled said that they are jealous of people who have money.
3. 14% voted and said that they are jealous of other peoples homes.

This poll reveals to me that we are indeed jealous of what others have or have attained. Jealousy is one of the strongest drives known to man. It actually comes from the word "zeal" and means to "burn with an intense fire." The scripture says this:

"Wrath is fierce and anger is flood, but who can stand before jealousy." (Prov. 27:4)

I have found that when jealousy rears its ugly head in my life, it is usually not with disconnected strangers. No, the temptation of jealousy is usually with those closest to me. The people I work with, people I run in circles with and those that live in my house. If we are not careful, jealousy can infect and destroy even our marriages!

Love is not selfish, therefore love is not jealous. If we put others first, there will be no room for jealousy to creep in. Jealousy CAN BE destroyed with love, humility and gratefulness. Be grateful for what God has blessed you with and rejoice with others with the grace God has bestowed upon them! In the end, all that matters anyway is the condition of our hearts!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A PIECE OF MY HEART...Gloom, doom and heartache

Have you ever noticed how many songs on the top 40 are about gloom, doom and heartache? Its been that way for as long as I can remember. Songwriters write about gloom, doom and heartache because that is what real life brings!

Heartache is often linked to romantic let downs, such as boy leaves girl or girl leaves boy. But heartache comes in all kinds of forms not just romantic breakups. No matter what kind of heartache we suffer from, there is one bottomline about having your heart broken and that is it is AGONIZING! Having a broken heart affects much more than just your heart hurting. The kind of gloom, doom and heartache I am talking about is a pain that you feel deep in your gut, it weighs your entire body down.

Have you ever experienced this kind of heartache? The kind that makes you feel like you simply cannot go on?

The Psalmist tells us that we should "Cast our cares on the Lord and He will sustain us!" (Psalm 55:22)

Whether big or small, God cares about the condition of your heart. We cannot look to other things or other people to bring complete restoration to our brokenness ... God is the ultimate healer, even of broken hearts!

Do you have some pieces that need to be put back together? Talk to Him about it!

and thats a piece of my heart today;

Monday, April 5, 2010

All-you-can-eat banquet

For the first time EVER...we went out to eat for Easter dinner. Since our boys are grown now and living in different states, our usual Holiday traditions have slowly been changing. Going out to eat is really nice, no cooking ~ no cleaning ~ no mess! But the downfall of eating out is there are no leftovers!!

Have you ever gone to the fridge, looking for something to munch on to satisfy a certain craving? You know how it goes ... you open the door and just stare! But all the good stuff is gone. Basically, when looking into my fridge, you would find stale bread, moldy cheese and unindentifiable leftovers.

Can you imagine, at the very moment of gazing into such a slim pickings of leftovers, a friend calls and invites you to come over and share in their spread! They have just made Shrimp Cocktail, Bruschetta, Caesar Salad and Filet Mignon. To top it off - Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake for dessert. (yum!)

What a decision to make ... the fridge or your friends house?
Wow! What a no-brainer!

Spiritual speaking, we also have this same decision to make. Deep down we all crave something more than what life offers. We are searching for meaning. We long to belong. We try to satisfy our longings on our own, sometimes thru bad relationships, going to parties, playing sports, how we look and keeping a certain image. But these things are like stale bread and moldy cheese - they never, ever will satisfy our cravings!

God has an all-you-can-eat banquet prepared just for you and me! You don't need to worry about what to wear, what to say or even how to act. You only need to come, just the way you are and partake. Courtesy of Jesus, you already have a spot at the banquet table reserved in your name.

ISAIAH 55:1a "Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters."

Are you thirsty enough to come dine at the Lord's Banquet? It will satisify you like nothing else!

Friday, April 2, 2010

LACED WITH GRACE...behind the curtain

Today I have shared a devo over at LACED WITH GRACE and would like to share it with you here also. It is my prayer that you will rejoice and celebrate that your Lord is Risen!!

Usually when you go visit someone at their house, you have to wait at the door until you are invited in. I have some special friends though that when I visit them, I don't even have to knock. I just walk right in!

In the Old Testament, we read about the curtain in the temple. God's presence was behind the curtain, but not just anybody could go behind the curtain. According to the Old Testament, only one person, the priest, could go behind the curtain and he only could go once a year! Not just anyone could go directly into God's presence.

But all of that changed the very moment Jesus died!

On that day, the temple curtian that had separated people from God was ripped from top to bottom. And it wasn't ripped by any person, but by God Himself. At this moment, it was like God was throwing open the door to his house and welcoming us in.

HEBREWS 10:19,20 "Dear Brothers and Sisters, we can boldly enter heaven's Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By His death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place."

I am so thankful for the cross! Because of what Jesus accomplished on the cross for my sin ... there is no longer a barrier of sin between God and His people me!

Rejoice this weekend, for the curtain has been torn, and we can freely visit our Heavenly Father!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

THANKFUL THURSDAY... just kidding or just lying?

Today is April Fools Day... for the next 24 hours nonstop pranks, plotting and practical jokes will commence. You know the typical gag of "your shoe is untied!" and it really isn't.

No doubt, before the day is over, someone will have tried to pull a fast one on you. Unfortunetly, April Fools is not just a day of pranks for some, pulling a fast one over on you is just a way of life for some people. When someone says something cruel and then follows it up with "just kidding" - most likely they are not pulling a April Fools joke.

Kidding and joking around are intended to produce fun and laughter. But lying is intended to hurt or to deceive someone else.

PROVERBS 26:18,19 "Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows and death (19) is the man who deceives his neighbor, and says 'I was only joking'."

Making someone believe something that is not true is lying. We may fool others but we will never fool God. I'm thankful that God has a sense of humor but at the same time holding me accountable for the things I say and how I mean them. So have fun on this April Fool's Day ... just don't lie!

What are you grateful for today? Join your grateful heart with ours over at LYNN'S place today. She is hosting TT for the month of April!