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Monday, January 30, 2012

My Life Verse

The message by Don McClure, I heard yesterday continues to ring in my heart.
Acts 20:24 "But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my course with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God."

Paul encountered beatings, shipwrecks, prisons, hunger and yet he states, "none of these things move me." It is quite clear he is saying that they will not move him away from the Lord. How can he say that? The answer is in the next phrase, nor do I count my life dear to myself. Oh how far have we come in the thinking of the world!

"You deserve the best. God never expects his children to live in poverty...on and on. All about me! Wait a minute "nor do I count my life dear to myself." This is my problem, I do not see me as God sees me. He knows there is more to life than this body. He wants me to experience Him in every way. And most of the time, the only way to have this experience is through suffering.

What is it that will move me? I think I have written on this before. But it merits a reminder...for me a daily reminder.

Lastly, I want to finish my course with joy! God has a course mapped for each one of us. But we want to map our own way. This is a detour in the ways of God.

Don McClure said  that this has been his life verse for many years. I think I need to "steal" this for my life verse. Yes, I think this will do nicely for a life verse.

Thanking God for His grace
God bless you

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Little by Little

Exodus 23:20-31 is a very interesting account of the children of Israel, and the command the Lord gave them to go into the lands to destroy the nations around them.

Verse 23 "For mine Angel shall go before thee, and bring thee in unto the Amorites, and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites:..." caused me to stop and read again. The message was a personal one, that God"s angel takes me into the battle ground, but will also deliver me. But I am not to follow my enemies nor do as they do. Suddenly I realized that angels are very active part of man's lives. I don't just walk into the midst of a battle, but God has placed me there.


For me that battle ground can be the desert, the mountain, in a crowd, in an earthquake, on the mission field, and in my home. God has led me there to teach me lessons I could never learn anywhere else. But God did not leave me there alone. He was pruning me to make me more like Him. 


Verse 28-29 "I will not drive them out from before thee in one year; lest the land become desolate, and the beast of the field multiply against thee. By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit the land."


The pruning was painful, and was not completed in one moment. But little by little He took those sins, those things that stand in the way of  my growing in Him. Oh the graciousness of God! God loves me so much, His patience far exceeds what I can imagine.


One day we will be with Him forever, and the pruning will be complete. One day....


God bless you.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Dirty Window

I Corinthians 13:12 "Now I see in a mirror (glass) dimly, but then face to face..."

I was washing the sliding glass doors yesterday, and remembered this verse. I was definitely looking through a glass dimly!! I knew it was dirty, but didn't know it was quite as bad as it was. That is the way it is with my life. Sin doesn't look as bad as God says it is. It is easy to make excuses for my sin. But the longer it goes, the more dimly God becomes.

When I let God wash away my "debris" and clean me up, then I can see Him more clearly. Oh the grace of God!
Psalm 34 is loaded with promises of God and His goodness to me. Verses 18 and 22 are so wonderful..."near those who have a broken heart, and saves those who are of a contrite spirit. The Lord redeems the soul of His servants, and none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned."

I love that promise...NO condemnation!! A dirty window, but God cleans me up and no condemnation, it can't get much better than that!

God bless you

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Contentment

"The happiest people don't necessarily have the best, they know how to enjoy what they have." ~(Pastor Charlie) Thorn.


This quote is a parallel to the well-known verse "Godliness with contentment is great gain." I Tim 6:6. Also in Hebrews 13:5 "...be content with such things as you have..."


Are you happy with what you have? Or do you always find yourself wishing you had more? If you watch a lot of TV, you are bombarded with commercials that convince you that you need more. You deserve the best..on and on. The truth is the more we have the more we want.


When our children were quite young, and we would come to the US for some time away from Haiti, we would  give them a little spending money. Of course, with having no "shopping sprees" in Haiti, then coming to Walmart was quite the adventure. They saw so much they really "needed."  So one day they had been looking at so many things, but their money wasn't enough. They told me they needed to step outside for a minute. Of course, I questioned the reasoning behind this. "Well, we need to go pray and ask Jesus how to spend our money." What a lesson. Needless to say, they didn't follow this after they were older.


Prayer needs to go into our spending habits. I am sure we would all be amazed how God would lead us, if we would only ask Him before we buy things. 


Enjoy what you have and be happy. Be content! Be thankful! Let's not look on the things of another and wonder why they can have something and you can't. Life isn't fair, and God knows what is good for you. And Me.


God bless you

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Feed on His Faithfulness

Psalm 37:3-4 "Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart."

I just love it when I'm reading the scriptures, and God "shoots" me with a new challenge. I have known these verses for a long time. Not so many words, yet within it there are nuggets of gold.

"Feed on His faithfulness" is one of the nuggets. I was in the midst of a financial challenge and just wasn't sure how everything would pan out. Then when I read these verses, there it was....feed on His faithfulness....I was feeding on my inadequate finances. So easy, so easy to look on the situation and forget that God already has the answer. He is so wonderful.

Then if I trust Him, dwell in His land, feed on His faithfulness, delight in Him, my desires will then be His and He will give me the desires of my heart.

I still don't know how the financial situation will be solved, but I know the faithfulness of God!!

God bless you


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Today was Special

Hebrews 13:1-6
There are 3 points that impressed my heart in this morning's teaching:
Remember those in prison as if you were there with them
Be hospitable, never knowing when you are entertaining angels unaware
Do not covet

But this morning's service was special in another way. My mother, 90 years old, was able to attend church with me! What a blessing! It was so fun having her worship with us.

The children and I have been visiting Sarasota, so therefore, I haven't written for several days. I pray each of  you have had a good weekend, and have allowed God to speak to your heart. Since the Pastors conference last week, then coming to Sarasota, I have been trying to "organize" my heart and meditate on all that God has shown me.

But for now, I want to remember those who are persecuted for the sake of Jesus. I do not want to want those things that are not for me, nor those things which would take me further from Jesus. My heart's desire is to have only those things which draw me closer to the Lord.

God bless you.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Pearls of the Word


Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.  (Matthew 13:45-46 NKJV)
We just returned from the pastors conference, which was a great time of hearing the Word and fellowship, and closing it with communion.

The theme of the conference was Treasures in the Word. I was so challenged to be more diligent to dig into the scriptures to find the pearls that God has for me. God expects me to search the scriptures so He can speak to me. It is  lazy to live on others' studies in the scriptures.

The truth is I wouldn't want others to go search for treasures, then I would just get those things they wouldn't want. It is better for me to search and find the treasure! And the beauty is, that God has treasures in the Word for us all!! Oh what an Awesome God we serve!!

Patrick and Tom left this morning for Haiti. This is the long one, 6 weeks on field. But I will be blessed to have my mother visit for some of that time. Patrick has many things he will be doing. Pray for wisdom for some decisions he will need to make. Also pray that the vehicle will be repaired in the next day or so! This would be the extra vehicle needed for teams, construction, and transporting Haitian mission groups to some mountain areas for evangelization.

God bless you

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Lesson in Folding Clothes

1 Peter 2:21 "To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps."


Yesterday I was folding clothes, and of course, Promise being 5 years old wanted to help. "Grandma, I fold do my clothes." Knowing they wouldn't be folded perfectly, I could have told her to go play and I'll do it. But I wanted her to be a part of household chores. She worked diligently. She never knew her little pulse of folded clothes were more like blobs. She would try to mimic my folding.


Then I was reminded that this is exactly how we are with our life. God has shown us how to live. He gave us Jesus as our example. We think we know how to do it, but we make such a mess of things. We really mess up kingdom work. But God let's us work away trying to mimic Him, all the while seeing what a mess it really is. But He doesn't pull us out of the work. His Grace allows us to keep going. God is so patient with us and all our little piles of "folded" blobs.


I need to be more diligent in the Word, and then obediently follow His examples.


God bless you

Friday, January 13, 2012

My Shield


 Psalm 3:3-5 "Many there be which say of my soul, there is no help for him in God. Selah. But You, O Lord, are a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of my head. I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and He heard me out of his holy hill. Selah. I laid me down and slept; I awoke; for the Lord sustained me."
I have not slept well the past few nights. So many thoughts bouncing around my mind. It was a racetrack with never-ending situations playing out problems and solutions. Oh, quiet my mind. And God did.

Than I read these verses. How often have I heard people say of others, "there is no hope for him. He'll never change." If there is hope for me, there is certainly hope for others. Yes, we may make wrong choices, but God does pick us up if we repent and cry out to Him. He lifts us up. He is my shield. The protector of my shoul.

When the arrows of the enemy fly toward me telling me that I'm useless and worthless, then He is my Protector. His grace covers me. His righteousness is about me. The arrows of pride come, telling me how important I am, how I deserve the best, then again I know I am nothing of myself but only in Him. His shield protects me.

And only then, can I lay down and sleep because the Lord sustains me. But for the Grace of God! How amazing, what peace!

Patrick has landed, and Agape is on his way to pick him up. Blessing!

God bless you



Thursday, January 12, 2012

Memories

At 4:58 pm, two years ago today all of Haiti was shaken to the core. It was a tearful day, yet thankful for God's faithfulness and His Goodness in it all. Schools closed in Haiti today. Just too many memories and fear of yet another quake.

Quake friends on FaceBook connected today. We all were sad, but grateful for God's Grace. We remember those who lost family, friends, homes and their peace. We are thankful for those who found the Lord through the quake. We are thankful for those who are still standing strong in spite of the suffering and hardships.

All i can say, God is Good. He is Right.

God bless you

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

If I Be Willing

"If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land"
(Isaiah 1:19)



Oh I want the good of the land, but obedience? So there is a condition for the good part. Isn't that what we all want, the good without the sacrifice of obedience. 


Roy Coy reminds that "worship is built upon three truths: it is sacrifice, it is subsistence, and it is selfless." But what does worship have to do with sacrifice? Everything! Without sacrifice there is no worship. Worshipping God means sacrificing our own wills. Obedience is a sacrifice, again, giving up my will.


But I want to do it my way, giving up my will is not easy. But I only see the verse, I must be willing and obedient if I want the blessings of the good land.


What is the good of the land? Peace, ah now that is one we need. Look at the condition of not only our country, but also the world...not much peace. God promises peace to those "whose mind is stayed on Him." Another blessing is joy and contentment. Our contentment doesn't come from things, it is an attitude.


Love. It is so difficult to love those who don't see things our way. Now that is a selfish thought. For a blessing in love, I need to give up my selfishness. The list could go on, but...


I need to work on these. To be honest, there are issues going on in my family right now that I want to control and fix, but it is not for me to do so. I must wait on the Lord. I want the good of the land. Lord, give me peace in spite of the "muddle" of my thoughts.


God bless you

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Planted By the River

Psalm 1:3 "And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper."


The olive tree, which is mentioned many times in the Bible, grows slowly by a well watered, and fertile soil. Even when it is old and the trunk is gnarled, it still produces fruit. They remain strong in drought climates. One reason for this is their sturdy and extensive root system. Olive trees can live for several centuries, and can remain productive for as long if they are pruned correctly and regularly.


Is this the tree mentioned in Psalm 1? Very likely. I'm to be like this tree. Oh, I feel gnarled, but that shouldn't stop my growth in the Lord. The important thing is that I am grounded in the Word (fertile), and allow pruning (the Lord's corrections), and keep my eyes on the Lord.


Another aspect of the olive tree is its reproduction even when it is old and gnarled. This I wonder? Are we reproducing new children of the Lord as we retire? I see many retirees on the golf club, playing cards every night, parties, etc. There is no retirement with the Lord. In all these things, we need to share Jesus. 


Working mothers, beware!! Your children are the tender shoots for a tree planted by the waters. It is up to us mothers to feed them, water them and teach them God's Word. It is not the job of the church nor the Christian school. Yes, they can come alongside of you to do this, but it is the parents' job first and foremost. I know, I know, "we have to work to pay our bills." 


My heart breaks that now our nation is on the brink of a godless generation, and it is the result of a generation of "lock and key" kids who have grown up with no parental guidance. 


Let's return to the rivers of water. Let's return to the Word of God and obediently walk in His steps. Allow our roots to go deep and strong.


God bless you

Monday, January 9, 2012

Still No Response

"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world
giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it
be afraid." (John 14:27)



Patrick is in Haiti. I have been trying to call him since Friday. Oh I know he had a church conference all weekend, but no one is answering or responding my calls. This is the "joys?" of Haiti. Poor phone connections. Often he needs to stand by the cornfield to call. haha.


This call is not for my own pleasure but to get a message to him. What to do Lord? Then last night the Lord reminded me that He can urge Patrick to call home. This morning this verse was in my email. Wow! Quite the reminder Lord. God is in control.


For sure, I'm so thankful I do not need to stand in line for God to answer my cries. He hears my plea and yours all the same time. He can answer us at the same time. So thankful God doesn't use a phone system. Yes, even as wonderful as the cell phone is, God's system is still greater. Man just thinks they have the greatest technology! Not so!


Whatever frustration you are experiencing today, take the verse and hold it in your heart.


Still no call from Patrick, though.


God bless you

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Blameless Before Him

"Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in
the day of our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Corinthians 1:8



As I was cleaning the bathroom this morning, (isn't it amazing how quickly corners get dirty?)and I was thinking how much energy it takes to keep things clean (no, my house is not spotless).


Do I work as hard at keeping the corners of my heart clean? You know those things that we stuff out of sight so that no one will know. But God sees every corner of our heart, even those rooms in our hearts that we try to lock God out. God wants me cleaner than I want bathroom corners clean.


His grace is ever abounding in my life. God confirms me, even though I'm not perfect? Grace! Will I be able to stand blameless before Him? No, not on my own, but with the righteousness of Jesus covering me. Grace!


Just as I constantly go back to clean bathroom corners, so I must constantly go back to the Word and let it wash me clean. My desire is to be blameless in Him. Lord, help me and change me, wash me clean!


God bless you

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Bask in God's Love

"Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we
should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not,
because it knew him not." (1 John 3:1)



To be loved by the Creator of the universe!! What an awesome truth. Agape and I were just talking of the vast expanse of the universe, the stars, planets. I cannot even fathom this!


My world is so small. Within walls, I'm confined to work, play, love, and relate my life to the Master and Maker of the Universe! And the irony of it all is, without Him, I am nothing more than a "filthy rag." That is the expression the Bible uses to describe me.


Oh it feels so good tonight to know that He loves me so much. I am physically so tired, as the kids say, for the tip of my head to the tip of my toes, I am tired. But I don't regret my tiredness, for you see some very dear friends spent the night with us enroute to Haiti. So we did more talking than sleeping. Oh it was fun!


I do pray you are basking in the love of God tonight! Nothing can separate us from that love! Rest in that thought tonight.


God bless you

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Living By the River


"Today, the Rivers of pardon and the rivers of grace, the rivers of the promise and the rivers of communion with Christ, are never failing sources of supply." Roy Coy
He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper. (Psalms 1:3 NKJV)
As I was reading this morning, I asked myself how often I stray from the banks of the eternal river where I will prosper. If I meditate in the Word, day and night, then I will be like a tree with abundance of fruit. A tree like this always has a supply of moisture. My water is the Holy Spirit, and this will always bring freshness and good fruit. My decisions should be made by His word.

My desk is a perfect example of clutter right now. How did it get this way? I set goals to get it the work done, but get distracted, then phone calls, then...whatever. A cluttered life is an example of not staying by the river of water, where  there is an flowing supply of God's grace.  Today I must make the decision to rid the clutter, both on the desk and my life. Even in the midst of cleaning the clutter, I can meditate on God's Word.

I need to live on the "banks" of the river for every decision, thought, and move that I make. I cannot expect to find joy and peace away from the Bank (the Word). Funny, I just now thought of this, the world thinks that joy and good comes from a good "bank" account, but we as God's children have an ever-flowing supply of goodness from God's bank and no one can take that wealth from us.

My desire: To have His Grace flowing from my life, so that others desire to come to Him!


Sunday, January 1, 2012

My Desire

Philippians 3:7-10 "But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;"


The teaching at church was challenging and convicting. Challenging us into changes for 2012, but it will only happen if we change our way of thinking, believing, and acting. I don't like New Year resolutions. Most are without conviction, and hardly last into the first week.


But I am challenged to the question, "What do I really want in this year?" It is hard to evaluate that one, for you see, today feels just like yesterday. Today feels no different just because the number on the calendar page has changed. Do I want change? And why do we feel we need to wait until a new year begins to start on the road to change?


I desire to keep my focus on Jesus, and not be so focused on what this world has to offer. The world hates and holds grudges. I desire to love, forgive, love, forgive, and love again.


God bless you.