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Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Effects of Sin

Today's message was convicting. The teaching is from the book of Daniel, chapter 3, when Shadrac, Meshac, and Abedego had a choice. They could choose to worship the statue or the fiery furnace. Of course, we know the end of the story. We know that God delivered them in the furnace. They came out not even smelling of smoke, their hair was not singed.

But they didn't know the outcome...the one thing they were convinced of and believed is that their God was able to deliver them from the fire, but even if He didn't they would still serve Him. Pastor Bob gave examples of choices that we have today to choose God rather than the god of this world. You know, at the work place, do you shy away from speaking out truth. What about adultery? No one would ever know? Do we believe our "little white lies" are ok, and we'll never be found out?

2 Samuel 12:14 "But because by doing this you have made the enemies of the Lord show utter contempt.." this was after David had killed Bathsheba's husband, trying to hide the sin he committed with Bathsheba. For you see, sin usually snowballs into greater sin. But it doesn't stop there. The verse says, we also cause the enemies of the Lord to show utter contempt to God.

That is one of the most convicting verses I have read in a while. When we are tempted to disobedience to God's word, let's remember it is not just going to affect us. This will cause even the enemies of God to show more contempt.

We are God's light in a very dark world. Let's walk in that light so that we do not have consequences of sin, but rather a choice that will please God and also bless others, and convict the enemies of the Lord. 

We have choices. Let's make the count for the Lord.

God bless you

Friday, January 25, 2013

Cleaning Job

Yesterday Patrick and I were in the car going from point A to B. The sun shown brightly into the windshield. Oh my, every speckle of dirt was magnified. I remarked, "Wow is the window ever dirty." Patrick's response, "The sun always makes it look dirtier."

How true in our life. The dirt is magnified when Jesus shines on it. I may think my sin is not so bad, until...the Light shines on it. Then it is quite nasty. Now of course, I can choose to go another direction so the Light isn't quite so intense on the "sin" spots. But they don't go away. It just keeps on getting dirtier. Just like the windshield, if we don't wash it, more dirt collects on it.

The only way to clean the windshield is with soap and water. The only way to clean my heart of sin is the blood of Jesus. In His blood is power to clean every speckle of sin. But too many times when the cleaning process begins, it is painful so I tend to detour the cleansing. But eventually I need to come back to the Light and have Him clean things up again.

A favorite song of mine (I have quite a few favorites) is Power of the Cross by Kristyn Getty.

God bless you

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Little Foxes

I haven't posted for a number of days, for a number of reasons. One, just not in a writing mood. Then, of course, the work load was heavier. Children home from school. My cousin's husband passed away which is sad. I wanted to be in Sarasota today.

Have you ever had a frustrating day? That was me today. No valid reason for it, except for the harder I worked the more work I found to do. Then I wasn't being so thankful either. Found myself concentrating on the job at hand, instead of the blessings around me.

Tonight I ask myself, why did I let the frustrations take over? I don't like when I do that. Now tomorrow is Sunday, and I do hope I have a better attitude. A thankful spirit. There are so many things to be thankful for. For you see, not being thankful brings complaints. It isn't the big things that give me problems. It is those little things that creep in and begin to attack the thought process. I'm thinking of the verse in Song of Solomon 2:15, ..."the little foxes that spoil the vine..." and that is what it is..the little things that spoil things.

What little foxes are in your life? What are the foxes that are eating and destroying the goodness of the Lord in our life? Oh we need to root them out. Take them out of our life, so that the vines of thankfulness, grace and joy are not spoiled.

So what I think I should do is go to bed, have a good night sleep and start the day on a right track tomorrow. Doesn't that sound like a good idea? Away with the little "foxes."

Good night and God bless you

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Our Life...A Display Case

The memories are strong today. Flashes of the quake, the pain, the crying...not only in our lives but the thousands of people who lost loved ones through the quake. Remembering the fear people lived in for months after the quake.

The message tonight at church was so appropriate for an anniversary message. I'm sure the pastor had no idea that quake survivors were in the audience. His message was on asking questions, especially "why?" when we just don't understand. Many times we ask why because we don't see the final picture. HIs message was focused on John 9.

When we humbly accept God's path for us, and follow Him, learning to praise Him even though we do not fully understand. When we obediently accept His will for our lives, He uses our life for a showcase for others. His light shines forth for others to see Jesus through us.

I remember when Patrick was finally out of the coma, and almost ready to be transferred out of intensive care, he had asked the nurses and doctor to gather around his bed. He thanked them for the good care, helping him through a most critical time in his life. While he was talking, a nurse stood a bit away from the foot of the bed, and then nudged the one beside her and said, "Please make him stop thanking us. Don't let him go on. We don't hear these things from patients." But Patrick continued his praises to the medical staff. I thought of this during the message, God used Patrick as a showcase for Jesus.

Our light for Jesus is so needed in this dark world. So if you, as a child of God, are suffering just know God sees the whole picture. He can use you in your suffering for His praise. We see suffering as a negative thing...God sees it much differently. I know that suffering has given me a clearer picture of who God is. Yet, when I see the stars at night, I realize I really don't know His Grandeur at all. His greatness is far beyond my understanding.

I am so thankful I serve a God who is not contained in an earthquake, He is One who Everlasting, Ever Loving, All Knowing, All Seeing, Full of Grace and Mercy. Ahh, What a God we serve!!

God bless you.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Leaving a Legacy

Where has the time gone? Not only are the holidays past, but on January 4 my sister and I went to Kansas for our aunt's funeral. I was still in Sarasota when we decided to go. We are so glad we went. My only regret was that I had not spent much time with my aunt. She left a legacy for the family and the community. One of her grand daughter's in-law said, "She loved like Jesus." Quite powerful. One of her sons said, "She was not perfect, but she was a good woman." A giving person. As the pastor said, "She gave out of her poverty and not of her abundance."

While we are living, is the time to be working on a legacy. What is it you want to leave for your family? Only your "things?" Your money? Is there more that we could leave that would have an eternal impression on our families? What do we want to be remembered by?

My focus needs to be on eternal things, not to be over-indulged with the things on earth. We can soon be discouraged and disgruntled if we only see the condition of the world. Oh we hear so much complaining of our government. I don't know why. We are warned in the scriptures that these things would come to pass. We have been warned. The end is near.

We have signs and scriptures to help us know the end time of the world. But not so much for the end of our life. We do not know when God will call us home. Some people are called home instantly. Others suffer on a bed of pain for many days. The important thing is that we are ready.

While we still have breath, let us work diligently to accomplish the work God has called us to. Let's be diligent to leave a testimony for the Lord.

My aunt only had a few short days in 2013, then eternity began for her. She is in the presence of Jesus! It really can't get better than that. Be Ready!!

God bless you

Thursday, January 3, 2013

My Request versus Leanness of Soul

Already on day 3 of 2012. Family fun, lots of food, laughter, and then....remembering those who have not had such wonderful times. Those who lost loved ones, those who have had family members in the hospital, and those who were just very lonely.

I am closing my time in Sarasota with a flight to Kansas for the funeral of my aunt. My sister and I will represent our family since mom is not able to go that far in cold weather. Speaking of mom, she loves her new home in Florida. Oh how she is enjoying grandchildren that drop by to see her. It is a joy to see her happy and content in her home here in FL.

For me, there are no new year resolutions. It is a day by day walk with Jesus. Every day desiring to be more of who He wants me to be. Day by day being a woman of Grace. Oh but I have so much to learn. The love of God rings loud and clear as He shows me the way, and waits patiently for me to learn the lessons along the way.

I read a verse the other day that stopped me in my tracks. Psalm 106:15 "And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul." This was speaking of the children of Israel in the desert as they tested God, and this was His response. I wonder how often that has been my situation. I begged and demanded something of God. He gave it to me, but in exchange I had leanness of soul. God help me!

So as I make my requests known to God may I search His will, and not demand what would bring leanness of soul.

I ask you this: How are you starting the New Year? 

God bless you