Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Last Step on the Way Down by Adrian Rogers

Listening to Adrian Rogers’ sermon titled The Last Step on the Way Down and everything he said was profound.  Here is a summary of what he said.
No one who is immoral is fit for leadership.
We need to take a stand for that which is right and holy.
We need to live above the fog
When we sin, we sin against almighty God.  Sin doesn’t just break the law it also breaks God’s heart
Law without penalty is just advice.
Don’t sacrifice the eternal on the altar of the immediate
God will not accept excuses or alibies for our sin.  He will only accept confession.  Once we confess, then comes the cleansing tide of Calvary which sweeps across the human soul. Though your sins were as scarlet they shall be white as snow.
Make a decision to follow him, depend upon Him (he will deliver you), be devoted to Him (love God), next comes development (feed your love), then discipline (guard your company, what you watch and see and read-don’t put garbage in your mind) determination; Joshua said; “I do not know the course others would take but as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.”  Psalmist says my heart is fixed oh God (I will serve you)
He said the reason we continue in sin is because we do not receive God’s wrath immediately.  He said we wake up the next day without immediate consequences so we think we are getting away with it.  He then referenced this verse.
Romans 2:5
New International Version (NIV)
But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed.
Here is my input:
That verse alone is motivation enough for anyone of us to repent of our sin.  Wrath that is stored up to be revealed later.  Let us all repent today.  Begin to walk in obedience.  It is the best way.  Yes we are free to sin, but with sin comes the high price of its consequences.
Yesterday I heard it said that conviction is determining in advance how you will behave, respond and what you believe before temptation comes.
Consequences vs. sin
Desiring to be rescued from one’s consequences or being sorry you are caught is not the same as confessing one’s sin and repenting from it.  God didn’t send his only son to the cross to die for our consequences.  Jesus died to save us and set us free from our sin.  Consequences need to be allowed to do their work on the sinner.   Do not be tempted to rescue someone from consequences.  LOVE is exercising restraint here because you know consequences can be a way to salvation.  They can be the greatest motivator for behavior modification.
Parents need to impose consequences on their children not to make the child feel beat up or demeaned.  Parents impose these consequences to help our children learn that there are consequences for wrong or dangerous behavior. 
A parents’ job is to impose loving penalties upon their children to help carve out their character.  We do this because God has entrusted us to raise up His child in His ways. (To raise them in the fear and admonition of the Lord Eph. 6:4)  (admonition -  piece of advice that is also a warning to someone about their behavior)
We are to help them become strong in character, instill godly moral values and become good law abiding citizens.  If we are never holding them accountable to be law abiding to God’s law, man’s law and even the laws or rules of our household, how will they know how to behave when they are on their own?  It is the responsibility to our society to raise good upstanding citizens.  Why is it so many take it so lightly?  Keep in mind what Adrian Rogers said;
“Law without penalty is just advice!”

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Life is Hard

Life is so hard.  It seems complex and messy.  For example in the physical realm, I clean my house and it is dirty again in NO TIME.  I wash clothes only to walk into my laundry room to find it full of dirty clothes again.  I make my bed and it needs to be made again the next morning.  Anyone exhausted by this other than me?

So as I reload the dishwasher, and throw my dirty clothes into the washing machine, I have to think of the verse that tells me that whatever work I do,  to do it with all my heart, as working for the Lord, not for human.

I get so weary of the repetitive nature of the tasks that are always before me.  I guess it feels as if I am never making real progress.  It feels as if I am forever repeating the same tasks and not making real progress.  But life is mundane like that for the most part.  When I choose to do these task "unto the Lord" they tend to take on a more significant meaning.  When I choose to do this, I am not tempted to despair over the repetitiveness of these mundane task.  He starts to give me a perspective that brings gratitude, thankfulness, and joy.  I start thinking of those that have to wash their dishes by hand and say thank you that I have a dishwasher that I GET to unload and reload.  Thank you that I have running water.  Clean water!  Any way you get the point.

So I similarly get so weary with this in the relational and spiritual side.  I tend to find myself in similar situations.  I am no sure if I just don't learn the lessons and God is having to continue to place me in situations until it is solidified in me, or if the changes that need to be made in me is being perfected thru difficulties and trials.  UGH!  Whatever the case, I just wish I would cooperate with Him and allow the stuff to be done in me.  However, I know I am slow in learning, slow to change, but mostly slow in waking up to all of it.  

In all of the trials and difficulties and even dirty clothes, I choose to walk with a thankful heart today.   I will choose to be thankful for all my dirty clothes, at least I have clothes to wash in a washing machine, with clean running water and electricity which is more than many on this planet.    I choose to be thankful for my home that needs to be cleaned, for many are homeless.  I choose to be thankful for my family, for many are estranged from family.  I choose to be thankful for my friends, for many are very alone.  I choose to be thankful for being in America, many live in fear for their lives daily in their own countries. 

We have so much to be thankful for today.  Will you join me in counting your blessing, name them one by one.  Count your blessings see what God has done!!!!  (Did you sing that as you read it?)

Colossians 3:23 & 24 Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.…

Ecclesiastes 9:10
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might,
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might

Ephesians 6:7
Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people,

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Purpose of the Christian Journey

I have been reading the book "A Long Obedience in the Same Direction".  It is chalked full of things to ponder.   It is funny how things come about.  I had just finished a study on Real-Life Discipleship about making disciples who then make disciples who then make disciples, and so on and so on.... in other words the process should be repeatable.  Obviously it worked if you look from the first century church to now.

So all this reading, studying and pondering made me begin to do a word study of disciple.  As I did, I noticed how similar the word disciple is to the word discipline.  Have you ever noticed that?  So here is what I found:

Disciple and discipline come from the same root word discipulus (plural is discipuli)

Disciple  - pupil, student, learner

Discipline -  to train, systematic instruction intended to train a person,  training that corrects, molds, perfects the mental faculties or moral character.  Training to act in accordance with the rules.

I personally find this all very interesting.  

Why has the word discipline become such a negative term.  It is what it takes to become great at anything.  Discipline is what takes the potential talent or intellect of a musician, athlete or student of any kind and develop that talent or intellect into greatness and usefulness.  Without it there is so much loss of potential.

With that as the preface, in chapter one of the book by Eugene Peterson, he talks about the journey of discipleship.  He says the purpose of this journey is to mature in the faith (which takes discipline.)  It is a journey from the world toward God where we are led and taught by Christ because he is our road map on the journey.

The book is about the Songs of Ascent which are Psalms 120-134.  These are the songs that would have been sung by the Israelites on their long journey to Jerusalem to worship God three times per year.  It was their travel songs that they would carry with them as they went to remind them where they were going, why they were going and whose they were.  In the preface, Peterson notes that "these 15 songs of ascent provide the text here for developing "discipleship in an instant society""  He notes that "following Jesus could never develop into a "long obedience" without a deepening life of prayer and that the Psalms had always been the primary means by which Christians learned to pray everything they lived, and live everything they prayed over the long haul."  It made me think how great it would be if the essence of these Psalms could be set to modern day Christian travelling songs that would encourage us to remember whose we are, where we are going and why we are going; even help us remember where we have been and that which we have been rescued.  I do recognize some of these Psalms already partially are in songs.

The first chapter begins with a quote from Fredrich Nietzsche's "Beyond Good and Evil" that I will summarize:  the essential thing in life is a long obedience in the same direction which makes life worth it.    In Long Obedience, the author notes that "the current spiritual atmosphere in which we live erodes faith, dissipates hope and corrupts love, but it is hard to put our finger on what is wrong."  OK ain't that the truth!!

So if this is the case, I believe if you are going to move forward in a journey of faith in Christ and travel in the way He has laid out for His people, it will have to be intentional and done with determination.  It will take DISCIPLINE.  It will require us to be discipled by the One that did it correctly and do it for a life time.  Peterson describes it as a Disciple and Pilgrim.  These are biblical descriptions for people of faith.  You see these are the things that will help us "recognize and resist the world's ways."

So as I have talked about the disciple, I have only touched on the pilgrim.  But anyone who is on a journey by definition is a pilgrim.  The answers to these questions determine your pilgrim type; why are you on the journey, where are you going, and who are you going to see?  In the case of the disciple of Christ, we are on the journey/pilgrimage to become more like Christ by following His road map in order to draw others to travel with us on our journey toward God.  So we are as Christ's Disciple a Christian Pilgrim.

However, it is noted by Peterson that until someone is enlightened to the corruption of this world and becomes dissatisfied with the world, they will not recognize the benefits of being on this journey of faith. However, we long for peace and truth, if and when we develop a dissatisfaction with the world, this longing can motivate us to get on the path with God.

So I wrap this first chapter up and leave you to ponder this:  If life is a journey and you are the pilgrim, what is your destination?  Most of your life is spent in transition from point A to point B.  Are you fixated on the destination so much that you are not enjoying the journey?  As summer is here and many will be going on a vacation, I want to challenge you to not only be excited about the destination but enjoy the journey there.  (as you go)

Be blessed today.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

From My Morning Devotion


Some Christians have learned little of a daily devotional life. Some time ago a policeman asked me what the secret of victorious living was. I told him that there is no magic formula that can be pronounced. If any word could describe it, I would say surrender. The second word I would say would be devotion. Nothing can take the place of a daily devotional life with Christ. Your quiet time, your prayer time, the time you spend in the Word, is absolutely essential for a happy Christian life. You cannot possibly be a happy, dynamic, and powerful Christian apart from a daily walk with Christ. Christis calling Christians today to cleansing, to dedication, to consecration, and to full surrender. It will make the difference between success and failure in your spiritual life. It will make the difference between being helped and helping others. It will make a difference in your habits, in your prayer life, in your Bible reading, in your giving, in your testimony, and in your church membership. This is the Christian hour of decision!

Daily Prayer

I long for a deeper devotional life, living Lord. May I consecrate myself completely to You.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Are You Being Cooked by the Culture?

Lately I have been feeling the decay of this world all around me.  It makes me sad at times.  I see what is happening to this amazing nation.  I see a high level of sin all around me and see evil being called good and good being labeled evil.  Right is wrong and wrong is right.  We are in strange times.

But it is not for the world to identify this.  Until one is in Christ, it is truly not their fault they think the way they do.  However, those who are in Christ are at true fault.  If you are in Christ and the spirit of the living God has taken up residence within you, you have the capacity to discern that which is sin and that which is good.

So here is my story.  There was a frog that was placed in a boiling pot of water.  The frog immediately jumped out of the pot and that was the end.

But there was another frog that was placed in a pot of water at room temperature and the pot's temperature was slowly increased until it was boiling.  The frog was cooked and never jumped out of the water.  So why does one stay and one leave?  Because the one that stayed was immersed in comfortable water, and as the temperature was increased it was so gradual the frog didn't notice.  The frog was desensitized. Eventually it was his undoing.

So isn't that Christians and sin.  If we are immersed in this culture where we are participating in its sin, evil practices, and pleasures, we loose our sensitivity to its effect on us.  We were called to live in this world but not to look like it.  We were called to draw those in darkness to the light in Christ not to live in the darkness with them.

I believe the moment we start saying yeah, but...  we are at the start of justifying our reason for staying in the pot.

I believe Christians as a group have lost their effectiveness in our society because we are enjoying the same boiling water as the world.  Truth be told, this culture can wear us down.  We are constantly bombarded with sin to the point we are picking and choosing what to be offended by.  Our culture is the pot of boiling water.  The water was turned up so gradually, most Christians don't even notice it.  We sit there being fed the lies that we need this or that to be happy, we must be liked and popular by the world's standards to be of value and to be able to affect the world.  We dishonor ourselves and God by our actions to fit into this culture.  We do it under the assumption we will be able to witness to the world.  Yet if we look like the world, sound like the world, how will the world know that we are not of the world.  Where will we be able to be effective.

We live in a world where young Christian ladies dress provocatively.  Words like gentlemanly and lady-like behavior, virtue, integrity and modesty are now old fashioned  (even common decency).  Dances mimic fully dressed sexual activity, and resemble orgies with clothes on.  These dances have names like humping, jerking, twerking and both male and female isolate and shake their pelvis.  A dance where crotches are frequently grabbed.  (that use to be something someone would do out of necessity and usually discretely)  Most of the couple dancing is done where the male is behind the female.  They don't even have to look at each other face to face  Wow!  Where a female is sandwiched between two males, (of course the gender choices are optional) So basically dances have turned into fully dressed sexual acts set to music.

This is certainly not honoring to God, it is not lovely, it is not pure, it is not of good reproach.    Unfortunately, there are some who remain on the dance floor and take these acts to its full completion right there on the dance floor.  And how this comes about I will not dignify with details or give more light to it. I am amazed at the lack of shame, the lack of outcry, or disgust by the Christian community.

So what does that reveal about our Christian culture?  I believe it is revealing the pot is boiling, and we are fully immersed in it.  If we cannot recognize the prevailing sin that is all around us, perhaps we are involved in it, or just desensitized, but by our silence are we not condoning it.  If fitting in and being popular is more important than character development, virtue and decency, we are in the pot of boiling water and we may not even be aware.

At this point, this culture is winning in infiltrating our hearts.  This culture corrupts.  If we look at these activities directly and cannot see them as offensive, we have been cooked by our culture.

My prayer is that God will open the eyes of our hearts and sensitize us once again to see sin as sin.  That God would open our eyes to see that we are fully saturated by the boiling water, and we need to take action to first off jump out of the pot.

Little by little we are compromising until we look just like the world to whom we were suppose to be offering the good news.  But we are no longer able to affect it because it has fully infected us.  You will either affect the world or it will infect you.

According to scripture, the world may believe in Christ by our unity and  they will know we are his by our love for one another. Jn 17:21 & Jn 13:35  We need to learn how to walk in this culture and not be desensitized by it.  We were placed on the earth at this time in this culture, for such a time as this to not be infected but to to be a light at this dark time in history.  Don't be cooked by the culture but be one that helps rescue others from the pot.

This link will show a demonstration of the boiling water on a frog.

Please know that I am not endorsing condemnation of sinners nor am I calling Christians to go on a sin warpath. (please love sinners but do not condone or love their sin)   I am calling Christians to simply wake up to see we are all immersed in a sinful culture and that it wears us down.  Let this be a wake up call to Christians to no longer be duped by the enemy and his tactics to desensitize us from the sin that is so prevalent around us.

Sin will either bring death to the individual who is not in Christ or death to a testimony for those who are in Christ.  We are called to go and make disciples.  So if that is the case, we need to look like Christ's disciple first before we can go make disciples of others.

Be blessed today, reflect Christ to the world and for crying out loud, get out of the boiling water, NOW!!!!!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Grow up Spiritually and Stop Drinking Spiritual Milk

1 Peter 1:22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart. 23 For you have been born again, … through the living and enduring word of God.

2:1 Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander ... 2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation

1Peter 1:22-23; 2:1-2

John 17:17 NIV

Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.

You have purified yourselves (HOW)

By obeying the truth (the proof this is happening will be because)

You have sincere love for your brothers, (YOU) love one another deeply, from the heart.

By it you may grow up in your salvation

Ps 119:9 How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word.

Wisdom vs Integrity

Wisdom is knowing the right thing to do. Integrity is doing it!

I saw this the other day and posted it on Facebook and I was suprised at how so many people "LIKED" the post.  

I also have heard that true character is revealed when you chose to do the right thing when no one else is watching.  

Let's study to know what the right thing is to do, then let's do it because it is the right thing no matter if anyone ever knows about it in this life.  I guarantee you that it will not go unnoticed by the Father.

How tough does it have to get

Have you ever been going thru life and hit a rough patch? Do you start wondering how long can this last?  It seems that when things happen they just keep on happening.  I am wondering when it is going to let up for me currently.  In the difficulties of life, we really have the opportunity to reflect the character of Christ to others.   I am trying to praise the Lord in my current difficulties.  I wonder when the sacrifice of praise will turn into genuine praise though.

I am reading a really good book right now.  "A Long Obedience in the Same Direction" by Eugene Peterson.  It is challenging me and reminding me of a study I did several years ago by Beth Moore, "Stepping Up".  She quoted this book a great deal in the study and piqued my interest.  I have for some time been mulling it over in my head and the challenge I walked away with is sort of a dare.  "I dare you to take God at His word and live your life according to His principles and commands."  I really wonder what a long life lived in a manner that follows God's word would really look like.  I mean really follow it without excuse!

It would be full of love, compassion, long suffering, integrity, holiness, righteousness, faithfulness, merciful, patience, kind, etc.  Wouldn't you love to be around that person.  What would be the down side of being with someone like this?  Comment on your thoughts below.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

When on Vacation

Well, here I am in this beautiful home.  I am on spring break and the sun is shining.  We are at the beach and attempting to use this time to refresh ourselves.  In the process it is one of the COLDEST trips to the beach I have ever experienced.  We have had so many things go wrong and yet we can't help but laugh.

Before leaving home, I received a darling phone call from this most accomodating lady from the rental place. She proceeded to tell me all I had to look forward to and the home we would be in is one of their most popular and beautiful.  (hopes are high now)  

She asked me if there was anything else she could do for me.  I asked her about early checkin.  This is where it gets fun.  So she goes to her trusty computer and discovers that there was no one in the house before us and that it was showing clean but not inspected.  She said we should be able to get into the unit early with no problem.  (hopes are higher)  So she ends the conversation with me by saying "I will call you on your way down and let you know how early you can check in."  (Hopes are highest)  

We begin our 6 + hour journey.  The map on our phone was showing the trip would be almost 7 hours.  We arrived just over 6 hours and it was all still looking so promising.  As we were getting really close, I call the place to determine the status since I didn't receive the promised call.  They began to tell me it was NOT ready.  Then we used the GPS to take us to the rental office which was an empty building boarded up.  We called the place once again and was redirected.  Finally finding the place, we were assured it would be ready by original check in time (4:00).  We finally get settled in after 4:00.  I check on the bike reservations to discover the lady NEVER had check her emails and ALL the bikes were rented out already.  With our reservation was one free bike rental and remainer discounted.  The house came with 3 bikes for our use so I proceeded to find another bike rental place.  

The new rental place honored our discount but of course no free rental.  We were using the bikes yesterday when my husbands handle bars CRACKED and became unstable.  (never seen that happen before)

So first night in the house was really nice but we awakened early the next morning to a house being built outside our bedroom window.  We decided to go for a ride on the bikes and discovered that the combinations for the locks on the bikes had been changed.  We contact the rental place to see if they have locks and they sent these locks that we can't use and even forget to leave a key to the locks we can't use.  

So first day on the bikes we head to the beach and spread out the towels to lay on and the wind begins to blow all over us.  I could feel the sand going into my right ear.  I was chilly but determined to lay there as long as possible.  I had to laugh a bit at the entire scene.  After we stood it as long as we could, we walked around and then I hung out at the local pool.  

Afterwards, we went to dinner where we followed friends in a total of 3 cars.  We were in a place where we had not really been familiar with to be directed by an officer in the street that "You need to head back to the four way stop and park.  The Shuttle is up and running.  You can catch it back"  So we circle around and could not find the four way stop.  We go back and thankfully found a spot.  One misunderstanding after another made it all very comical.  Each car's drivers were trying to coordinate with the other of their whereabouts and discovering that one party has a table.  We enter the restaurant to tell the hostess of the fact we are joining a group already seated and she directs us to the back of the restaurant.  We look and look for our party.  They are no where to be found.  To discover they have a pager for the table, not the actual table.

Fast forward to this morning where we thought things were settling down with the exception of the early morning construction outside the bedroom windows, and a knock at the door.  It is a maintenance man.  He is here to fix a pocket door.  We didn't even know we had an issue with that.  The rental place doesn't tell us.  So anyway, we allow him to enter and search.  He finds this messed up door and discovers another door as well with issues.  He fixes these and as he is working he is entertaining us with little sayings and construction stories involving pocket doors.  We just have to laugh.  (he tells us about a 7 million dollar home that was built down here where they had put in all stained hardwood pocket doors thru out the place.  then the base boards were nailed in place thru out.  To then discover that ALL the pocket doors were nailed in place.  Ouch.  He said all the doors had to be replaced.)

So for now, we are wondering what the remainder of this week has in store for us.  Also wondering if the term "spring break" means we are taking a break from  SPRING.  Because it feels like winter but it sure looks like spring.

Wondering what lessons I am learning from this trip.  The devotion for the last two mornings have been all about being thankful and grateful.  So if GRATITUDE is what I need to be walking in, I pray that I will be able to do it with grace and truth.

Have a blessed day and hope you are enjoying your break from spring as well.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Obedient to the Word

Obedient to what God shows us

Take a look at these scriptures regarding obedience

Deut 28 (obey/blessing disobey/curses) and Gen 22:18 18 and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me."

Blessings for Obedience

1 If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. 2 All these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the LORD your God: 3 You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country. 4 The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock--the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks. 5 Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed. 6 You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out. 7 The LORD will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. …11 The LORD will grant you abundant prosperity--in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your ground--in the land he swore to your forefathers to give you. 12 The LORD will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. 13 The LORD will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the LORD your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom. 14 Do not turn aside from any of the commands I give you today, to the right or to the left, following other gods and serving them. (focus on His commands)mine

Curses for Disobedience

15 However, if you do not obey the LORD your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come upon you and overtake you: 16 You will be cursed in the city and cursed in the country. 17 Your basket and your kneading trough will be cursed. …. 19 You will be cursed when you come in and cursed when you go out. 20 The LORD will send on you curses, confusion and rebuke in everything you put your hand to, until you are destroyed and come to sudden ruin because of the evil you have done in forsaking him. 21 The LORD will plague you with diseases until he has destroyed you from the land you are entering to possess. 22 The LORD will strike you with wasting disease, with fever and inflammation, with scorching heat and drought, with blight and mildew, which will plague you until you perish. 23 The sky over your head will be bronze, the ground beneath you iron. 24 The LORD will turn the rain of your country into dust and powder; it will come down from the skies until you are destroyed. 25 The LORD will cause you to be defeated before your enemies. You will come at them from one direction but flee from them in seven, and you will become a thing of horror to all the kingdoms on earth. … 27 The LORD will afflict you with the boils of Egypt and with tumors, festering sores and the itch, from which you cannot be cured. 28 The LORD will afflict you with madness, blindness and confusion of mind. 29 At midday you will grope about like a blind man in the dark. You will be unsuccessful in everything you do; day after day you will be oppressed and robbed, with no one to rescue you. …. 34 The sights you see will drive you mad. … 37 You will become a thing of horror and an object of scorn and ridicule to all the nations where the LORD will drive you. … 41 You will have sons and daughters but you will not keep them, because they will go into captivity. …44 He will lend to you, but you will not lend to him. He will be the head, but you will be the tail. 45 All these curses will come upon you. They will pursue you and overtake you until you are destroyed, because you did not obey the LORD your God and observe the commands and decrees he gave you. … 47 Because you did not serve the LORD your God joyfully and gladly in the time of prosperity, …63b. You will be uprooted from the land you are entering to possess. …65 Among those nations you will find no repose, no resting place for the sole of your foot. There the LORD will give you an anxious mind, eyes weary with longing, and a despairing heart. 66 You will live in constant suspense, filled with dread both night and day, never sure of your life. 67 In the morning you will say, "If only it were evening!" and in the evening, "If only it were morning!"--because of the terror that will fill your hearts and the sights that your eyes will see. 68 The LORD will send you back in ships to Egypt on a journey I said you should never make again. There you will offer yourselves for sale to your enemies as male and female slaves, but no one will buy you.

1 Sam 15:22 22 But Samuel replied: "Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.

1 Pet 1:14 14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance

Ne 1:5 5 Then I said: "O LORD, God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and obey his commands,

Why do parents want children to OBEY? For their good and for a better life

Josh 1:7-8

Matt 19:29

***1 Pet 1:22 – 2:12 22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart. 23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. 24 For, "All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, 25 but the word of the Lord stands forever." And this is the word that was preached to you.

***1 Peter 2

1 Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.

1 Jn 2:5 5 But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him:

Psa 103:18 17 the LORD's love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children's children-- 18 with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.

Da 9:4 4 I prayed to the LORD my God and confessed: "O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with all who love him and obey his commands,,

(do what is right Daniel 4:27 27 Therefore, O king, be pleased to accept my advice: Renounce your sins by doing what is right, and your wickedness by being kind to the oppressed. It may be that then your prosperity will continue." and Gen 4:7 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it."

Jn 14:23 & 24, 23 Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me. 15:10 10 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. and 1Jn 5:3 3 This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome,

Acts 5:29 29 Peter and the other apostles replied: "We must obey God rather than men!

Rom 6:12 (Flesh) 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.

Rom 6:16 (slave to the one you obey) 16 Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey--whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?

Rev 14:12 12 This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God's commandments and remain faithful to Jesus.

Prov 19:16 16 He who obeys instructions guards his life, but he who is contemptuous of his ways will die.

PS 119 Blessed are they whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the LORD. 2 Blessed are they who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart. 3 They do nothing wrong; they walk in his ways. 4 You have laid down precepts that are to be fully obeyed.

9 How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. 10 I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. 11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. 12 Praise be to you, O LORD; teach me your decrees. 13 With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth. 14 I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches. 15 I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. 16 I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.

17… I will obey your word. 18 Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.

27 Let me understand the teaching of your precepts; then I will meditate on your wonders. 28 My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word.

33 Teach me, O LORD, to follow your decrees; then I will keep them to the end. 34 Give me understanding, and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart. 35 Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight. 36 Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain. 37 Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.

48 I lift up my hands to your commands, which I love, and I meditate on your decrees.

59 I have considered my ways and have turned my steps to your statutes. 60 I will hasten and not delay to obey your commands.

65 Do good to your servant according to your word, O LORD. 66 Teach me knowledge and good judgment, for I believe in your commands. 67 Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word. 68 You are good, and what you do is good; teach me your decrees.

73 Your hands made me and formed me; give me understanding to learn your commands. 74 May those who fear you rejoice when they see me, for I have put my hope in your word.

81 My soul faints with longing for your salvation, but I have put my hope in your word.

89 Your word, O LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. 90 Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth, and it endures. 91 Your laws endure to this day, for all things serve you. 95 The wicked are waiting to destroy me, but I will ponder your statutes.

97 Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long. 98 Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever with me.. 102 I have not departed from your laws, for you yourself have taught me. 103 How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! 104 I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path.

105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. 106 I have taken an oath and confirmed it, that I will follow your righteous laws.

125 I am your servant; give me discernment that I may understand your statutes.

132 Turn to me and have mercy on me, as you always do to those who love your name. 133 Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me. 134 Redeem me from the oppression of men, that I may obey your precepts. 135 Make your face shine upon your servant and teach me your decrees. 136 Streams of tears flow from my eyes, for your law is not obeyed. 144 Your statutes are forever right; give me understanding that I may live.

147 I rise before dawn and cry for help; I have put my hope in your word. 148 My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promises

165 Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.

169 May my cry come before you, O LORD; give me understanding according to your word.

Who is Observing Your Actions?

I have been pondering things recently.  I was having a discussion with a dear friend of mine, and it was as if a light came back on in my head that I had some how turned off.  Although I was reminded of a truth, she put that truth in such simple terms.

  • "She reminded me that the enemy cannot read my mind.  He observes my actions."  And with that came a flood of revelations I thought I would reflect on here.

We talked about how the enemy is not the only one observing our actions, there are always witnesses watching us too.  Our reach is determined by our reaction according to Lysa Terkurst in her book "Unglued".

So as the world watches, does our actions line up with what we say?  Do our actions demonstrate sin, disobedience, fear, hate, etc that doesn't line up with what we say about God and our beliefs.

The body is the reflection of Christ to the world.  If we say one thing and yet do another, we become false witnesses to the world.  No wonder the world is no longer drawn to the church.  No wonder the body is loosing its impact on the society in which it is to minister.

My mind is on overload as I ponder these truths.  It is absolutely amazing when God allows a light of revelation to be switched on in our thoughts.  It seems to multiply and add into all that we already know.  I started taking that thought and coupling it with others truths I had already been mulling over in my head and it was as if the universe opened up in a new way and so much more made sense.  (Guess it is like going from glory to glory)

So with this truth, I see two sides.  On the one side, there is the observation of our sin actions or our faithless actions, then on the other side is the observation of our obedience to Christ and our faith filled actions.

When Satan observes our sin and distance to God, he comes at us with all manner of thoughts.  He is trying to convince us that we are not worthy of what Christ did for us so why not give up, or maybe even get us to doubt our salvation.  However, he is partly true.  By our actions, we are not worthy.  But we must have been worth a great deal because God sent His most prized son to stand in for our worthless actions in order to rescue us.  Our value is not in what we do but in the fact that we are.  So when the enemy points at your sin to condemn you, just thank him for bringing it to your attention, ask God for forgiveness and get back to doing that which is right and walking in fellowship with the Lord.  We need to remember that he is not the all powerful one, God is.  And we can do all things through Christ who gives us our strength.  We are more than conquerors.  We are mighty warriors in the hand of our Lord.   The enemy prowls around seeking those he can devour and destroy.  He comes to steal, kill and destroy us.  But Jesus came to give us LIFE!!!!!

He is prowling around searching for those who are weak and vulnerable to destroy them.  Our actions will be the thing that indicates our vulnerability. That is why our actions matter so much.  They either make us a target or they can become our shield.  Many see a life surrendered to Christ as confining, restrictive, or full of don't do this and don't do that; but I am hear to tell you that it is not at all the case.  It is our unrestrained actions and sin that leaves us vulnerable to attack.  Read what First John 5:3 says.  "This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome."

Imagine for a moment that we are a pack of antelope.  If one of us wanders far from our herd, we become vulnerable.  If we begin to act in a manner to draw attention to ourselves to demonstrate we are injured we become sitting ducks for the lion to come and tear us apart.  The lion will have no mercy on us because we are weak or alone.  As a matter of fact, that would be his preference.

On the flip side, as we walk out our faith, the world sees our life lining up with what we profess, so we become a genuine witness.  Also, the enemy sees our faith demonstrated by our actions.  Even though he may throw the fiery arrows at us, they will no longer be effective because we are able to take our stand.  It is so good that when we stay in fellowship with our Lord and with His followers, we are protected in our herd; therefore we are not as vulnerable to the attack of the enemy. It doesn't mean we are free from his attempts, because a hungry lion will go into a pack of animals if necessary.

I hope this encourages you and even gives you more incentive to live a life of faith by obedient actions.  Be complete in Christ.  (1 John 2:5 5 But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him.)  Ask Him to enable you and equip you today to walk out your faith.  Let's not only do it for ourselves and our protection, but let's do it for all the witnesses that will be watching to see if our actions really line up with our professions.  Remember our actions can bring us victory or defeat.  It can leave us powerful or vulnerable. And it can determine our effectiveness to those around us.

This blog really goes hand in hand with another blog I wrote earlier. Getting Dressed

Deuteronomy 28 is a great chapter to read regarding the results of obedience/disobedience.  Genesis 22:18 refers to the blessings of our offspring because our obedience.  Look at the first part of 1 Peter 1:22 "Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth."  Look at these verses:   Daniel 4:27 27 Therefore, O king, be pleased to accept my advice: Renounce your sins by doing what is right, and your wickedness by being kind to the oppressed. It may be that then your prosperity will continue." and Genesis 4:7 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it."

Rom 6:12 (Flesh) 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.

Rom 6:16 (slave to the one you obey) 16 Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey--whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?

Prov 19:16 16 He who obeys instructions guards his life, but he who is contemptuous of his ways will die.

PS 119 Blessed are they whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the LORD. 2 Blessed are they who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart. 3 They do nothing wrong; they walk in his ways. 4 You have laid down precepts that are to be fully obeyed.

9 How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. 10 I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. 11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.

67 Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word.

95 The wicked are waiting to destroy me, but I will ponder your statutes.

98 Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever with me..

104 I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path.

165 Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Things to Put On According to the Scriptures

The following scriptures are action scriptures that tell us to put on something.  If you are jumping out of an airplane, you will want to PUT ON your parachute.  Let's see what we need to put on to jump into our day.

"I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; My justice was like a robe and a turban.
·         Isaiah 51:9 NAS
Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD ; Awake as in the days of old, the generations of long ago. Was it not You who cut Rahab in pieces, Who pierced the dragon ?
·         Isaiah 59:17 NAS
He put on righteousness like a breastplate, And a helmet of salvation on His head ; And He put on garments of vengeance for clothing And wrapped Himself with zeal as a mantle.
"When the priests enter, then they shall not go out into the outer court from the sanctuary without laying there their garments in which they minister, for they are holy. They shall put on other garments ; then they shall approach that which is for the people."
·         Ezekiel 44:19 NAS
"When they go out into the outer court, into the outer court to the people, they shall put off their garments in which they have been ministering and lay them in the holy chambers ; then they shallput on other garments so that they will not transmit holiness to the people with their garments.  

My pondering (So does our garments that we PUT ON spiritually transmit holiness?)  HMMM

But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.
·         1 Corinthians 15:53 NAS
For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality.
·         1 Corinthians 15:54 NAS
But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put onimmortality, then will come about the saying that is written, "DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP in victory.
·         Ephesians 4:24 NAS
and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.
·         Ephesians 6:11 NAS
Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.
·         Ephesians 6:14 NAS
·         Colossians 3:1 NAS
[Put On the New Self] Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
·         Colossians 3:10 NAS
and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him-
·         Colossians 3:12 NAS
So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience ;
·         Colossians 3:14 NAS
Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.
·         1 Thessalonians 5:8 NAS
But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation.

Monday, January 28, 2013

I look at my life as a parent and cannot help but see the parallel to God with us.  As I have journeyed through this life, I have learned some lessons the hard way.  I saw that to do things a certain way really is a good idea.  I use to be one of those that tested things.  I had to learn things through experiences.  But I am glad to say that as time has marched on I have become wiser.  I listen to advice more, I watch to see the way I should go and I understand that there really is a right way and everything else really is the wrong way.  I don't say this to start an argument but state it as fact according to my years on this earth.

I am not in anyway trying to start a discussion about it.  I am just stating that there is a narrow path and a wide path.  On the path that is wide, it is easy for a time.  It may even seem right or fun.  But I can tell you that in math 2+2 is always going to be 4.  You can try all the other answers but they will still be wrong.  It doesn't matter how much you debate it, how much you argue that it is not 4, truth is NOT relative.  Truth is truth.

As a parent, we try to lead our children in the path which is good and right for their sake.  Just as our Father has given us very specific guidelines to live well in this life.  As scripture says "so it may go well with you."  Our confinement in the commands of God are our salvation.

When we go off on our on in this life, we find that walking the wrong path is dissatisfying and we get frustrated.  When we disregard God's commands, we are walking our own way and trying to do life in spite of God.

I can tell you that living in that manner cannot lead you into peace.  We were not created to live separated from our creator as much as many would like to think.  It is the center of who we are; we seeks for meaning and purpose.  We may seek fame, money, success, relationship, drugs, sex etc. to fill the longing, but I can tell you it will never be enough.  It will not satisfy and we will never be at peace in it.

Peace comes when you finally figure out that you are not in right standing with God and you need to be reconciled with Him.  Redemption comes when you receive His restitution for you.  It comes when you begin to line yourself up with what He says and what He wills for your life.  The wonderful news of the gospel is that I can be at peace with God through Jesus Christ.  He paid for my sin on the cross so I wouldn't have to.

Our pastor painted an amazing picture of Christ's suffering and crucifixion and the thought came to me as he was being quite graphic that that is what my sin looks like on my insides and on the insides of others that I sin against.  With each laceration, His stripes healed me and made me right with God.  It justified me. (Just-if-I'd --never sinned)  He made it as if I had never sinned.  That is the good news.  (The best part of waking UP is not Folgers in your cup.  It is waking up to this wonderful truth that I can be in RIGHT standing with the God of the universe and that He wants me to be in relationship with Him)

So the best part is that He showed us a better way to live this life through His commands and they are not just a good idea.  They are the WAY to live victoriously. (they are narrow and specific - not vague so we have to wonder)  There is no better feeling than to sit before God at peace with Him.  Having nothing between us.  Being fully and completely one with Him.

Go today and seek the right path.  Walk in it and even when it seems difficult and challenging, do it any way. Consider the trials you face as you walk in this right-ness, pure joy.  Because as you walk right and the trials come so does the development of character and perseverance.  Walk it out and become a person of integrity.  Do it well.  Choose to continue to walk in this path for the rest of your life, day by day. You will see what the Lord intended for your life if you will just choose to walk in the way of Christ.  Let the Bible be your road map today.

I dare you!

Monday, January 14, 2013

New Year's Resolution

Now that we are in a new year.  I am thinking this is a great time to begin to challenge myself to some sort of New Year's resolution.  This year I wanted  to drink water in the place of my typical drink of choice, un-sweet tea and do it for the month of January.  I do love me some tea to drink and I prefer it to the food I eat.  But I have to admit trying to accomplish this has been difficult.  Although I have blown it several times already, I just keep on trying.  I think it is a great idea for me to challenge these choices in my life to be certain I am in balance and that there are no things that are controlling me in my life other than Christ.  So if you have made a resolution to lose weight, to exercise, or whatever, know this, if you happen to mess up, just get right back at it.  Don't give up.  (Also, if you say I want to start at the beginning of the week and by midweek you blow it, don't wait until the beginning of the next week to start again.  Just start back the next day)  Don't sabotage yourself.  Do pace yourself and be reasonable with your expectations.

I know that with those wanting to drop weight, if you mess up you feel as if you have completely blown it and you may give up.  But I want to take the time to encourage you.  Please do not go on a diet.  Diets NEVER work permanently.  You ask "why", it is because dieting is a misused word in our vocabulary.  Diet is just the way you eat.  We have turned it into depriving the body of certain foods temporarily  to lose the weight we want until the weight is gone.  Then we return to eating the way we did and returning to the weight we were and then some more.  Yet everyone just needs to change that way of thinking.  It doesn't work long term.  If you want permanent weight loss it has to be a LIFESTYLE change.  You have to change the way you relate to food for the rest of your life.  If you choose a diet, ask yourself this question, can I eat this way for the rest of my life.  If the answer is no, keep looking for a reasonable meal plan.

So here is the way to succeed in my opinion.  Eat a sensible diet (notice I didn't say go on a sensible diet).  Eat when you are hungry where you have much more fruits, veggies, healthy grains and nuts.  I typically keep my meat intake to 3 or 4 ounces as my serving size. (I don't have to have meat at every meal)  Drink lots of water.  If you do not like water, try to find a fruit you like to flavor the water, such as lemon, strawberry, or even a cucumber or bananas.

I always suggest getting off of the artificial sweetners.  Too many studies show headaches and weight gain as the side effects.  http://www.doctoroz.com/search?q1=artificial+sweeteners&cat=all&sort=relevancy
Several references are available by other sources as well.  However, here is my greatest source, look around at all that choose this type of sweetners, are they small or not?  Test it for yourself.  I do not know of anyone that actually lost weight as a result.

But I simply would like to see each person that reads this to be healthier in 2013.  I have been watching a number of documentaries about eating healthy.  If you have a membership with Netflix, I recommend watching a few of these.
Food Matters;  Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead;  Hungry for Change.
These videos are good sources of information if you are interested.

And lastly, be a body in motion.  You don't have to have a membership to a gym.  I recommend it since I work at one and I believe it is such a great incentive to work out.  But you can find other options too.  Buy a low cost pedometer and wear it all day.  At the end of the day it is recommended you walk a total of 10,000 steps.  That comes to approximately 5 miles.  If you would like further information, check out this website.  http://www.thewalkingsite.com/10000steps.html

Be healthy and blessed today and hope that 2013 is a great year for you.


Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life.
Psalm 139:23-34

I love this verse.  I saw it posted this morning on Facebook by a friend of mine.  It reminded me how I need to pray this to God frequently.   Many years ago, I was doing a bible study by Beth Moore and that was one of the verses  she talked about and I frequently have prayed this verse in prayer.  I cannot tell you the full fruit that has come from me doing so.  

As I have asked God to search me, He already does but I give Him a welcome invitation.  As He does so and begins to give me conviction and revelation about myself, I then ask Him to forgive me and equip me to walk free of those things that offend Him.  He does so predominately by filling me with the holy spirit.  As the Holy Spirit becomes more full in me the less offensive I am to God.  

So my challenge today is to ask God to search me, to know my heart.  To test me and know my thoughts that are troubling me.   To point out the things in me that offend Him and to be led in a right life that pleases Him by the Spirit.

Hope you will join me.

Be blessed today.