Thankful

Today I just wanted to share how Thankful I am!

First of all, I’m the most thankful for salvation and I’m thankful for God’s love and forgiveness. His love endures forever!
Romans 10:9-10 TLB
For if you tell others with your own mouth that Jesus Christ is your Lord and believe in your own heart that God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in his heart that a man becomes right with God; and with his mouth he tells others of his faith, confirming his salvation.

I am also thankful for the many promises of God.
Jeremiah 29:11 TLB
For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

I’m thankful that God has brought me to things so I could see him help me through them.
Philippians 4:13
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

1 Peter 5:10 ICB
Yes, you will suffer for a short time. But after that, God will make everything right. He will make you strong. He will support you and keep you from falling. He is the God who gives all grace. He called you to share in his glory in Christ. That glory will continue forever.

I’m thankful for life and that I have the opportunity to experience the glory of God.
Romans 8:17-18 KJV
And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.   For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

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I Look At You

lookatyou

I’ll admit it, this week I’ve felt like a “Mean Mom.”  When my daughter couldn’t sleep a couple nights ago because she was scared of having a nightmare, I told her it was silly and to go to bed. I was tired and I wanted to have some time to relax. The next morning wasn’t any better. Sometimes in the mornings I feel I am running my daughter through an obstacle course just to get out the door toward school and then work. I realized that my stressful moments are not what I want her to remember about me. I don’t want her to remember me running out of the house in a frazzled way literally like a chicken with it’s head cut off. I really felt guilty the more I thought about the last few interactions with my daughter (the bedtime routine and the next morning).  I thought about how I wanted my job as Mom to be the most important job I would have in my life and I wanted to do it well.

The following evening at bedtime, I explained to my daughter that I was there for her and understood her fears and told her that I also have had some in my own life. The next morning, I didn’t allow myself to get into a frazzled state. I am not a morning person so I’m honestly not the friendliest person in the morning. It would do me good if I committed to the habit of refusing to get stressed out and try and have a better attitude every morning, no matter what. I’ve called the morning routine “the rat race,” and I think that explains my feelings about my attitude some mornings.

The next morning, I kept a good attitude and when we got into the car, I played a Mandisa song called “Good Morning” on the way to school.  As we waited in the school line, I grabbed my daughter’s hand and smiled and told her how pretty her coat looked on her. I sang the song and forced my “morning self” to be my “chipper self.” I could tell I caught her off guard and her spirits were lifted by my cheerful attitude.

I’ve been reading a good book called, “The Relationship Principles of Jesus” by author Tom Holladay.  Tom says, “Some think the only way to make something new is to start over. Here instead is where to begin: rediscover the attitude of love in the everyday habits of your life. You simply take the things that become mere habit and inject love into them again.”

This is exactly what I plan to do. I vow to make a change in 2017, a new year’s resolution a little late. I vow to have a better outlook in the mornings for me and for my daughter! Tom also writes in his book, “Because much of life is routine–If you don’t allow love to become part of the routine of life, love will be missing from the majority of the minutes in your day.”  I plan to start out each day in 2017 by allowing love to become a part of my routine.

 

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The hope in me

reasonforhope
Have you ever wondered what you would say if someone asked you about the hope in you?    I have wanted to blog about this subject for some time now and I saw a friend on a social media site talking about the same thing just this week.  I think it is something we should think about as Christians.

The Bible talks about our standpoint as children of God in 1 Peter 3:15.

1 Peter 3:15-18  KJV

 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing. For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:

1 Peter 3:15-18 MSG  If with heart and soul you’re doing good, do you think you can be stopped? Even if you suffer for it, you’re still better off. Don’t give the opposition a second thought. Through thick and thin, keep your hearts at attention, in adoration before Christ, your Master. Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you’re living the way you are, and always with the utmost courtesy. Keep a clear conscience before God so that when people throw mud at you, none of it will stick. They’ll end up realizing that they’re the ones who need a bath. It’s better to suffer for doing good, if that’s what God wants, than to be punished for doing bad. That’s what Christ did definitively: suffered because of others’ sins, the Righteous One for the unrighteous ones. He went through it all—was put to death and then made alive—to bring us to God.

I’ve often asked myself what might I say to someone about why I have hope in the Lord. I know people who have told me they wanted proof of God.  I think most people want to believe in a higher power. Everyone could find comfort in the idea of a life after death.  Let’s face it, this life can be rough on all of us at times.  Humans have a God shaped “hole” that needs to be filled. One of my closest friends will argue that this “hole” can be explained by our biology.

Here is the way I see it.  I believe that God gave his Holy Son to come down from his heavenly home to be a human sacrifice for us, to pay the price for our human mistakes.  The proof of this is “lived out” in our lives day by day through everything that we experience—-whatever that may be for each and every person individually. Our experiences as human beings will point to God if we will give Him a chance.  We have to find the proof in our own everyday lives as we also discover the path God has for our lives.

 

 

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Freedom

freedom

It has been a while since I’ve written a blog.  I have been struggling with the question of whether I wanted to continue with the blog or not.  I was thinking about it this morning and decided to listen to Casting Crowns and a song I had never really listened to came on.  It is called “In Me.”   The following lyrics spoke to my heart:

Cause when I’m weak, You make me strong
When I’m blind, You shine Your light on me
Cause I’ll never get by living on my own ability
How refreshing to know You don’t need me
How amazing to find that You want me
So I’ll stand on Your truth,
And I’ll fight with Your strength
Until You bring the victory,
By the power of Christ in me

I realized at that moment that I wanted to write about what God may put on my heart. I wanted to write a blog to share with my friends about a wonderful, liberating book that I have just finished by Beth Moore.  The book title is “Breaking Free: Discover The Victory of Total Surrender. ”

This is what Beth says about captivity, “A Christian is held captive by anything that hinders the abundant and effective Spirit-filled life God planned for him or her. ”    She also said, “If our liberty in Christ is going to be a reality in life, we are going to have to learn to walk in the freedom of Christ, independent of everyone else we know.  We need more than a leader on our road to freedom. We need a Savior –One who keeps on saving.  Although we need to be saved from eternal separation from God only once, Christ continues His saving work in us for the rest of our lives. If you’re like me, you can think of more than a few potential disasters from which Christ has saved you since your initial experience of salvation. ”

Beth takes you through the Bible in her teachings, centering around the book of Isaiah (the ministry of Isaiah the prophet). Beth teaches about Isaiah, “God inspired him to write one of the longest books in the Bible. His ministry extended for over forty years, bridging 740 B.C. to at least 701 B.C.”  She also wrote, ” Isaiah’s name means “the Lord saves” and the word salvation is used in his book twenty-seven times—twice as many as the other prophets combined. ” The book of Isaiah starts by telling about kings of that time.

Beth explains in her book, “Chapters 40-66 begin a new theme in Isaiah. Isaiah spoke to the time when the captivity would end; Israel would be comforted by God and restored to her appointed purpose.”  She also teaches, “God chose the Book of Isaiah, a treatise on captivity, to record some of the most remarkable prophecies about Christ in the entire Old Testament. In a book through which God prophesied the horrors of a foreign yoke, He introduced the Deliverer.  In some instances God fulfilled prophecies temporarily through a human agent while ultimately fulfilling them in Christ. ”

Isaiah 61:1-3 King James Version 

61 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;

3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified. 

After reading Beth’s book, I think we all have areas in our lives that we need to be set free, where we are being held captive by the enemy.  I hope that you will read her book and it will impact your life as it has made an impact on mine.

 

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Journey Of Faith

mustardseed

The Bible says in Matthew 19:26 that with God all things are possible. So my question is this….

Is my faith big enough?  Matthew 17:20 says that if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, “Move from here to there,” and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. I’ve wondered if I have faith at least the size of a mustard seed?   Merriam-Webster defines the word faith as a strong belief or trust in someone or something.  The word strong really jumps out to me in this definition.  It probably takes many years, maybe a lifetime, to really become strong –in anything.

In this human body, what may sound like such an easy little thing–to have faith as small as a mustard seed, may be harder than we realize without God helping us.  A strong belief in God (faith) is something we not only believe with our minds, but something we believe with our minds,  our hearts, our “whole beings.”

Makes me think of Matthew 12:30
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

Maybe this is the kind of life that God wants from us—a life allowing Him to develop our Faith. We are saved through faith and it is a gift of God.

Ephesians 2:8-9 KJV
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Not of works, lest any man should boast.

 

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Story

I know the events in my life that have led up to the current state of my heart—-the softened, more humble state of surrender, the gratitude and love I feel.  But all of this still amazes me.  It amazes me how the Lord has gripped my heart.

I know how much I need Him. But not only that, I want more and more of Him in my life, and, in each chapter of my life he proves to me he is there and he has always been there. It is hard to explain when you feel like God has reached down and rescued you—–reached down and claimed you as his child.

I accepted Jesus, my personal Savior into my heart when I was 11 years old. But I will tell you, and I am sad to say, that I have not lived for him every day over the years. But…there is grace. Because of his amazing grace he has been molding me. He is so loving and patient and I am very happy to be on this journey with Him. I believe God has been molding our lives since before we were born.

Jeremiah 1:5     Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

I’ll leave you with a beautiful poem by Isaac Wimberley that brings tears to my eyes.  My God is simply amazing and words cannot describe what he has even done for me.

“The Word”   by Isaac Wimberley

If there are words for Him then I don’t have them.

You see my brain has not yet reached a point
Where it could form a thought
That could adequately describe the greatness of my God

And my lungs have not yet developed the ability
To release a breath with enough agility
To breathe out the greatness of His love

And my voice, my voice is so inhibited
Restrained by human limits
That it’s hard to even send a praise up

If there are words for Him then I don’t have them

My God

His grace is remarkable
Mercies are innumerable
Strength is impenetrable

He is honorable, accountable, and favorable
Unsearchable yet knowable
Indefinable yet approachable
Indescribable yet personal

He is beyond comprehension
Further than imagination
Constant through generations
King of every nation

But
If there are words for Him then I don’t have them

You see my words are few
And to try and capture the one TRUE God
Using my vocabulary will never do

But I use my words as an expression
An expression of worship to a Savior
A Savior who is both worthy and deserving of my praise

So I use words

My heart extols the Lord
Blesses His name forever
He has won my heart, captured my mind
And has bound them both together

He has defeated me in my rebellion
Conquered me in my sin
He has welcomed me into His presence
Completely invited me in

He has made Himself the object of my sight
Flooding me with mercies in the morning
Drowning me with grace in the night

But
If there are words for Him then I don’t have them

But what I do have…Is Good News
For my God knew that man-made words would never do
For words are just tools that we use
To point to the Truth
So He sent his son Jesus Christ as THE WORD
Living proof

He is the image of the invisible God
The firstborn of all creation
For by Him all things were created
Giving nothingness formation

And by His word He sustains, in the power of His name
For He is before all things and over all things He reigns
HOLY IS HIS NAME!!

Praise Him for His life
The way He presevered in strife
The humble Son of God becoming the perfect sacrifice

Praise Him for His death
That he willingly stood in our place
That he lovingly endured the grave
That He battled our enemy
And on the third day rose in victory

Praise Him because He rose!!
Hallelujah He rose!!
He is everything that was promised

Praise Him as the risen King
Lift your voice and sing
For one day He will return for us and we will finally be
United with our Savior for eternity

So it’s not just words that I proclaim
For my words point to the WORD
And the WORD has a name
Hope has a name
Joy has a name
Peace has a name
Love has a name
And that name is Jesus Christ
Praise His name FOREVER!

Written by Isaac Wimberly
http://isaacwimberley.com/