Archive | September 2013

A good start makes for a good finish!

Every morning we are faced with new opportunities. I am finding that if I want to fulfill what God has for me to do each day, I need to start my day off remembering just who He is and seeking His guidance.  That first few minutes in the morning before I even get out of bed gives me a great opportunity to talk to the One from whom I want direction. If I wait for my feet to hit the floor often I get so busy doing things before I even realize I have missed seeking Him.

How many days in this lifetime have we spent spinning our own wheels and living out our own plans without His guidance? For most of us, probably far too many. We serve a God that offers us new mercies everyday!  Lamentations 3:22-23 NIV 22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. 23They are new every morning;  great is your faithfulness.

What a blessing to know that we can come before Him every day and start fresh.  Through Christ death and resurrection we have been made the righteousness of God and therefore we can boldly come before His throne and ask for His guidance and direction each and every day.  2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV 21 God made Him who had no sin to be sinfor us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.  That truly is awesome! 

Why waste another day spinning your own wheels?  Why not start your day and end your day with the lover of your soul?  Join me and let the words of David be your prayer.

Psalm 63 KJV 63 O God, You are my God; Early will I seek Yo 2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV 21 God made Him who had no sin to be sinfor us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. u; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water. So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, To see Your power and Your glory.

Because Your  is better than life, My lips shall praise You. Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.

When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches. Because You have been my help, Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice. My soul follows close behind You; Your right hand upholds me.

But those who seek my life, to destroy it, Shall go into the lower parts of the earth. 10 They shall fall by the sword; They shall be a portion for jackals.

11 But the king shall rejoice in God; Everyone who swears by Him shall glory; But the mouth of those who speak lies shall be stopped. 

Amen

Are you walking out the gospel?

mark10-44 When a person loses a loved one we often see family and friends reach out to them and love on them. With our family and friends we kind of expect that that would be the case because we know them and love them.  Last week during our visit to the U.S. for my brother in laws funeral, I was quite simply blown away by the love demonstrated by the Pastors and members of Greenbriar Church in Albany,Georgia. (http://www.greenbriarchurch.net/)

I haven’t stopped thinking about the way they loved on my sister, her husbands brother and all of our family. It was New Testament church being demonstrated even though my sister and brother in law were no longer attending there due to a job relocation!

It made such an impact on my husband and I  that I have shared the experience with my own church and friends since returning. The Pastors actually drove drove by car from Georgia to Florida and back to be there for the actual funeral and also held a beautiful memorial service for my brother in law at their home church in Georgia, which we all attended.  From the moment they arrived in Florida till the end of our time in Georgia the members and friends went out of their way to take care of my sister and all of us.  Their church logo is   “For God. For this City” and it really should include and “For Beyond!”

Their love, compassion and efforts by all, so beautifully demonstrated the love God has for each of us. The love that Christ has for us really was shown through our brothers and sisters in Georgia.  I am so inspired to do more for my own community after seeing this. Each of us followers of Christ have the ability to do something for others. Jesus calls us to be people of action and I have been inspired to demonstrate the love of Christ more.

So THANK YOU to all the Pastors and members of Greenbriar Church. THANK YOU to all of my sisters wonderful friends who loved on her and did so much to turn a time of sorrow in to a time of love! You have all inspired me so much.  Not only did you share the gospel but you lived the gospel!

My prayer is that each one of us followers of Christ will ask God to show us ways we can demonstrate the love Jesus has for others. To quote Francis Chan,  “I believe God wants us to love others so much that we go to extremes to help them.”  

My First Liebster Award Nomination

Liebster AwardI love to write and most certainly love to write about that which I am passionate about and that is my relationship to Christ.  My sincere hope is that God will use my blog to encourage others in their walk with Christ!

These are the rules for the Liebster Award: 

  • Each nominee must link back the person who nominated them.
  • Answer the 10 questions which are given to you by the nominator.
  • Nominate 10 other bloggers for this award who have less than 200 followers.
  • Create 10 questions for your nominees to answer.
  • Let the nominees know that they have been nominated by going to their blog and notifying them

Here are the 10 blogs that I wish to nominate:

http://adelineohvelarde.wordpress.com

http://treasuresofhispresence.com

http://vernabowman.com

http://christsetsyoufree.wordpress.com

http://davidravenhill.wordpress.com

http://daviddigahernandez.wordpress.com

http://www.plumbheart.com

http://nicolecleisanderson.wordpress.com

http://gwwministry.wordpress.com

http://thesound33.wordpress.com/

Here are my answers to the 10 questions posted to me from  http://gwwministry.wordpress.com

1) What is your passion?

I have 3, my relationship with Christ, my family and my friends

2) Name 1 reason why people do not attend a church?

Apathy

3) Do you have an accountability partner?

My husband

4) What is your favorite color?

currently orange

5) What is your favorite vacation spot?

Punta Cana, D.R.

6) Who is your favorite author?

Francis Chan

7) What is your favorite Christian song?

Agnus Dei

8) Which disciple most reflects you?

Definitely Paul!

9) List your top 3 favorite foods.

Potatoes in any form or fashion, chicken and asparagus

10) What would you tell your younger self now that you didn’t know then?

Stop wasting time worrying and trust God, He always comes through!

Now here are the 10 questions for my nominees:

1. At what age did you commit yourself to Christ?

2. What is your favorite book of the Bible?

3. If you could meet just one Apostle here on Earth, who would it be?

4. Who had the most impact on you coming to Christ?

5. What is your favorite scripture verse?

6. What spiritual legacy do you hope to leave here when you go on to be with Jesus?

7. What is your area of spiritual gifting?

8. Were you raised in a Christian home?

9. What would you like to see the body of Christ grow stronger in?

10. Do you have a favorite place to pray?

How are you following?

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The last few weeks I have spent outside the country. My hubby and I spent our first week on vacation and our second week was spent with my sister in the U.S. after the passing of her husband, our brother-in-law and dear friend.  Thankfully, we know he has gone on to be with Jesus. Though it was a sad time, it was also a time of celebration. After losing a  battle with cancer he still wins. He has gone on  before us to see the lover of his soul in person.His journey ended in Heaven!

Throughout the year I read through the Bible. Once I finished I start over again in Genesis and every time I read it I find so many new treasures. I love how the Spirit of God gives us what we need and can take in when we are ready for it. In the early hours this morning I read several chapters in the book of Numbers. I couldn’t help but feel for Moses when time and time again he had to intercede on behalf of his stubborn, rebellious followers. Though God showed them miracle after miracle, they still whined and complained. At times it appeared that Moses alone really understood the holiness and faithfulness of God to his promises.

With all their whining and complaining and rebellion, he still had the burden to intercede for them and prevented their destruction on numerous occasions. He loved God and loved his children. Though some were destroyed because they rebelled and would not yield to God, many were spared and their children were eventually allowed to enter the Promised Land. Through it all, we saw God’s mercy extended to them time and time again.

This time around, I gleaned two gems from this reading. One, a true man or woman of God loves Him and also loves His children. You can’t love God and hate His kids.

Two, God always desires our fellowship. He extends His hand to us over and over and as with the rebellious followers of Moses, many refuse to receive it and follow Him.

Today, through Christ we all have a way back to God. Jesus is our Savior, Healer, Deliverer and lover of our soul.  His death and resurrection allow us a way back to the Father. He is a leader we can follow in complete confidence!

Let’s not waste any more time whining and complaining but save ourselves multiple heartaches by following our leader. A leader that loves God and loves us! A leader that continually extends His hand towards us and offers us not only salvation but the Holy Spirit to direct and guide us on our journey until we finally reach Heaven, our Promised Land.

Numbers 14:1-24 NIV 14 That night all the members of the community raised their voices and wept aloud.All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this wilderness! Why is the Lord bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?” And they said to each other, “We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt.”

Then Moses and Aaron fell facedown in front of the whole Israelite assembly gathered there. Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had explored the land, tore their clothes and said to the entire Israelite assembly, “The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.”

10 But the whole assembly talked about stoning them. Then the glory of the Lord appeared at the tent of meeting to all the Israelites. 11 The Lord said to Moses, “How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the signs I have performed among them? 12 I will strike them down with a plague and destroy them, but I will make you into a nation greater and stronger than they.”

13 Moses said to the Lord, “Then the Egyptians will hear about it! By your power you brought these people up from among them. 14 And they will tell the inhabitants of this land about it. They have already heard that you, Lord, are with these people and that you, Lord, have been seen face to face, that your cloud stays over them, and that you go before them in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. 15 If you put all these people to death, leaving none alive, the nations who have heard this report about you will say, 16 ‘The Lord was not able to bring these people into the land he promised them on oath, so he slaughtered them in the wilderness.’

17 “Now may the Lord’s strength be displayed, just as you have declared: 18 ‘The Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.’ 19 In accordance with your great love, forgive the sin of these people, just as you have pardoned them from the time they left Egypt until now.”

20 The Lord replied, “I have forgiven them, as you asked. 21 Nevertheless, as surely as I live and as surely as the glory of the Lord fills the whole earth, 22 not one of those who saw my glory and the signs I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness but who disobeyed me and tested me ten times— 23 not one of them will ever see the land I promised on oath to their ancestors. No one who has treated me with contempt will ever see it. 24 But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it.

Is He your priority?

Our calling, as followers of Christ is not a following of convenience. It is a following of love and passion for the One that first loved us. The One who willingly suffered excruciating pain, shed His blood and laid down His life in order that we would have access to fellowship with the Father. He provided the ultimate sacrifice on the altar of the cross and that was Himself. Enabling us to become the righteousness of God through Him.

It would do us well to remember every time we come before Him in prayer of the high price He paid. Also, the deep love of God our Father that He loved us enough to provide His Son as the ultimate sacrifice!

1Peter 3:18 NIV 18For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.

We serve an awesome, holy, just and loving God who has provided His Holy Spirit to draw us to Him and enable us to be transformed from glory to glory. He provides His Word that we can feed on. His supernatural Word that teaches, guides, transforms and gives us a firm foundation of promises to stand on.

There is nothing He hasn’t provided for us to live a life in union with Him. However, just as any good Father He will never force us to choose Him. It is ultimately up to us to turn to Him. He wants our love to be given freely. He did not create us to be robots but gave us freedom to choose to love and follow Him or to reject Him.

If we love Him, we need to live as if we do. If a loved one told you they loved you yet never spent time with you,  you would have a very difficult time believing it. When we decide to put other things and people before our relationship with God we demonstrate disregard not love.  No relationship will grow with neglect and abandonment and it is the same with our relationship with Christ. We need to spend time with Him in prayer, reading His Word and following His will for our lives. We need to serve others as He served.

Colossians 3:1-4 NIV 3 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is yourlife, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

If you have been neglecting Him, it’s time you put aside the things that are temporal and spend time with the lover of your soul. No other can compare or replace Him. Time spent without intimacy with Christ is time wasted on things that will soon pass. Time spent with Him and in His Word gives us the wisdom and guidance to make the right decisions in all the other areas of our life. When we put Him first the rest of our lives work out for His glory. When we put things and others first it ultimately results in chaos.

Matthew 6:31-34 NIV 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Don’t put your relationship with Christ in a “convenience” category, thinking you will get around to spending time with Him later after you get all the things that are so much more important done.  We are told to watch and be ready for His return at any time. There really is nothing worth sacrificing our intimacy with the One who gave His life as a sacrifice for us. My desire is that when He does return we will be found ready and waiting!

1 John 2:28 NIV 28 And now, dear children, continue in Him, so that when He appears we may be confident and unashamed before Him at his coming.

New season, new opportunities

I’m always a little sad to see the Summer end. Here in Canada, the Fall is just a short cooler break before what seems to be a long winter. Every year it seems a little longer! 🙂 Living in the country, I love to spend time outside in my garden or sitting on our deck and enjoying the heat and gardens. So knowing my gardens will soon wilt and wither and the heat will disappear is a little depressing.

With all that said, Fall brings with it different opportunities for growth. Not so much outside but inside. Church bible study starts back up and allows us to grow deeper in God’s Word.  Sunday school starts back up and allows us an opportunity to teach and influence precious young lives for Christ. Regular potlucks begin again offering a chance to have relaxed fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Christ.

The Fall offers us a chance to snap out of our Summer comfort zone and once again engage in the activities God has called us to. To move from “holiday mentality” to “work mode”.  As Solomon penned   in the book of Ecclesiastes, to everything there is a season.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-17NIV 3 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:

 a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,  a time to weep and a time to laugh and a time to mourn and a time to dance, 5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,     a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,  a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, 7 a time to tear and a time to mend and a time to be silent and a time to speak,  a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.

What do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.

15 Whatever is has already been, and what will be has been before; and God will call the past to account.

16 And I saw something else under the sun:

In the place of judgment—wickedness was there, in the place of justice—wickedness was there.

17 I said to myself,

“God will bring into judgment both the righteous and the wicked, for there will be a time for every activity, a time to judge every deed.”

Though we often balk at change why not embrace this Fall season with me and look to God for growth, change and opportunities of service. For there is a season for every activity under the heavens!