Saturday, April 30, 2011

But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.

(Hebrews 3:13)

I know that God is our biggest, best, and most powerful supporter, but we also need the added support of Christian friends to help us get through life's ups and downs. I'm so thankful that God agrees with me and has placed some amazing friends in my life! My Christian friends rock!

Friday, April 29, 2011 a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.

(Isaiah 62:5b)

The Royal wedding took place this morning and I was able to catch a few minutes of the festivities while getting ready to leave the house. The bride and groom looked at one another with pure joy and delight.

God looks at us with that joy too. He loves us in spite of ourselves and we can be His bride everyday. The Royal couple may loose some of their wedding day joys as the reality of life sets in but God's love and joy for us will never diminish.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.
(Romans 8:3-4)

For whatever reason, I was looking at all of the dandelions in my yard today and thinking of them as worldly sins. (Yes, this sounds a bit odd.) I was telling a friend about the yard treatments that I apply and things that I do to take care of my yard when she said, "your yard must look pretty good." Well, it doesn't and the reason is because I'm the only one in my area that applies yard treatments to prevent the weeds and dandelions. No matter what I do to my own yard, I'm going to get dandelions from the neighbors. I'm surrounded by their dandelions and they creep right into my yard, no matter how hard I try to prevent them from invading.

OK, back to sin (dandelions) .... in spite of my efforts, I'm going to be exposed and surrounded by worldly sins, not to mention that I have an ongoing crop of my own sins growing and thriving. I can't fight them off by myself, but with the strength and support of the Holy Spirit, I can put forth a worthy battle. Take that, you dandelions!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

(2 Corinthians 9:8)

I'm struggling with finding my "Christian niche," a ministry that will fit my talents and expertise. From my point of view, I have no talents or expertise! I know that's not true and I also know that God will enable me to go beyond my limits, helping me to succeed.

I'll continue to pray for God to show me what He wants me to do in His Kingdom. After all, I owe Him EVERYTHING!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I am your servant; give me discernment that I may understand your statutes.
(Psalm 119:125)

Tough week of BSF Bible study. I'll find out tomorrow if it was just me or if many of us struggled through this lesson. I appreciate the challenge of the lesson, for I know that it fires up my brain cells and makes me dig deeper into the scripture. I'm also confident that God sends me the understanding that is perfect for me at any given point in my life.

Monday, April 25, 2011

“If you believe that the Son of God died and rose again,” writes George MacDonald, “your whole future is full of the dawn of eternal morning, coming up beyond the hills of life, and full of such hope as the highest imagination for the poet has not a glimmer yet.”

I love this quote..... How true!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.
(John 16:20)

Such a difference between the Good Friday church services and the Easter morning church services. I'm always grateful that I know the "rest of the story," as I attend the very somber Friday services, acknowledging and reliving Jesus' crucifixion. The apostles should also have known the end of the story, but they continued to have their doubts, and therefore, their agonizing grief was inevitable. I'm certainly not trying to judge them. I wasn't there and would probably have been just as confused and doubtful as they were. Imagine the joy they would have experienced when Jesus appeared before them after His resurrection and it all became clear to them....all the prophesies, the parables, and the teachings that Jesus had given them would finally make sense.

Today, and everyday, I am humbled and grateful for second chances, for new beginnings, and for a forgiving Lord who loves an unlovable me.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Feel The Nails
Words by Ray Boltz, Music by Ray Boltz and Steve Millikan

They tell me Jesus died
For my transgressions
And that He paid that price
A long long time ago
When He gave His life for me
On a hill called Calvary
But there's something else
I want to know


Does He still feel the nails
Every time I fail?
Does He hear the crowd cry,
Crucify, again?
Am I causing Him pain?
Then I know I've got to change
I just can't bear the thought
Of hurting Him
It seems that I'm so good
At breaking promises
And I treat His precious grace
So carelessly
But each time He forgives
What if He relives
The agony He felt on that tree?

Holy, holy, holy is the Lord
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord
Do you still feel the nails
Every time I fail?
Have I crucified you, Jesus,
With my sin?
I'm tired of playing games
I really want to change
I never want to hurt You again
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord

These convicting lyrics say it all........

Friday, April 22, 2011

Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver. From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.
(Matthew 26:14-16)

There are hundreds of scriptures that would be appropriate for Good Friday. As I was browsing through my Bible, I came across this scripture, which weighed heavy on my heart.

I will always have trouble wrapping my brain around the fact that Jesus went to His grave for the likes of me. Unjustified persecution has to be the worst type of persecution of all, yet Jesus accepted this undeserved punishment and fulfilled His Father's will, atoning for all the sins of the world, none of which He committed Himself.

I'm humbled and grateful for Jesus' sacrifice. There are no words that fully express my thankfulness for His selfless act. My best "thank you" would be to live a more Christ-like life, something that I will be working on everyday for the rest of my life. Thank you, Jesus, for giving me the ultimate example to follow.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice, or the Lord will see and disapprove and turn His wrath away from him.
(Proverbs 24:17-18)

Wow, how hard is it to obey this scripture?! I can only speak for myself, but I find satisfaction when someone "gets what they deserve." Of course, "what they deserve" is my opinion, from my sinful, judgemental viewpoint. I certainly found this scripture personally convicting and will try to work on changing my tone toward my enemies.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I've Got the Joy In My Heart

I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart
Down in my heart!
Down in my heart!
I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart
Down in my heart to stay

I dreamed about this hymn last night. When I woke up, I really didn't know if I had made up this hymn or if it was a hymn from my childhood. My dreams are vivid and it can sometimes be hard for me to know if it was a dream or if it really happened. What do we do when we have questions?..... we Google it. The hymn does exist. I still have no real memory of it, but it had to have been from my childhood, as I also knew the tune. For whatever reason, this was brought to me in my dream and I've had that pleasant feeling of nostalgia all day, while silently singing this cute little hymn.

I consider this another gift from God. It has to have been over five decades since I've sung this song and here it is, back in the forefront of my mind. I don't know why it was given to me, but I have enjoyed humming it again and trying to keep the joy in my heart!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

"Reading is an immense gift, but only if the words are assimilated, taken into the soul--eaten, chewed, gnawed, received in unhurried delight." Eugene Peterson

Isn't that a wonderful quote? Reading truly is a gift, one that I've treasured my entire life. I don't remember learning to read, but I do know that I was reading and writing by age three. Not only is reading a gift, reading the Bible is an extraordinary gift, a treasure from God, written just for our delight, inspiration, and guidance.

I pray that I always take my time reading God's Book, savoring and lingering over each word while allowing it to seep into my soul to help me apply the Word of God in the situations that enter my earthly world.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Your sun will never set again, and your moon will wane no more; the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your days of sorrow will end. (Isaiah 60:20)

Today's BSF lesson was just chock-full of comforting scripture. I'm grateful to have these scriptures put before me for further study and exploration. My days of sorrow will end............. :)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

"For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." (Matthew 18:20)

There were a lot of changes at church today, some good....some not so good. But, as usual, the message was wonderful and applicable to my life, and that's what it's all about!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control. (Proverbs 29:11)

I can certainly be a fool. My Dad always said "never fight with a fool", but I'd say, "but Dad, it's only the fools that I need to fight with"! I continue to struggle with my anger issues. Of course, I feel justified with my anger. It isn't rash, it isn't out of the blue, it isn't out of line, it isn't without cause. But what it IS, is un-Christian.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Flowers from God! I hope you find this as comforting as I did this morning when it was featured on Christian radio. We all have our days when we feel downtrodden and abused. I found this Psalm to be particularly applicable today and I know it will comfort me in the days yet to come.

1 Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of those who do wrong;

2 for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away.

3 Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.

4 Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.

5 Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and He will do this:

6 He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.

7 Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.

8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil.

9 For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.

10 A little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found.

11 But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy peace and prosperity.

12 The wicked plot against the righteous and gnash their teeth at them;

13 but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for He knows their day is coming.

14 The wicked draw the sword and bend the bow to bring down the poor and needy, to slay those whose ways are upright.

15 But their swords will pierce their own hearts, and their bows will be broken.

16 Better the little that the righteous have than the wealth of many wicked;

17 for the power of the wicked will be broken, but the Lord upholds the righteous.

18 The blameless spend their days under the Lord's care, and their inheritance will endure forever.

19 In times of disaster they will not wither; in days of famine they will enjoy plenty.

20 But the wicked will perish: Though the Lord's enemies are like the flowers of the field,they will be consumed, they will go up in smoke.

21 The wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous give generously;

22 those the Lord blesses will inherit the land, but those He curses will be destroyed.

23 The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in Him;

24 though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with His hand.

25 I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsake nor their children begging bread.

26 They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be a blessing.

27 Turn from evil and do good; then you will dwell in the land forever.

28 For the Lord loves the just and will not forsake His faithful ones. Wrongdoers will be completely destroyed; the offspring of the wicked will perish.

29 The righteous will inherit the land and dwell in it forever.

30 The mouths of the righteous utter wisdom, and their tongues speak what is just.

31 The law of their God is in their hearts; their feet do not slip.

32 The wicked lie in wait for the righteous, intent on putting them to death;

33 but the Lord will not leave them in the power of the wicked or let them be condemned when brought to trial.

34 Hope in the Lord and keep His way. He will exalt you to inherit the land; when the wicked are destroyed, you will see it.

35 I have seen a wicked and ruthless man flourishing like a luxuriant native tree,

36 but he soon passed away and was no more; though I looked for him, he could not be found.

37 Consider the blameless, observe the upright; a future awaits those who seek peace.

38 But all sinners will be destroyed; there will be no future for the wicked.

39 The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord; He is their stronghold in time of trouble.

40 The Lord helps them and delivers them; He delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in Him.

(Psalm 37)
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise— in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? (Psalms 56:3-4)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. (Romans 12:15)

One of the reasons God lets us suffer in life is so we can understand the suffering of others and be able to comfort them--to do unto them what we would want others to do unto us. Paul lays out the progression of comfort in suffering by saying that God comforts us when we are hurting so we can comfort others with the same comfort by which we were comforted (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). When we suffer, we should receive the comfort of God and remember it so we can replicate that comfort for another. We don't have to pray for suffering--it will find us easily enough. But we should pray for a spiritually-empathetic heart to feel the anguish of others and be prepared to comfort them as we ourselves would want to be comforted.

(Copied from today's Turning Point with David Jeremiah)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin. (1 John 1:7)

Another wonderful morning at BSF, learning God's Word and enjoying fellowship with my study group.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on His glorious throne, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for My sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first. (Matthew 19:28-30)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in His word I put my hope. (Psalm 130:5)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Jesus says “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28 - 30)