Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Can You Do Lunges Like Him?

She pulled him with one hand while pushing a stroller with the other. The mom & her little son crossed the street. She was out for her daily exercise and her young son wanted to walk with her. I sat waiting for the light to change & felt a bit nostalgic. The little guy looked exactly like my oldest son Josh (now 23 years old) did at that age. He had chubby, pink cheeks which shook as he walked and a thick head of black curls that bounced on the collar of his jacket. One arm flailing back and forth as he walked with determination and seemed to say, "I'm a big boy mom, I don't need to sit in the stroller."

Once they reached the sidewalk, the mom began to do lunges. The little guy intently watched and after a few steps, decided to copy his mom. But instead of bending his knee to dip low to the sidewalk, he did a slow bow, his head almost touching the ground. He took a few steps forward & bowed again, he looked up, his big, dark eyes searching his mother's face for her approval of his "lunges." He wanted her to be proud that he was able to do what she did.

When you accept Christ into your life, He wants you to mimic Him. Learning to do, say, and act, as He did. He knows that you may not get it right the first, second or even 10th time. But the fact that you are seeking to 'walk as He walks' is all He needs. He will then fill you with His Wisdom, Encouragement, Love, Forgiveness and Guidance. Slowly but steadily leading you, step by step, to eventually walk in His footsteps...not perfect, but humbly bowing down to Him and His Will for you each and every day. No longer selfishly seeking things for yourself, but looking for opportunities to show Christ's Unconditional Love to everyone you come in contact with. Spend time soaking in God's words, Praying and mimicking Jesus. He is your faithful and perfect example. He is your Savior.

"But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did." 1 John 2:5-6

"Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us." 1 John 3:21-24

"Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O Lord. They rejoice in your name all day long; they exult in your righteousness. For you are their glory and strength, and by your favor you exalt our horn. Indeed, our shield belongs to the Lord, our king to the Holy One of Israel." Psalm 89:15-18

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Lady With The Lamp

She wasn't anything special, other than having a quick-wit and a love for God. She had no particular talents. By all accounts you might've said, "She's ordinary.'' She wasn't expected to accomplish anything great. Born to a wealthy English family in 1820, her only expectation in the elite, Victorian Society circle was to get married and have children.

But when God has a plan for someone's life, He only requires you to be willing and available for HIS PURPOSE. In 1837, she heard a call from God. This calling became so overwhelming that she went against all traditions, much to the opposition of her parents. Florence began to travel, studying the field of Nursing and Mathematics. She eventually worked in a London clinic. When the Crimean War broke out, she boldly took a group of women she trained and headed for the British Military Hospitals. This was very controversial, yet she pushed forward doing God's will. She worked tirelessly, caring for these men. She made rounds late into the night, checking on each patient. She carried a light in the evening, making her rounds and was affectionately called, "The Lady with the Lamp,” a bright light in the dark, dingy, hospital. She brought God's Love, Help and Word to these men.

She tirelessly petitioned on behalf of the deplorable conditions & led a reform campaign which was instrumental in changing the hygiene, sanitation and treatment of patients in hospitals. Florence Nightingale's memory still shines today. She established the groundbreaking, Nightingale Training School for nurses. She was awarded the Royal Red Cross by Queen Victoria in 1883 and was the first woman to receive the Order of Merit in 1907. Florence Nightingale heard God's call and answered with a resounding, "Yes Lord!" She followed Jesus Christ's example. She lived her life in the service of others.

God has a plan for each of us. He had a plan for His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus was faithful to fulfill His Father's will and provided a way for us to also follow in His footsteps. As we celebrate the birth of our Savior, let's not forget His example. Seek to show love, seek to serve others, seek to pick up your cross daily and do His Will, His good and perfect will for your life.

Happy Birthday Jesus! Merry Christmas!

"The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel-which means, "God with us."
Matthew 1:23

"I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved."
John 10:9

"I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me-just as the Father knows me and I know the Father-I lay down my life for the sheep."
John 10:14-15

"You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men."
Luke 7:8

Read the Birth of Jesus Christ- Luke 2:1-40

Monday, December 12, 2011

LENNY INTERRUPTED MY DAY

I had a million things to do and was only halfway through my list when I decided to run in and get a quick bite to eat at McDonald's. Earlier that morning, while doing my Bible study, I made a post on my Twitter account, "Be prayerful and watchful-God will show you whose life He wants you to invest in. He has a purpose for you today. Go out & be a blessing."  I wanted to remind everyone to let God guide their day.

What I didn't expect was that God was reminding me before I began my day that He had a specific person in mind for me today...that person was Lenny.

He was an older man in his 80's, ordering, "Extra crispy fries please. I haven't been here in 20 years and that's how they used to make them," he happily told the girl at the counter. After a few more requests, "A couple of creams and some Splenda for my coffee and please make sure the fries are extra crispy." As the girl walked away he mumbled to himself, "What a nice girl."

Normally when I'm in a hurry I start to get a little impatient. However, something about this man's cheerful demeaner kept me patiently waiting my turn. The girl came to the other side of her register as Lenny stood at the counter waiting for his order. I ordered my usual cheeseburger, fries & apple pie, while Lenny turned to smile at me & tell me how good the fries were here 20 years ago, "extra crispy are the best!" I chatted with him while the young girl finished filling our orders. Lenny grabbed his tray and then turned to sit down, but stopped and said, "Young lady, would you like some company."

I was caught off guard. Did I want company? I had a million things to do, and planned on eating quickly, quietly sitting with my thoughts, before rushing off to my next stop. So, truthfully, did I want company? No. But did he want company? Yes. Was God interrupting my day for His Purpose? Yes. So I replied, "Sure." A smile lit up his face as he asked, "Where would you like to sit?" "Anywhere you'd like is fine," I replied. Another new one for me...I'm particular about where I sit.

I sat with Lenny for about two hours. He told me stories about the war, jobs he's had, how much he enjoyed being retired and playing golf. He reflected on his younger day's, "When I was in between jobs, I'd ask my dad for money & he'd always say, "No, get a job if you want money." But my mom always interjected saying, "Joey (that's my dad's name, he grinned) give him some money. And my dad always would. So I learned to always ask my mom." He let me know that he has melanoma cancer in several areas & told me to make sure my family always wears sunscreen and hats. I was able to talk to him about forgiving people who've hurt you & the freedom it brings, as he was still angry at his ex-wife.

I silently prayed for him as he talked to me. I asked the Lord to bless him, heal him and lead him to Christ. As the conversation turned to travel, I shared a little about the beauty of our recent trip to Hawaii. He'd never been & didn't particularly have a desire to go. I showed him the picture I took on my phone, the image of Christ in the waterfall. He didn't say too much about it, just looked and said it was beautiful. He wanted to see another picture of where the falls began. Later as we began to say our goodbyes & exchanged our full names, he told me his name was Leonard Colombus. I told him my name & that it was an Italian last name. He said, "Me too," then smiled and said, not really, I'm Jewish."

I wondered if that was why I was prompted to share the image of Christ with him. I will probably never know. But what I do know is that God put Lenny in my path today. God asked me to forego my plans and do His will. His Good and Perfect Will. Is there a "Lenny" God wants you to talk with today? Is there someone you can share Christ's Unconditional Love with?
 
 "Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21

"Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord." Lamentations 3:40

"But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God." John 3:21

"But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him." Jeremiah 17:7

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Have a Feeling You Just Can't Shake?

"Get up and go over there!"

"GO, she needs you."

I slowly walked out, looking for the person. Unable to see her, I went back inside, but the words seemed to shout in my head over and over. I grabbed a few things to put in my car, a rouse to go out and look around again. I spotted her, talking to another woman, who obviously had the same promptings from the Holy Spirit. I set my things in the car and turned to head back inside.

There it was again, "GO, she needs you."

Now, I need to tell you, I'm not a bold person. I don't feel comfortable walking up to people. I'm fine if they approach me, but it's difficult for me to push myself to make the initial move. It's a fear of rejection or deep seeded insecurity (which I'm working on!) I just feel awkward and uncomfortable.

Unable to shake the voice in my head, I slowly walked over, apologizing for interupting. As I joined in with the two women, I realized that Heavenly Father had a purpose for me. This woman, a sister in Christ, was going through something very difficult, which I had also gone through. We were soon joined by another woman. The three of us, who all had experienced the loss of our siblings, were able to talk, comfort, cry, hug, encourage and pray for this hurting sister.

I'm reminded of some very important points:

1) God uses others to comfort you in your time of need. He never leaves you alone or abondoned, even when He takes something from you.

2) God heals your heart, mind and spirit with His Love. He then uses you and all you've been through and overcome to bless, encourage and give hope to those in the midst of despair.

3) God is mindful of you, your worries, fear, hopes and dreams. His Love is so great that He sacrificed His only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ...FOR YOU! He is a Faithful, Loving, Caring God.

Our God is an Awesome God, He Reigns from Heaven Above! 

As you feel the promptings of the Holy Spirit, guiding you, don't ignore it. God has a plan for you. Everything you've been through in your life will be used by Him. His purpose for you is greater than doubt, fear and insecurity. Step up and step out in Faith...someone needs you.
"Because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God."
Romans 8:14 

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows."
2 Corinthians 1:3-5


"Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God."
2 Corinthians 3:4


"Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain."
1 Corinthians 15:58

"So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."
2 Corinthians 17-18

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What Did I Say?


I was confronted with several unforeseen compliments and thanks this week. This had me thinking about the things we say and do. The ease with which a word of thanks can roll off your tongue, but the struggle we have in conveying it. With this in mind, I set out to start my day by thanking my husband for all he does, the little as well as the big things. To my surprise he responded with, "Who are you and what have you done with my wife?"

Ouch!

That comment (meant to be funny) rang loudly, a bell signaling truth. I'm not good at complimenting or thanking my husband. I don't know why I have so much trouble with it. The self absorption often over-shadow's gratitude. Reflecting on the the kind words I received made me realize that something so simple can touch someone in a huge way.

After my husband got over the initial shock of my gratitude, he said, "Thank you for telling me that, it really means a lot!" Something so small, which required little effort, just a willing heart, changed his day.

The realization that the power of my words, or words I don't speak, breathes life into my relationship or sucks the life out of it. As I continue to work on this, I'd like to encourage each of you to breathe life into your relationships. Find a kind word, a thankful moment, and share your feelings with each other. Christ set an example of loving kindness. We can follow in His footsteps, beginning with one another. Share the love that's in your heart. Don't withhold gratitude from the people in your life.

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."
Galations 6:9

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud."
1 Corinthians 13:4

"Rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness."
Colossians 2:7

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Who Are You?

I used to forget who I was, letting the things of my past rush in, flooding me with old, self-deprecating feelings. The mistakes I'd made, things I'd done that hurt others and myself, filling my mind with self-hatred. I let those old feeling overwhelm me and bring me to a state of hopelessness.

"I'll never change. This is who I am. This is who I'll always be." These lies playing over and over in my mind. The enemy was trying to use my past to keep me 'locked up'...'ineffective'...and 'unproductive' for Christ and His purpose for me.

As I eventually confronted my painful past, I cried, prayed and read the Scriptures daily. I needed the Lord's healing love, comfort and forgiveness, as well as self-forgiveness. The more I reached out to Him the quicker I was comforted. My heart began to change. I started to feel His love being poured over the open wounds of my heart. Medicine for my infected soul. The more I called Him, the more He answered. His faithfulness restoring me to who I truly am. Not my sins, not my poor choices, actions or words. A kinder, loving, caring person who's been changed through the love of Jesus Christ. My old ways have been washed clean through Christ's sacrifice. I've been redeemed, restored and given a new beginning. I can truly be all that the Lord wants me to be and so can you. Call out to Him daily and be set free! Know who you are in and through Jesus Christ.

"I have seen his ways, but I will heal him; I will guide him and restore comfort to him." Isaiah 57:18

"I called on your name, O Lord, from the depths of the pit. You heard my plea: "Do not close your ears to my cry for relief." You came near when I called you, and you said, "Do not fear." O Lord, you took up my case; you redeemed my life." Lamentations 3:55-58


For this is what the high and lofty One says-he who lives forever, whose name is holy: "I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite."Isaiah 57:15

"The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him." Lamentations 3:25

"Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near." Isaiah 55:6

"Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you." Isaiah 60:1 

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Phillipians 3:14

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

IS IT TIME TO BECOME CHILDLIKE?


Blonde hair flying in the wind, kicking off their shoes, the two ran through the wet sand, jumping into the swings, laughing as they joyously pumped their legs, back and forth...higher and higher. The rain had stopped just moments before the two appeared in the deserted park. They didn't seem to mind the cold, or large puddles that surrounded them.

The laughs became louder, one lunged forward as the other went back. Just as one of the swings reached its highest point, she propelled herself, arms flapping, soaring like a bird in flight, carefree, until she landed, the force sinking her deep into the sand. Her friend, not wanting to be outdone repeated the acrobatics, unfortunately landing on her backside. They roared in laughter as her friend helped her up. Picking up their shoes, skipping playfully across the grass, water splashing onto their rolled up pants.

I watched as they disappeared around the corner. Their carefree, unabashed delight in the day leaving a smile on my face. These were not children, or teenagers, they were two women. Grown women, delighting in a childlike way. They had not forgotten the pure joy of swinging, flying through the air, skipping & playing in rain puddles.

When was the last time you swung on a swing at a park, ran through rain puddles, slid down a slide? When was the last time you enjoyed each moment of your day without worrying about what others think, how you look doing it, or what tasks await you? Watching these ladies made me want to run towards the swing & do the things I enjoyed so many years ago. Innocent, simple, childlike fun. When was the last time you let go of your daily cares and had childlike Faith? Children possess the following traits that we seem to lose sight of as adults: believing, trusting, forgiving, loving, caring, and sharing. 

The Lord has said in order to inherit the Kingdom we need to have Faith like a child.  Complete Trust that your Father in Heaven can handle anything. Jesus' sacrifice was to set you free. Don't let life's troubles keep you from all that He's promised you. Pray today for increased, childlike Faith and Trust. Let God handle all your troubles...lay them at His feet in daily Prayer. You will then be able to once again, swing, fly, run, and skip. He wants you to know HIS FREEDOM!

When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them. Mark 10:14-16

"You came near when I called you, and you said, "Do not fear." "O Lord, you took up my case; you redeemed my life." Lamentations 3:57-58

"Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope. Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassion's never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, "The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him. The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord." Lamentations 3:21-26


"Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord." Lamentations 3:40



Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I CHALLENGE YOU!


I sometimes have a problem with drifting. When things get difficult, my mind begins to wander. Thoughts fill my head as I start to search for answers. I begin to look for ways to change my current situation, trying to think outside of the box. In the end, still feeling a heaviness, a burden weighing me down. Suddenly realizing I've spun my wheels but have gone nowhere.

My first mistake is thinking I can handle whatever is going on alone. Don't get me wrong...I know that I can "handle it," but the consequences to doing things my way usually leaves me right back where I started...with overwhelming burdens.

There's a little challenge I started a while ago. Whenever I start 'drifting,' I follow the steps below & I'd like to challenge each of you to do the same in the coming weeks:

1. PROBLEM (figure out what your issue is)
2. PRAYER (before you do ANYTHING-PRAY about the problem)
3. READ BIBLE (Open up your Bible & let God fill you with HIS WORDS of WISDOM)
4. FAITH (Pray asking for Faith to let go and give it to Him)
5. TRUST (Continue Praying and ask for Trust to stop worrying & know God's with you)
6. THANKFULNESS (Thank Heavenly Father & Jesus Christ for their Loving Kindness & Faithfulness)
7. PRAY THROUGH YOUR DAY (Continue to pray quick Prayers throughout your day-establishing Trust)

These steps can be as quick as 5-10 minutes or as long as an hour. In the beginning it will be more difficult, but as you make a daily commitment to follow these steps, you'll cherish this alone time & not want to leave the "quiet place," with God.

REMEMBER, WHATEVER YOU'RE GOING THROUGH IS NOT TOO BIG FOR GOD.
LET GO & LET GOD!

"We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away."
Hebrews 2:1

So, as the Holy Spirit says: "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the desert."
Hebrews 3:7-8

"He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness."
Hebrews 5:2

"For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account."
Hebrews 4:12-13

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

WHY vs. TRUST

It's often easy to say the right words, declaring your Trust in God and Jesus Christ. But when troubles come, (sickness, finances, loss, hurt) we often struggle to continue Trusting. The Trust is somehow replaced with, "WHY?"

We question, "If God loves us, how can He allow these things to happen to us? What lessons haven't we learned or have yet to learn? Why is He allowing these difficulties that seem unbearable, unimaginable in their weight and intensity?"

During these times, even though we're unable to know the reason behind it, one thing remains true, God is with you in the midst of it. He is the one you need to continue to cling to, Trust in and rely on to see you through it.

Wavering Trust leaves room for doubt to creep in; doubt moves to despair; despair leads to eventually taking matters into your own hands...thus telling God that you can handle things in your life better than He can.

God's timing may not be our timing. He may step in at the last possible moment, when you feel like you're being crushed. He may allow you to go through difficulties but show you His unending Love in the midst of it...carrying you Lovingly through each day. Moving you closer to His ultimate will and plan for your life. When the "Why's" begin to surface, spend some quiet time with God, just as Jesus did when He needed strength to finish His journey. His Love will encompass you, strengthening you, body, mind, and spirit...leading you to Trust in Him through the "Why's," knowing that He has you safely in the palm of His Hand. 

"My heart says of you, "Seek his face!" Your face, Lord, I will seek."
Psalm 27:8

"Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord."
Psalm 27:14

"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."
Psalm 34:18

"The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped."
Psalm 27:7

"Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of refuge a strong fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me. Free me from the trap that is set for me, for you are my refuge. Into your hands I commit my spirit; redeem me, O Lord, the God of truth."
Psalm 31:2-5

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

EXTRA PARTS

After all the kids are asleep, late one Christmas Eve, a husband and wife frantically work to assemble bikes, toys & electronics. The wife pleads with the husband to look at the instruction manual. It ultimately ends in a big fight as the husband declares he's done...while screws, pads and parts remain on the floor. To which the husband promptly replies, "Those are extra parts, in case something goes wrong." Which only leads to further arguing, the wife scouring the manual looking for where it says, 'EXTRA PARTS.'

Most of us avoid our daily life instruction manual. The words that will piece our life perfectly together, leaving no 'EXTRA PARTS,' just in case. God doesn't need a back up plan from you, or anyone else. His plan is perfect. He's assembled the instruction manual, THE BIBLE, to put you and your day together piece by piece, part by part, hour by hour, minute by minute. Enabling you to move efficiently through each trial, struggle and storm, well put together, sealed with His Strength, Wisdom and Love.

Read the Bible, God's instruction manual for your life each day. Continue in His Word and He'll set you free.

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
John 8:31-32

On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." John 7:37-38

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

It's Time To Remove Your Training Wheels!

Remember when you learned how to ride a bike?

Running outside with you parents, jumping on the bike and pedaling, only to find the bike tilting toward the side, panic rising up as you realize you're about to fall. Suddenly, at just the right moment, the bike's training wheel stops you from toppling over. Feeling relief sweep over you…white knuckles loosening their grip on the handlebars, you begin to pedal faster. Gaining trust as the bike, teeter totter's, between the two back training wheels, while you remain upright.

When the time comes to finally remove the training wheels, fear creeps back in, unsure of whether you really care about becoming a "Big" boy or girl. But your parents gently coax you along, reassuring you that, "It's okay, we've got you." They run behind you, holding onto the back seat yelling, "Pedal faster!" Their secure grip, guiding, encouraging you to go on.  Before you know it, you look back and they're clapping for you, no longer holding on. You begin to wobble in doubt, maybe even falling because of fear. But you're able to get back up and try again, as your parents continue to lovingly persuade you. Eventually, you become secure in the knowledge that, you can do it!

In life, Heavenly Father is your parent. He is holding you up, and when you get too far away and fall, He picks you up, encouraging you to push on. Strengthening you with His Love. Reminding you that He is there, He is with you and you're not alone. Spend time with Him in that secret, quiet place; soaking in His Love through Scriptures and Prayer.

 Take off your training wheels. Let His Words propel you forward. Allow Him to cheer you on, as you race ahead of your circumstances, into His restoring Peace and Grace.

"If you can?" said Jesus. "Everything is possible for him who believes." Immediately the boys father exclaimed, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!" Mark 9:23-24 "He replied, "This kind can come out only by prayer." Mark 9:29

The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest." Mark 6:30

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

Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God."Mark 10:27   

After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray. When evening came, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and he was alone on land. He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. About the fourth watch of the night he went to them, walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They cried out, because they all saw him and were terrified. Immediately he spoke to them and said, "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid." Mark 6:46-50

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Feeling Overwhelmed?


We climbed the tough hill, pushing a wheelchair of a dear lady, who wanted to take part in this extraordinary event, after the passing of her daughter the prior year. Looking behind us, the view of  white and pink speckled the ground. The unusual covering, representing struggle, heartache, hope, strength, determination, unity and Love. Men, women and children all walking for a cure for cancer. 
The scene, reminded me of God's never ending Love for each of us. No matter what we're going through, He is walking up each hill, carrying us through our struggles, diseases, pain and heartaches. Speckling our aching, hurting hearts with an amazing covering of unexplained hope, strength, determination, unity and Love. Giving us a Savior, Jesus Christ, to forgive our past mistakes and show us His Restoring, Healing Power! He is for us...He is our support...He is our Savior...He is our cure...He is our everything!

Stop running from Him and RUN TO HIM! Let Him set your feet on solid ground. OH...HOW HE LOVES US!

"We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away." 
Hebrews 2:1

"But I said, "I have labored to no purpose; I have spent my strength in vain and for nothing. Yet what is due me is in the Lord's hand, and my reward is with my God." 
Isaiah 49:4

"For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies. Be exalted, O God above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth." 
Psalm 57:10-11

"But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. O my Strength, I sing praise to you; you, O God, are my fortress, my loving God." 
Psalm 59:16-17

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Promise in a Rainbow

My first day in Maui, I awoke early & sat out in front of the ocean to do my scripture study, before the noise of the day began. It started sprinkling, a warm, fresh, drizzle, causing me to look up and see if I should head for cover. To my amazement, a glorious double rainbow appeared over the ocean, touching down on the island directly in front of me. After witnessing the first one, I found myself setting my alarm for 6:30 a.m., every single morning. I was not disappointed. A rainbow appeared each day...God's Promise, Shining in front of me, while I soaked in His Words.
 
God Promised to never destroy the earth by flood again (Genesis 9:16 "Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.") That Promise still holds true today. God spoke of rainbow's in the beginning of the Bible and also closes the Bible with another scripture about rainbow's~His Promise (Revelation 4:2-3 "At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. And the one who sat there had the appearance of Jasper and carnelian. A rainbow, resembling an emerald, encircled the throne.")
When I see a rainbow, it reminds me that God is with us always. A rainbow, with it's fluorescent colors, stretching across the sky, also let's us know that we can trust in His Word. He holds true to the things He tells us. The rainbow symbolizes a lasting trust, allowing us to truly, let go of the burdens that are weighing us down and pick up His Holy Word...the Bible, His Promises, strengthening our Faith in Him. When you begin to flip through the pages, looking for comfort, encouragement, guidance and wisdom; His Words fill you with life, Peace and a renewal of Hope.

When you see a rainbow...stop what your doing, take in God's Glorious, Promise. Let it strengthen you, lifting you above the cares of this life...to a place where His Love fills you with an indescribable Peace. HIS PROMISE!

CONTINUE IN HIS WORD & HE WILL SET YOU FREE!
"My heart says of you, "Seek his face!" Your face, Lord, I will seek.
Psalm 27:8

"Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord."
Psalm 27:14

"The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped."
Psalm 28:7

"Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness."
Psalm 29:2

"Free me from the trap that is set for me, for you are my refuge. Into your hands I commit my spirit; redeem me, O Lord, the God of truth." 
Psalm 31:4-5

"A righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all."
Psalm 34:19

"I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame."
Psalm 34:4-5

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Hidden Treasure In Your Home

Do you know that you have a priceless treasure in your home? With so many t.v. show's out now about people coming into your house, sifting through years of 'stuff' and often coming across something very valuable, you may be wondering, "Do I have a hidden treasures? 
Well, I'm here to tell you, "YOU DO!"

It may be out in the open, or shoved away in a box in the garage, or under your bed or sitting on your night stand under a pile of books. This priceless item, once found, can change your life forever. It can bring, Peace, Stability, Comfort, Wisdom and Love into your life.

This treasure is worth more than any amount of money. 
And it's the one thing you need to change everything! 
It's found in the Living Word of God, THE BIBLE.

When you make it a point to seek and find this treasure, the Lord's Word's will change your life. It cannot be bought, it requires nothing of you but a little bit of your time each day. The Masterpieces within the pages WILL be revealed to you. Slowly, the dust will be washed from your eyes, the veil of darkness is lifted, as God's Holy Words transform you and your life.
 You begin to see your situation, life and other's through Jesus' eyes. 
Today, don't leave your Treasure hidden away, find it, open it, read it...
The Holy Bible, God's Loving Priceless Gift to You!
"To you, O Men, I call out; I raise my voice to all mankind. You who are simple, gain prudence; you who are foolish, gain understanding." Proverbs 8:4-5

"Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her. I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence; I possess knowledge and discretion." Proverbs 8:10-12

"My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck. then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble; when you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared." Proverbs 3:21-26

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight."

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Unmistakable Image of Christ

Hiking two mile's, 800 feet up, to the top of the glorious, Seven Sacred Pools waterfall; braving the slippery, treacherous rock path over the river. Standing in awe, gazing at the beauty in front of us, we realized the journey was worth it. The sight of the waterfall, cascading hundreds of feet over the rocks, plants and moss, took our breathe away. It wasn't until we got home however, when my husband, while looking through the pictures we'd taken, saw something even more glorious than the waterfall. It was unmistakable. It was in almost every single shot. The picture, taken with my cell phone
was the most brilliant.

At the bottom of the waterfall, on top of the water, the image of Jesus Christ, clothed in a robe of white, with His arm extended upward, toward Heaven.
We didn't notice it while we were there, right in front of it. It wasn't until we stepped away and looked at it from another view. Through the lens of a camera, were we able to see this incredible 
picture of Christ. We were overwhelmed and consumed by so many things, 
we missed His image right in front of us.

In your life, you may not know why things are happening, as you view the situation from close-up.  But God's View, is All Seeing, All Knowing, All Powerful. Seek Him and His View of your situation. Step back and ask Him for His Strength, Comfort, Courage and all consuming Love. He will fill your heart with a Peace that will enable you to view things differently than you would relying on your own strength and limited view.

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” 
Joshua 1:9 

This is what the Lord says to you: 'Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God's.' 
2 Chronicles 20:15  

"In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps."
Proverbs 16:9 

The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness."
Jeremiah 31:3

"Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always." Psalm 105:4

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

"YOUR WILL BE DONE?"

Why is it we only tell God, "Your will be done," on things that aren't close to our hearts? We have a harder time letting go of our needs, wants and desire's in situations that are BIG...sickness, job, money etc. But somehow, with smaller issue's, it's not a problem for us to pray this.
Now I'm going to let you in on a little secret...God's will, WILL BE DONE, no matter what, in all situations. Praying and telling God, "Your will be done," is simply letting Him know that you're putting your COMPLETE Trust & Faith in Him, even the important things that matter the most to you. We need to tell the Lord and show Him that we Trust His decisions for He is the Maker of Heaven, Earth and ALL things.
"Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God, the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea and everything in them-the Lord, who remains faithful forever." Psalm 146:5-6

Continue to ask Him to intercede on your behalf, and remember...Christ, who is seated at the right hand of God is also interceding for you. Then say, "Your Will Be Done, Lord."
"Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died-more than that, who was raised to life-is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? " Romans 8:34-35

Jesus knew the importance of praying this and showed us by example, as He knelt down to pray on the Mount of Olives, and in anguish, began sweating drops of blood.
"Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done." Luke 22:42

This simple Prayer has the power to release fear's grip over you and the situation. It'll allow you to come to your Heavenly Father with childlike Faith.
Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." Mark 10:15 

Jesus got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?" Mark 4:39-40

LET GO AND LET GOD! 
"Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge." Psalm 62:8

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Is Your Friend A True Friend?

We all have certain people we call friends, we say Hi, have small talk conversations, but don't feel close enough to share our deep feelings and secrets with. Then, there's those special, CLOSE friends. People whom we've established a bond with. People we can trust with our hearts. They have our 'backs,' they're always there through good times and bad. We feel safe, secure and comforted just by talking to them.

There's an obvious difference in our level of relationships with people. There's also a difference in our level of relationship with God and our Savior Jesus Christ. 

You'll never get to know Him on a deeper level until you begin to stay in His Word (The Bible) daily. This allows you to see and know God's nature, His heart, His caring, unconditional love. Getting closer to the Lord will help you realize that you no longer have to carry your burdens alone. You have a safe place to go and release everything that's been weighing you down.

Seek God daily, open up to Him and share your feelings, trust Him, lean on Him, know that He wants to help you. Allow Him to get close enough to restore you through a CLOSE, intimate, trusting relationship with Jesus Christ.

Run to your CLOSEST friend, JESUS CHRIST. He will never hurt or disappoint you. He loves you like no other...He gave His life for you! You will find the safety you've been craving. Take your relationship to a deeper level & be set free! 

John 8:31-32
To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
 
Daniel 10:12
Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Wow...Just Wow!

I'm not one to pray for things for myself. But over the past 3 months I had something that continued to weigh on me. My son, Elijah, is going to Hawaii to play football with his high school team. He is my youngest and even though he will only be a junior, the team plays in Hawaii every 3 years, giving each class an opportunity to go 1 time.

I was having a hard time knowing that I wouldn't be there for his very first game of the season. I've never missed a game, (something that is important to me and him.) I wasn't able to go see my middle son, Jullien, play during his Senior year & it broke my heart.

I couldn't stop thinking about it, so I decided to pray, "Heavenly Father, you know how bad I want to go, and if I'm being selfish or asking too much, please close the door. But if it's your will, please let it work out so we can go." As the time drew closer, my prayer was simple, "Father, Your will be done regarding the money needed for Hawaii. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen"

With that, I was ready to accept whatever happened, but continued to have Faith that anything is possible with the Lord. My husband thought I needed to 'get over it' we barely cover our bills each month, let alone have extra money to take a trip. I continued to tell him, "If God decides to bless us, anything is possible, right?"

On Sunday, my husband's parents, (who knew absolutely nothing about the Hawaii trip) gave us a check...the exact amount needed for the trip. It was incredible, we feel so blessed! To know that the Lord is always listening to us. Sometimes He grants our requests and sometimes He doesn't. But the thing I've learned during our 2+ year's of financial struggle is to completely let go of the burdens I carry and PRAY. In doing this, I'm letting God know that I truly, Rely On, Trust In and know that HIS LOVE for me is NEVER ENDING. He fills me with a Peace to make it through the bad times & throw's out unexpected blessings to show His Love!

WOW...JUST WOW!

This was the scripture passage I just happened to open up after praying about the
 money."Let them give glory to the Lord and proclaim his praise in the islands. The Lord will march out like a warrior he will stir up his zeal;" Isaiah 42:12-13

Whatever your going through, don't give up on the Lord's promises. He will keep you safe in His loving embrace...Pray & Read the Bible daily. He Loves You and Hears You!

"Deal with your servant according to your love and teach me your decrees. I am your servant; give me discernment that I may understand your statutes." Psalm 119:124-125

"I call with all my heart, answer me, O Lord, and I will obey your decrees. I call out to you; save me and I will keep your statutes. I rise before dawn and cry for help; I have put my hope in your word." Psalm 119:145-147

Monday, August 1, 2011

Great White Sharks & Deceiving Safety Nets

 Australia is home to one of the largest Great White Shark populations. Because of this, since the 1930's they have maintained Safety Nets around crowded beaches to keep the predators out. Unfortunately, in doing so, several hundreds of thousands of dolphins, seals and whales get trapped in them and die. AND they are finding several sharks trapped along the beach side of the nets. 
What's your safety net? We all have them. You can use people, drugs, alcohol, etc, as your net. Something you run to in difficult or scary situations.

I personally kept an invisible wall around me as my Safety Net.  Only allowing people to get right up to it, but never inside. It'd take years for someone to prove they wouldn't hurt me before I'd open the door. I'd also use people as a net. My friend April is outgoing, fun, loud & doesn't know a stranger. She's always the life of the party and all eyes are usually on her. I'd avoid going places if I didn't know very many people unless she was there as my comfortable, ice-breaking, reliable Safety Net.  

Like the Great White Shark Safety Nets, 
Our Nets can have harmful and deceptive side effects, too. 

My "wall" isolated me from others. Relying on my friend kept me from facing fearful/uncomfortable situations and growing as a person. People who rely on drugs and alcohol eventually get tangled up and lost in the very thing they run to for comfort. What we don't realize is our true protection is just a Prayer away. God wants to step into your life and situation. He wants to heal the wounds. He gave His only begotten son, Jesus Christ, as a sacrifice. You don't need to run and hide behind life's nets.
Whether you believe right now or not, you've tried everything else, now try Praying. Allow God to move in your life. LET GO and reach for HIS OUTSTRETCHED HAND. LET HIM keep you from drowning in your TANGLED, DECEIVING, SAFETY NETS OF LIFE.

"My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." 
Colossians 2:2-3

"Devote yourself to prayer, being watchful and thankful." 
Colossians 4:2

"Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." 
Jeremiah 29:12-13

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

STOP LIMITING GOD!

 A widow was approached by a stranger during a severe drought. He asked her to bring him water, which she did. He then asked her to bring him some bread. She told him she only had a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil left to make one more meal for her and her son and then they
would die, they'd have nothing left.

He told her not to be afraid, but to go home and make a small cake of bread for him and use the rest for herself and her son. If she will do this, God will not allow the flour to run dry or the jar of oil to become empty until the Lord gives rain on the land. She believed and did as she was asked. There was food everyday for the Prophet Elijah (the stranger) and Zarephath (the widow) and her son. 
The flour did not run empty and the oil remained full. (1 Kings 17:7-16)

This woman listened to the promptings of the Lord and was blessed because of it. When you feel the Lord directing you, putting certain people or situations in front of you, are you stepping out in Faith? Are you allowing God to bless your life by trusting Him to move in a situation, 
even if you don't know why or completely understand?

STOP LIMITING GOD.

He wants to do a good work in you and through you. More than you can begin to comprehend. Allow Him to move in your life...PRAY, LISTEN & MOVE!

Jesus replied, "You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand." 
(John 13:7)

"God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful." 
(1 Corinthians 1:9)

"I spread out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land. Let the morning bring me word of you unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; 
may your good Spirit lead me on level ground." 
(Psalm 143:6, 8, 10)

"I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols. See, the former things have taken place and new things I declare; 
before they spring into being I announce them to you.
(Isaiah 42:8-9)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A DEVASTATING LESSON

 Daul Kim-Swarovski Campaign by Sofia and Mauro
On November 19th, 2009 I awoke to something devastating. It began a year prior, when I started following Daul, a famous Korean Fashion Model's Blog. She was not only beautiful, but very intelligent, honest, witty, sarcastic & artistic. All the qualities that make for an interesting read, not to mention, I loved her catch phrase, "Say hi to..." As time went by, her posts took a darker turn. She talked about depression and insomnia. I often left upbeat comments and felt a "tug at my heart" to 'talk' to her about the Lord, but I didn't want to seem too "preachy."

On November 18, 2009, I clicked on her post, "Say hi to...Forever." It was a You Tube techno video of her favorite band. I started to leave a comment, but then erased it...I wasn't sure what to say. The next day I saw a news post, she was found dead in her Paris apartment. I felt like I'd been punched in the stomach. I cried. In her anguish & despair she'd taken her life at only 20 years old.

I vowed never again to waste an opportunity to share the healing power of my Savior's love with someone. To never let the fear of rejection or the opinion of others stand in the way of sharing Christ's life saving, life changing, gift. The Lord put it on my heart & I'd ignored the prompting. It was a heart wrenching lesson for me.

Several months later, a young girl from Malaysia began following my Blog via...Daul's Blog. When I clicked on her site, the title read, "I often think of suicide." I couldn't believe I was getting another chance to share! Her posts talked of her deep depression. I began to pray for the Lord's words and not mine before responding to her. I added her to our church prayer list. Over the past year we have become very close & she calls me her, "American Mama." Through Heavenly Father's Restorative Love, she no longer talks about suicide, and is able to see purpose in her life. Her Blog title now reads, "A difficult time can be more readily endured if we retain the conviction that our existence holds a purpose, a cause to pursue, a person to love, a goal to achieve." 

Don't waste an opportunity that Heavenly Father puts before you due to fear or rejection. Trust in the Lord. Ask for His words & guidance in the situation. Be willing to allow Him to use you!

"And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them or their words. Do not be afraid, though the briers and thorns are all around you and you live among scorpions. Do not be afraid of what they say or terrified by them, though they are a rebellious house. You must speak my words to them, whether they listen or fail to listen, for they are rebellious. But you son of man, listen to what I say to you. do not rebel like that rebellious house; open your mouth and eat what I give you."
Ezekiel 2:6-8

And it will be said: "Build up, build up, prepare the road! Remove the obstacles out of the way of my people." For this is what the high and lofty One says-he who lives forever, whose name is holy: "I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite."
Isaiah 57:14-15

But the Lord said to me, "Do not say, 'I am only a child.' You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you. Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, 
"Now, I have put my words in your mouth." 
Jeremiah 1:7-9


"Get yourself ready! Stand up and say to them whatever I command you. Do not be terrified by them, or I will terrify you before them."
Jeremiah 1:17

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Legacy of Prayer

Story From: "God's Little Devotional Journal"
In the early days of the formation of the United States, a stranger once asked how he might identify George Washington among those present at Congress. He was told, "You can easily distinguish him when Congress goes to prayer, Washington is the gentleman who kneels."

Washington had a long-standing reputation as a man of prayer. At Valley Forge, he frequently found rest and relief in prayer. One day a farmer approaching the military camp heard an earnest voice. When he drew nearer, he saw Washington on his knees, his cheeks wet with tears. The farmer returned home and said to his wife: "George Washington will succeed! George Washington will succeed! The Americans will secure their Independence!"

"What makes you think so, Isaac?" his wife asked. The farmer replied, "I heard him pray, Hannah, out in the woods today, and the Lord will surely hear his prayer. He will, Hannah; thee may rest assured He will."

One person willing to humble himself and pray can leave a legacy of faith and hope, giving courage to future generations.

"I call on you, O God, for you will answer me; give ear to me and hear my prayer. Show the wonder of your great love, you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in you from their foes." Psalm 17:6-7

"It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect." Psalm 18: 32

"Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish. In your love you kept me from the pit of destruction; you have put all my sins behind your back." Isaiah 38:17

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Needing Change?

 If we truly grasped the Power our Heavenly Father has given us through prayer, DIRECT COMMUNICATION with Him; we'd let go of our fears and burdens. Recognizing that we are able to be renewed; hearts, minds, body & soul. He transforms us through our prayers to Him. He hears us and see's our struggles. Prayer is our Power, the strength God has given us to lay everything down and allow His Holy & Mighty Power to change things. He loves us and hears our cries. Prayer establishes a loving, all-trusting relationship with Him.

Don't waste  an opportunity to Pray today. It may only be a simple prayer, but it speaks volumes to God. Showing that you are putting your Trust and Faith in your Heavenly Father to change all things.

"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it." 
Isaiah 43:18-19 

"Yet you have not called upon me, O Jacob, you have not wearied yourselves for me, O Israel."
Isaiah 43:22
"O Lord, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning, 
our salvation in time of distress." 
Isaiah 33:2

"Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care..."
Psalm 95:2-7
.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Are You Causing Ripples?

 I've always found the ripple effect of water fascinating. It starts with a small disruption, causing motion to take shape throughout the entire body of water, often small, barely detectable movement. If you're not pay attention, you might miss it. However, if you pause for a moment by a pond or lake...you see it, leaves dropping, the wind blowing, a fish swimming, a duck paddling...motioning the water to move.
 We too can cause a ripple effect in the lives of others. One prayer at a time. One kind act of unselfish love...going out of your way to comfort or help someone. A simple smile at a stranger, a hug, a kind gesture, something as small as allowing someone behind you in the grocery store to go in front of you. 

It causes a ripple. 

It shows Christ's unconditional love in a small way. Just enough to stir movement. To brighten the life of another. We may not see it, but acts of unselfish kindness, reveal the love of Christ that is in us. Allowing Him to move in their life through a simple ripple.
 
 Today, pause, look for opportunities to cause a ripple in someone's life.

May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else,  just as ours does for you. May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.
1 Thessalonians 3:12-13 

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up,  just as in fact you are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11

And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else. Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:14-18

We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers. We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction.
1 Thessalonians: 1:2-5

Monday, June 20, 2011

FREE-Lenny Kravitz & U2 Tickets!





































We received free tickets to a U2 & Lenny Kravitz concert. We'd been looking forward to it all day...very excited. I drove (with my lead foot), making sure we'd arrive early. I didn't want to miss Lenny performing. As I was just about to turn into the paid parking ($25.00+) I noticed a sign off to my left which said, $1.00 Parking. In a split second decision, I checked my rear view mirror, ignoring the police waving me forward, swerved across 3 lanes to get into the left hand turn lane. I saw the $1.00 sign & NOTHING else mattered! The tail end of my car, unfortunately didn't make it all the way into the lane, cars were trying to get around me, horns blaring.

The policemen were glaring at us, shaking their heads...as we waited anxiously for the signal to turn green, uncomfortably avoiding their intimidating stares. When the light didnt change after 3 times, the cop started yelling at us. I was part way in the intersection in my attempt to get my rear end out of the fast lane...too far up to trigger the light, and someone was behind me stopping me from backing up. It was very stressful! When the light finally changed, I knew I'd still have to walk past the officer's after we parked. I was feeling incredibly anxious and didn't want to get out of the car. My night of fun was starting out full of stress and anxiety.

Sin can often affect you in the same way, making you feel guilty, believing everyone will know what you did and judge you for it. You start to avoid church, friends and family. You begin to isolate yourself. This is a trick of the enemy. He wants to get you alone, so the people who love you can no longer encourage and help pick you back up and lead you towards Christ's forgiving love.

Eventually I got out of car and reluctantly headed across the street. The police didn't notice or say anything to me as I walked with the crowd of people. I'm sure, had I been alone, it would've been a different story. I'd allowed a rash decision, stress, worry and fear, almost ruin my night.

Don't allow the enemy to continue to deceive you. Recognize his devices and grab hold of the outstretched hand of a friend or loved one. They are not there to judge you for your mistakes. The Lord has placed certain people in your life to help lead you back on the path towards peace, love and forgiveness.

"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:1-2

"What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31

"I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, 'You are my servant'; I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God." Isaiah 41:9-10 

Moses answered the people, "Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today." Exodus 14:13

"To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy-to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen." Jude 24-25