Saturday, December 27, 2008
CHRISTMAS IS FINALLY HERE! Have you been waiting! Join the club. Many waited. Remember Mary, Joseph, Israel, Simeon and Anna.
You may not remember Simeon and Anna. Not many mention them in the Christmas story. That is because they appear in the bible on the 8th day after Jesus is born (Luke 2:21-40). Simeon was a devout, righteous and spirit filled man. It was REVEALED to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. At the temple that very day he found out what the Spirit said was true. He met Mary, Joseph and Jesus. Get this! He held, consecrated and prayed over the Baby. His truth was revealed and it all became so real. Don’t we all want things to be real? Check out what Mary and Joseph did upon Simeon’s reaction, they marveled at what was said about Jesus.
Anna, was very old, she was 84 years old. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the Child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.
It was REVEALED to them and they proclaimed to many a message of how special this baby was. Simeon said “this child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be REVEALED. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.
Pray: Father in heaven thank you for revealing Jesus to me. Help me to spread the message. REVEAL yourself to ________(name people who need to know Jesus). In Jesus name we pray. Amen.
If you are waiting, stop waiting Jesus is here and he is just a prayer away. The Spirit Reveals something to you and you are waiting, hang on just as Simeon did. It will be as He says! Enjoy the day and be at peace with this miracle birth!
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
I was in a long line at the store Sunday afternoon Dec. 14. I am now a week away from Christmas and a lady walks in the line to join her friend two spots in front of me and proceeds to check out. I turn to the lady directly in front of me and said “was she with her all along or did she just cut in?” The lady in front of me said “I don’t know and it really does not matter.” I thought oh yeah, I need to have that attitude too (who cares, let it go)! She also said “I think this time of year should be called Stressmas and not Christmas.” I said “oh that is good really good, can I use that in my writings and I explained what I write. She said “sure and good luck, Merry Christmas.” I told her in the past when standing in line I can be in “Elaine’s world” or in “God’s World.” Of Course God’s world is more peace-loving.
Here is a check-list of thoughts to have with you to stay in the “Christmas Spirit” and avoid “Stressmas.”
1. I am going shopping at a prime time therefore I will experience
a. Long lines, anxious people, people who are in a hurry, waiting, waiting and more waiting for help.
2. I can choose to go in a busy time or find another time.
3. Carry with me this verse “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Phil. 4:13
MAYBE SEND YOURSELF A TEXT OF THIS VERSE BEFORE YOU LEAVE AND SIGN IT –GOD-
I really want to recommend you reading the Christmas story in Luke. I will comment on that next time.
For now pray like this: Father I want to be in the Christmas Spirit. Help me to remember that I can do all things through you! In Jesus Name I pray. Amen.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
As I prepare by reflection on the true meaning of Christmas, I am never disappointed in the hope and glory the Baby Jesus brought into this world. Here is what Mary’s relative Elizabeth said upon seeing Mary pregnant with the baby Jesus “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!” She believed there for it was done! May you identify with Mary and know this belief and accomplishment she made.
Every year different parts of the Christmas story strike me. This wonder of Elizabeth upon seeing Mary gave her joy. She knew from her upbringing that one would be sent by God to save herself and her people. She was taught to look for the signs. Elizabeth paid attention by remembering the words of the prophets and living a life that God would even bless her with a special baby, John the Baptist. In order to get past the stress of this time of the year you and I have to take the time to remember what happened over 2000 years ago. This one event changed our entire world forever. Can you get a hold of this life changing event? I sometimes can’t wrap my mind around it. But I can just sit and imagine how awesome it was for Elizabeth being pregnant herself and greeting Mary the soon to be mother of JESUS. She witnessed the accomplishment of Mary.
For some, even figuring out what you will do on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day is stressful. Some of your family have not been getting along and you have no desire to see some of them. I pray that we reflect on what Christmas is really about and through that experience you will discover what is the best way for you and your loved ones to Celebrate Christmas. That may mean seeing those that are hard to see or maybe it will be a new year with new traditions. God can speak to your heart and tell you what to do. You do not have to feel lonely because Jesus is “Immanuel” God with us.
Here is a website full of videos full of Christmas stories and music. I suggest you sit and watch as many as you can. Force yourself to sit and pray and let God speak to you through these small videos. Pray Jesus what do you want us to do for Christmas. In Jesus name. Amen.
Crazy at Christmas
17 siblings made Christmas unique for RV Brown. Join him for an exciting reunion.
Watch video »
Merry Preparing for Christmas,
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
This time of the year can be frustrating. AAugh! Can you picture Charlie Brown screaming that out?
Mark 1:3 a voice of one calling in the desert, 'Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.'
Preparing for Christmas can be so time consuming. My prayer is that you take the time to Prepare for our Lord and Savior. But first you have to be like Mary and say “YES!” Joseph finally said “YES!” The Shepherds and others followed the ancient stories and looked for the signs and said “YES!”
If you will let me I will lead you in a cheer like this: Give me a “Y!” (You respond) “Y” Give me an “E!” (You respond) “E!” Give me an “S!” (You respond) “S!” What does it spell? YES! Louder! Yes! Can you see me trying to get Charlie Brown to do this cheer? LOL!
By saying YES to Jesus, you are simply giving Him the greatest Christmas Gift ever! Your heart! Pray, Father in Heaven I say “YES” to your way. I want to make a straight path to you! In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
Saying yes to Jesus is the 1st step in preparing for the baby Jesus.
P.S. COMING SOON THE 2ND STEP.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
This is the time of year that sometimes tension builds in family regarding past hurts. At the very same time we are called to be thankful to the Lord for his provision. We are actually called everyday 24/7 to thankfulness, but especially with this season. Did you know that the early colonists use to celebrate thanksgiving for 3 days? Everything shut down for three days. Today places are actually open.
We need to remember that our thoughts are either from good or evil. During the Holidays we have to focus on the Lord and ask him to help us with our thoughts of frustration and previous hurts. Isn’t it just like the devil to really get us off track? We have no peace and joy. Some days we need to pray more than other days. Let go and let God. So you are probably asking me why the title “Out of the Mouth of Babes?” I turned to one of my children recently and asked them advice on my thoughts and one of them responded with the grace and love of Jesus. I believe it came from God to their heart and out of their mouth. It was beautiful! So my suggestion is asking the innocent what they think about a situation or trial going on and test and see what they say. Sometimes God uses those that don’t have baggage or past hurts to address a situation.
Philippians 2:14-15 Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.
Colossians 3:15 Let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.
Let’s pray: Lord I am called to peace and thankfulness please help me to stop complaining and disputing so that I can shine like a star to the world. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
Shine as lights in the world!
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Haven’t you noticed in life that the way you deal with others usually is the way you have been taught? I have been studying the bible for 16 years. It seems that the Lord awoke me one day and I guess I was teachable. I became teachable because things in my life weren’t working. Life was filled with worry and a lack of peace. I began to realize how much God loved me. When I realized that I began to trust him with the things going on in my life. The word “Peace” comes to me now because I began to see God give me peace through trials. As I saw him intervene and resolve life difficulties, I began to surrender more and more. This is a process and it happened gradually. My faith is growing and I want him more and more each day.
Just this morning I was reading this scripture that Paul wrote to the Thessalonians.
He said “we instruct you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 4:1-2
This is a good word from Paul and I take it to my heart. How can I do this on a daily basis? Without having all the answers in front of me, I must trust and obey what God is telling me to do. Where he has been directing me and talking to me daily to do. Paul goes on in chapter 5:19 to say “do not put out the Spirit’s fire and test everything.” We must hear from God for direction and we can only do that through prayer and getting confirmation. If we try to figure things out “THE SPIRIT IS QUENCHED.”
I pray: Father in Heaven hear this prayer and help me to do more and more to please you. Thank you for all of the instruction you have given me through the years. I do not want to quench you Lord, but I need you to help me to test everything. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
Teaching as I have been taught,
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
In my quiet time this morning a verse struck me and I want to share it with you. Hebrews 12:2 because he never lost sight of where he was headed-that exhilarating finish in and with God-he could “PUT UP WITH ANYTHING” along the way: cross, shame, whatever. (The Message)
I have never run a marathon but from what I understand when you get to the finish line it is an exhilarating feeling. All of what one endured to get there was so worth it! At least that is what I have been told. My marathon is being
1. A child of God
4. whatever else I can get to
So along the way I endure such busy days I get crabby with all that is in my above list. I am grateful this morning that I found this verse to remind me sometimes I need to slow down my pace and just sit and meditate on God’s word. Jesus “put up with anything.” If he can do it, he can give me the strength to do it. Guess what? He can give me a better attitude while I do it too! Didn’t Jesus have the right attitude and gracious walk to the end?
So can you repeat after me?
If Jesus can put up with anything so can I!
Let’s pray: Father in heaven help me to put up with anything and do it with the right attitude. I need you Father to give me everything to endure daily living. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
Putting up and putting out,
Thursday, November 6, 2008
I got up on election morning and it was so beautiful out. After driving my daughter to school at 7:15am the sun was in my eyes and I looked up to the sky and I heard a still small voice in my soul and it said “WATCH ME.” I began to pray and say Lord is that from you and again I heard “WATCH ME.” I felt peace about this great reminder to keep my eyes on the “Son” where true hope comes from.
So my simple message today comes from the scripture:
• Hebrews 12:2 NIV
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Our savior Jesus endured much more than we will ever in a lifetime. He did it for you and for all mankind. Let us join together as a nation now after this election and unite and pray for our government. The election is over and we have a new President coming on board soon let us pray for him and his family. Most importantly let us look to the ruler of the whole universe our author and perfecter, for our guidance and future. He is our true savior and our great hope for the future. Let us “WATCH HIM” first and for most. No other man or women can be our savior.
LET US PRAY AS JESUS TAUGHT US:
'My Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give me today my daily bread.
Forgive me my debts, as I also have forgiven my debtors.
And lead me not into temptation, but deliver me from the evil one. Amen.
Praising the Lord,
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Do you remember the song “You are my sunshine?” It goes like this, you are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are gray, you never know dear how much I love you, please don’t take my sunshine away. Since my kids were little, I have loved to sing that song. I just got a talking toy plant that sings that song and dances. I bring it along with me to the nursing home when I teach at the new bible club me and friend started called “Sonshine Bible Club.”
When I think of the sunshine, I get a warm and fuzzy feeling, energy, strength and it puts me in good mood. Does the sun do that for you? I saw a sign on a church once that said the best vitamin for a Christian is B1. It is a proven scientific fact that the sun gives us vitamin D and many uplifting benefits. In fact the Doctors at the elderly home urge us to get the patrons out in the sun.
As I have visited patients I realize more and more that our daily dose of the “SON” is so greatly needed. I wish I could personally give them a dose of scripture which is the word of God and as Jesus says “I am the word.” As people get older and they are discouraged, frustrated and not feeling good they start saying “where is God, I have known Him my whole life and I am miserable?” One elderly lady after taking all her medicine was still in pain. I thought she needs to add to her daily regimen the greatest medicine, Jesus. Here is a dose for you today. I pray that as you read these verses that you print them and take all your negative thoughts about what God is not doing and replace them with these promises.
Do you ever feel like you need a boost in your Christian walk? Has it become, mundane, pointless and repetitive? If so, take a moment to rejoice in God's many promises to: love you John 3:16, guide you Psalm 73:24, comfort you Jeremiah 31:13, answer you Jeremiah 33:3, help you Hebrews 13:6, protect you Psalm 32:7, provide for you Philippians 4:19, teach you Psalm 32:8, bless you Ezekiel 34:26, and fill you with joy Acts 2:28.
Let’s pray: Father in heaven help me to replace all of my negative thoughts with Your Son. Thank you for helping me and being my medicine, YOU ARE MY SONSHINE. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
Enjoying the SONSHINE,
Monday, October 27, 2008
I want to share what God is whispering in my ear all day every day. Why is he whispering in my ear daily. I have a new schedule and it is full and it almost seems like I am working almost full time. But God has ordained it all and I have strength. But I am not use to going going going. So he whispers as I get up and start to think of where I have to go first. He says "push Elaine, Push through this." PUSH. HE JUST KEEPS SAYING PUSH ON GO PUSH.
AS I AM WRITING THIS RIGHT NOW I AM LOOKING AT THE WORD PUSH IN WRITING RATHER THAN MY MIND OR BRAIN AND GUESS WHAT? I HAD A PRAYER VIGIL YEARS AGO AND I HAD STICKERS SAYING THE WORK "PUSH" ON THEM.
• Boy what a God we serve. Prayer is our greatest weapon. Use it!
1 THESSALONIANS 5:17 pray continually;
JOHN 14:14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
I was watching the game show called “The Price is Right” with my grandma in the elderly home this morning. The game called “Over the Price” was being played. In the game the contestant has to stop Drew when the price of the Mustang car she could win, was over the price of the car. So she yelled when she thought the price was over the price and indeed it was so she won the Yellow Mustang. (cute car) She was jumping up and down with excitement and could not stop hugging Drew.
I was reminded at the moment that just a little before the game show started that I read a devotion to my grandma. It was entitled “God Loves You.” The devotion had a verse that we are all familiar with John 3:16 for God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He (even) gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to , relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.
Let’s say you were on a game show and they said you would win eternal life if you believe in the amount that was paid is over the price. Now let’s get creative here. Jesus is the prize. They begin to flash things if you believe it is over the price stop me and I will tell you if you the truth. If you are correct, you get the prize. So getting a free meal is that price too much for God? That really is not over the price. Next choice you have is “a new house.” Is that over the price for God? You say keep going. How about a car and business with all the money you need, is that too much for God to pay for your eternity? You say to Drew “keep going.” The next option is Jesus being led to a five hour torture and then being hung on a tree. Is that price too much for God? You yell out,” that is over the price.” Drew checks with the judges and you win!!! You win eternity for God because you know he did pay the price and you know he did it for you and it is over the price. But God says “nothing is too much for you.” He says “I went over the price for you. I took what meant the most to me and gave it for you.”
God went over the top for you! Do you really get that? I really get it and it makes me want to cry. Why? Death is such a high price to pay for my eternity and your eternity, do you really understand what I am writing to you? If you are saying yes, pray this prayer with me.
Father in heaven you went over the price for me! Thank you. I don’t deserve this free gift, but I receive the fact that that is how you wanted it. Bless you Lord! In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
JESUS WAS DEATH WAS OVER THE PRICE FOR YOU AND ME. OH WHAT A GOD WE SERVE.
Receiving a gift I don’t deserve,
Sunday, October 12, 2008
The last time I wrote to you I talked about “Sloppy Joes.” I got a letter back from a friend and it said her Mom always called them “Untidy Josephs.” So my challenge is to come up with a Heart 2 Heart and use the title “Untidy Josephs.”
When I think of Joseph, I do go right away to the story where the famous play called “Joseph and Amazing Techno-Color Dream Coat” came from. Whenever I read the story I always think of how long Joseph had to wait for the blessing and purpose God had for his life. He went from his brothers abusing him, being sold to slavery, falsely accused by Potipher’s wife and imprisonment. After years and years of all this nonsense he finally was given what God promised him. What was that? Favor from the king to help run a country. Truly, an amazing story
Genesis 50:17 the trespass of your brothers and their sin, for they did evil to you. Now, we pray you, forgive the trespass of the servants of your father’s God. And Joseph wept when they spoke thus to him.
50:19-21 and Joseph said to them, Fear not; for am I in the place of God? As for you, you thought evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring about that many people should be kept alive, as they are this day. Now therefore, do not be afraid. I will provide for and support you and your little ones. And he comforted them and SPOKE TO THEIR HEARTS.
Joe’s life may have been untidy at times, but in the end God used all of it to teach each brother and Joe himself and the future generations. How is God using your life to express his power and grace in your life and your children and their children? We can be used in good and bad and all for our Lord.
Let’s pray: Thank you for my life. Thank you for guiding me through life. It may be untidy but I am so glad you are part of my life. Continue to guide my days with wisdom and understanding. Give me a heart to speak to people’s hearts. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
Speaking to your heart.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
I love to eat sloppy joes. I would love to be able to eat them without the meat spilling out of the bun, thus the reason for the name “Sloppy Joe.” I have to take my time and eat them.
Do you feel as if you are going through life with order and peace and being able to stay on top of things? Or are you more abt to get sloppy and do everything half way? You get more done doing things quick, but does that benefit everyone in your lives? How about if we do less and do things with much better results?
This is really something to take the time to think about when we make decisions to take new things on in our lives. Do we have the proper order and perspective?
But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.
I think God is saying impulsive and emotional decisions are not from Him.
Think and pray with me.
Father I am sorry for all of my half works. Help me to take the time to put you in all of my activities including things for church. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
Seeking God in all I do,
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Today and everyday has been filled with all sorts of uncertainty. Prices of gas the financial bail-out plan of country and an election coming up. There is so much fire/trouble around us that I was using the word this morning to “Fireproof.” Your asking “Elaine, what do you mean?” Well you know that firemen have clothes that are “Fireproof.” Which means it keeps the fire off of them when they go in to put off a fire. Their clothes don’t ignite and catch on fire.
Here is a verse I read this morning that gave me hope for the future. Psalm 37:37& 39 Mark the blameless man and behold the upright, for there is a happy end for the man of peace.
But the salvation of the righteous is of the Lord: he is their Refuge and secure Stronghold in the time of trouble.
You know we can lean on the Lord for security. We can trust that he will see us through all things.
While I have you I want to recommend the movie out called “Fireproof.” Where a couple who have let their marriage go and not prioritize each other in their lives, learn in a profound way how to “Fireproof” their marriage. Take your friends and experience the truth about struggle and how we sometimes have trouble admitting how we can’t change others, but we can change ourselves. The star of the film is Kirk Cameron. In the scene where he kisses his actor wife, he is actually kissing his real life wife who doubles for the actress. He told the director of the movie “he will only kiss his wife, even if it is for an acting job.” Wow!
Pray with me: Father thank you for being my refuge and secure stronghold in this time of trouble.
In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
A dad had an older son who always stayed loyal to his dad’s business. He came to work on time every day. He did everything his dad taught and asked of him. The older son was sad because his younger brother had taken off years ago and took all his inheritance. He had heard through a friends, friend that his brother was living on the streets broke and lonely. The thought of that made him sick. He began to wonder lately if his brother was even alive.
He got up everyday determined to be a good son so his dad can have peace of mind. He saw that his dad hurt at times. The older son began to think it probably would be better if his brother were dead. Then at least it his dad would have finality and could go on.
He got a word that his brother was back and his dad had ordered food, clothes and a big party with all of the employees of the company attending. The dad approached the older son and asked the son to attend the party. The older son said no way. I will never celebrate with my brother. He left you and squandered everything. Yet you have chosen to give him clothes, food and a big party. How could you do that? I have slaved for you and obeyed everything for all these years. You never bought me clothes and threw me a special party. The dad responded “my son everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad; because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.”
This is the second part of Luke 15 the story of the Prodigal son. The part that struck me as I read this passage is how the older son complained “I have slaved and obeyed everything you asked of me.” The word slaved made me ask myself, as a Christian, do I serve God with the right heart and motive? It is so important that we do everything in life with a heart turned toward God. How do you look at everything you do every day? A heart of joy, doing our housework, taking care of the kids, jobs etc...
Let’s pray: Father forgive me for serving at times without joy. Lord give me the right heart to serve.
In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
Serving the Lord with joy,
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Think of your favorite frosting on a cake. Frosting you crave! As you are thinking about it your mouth should be watering and you want some. Hmmm Good!
As you think about that let me tell you a funny thing happened to me in the grocery store today. I was standing in line and got to talking to this lady. She told me about her daughter and how she has had some hard times in life recently. The advice she gives her is “life is like a cake, the outside of the cake is the frosting which represents the earth and everything in all creation and sometimes that frosting is so good that we just eat that and forget about the cake. We sometimes don’t get to the cake which is God. We need to remember the cake is always there for us and won’t go away so take the time to eat the cake too!”
The Israelite had hard times in their lives especially when they were in slavery in Egypt. But this was their lament. Psalm 18:6 in my distress I called upon the Lord; to my God I cried for help. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears.
Through experience the Jews knew the struggles of life, but they also knew in distress that if they called up the Lord he would hear. Do you have that same assurance?
Look past the frosting of the earth and all it offers and remember the cake the middle the solid part. Don’t forget to “EAT CAKE” with the frosting.
LET’S PRAY: In my distress (list that distress) I call upon you Lord; to you I cry for help. From your temple you will hear my voice, and my cry and it will reach your ears. Thank you Father. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
Eating the frosting and the cake,
Monday, September 29, 2008
A man has two sons and the younger son wants his share of the estate and the Dad gives it to him. The son goes off and wastes all the money. He was eating, drinking and being merry. Out of desperation he takes a hard labor job. As he works hard labor and is treated like a slave with not much generous compensation he begins to remember that his Dad, a businessman, treated all his employees with much more care. He treated every worker no matter where they were in the company with dignity and respect. His frustration gets him to think I can suck it up and go back to Dad and say “I am not worthy to be your son, but I am willing to work for you.”
The Dad all this time has been having sleepless nights filled with terror over his son’s absence. What is he up to, is he even alive? He waited and waited for what seemed like eternity to hear from his son. He did decide that he would not run after his son and force him home. He wanted him to come of his own free will.
The day comes when the son is walking up to the company and the Dad looks out the window and sees him coming. The Dad runs to the elevator and goes down and runs to the son and embraces and kisses him. The son can’t believe it! He still chooses to say “Dad I am not worthy to be your son, but will come and work for you.” The Dad realizes he really has had a heart change gets on his cell phone and calls someone to come bring him new clothes, orders some food and proceeds to throw a party that day. The Dad announces to all the employees “my son was lost but now is found; I thought he was dead but he is alive.”
The joy of a Dad seeing his son alive is so great and he chooses to give him GRACE. That means the son did not deserve anything but he chooses to give him everything and no strings attached.
Here are some questions to ask yourself from this story.
Where were all the sons’ friends he met along the way? Did they take advantage of him and then they saw the money ran out and abandoned him? Why did the Dad give him the money in the first place? Should the Dad have taken him back so easily and with a great homecoming?
This is a modern rewrite of the story “The Prodigal Son.” Did you know prodigal means wasteful? The wasteful son received grace from his Dad. At what moment in our lives did we finally stop running away from God and turn and run into his arms. I’m sure the son had “SLEEPLESS NIGHTS.” We ask God to forgive us and then have a heart ready to serve him.
Are you running into the arms of God today or running away? What is the Father’s response? IT IS ALWAYS FULL OF LOVE, COMPASSION, FORGIVENESS, MERCY AND GIVING.
LET’S PRAY: Father in heaven I want to walk with you and not run from you. Thank you for always being there for me. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
Refreshed from a good night of sleep,
Thursday, September 25, 2008
I was reading on my bottle of daily hydrating, exfoliating mask called “WHEN HOPE IS NOT ENOUGH*”
Philosophy*: how we treat our skin is how we should treat others. Compassion, gentleness, kindness, consistency, efficacy and care go a long way in helping us reach our goals in an ever changing world.
Wow! What does Jesus have to say about hope? I always say hope stands for HE OFFERS PEACE ETERNALLY.
Here is something to really read this morning that truly is from God:
Romans 5:3-5 but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character, and character, HOPE. And HOPE does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, when he has given us.
Pray: Jesus thank you for being my hope and giving me a heart by the Holy Spirit. Help me to love and care for others today so that it may change the world for you. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
There is hope! I leave you with the words of the label, how we treat our skin is how we should treat others. GET IT?
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Quick note for today. Romans 8:31-32
• 31.What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32.He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all--how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?
God gave up his son FOR YOU. That means God is available for you 24/7 without a doubt. He cares and wants to be part of your day. Let HIM in.
Pray: Father in heaven “help I need you.” I am sorry I didn’t call on you sooner. I thank you for caring. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Did you see the movie Batman Begins? It tells the story of the beginning of how Bruce Wayne’s parents died and the journey that happened because of their murder. He wanders off as a young adult in anger and frustration because of that critical childhood event. He lands in prison and while in prison this dialogue took place. A man walks in to his prison cell and Bruce says “who are you?” The man answers “a man that can offer you a path.” Bruce asks “what makes you think I need a path?” The man responds “someone like you is only here by choice and you have become truly lost.” Bruce asks “what path can you offer?” The man starts to talk about a group that wishes to serve true justice and that has chosen the path that has led them to be called the League of Shadows.
Situations in life bring us to the same critical point where we are sitting in a room (feeling like we are in prison) and we find ourselves asking the same questions. Who is God? God says “I can offer you a path.” We ask “what makes you think I need a path?” God responds “someone like you is only here by choice and you have become truly LOST.” Finally and hopefully we may humbly and sincerely ask “what path can you offer?” God responds with his truth and justice of the plan for mankind. In the book of Romans 11:33-36 Paul writes:
Have you ever come on anything quite like this extravagant generosity of God, this deep, deep wisdom? It’s way over our heads. We’ll never figure it out. Is there anyone around who can explain God? Anyone smart enough to tell him what to do? Anyone who has done him such a huge favor that God has to ask his advice?
Everything comes from him;
Everything happens through him;
Everything ends up in him.
Always glory! Always praise!
YES. YES. YES.
By Faith we respond in prayer:
Father help me to walk by faith in your plan and not my own. You walked in obedience to the cross and died for me. Lord I know I will not physically die on the cross as you did, but I understand that I must die to myself and my dependence on man and self. I ask you to forgive me for the times that I have chosen a path that came from some other source than you. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
A new beginning,
Monday, September 15, 2008
Do you know what the word blockbuster means? I googled blockbuster on my computer and Alpha dictionary.com came up with a definition written by Dr. Goodword. he came up with the meaning:
A stunning new and unexpected event or object that generates enormous sales or revenues.
So that is why a great movie comes out and generates a lot of enormous sales and then we get a “Blockbuster” movie.
I was doing patient visits at the hospital and sharing how God blesses us in so many ways. Whenever I share the blessing of God with others I always use it in the context of the original definition which means to be given favor by God. It reminds me of the times Jesus was returning to the Father in heaven and his last moment with the disciples. Luke tells us in chapter 24 that they were troubled and there were doubts in their minds. They had trouble believing who Jesus was and why he came. But Jesus in His great mercy opened their minds so they could understand the scriptures. He explained one last time that He came to die, conquer death and extend the grace and love of God to all. Finally he lifted up his hands and blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.
I have had trouble and doubt in my mind and that is a blocking. So I have come up with this question “what is blocking (my) your blessing.” It is my/our inability to believe that Jesus came and by his grace saved (me) us and left (me)each of us with the “Blessing” (favor) of God. Jesus is a “BLOCKBUSTER.” We need to pray more for those that are having their blessings, blocked. How I got to the word Blockbuster. I made up my own definition-the buster of our block is Jesus. Everyone needs Jesus the “Blockbuster.” Jesus left their presence. Yet they returned to their homes with great joy. They got supernatural joy! They could not come up with joy on their own strength. Jesus did that for them and he can do that for (me) us.
Jesus (Blockbuster)-one who brought a stunning event and it generated a lot of enormous revenue. (Revenue=blessing)
Let’s pray as Jesus did: Father in heaven open our minds so we can understand the Scriptures.
In Jesus name. Amen.
Looking to the Blockbuster,
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
I don’t know if brag books are out dated. You know the books that you can put photos of weddings, newborn grandchildren, niece, nephew etc. I know they have electronic ones now that you put in your purse or car and pull out with the newest photos of your recent vacation or fun event you attended. They are great aren’t they? Actually today our cell phones are the modern day brag books. My daughter at a recent Jonas Brother concert took pictures and video with her phone and now with a touch of a button she can brag about Nick Jonas.
I was praying this morning for you. I just sense God saying “push through this worldly stuff (whatever you have going on, selling a car, house, financial changes etc.) On the other side when it is done there are things waiting for you to do.” God is with you and will continue to direct your path. He is never going to leave you. You do not have to guess or imagine what the outcome will be, step by step as he leads you it will all come together. TRUST HIM!
May we experience Love and peace on this journey of faith. As the Lord uses all our lives for His glory through the process He gets all the glory we are in the school of seminary when it comes to our journey of faith and trusting God. Tell your great outcomes of God’s power as you walk because you will see the miracles of things only He can do. Get out your brag book or your electronic whatever and brag about Jesus and His marvelous works. Psalm 115:1 not to us, O Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness. He loves you very much. As my daughter said to me yesterday “everything happens for a reason (as I was getting a speeding ticket).” I thought, “ a ticket… there is a good reason why I got a ticket?” That does not make sense. Not everything makes sense. But GOD KNOWS. So as I am writing this I am making a mental note to pray for that officer.
I am thinking that I will not always know the outcome of that cops life, but if God connected us for a moment, I can surely pray for him.
Let’s pray: Father in heaven help me to see your glory through my daily life. I want to be able to brag about your marvelous works. In Jesus name I pray. Amen
I leave you with Jeremiah 9:23-24 written on a plaque on my desk saying “let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches. But, let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight.”
Monday, September 8, 2008
Are you gearing up for the fall and the kids going back to school? Is your schedule going to change this coming month? Do you have so much anticipation about your schedule that is like a traffic jam in your mind? If you are like me you have a schedule that is not clear yet. It is kind of like waiting in a pile up on the highway and you’re stuck just sitting waiting for the traffic to open up so you can get going. Sometimes when I am completely stopped on the road I can put this music up, clean and organize my middle section drawer, but then I am done with that and just want to get moving.
Things right now are bitter sweet, I love my summers, but it is time for things to open up in my mind and I can get going again. I imagine teachers are thinking just like I am.
This is a short sweet message for you to help you to allow the traffic jam to open up so you can get going. Here are some simple reminders.
1. Trust in the Lord with all your heart
2. Lean not on your own understanding (stop rationalizing and reasoning)
3. In all your ways acknowledge Him.
Guess what God says back to you if you do the three steps above.
My Child if you do the above I will make your paths straight. –God-
1. Do not be wise in your own eyes.
2. Fear the Lord and shun evil.
Guess what God says back to you if you live by the 2 steps above.
My Child if you live by these things I will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.
Pray: Lord fill me up with your personal promises. Thanks for helping me not to be double-minded. In Jesus name I pray. AMEN. TRAFFIC JAM IS OPENED UP, NOW GET GOING! -God-
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Did you ever stop and ask at a gas station to get directions? Then you start pulling away from the station and slow down and ask “is this the right way?” WHAT GOT INTO YOU?
That is the same thing that happened to Peter in Matthew 14:28-31. Jesus walked out into the water the disciples saw him and thought it was a ghost. Jesus says “have courage, it’s me. Don’t be afraid. Peter, suddenly bold, said, “Master, if it’s really you, call me to come to you on the water.” He said, “come ahead.” Peter jumped out and walked on the water and waves churned up below his feet, he lost his nerve and started to sink. He cried, “Master, save me!” Jesus reached down and grabbed his hand. Then he said, “Faint -Heart , WHAT GOT INTO YOU?”
I think I can be just like Peter. Jesus tells me not to be afraid. I do the right thing by going to Jesus in prayer and asking “is it you who is leading me this way and if it is you tell me which way to go.” He gives me the green light to go, but I loose my nerve and start to doubt. What got into me? Fear!
It is so easy to judge Peter. After all just before the boat incident Peter watched Jesus feed 5000 people. I know God works in my life and I see Him work in others. I don’t know what to say, but pray.
Dear God: Give me the faith to believe. Thank you for teaching me to come to you first before I do something. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
I do like one thing though Peter talked to Jesus and asked Him. There are many people out there that won’t stop for directions, um(we won’t mention that men are known for that). Making decisions can be hard enough, pray, listen and wait and then go.
Trying not to loose my nerve,
Friday, July 25, 2008
Everyday we are faced with decisions. As the world progresses with technology and our ability for us to access information at a very high speed with the internet, we have been increasingly accustomed to “instant information.” Many times this access plays out in our lives with a great need to move quickly and want things to happen quickly. We have lost the art of DECISION MAKING. Many times we run around looking for answers in the wrong order.
Do you think that maybe you have lost or maybe never taught the art of DECISION MAKING? Let me just put out there the thought that the ancient art of having the ability of decision making is lost. I think that when we were growing up are greatest way to learn “decision making” was from our parents, teachers, Pastors (Reverends, Priests) and grand parents.
If there was any disorder amongst these people and when we were observing them and depending on them to teach us, we got a bad picture of how to practice the art of decision making.
I want to strongly suggest that disorder and the lack of ability to make decisions is not from GOD. Most importantly we must remember that our God is a God of order. He placed everything on this earth in order. God is never wrong.
Joh 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Jesus came that we may have life and have it to the full? Yes! Where would be the smartest place to go when we need help with decisions? To the one who will not destroy us, but to the one who created us and loves us so much and even greater is all-knowing regarding the past, present and future.
Where does disorder come from? Not from God, but from the thief.
Re 12:9 - The great dragon was hurled down--that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.
This verse refers to the end of the world. Don’t you find it interesting that God said “Satan, who leads the whole world astray?”
God is giving us the M.O. of the devil. The devil wants us to “make decisions” that lead us astray.
In any battle we must
1. Know the enemies tactics: disorder, confusion. Leading us astray.
2. God’s plan is full of life, peace and hope.
3. Eph 6:11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes.
4. Jas 4:7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
5. Go to the throne before the phone.
6. After you pray begin to write down what you are thinking about a decision.
7. Trust God your leader and that you are hearing from Him. This takes faith. Ask for the faith to believe.
8. Limit your counsel to special Godly people in your life. (consider the source)
9. Too much advice sometimes leads to confusion. That is not from God.
I think we all have decisions everyday. So we definitely need to pray:
Father in heaven. I need you. I want to hear from you regarding_______________. Please help shed your light into this decision. Make the answer clear. Give me peace when the answer comes so that I know it is from you. Keep the enemy away from this decision. Help me to wait. Thank you Jesus for your help. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
Trusting in God,
Monday, June 30, 2008
When you believe in something or someone , do you speak up and tell your thoughts? Like, animal rights, war, the “Go Green” campaign and the presidential candidate. You believe in something or someone so strongly you can’t keep your mouth shut! You risk that others may not like you because of your opinion. You don’t care, you say what you think! Right? YOU HAVE “THE GUTS.”
I heard a message this pass weekend that spoke to my heart and I am just passing it along. Look at this verse below:
John 12:42 Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue;
12:43 for they loved praise from men more than praise from God.
12:44 Then Jesus cried out, "When a man believes in me, he does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me.
The word, believe. verse 42, in the original Greek means “especially one’s spiritual well-being to Christ-commit, put your trust in.
So here were the religious leaders in the Synagogue who were in fear of letting others know what they really believed in there heart. They believed yet they did not have “the guts” to speak up. Because they chose not to speak up Jesus died. Why did they do that? They feared man more than God. Do people know what you believe about Jesus?
Jesus went on to say:
John 12:47 "As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it. 12:48 There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day.
I think you and I need to have “the guts.” Let’s get a scale and weigh the two sides.
On one side you have keeping things to yourself and people liking you.
On the otherside you have Jesus and the blessings of God. Each time we get “the guts” to speak up and do the right things we are blessed by God. That means living a moral life vs. just going along with the crowd. Most importantly people finding out about Jesus and eternal life.
(la di da )Let’s see:
Jesus and blessings (GOD PLEASER) vs. people liking us?
Now the big question:
DO YOU HAVE “THE GUTS”?
Trying to have “the guts”,
Recently I read and studied this passage while on a trip.
2 Chronicles 1 The Spirit of God came upon Azariah son of Oded. 2 He went out to meet Asa and said to him, "Listen to me, Asa and all Judah and Benjamin. The Lord is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you. 3 For a long time Israel was without the true God, without a priest to teach and without the law. 4 But in their distress they turned to the Lord, the God of Israel, and sought him, and he was found by them. 5 In those days it was not safe to travel about, for all the inhabitants of the lands were in great turmoil. 6 One nation was being crushed by another and one city by another, because God was troubling them with every kind of distress. 7 But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded."
8 When Asa heard these words and the prophecy of Azariah son of Oded the prophet, he took courage. He removed the detestable idols from the whole land of Judah and Benjamin and from the towns he had captured in the hills of Ephraim. He repaired the altar of the Lord that was in front of the portico of the Lord's temple. 9 Then he assembled all Judah and Benjamin and the people from Ephraim, Manasseh and Simeon who had settled among them, for large numbers had come over to him from Israel when they saw that the Lord his God was with him. 10 They assembled at Jerusalem in the third month of the fifteenth year of Asa's reign. 11 At that time they sacrificed to the Lord seven hundred head of cattle and seven thousand sheep and goats from the plunder they had brought back. 12 They entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and soul. 13 All who would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, were to be put to death, whether small or great, man or woman. 14 They took an oath to the Lord with loud acclamation, with shouting and with trumpets and horns. 15 All Judah rejoiced about the oath because they had sworn it wholeheartedly. They sought God eagerly, and he was found by them. So the Lord gave them rest on every side. 16 King Asa also deposed his grandmother Maacah from her position as queen mother, because she had made a repulsive Asherah pole. Asa cut the pole down, broke it up and burned it in the Kidron Valley. 17 Although he did not remove the high places from Israel, Asa's heart was fully committed to the Lord all his life. 18 He brought into the temple of God the silver and gold and the articles that he and his father had dedicated. 19 There was no more war until the thirty-fifth year of Asa's reign.
I looked at this passage and made this outline:
1. Asa hears the word of the Lord from a man who is filled with the Spirit of God.
a. The Lord is with you when you are with him. If you seek him he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you.
b. Asa for a long time was without the TRUE GOD. It was not safe to travel around at that time because of the great turmoil. One nation was being crushed by another, because God was troubling them with every kind of distress. Asa was told “do not give up for your work will be rewarded.”
2. Asa believes the word and takes action.
a. Removes idols, cleans the temple up, assembles a large number of other people that were willing to listen and see that the Lord his God was with him. They celebrated and agreed to seek the Lord with all their heart and soul. They got excited. Made a loud acclamation, with shouting and with trumpets and horns. They made an oath and swore it wholeheartedly. They sought God eagerly. (worship and assemble like church)
3. The Lord gave them rest on every side. There was no more war!
So the Jews learned that turmoil and war in their lives came from not seeking God with their whole hearts. Here is the modern day breakdown of this passage:
Hear the word of the Lord.
a. We hear the word and become aware there is a problem.
a. Accept the fact that you have been separated from God and His plan to unite with you only by the blood of Jesus Christ.
b. Accept what God has to say about they way he wants us to live.
a. Make changes-get rid of all idols (idol= anything that stands in the way of us obeying, loving or following God. False God’s including Allah, Buddha, Mohammed ) Work on character so you can be loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle and having self-control . Get rid of immorality, unforgiveness, excessive use of drugs, and alcohol.
b. Find your purpose God’s way.
a. Being with God in heaven
b. No more inner turmoil wars. He will show you how to work through things.
c. Generational sin. Illness and disease
d. Peace-before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
It can stop. Guess what? It is just a prayer away. Just a simple action of prayer. Asa put aside his idols and PRIDE and became humble enough to realize he was ready to surrender to God and his way. God’s way is the better way. When he says “don’t be immoral”, he means it.
John: 12:48 there is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day. 49 For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. 50 I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say."
I speak God’s word not the words of my own. I did not write the word.
Pray: Father in heaven show me how to live today. I want to know you wholeheartedly. Help me read about Jesus and learn his ways. Amen.
I guess when I read this passage it reminded me of a bumper sticker I saw
Know Jesus, Know peace
No Jesus, No peace.
Pride aside I have had to surrender myself. This is a hard message to write. It calls for honesty. We must believe Jesus will take care of everything. It is His promise to us. He said to Asa “do not give up your work will be rewarded.” He is my creator. My Father I can trust in.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
NEW TEXT MESSAGE:
TO: 463 (G.O.D.)
FROM: 223 (B.F.F.)
I NEED A FAITH LIFT!
TO: 223 (B.F.F.)
FROM: 463 (GOD)
LOVE . PRAY . READ MY WORD. BE OBEDIENT.
NEW TEXT MESSAGE
DO DEAD WORKS
WANT KNOWLEDGE MORE THAN ME
NEW TEXT MESSAGE
REALLY? HOW CAN I HELP MYSELF?
SELF-HELP IS NO HELP AT ALL. SELF-SACRIFICE IS THE WAY, MY WAY, TO FINDING UR SELF, UR TRUE SELF. (LUKE 9:24)
NEW TEXT MESSAGE
COOL! HELP ME TO GO AND DO WHT U WANT.
K, HAVE FAITH I AM DOING THAT RIGHT NOW.
GOT A FAITH LIFT,
Thursday, June 5, 2008
NEW TEXT MESSAGE
FROM: 463 (GOD)
TO: 233 (B.F.F.)
PLS remember this today, U maybe hard pressed on every side, but not crushed, perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned, struck down, but not destroyed. (2 Cor. 4:8) My grace is enough, it’s all U need. My strength comes into its own in UR weakness. (2 Cor. 12:9)
NEW TEXT MESSAGE
FROM: 233 (B.F.F.)
TO: 463 (GOD)
I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Cor. 12:10) My certainty of you God, gives me sanity.
NEW TEXT MESSAGE
FROM: 463 (GOD)
TO: 233 (B.F.F.)
You’re blessed when U mourn. Only then can U be comforted by me who loves U so much. (Matt. 5:4)
NEW TEXT MESSAGE
FROM: 233 (B.F.F.)
TO: 463 (God)
Thanks for being my friend and caring so much.
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
When we send a text message we first put the phone number of the person, then we type a message, press a button and the message is sent . I always look at the phone and I amazed that the message somehow goes from my phone to another. By faith I just have accepted that the message will get to that person. I have never sat there and asked “what if” the message never gets to them.” No, I always know that the phone and text messaging works. Don’t you know that assurance also?
My message today comes with me having a very heavy heart. A friend of my daughters’ Father passed away over the weekend. This is a very nice family living here in my town. I am so sad about this whole thing. My heart aches for their pain and sorrow they are going through.
NEW TEXT MESSAGE
1. G.O.D. (463 in case you want to know)
O.M.G. PLS HELP THE STREULI FAMILY AND ALL THOSE WHO ARE HURTING. WE NEED YOU TO COMFORT US ALL. THANKS.
I wait by faith knowing he will get the message and I will GET A REPLY.
I will swallow up death forever! I will wipe away all tears. Isaiah 25:8
I bless those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Matthew 5:4
I am close to the brokenhearted; I rescue those whose spirits are crushed. Psalm 34:18
NEW TEXT MESSAGE
Thanks I feel more peaceful. I read this msg that King David wrote and I agree w/ him: I will be glad and rejoice in ur unfailing love, for u have seen my troubles, and u care about the anguish of my soul. Ps. 31:7
NEW TEXT MESSAGE
1. TO MY FRIENDS
Get ur text out to God. He is the only one that can help u. I.L.Y.