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Today!

3 Jan

I live in an area that has alternate side parking. Vehicles are ticketed by the city when parked on the side designated for street cleaning on specific days of the week.

Since I was blessed to travel during this holiday season, alternate side parking was definitely on my mind. The week before I left, I constantly reminded myself that I had to leave the car parked on the Tuesday side of the street in order to avoid getting a parking ticket while I was away.

Ironically, I was so consumed with parking on the correct side of the street before going away, that I forgot to park on the correct side before my vacation started. I received a ticket the day before my vacation began.

Instead of being annoyed with the city, or myself, I grabbed hold of the lesson learned through this experience. Sometimes we can be so consumed with tomorrow until we actually miss the gift of today.

How can we apply this lesson within this New Year? It’s wise to begin by being thankful that God has blessed us and brought us through one year and into another. We do not, and can not give ourselves life, only God can (Genesis 2:7, Acts 17:25). Let’s be thankful for all of our yesterday’s (Psalm 107:1).

Secondly, may we become so conscious of now, of today, this gift of the present, that we thoroughly enjoy every moment of it. Of course we should always plan wisely for the future. But Lord help us not to be soooo consumed with the future, that we relinquish the the benefits the Lord loads us with each day (Psalm 68:19). Those benefits include family, friends, and even the responsibilities of TODAY!
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Lights On!

25 Dec

Other holidays pale in comparison to the beauty found in the lights so wonderfully displayed as we celebrate Christmas. I have been most fascinated by the countless dazzling lights seen flashing over homes that have no apparent wiring attached.

Upon visiting a friend’s home recently, I finally located the point of origin of these mysterious, intriguing light displays. Planted in the ground was a tiny device spinning and reflecting hundreds of colored lights over the house. I was delighted. I had found the source!

Seasons come and go. But the question is, does your light so shine before people year round that it causes curiosity about your source (Matthew 5:16)?

As children of the Lord, we respond to people and pressure in a manner that compels us to shine. The Bible states, “Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭2:14-15‬ ‭NIV‬‬.

Does your behavior/ light so reflect love (God is Love) that people are curious about your source? If not yesterday is gone, and today is a new day. Become more rooted and grounded in Jesus, (Ephesians 3:17) and you will reflect the light that brings about the question, what’s your source?

“Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people; But the LORD will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭60:1-2‬ ‭NKJV‬ http://bible.com/114/isa.60.1-2.nkjv

Missed Oppor-tune-in-ities

16 Dec

It’s so easy to get caught up in our own little world. There are bills to pay, children to care for, work, who’s on Facebook, what’s on Twitter, and a million other activities that that distract us from one super important task. That’s the task of seizing oppor-TUNE-IN-ties to minister to this dying world.

Oh you might say, I m not a minister. While it’s true that the word minister can refer to church clergy. But according to Vocabulary.com, minister also means “to attend to the wants and needs of others”.

Nevertheless, proper titles aren’t necessary when “TUNING-IN” to help someone. Way back in Bible days, a priest (a man of God) saw a wounded man lying on the ground and passed by on the other side. Next, a Levite, another “servant of God” saw the man and passed by on the other side (Luke 10:25-37).

Although these servants of God had the proper titles, they were so focused upon their own agendas that they missed the oppor-TUNE-IN-i-ty to serve God by helping someone else.

Just in case you’re thinking to yourself, I would never do that – STOP. Take an honest moment to examine yourself. You’ll probably find that you have also missed opportunities to serve the Lord as you busily focused upon your own plans. I certainly have.

Perhaps it was the time you rode the elevator with someone who looked as though they were having a terrible day. You wondered why they looked so upset but didn’t bother to ask. Later you discovered that their family had experienced a crisis. Maybe it was the little old lady that you quickly passed as she slowly crossed the street with her overloaded shopping cart. After she fell, you realized that you should have helped her cross. Another missed opportunity.

Or just maybe it was the incident with your child. In anger, you disciplined him/her openly as his/her friends watched instead of using the opportunity to take him aside to teach him/her how to exercise self control. Yes, even disciplining your children can become an oppor-TUNE-In-ty to help your child and simultaneously honor the Lord.

As we TUNE-IN (draw near to) the Lord, may He quicken our spirits, helping us to seize every opportunity that He provides to honor Him by helping others. Help us Lord!

“Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”‭‭Matthew‬ ‭25:37-40‬ ‭KJV‬‬ http://bible.com/1/mat.25.37-40.kjv

Will You Lower the Selfie Stick?

30 Nov

Everyone loves taking selfies. Everyone except me. Whether I angle the phone from the left or right, flaws seem to stare it me, magnified by the camera. Of course I usually end up deleting the picture, and again wondering why most people actually enjoy taking selfies.

Recently I lowered my selfie stick – so to speak. I took a spiritual selfie while reading Psalm 146. I read, “Who executes justice for the oppressed, Who gives food to the hungry. The LORD gives freedom to the prisoners.”‭‭(Psalms‬ ‭146:7‬ ‭NKJV‬‬)

Suddenly I saw myself in a different light. I remembered that the Lord has delivered me from thoughts that once held me captive, negative thoughts that placed me in a personalized prison. I wanted desperately to escape, but could not.

Over a period of time, much prayer and reading the Bible, eventually negative thoughts began to be purged. Psalm 119:130 tells us that the entrance of Your word gives light; it gives understanding to the simple. The light of the Lord’s words in the Bible renewed my mind.

Now I have the ability as well as the responsibility to see others through a different lens as well. Perhaps the person who appears to be struggling with issues that are unlovely desires to be free as I did.

Instead of being quick to judge others, may we lower our selfie sticks (stop focusing on self) and remember to pray for others. If an opportunity presents itself, we can even be used to help others see themselves through a different lens.

It all begins as we lower our selfie stick and recall what we used to look like. It wasn’t pretty. The picture is only better now because we’ve yielded to Jesus Christ who has given us beauty for our ashes. (Isaiah 61). Lower your stick!

Destined for Hell!

20 Oct

Whenever anyone dies, time and time again you’ll hear the statement, “at least they’re in a better place.” This sounds good. We all want to believe this and soothe ourselves with the thought that people have gone on to a better place. The question is, does everyone really go to a better place?

While we are here on earth, let’s take a close look at what the Bible says to be sure we aren’t mistakenly destined for hell.

Jesus said “I am the WAY, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father but by Me” (John 14:6, 1John 5:12-13, John 3:36). Jesus is THE WAY to get to Father God.
Fact # 1. Without Jesus, it’s impossible to get to heaven.

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”
(‭‭Romans‬ ‭10:9-10‬ , NIV‬‬ l John 4:2-3)
Fact 2. One must believe that Jesus is Lord and say so.

“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.”(Matthew‬ ‭7:21‬ ‭KJV‬‬)
Fact 3. Just saying that Jesus is Lord is not good enough, we must also do our Father God’s will.

“If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.” (Hebrews‬ ‭10:26-27‬ ‭NIV‬‬)
Fact 5. If we continue to  deliberately sin after we have received the knowledge of the truth, we can expect judgement of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.

These 4 scriptures help assure us that we are destined for heaven. We won’t automatically go to heaven just because we died. Our own righteousness/goodness is as filthy rags before our Holy God (Isaiah 64:6).The only way to get to God our Father who art in heaven, is through Jesus Christ His Son who died on the cross for our sins (1Peter 2:24). As we yield our hearts to Him, we are changed(2 Corinthians 5:17). We long to please God and our lives are committed to being His in every way. There’s no other way to heaven except through Jesus Christ. All other routes leave us destined for hell!

Just A Little Lie

4 Oct

As humans , we are sometimes tempted to say just the right thing to suit us. Just the right thing won’t offend and hurt others, but is it the whole truth?

At other times, just a little lie is told to impress others, to cover our shortcomings, or to keep up with the Jones.

Let’s keep in mind that it was just a little lie told in a garden centuries ago that changed the course of history. (Genesis 3). As a result, every human being has sinned, and now has the capacity  to tell just a little lie. (Romans 3:23)

But God has MUCH to say about our LITTLE lies.
“Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,” Colossians‬ ‭3:9-10‬ ‭NKJV‬‬ http://bible.com/114/col.3.9-10.nkjv

“Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, But those who deal truthfully are His delight.”Proverbs‬ ‭12:22‬ ‭NKJV‬‬ http://bible.com/114/pro.12.22.nkjv

Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.”‭‭Psalms‬ ‭50:23‬ ‭KJV‬‬http://bible.com/1/psa.50.23.kjv

Thank You Lord for forgiving us and delivering us from lies, large or small. For sin is sin with You, no matter the size. John 8:44 tells us that Satan is the father of lies. Help us, Your children, to always speak the truth in love for you, and for others. This will bring glory to You, and that’s what we long to do. In Jesus name. Amen.

Greater Through the Storm

13 Aug

Maybe you’ve heard the saying “you’re either in a storm, approaching a storm, or coming out of a storm.”

No matter which point you’re at today, if Jesus is at the helm, great things are in store for you. When Jesus is the Lord of Your life, you are in the palm of your Creator’s hand. He is completely aware of every detail of your life and He wants to do great things through you, in trial and in triumph (I Peter 5:7, Psalm 55:2).

However, you must remember that His thoughts are not our thoughts, and His ways are higher than ours. His definition of greatness is not always the same as ours, and His path to greatness often includes storms, fires, and floods—troubles and obstacles that we’d prefer to skip over and land in heaven.

If, at this moment, you are saying, “How can anything great come out of this horrible experience? You have no clue of what I’m going through!,” you are absolutely correct. I don’t.

But even if I can’t truly understand what you’re going through, I do know that God does (Psalm 139).

During my stormy times as a single parent, struggling to raise two “we know more than you do!” children, I constantly found myself saying “Lord I can’t do this!”  Then, one day, the Lord moved upon my heart and changed my speech.  I began to say, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians  4:13)

My new confession didn’t stop the storms, but it lessened the strength of the waves. My faith and hope in the Lord strengthened and steadied my stance. I became overwhelmed by the Lord’s faithfulness instead of by the storms. (Mark 4:37–41)

What are you confessing during the storm? Your words have the power to strengthen the storm or to strengthen you (Proverbs 18:21).

The truth is, in your trial you have been given the power and the opportunity to abound in joy and peace as you hope in the Lord (Romans 15:13, Psalm 42:11, Psalm 71:14). Let the storm move you closer to Him, for He is your ever-present help in the time of trouble (Psalm 46). Trust that the Lord is using the storm to position you for the greater things He has in store for you (I Corinthians 2:9), and hold on (Luke 8:23)!