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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Do You Have Moss?

     During our Thanksgiving vacation I took pictures of moss hanging from my in-laws orange trees.  I felt something stirred inside of me as I looked at these moss covered trees and I knew there was a message I needed to see and understand.  So, I've spent the last three weeks contemplating moss, Spanish moss to be exact.



     Spanish moss is not actually related to mosses or lichens as many suppose because of it's name.  It's an air plant therefore it will die if pulled off and dropped to the ground.  It has no roots and soaks up moisture from the air around it.  It is hardy enough to withstand periods of drought by going dormant for a season.  For support and access to moisture and nutrients, it's host is usually a tree close to water, or in rainy or misty areas.  It's main method of spreading itself is by the winds.  It is not parasitic in that it does not tap into the trees resources and yet it's presence can cause the host great harm.  You see as it takes the moisture out of the air it grows and increases in size and weight and spreads.

     The first danger in allowing moss growth on the trees is that as it grows and spreads it begins the process of  blocking out the sunlight.  Without the touch of sunlight the tree's leaves are incapable of creating nourishment, they are no longer capable of photosynthesis.  Over time, as the moss spreads and blocks more and more leaves from the sunlight it will begin to cause malnourishment.  This malnourishment will cause the second danger.  The second danger is the stunting of the proper growth of fruit and eventually the inability to produce fruit.  Danger number three is, as the moss grows and spreads, it will place stress and strain on an already weakened tree.  That stress and strain will begin to break it's branches.  And lastly, the fourth danger is a sudden one.  As storms and heavy rains pour down it gives the moss an over abundance of moisture that it readily soaks up thus tripling it's weight.  This sudden increase in heaviness or weight can cause sudden breaks and severe damage to the tree.  With enough broken branches and a lack of proper nourishment and fruit production the tree is already in the process of dying.  Without proper care, this tree WILL die.  


WE    ARE    LIKE    THAT    TREE!


Psalms begins with a reference to a Godly man being like a tree. 


Psalms 1:1-3 (Easy Read Version)
(1)  Great blessings belong to those who don't listen to evil advice, who don't live like sinners, and who don't join those who make fun of God.
(2)  Instead, they love the LORD'S teachings and think about them day and night.
(3)  So they grow strong, like a tree planted by a stream-- a tree that produces fruit when it should and has leaves that never fall. Everything they do is successful.

As a child of God you are a tree whom He has planted by THE streams of living water.  All that you need for growth and abundant life is constantly available to you here.

     The moss in our lives is carried mainly, but not solely, on the wind.  There are winds that come into our lives varying in strength and duration.  These winds can push and knock us around and yet the strongest winds are not always the ones that drop the pieces of moss on us.  All this moss needs is the tiniest crevice in which to rest for it to begin to grow.  At this point it doesn't even look dangerous.  This moss may be little words said in jest, or verbal jabs, or just one hurtful memory or offense taken that we've given a place to rest. 

     Other times it's not the wind but a "little birdie" that has decided to take up roost in your branches who brings the moss in.  The "birdie" daily goes and brings more to build it's nest... all the while the danger grows and spreads.  These "little birdies" are the gossipers and back biters and false friends who YOU have given access to your ears.  They are constantly dripping negativity into your life.  

     As that tiny piece of moss begins to grow, multiply and spread and as "little birdies" bring more in... the moss begins to create a shadow, a place in your life where the sonlight is harder to see.  Those places are now in danger.  When the "leaves" of your tree begin to find it harder and harder to reach the sonlight then your growth slows down.  This makes "you" more susceptible to injury and illness, it weakens your faith.  In this state it becomes more and more difficult to produce spiritual fruit.  Now when storms invade your life this moss gains strength in that it's weight triples.  Unless you can get free of it, your already weakened faith takes more damage and you break under it's weight.  Now remember, this moss is an air plant, so it takes it's nourishment from the air, ... the water and nutrients it needs to grow is in your atmosphere.  So... 

what is in your atmosphere will either cause it to live and grow or go dormant.

What is in your atmosphere?  What is it you listen to?  What do you allow to be spoken?

What are you speaking?

Notice, I said go dormant, I did not say die.  The only way to truly free a tree from Spanish moss is to care for and watch over it daily.  Any moss that is found must be cut and stripped away and dropped to the ground.... this is where it dies.... once it has been removed.


What is the moss in your life?

What things physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually
feed and nourish the moss in your life?

What are the things that clutter your life
and hinder you from seeing the sonlight?

Are you ready to let the Master care and watch over you?  Are you willing to allow God to be your caretaker?  To daily cut away what stunts or stops your growth?  To prune back your branches so you can bring forth a bounty of fruit?  Are you ready to let him remove the things that clutter up the surfaces of your life?  Will you allow Him to get down to the real you?


        • Lord, 
          I want to be that strong tree that bears it's fruit in due season, whose leaves never fall, and who is successful in all I do.  Please find the moss in my life, the things I've let spread, all the pieces, even the little ones and remove them.  Remove the hindrances to a strong relationship with you.  Teach me to not listen to evil advice.  Teach me to not live like those who have rejected you.  Create in me an appetite and love for your word that I would live it all the days of my life.
          Amen.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Giving God Freedom : To Mold Me



     There are rough spots in your life, places where you can see you need the Creator, the Potter to mold and remake you... give him permission to make you into the person HE wants you to be.  Give Him permission to use whatever tool, whatever person, whatever event or experience He needs to work the impurities and imperfections out of you and grow you in ways you never thought possible.

Give God the Artistic Freedom to make you into HIS masterpiece.

     In this past year I've done a lot of growing in the Lord.  I'm not the person I used to be when I started this blog.  In many places in my life I've had to give God permission to meddle.  I know that may sound strange to some of you but you must remember that God is a gentleman, he's not going to force himself on you.  There were so many places in my life I needed God to get involved.  There were wounds I needed healed, there were bondage's I needed set free of, and there were places in my heart I needed to give God the key to.  Singing a song about giving myself away to God wasn't good enough, I had to come to the place where I could truly say from my heart "God I want you to take control, full control of my life....."

"I give myself away ... so you can use me."

I had to get tired of doing things my way, in my strength and getting the results only I can get.  
I wanted to step up into a more intimate relationship with God.

Will you do that today?
Will you give THE God of ALL Creation...
The ONE who knows you better than you know yourself...
Permission to put you back together, nothing missing, nothing broken?



Dear God,                                                                                                                            
For far to long I've been wanting you to make me into who you know I can be.  But I've kept you at bay fearing the changes you'd make in me.  God I set aside those fears today.  Make me into the masterpiece, the thing of beauty that you've always said you saw in me.  I give you permission to change me... I give myself away to you.  Amen. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Son-light

Isn't it interesting how two people can look at the same thing 
and walk away describing it so differently?

     This is literally what has been happening to me lately.  I've been seeing the most amazing scenery and sky views.  But it's strange, none of my family, nor even my camera have been able to capture what I've been seeing.  It was driving me nuts!  At least the camera ought to capture what I saw!  I couldn't understand why my family had such a lackadaisical and apathetic attitude towards the amazing beauty right in front of them.  They could walk out the front door and just be blown away by God's handiwork.

                        
I mean, it's amazing isn't it ?  

<-----------------------------

The colors are so vibrant and rich !      

But they didn't see it like that ! 
   
You see, 
the picture they
saw when they
walked out the
front door was
this  ---------------->





                                                                                        
They saw dark, dull and dry. 
I saw vibrant colors and beauty.

They saw a mess that needed cleaned up
but I saw something to glorify God for.

They saw the ground covered in death and...
I saw unbelievable beauty as the ground was carpeted in dazzling color and life.                                                                                                                                                                 

Why the difference???

     Well, it's simple.... the harshness of direct sunlight is too much for my eyes.  Direct sunlight many times can make it hard for me to see because I'm squinting my eyes so badly.  It causes me eye pain and headaches.  Without sunglasses to look through during the daytime I would just rather stay hidden away not wanting to come out.  My sunglasses are filters for my eyes.  They filter the light so that I can stand to be in the sun.  


In the process of filtering the light they change the way I see.


     It's so hard to look on the world around us.  It's painful to see teenage unwed pregnant moms.  It's heart wrenching to see little toddlers running the streets.  It's frustrating to hear of more fighting, violence and death.  It's depressing to see things "morally depraved" proudly displayed.  It's distracting to see the mess all around us and the lives careening out of control.  It can be faith shattering to see a loved one sick and dying.  It can be doubt building to watch the bills mount up.  It can be emotionally devastating to watch a relationship being destroyed.  But God didn't mean for us to look at all of this without His filter.  

God's word IS our filter.  

     We need it's influence in our lives daily.  The harshness of standing in God's direct Son-light and seeing the depravity of humanity as well as ourselves is too much to bear.  God gave us a filter, a set of Son-glasses as it were to look through.  God's Son, His Word, was given to us to filter what we see and hear.  

God's Word will change the way you see your environment.

God's Word will change the way you see others.

God's Word will change the way you see YOU.

Where are your Son-glasses?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Me & My Big Mouth

     A couple of months ago I started getting real moody, even more moody than usual and I began to probe the depths of an "as of yet" untapped level of anger and rage I didn't know was inside of me. Yeah, we're talking mood swings and some pretty bad ones at that. One night after my husband finished work he met me at the grocery store and we spent a rather nice time grocery shopping (good food always makes me happy!)... afterward I needed to stop and get gas.  Even though I have no problem paying for and pumping my own gas I started getting really irritated that my husband wasn't going to stay and do it for me.  He was going to head on home and he'd help get the groceries out when I got there.  So...  grumpily I pulled up to the pump and headed off to pay.  Now I was at Kroger getting gas and did NOT want to use my 10-20 or 30 cents off so as I handed the cashier my money and Kroger card I told him ...

"I do not want to use my points."  

     He took my payment, gave me back my Kroger card and that was it.  Did he hear me?  He didn't let me know he heard me.  So I stood there waiting for him to pay attention to the fact that I was still standing outside his little booth.  Finally he sees I'm still there and looks straight thru me.  Did you hear me when I said I DO NOT want to use my points?  He answers me shortly but I still couldn't make out what he said or whether he understood.  You know, it's like the speakers when you go to a drive thru .... what language are they speaking! (Thank God for the digital display!... at least I can see if they got my order right even if they sound Greek to me)  So I continued to stand there till he recognized that I still hadn't moved.  

Did you understand that I said I DO NOT WANT TO USE MY POINTS?  

Then his snarky tone broke thru as he very slowly stated to me

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Happy BlogAVersary !

     Whether you're a repeat visitor or just visiting my blog for the first time I want to thank you for dropping by.  Without each and everyone of you out there reading I'm really only writing an online personal diary and that's not what I ever desired to do.  I hope and pray that through something I say, something I write you will be moved a little closer to each other and to God.  I'm not a great orator but I pray you hear and understand my words and my heart.  I'm not a great visionary but I pray that somehow through my imperfect life you can get a vision of God.  I'm not a preacher or a pastor but I pray that through what I say you hear the word of God spoken truthfully and plainly into your life.


     A year ago today I plunged into the blogging world.  It's been a great time of learning, living and pouring my heart out to others. During this time I've had the opportunity to come across many amazing men and women of God who have enriched my life.  I wouldn't trade this past year for anything.  I praise God for all I've learned and done and for all the new people in my life because of blogging.  You are each a blessing.

I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.

     I encourage you to join me for another year.  As always I will be honest with you.  I will write from my heart.  I will try always to point you back to the one who should receive all glory and honor. But most of all, I hope and pray that my praise for God will ring true in His ears and in the ears of those that hear it.  


Friday, November 4, 2011

Who Do You Agree With?

     As I was looking through some old pictures of the kids this one picture just caught my attention and held it.  God started speaking to me so plainly that it was time to get out of my box.  It's time I stop letting it confine and define who I am.  It's time I get on my hands and knees if necessary and crawl out into freedom and into God's truth that he has spoke about me.  

     That box represents the confines of what other people have said about me through out my life, the lack of expectation of purpose and meaning for my life and what I do, the lack of celebration for my very existence.  I've been told I was a failure, that I never finish anything I start, that I had nothing of value to say and no one would listen to me.  I just needed to sit down and shut up, you may be a follower but you're not a leader, maybe you can sing but there's nothing else you're good at and anyway, there are others that can do everything better than you.  Then God brought back to my remembrance something I had just said to my husband.  I had ask him

Teaching ThanksGiving



     Several years ago, before Thanksgiving, we were having a rough time.  We couldn't travel to grandma's house for Thanksgiving, we didn't have gas ...much less the money to buy gas.  We were likely to have hot dogs or hamburgers for Thanksgiving because we couldn't buy a turkey or any of the fixin's. Christmas was around the corner and for another year there would be nothing under the Christmas tree unless it came from the grandparents.  The children had gotten used to getting nothing from us and it broke my heart.  When you go without for so long it's so easy to become jealous of what others have and ungrateful for what you have.  This was my greatest fear that because of the lack of material things... because my children had to watch other kids year after year enjoy what we could never give them ... they would become ungrateful.  I wanted so badly to touch my children's hearts in a lasting way and God came through for me.  He gave me an idea....

Sunday, October 16, 2011

It’s too Simple…

     Today, after “church” was over, my husband and I and a close friend were given an opportunity to minister to a young mother.  She showed up after everyone had left and was looking for someone that would pray with her.  She had given her life to Christ a few months ago and more than anything she needed peace.  As we prayed with her you could tell she still had no peace… she was still in need.   So I felt led to ask her :

Are you able to enjoy the presents under the Christmas tree before you unwrap them?  

     And of course she said no.  We went on to explain that God gave her so many gifts thru the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ but that she needs to take possession of them.  I placed my open palm out in front of her and told her that her peace was sitting in my hand and she could take it… but she didn’t.  So then I told her that all she had to do was reach out and take it out of my hand and it was hers.  She then reached out and took it and a smile just began to dance across her face.  We then instructed her to unwrap it and make it hers…. and she did.  Her smile was amazing as she said “You make it sound so simple.”  The truth is, it really is that simple.  This is something that each of us need to realize.  We can’t take possession of the gifts God gave us until we

Friday, October 7, 2011

Expecting to Recover

     Burnout is a term most everyone knows but do you know enough about it to recognize its symptoms?  Where you once had wonder and excitement you now have apathy and exhaustion. (which can be not only emotional but also mental and physical) Where you once had involvement and "efficiency" you now have a lack of involvement, depression and inefficiency.  Satisfaction and hope are replaced with cynicism and disillusionment.

Burnout is caused by a person's inability 
to deal with prolonged and excessive stress.  

     Stress causes each of us our own different and varying issues but burnout brings with it a growing sense of unhappiness and being totally overwhelmed.  At some point in our lives we will either come to the place where we recognize that we are somewhere along this road towards burn-out or that someone we care about is.  This subject is near and dear to my heart because earlier this year I finally had to come to the point where I realized that burnout is what I'm dealing with.  Now before you go thinking this is going to be a depressing post let me straighten this out - it isn't...I want to give help in coming back from burn-out.  

     I'm dealing with Homeschool burnout.  I know that I need to continue and that homeschooling is the best thing for my kids but the prolonged stress of being fully responsible to make sure they get a good education has worn on me. I don't look forward to getting up and homeschooling right now but I do it anyway because I need to.  At times I've had the support available to me that I needed but the majority of the time I've carried the load alone.  If you're a homeschooler and you've homeschooled for a while then you know the stresses we are placed under.  There is a level of expectation that others put on us because we deign to teach our own kids.  Then of course there is the level of expectation that we put on ourselves

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Is your Memory Bank Full?

     When I find a post that I feel really speaks to a subject I can't help but want to share it so with that in mind, there's a post I'd like to refer you to today... Unwrapping the Gifts of God: Can you Hear ME Now?.

     It's about not taking the time to clean out our memory banks and yet it's about so much more. I'd like to invite you to check it out and ask yourself... is this me? Are my memory banks so full of "messages," many of them years old, that I need to "delete?" Are my memory banks so full that there is no place for new messages... all new messages are automatically rejected without the ability to see if it's a message I want or need to hear?

     Don't miss out! This is an amazing message. There's no reason for me to try and add anything to it so check it out and make sure to comment on Kelli Wommacks blog if it ministers to you.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Did you follow Me?

     I've been bothered over the last several weeks because I haven't been able to post anything new to this blog.  There's been nothing on my heart.  Nothing burning to find it's way out.  Nothing I felt I just HAD to say.  But you know, successful bloggers "really need" to blog on an almost daily schedule and I haven't blogged in almost 3 weeks!  I've checked my stats and comments to see if I still have traffic.  I've checked to see if I have any new followers.  I've wondered when that need to speak to an issue or pour my heart out would come back.  

God, why can't I seem to write?

     I've found that I started measuring myself by how many followers I have, how much traffic I still have, how many comments I get.  I started measuring myself by what other bloggers do.  I started measuring myself by the effect I think others are having compared to the effect I think I'm having.  I forgot that by measuring myself by them I was getting my eyes off the right path.  

God doesn't measure me by my following.

God doesn't measure me by my comments.

God doesn't measure me by how often I blog.

God doesn't measure me by the effect I have on others.

God doesn't measure me by what reputation I have.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Carry Me

Author : Unknown **
When I got home that night as my wife served dinner, I held her hand and said, "I've got something to tell you."  She sat down and ate quietly.  Again I observed the hurt in her eyes.

Suddenly I didn't know how to open my mouth but I had to let her know what I was thinking.  "I want a divorce."  I raised the topic calmly.

She didn’t seem to be annoyed by my words, instead she asked me softly, "Why?"

I avoided her question.  This made her angry.   She threw the chopsticks and shouted at me, "You are not a man!"  That night, we didn’t talk to each other.  She was weeping.  I knew she wanted to find out what had happened to our marriage but I could hardly give her a satisfactory answer; she had lost my heart to Jane.  I didn't love her anymore.  I just pitied her!

With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted a divorce agreement which stated that she could own our house, our car, and 30% stake of my  company.

She glanced at it and then tore it into pieces.  The woman who had spent ten years of her life with me had become a stranger.  I felt sorry for her wasted time, resources and energy but I could not take back what I had said for I loved Jane so dearly.  Finally she cried loudly in front of me which was what I had expected to see.  To me her cry was actually a kind of release.  The idea of divorce which had obsessed me for several weeks seemed to be firmer and clearer now.

The next day I came back home very late and found her writing something at the table.  I didn’t have supper but went straight to sleep and fell asleep very fast because I was tired after an eventful  day with Jane.

When I woke up she was still there at the table writing.  I just did not care so I turned over and was asleep again.

In the morning she presented her divorce conditions: she didn’t want anything from me, but needed a month’s notice before the divorce.  She requested that in that one month we both struggle to live as normal a life as possible.  Her reasons were simple: our son had his exams in a month’s time and she didn’t want to disrupt him with our broken marriage.

This was agreeable to me but she had something more.  She ask me to recall how I had carried her into our bridal room on our wedding day.  Then she requested that every day for the month’s duration I carry her out of our bedroom to the front door every morning.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Power of My Praise

     I recently read a post on another blog that just really ministered to me.  It encouraged me to think outside myself when it came to my praise.  It's not just for myself.  My praise or lack of it will affect those around me in ways I may never understand.  I know what it's like to feel like the world around me hates me and is only daily considering my destruction.  I know what it's like to feel like there is no where to look but up only to have the bottom fall out and find I have so much more to go through to breathe free again.  But I must understand in the midst of what I'm going through there are so many others there with me.  When I take the time to look around I find I'm not alone in my prison.  I'm not alone in my bondage.  I'm not alone in my chains.  There are so many others there too and many of them have given up ever being free..... and that's where OUR praise comes in.  Please take the time to read Powerful Praise and consider the effect YOUR praise will have on those around you.... if you will release it right where your at..... right in the midst of everything you're going through.

My Fathers Daughter : Powerful Praise
http://myfathersdaughterministries.wordpress.com/2011/08/26/powerful-praise/

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Into The Silence

     Being raised in the church, being taught God's word from the time I could babble and growing up with a relationship with God from a very young age... I've had the opportunity and privilege many times to hear the voice of God.  I've known his presence, I've heard his voice and I've felt his leading.  He's taught me His ways, he's proven his love for me... but there comes a time of silence in every relationship.  

     This silence is hardest on the one whose confidence in the relationship is least. This silence makes many doubt the strength of their relationship.  Silence makes people uncomfortable and self-conscious.  It brings out the hidden fears.  Why are they silent? Why won't they talk to me?  Do they still love me?  Are they going to leave me?  Have I done something wrong?  Have they found someone else?  Where are you at right now?  Are you in a season of silence?  Have you walked with God for years and yet feel that God is not talking to you right now?  Do you find yourself wondering why He is no longer speaking to you?  Wondering, Lord, have I done something wrong?  Have you left me?  Lord, do you still love me?

It's ok, you can walk into the silence without fear.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

He Knows My Name

No matter what struggles you face today, no matter what battles you fight.... don't ever believe that God doesn't know or care.  He knows your name and he knows what you're going thru.  

I have a Maker
He formed my heart
Before even time began
My life was in his hands


He knows my name

He knows my every thought
He sees each tear that falls
And He hears me when I call

I have a Father
He calls me His own
He'll never leave me
No matter where I go


He knows my name

He knows my every thought
He sees each tear that falls
And He hears me when I call

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Encouragement For Your Situation

Today I've been roaming the Internet highway and exploring.  I didn't intend to search for encouragement but it's what I found and I'd like to share it with you.  No matter where you are or what you're struggling with I believe you WILL be touched by these words today.


  • Tracie Miles: Becoming An Encouragement Guru
    http://traciemiles.blogspot.com/2011/08/becoming-encouragement-guru.html
         This article is real encouragement for both wives and husbands (though it is directed to the wife) to truly watch the words we speak into the life of our spouse.  From her website you can sign up to receive a free daily devotion via email... and lastly, if you're interested in receiving her free 62 pg Ebook titled "14 Days To A Happier Marriage" you just need to subscribe to her blog.  You can sign up for the Ebook giveaway until August 22nd, 2011.   The Ebook will be distributed on Aug. 23rd. 


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Without You In My Life

     I'm recovering from a weekend in the hospital after fighting for nearly two weeks to get my breathing under control.  I don't know how quickly I'm going to regain my energy so I've decided to share with you songs and videos that minister to me.  As my energy returns I'll begin to post more "regular type" postings but for now this is what I feel led to do.  I pray they touch your heart as they've touched mine.

     This song has special meaning to me, especially lately after fighting over my breathing.  The last words you'll hear as the music and video are finishing are these:

You are the breath in my lungs
You're the life that I breathe
Without you in my life, Jesus
I would surely die

     Jesus truly has been my oxygen.  The "thing" in my life that I cannot live without.  When I've tried to move away from HIM, to "go on" without him... my life has spun out of control, the ground beneath my feet became unsteady, the world around me began to spin, confusion seemed to seep into every fiber of my being and I couldn't breathe.  My heart pounded in my chest, skipping beats clawing for control of the situation.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Pretty Boy Jesus

The Image of Jesus

We need to stop depicting Jesus as a “pretty boy.”

The Word says HE was plain.  He was ordinary so why do we chose to depict HIM as this buff pretty little boy?  Can we really truly understand the nature and image of Jesus while He walked the earth?

For a while that image was OK but I recently had an experience with Christ Jesus that changed my perception and my thoughts about how we depict Jesus.  A true image of Jesus would consist of all the characteristic of all the races.  He would look ordinary.  It bothers me to see a crucified Jesus prettily laid out on a cross because the image HE gave us was not a pretty and cute Jesus that died for me.  HE said he was beaten beyond recognition.  That means HE was bloody and in a lot of pain with raw flesh showing from beatings he had taken.  They put a crown of thorns on Jesus’s head that means that there was blood running down his face as the thorns stuck HIM in his head.  Jesus was stripped naked that means HE bore our shame and guilt.  Then they drove stakes through HIS hands and feet. Can we imagine the agony that HE was feeling? They tried to give him vinegar which was bitterness and in the midst of all that pain and agony HE said Father forgive them they know not what they have done.

The image of a pretty boy Jesus does not compare.  Does it bring comfort or does it keep us in our mess with an unwillingness to change?  The image of a bloody Jesus will change and transform your walk with God because the true image of a Crucified Jesus will set you free and change your heart and mind.  Christ Jesus died a horrified death for your sins and my sins that is something a pretty boy would not do because with a "pretty boy"... it’s all about HIM and HIM alone.  

Jesus loves us so much why is it so hard for us to show each other love?  
When we have a true depiction of the crucified Jesus then we can love him and see HIM in the right light.

*full post copied from a friend 
and fellow bloggers site
*Her website is Unveiling The Woman Within



We really do need to consider Christ 
     We see crucified and why certain depictions of him make us comfortable and others make us squirm. The Bible says he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.  

Do we really understand what that means?  

He was wounded - dissolved, profaned , broken, polluted, stained, slayed

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Potter and the Clay

There was a couple who took a trip to England to shop in a beautiful antique store to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. They both liked antiques and pottery, and especially teacups. Spotting an exceptional cup, they asked “May we see that? We’ve never seen a cup quite so beautiful.”


As the lady handed it to them, the teacup suddenly spoke, “You don’t understand. I have not always been a teacup. There was a time when I was just a lump of red clay. My master took me and rolled me pounded and patted me over and over and I yelled out, ‘Don’t do that. I don’t like it! Leave me alone.’ But he only smiled, and gently said; ‘Not yet!’”

“Then. WHAM! I was placed on a spinning wheel and suddenly I was spun around and around and around. ‘Stop it! I’m getting so dizzy! I’m going to be sick,’ I screamed. But the master only nodded and said, quietly; ‘Not yet.’
“He spun me and poked and prodded and bent me out of shape to suit himself and then – Then he put me in the oven. I never felt such heat. I yelled and knocked and pounded at the door. Help! Get me out of here! I could see him through the opening and I could read his lips as he shook his head from side to side, ‘Not yet’.”
“When I thought I couldn’t bear it another minute, the door opened. He carefully took me out and put me on the shelf, and I began to cool. Oh, that felt so good! Ah, this is much better, I thought. But, after I cooled he picked me up and he brushed and painted me all over. The fumes were horrible. I thought I would gag. ‘Oh, please; Stop it, Stop it!’ I cried. He only shook his head and said. ‘Not yet!’.”
“Then suddenly he put me back in to the oven. Only it was not like the first one. This was twice as hot and I just knew I would suffocate. I begged. I pleaded. I screamed. I cried. I was convinced I would never make it.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Prosperity is NOT Evil

I'm going to give you just a little excerpt of a blog article I just recently read on a "christian" blog. 

Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’  So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.
Luke 12:16-21

Does this sound like God advocates acquiring personal wealth? Does this sound like God approves of “church leaders” possessing Rolls Royces, private jets and custom-made clothing? Does the one who said, “foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head” (Matthew 8:20) sound like He desires Pastors to live in multi-million dollar mansions while many in their congregations can hardly scrape together money to pay their bills? Do you not see the inequality in all of this?

     I understand where the author is coming from but it's not the message of prosperity that is out of line.  The message of prosperity is NOT against God's word or his will.  

     He says in Deut. 8:18 "But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day."

     He says in Prov. 13:22 "A good man leaves an inheritance to his sons' sons, and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just."

     Money/Prosperity is not the issue. "The LOVE of money causes all kinds of trouble. Some people want money so much that they have given up their faith and caused themselves a lot of pain."  (1 Timothy 6:10)

     Prosperity teaching is not the issue, the issue is in the hearts of each person who places something else above God.  HE wants us to take care of and minister to the poor, the widows and such.  If we're in the same boat as they are, if we're just as poor as they are, exactly how are we supposed to help them out?  How are we to do for them if we don't have more than "just enough" to get by?   How are we supposed to "DO" the work of the ministry if we are as poor as everyone around us that he called us to minister to?  The work of the ministry is NOT cheap and it must be supported in someway.  

     By the way, just in case you don't know, I'm a layman in the church, a volunteer, anything I may do I don't get paid for.  There are 7 of us in my family and we live in less than 1000sq ft.  I drive a vehicle that could go out at any minute, we have no medical insurance, and we can barely pay the bills.  It's so bad sometimes that we fall as much as 2 months behind on our bills.  I don't have really nice clothes and never have.  It's been in the upper 90's alot and we don't have AC.  If anyone ever had reason to be jealous of what others have I think I'd be pretty close to the top of the list.  But instead

Friday, July 8, 2011

Throw Away People

God has torn my heart wide open for throw away people.

     You know the people I'm talking about.  They're the ones that we decide aren't worth our time.  They're not worth our effort to deal with.  They are the beneath us.  They're difficult and problematic.  They have hurts and hang-ups just like us but we don't give them the same leeway we give ourselves.  We've become tired of "dealing" with them or people like them.  We're much happier when we don't have to be bothered with them.  Our praise rings out louder.  Our worship seems to flow easier.  Our ministry work is so much more enjoyable when they are not present.  But God says ... "your praise rings dull in my ears, your worship is not in truth and you are walking away from the very ones I placed in front of you for you to minister to. The one they see in you... is not me."

     God didn't give us the ability and right to choose who is worthy and who is not.  God didn't give us the right to give value to some and take value away from others.

Romans 3:10 says - "There is none righteous, no not one..."
Isaiah 53:6 says - "All of us were like sheep that were lost, each of us going his own way. But the LORD made the punishment fall on him, the punishment all of us deserved."
In the Church, in the ministry, no matter how many people you have, no matter whether you pastor a church or run a small bible study, no matter whether you are over children's ministry or you're the janitor, no matter whether you're a greeter or a layman in the pew... God says it's time you remember where you came from.   
"I saw value in you when you were in the  midst of your mess, wallowing and satisfied in your nakedness and I forgave you.  I died for you.  Before you could ever see your need for me... I loved you.  My forgiveness,  my mercy and my grace are gifts I've given you, not for you to horde or give out only as you see fit.  I am no respecter of persons... I hear every cry, I see every tear... and I receive ALL who come to me.  
     Ananias was used by God to bring the fullness of healing and totally repentance to Saul of Tarsus, a murderer of God's people.  Ananias obeyed God though he as yet couldn't see Saul through God's eyes.
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