Living In The Word

I think today is a good day to share our church vision. It is printed on the front of our church bulletin and on this website:

We are here to be a community of caring, worshiping believers who connect with one another and with those who are not believers for the purpose of sharing God’s love with them through acts of kindness, prayer, and the presentation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  We are, “Connecting people to the living Lord Jesus Christ”.

I love our vision statement and since attending this church have found that the congregation truly lives up to it.   I am also aware that it is going to take more than living up to that vision statement to make it to the Kingdom of Heaven.  It takes living in the Word.

A few weeks ago when my husband Craig turned 67, we really began to wonder about the rest of our lives (no matter how you look at it, the wick in our candle is getting shorter). We asked God help us with what we should be doing for His Kingdom.  It didn’t very long before God smacked us right across the head.    We were both shown that we were not living in the actual word. We were studying it.   We were reading it here and there.  We would double check it when listening to others to make certain they were correct.  But, we were not actually reading it for ourselves.  We were not in the quiet, listening to what God has to say, interpreting it with the Holy Spirit that dwells inside of us.

It was time to pull away from watching all of the things that might be taking place in these “end times”. Time to forget about the potential disasters and government take downs.  Time to shut off the TV and YouTube evangelist.  It is time go into deep prayer and bible study in search of the entire story. Not just a line here or a chapter there. So we changed our habits and we are changing our lives.

A couple of weeks ago Pastor presented a sermon about the presence of God. He reminded us that Jesus IS with us wherever we go. That was  confirmed to us when reading 1st Corinthians chapter 1-6.  It was there that it really hit us;  how we are joined as one with our Lord Jesus Christ.

In second Corinthians 13:5, the apostle Paul asks the Corinthian believers a question: “Or do you not realize about yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you?” . In saying, “Jesus Christ is in you,” Paul wasn’t speaking poetically or symbolically.  He truly meant that Jesus Christ is literally and practically dwelling within His believers.    Many other verses in the Word of God confirm the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ actually dwells in His believers.  We too, like the Corinthians, need to realize this fact about ourselves. Christ is not merely outside of us, a Helper in our time of need, walking with us when we are lonely; stretching His hand out when we need help.  He dwells in us, living in and with us all the time.

Think about it. God is IN us.  He sees and knows all. We are one with Him.  Since we are one with Him, that means He experiences what we experience. This is where it can get messy:

  • If we get drunk or high;  He is there.
  • If we are cussing out that person who cut us off in traffic; He is there.
  • If we even think about not loving our neighbors or enemies; He is there.
  • He is there when we are gambling, being greedy, committing adultery, anytime we sin, you name it;  He is there.

We have a friend in Jesus. Yet, he is not one of those friends that are an enabler to our transgressions. He is our disabler; the disabler of our sin.

We invited Him into our hearts.  We woke up His Holy Spirit, that He placed within us.  It is so wrong to keep on living in our earthly ways right in the mist of His eternal love. That is why it is so important to repent and to live in the Word.

We all know Jesus is the Word. When we read the Bible, we fill ourselves with God’s wisdom.  It is the weapon He has given us; words to use against Satan’s deceit.  Words that show us what to do, words of comfort.

We must do exactly what we read.  When we do we are wielding the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. We totally expose Satan’s lies and deceit and overcome all the sinful tendencies in our flesh. Living according to His word makes us invincible.

Knowing, Jesus is IN me; I don’t want to take Him down some swarmy highway of sin and grieve the Holy Spirit do you?

As  disciples who follow Jesus, we should want to deny ourselves and take up our cross; daily.  It is very pricey to do so.  It costs something. It costs our will. It costs our life.  Sometimes, it costs our family and our friends. We can read about it in Luke 9:23 and Luke 14:26.

We must pray and cry out and our lusts have to feel the pain of being denied. On the “daily cross” they will suffer and die. Then we can cease from sin.  This is the way our Holy Master went. If we follow Him, we will end up where He is! As the book tells us in Revelation 3:21;  “To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.”

Please follow and like us:

Got the summer blues?

Got the summer blues?

Psalm 43:5 The Message (MSG)

 Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul?
    Why are you crying the blues?
Fix my eyes on God—
    soon I’ll be praising again.
He puts a smile on my face.
    He’s my God.

Summer can be a real downer to some people.  They have to work while others are going to exotic or fun places.  They are out of school and their friends have gone to grandma’s house or summer camp and there is “nothing to do” now.  The heat and either muggy or really dry weather gets a lot of people down.  It can effect their health and their emotions.

We can become like our little friend in the photo…down and feeling blah!  What can we do about it?  Is there a cure for the summer blues?  Do we have to spend all summer grumpy and miserable and making those around us feel the same way?

Yes! There is a cure.  If we can realize what is going on inside us we can control our reactions to the situations that try to make us blue.

  • We have to work and can’t take a vacation like our family or friends.  Instead of feeling jealous, we can be glad for them and be all the more determined we will save some money for next year so we can go on vacation too.
  • Our friends or family live in a really cold place-like the north pole-while we swelter in the summer heat.  We can be glad we don’t have to shovel snow in the winter!  It is all in the perspective.  If we can realize most of the world is hot in summer and we are all suffering through…it makes it easier to laugh about, take a cooling shower and go on with life.  Also we can thank God for air conditioners.
  • Our health may be effected by the heat.  Make sure you are drinking enough water, stay in cooler places when possible, keep a close watch on any symptoms of heat stroke (Throbbing headache. Dizziness and lightheadedness. Lack of sweating despite the heat. Red, hot, and dry skin.  Muscle weakness or cramps. Nausea and vomiting. Rapid heartbeat, which may be either strong or weak. Rapid, shallow breathing.)  Using preventative measures can prevent a major health issue.  If you live in a home with no air conditioning, consider going to the mall, out to eat, or other air conditioned places to cool off.
  • We are out of school for the summer and our friends are at grandma’s, summer camp, or summer school and we are alone with “nothing to do” syndrome.  We can do some redesigning of our bedrooms.  Think of new ways to place the furniture or with parents’ permission maybe even paint the room.  Give your personal space a real organization make over.  Sort through your stuff and see what you don’t need anymore.  As you grow up your tastes change and your hobbies do too. You could try on all your clothes and get rid of anything that no longer fits or works for your present lifestyle.  Donate the usable items to a favorite thrift store.  You could volunteer somewhere like nursing homes or other places that your parents would allow you to do so.  Read good books, watch those movies you wanted to watch but never had the time to, help your family out with a project that would help you all to have a better life.
  • We can all spend more time in prayer for our friends and family and those we see around us in need.  We can do Bible studies or learn some new praise songs.  Spending time with the Lord will quickly send the blues packing.

We are the ones in control of our emotions.  We can choose to look at all the bad stuff happening to us, or look for solutions and find a way to overcome them.  When we add prayer to our actions, the Lord will show us all sorts of ways to enjoy life, even with all the things that seem so big and lonely to us.

Let’s turn our blues into rejoicing and see what happens this summer.  Maybe we will end the summer with wonderful memories and a smile in our hearts.

 

Please follow and like us:

What’s On Your Agenda?

What’s On Your Agenda?

We all have our own thoughts about our lives.  We have plans, purposes and even some pursuits we would like to follow.  We have likes and dislikes, hopes and dreams and some of us have great big visions of what we want to accomplish in our lives before we die.

Some people just live out their lives with a “what will be, will be” attitude. They are also the ones who usually end up disappointed with what life brings as life is not an upward positive flow, but rather a downward flow until death.  We have to be somewhere in the middle of pushing all the time and doing nothing all the time in life.

The root of all our lives is our hidden agenda; who are we in the secret place of our hearts?  Are we set on a path that we are pushing to fulfill at all cost?  Are we floating through life letting what passes us by be our choices, grabbing little pieces that are easy to reach?  Maybe we are somewhere in the middle, allowing life to help us make choices sometimes, and grabbing with great zeal some ideas that we pursue.  Who we are inside, will determine our future.

Others are involved

One thing we sometimes forget is that all our decisions are affected by those around us.  Other people keep interfering with our dreams.  They won’t let us become beach bums and still have money to eat.  A man with small children can’t buy that two-seater sports car.  A woman with ambition is looked upon as a brassy fishwife.  While I realize these are sarcastic statements about life, you get the picture that life is not a one-person show.  We are intimately involved with all the people in our lives.  They may be encouragers or they may rain on our lovely dream.  It is the inside person that will either fight for the future or give up on life.  Sometimes we must live with compromise, which is not always a bad thing, just different from what we thought it would be.

Don’t forget Jesus!

As a Christian, we really need to add one other person in our agenda visions, the Lord Jesus Christ.  We have surrendered our lives to Him.  We have entrusted our eternity to His keeping, yet we tend to want to keep our agenda to ourselves.  We still want to do things according to our will and desires.  This one issue is a battle of wills.  Will we surrender all?  Will we chose to trust Jesus to lead us forward? Will we be content allowing Him to choose some adventures ahead for us?   Mmmm, well, it takes a lot of courage and fearlessness to take that leap of faith and jump into the future not being in charge of all our own lives.  Yes, the daily decisions are still ours; we have to daily choose to include Him in our life choices.  Have you ever had the courage to ask Him what is on His agenda?  Are you willing to adjust your own plans to fit into His?  What an adventure it can be to rest and trust in God’s great love for us.  He sees the world from a different point of view.  His dreams are so much bigger than ours could ever be!  Let’s choose to follow after what He sees ahead and change our agenda to fit His.

The Bible has some great things to say about this:

Proverbs 16:7

When a man’s ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.

Proverbs 16:9

A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.

Proverbs 18:4

The words of a man’s mouth are as deep waters, and the wellspring of wisdom as a flowing brook.

Proverbs 18:20

A man’s belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled.

Proverbs 19:21

There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand.

Proverbs 29:26

Many seek the ruler’s favor; but every man’s judgment cometh from the Lord.

Proverbs 6:12-15

12 A naughty person, a wicked man, walketh with a froward mouth.

13 He winketh with his eyes, he speaketh with his feet, he teacheth with his fingers;

14 Frowardness is in his heart, he deviseth mischief continually; he soweth discord.

15 Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly; suddenly shall he be broken without remedy.

 

 

 

 

 

Please follow and like us:

Put Away…

Put Away….

 

Proverbs 4:24

Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.

1 Corinthians 13:11

When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

Ephesians 4:25

Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.

Ephesians 4:31

Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:

Putting away the ways of our flesh is a choice.

The Lord instructs us to “put away” certain habits from our lives.  The very fact that He makes it an instruction means we have control over these actions.  It is our choice to keep or put away these habits.

The list of items in the above Scriptures have consequences that the Lord knows will cause us grief and He wants us to get them out of our lives. (Merriam-Webster definitions)

Froward mouth: Moving or facing away from something or someone. Also, difficult to deal with, perverse.

Perverse Lips: Turn away from what is right or good, corrupt, improper, incorrect.  Also, obstinate in opposing what is right, reasonable or accepted, wrongheaded.

Childish Things:  Marked by or suggestive of immaturity and lack of poise.  Lacking complexity, simple.  Deteriorated with age especially in mind, senile.

Lying: Marked by or containing untrue statements, dishonest, mendacious.

Bitterness:  Marked by intensity or severity, accompanied by severe pain or suffering.  Being relentlessly determined, exhibiting intense animosity.  Harshly reproachful, marked by cynicism and rancor, intensely unpleasant.  Caused by or expressive of severe pain, grief or regret.

Wrath:  Strong vengeful anger or indignation.  Retributory punishment for an offense of a crime:  divine chastisement.

Anger: A strong feeling of displeasure and usually of antagonism, rage.

Clamour: [clamor]: Noisy shouting, a loud continuous noise, insistent public expression, protesting.

When we look at the definitions for these “put away” life habits, it is clear to see they are not a positive influence for our lives.  This is why the Lord wants us to choose to put them away from us.  It almost looks like a forceful action. We need to  hate these types of actions in our lives.  A picture of bees clamoring around us comes to mind.  We would flee as quickly as possible from them.

Let us choose to look for any of these actions in our lives and choose to put them away.  The Lord has much better life choices for us to enjoy.

Please follow and like us:

Good Water or Bad. What Is Flowing From Our Well?

Good or Bad…what is flowing from our well?

What kind of words are coming out of our mouths? Are we being kind or filled with sour bitterness?  These verses from the Bible in James, are so clear.  We choose what we say.  We can pour out all of our inner anguish or choose to bless others.  We can scream bitter angry words or forgive and ask the Lord to heal our hearts.  We can put others down to make ourselves feel better or we can lift up others without needing praise from others.

Choices all given to us from the Lord God, our creator, who gives us the ability to choose our thoughts, words and deeds.  There are consequences from each choice we make, both good and bad.  One sign of a mature person is the ability to accept others without judgment.  Not an easy task, but each time we choose to bless rather than curse, heal rather than harm, we are growing in the Lord’s grace.  The rewards are a peaceful heart that has no condemnation and a growing group of people we love and are loved by.

James 3:2-12

We all make many mistakes. A person who never said anything wrong would be perfect. Someone like that would be able to control their whole body too. We put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us. With these bits we can control their whole body. It is the same with ships. A ship is very big, and it is pushed by strong winds. But a very small rudder controls that big ship. And the one who controls the rudder decides where the ship will go. It goes where he wants it to go. It is the same with our tongue. It is a small part of the body, but it can boast about doing great things.

A big forest fire can be started with only a little flame. The tongue is like a fire. It is a world of evil among the parts of our body. It spreads its evil through our whole body and starts a fire that influences all of life. It gets this fire from hell.

Humans have control over every kind of wild animal, bird, reptile, and fish, and they have controlled all these things. But no one can control the tongue. It is wild and evil, full of deadly poison. We use our tongues to praise our Lord and Father, but then we curse people who were created in God’s likeness. 10 These praises and curses come from the same mouth. My brothers and sisters, this should not happen. 11 Do good water and bad water flow from the same spring? Of course not.12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree make olives? Or can a grapevine make figs? No, and a well full of salty water cannot give good water.

Our words and thoughts are revealed to the Lord

Psalm 19:14  (ERV)

14 May my words and thoughts please you.
    Lord, you are my Rock—the one who rescues me.

Psalm 139:1-7 (ERV)

1 Lord, you have tested me,
    so you know all about me.
You know when I sit down and when I get up.
    You know my thoughts from far away.
You know where I go and where I lie down.
    You know everything I do.
Lord, you know what I want to say,
    even before the words leave my mouth.
You are all around me—in front of me and behind me.
    I feel your hand on my shoulder.
I am amazed at what you know;
    it is too much for me to understand.
Your Spirit is everywhere I go.
    I cannot escape your presence.

 

Please follow and like us:

Good Friday

Good Friday

The day when Christ Jesus of Nazareth, went to the Cross of Calvary.  He willingly gave His life for all of us.  Today, we remember that horrific day in honor of that great sacrifice.  We celebrate His death not in jubilation, but rather in thanksgiving to only One who could buy us back from the loss in the Garden of Eden.  To us it is a Good Friday-a day of rejoicing in our Great Messiah!

Romans 5:6-11

Christ died for us when we were unable to help ourselves. We were living against God, but at just the right time Christ died for us. Very few people will die to save the life of someone else, even if it is for a good person. Someone might be willing to die for an especially good person. But Christ died for us while we were still sinners, and by this God showed how much he loves us.  We have been made right with God by the blood sacrifice of Christ. So through Christ we will surely be saved from God’s anger. 10 I mean that while we were God’s enemies, he made friends with us through his Son’s death. And the fact that we are now God’s friends makes it even more certain that he will save us through his Son’s life. 11 And not only will we be saved, but we also rejoice right now in what God has done for us through our Lord Jesus Christ. It is because of Jesus that we are now God’s friends.

 

Please follow and like us:

Palm Sunday

John 12:12-16

“The next day the people in Jerusalem heard that Jesus was coming there. These were the crowds of people who had come to the Passover festival. They took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Jesus. They shouted,

“‘Praise Him!’
    ‘Welcome! God bless the one who comes in the name of the Lord!  

God bless the King of Israel!”

Jesus found a donkey and rode on it, as the Scriptures say,

 “Do not be afraid, people of Zion!
    Look! Your king is coming.
    He is riding on a young donkey.”

The followers of Jesus did not understand at that time what was happening. But after he was raised to glory, they understood that this was written about him. Then they remembered that they had done these things for him.”

Zechariah 9:9
“[ The Future King ] People of Zion, rejoice! People of Jerusalem, shout with joy! Look, your king is coming to you! He is the good king who won the victory, but he is humble. He is riding on a donkey, on a young donkey born from a work animal.”

Why do we celebrate “Palm Sunday”?

Christians celebrate Palm Sunday as the beginning of Holy Week.  It marks the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem.  It was the week before His crucifixion.  When He rode into Jerusalem, some recognized Him as “the One who comes in the name of the Lord”.  They treated Him with the respect they would to a king by waving  palm branches and laying them on the pathway like a royal carpet.  They shouted Hallelujahs to Him and openly acknowledged who they believed Him to be, “The King of Israel”.

We as believers, honor His entrance into Jerusalem that day so many years ago in remembrance of who He is and what He was preparing to do for us-go to the Cross of Calvary!  This Sunday, March 25, 2018, let us honor Him and wave our own palm branches-our arms-to show our praise unto Him.

Please follow and like us:

Nothing Shall Separate Us From Christ

Nothing Shall Separate Us From Christ

 

Romans 8:31-39

31 So what should we say about this? If God is for us, no one can stand against us. And God is with us. 32 He even let his own Son suffer for us. God gave his Son for all of us. So now with Jesus, God will surely give us all things. 33 Who can accuse the people God has chosen? No one! God is the one who makes them right. 34 Who can say that God’s people are guilty? No one! Christ Jesus died for us, but that is not all. He was also raised from death. And now he is at God’s right side, speaking to him for us. 35 Can anything separate us from Christ’s love? Can trouble or problems or persecution separate us from his love? If we have no food or clothes or face danger or even death, will that separate us from his love? 36 As the Scriptures say,

“For you we are in danger of death all the time.

People think we are worth no more than sheep to be killed.”

37 But in all these troubles we have complete victory through God, who has shown his love for us. 38-39 Yes, I am sure that nothing can separate us from God’s love—not death, life, angels, or ruling spirits. I am sure that nothing now, nothing in the future, no powers, nothing above us or nothing below us—nothing in the whole created world—will ever be able to separate us from the love God has shown us in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Nothing can separate us from Jesus Christ!

The realization that once we accept Jesus as Savior we become inseparable from Him is so exciting!  Though we live in different worlds for now, we are connected by the Holy Spirit.  We have a union between our spirit and His.  What a wondrous truth.  When reading Romans chapter 8, we find a whole list of what we are in Him.  The most exciting one is that NOTHING can separate us—ever!    We need to grasp that fact with both hands and rejoice in it.  It should make us more fearless.  It should calm all the anxiety of feeling alone or cut off.  Let us walk in this precious truth with a joyful and thankful heart.

 

Please follow and like us:

Love Includes Honor

Love Includes Honor

When we speak of love, we need to look at some of the traits of love.  Pastor Dennis Langford asked us recently what we were doing to prove our love for the Lord.  If we have to provide proof of our love what does that entail?   Could we show our works of love?  Have we invested our hearts in others to prove we care?

One trait that really gets ignored in some love relationships is honor.  Honor and respect seem to be missing in some of our relationships.  It seems we take for granted that the recipient of our love automatically knows we love them.  We seem shocked if they question our love for them.  When analyzing my own love walk toward others, one of the things the Lord brought to my attention was the lack of showing honor and respect to and for others.

Honor is to regard another person with admiration and respect.  When we freely express both in our hearts and outwardly this admiration, it opens a new avenue of love.  No one wants to be disrespected or made to feel “less than” in another person’s life.  Even a stranger on the street deserves the consideration of respect.  If we treat our family, spouse and Christian brothers and sisters with a lack of honor and respect, we are actually treating Jesus that way.  We are His representatives here on the earth and everything we do reflects on Him.

What about dishonorable people?

We may say, “What if they are not honorable?”  Jesus treated all of us as though we were the best reason for being.  Those in our personal circle deserve our utmost respect and honor, if only because they have accepted us into their lives.  They love us in spite of all our quirkiness and unlovely parts.  When we can show our love by openly honoring their words to us, the many things they do for us and the love they give us freely, we are acting like Jesus.  We are also leading by example to those who don’t know how to walk the walk of honor and respect.  May our hearts start opening up to actively showing honor to those in our love circle.

Here are some Scripture verses about honor:

Deuteronomy 5:16

Honor thy father and thy mother, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

Proverbs 3:9

Honor the Lord with thy substance, and with the first fruits of all thine increase:

Proverbs 11:16

A gracious woman retaineth honor: and strong men retain riches.

Proverbs 14:31

He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoreth him hath mercy on the poor.

Proverbs 21:21

He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honor.

1 Timothy 5:3

Honor widows that are widows indeed.

1 Timothy 5:17

Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially they who labor in the word and doctrine.

Hebrews 13:4

Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.

1 Peter 2:17

Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.

 

 

 

Please follow and like us:

Crown of Righteousness

Crown Of Righteousness

 

2 Timothy 4:8

Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only,

but unto all them also that love his appearing.

A Crown of Righteousness

A Crown of Righteousness seems like an impossible dream to those of us living in a very dark and sinful world.  A world where sinful acts are celebrated and published for the whole world to see.  A world where infants in the womb are not safe, old people are abandoned and left on their own, where citizens are concerned about walking in their own towns for fear of attack.  Poverty and lack abounds all over the world.  Yet in the midst of all that the Bible promises we can live a righteous life.  How can that happen?

When Jesus took our place on the cross of Calvary, He took all our sins and bore the punishment of them.  He replaced hopelessness with hope and joy.  He became sin that we can become righteous through Him.  It is not how “good” we are, how many works we do for Him that make us righteous.  Rather it the finished work of the Cross of Christ.  We have become righteous in Him. I love the way Paul the Apostle puts it.  He was pursuing righteousness.  His heart was following hard after Jesus Christ.  His old ways were pushed out of the way as he pursued Jesus.  He was determined to win that “crown of righteousness”.  Let us take up that same call today.  Let us pursue Jesus and the work of righteousness in our own lives.

2 Corinthians 5:21

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin;

that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Philippians 3:8-14

Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:  10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; 11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.  12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.  13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

 

Please follow and like us: