Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Body of Christ

1Corinthians 12:36  - And if one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; and if one member be glorified, all the members rejoice with it.

As the news continues in the progress of the families suffering the loss of loved ones in Sunday's accident, my heart is aching as the fullness of all that has happened is sinking in.  I did not know this family, but because we are one in the Lord they are part of the body of Christ. When one part of the body is hurt, the entire body feels the pain.

Yesterday the wife of the man who died had the the difficult task of telling the surviving children their father and brother went to be with Jesus.  I can't possibly imagine the intense pain physically and emotionally they are going through.  And my heart aches.  Her words to our pastor were, "Jesus will see us through this."  I fight back tears just writing this.  I remember what I wrote yesterday about her husband "unabashedly loving his wife."  The love of Christ was so evident through that statement and that love was strong in this whole family.  It appears their life was based on the solid foundation of Christ.

What must the family whose children were in the car with them be feeling?  We were told some of the family members gave their lives to the Lord Sunday night.  Amid all the pain, there is hope for that family.  If they continue to seek God's guidance during this tragedy, they too will find the peace that passes all understanding.

First Corinthians talks about the Body of Christ.  As believers who have given our lives to our Lord Jesus Christ, we are now one in the Lord.  We are one body of believers, one in spirit.  We are all given different gifts within this body and each person has a different role within the Body.   

It will be hard to live without the parts of our body that have been taken away.  But in time the wounds will heal.  Through this tragedy we have lost three parts of our body but there are other parts being added at the same time through this difficult time.  We will never understand why these things happen in our lives.  That's why it is important to know that God's ways are higher than ours.  There is a higher purpose. It's our relationship with our heavenly Father that carries us through these times.  Jesus is in the midst of this comforting and strengthening those who need it and rejoicing with those in heaven with Him today.  

I thank God for a relationship that brings peace in the midst of trial.  The wounds will heal slowly and certainly not without pain, but our Lord will be praised.  We are to remember that God and His ways are always good.

Nahum 1:7 and Romans 8:28 - The LORD is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble; And He knows those who trust in Him.  And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.


Heavenly Father, again I ask that you minister to these two families.  The days ahead will be difficult but with You by their side they will see the hope that lies ahead.  I thank you in the midst of all this for Your wisdom, Your guidance for these families.  Let our family of believers bring comfort through prayer and encouragement.  It is upon Your strength we lean.  Heal their bodies and spirits.   Be the minds, eyes and hands of all the doctors and nurses assigned to them.  Most of all, Lord, thank that Your presence will be with them always.  In Your precious name we pray, Jesus.  Amen.

Monday, March 30, 2009

A Time to be Born and a Time to Die

Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 - To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven:  A time to be born, and a time to die....

Monday morning.  It was brought to my attention that yesterday a family was on their way to our church when their van was struck by a truck on a treacherous, ice covered road. In an instant the lives of three people, one adult and two children, one child from another family, were taken "in a heartbeat."  It has given me pause to think, again, how we live our lives, and how important our family and loved ones should be and just how important it is not to take them for granted.

The time we spend and the things we say to our spouse and loved ones should be the most important thing in our life.  There should be continual love and respect for each other.  How do each of us measure up?  Have we failed and if we have, how?


I checked our church directory and there was a photo of the family.  I recognized the man although I did not know him.   His brother was quoted in the article as saying he "unabashedly showed his love to his wife."  That is one powerful statement showing how this man lived his life.  That kind of love comes from loving God first.  How many of us unabashedly show that love to our spouses?  One thing I know, he and the children have gone on to be with Jesus and although they will be missed, they are alongside their Savior.


Here's another question.  Can we honestly say we will go on to be with the Lord if we would die today?  I would not want to feel secure in thinking "I have plenty of time to be serious about my salvation.  I'll do it later."   I would not want to feel secure believing just because I go to church or read my Bible or am basically a good person that I would go to heaven.  I wouldn't want my pride or even stubbornness to get in the way of my relationship with the Lord.   I would want to know for sure.  


We are all sinners in need of a Savior. There is no one who is not. There is only one way to heaven and only one Person who can get us there.  It is through God's grace that we are saved.  We are not able to save ourselves--we cannot buy our salvation and no amount of good works, apart from what we do for God after receiving Him, will bring salvation.  It is a free gift that God gives to those who are willing to admit they are a sinner, believe that Jesus lived, died and rose again and is alive today.  Through our honest and heartfelt verbal confession of our sin and need for a Savior, God will hear and accept us making us His children that we might enter into the Kingdom of Heaven someday.  It is the life we live day to day for Christ.


Romans 3:23-24 - for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus...


John 14:6 - Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."


Ephesians 2:8-9 - ...for by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.


Galatians 2:16 - We know that a person is not made right with God by following the law. No! It is trusting in Jesus Christ that makes a person right with God. So we have put our faith in Christ Jesus, because we wanted to be made right with God...


Romans 10:9-10 - ...if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.


This is a tragic accident. Yes, we will grieve but we can also rejoice in knowing that this man and the two children are with Jesus today. They lived their lives for God and family.  They will hear the words, "Well done, my good and faithful servant(s)." 


Let us all consider this each day.  What is truly important in our lives?  Is it the stuff we consume ourselves with getting in our way?  Is it the idea that we are indispensable in our jobs?  Have we put family in second or third or fourth place? Is it our own needs and wants? If we are not considering others before ourselves in any situation we are looking at a life of selfishness.  Oh, how we need to look more closely at these issues.


Possibly losing a loved one today is a sobering thought.  Let us not take the lives of those around us for granted but look at them as God would, through His loving eyes.


Philippians 2:3-4 - Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.  Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.


Heavenly Father, I pray for these two families represented in this accident.  I pray for physical, emotional and spiritual healing.  Thank You, Father, for Your free gift of salvation and for the lives of these people.  You give and You take away; that is Your nature.  I ask that Your presence would be with these families to comfort and guide them.  Let their strength come from You.  We do not know the reason why they were taken.  It's one of those mysteries.  I ask, Lord, that You help us in any area of our own lives that might prevent us from being the people You want us to be within our families.  Dig deep into our hearts and show us where we need to change.  Thank You for loving us so much that You sent Your Son to die for us that we might receive eternal life.  In Your name I pray, Jesus.  Amen.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Addendum!

Oh how amazing is our God!  He ceases to bowl me over!  After writing today's blog, I sat down to just get a couple minutes more devotional time and I picked up a book a friend reminded me about, My Utmost for His Highest.  I looked at today's entry and a couple of sentences popped out at me.  The gist of the message for the day was not believing when God has urged you to do something or that what you've heard is of God.

"Faith is not intelligent understanding, faith is deliberate commitment to a Person where I see no way." and "Are you debating whether to take a step in faith in Jesus or wait until you can see how to do the thing yourself?"

Our hope and faith is to be in a Person, not a person.  My help--and my hope--comes from the Lord....

Hope in God

Hebrews 6:18 - ...God cannot lie when he says something and he cannot lie when he 
makes a vow. So those things give great comfort to us who came to God for safety. 
Those two things give us comfort and strength to continue in the hope that God gives us.

Psalm 146:5 -  Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, 
whose hope is in the LORD his God...

Romans 8:24 - We were saved, and we have this hope. If we can see 
what we are waiting for, then that is not really hope. 
People don't hope for something they already have.

Here we see three scriptures about hope.  Our hope should be in the Lord.  There is no scripture that specifically states that our hope should not be in man but in Jesus Christ, but I believe these scriptures allude to that quite well.

For the past few days I've felt a need to write about the uncomfortable feelings some are having about what’s happening in our country.  I've tried to write about this but seem to fall into a critical nature when I did.  That is not my intent.

I'm trying again today and asking the Lord to give me the right words.  There is nothing wrong about judging as long as truth is brought into this judgment.  We are to judge with a righteous judgment.  What would God think?  But I'm not here to judge either.

We do not know for certain where our nation is heading.  I don't want to present a calamitous view on this either.  I just want to say, again, we don't know where our nation is heading.  There are such opposing views on the leadership and it's certainly too early to know for sure how our new President is going to fare.  I'm not here to expound on that either.  I'm just wanting to point out where we can look for help and hope in difficult times.

We are told as believers and followers of Christ that no matter what happens, we will not be spared difficulties in this world just because we are Christians.  That's where hope in the Lord comes in.  He will guide, strengthen, give wisdom and give us peace in our spirits in the midst of our turmoil.  But we need to be focused on Him.

If our faith in God is strong His strength will kick in allowing us to endure even the most difficult of circumstances.  We can be a light in the darkness for those struggling, those who do not have a relationship with Jesus Christ.  We are called to live by faith, not by sight.  When we cannot understand in the natural what is happening around us and we begin to fear, we are living by sight.  We are living with our own understanding.  

God's ways are not like ours.  They are greater than ours.  He knows the beginning from the end in any situation.  He knew before time even began, before He created the earth, just how everything would happen, EVERYTHING.  If He is able to keep all that straight and we can't, wouldn't we want to put our trust in Him, our Almighty Father?

When I look at our country and see where we've come from, I'm disappointed.  Our country was founded on the principles of Christianity.  Congress used to begin their sessions in prayer.
Many of the first states referred to God as "one God," "Almighty,” "the Supreme Being," "the Creator," "Savior" and "Lord."  What I'm seeing today does not resemble anything like that.  
I may be straying a bit, but I believe that if we see problems arising in the future of this country it's because we as a nation have changed our course.  The world has changed its course as well.  It's topsy-turvy.  I'm thinking we're in the midst of turmoil and uncertainty because we have turned our backs, as a nation, on God.  What's good is now considered evil and evil is good.  The commandments of the Bible are not looked upon as truth anymore.  There is a lack of closeness with God and a lack of wanting a relationship with Him or desire to know who He is and what He says.

But I thank God that even though He might be turning His back on us as a nation, He has not turned His back on His children.  He stands firm in His covenant with us providing we do not lose our faith in Him and we maintain our focus on Him.  

He is our deliverer.  He delivered Israel out of Egypt and He will deliver us out of this world someday.  In the meantime...

Psalm 121:1-2 - I will lift up my eyes to the hills--from whence comes my help? 
My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Rejoice

Zephaniah 3:17 - The LORD your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.

We've looked at our thoughts, struggling and wandering, joy, and God's love for us.  Our thoughts, if positive, are joyful, we are to rejoice in our struggles and certainly we are to rejoice in God's love for us.  What does God think of us?  Let's take a peek.

Our God delights in our salvation.  Angels in heaven rejoice when another sinner is saved.  It means another child in the Kingdom.  I picture what it must be like in heaven--rejoicing, rejoicing--because at any given moment on any given day another saved individual causes God and the saints and angels to sing.  I can imagine this is part of the happiness of heaven one will experience in addition to being in God's presence.

Jesus spoke of the shepherd who went out of his way to find the one missing lamb from his whole flock and how he rejoiced at saving it.  The father rejoiced over the return of his prodigal son.  Both of these instances symbolize God's love for us as sheep wandering aimlessly without our Shepherd or having left our Father for worldly desires and humbly returning.  He is deliriously happy.

When one's heart has finally softened and opened up to God's mighty calling, He then can be in the midst of us.  He can set up His tabernacle within our hearts.  This thought alone would be worth a song of praise to our God.  It gives even more meaning to the phrase "I in Him and He in me."  He will never leave you nor forsake you.  He will stick closer to you than a brother.  His love endures forever.  And since all this is true there is something wonderful for us to also rejoice in.

He delights in our godly accomplishments, our obedience, our prayers, our rejoicing in Him.  He takes pleasure in our worship.  No wonder it is said that God is love.  His delight comes out of His love over our delight of His love.

John 15:11 - These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, 
and that your joy may be full.

Lord, we are thankful that You drew us closer so we could partake in Your joy through our salvation.  I thank You that You cared enough.  When our joy shows I believe we are ultimately showing off Your delight.  Help us to develop that love and let us continually rejoice for what You have given us.  In the name of Jesus, equip us that we might share Your joy and love with others so they might experience first hand Your jubilation!  Father God, I pray that if there is someone who desires to know the love of You, our Father, I ask that You would open their hearts to receive You into their lives.  Let them desire to see You as the Shepherd who would go after one lost sheep.  Let them identify with the son or daughter whose Father welcomes home, with open arms, his lost child.  Our earthly fathers are one thing, but our Heavenly Father is all we'll ever need.  He and all of heaven desires to rejoice over that one person who decides to become a child of the King and an heir in His Kingdom.  In Jesus' name....Amen.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Unfailing Love

We've seen how our thoughts are important to our joy. We've seen how without joy God can allow us to wander until we choose to change. And yesterday, like Israel, wandering can last until we acknowledge our need for God. We experience struggles but we are called to rejoice in the midst of them.  In each case, God is the One who is there for us if we seek His guidance.  He is our ultimate joy.

Hosea 2:19 - I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and justice, In lovingkindness and mercy; I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness, And you shall know the LORD. 

Hosea's story is beautiful, although sad.  It's about a man God called to marry Gomer, who would become an adulterous wife.  God told Hosea that she would continue leave him, but he was to faithfully take her back and never stop loving her.  This marriage was to help Hosea understand God's heart for His unfaithful people, Israel.  When this tender hearted prophet was called to give a word to Israel to plead for their repentance for idolatry and wickedness, it would be poured out from the broken heart of God.

Of course this story shows another perspective as well, this being our relationship to God and how we sometimes fall away to our worldly desires just as Israel ran to their gods and pleasures and Gomer to her own lusts.  However, like Hosea for Gomer, His love never fails.  He never changes.  We went into covenant with Him at our conversion and though we might break that covenant, He never will.  

God chose Israel to be His people.  He chose Gomer to be Hosea's wife.  God chooses us to be His children.  He is to be our first love and our Father.  It's all about His love that is so great for us that He desires a relationship with us, that we might walk with Him, that He might show His love toward us and guide us in His perfect will for our lives.  

Like Hosea's heart broke over Gomer's indiscretions, God's heart breaks when we wander from Him.  He desires our love, obedience and relationship with only Him.  He is jealous over us.  He will never fall out of love with us, no matter what we've done and He calls us back time and time again.  He takes us into deserts and through valleys, out of love, to work righteousness in us.  He will never leave us nor forsake us.

I think about yesterday's struggle and although it was a minor one, I wandered a bit.  But being Who He is, I see now He used the struggle to draw me back into His presence, and into His will.  It's all about Him and His love for His children.

Psalm 90:14 - Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, 
that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.

Heavenly Father, words can't describe your unconditional love for us even in our rebellion.  No matter how far we might have wandered, Your love goes farther and Your arms are opened as wide as they need to be for us to return to You.  I picture You on the cross, Lord. That's how much love You have for us. Forgive us when we have turned to our own desires, even for a moment.  Show us, O God, in a way that we can understand, how great Your love truly is for us.  I thank You, Father, that You called me, You chose me, You continue  to nurture, grow and teach me.   Thank you for drawing me back. Thank You for never letting go.  I pray that You would open the hearts and minds of those who don't understand this kind of love, that they would welcome You into their lives.  In Jesus' name, Amen.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Struggles and Rejoicing


Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2-4)


I seem to be struggling today.  The words struggle and rejoice were so prominent.  I've been trying to write all morning about persevering with joy.  And then this wall shot right up in front of me.  I wasn't been able to put two words together, other than struggle and rejoice. No other inspiration.  No other words added to those two words made sense.  What seemed like a thousand voices clouded my thoughts and perceptions and I couldn't hear the one voice I wanted to hear.

Then that still small voice spoke...."You're trying on your own. You have not let My Holy Spirit lead you."  How I thank the Lord for that word.  It is a right and true word, certainly something in which to rejoice!

So I'm thinking that this is a test for me right now.  Am I rejoicing?  Am I doing what I say we should do?  What's the the phrase:  do as I say, not as I do?  Not biblical, but certainly appropriate for me this morning.  And isn't it funny that I should be struggling about struggling and rejoicing!  Hmmmmm.  I know there's something to that somewhere.

Well, it shows I'm not perfect.  It shows my need for Someone greater than I.  And I am praising God that I have a struggle.  Like Israel in yesterday's blog, they wandered around in the desert until they got things right.  Perhaps with this revelation and speaking it forth as I am, I am letting go of this current struggle.  I have tried under my own power and this is God's way of showing me just that.  I'm praising Him that I am able to recognize this and not push the thought aside thinking it's not for me. Yes, when we struggle, it is because our own strength gets in the way.  When we let that struggle go and give it to the Lord it becomes His struggle and we get the peace that passes all understanding and He gets the glory.  How I praise You, God.   
Lord, You are holy, and you are enthroned in the praises of your people.  (Psalm  22:3)

Even as I joyfully type this I'm feeling the weight falling off my shoulders.  He inhabits our praises!  Yippee!  I'm in a struggle, Lord.  But I'm going to rejoice in that. You take over for me.  I'll give it to you.  You can handle it.  You are not the author of confusion and I will not listen to any other voice but yours.

I'm thankful that struggles usually mean, spiritually, that there is a victory in sight. Those annoying voices I spoke about was no more than the enemy who does not want us to succeed.  He tried, and succeeded for awhile, to...muddle my mind...trash my thinking...entangle my enlightenment...thrash at my thoughts.  But, I have the mind of Christ and with that mind I can stand firm knowing that God is for me, not against me. God will make me the head and not the tail and I will be above only and not beneath. (Deuteronomy 28:13)  He will never leave me nor forsake me.  His plans for me are good.  He works righteousness into us by revealing our faults and allowing us to cast them aside.

Just remembering those promises, those words that are true and just, is a comfort.  
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.  (Hebrews 4:12)

Most of my struggles seem to be internal, that battlefield of the mind that Joyce Meyer talks about.  I seem to be able to deal pretty well with the day to day occurrences, with a wrinkle here and there.  Today I experienced another wrinkle in my day but, praise God, He's helped me iron it out.  Becoming aware of it this time has made a difference. Perhaps next time I won't wait so long to realize that God's ways are better than mine. I will let the joy of the Lord be my strength. I will make a joyful noise unto the Lord.  I will not let the distracting thoughts cloud my thinking.  I will go out in peace.


Isaiah 55:8-9, 12 - "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways," says the LORD. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts....you shall go out with joy, and be led out with peace; the mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing before you, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. 


Father God, I thank You for straightening me out once again.  Thank You that You have created me to be Your child and that I need to be reminded occasionally that there is a hierarchy here!  I thank You for the leading of Your Holy Spirit.  I see where I have struggled and it's of my own doing. Thank You that You want to lead and guide me, that Your ways are better than mine.  So I WILL praise You today, Lord.  I will sing a new song and make a joyful noise, especially since I don't have a very good voice!  I thank You for the on and off struggles which are there for my own good to strengthen and grow me.  Oh, how I want to grow.  Continue to humble me to move me out of the way so You can take the lead.  Thank You that You know the way we should go and when we follow after You, You will take me down the road specifically for me. That is Your desire.   In Your name I pray, Jesus.  AMEN.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Wanderers

Yesterday I shared my thoughts about having the mind of Christ and how important it is to our spiritual, emotional and even physical well being and the importance of having good thoughts.  I am reminded about Israel as they wandered in the wilderness for forty years.

Deuteronomy 8:2-3 -And you shall remember that the LORD your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.  So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD.

The Israelites didn't realize how good they had it while they wandered in the desert.  They didn't realize that their faith was being tested.  Instead of daily looking to God, all they could see was the negative and longed for the "good old days" of captivity in Egypt where they now believed they'd had all they needed despite being slaves.  They grumbled and complained because they couldn't see where they were headed and what lie in store for them. They murmured about having "just enough" each day.  So the LORD caused them to "keep on keeping on" their forty year journey in the wilderness (it should only have taken 3-4 days), just desiring one day they would not forget that He was supplying all their needs.  I had the thought:  if the journey was only to be 3-4 days, it didn't take them very long to start complaining....

Haven't we all complained at one time or another?  And didn't we eventually look back realizing we complained for nothing or that the protesting didn't do a bit of good, only brought upset to our spirits or bitterness to our hearts?  And aren't we sometimes prone to immediately start complaining when something isn't going our way, the way we think it should?

Sometimes God will bring trials into our lives in order to test us.  He wants to see if we will hold up against these difficulties, persevere, endure, and go through them willingly, without murmuring or complaining. Are we in God's will?  What is our heart attitude?  Do we have faith in Him?  If we remember that all God does for us is for our good, we have nothing to fear.  Trials build us up and strengthen us.  The longer we object, the longer He allows us to go through them, like Israel.  

We are to praise Him in the midst of a trial.  I believe praise helps us persevere.  Israel's faith was tested and look where it took them. Had their thoughts been on God's goodness, what miracles He had performed for them, they may not have wandered so long in the wilderness.  How long do you want to wander; how long do you want to be in your wilderness?  Let go of the negative thoughts and start taking each day as it comes and look for the positive in it.  Think on the goodness of God and what it is He is trying to do in your life. He wants to reveal His glory through you.

1Peter 4:12-14 - Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.

Thank You, Father God, for testing us.  This is part of Your wonderful plan of working righteousness within us.  It is part of Your refining us.  I thank You, Lord, that You want us to become less of ourselves that You can become more.  Lord, whatever needs to be done to purify my heart, I ask that You do.  That's a scary thing to ask, because if it comes from a heart that truly wants to be more like You, You will act on it. I ask that when, not if, but when this happens I am reminded to praise You and not look at the circumstances but the outcome.  I only want to become so transparent that I am no longer seen, but that You are seen in me.  I thank You now for what You will do.  In Jesus' name I pray.  Amen.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Psalm 19:14 - Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart 
be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer. 

The Lord every so often speaks to me about my thoughts.  I guess I have always struggled with them.  I know we are always thinking.  I sometimes wonder, though, if we're even aware of some of the thoughts while we're thinking them?  You can't eliminate thinking; it's a part of our life.  Perhaps we all need to take a look at just what our thoughts consist of.  

Today we can fall into dismay at all that's happening in our country, even the world, if we allow ourselves.  Our thoughts can so easily shift to worry and anxiety.  It may be time to concentrate on those things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely and of good report (Philippians 4:8).  Our thoughts should be of what lies beyond the trials of life.  Wouldn't it be better for us to have delightful thoughts of the Lord in the midst of the everyday rumblings, annoyances and in the dailiness of life?

Our minds are battlefields.  The enemy wants to control them.  Those pure and wonderful thoughts can put a good wedge between us and this enemy if we would hold on to those words of delight instead of displeasure and/or criticism.  We are told that what we speak originates in our heart.  I would much rather have a good word for someone than an unkind one.  I'm certainly not saying I haven't had an unkind word...that's probably why God nudges me every   Imagine how joyful one would be if thoughts were only of good things.  Wow!  We might have less frown lines!  Proverbs 16:24 says pleasant words are health to the bones.  Why is this so hard to understand?  There might even be less arthritis!

We need to keep the mind of Christ, which we have been given as believers.  What thoughts would He have?  We are to be of one mind, compassionate, loving and courteous (1Peter 3:8).  I don't score high in each of these areas, but I praise God that He's not finished with me.  I would desire the meditation of my heart and the words of my mouth be acceptable and upright.  What a challenge this is as imperfect, fleshly beings.  If we remain focused on Him--sit at His feet and learn--we will begin to see through His eyes and know, even think, His thoughts.

Philippians 3:12 - Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already 
been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which 
Christ Jesus took hold of me...

Lord, strengthen us each day.  Enable us to keep our eyes on You that our thoughts would remain pure.  Help us to let go of the negative and think in the positive.  If our minds are stayed on You, imagine the possibilities!  Imagine the healing that would take place not only in ourselves but in those who surround us each day...spiritually and emotionally, maybe even physically.  Let us be reminded that we do have Your mind. Thank you, Lord, for loving us in the midst of our fleshliness.  Draw our thoughts nearer to You each day.  

Sitting at Your feet, I pray in Your name, Jesus.  Amen.

Friday, March 20, 2009

This is a Test!



Since I am new to this blogging thing, I felt it was best if I tested the waters.  If I don't get back to this blog for awhile, know that I am contemplating my next move.

Thanks for your patience!