What must a person do to find God?            

What must a person do to reach the top, to find God, He must be willing to start!

I have a white cat, and  he loves me regardless of how I treat him. Tonight I ask why? Why do you love me when I neglect you, don’t pet you, or even forget to feed you?

Why me in particular, everyone else in the house shows you more love, but you are always curling up to me at night and you love me, pushing your perfect little head into my hands as if to say, “here I am, love me”

You look at me with those big green eyes and I can see that you are thinking, “I know that you are there and all I want you to do is to pay me some attention.”

Even when I try to do something else you nudge even closer to me, purring saying, “love me, love me”

Now if a cat can be and is like this, how much more is God, always pursuing us.  He pursues us with love and patience, slowly nudging, slowly poking his face in our face, until we are persuaded that he loves us with an everlasting love.

But unlike the pushy cat, he is ever the gentleman, waiting for our surrender, our love, our dependence on him.  Then the roles get reversed again, as we find ourselves nudging and pawing closer and closer into our heavenly father’s arms and say yes Lord, I am finally here, I want you, I want to walk with you, I love you, I understand, I get it finally. I want you more than anything, in the entire world,

Father God, help me each day to be like that cat, who wants more and more of you every day, never satisfied with just a little bit of you, but wants your whole attention.  Help me never to be satisfied with just a little taste but always wanting and pursuing more.

Amen

 

Life and death

I received the news last night that my cousin had passed away. It was sudden and totally unexpected, as he was a young man, only 47 years old. I realized once again how fragile life really is, we are here one moment and gone the next. We find ourselves running after things that may seem to be so important but in the end are not as important as relationships, love, kindness, caring and compassion.

On closer inspection of the things that I run after, I realize that some of them just have to get off of my “important list” like saving up money for that all important vacation in a hot tropical place. Or getting some newer clothing, when what I have is still in good condition.

So what is important in life and what should we run after for the short time that we have been given on this planet?

I believe that the first place to start of course is with God.

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life

John 3:36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.”

John 5:24 “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life

If I live my life in a way that reflects my belief that Jesus is the Son of God, then my life here on this earth will reflect that and I will live in a way that shows the world that eternity is not imaginary or star trek fiction, but it is real, and we will one day have to face the fact that on earth, I either believed God or I did not.

As a Christian I can count on God’s love and my eternal security.

Then Jesus taught us that we need to love others like we love ourselves. This is often one of the hardest things to do on this earth, to love another person, in a pure way, not a conditional or perverted way, but truly love them, forgiving them when they have hurt or sinned against us, loving them through the good and the bad, and enjoying relationships regardless of how hard they might be.

The bible teaches us what godly love really does look like.

1Corinthians 13:1-8

 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 

 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.   Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.   It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails. 

So what other things are important in this life that is good to run after?

I believe that we can find our answer in the bible once again,

We need to learn to walk in reverence and fear of the Lord

Proverbs 1:7

 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. 

Proverbs 10:27

The fear of the LORD adds length to life, but the years of the wicked are cut short.

Proverbs 14:27

The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, turning a man from the snares of death.

Proverbs 15:33

 The fear of the LORD teaches a man wisdom, and humility comes before honor.

Proverbs 19:23

 The fear of the LORD leads to life: Then one rests content, untouched by trouble.

As you can see when we have a reverence and fear of the lord he will add length to our lives, he will turn us from the snares of death and sin, he will be our fountain of life, he will teach us wisdom so that we can navigate through life in a proper manner, it will teach us to walk in humility instead of pride. He promises to that we will rest content and be untouched by trouble.

These are but a few examples of the benefits of walking in a way that is pleasing to God for the short time that we are on this earth.

The added benefit of walking with the lord is that we will learn to place our reverence in the right place, often we are more afraid of man, what he will say or do to us that we value there opinion over God’s, I believe that when we give God first place in our lives that we will be able to get all of our priorities in our lives in the proper order as well. Proverbs 29:25

Another priority that God places on our lives while we are here is for us to be his hands and feet to a lost and dying world around us. He wants us to reflect him, so that when people see us, they see him, and his love for them. We do that by believing him, by obey him and by choosing to walk with him over running after worthless things in our lives. As we reflect him we would be wise to tell others about him and what he has done for us in our lives. How he saved and set us free from the sin that dragged us down into the pit, how he healed the hurts in our hearts, how he gave us a clear mind and conscience and how he can do the same for them.

It would be a shame to get to heaven and not have brought anyone with you.

Another thing on the godly priority list I believe would be for me to allow God to break my heart for what breaks his, he hates social injustice, therefore it goes without saying that I as his child should hate it to and fight it always.  God hates it when people abuse others, marginalize them and treat them as objects and not as people, whom he loves and died for.

Another priority is to use my mouth, as a healing balm instead of a sword of destruction. So often the things that we say, often carelessly or thoughtlessly can bring about great destruction, both in our lives and in the lives of other people.  I have tried to train myself up by asking the question, is what I am about to say going to bring life in to the situation or that person’s life or will it bring death. If life I can proceed, if death, I need to rethink what I am about to do.

Another priority for me should be building up my brothers and sisters in Christ so that their walk with the lord is strong and firm and secure. How would I go about doing that? Well we can pray for one another, we can encourage one another to seek the lord and his wisdom in the situations that we find ourselves in. We can be there as a shoulder to cry on or someone to rejoice with. We can meet together on a regular basis and enjoy fellowship, prayer and encouragement.  We can work alongside each other in unity and harmony doing what God has told us to do, and that is to go out into all the world and make disciples of the nations.

As I reflect today on the life and death of my cousin, I realize that there are things in my life that are out of alignment with God’s perfect plan for my life.

I hope that through my reflections about where our priorities in life should be that you will take a few moments and think about where your priorities are.

Is it your priority to own the latest and greatest gadget, or more money? If it is, I pray that you would take a few moments and ask the lord to help you get your priorities straight with him.

If your priorities are to run after your children all of the time and get them into the best clubs, sports teams and so forth at the peril of all the other relationships in your life, maybe it is time to stop and reevaluate your choices.

I could go on all day about our bad choices, but let’s start making a difference today in the choice we make and how we spend our time and where we will spend eternity.

If you find that you fall into any of the above categories, don’t feel condemned, but instead say this little prayer with me.

Heavenly Father,

I come before you today, realizing that I am living for all of the wrong things in this life that you have gifted me with. I pray lord that you would forgive me today, and I ask that from this moment forward that you will help me to live according to your priorities for my life. I thank you heavenly father.

Amen

Therefore, in memory of my cousin Stephen, I dedicate this article to him, I thank him for his contribution to this earth, to the fierce love that he had for his children and that in a lot of ways he taught me about priorities, by going out of his way to show that he cared for you, when he did not have to. Thanks Stephen,

 all my love.

Day 18~We have a Situation {Pretty Girls and the Boys Who want to Date Them}

I have beautiful daughters.  When they were babies they were beautiful, when they were toddlers they were cute and when they started to grow up , I knew we’d have a problem.  The problem is this: Boys like pretty girls.  I was not a pretty girl~ I was the awkward, looking for my own style(actually, I had no style and could have cared less) kind of girl that boys just want to be friends with.  That’s okay, I was good with that.  But now, I have 3 daughters.  Two of them old enough for the boys to be pursuing.  I need a bigger gun. I need more guns.  I need something more intimidating than my disapproving mother look(which I use far too much for my own liking).

 We have a rule in our house: no dating.  Period.  And I don’t have this rule because I’m mean or because all boys are bad(most of them have less than noble intentions).  I have these rules because I dated a boy(I’m married to him now).  When I dated him , we were both out of high school but we were still driven by a lot of hormonal desire. I had no idea how quickly a guy can go from being your friend to wanting to get your clothes off.  And just so we get something straight here~ I was the “good girl”.  There was no 3rd base or even 2nd base in our courtship. This is the reason for short engagements: you like him, he likes you~ you love him, he loves you~ you want to marry him, he asks…let’s go.  That’s the way it was for us. 

 But back to my girls: No dating, we’ve made that abundantly clear.  And I’ve explained it to my girls this way: If a boy wants to date you now, when you’re 13, 14, 15, what are his intentions?  Does he want a companion? Does he want to show off a pretty girl on his arm in the school hallways? Does he want a girl wearing his football jacket at games? Does he want you to come for Sunday dinner to hang out with his parents? What does he want to date you for? Well, they can never answer that question.  And the reason they can’t answer that is because the boys can’t answer it either!

 This past weekend, my 13  year old told me about a boy at school who has been hounding her to “go out with him”.  Hold the phones!!!  She’s THIRTEEN!!! She hasn’t been on the planet long enough to listen to cassette tapes or know what a rotary phone is! She doesn’t remember Y2K or life before Hannah Montana.  SHE IS A CHILD.(it’s okay, I’ve cleared this with her).   And what’s worse, is the boy on the hunt is in Grade 10~ 2 years older.  I realize for some of you reading this , this seems rather insignificant and probably innocent.  Let me paint a picture for you:

  A boy(he is not a man) over Facebook has asked now at least 3 times this question: “Will you go out with me?”  What does that mean?  Where I come from “going out” means we’re actually going somewhere. So, I pressed my daughter, “Where does he want to go out?”  Her answer is typical:”Well, he doesn’t want to go anywhere. That just means he wants us to be a couple at school.  Mom, no one goes out on dates anymore~ it’s just school-dating.”

 Hmmm. School Dating.  How lame.  Sad, isn’t it? That these young people have taken a sacred institution like dating and reduced it to hallway hand-holding and after-school hook-ups.  Ooops. Hook ups? What?  Oh yes.  Let’s get at the heart of this:  These boys like a pretty girl on their arms.  They like the status of being able to “get” a girl and be “in a relationship”. But most of them don’t know the first thing about relationships, commitment, sharing and caring, sacrifice or love.  In fact, none of that is on their radar or agenda. The only thing they care about is having their raging-hormonal-needs satisfied. And most of them don’t really understand what that’s all about . All they know is that the guys in his class are “doing it” and obviously that’s just what you do. Right? I mean, if you have a NEED , you fill it.  Right? Come on, get with the program. 

 I’ve been accused of many things. But the thing that really gets my goat is when other mothers call me unrealistic, naive and unfair when I ban my kids from dating.  It has happened more times than I can even express. So many parents have just rolled over on this issue.  They have traded the boundaries of appropriate teenage boy/girl contact for a whatever-may-come attitude. They have given into the puppy dog eyes that their daughters give them or they have never set a boundary in the first place. Most parents just think that dating is a part of growing up and so it is to be expected.  But that is so wrong.  Dating is serious business. Dating is the first step to marriage.  It involves emotions and feelings of the heart. It grapples with mature situations like physical touch, sexual stimulation and broken hearts.  No 13, 14 or 15 year old should be dealing with those issues. They’re still growing for goodness’ sake!! Many of them haven’t even gone through puberty.  And now we have 11 and 12 year olds trying to wade these waters too.(My 11 year old has told me what’s going on in her class too). 

 I’ve seen the hurt and heartbreak. Our oldest daughter thought she could handle it. She didn’t tell us because she knew we’d disapprove.  When she was barely 14 a boy asked her out. She said no. He did not relent. Even after she told him that we had rules in our house and why we had rules he continued.  Within a couple of weeks he was hand-holding and kissing her in the hallways. Every girl loves the attention of boy and so she kept her secret.  That is, until her mother walked into the school one day and saw.  Let’s just say that an animal instinct came over me.  In my coolest(not so cool), calmest(not very calm), quietest(not quiet at all) voice I approached them and told him to remove his greasy hand from my daughter.  I also told him that if he ever touched her again, I would touch him.  Oh yes I did.  There were teachers and students who just stood and stared.  There was no sound. I actually don’t remember much. I do know that I e-mailed the creep and told him to back off(because he needed more than one reminder) or I would have him looking for protective body-guards.  Maybe I didn’t handle it well and certainly my daughter was mortified and embarrassed.  The good that came out of this was: 

 •My daughter realized that all the times I told her I was everywhere and knew what was going on, became a bold new reality for her.

 •She got a reputation in school for the girl who was untouchable(but it did take a few guys a little longer to learn)

 •We, the parents, gained new respect with the teaching staff and other parents for doing what they knew they should do but didn’t know how

 •She realized that he wasn’t all he said he was when he spread rumours, tormented her and ultimately took up with other girls telling them the same things he told her: “you’re the only one” “I love you” “I’ll wait for you”

 I’m so thankful that we caught it before something more than kissing happened.  But I’m sad that her first kiss is no longer special. I’m sad that a boy who couldn’t take no for an answer robbed her of a special moment.  And I’m sorry that her first experience with dating was without her parents’ knowledge or consent. 

  Nearly 2 years later, she has come to realize that boys in school are after 2 things: status and sex.  And when they get bored with one or the other, they shake off the old and pick up a new toy.   For most of them, the new lasts maybe 1,2 or even up to 6 months. But unless the boy is getting regular sex, he’s likely to drop a girl very quickly. 

 Can I believe I’m discussing this? No, not really. It’s surreal.  I am sad for this generation of young kids who are trying to grow up way too fast in bodies that are not ready to be grown up, with minds that are no where capable of processing the magnitude of the choices they’re making.

 My 13 year old’s suitor is persistent.  I will give him that.  He has tried several times now to get my daughter to agree to “go out” with him. Here’s a pointer, little boy:  WHEN you’ve grown up enough to be able to have a job that can pay for dinner out at a nice restaurant and can drive to pick up my daughter and bring her home safely, you can then approach ME and tell me WHY it is you want to DATE her. Not “go out”.  If you cannot, or will not do this , then you are not ready to date my daughter or anyone else’s for that matter. And furthermore, don’t be a wiener and ask her out on Facebook!! If you can’t talk to her to her face, you are not ready to be in a real relationship.  Oh, and one more thing: How many kids do you want to have? And how will you support them? Because, as far as I’m concerned, those are two questions you need the answers to before you start to date. 

Ya, I’m like that.  My daughters are not some boy’s property.  They are not the latest tool on the shelf~ ready to try out and test.  They are beautiful, awesome , creative PEOPLE who deserve guys who want to see them succeed in their dreams and goals.  They deserve men who want to hold them when they cry, tend to them when they’re sick, love them , cherish them and grow in a relationship through all the good times and bad times.  And none of that includes sexual gratification. Sex is the bonus for doing all of this FIRST.  Sex is the icing on the wedding cake for committing your life to your wife.  If only the boys on Facebook loved my daughters as much as I do.

 Oh, and Facebook boy: One more tip~ If a girl tells you that her parents don’t condone dating at her age, that would be your first and only clue to drop it. Unless, of course, you enjoy being publicly humiliated in the school in front of all your peers. I mean, if you enjoy that sort of thing, by all means….keep at it. I’m quite comfortable making you feel like the small, pathetic creep that you are.

 

Written by:

Juanita Dueck. To follow her blog and her other insightful and often to the point articles, about life, love and God, please check out the rest of her articles.

 

http://prairiejuan.wordpress.com/2011/10/18/day-18we-have-a-situation-pretty-girls-and-the-boys-who-want-to-date-them/

 

 

 

Hero worship

The culture these days is very much so into hero worship, what do I mean by that? Well if the world is not going crazy about a specific sporting event, or celebrity player, they are chasing down movie stars and royalty. When Prince William and Kate got married earlier this year, you would have thought that no one had ever gotten married before.

Thousands flocked to London to catch a glimpse of the royal couple and millions more tuned into the television programs that were doing live telecasts of the event. The world literally stopped for a day to watch 2 people say their vows.

Why are we so quick to elevate people into high positions in our lives, I think that we can find that answer in the word of God. God has told us in his word that we are all created to worship him, some choose to and others do not; but we are nevertheless beings made to worship a Holy God.

I have come to realize over the years that it is so easy to worship things or people and that it is offensive to God when we do. When God first set out the laws (10 Commandments) to the Israelites, he told them not to worship anything that they had made with their own hands; they were to worship Him alone. Things have not changed over the centuries; we have just made different idols in our lives.

 The reason that it is offensive to him is that he created us to have fellowship with him, to get to know him and his character, and learn to trust and rely on him and his power to live our daily lives.

When we start to allow ourselves to worship things or even people we are no longer worshiping the Lord most High.

I found myself in that very spot once again, just recently. I would love to tell you that this is the first time, but unfortunately it is not, and knowing human nature, it probably won’t be the last but I can and must learn from it and learn instead to surrender my heart, hopes and fears to the lord instead of placing myself in a position where I hope that others will be able to satisfy those needs within me.

 I have found that if I admire someone and their walk with the lord, it is not a hard stretch for me to put them in a place in my heart where I revere them so much, that it could be classified as worship. That spot is only reserved for God. I do not build a shrine to them in my living room and burn candles but I often see them as invincible, amazing, so together, and of course so spiritually close to God. All of the things I desire for my own life. (not necessarily the invincible or amazing, just close to God).

What happens then is that I feel embarrassed and afraid to share with them things that are happening in my life, that I would need prayer or advice on. As I get it into my head that they would not respect me if I admitted that I was weak.

The lord reminded me yesterday, that the person to whom that I had given this elevated spot in my heart and mind, was just as weak as I was, she was just as dependent on God for her daily strength and bread as I was. There are areas in her life, where she walks by a deeper faith than me, because God in his great mercy has revealed things to her that as of yet he has not shown me. It does not mean that I need to put her into a higher and more elevated position in my life.

She too struggles in life, she too has to rely on God for everything, just as I have to, there is no difference between her and I.

So when the lord says to me, that I can pray for the sick and they will be healed, or pray that people would come to know Him as there lord and savior I can believe him and allow him to have the rightful place in my heart, instead of me placing my friend and mentor in a place where she never wanted to be in the first place. A place of awe and hero worship.

I was reading a verse of scripture the other day, that illustrates this concept beautifully, it is found in the book of James. It shows us, that even though we would be quick to elevate a man, because his prayer was answered by God in a dramatic way, he was still just a man. A man with fears, hopes, dreams and failures.

James 5:13 – 18

Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord.  And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven.   Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. 

Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years.  Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.

As you can see brothers and sisters in Christ, we have all been given the authority and right to pray for the sick and pray to God our father, and Elijah was a man just like us, there was not a thing that was special about him, except that God had called him to be a prophet to the nation of Israel, and that when he prayed he did so with faith and believed that God would do what he knew that only God could do.

It never ceases to amaze me how quickly and easily we can get it into our heads that because people are doing what we dream of or desire to do, that they are super human.  

If you find yourself in a place of misplaced worship, with spiritual mentors or even other people who have influenced you for the good, I ask you today, to go before God and ask him to forgive you for worshipping things that take your heart and dependence away from him.

Jesus is the only measuring stick that we need to use when measuring our walk with him, he will reveal to us all that we need, when we are ready, therefore we can confidently trust him to teach and handle our hearts when we go astray. We can trust him to be more than enough for us, and freeing us up from the need we might feel to worship things of our own making instead of him.

I pray that the Lord Jesus Christ will strengthen your hearts today, fill you with a passion for his truth and a desire to keep your eyes completely fixed on him.

In Jesus name,

Amen

 

Who really holds your future?

I saw a status today on face book that said, “If you listen to the news today, well, it just doesn’t sound like a good day anywhere. Thankful that even though I don’t know what the future holds, I know Who holds the future”

The world is in turmoil; everywhere we look people are frightened, there are wars raging, people starving, and children being traded like cattle to satisfy perversion. The world economy is steadily collapsing, and the governments are rumbling with things like, “One world government, one currency”

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran is screaming for the annihilation of Israel and death to anyone else who does not subscribe to his way of thinking. What is the world coming to?

Hurricanes, Typhoons, Earthquakes, Volcanic Eruptions, Tsunami’s, flooding, tornadoes and massive wildfires have ravaged the earth over the last 9 months. What are we to think?

I drive around our friendly neighborhood, and see many houses up for sale, some with for sales signs on their lawns for almost a year.  Are people still moving and buying houses anymore?

Babies aborted by the hundreds of thousands, and no one says a word, children abused by close relatives and no one says a word, God’s Holy Name is used like a common swear word, both by children and adults alike, and the world does not even blink. What in the world is going on?

People get passionately upset when an animal has been cruelly abused, but turn a blind eye to that young girl or boy on the street who sells their bodies, because they ran away from abuse at home.  Where is the logic in that?

People apologize to others for a little Christian influence at an event, but gladly embrace anything that is ungodly. I don’t understand?

Why don’t people like the truth, why do they reject God, why are they God haters?

I think that the root of it, is simple, they would have to admit first of all that there is a God, and that He is Holy, then they would have to admit that their lifestyle, attitude and actions do not measure up to his holy standard.

People are quick to embrace lies, but often reject the truth out right!

This got me thinking, with all of the chaos that is happening around us today, do I have a safe harbor? Do I have a place of safety amongst the turmoil of the world around me? If I do, what is it?

I am pleased to tell you that the bible teaches us that in the midst of chaos, unrest and upheaval, Christians have a safe place to go to. That safe place is called Jesus, the Christ, the Messiah, and the Holy Son of God.

He is a strong tower for us to run into, a shelter in the storm. Psalm 91

He is our rock and redeemer, Psalm 19

He will never ever leave us, and nothing will ever be able to separate those whom he loves from his hand.

Romans 8:38-39

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

He knows the beginning from the end and because of that; I can trust him to get me to the end of my life successfully. I need not be afraid of what tomorrow will bring, because I know that regardless of whether I live or I die, my heart and life is secure in him!

Ephesians 1:13-14

And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession–to the praise of his glory. 

You too can have that peace of God, knowing that God is your rock and strong tower to run to when things around you are scary, overwhelming and out of control, the bible teaches us that when we come to God he will never turn us away.

If you would like that assurance today, that you not only have an earthly security but an eternal security, take a moment and pray this simple prayer with me.

 

 

 

 

Dear heavenly father,

The world around me is in Chaos, you say that you are a rock and fortress to all those who trust in you. Lord, I need you; I need you to be my strength, my rock, my help in times of trouble. Thank you that you are all of that and more.  Amen

 

What is Normal?

 For a Christian that is a great question, what is our normal compared to the normal of the world around us.

It got me thinking, what should our normal be and where do we get out normal from? I know, it is early in the morning!

I believe as a Christian our normal comes from what we find in the bible, which is our standard for living, and our moral compass in the world that we live.  I thought I would take the liberty and write down a few of the normals I believe that we as Christians need to live by.

Normal Christian living means

  • …….getting up in the morning with a heart of praise and thanksgiving to God our Savior.
  • ….. Saying yes to the Lord and laying your life in his hands.
  • ….. dying to my selfish desires and saying to God, your will O lord, not mine.
  • …… that I choose righteous living over the old way of doing things.
  • .… not leaning on my own understanding of how things are, but asking God to show his way of doing things.
  • ...  That I guard my heart from evil and wicked influences, that would cause me to sin
  • ….. That I care for others, and love them deeply from the heart.
  • ….. That I do not accept the practices of the world around me but that I ask God to show me his way instead.
  • …. That I care for the widows and orphans around me
  • ….. That I love unconditionally
  • ….. That I use my mouth to encourage and bring life, instead of death and destruction to the people and situations around me.
  • … That I stand up for truth, regardless of the consequences.
  • ….. That I give and share generously not only my money, but my time as well.
  • …… That I walk in obedience to all of the precepts in the bible, not just the ones which please me.
  • ….. That I share enthusiastically all the greatness of God with others.
  • ….. That I come along side others who are in need of love and care, and truly love them by sharing the truth of God with them
  • ….. That I am not ashamed of the gospel and the power it holds for those who walk by its precepts.
  • …… That I Believe in Jesus Christ the son of God, sent to earth to point the way back to God for all mankind, and then became the ultimate sacrifice for the sins of all the people on this earth.
  • ·         …..That  I believe that there will be a day in the future, where God will judge each person according to what he/she has done.
  • ….. That when God judges, with justice, those who chose to walk in obedience to his word and accepted his son, will be given eternal life.
  • …. That when God judges, with justice, those who chose to walk in disobedience and rejected his and his world, will be judged and sent to Hell, with the devil and his demons.
  • …. That, the harvest field is full of people who are in desperate need of hope and love, and that we as Christians have been given the ability to show them the way back to God.

What is your normal?

 This article, though brief was inspired by a friend of mine who asked this question this morning, What is normal? I could go on all day about what our normal could and should be as a Christian, but I will leave it where it sits for now.

 My prayer for you is that if your normal is in any way different that mine, I pray that you will consider today giving your heart and life over to God, he created you, he loves you and he sent his son to die for you.

  Why would you need someone to die for you?

 The bible says that everyone in the world falls short of God’s Holy Standard, and therefore sin rages in our lives. We cannot even begin to live a good life without God’s help through his Holy Spirit. Jesus died on that cross, as the final and best sacrifice for the sins of mankind. The debt was paid in full and mankind once again had free access to God.

  We could do good things for people, but our hearts remain unchanged, and the same sin still lurks there, so if you want to have a new kind of normal in your life, take a moment and pray this prayer with me.

 Dear Lord Jesus

I realize that I am a sinner and I need a savior to save me from my sin. Please forgive me today and accept me as your child. I ask that you send your Holy Spirit to live in my life and so that I may learn from you a new kind of normal.

Thank you Jesus

Amen.

 

Backyard Musings

 I live in a region of a country that is prone to extreme temperature fluctuations, and as I sit on my back deck the temperature is currently 28 degrees Celsius. Yes I have to admit that I much prefer the heat to the cold and dreary days that I have experienced. I prefer to walk around with no shoes and a tank top than having just my eyes poking out from my hat and scarf when it is minus 40 degrees Celsius. As I said extreme temperatures is a common thing where I live.

 These temperatures have got me thinking about the extremes that we experience in every day life, like hate and love, cold and hot, dark and light, bitterness and forgiveness, joy and sadness, the list is endless for all of the extremes that we experience in our daily lives.

 I have been reading about King David recently and he was a man of extremes, he had extreme highs and lows on the road to becoming king of Israel. He experienced the anointing of God, only to be hated by most men around him. They were jealous of him and his abilities, his strength and power.

 But as you read in the book of Psalms David had a heart that was open and honest with God, he held nothing back from God, his fears, hopes, dreams, reliance on God and his deep knowledge that God was the one that was leading and directing him to become a King.

 King David was a weak human like you and I but he turned his heart towards God all of the time when he was being pursued by his enemies, when he sinned against God he repented, when he was sad, he expressed it, when he felt joy he practically sang it in his writings and when he knew that he needed strength to conquer his enemies, he turned to God, whom he said, was his Rock and Salvation, the God in whom he could trust.

I love the Psalms as it is a place that I have found much love and comfort and encouragement over the years, as I have explored them, I have discovered like King David did, that God is our rock of refuge, that his love is everlasting and passionate towards us.

I have discovered that God is my help in times of trouble, my hope when all seems lost, my anchor to my soul, the song in my heart and the joy that floods my heart when I am sad. I have discovered through the Psalms that God is indeed all that I need to strengthen me, to help me to live a life that is righteous and brings Glory to God.

 I would like to share with you a couple of my favorite Psalms; I know that they will encourage you as they have me over the years.

 The first that I want to share with you is found in Psalm 91.

This Psalm speaks of God’s strength, his protection, and his great love for me, I have read this Psalm so many times over the years and each time I read it, I discover a new nugget of truth in it.

Psalm 91      
1He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.   
2I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”     
3Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence.     
4He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.     
5You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day,     
6nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.     
7A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.     
8You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.     
9If you make the Most High your dwelling— even the LORD, who is my refuge—     
10then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent.     
11For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;     
12they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.  13You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.     
14“Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.     
15He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.     
16With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

 Like I said, this Psalm has really ministered to me a great deal over the years, my prayer for you as you read it, that you will realize that when we make God our shelter, and when we trust him with our hearts and life, he will indeed protect us from all harm.

 He will be your shield and shelter and there will be nothing that can harm you. Yes there are bad things that happen to us, but when we take that moment and remember that God is our strength, that he is the one that will use every bad thing in our lives to strengthen our relationship with him and our dependence on him, we can go through whatever trial we may be facing in confidence, knowing that he has us and that we will be strengthened and not crushed by the experience!.

 God’s love for you is so passionate and he will do all that is necessary in your life to get your to a point where you are as passionate for him as he is for you, if you have never trust God as your savior before and would like to do that today, all you have to do to have a relationship with God, and be saved and set free from the penalty that your sin will bring you is to pray this simple prayer with me.

 Dear Lord Jesus

I acknowledge that I am in need of a savior for my sins; you came to this earth to be that savior. On my own I do not measure up to the righteousness required by God to enter into his presence, but by your sacrifice on the cross for my sins, I can ask God to forgive me of my sins, and come freely into his presence.  Forgive me today of my sins I pray. I believe that God sent you Jesus to die for my sins on the cross and that you are the son of God. I thank you that I am now your child. Please teach me how to live according to your ways, In Jesus name,

Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

Change is afoot!

 Have you ever wandered about change in your life, sometimes it is something that you absolutely embrace but more often than not it is something that you resist, put off, and often throw temper tantrums about. Or is that just me?

 Well change is coming at me in a very rapid pace these days, my son has completed his final year of high school and is about to venture out into the big wide world. He is full of wide eyed dreams and hopes about what his future is going to bring his way. My prayer for him has always been, that no matter the change he encounters in his life, he will never change his mind about God.

Often when young people leave the nest and start to spread their wings a bit, they don’t always see the importance of having that deep abiding relationship with God anymore. My prayer is that my son won’t change his mind about God.

 Another change that is coming our way is that my daughter is entering high school, it is a whole new adventure for her and she is already discovering the wind beneath her wings, she is changing her mind about the friends that she once had and as is normal has changed her mind about the young men around her, as she so eloquently puts it, “Mom I have developed an immunity to the boys cooties, their cooties are now good, yummy!”

My prayer for her remains the same, that she to would stay true to herself, and the relationship that she has developed with God over these last years. I pray to that she will not change her mind about God.

 As for me, I feel a stirring within my spirit for the new things that God is going to bring into my life, the new people that I will be able to minister to, the new situations, good and bad that will grow my faith and dependence on him. Even though I am not always a fan of change, I am a fan of growth, growth in my walk with the lord, growth in my character and the person God is molding and making me to be.

 I am a fan of developing new relationships, even though that requires changes in my life, changes in schedules and commitments.

 Over the years God has brought many changes in my life, from where I lived, to the people that were in my life, to the things that I enjoyed. But the one thing that never changed was his pursuit of my heart.

He has pursued me and drawn me into his heart. He has trained me, loved me back to health and stability and he has taught me the essence of a life lived on purpose for him. He has developed in me such a hunger for more of his Holy Spirit, how you may wander? Well through him revealing more of himself to me, makes me want more of him every day, I am never satisfied with staying where I am in my relationship with him when I know that he has more to share with me.

 One of the biggest changes that he has brought into my life comes from;

  Romans 12:2

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. 

When God first revealed this verse to me, it honestly did not mean to much to me, but as the years have gone on I have discovered that for me to truly come into a deep and intimate walk with God through the Holy Spirit, I need to renew my mind daily, in other words, I need to welcome the change, from the old way of thinking, and living and behaving to God’s way for me.

 I would love to say that this happened over night, but I would be a liar. The truth is, I had to learn to embrace the changes that God wanted to make in my life. I had to want him more than I wanted my sin, I had to learn to lay that stuff down and allow him to show me a better way of living. A way of living that brought life and refreshment into my heart and mind. A way of living that said I choose God and I choose to change my mind about living in an ungodly way.

 How about you? Are you resistant to the change that God wants to bring into your life? Are you resisting choosing him over the sin that brings a moment of pleasure for a life time of death? If you find yourself in this place, I want to tell you that all is not lost.

 There is no time like the present to make a stand for God, to willingly embrace the change that he wants to bring into your life. I have heard people say, “yes but if I truly surrender to God then I am afraid that he will send me to a place somewhere I don’t want to go to be a missionary” I have had those same thoughts myself. The good news is this; God loves you, and wants what is best for you.

 He wants to bring life and joy and peace and hope into your life, unlike the devil that specializes in death and destruction.

There is a verse that I think describes God’s heart towards us the best;

 Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 

If you are feeling the stirrings of a change coming in your life, or even a change of your attitude towards sin, I pray that you will not resist the Holy Spirit’s effort to bring you into a deeper walk with God, and a greater freedom than you ever have experienced before. 

It is not a scary thing to walk with him, in my opinion it is far scarier facing changes without him.

Take a moment right now and search your heart, decide where you are in your walk with the lord, if you are stubbornly holding onto the old way of thinking and living, I pray that you will be stirred within your heart to let it go, embrace the Holy Spirit I know that you will not be disappointed in what he has for you.

Prayer

Dear Lord Jesus, I acknowledge that I have been resisting your efforts to bring change into my life, I realize that all change is not bad, help me to stop resisting you and embrace instead what you have for me, I lay down the control that I have been seeking to have in my life and I ask that you oh lord will be my leader and controller instead. Forgive me lord and fill me a fresh with your Holy Spirit, help me to have a spirit that is willing to be taught by you always.

Thank you lord

Amen

 

 

What a week this has been!

Have you ever had a week were you might have thought to yourself, “Could I please get a refund, I am not having fun” Well that is how my past week has gone and to be honest, a refund right now will really help.

So what have I learned from this week, well a couple of things?

When you to set your heart and mind to walk closer with the Holy Spirit, endeavoring to trust him moment by moment, that resolve is tested.

My hearts desire is to walk in a deeper, strong and surrendered life with God, but my flesh loves to often have the last say in the matter. As I have tried to remain focused on the lord, and let him guide me, a few things have become very apparent to me.

 The first thing is, that if I am to learn to truly walk in “The Spirit all of the time” that I have to choose to do it every moment, not just sometimes during the day and not others.

I need to pay attention to the voice of the Holy Spirit when he is speaking to me, even about the little things.

 If I don’t I find that I miss what he is trying to lead me into.

 For instance, at the beginning of the week I chose to cancel a meeting that I had scheduled for Sunday, if I had not paid attention to the leading of the Holy Spirit and cancelled the meeting, I would have had a house full of guest and two very sick kids. Instead, thankfully I had listened and cancelled the meeting, and my two kids have had the day to rest and recuperate.

 The other thing that I learned throughout my “give me a refund week” was that when I continually chose to walk closer to God, and things were not always smooth sailing, I knew, that I had a strength to rely on, a wisdom to tap into and a confidence in my God to help me through whatever came my way.

 In the midst of it all, the lord opened my eyes to a little gift that he had for me, and that was another part of the restoration of who I am as his daughter. I had the privilege of being able to attend my son’s high school graduation celebrations. He wore the cap and gown, and looked so grown up that part of me wanted to cry out with pride at all that he has achieved and the other part of me wanted to cry out for my baby, the one I had loved, nurtured, cuddled, tickled, disciplined, laughed with, oh the memories.

 It was bittersweet, as I know that we are now entering a new phase of our lives as his parents, but I know that even in that, as I cling to the lord, for strength, wisdom, counsel and life, he will continue to lead and guide me, and show me how to be the kind of mother, that will welcome my grown son, and one day his future wife into my home. The kind of mother that will pray always for her boy turned man that he will never stray from what God has placed in his heart.

I praise God, that he so lovingly leads us and grows us into people whose hearts belong to him. I praise him that he draws us to him always, and then shows us how to walk his way, a way that will not bring us harm but life.

I don’t know where you are on your walk with God, through his Holy Spirit, today, but I do know that as he is teaching me to walk moment by moment with him, a little nudge here and a nudge there, he wants to do the same with you.

 If this is a new concept for you, “having a personal and moment by moment relationship with God” do not worry about messing up, be concerned about seeking him, he will show you the way, he will speak into your heart what is best for you, and I promise you, he will not lead you down a path that will lead you into destruction.

My prayer for you today, is that you will allow the Holy Spirit, to draw you into a deeper walk with the lord, I pray that you will all him to refresh you, and fill you to the full knowledge of God.

 When you find yourself in a week like I just had, you to can be reassured that the Holy Spirit will be your strength, your hope, your wisdom and your guidance, he will not leave you to figure it out by yourself.

 Take a risk, and trust him today, you will be amazed at how much peace you will experience, through it all.

 

 

 

Distractions

 Lately I have struggled so much with distractions in my life, from the telephone, to face book to dealing with children and life in general, and to be honest it is all driving me a bit batty!

 Why you may ask?

 Well I know that there are certain things that I want to do in my life, places I want to visit, and people I would love to minister to and most importantly of all I want to develop a deeper relationship with God. However, some times I feel like there is an invisible army bent on me not achieving any of those lofty goals.

 I actually snapped at my poor husband yesterday because he came to repair my computer, I told him to leave me alone and let me finish what I was trying to do as I was in the last stages of up loading an article onto my site. That does not sound bad, but my attitude stunk, therefore I needed to go to him and ask him to forgive me for my bad attitude, which I did.

I have come to realize through all of this that even though there are many distractions in my day that come between me and what I feel that I need to do, I am my own worst enemy, I allow these things in and don’t say no when it is appropriate. I feel that sometimes I need to be there for everyone all of the time and my schedule is not that important.

The truth is that my schedule is important, because God has plans and purposes for my life. He tells us in his word that we have been created to do good works while we are here on this earth. He prepared those things in advance for us, so that when we did them, we would bring him glory, we would get great satisfaction out of it, and joy and know that we are impacting the world for him.

Ephesians 2:10

 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. 

The lord reminds me of this fact that he has indeed placed me in this time of history to fulfill his plans for the furthering of the kingdom and that in order for me to be a part of that, I need to learn self control, boundaries and obedience to his leading.

I need to set aside my agenda and ask him to show me his. I have discovered that his plans and purposes for my life are way more extravagant than I could have dreamed up. His will for my life, will probably hold some pain and sorrow, but through those things I will learn to turn my head and eyes to him for my comfort and joy. He will use those times to build me up in his character.

Therefore, even these distractions that I feel are trying to come between me and what God has for me, is training ground, training me to recognize what is important in my life, what is not, what to pursue and what to walk away from. It has shown me that I am to cling even closer to him, so that he can help me manage these distractions and therefore learn to walk in victory with him.

If you are finding that life is passing you by at break neck speed and that you are barely holding on, stop!

 Ask God to help you remember the dreams that he has placed in your heart, the desires that you have long since buried due to busyness, commitments, over commitments, work or whatever else.

He placed those dreams there, so that you will one day see them fulfilled.

 When we are diligently seeking the lord, we can trust him to give us his desires to walk in, the enemy might try to convince us that they are sinful, or stupid or to crazy, but the truth of the matter is this, if God placed them in your heart, he did it so that it would benefit his kingdom, that people would be blessed as you walk in your sweet spot with God.

 Stop running today, slow down, smell the roses and ask the Lord how he wants you to prioritize your life today.

 I am sure that there will be many new articles written by me, due to having the right priorities.

 I pray that God will bless you today as you seek to walk in his will and not let the distractions take you away from accomplishing it.