Archive | November 2011

You Cannot Imagine~

WELCOME – Brothers and Sisters!

Thank you for visiting today whether it is the first time or yet again – I am glad you stopped by. 

It is always my prayer that you will find a word of encouragement and inspiration during these

times as you seek JESUS – your Friend and mine.

Journey on – for when you seek Him – you will find Him.

Today our scripture focus is from the book of Psalm –

Chapter 108 – verse 4:

“Your love reaches higher than the heavens, and your loyalty extends beyond the clouds”

Halleluiah!

Don’t those words just warm your very heart and soul!

God loves us greatly and I am forever grateful and pray that you are too.

To put His Love in perspective – think of the person you love most – that love pales in comparison to the love of God!

There’s a limit to your love, but God’s is UNLIMITED.

There are conditions to your love, but God’s is UNCONDITIONAL.

You cannot imagine

how amazingly powerful and profound

God’s love is for you – for all of us – His Children!

So then let us REJOICE that nothing can ever separate us from it.

And remember:

The Lord sees you.

The Lord hears you.

The Lord is ever and always near you.

Let us end with a prayer – 

Lord, thank you for your love.  Help us to trust the height and depth of it.

Praises to You Father.

Amen.


Being Responsible…

Warmest Welcome My Friend!

It is with joy and thanksgiving that I am sharing words of 

encouragement and inspiration

with you today!

Our scripture focus is Psalm 100: 3-4 —

“Acknowledge that the Lord is God.  

He made us, and we are His—His people, the sheep of His pasture.  

Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise.”

Halleluiah!

I thank the Lord daily that He is God and that we are His.  

As we move toward Advent and then the Lenten season –

we would greatly benefit from remembering the time our

Lord Jesus spent here on earth.  His every word and deed focused on crucial issues of life and ministry which he wanted his disciples to learn.  Lessons that would enable them to be RESPONSIBLE and make decisions to fulfill both their own lives and God’s purpose for them.  We can believe those lessons are still there for us to live out our lives today.  

On our journey  – we must decide to take RESPONSIBILITY for our lives and know that God is in ALL of life, not just in “religious” things, and that everything we do is important in our relationship with him.  

My friend, how many times have you heard someone say:

“It’s God’s will, and there’s nothing I can do about it.”

“I’m only human.  What do you expect of me?”

“That’s just the way I am.”

“I can’t help it.  That’s the way I was brought up.”

Well, these statements are indicative of a few of the games people play in trying to avoid responsibility for their lives.  I read that one of the reasons for astrology’s popularity in our culture is its easy escape from responsibility.  After all, if your horoscope says that today is a bad day for you,  you can blame the stars if things go wrong.  

Some Christians who never read their horoscope do the same thing by using “God’s will” as an escape hatch for their lack of COURAGE to decide and act.

Some of us find ourselves in a strange situation.  Some of us yearn for the freedom to be our own person but fear the very freedom we yearn for.  When we are children, our parents provided protection and security–which is right and proper but the family relationship can sometimes be smothering if it does not allow room for growth and maturity.  

This is not God’s plan for any of us.  He has given us gifts, he has given us potential, he has given us the opportunity to choose and to be responsible to him for our choices.  In every area of life– in how we relate to Him–in what we do and say–in how we relate to other people–in how we spend our time and money–in how we do our work–in all these areas lie endless opportunities for responsible decision-making.

My brothers and sisters – not to choose is to narrow the possibilities that are open to us.  

Most people fail not because they are bad, not because they don’t have resources, not because the circumstances of life hem them in.  

They fail because they do not live decisively.

They don’t answer the questions life is always asking us:  where are you going? what are you doing? where is your brother? what is the meaning of this? and many other similar questions.

Jesus was very much aware of the difficulty many of us have in living decisively.  That’s why, on His journey to Jerusalem, he impressed on his disciples the importance of taking responsibility for their lives, for the Good News, and for God’s world.  Jesus need if he didn’t teach them this then how could they possibly accomplish the tasks which lay ahead of them?

Wisely, some think, Jesus did not give his disciples blueprints and rules to follow.  Instead, he gave them principles which encouraged them to think, feel, and act out of who they were in their RELATIONSHIP to him.  These principles are said to be:

1.  God has given you a life to manage.  (what will you do with it?)

2.  You are a manager, not an owner (see Luke 20:9-16  —God is sovereign and the owner of ALL not us)

3.  The necessity of risk.  (God has given us gifts – we must risk putting them into action or risk losing them—see Luke 19:26

4.  Correcting your relationships with others

(we are responsible for the state of our relationships with other people.  It is not enough to say “I’ll just turn this troublesome relationship over to the Lord in prayer” and let him correct it.  We are to work actively at maintaining healthy and growing relationships with our brothers and sisters.)

5.  You must stay alert in order to be responsible.  

(If we accept that we are managers in God’s world and not owners, then in that role we must be alert to the presence of the Spirit, both inside and outside of ourselves.  Such an alertness gives added dimension to life, and saves us from becoming dull with routine and boredom.  When we are spiritually alive, we are less tempted to become weary and attracted by other interests that dull our sensitivity and get us off the track of God’s plan for our lives.  

Friend, be alert to the variety of ways God comes to us–ways that we often don’t anticipate.  Just as the Jews missed the Messiah, It is easy for us to miss God when he comes through faces and voices and opportunities we don’t expect.  

Last, on his journey to Jerusalem, Jesus not only talked about responsibility, but he lived a model that the disciples could follow.  He lived decisively, never forgetting that his Father had given him a life to manage, never forgetting who he was, never afraid to risk, always sensitive to God’s presence and leading.

Let us end with a prayer —

Lord, please help us to recognize we have possibilities and realize you did not create us to be a “nothing”.  And also, help us please to accept responsibility to live our lives decisively and own the choices that we make knowing that “I(We) can do all things through Jesus Christ who strengthens us – and with God (you Lord) all things are possible.”

Praise God.

Thank You Lord.

Amen.

Sacrificial Giving…

Good Morning Friend and Welcome!

I praise God and thank Him for your visit. 

As we continue on our journey seeking JESUS 

I remain very prayerful the words you find here on this particular day will still be

encouraging and inspiring.

I will share that my heart is heavy after watching a TV program

about the HOMELESS in our world

who are in CRISIS facing the incredible and DAILY dilemma –

lack of  food and shelter.

I thought to myself – Lord JESUS please help us!

I lifted all the HOMELESS families who I saw on tv and the MANY who were not pictured

in prayer

asking the Lord to please touch hearts and minds

so we may care enough to sacrifice freely and give generously

to our brothers and sisters.

And because of this WORLD situation – 

our Scripture focus today is Psalm 54:6 —

“I will freely sacrifice to You…”

My brothers and sisters – do you freely sacrifice and give generously to those in need?  

Scripture says “it is more blessed to give  than to receive”  (Acts 20:35)

I read recently about a man who truly sacrificed in his giving, not by giving what he could AFFORD,

for what sacrifice is that?  

but by giving MORE than he had to SPARE.  

After all a sacrifice is only a sacrifice when you give from your needs not from your excess,

and it is when we do this that we truly live as we should – sharing and sacrificing for those in need.

Well here is the rest of the story about the man I mentioned above –

one day he found he had a spare $20 dollar bill in his hand and wondered – should he give it to the poor, for he did not need it himself.  

Then he wondered – should he give it as a church offering, for that would be a sacrifice to God –

or should he put it in the bank,  where the bankers would easily make another buck or two they really didn’t need or deserve. 

He thought for a while and then decided that he would not put the money in the bank – as that would only benefit the rich bankers.  

He also decided not to give it as a church offering for the church members seem well fed and focused on themselves.

He decided to give it to the poor, for they have little and are always in need.

The man found a beggar on the street and gave him the $20 bill.  

The beggar was so GRATEFUL for he knew he and his family would eat that day!

The man was happy and decided to give the beggar another $20 bill

KNOWING that he really needed it himself.  

The beggar thanked him and kissed his hands.

The man was again so touched by the beggars’ response that he gave him the last $20 bill he had with him.  

The rejoicing of the beggar to the man’s generosity attracted others to the area to find out what was happening.  

Hearing what the man had done, some said he was foolish giving so much away to the poor.  

A priest who was there said he hoped the man had paid his tithes,

while others laughed that the beggar could trick someone into giving them so much.  

The man, however did not care;

he felt so happy at having been able to help a needy person,

and he just ignored the comments of those who criticized him.

When the man returned home, his wife asked him if he had bought the food he went to the market for??

 The man explained what he had done with the money

and told how happy he felt at helping the poor.  

His wife looked at him and saw the JOY in his face, a joy she had never seen before.  

She said she was happy that he’d been so kind to the poor .

That evening they did not eat

because the man had given the money away that was intended to buy their food,

but they did not mind

because the sacrifice was well worth it.

They thought like many others that  “those who give to the poor will receive rewards in heaven far greater than could ever be imagined. “

There are others who thought – surely, if the man gave the money to the church he would be rewarded because that is the house of God.

But, a response was that to truly be the house of God means to reflect the LOVE of God, and how many of those in churches do that today?

Many sit in fine clothes with all they need and MORE,

while the poor starve and drop dead daily in the streets.  

The LOVE of God is far from the hearts of many church goers today

and many churches worry more about their tithes

(or lack of them)

than about the people they should be helping.  

So, to give to this type of church is not to give to God.

One last person asked –  but why did the man give ALL of his money to the beggar?  

Surely, he should have kept what he needed for himself and family??  

The response was than some are led to give their all from time to time.  

To do without temporarily in order to be a blessing to someone else RIGHT NOW!

And in this case, the man received all he needed from the beggar in the form of his gratitude.

It filled the man’s heart with joy and that is more important than

temporarily doing without (sacrificing)

or any amount of money.

You may be wondering what is the lesson from the story?  

Is it that we should give everything away??

No, certainly not.

The message is that there is no sacrifice in giving away what you do not need.  

To sacrifice means to give from what YOU need

to those who have a more PRESSING and URGENT need.

And in this way you share from your heart and will find your heart rewarded.

Let us end with a prayer —

“Lord, please show us how to be a blessing to others

– by giving generously and sacrificially

using the treasure, time and talent

from which we’ve been blessed by you.”

Praise God.

Thank You Lord!

Amen.


God’s Word and Voice…

Welcome – Welcome Friend!

It is a blessing to me to share with you words that I’m prayerful are encouraging and inspiring – on this day – and at this moment.  

I thank the Lord for the opportunity to serve Him in this way.  

Our Scripture focus today is from the joyous book of Psalm:

Chapter 119 verse 105—

“Thy Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path.” 

The Lords asks us to believe His Word! We are to read them, study them; store them in our hearts, use them as you use a lamp to guide our footsteps.  

His Word is even more than that.  It is the Voice that speaks to our hearts, that inner consciousness that tells of Him.

It is the Voice that speaks to us intimately and personally –

our Lord, Savior and Friend.  

(“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”  John 1:14)

Halleluiah!

God LOVES us so very much.  

And even though this is true – there are those who may forget it and begin to feel powerless and insignificant  – wondering if anyone cares?

The answer is YES – God cares and each of us should too!

God is calling us to be his representatives of LOVE and show support and that we care.

Psalm 82:3 says —

“Defend the weak and the orphans; defend the rights of the poor and suffering.”

Who do you know that needs a friend?

Rather than forget about them, find out what you can do to better their situation.  

Sometimes our listening ear, willing heart, and prayers can encourage a person more than we realize.  

Because of you(us), they’ll know that God hasn’t forgotten about them.

Let us end with this prayer —

God, is there someone you want us to help today? Please bring them to our minds and show us how to love them as You would.  

Thank You Father.

All Praises, Glory And Honor To You.

Amen.