"Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."  Hebrews 4:16

Category Archives: Christian Living


Keeping Perspective

Keeping Perspective - Beautiful TreesBroken promises, feeling taken for granted, unappreciated, unloved or misunderstood-these are things that can steal our joy. They cause us to lose sight of who we are in Christ and to whom we belong.

Sin also robs us of joy. One of my own heart’s fondest desires is to live at all times in the joy of the Lord. I long for it so much that if I find it missing, I cannot waste a moment until I have it back again.

Many times that means getting on my knees in repentance. Sometimes it is pouring out my broken heart to God, other times it is simply refocusing my thoughts on Jesus. Even in the midst of broken promises and feeling unloved, when I consider where my hope lies, I can be joyful.

If the Apostle Paul could praise God and hold fast to his joy while in chains, how can we who are free, do any less? Paul’s thoughts were not of himself and his own suffering. He focused on telling others about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He had things in perspective. His priorities were right with God.

Joy is not necessarily a feeling of happiness, though at times it can be. It is a deep assurance that no matter the situation at hand, we have much to look forward to. No matter the storms that surround us, we know that we are children of God and that He loves and cares for us. We can get excited when we think of all He has waiting for us in our Heavenly Home. How can we help but be joyful if we place our hope in Him and take our eyes off the things of the world.

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


The Pity Party:

Pity Party TearsLast night I threw myself a pity party and no one attended.  I was feeling alone and abused due to an issue I have.  I won’t go into details about the precise issue…we all have them.  I couldn’t sleep so I cried all night.  This morning I finally remembered to pray and the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart that I didn’t have to feel the way I did; that I could have gone into God’s Word and prayed for peace.  He reminded me that I wasn’t really ever alone and that I need to behave like a child of God.

Why did I not pick up God’s Word and seek Him?  I did sort of pray but it felt like my prayers were hitting the ceiling and my prayers were all about feeling abused how others were blaming me for something I didn’t do.  I should have prayed in the Spirit since God says that doing so will edify me.  I don’t know why I didn’t seek Jesus in the Word of God but hopefully I will never again fail to do so.

As I spent time in the Word this morning and prayed in the Spirit I realized that I need to behave like a Christian and allow others to think and feel what they think and feel. I can’t change the mind of others.  I can only control and change my own behavior.  So I am calm and joyful today because of the Word of God and because I listened to the Spirit and was obedient.  By the grace of God, I will never throw myself another pity party.

 


Wings:

Birds on the Wing

Leaning back in my chair I look up and see a beautiful bird struggling to fly southward against the strong, gusty winds blowing across the lake. It has kept up the hopeless pursuit for hours as it makes longer and wider circles to build speed. Turning again to face the wind, it hangs as if suspended from the heavens, wings flapping in vain. I watch as it returns to the tree on the bank where another bird sits watching the great effort.

The birds sit with their heads close together as if planning their strategy against the blustery weather. Soon they both take to the air. Soaring northward, the wind is under their wings and they glide effortlessly. Circling, they face the strong currents. Unable to make any headway, they return to the tree discouraged but not defeated.  I sit until evening. The intense winds have turned into gentle breezes and the birds victoriously wing their way to whatever southbound destination they are so determined to reach.

Standing beside the lake where the water kisses the shore, I search the horizon for one last glimpse of the birds. In spite of the windstorm, they are gone. I bow my head thinking of the storms in my own life that do more than ruffle my feathers. Just as He did for the birds, God makes a way through for me. I toss a pebble into the lake water, then lift my hands toward Heaven and praise The Lord. He gives power to rise above whatever life may bring against me when I set my mind and belief upon Him.

I return to my lounge chair on the shore, fluff my pillow behind my back and relax. Gentle breezes like the breath of God caress my face and whisper in my ear. I thank Him that the storms that bring sickness, failure, tragedy and disappointment do not have to overcome. He lifts me and I move forward even stronger than before.

“They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall walk and not be weary, they shall run and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)


Unfriended by Jesus

The Bible states, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile.” Romans 1:16-17  (For anyone who doesn’t know, if you’re not a Jew, you’re a Gentile or a Greek in Biblical terms.)

FacebookDo you share your faith with others? Why are we hesitant to talk about Jesus with our friends or our acquaintances? I understand that it can be difficult…it is for me sometimes. But the Bible also states, “If people are ashamed of me and what I say, the Son of Man will be ashamed of those people when he comes in the glory that he shares with the Father and the holy angels.” Luke 9:26

 

I’m more afraid of being ashamed before God and His Holy Angels than I am of being “unfriended” or snubbed by those who don’t want to hear about Him. To put it another way, I’d rather be “unfriended” by a human being than by Jesus. Not that Jesus would ever abandon us (or unfriend us 😀 ) but to be embarrassed or ashamed before God is just unthinkable.

Why does it makes some people so angry when they see or hear anything about God, Jesus, Holy Spirit or Christianity? Are they scared of the gospel? Are they born again Christians who have strayed, are they unsaved?  Who are these people? Whoever they are, they definitely need Christ. And deep down, they know it. And we know it too. That’s why we need to share our faith as often as we can with as many people as possible. We can at least plant a seed, maybe somone else will water it and yet another can harvest a soul for The Kingdom. Facebook

We should do everything we can to bring every person in to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and save them from unquenchable fires of hell.

 

 

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Stay Connected:

Naked, the trees stretch toward a merciless winter sky; not even a blanket of snow for warmth. Outside my window, they are big, gray skeletons, their bones rattling in the wind. They look lonely-forsaken by God. One is missing a limb and the large trunk with its deep roots seems too big for the remaining branches. The missing limb had once been adorned with handsome foliage and delicate blossoms. It provided luxuriant shade for a family picnic and a solid anchor for a child’s swing. Made fruitful by the moisture from a rich soil and from the root which carried life-giving sap, it had been glorious. But was not able to stay connected.

But somehow, the missing limb became insufficient and barren. Perhaps no one pruned the tree and the limb eventually became diseased and threatened the other branches. However it became unfruitful, its doom was to be severed.
As Christians, we are called upon to “keep ourselves in the Lord” if we want to be fruitful. We may think we have no talent for serving the Lord, or we simply do not know how. But our worth and value are in Him. If His words are in us, if we are connected to Him, we have only to ask and He will give us the power and desire to do His will.
“If you are in me at all times, and my words are in you, then anything for which you make a request will be done for you.” (John 15:7)

There are those who are content with “just scraping by” as a Christian. One woman I know told me she would be satisfied to live in a small corner of Heaven in a shack like in the song, “Just Give Me a Cabin in the Corner of Glory Land”.
Would she, or any of us, look into the face of our Savior and say, “No, I don’t care to serve You, so just give me the smallest cabin you have and I’ll be fine”? Surely, we would rather have the finest, which God has prepared for us.
“In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you”. (John 14: 2)

So we should be grateful to God for continually pruning the diseased parts of our lives so we can stay rooted in Him. We don’t want to be like the severed limb on the tree in my yard…cut off from the source that makes it alive, viable and serviceable…detached from the giver of life and thrown into the fire. I for one, will not be satisfied with a cabin in the corner! I want all that God has for me here on earth, and in Heaven, I want a mansion. A gold one, that’s silver-lined!

“I’ve got a mansion just over the hilltop, In that bright land where we’ll never grow old. And someday yonder, we will never more wander, but walk on streets that are purest gold.”

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