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Friday, October 28, 2011

Love Them Anyway - Quote

"People are unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered. Love them anyway.
If you do good, people may accuse you of selfish motives. Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you may win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
Honesty and transparency make you vulnerable. Be honest and transparent anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway.
People who really want help may attack you if you help them. Help them anyway.
Give the world the best you have and you may get hurt. Give the world your best anyway."   - Mother Teresa

Monday, October 24, 2011

Don't Look Back

"But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.  What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things.  I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ--the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.  Philippians 3:7-9   (NIV)

"But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."  Philippians 3: 13b-14 



Saturday, October 22, 2011

Third day- King of Glory

Boundless Love

"God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."  John 3:16, NKJV

"Do you doubt the love of God? Why? Because of the bad things that He allows to happen to good people? Because of the unfairness and injustice and unkindness and misery and suffering and pain and cruelty of life? Some questions we won't have answers for until we get to heaven. But one thing we can know for sure is that God loves you and me. How do we know that? We know it by just looking at the cross where He proved His love for the world that mocks Him and ignores Him and despises Him and scorns Him and rejects Him. We look at the cross and see "I love you" written in red - the red of Christ's blood."   Anne Graham Lotz

The above quote by Anne Graham Lotz is one that I totally agree with, based on God's Word.  We are not meant to understand why some things happen as they do. One of my favorite scriptures is found in Isaiah 55:8. Here, God tells us that His thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways. He has a greater plan than we can ever imagine, and in the end, it will be amazing! 

We learn many things from the Bible, but there is still so much that we are not privileged to know at this time.  Our finite minds could not handle it, because God is God and we're not!  As the old song says, "We will understand it better by and by."  I agree with that statement, but I am not sure it will really matter that much, because we'll be in the presence of Jesus and our focus will center on praising and honoring Him for eternity for what He did for us on the cross.  To the Christian, there is no greater promise than one day seeing Jesus face to face.

The song below is an older Southern Gospel song that was introduced by The Cathedrals Quartet and has become a timeless testament to the boundless love of God through Jesus Christ our Lord.  I hope that you are encouraged by the words.

Boundless Love

There is not a mother, sister, friend, or brother
Loves the way that Jesus can
He proved His love for me when He died on Calvary
He gave His life for fallen man

His love is a boundless love
And it reaches down and touches me
His love is an endless love
That will last for all eternity

Jesus wants to love you, there is none above you
You are precious in His sight
He will never fail you when the doubts assail you
He’ll be with you day and night

Author: Dianne Wilkinson

Prayer:  Dear God, thank You for giving unconditional and boundless love that reaches out to each of us.  Help us to accept that love willingly and with humbleness.  Truly, there is no one who can love us like You can.  Give us peace in the midst of the storms that rage around us, and help us to trust and never doubt that in the end, seeing Jesus face to face will be worth it all. This we pray in the mighty name of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.  Amen.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Scars

"Never be ashamed of the scars that life has left you with.  A scar means that the hurt is over, the wound is closed,  you endured the pain, and God has healed you."  Anonymous

The above thought came from a friend's Facebook page.  I am so thankful that we serve a mighty God who heals our wounds, hears and answers our prayers, and then patiently and lovingly works to conform us to be  more like Jesus.  We will always be a work in progress. What a wonderful thing it is to know that helping us to go forward instead of backward is His specialty!  

Below are words to an old hymn called "Jesus Paid It All." The words have great meaning for those who have been picked up, dusted off, and made clean through the shed blood of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Jesus  Paid It All

Gone is all my debt of sin,
A great change is brought within,
And to live, I now begin,
Risen from the fall;

Yet the debt I did not pay,
Someone died for me one day,
Sweeping all the debt away,
Jesus paid it all.

Chorus:
Jesus died and paid it all,
Yes, on the cross of Calvary,
And my stony heart was melted
At His dying, dying call.
O, His heart in shame was broken,
On the tree for you and me,
And the debt, the debt is cancelled,
Jesus paid it, paid it all.

M.S. Schaffer, Copyright, 1944, Stamps-Baxter Music.

Prayer:  Father, God, thank you for the gift of Your Son, Jesus Christ.  Thank you, Jesus, for dying for our sins, for we never have nor will we ever deserve such love.  May we serve and honor You all the days of our lives in gratitude for what You did for us on the cross.  Give us strength and wisdom to always represent you well while we are here on earth.  Thank you for loving us.  It is in Your name that we pray.  Amen.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Restore and Refresh

“In the race of life, God our heavenly Father has come alongside us through the Person of the Holy Spirit. And when we think we can't go one more step, He puts His everlasting arms around us and gently walks with us to the finish."   Anne Graham Lotz

Yesterday, my blog article spoke to the fact that in my own "busyness" I recently experienced somewhat of a temporary spiritual depletion.  Desperately needing uninterrupted time alone with God, my focus turned to Him.  At that moment the refreshment to my soul began. Like a stream of cool water flowing over me on a hot summer day, I felt His presence, peace, and love in an amazing way.  There is no doubt that even as big as God is, He is always concerned about each of us individually.  After all, we are His creation and we DO need His help to get through this life.  

In the quote above, we are reminded that God has provided the Holy Spirit to be with us at all times. During times when we struggle to keep going, He is there to lead us to quiet, green pastures.  The quote also reinforces God's promise that He will never leave us nor forsake us; that we are never alone through our spiritual depletion, or the trying circumstances and struggles of life, no matter what they may be.  When we trust God to restore and refresh us spiritually, He never fails to do so.  Since His mercies are new every morning, these times of spiritual depletion don't have to last.  We serve a great and powerful God who is near to us at all times. He is as close as the mention of His name.  His greatest desire is that we call on Him to be the only Father who will never fail us.  He cannot fail because He is God!

"As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God." Psalm 42:1

"Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning."  Lamentations 3:23

Prayer:  Father God, I love You and thank you for this beautiful day.  May it be a day that is not wasted, but used to live by example as we strive to show others who You are. Father, help each person reading these words trust in You today for the strength to keep going. Please bring peace, love, joy, and the comfort that You are so gracious in giving to Your children.  Restore, refresh, and renew each of us today.  This I pray in the precious name of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.  Amen.




Sunday, October 16, 2011

Be Still and Know That I Am God

"Be still and know that I am God."  Psalm 46:10

Recently, there have been many distractions in my life.  These distractions have not allowed  me time to "be still" before God.  Here's the truth, though.  I did not make the time for myself, but in taking care of the needs of others for the past few weeks, I have neglected my own spiritual health care.  I can do both, but this time, I just didn't, and so I began to feel overwhelmed.  I totally "got it" that this was not the place God wanted me to be.  He knows my heart.  He is number one in my life.  But, life can get in the way if we are not careful and this was where I found myself. 

Even though I was involved in Bible studies and spent time encouraging others in their faith, I was spiritually used up because I did not take the time to stop and  nourish my own soul.  During this time, I literally longed to be alone with God--just to rest in Him; to breathe in His peace and to feel His presence. Some may not understand where I am coming from, but others will.  It's the longing to be close to our heavenly Father, to come home to His loving arms wrapped around us; to feel the peace and security that only a relationship with Him can bring.

Thanks to my wonderful daughter, I had the opportunity to go away to a retreat with her and some ladies from her church this weekend.  It was a small and intimate group--some very Godly ladies, with whom I felt a connection from the very beginning. The theme was "Being Still Before God", based on Psalm 46:10.

So, on a cool and beautiful weekend in the Hill Country of Central Texas, my daughter, the other ladies and I were able to be still before God. We were able to take time out of the daily rush and grind of the thing we call "life."  We saw that God is so big and acknowledged that our situations or circumstances were so small when it came to His BIG picture.  Because we sometimes have a skewed way of seeing our own circumstances, this time alone with one another and God was a gentle and soft reminder that He loves us beyond measure and is always there to guide and provide.  His loving arms are always open for us to fall into and seek His strength, power, and help.

The song that I have posted below has some powerful words.  During this retreat we listened to it many times,  along with the sound of the ocean.  This was especially meaningful to me because I have always said that there is nothing more therapeutic for me than the sound of waves crashing upon the shore.

This weekend was a peaceful and nourishing time of renewal. May each of you be blessed and take time to "Be still and know that He is God."  Find your own retreat away from the circumstances in your life and get alone with God.  He will meet you there.  I promise you that!!

Prayer:  Father, God, I thank you for this amazing time away that I have had this weekend.  Thank you for the opportunity to be with Shelly; to connect with her heart in this special setting; to share conversation and love as only a mother and daughter can do, and for the time we shared worshiping You.  You are an awesome God!  Bless all of the wonderful ladies that I met.  Each came to the retreat carrying unnecessary baggage that weighed them down.  Life can sometimes do that to us, so please lighten their loads and make them shining examples of Godly women wherever they go.  Thank you for strengthening me. I pray for those reading this post who might be relating to the "busyness" of life, Father, that You would just help them to take the time to be still before You--to think on You.  Show them Your love and your presence.  I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.  Amen.

Be Still And Know