Monday, November 29, 2010

Right is Right

"It is better to be poor and direct,
than rich and crooked." Proverbs 28:6 (The Message)

This verse came to be a life lesson verse today for Peter, my 12 year old son.

You see, we had a 2nd cousin-in-law pass away a week ago. Today, his wife wanted all his clothes and such out. So my husband and son went to pick them up. When they did, she told them that she had looked pretty thoroughly through the pockets of his suits to make sure that there was no money left in them because Pat had a habit of putting money in his pockets. So, if they found anything later, they could go ahead and keep it.

Well, when my family got to the thrift store and starting to unload the bags, Peter grabbed the bag with Pat's shoes in it. He started pulling the shoes out and what do you think he found? Yup, he found a crumpled up bill. When he got it totally unfolded, Peter could hardly believe his eyes, but there looking at him, was a $100 bill!

Boy! Was Peter happy. You see, to us and probably to you, a $100 is a very large sum of money and especially for him, because he had never had one of his own. Now, to my cousin, it wasn't so much because Pat had been a lawyer his whole life, so she had seen a lot of $100 bills.

Peter comes by my office and shares the wonderful news with me--he had found $100 and he could keep it because after all, Cousin JoAnn had said that whatever money they found, they could keep. So, there it is. It's his, fair and square and he already had it spent.

It was true, she did say that they could keep whatever they found but my spirit told me what I had to do. I had to have Peter call Cousin JoAnn and share with her that fact that, yes, they did find money, but it wasn't a dollar or two or even ten--it was $100.

Peter was not happy with his mother. But right is right and I had to explain that we needed to at least give her a chance to either give it to him fair and square or take it back. Heaven wasn't worth a $100.

Well, she did take it back and though Peter was very disappointed, he agreed with this verse. At least tonight, he can look into his Heavenly Father's face, knowing he did the right thing and sleep that peaceful sleep that only a clear conscience can give you.

Has this story ever played out in your life? Have you every been in the position that, boy, nobody would be the wiser if you kept something that you got, but wasn't really suppose to be yours? It's easy these days to be tempted to take from those who have much--but don't give in.

Your God is such a gracious God--don't take His grace from Him by stealing from others something you need. In reality, He really is ALL you truly need, isn't He?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Trials or Opportunites?

"We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love." Romans 5:3-5 NLT

Have you ever experience someone--that is trying to be kind and supportive--come up and say to you as you are going through a trial, "Now remember, God doesn't give you more than you can handle."?

Is that true? Of course, at the time, you don't feel like it's true. You feel like what you are experiencing is waaaaay over your head. That you are totally not prepared to handle this trial. That somehow, God has you mixed up with your neighbor who could probably handle this.

Sometimes, God does give us more than we can handle. And He does it on purpose. Not to punish us. Not because He is mad at us. Not because you are a bad person. Not because He is trying to pick on you.

No. Sometimes God, in His love for us, gives us more that we can handle. What!? Whatever for? Why would a loving and gracious Father do that to His child?

He does it to help us to grow in character. To drive us to our knees and seek His face and heart with our heart and spirit. To us, what we are going through may be a very big thing in our world, but in the scheme of things, it is not so.

For as we see that the Lord will help us through all our trials and tribulations, what naturally happens? For one, we become stronger. Not only in character, but in spirit and faith. Secondly, our trust in our Heavenly Father just leaped to the next level. And thirdly, what an example to the people in our path. Isn't that what happened with Job? How about the martyrs? The apostles? Jesus. When others see your faith deepen and strengthen during trials instead of cursing or turning away from your faith--what a witness!

When you are there, in the midst of your trial, are you alone? No. Of course not. Your heavenly Father loves and values you too much for that. You can be sure, He will equip you with the third person of the Trinity--the Holy Spirit.

Doesn't it seem like tradition for us humans to bond with others as we go through an life experience together. Cancer survivors. Losing a loved one. Financial despair. If we have shared the process at the same time with someone--they become our forever friend. We feel like we have a special bond with that person. Well, the same goes with our Heavenly Father. As we go through an event with Him, and He is there for us to cling to. To share the tears with. To give us the warm, encouraging, safe-harbour hugs to--we are bonded forever.

Our God is an awesome God! Be encouraged!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

To Seek or Not to Seek

"You have said, 'Seek my face.'

My heart says to you, 'Your face, LORD, do I seek.'" Psalm 27:8 ESV

Sometimes two lines can hit a heart string so deep. And this is one of those for me.

See if this makes sense to you. When I read these verses, it brings a thought--can it be that even when we are not, in our humanness, purposely setting out to seeking God's face--that our spirit inside of us is yearning for it anyway? That when we get caught up in the everyday "have to's" and don't take the time to purposely invite the Lord to join us and to control our day, our journey, our spirit/heart tries to make it happen on their own?

I know that may sound a little crazy and maybe I'm not explaining it very well, but what a thought? It's like a little seed that is under a pile of dirt and even if someone forgets to water it, it will continue to try to grow. It may make it, it may not--it depends on how long the person that in responsible for the seed, neglects it. But even if the person neglects the seed, does the seed give up and dies right away?

No, I don't think so. I think that for a while anyway, the seed has a natural desire--instinct--to survive. And it will do whatever it takes, for as long as it has the strength, to keep trying to get water. But, alas, if the source of water is empty too long, it will stop trying and just die.

Do you understand the correlation? That is how our spirit is. God gives each and every one of us one. It is a gift. We can choose to water it daily with His word and His presence--and it will continue to grow from the tiny little weak mustard seed into a huge, strong Oak, that can stand the test of time--or we can choose to starve it and it will sadly die.

I don't know about you, but shouldn't this be our prayer--or one like it--every day we wake up?

Please Lord, help me to see Your face today in all that I do. Guide me and protect me. Help me to stay on Your path for my life and not stray to the path that it not from You that I may find myself on. Thank you for loving me so much that You stay with me through good times and bad. Please forgive me when I take You and our relationship for granted. You ARE an awesome God. Amen.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Gift of a Temple

"You surely know that your body is a temple where the Holy Spirit lives. The Spirit is in you and is a gift from God. You are no longer your own. God paid a great price for you. So use your body to honor God." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 CEV

If you are like me, you've heard this message before. You can agree--OK, my body is a temple--that means that I am to respect it. In my personal case, I have always envisioned this flame, deep inside my rib cage, maybe behind the lungs--and that is where the Holy Spirit lives inside me.

Well, today reading this verse, a new thought came to me. What about our minds--our thoughts? If I was to rewrite this verse with that thought in mind, it would say this, "So use your mind/ thoughts to honor God." Wow! That puts a new twist on things don't it?

It seems that at times, we can put our body under the control of Christ and the Holy Spirit, but our minds are something else. It seems that we can come to the worldly thinking that what goes on in our minds is our own secret thing and it doesn't affect anything. But is that true?

If we say that we are God's chosen, that we treat our body like the temple that we need to do, in order to honor what He has done for us, yet keep our minds out of the picture, are we being complete? If we think thoughts of jealousy, of hatred, of gossip, is that honoring God? If we take drugs that impair our thought process, or get drunk, or fall into pornography and fill our minds with images that are truly not from God, are we honoring God with all of us?

I think you know the answer. If God wants us to honor Him with making our body a temple to the wonderful gift that He left for us to help us on our earthly walk, we need to incorporate ALL of our being--body, heart, soul & mind.

Jesus came and gave all of Himself to you--He didn't hold back anything--not even His very life. What about you? Can you reciprocate the same back to Him? Believe me, He wants you--all of you. Please give it to Him.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


"Do not worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks. And God's peace, which is so great we cannot understand it, will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7 NCV

Are you a worrier? Do you wake up some days and just feel grumpy and irritated and wonder what is wrong--then all of a sudden it is brought to your attention that what is wrong is that you're worrying about whatever it is that you are worrying about? Wow! Didn't see that coming.

Guess what? You're normal. I think we as a species were built to worry. That is one thing that is so awesome about being born again--we can be worry-free! We have a God that understands that about us and is constantly prodding us into remembering that He is there. That as a child of His, we don't have to give in to that instinct.

Do you remember when you were a baby how you use to worry? No, of course not! When we were infants, we didn't worry because our parents took care of that for us. Well, that is where we need to be right now. While, in most areas, I agree that we need to be continually maturing in our walk. But--though this may sound crazy--in this one area, I think we need to strive to be more infantile. Does this make sense to you? When you are more infantile, you don't know to worry. You just live. You just trust that things are going to workout.

Once you realize that you need not to worry, you're spiritual walk will reach a whole new level. What an amazing feeling! How do I know? I've been there. The moments that I have totally given my worries to my Heavenly Father, I have experienced such a sense of release and freedom--words cannot express.

Worry-free? You bet! Just pray and watch what the Lord will do!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


"But me, I'm not giving up.
I'm sticking around to see what God will do.
I'm waiting for God to make things right.
I'm counting on God to listen to me."
Micah 7:7 The Message

Have you ever been in a situation where you feel that you are just going around in circles, trying to make a difference, trying to wrong a right, trying to change an outcome--only to seemingly come out to the same place?

Well, that is where Micah was. Micah was trying to save Israel from itself. But it wouldn't listen. So what did he ended up doing? He ended up just stepping back, enjoying the show--watching to see what his God would do.

In the NIV version, the first line said it this way, "But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord." I watch in hope. I'm not giving up. What a wonderful way to show the world what the faith walk is all about!

We can depend on our Heavenly Father. He will make things right. He will honor our attempts at following His commands. He will protect us. He will listen to us.

Please remember that as long as you have hope, you can NOT lose. As long as you don't give up on what He has promised you, you will endure.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Life Verse

"Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do, be done in love." 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 NKJV

When ask, a young couple gave this verse as a life verse for their baby boy. What a wonderful life verse for all of us don't you think?

We all need to be on guard, to be able to not "fall asleep" at the wheel of our life trip. When things are good and calm and trouble-free, we tend to get complacent. We tend to think that we have this living the good life, the Christian way, down pack. That we are in total control, but are we?

We need to always remember that without our faith, we would be nothing. Without having our watch guard up all the time so that the world and Satan cannot get in and mess things up.

We need to be brave in and for the Lord. No, we are not like the martyrs of the early days that were burned at the stake or eaten by lions in the coliseums. The joy of being a Christian these days and living a Christian life is being challenged daily. Our rights are being taken away faster than we really want to admit. We can't pray in our schools anymore or at our graduations or in some cases, at our work places if you work in a government place. We need to be BRAVE.

But as with all things, our BRAVERY needs to be entwined with LOVE.

Whenever Jesus was angry or frustrated with His followers, He held them accountable, but it was always done with LOVE. He didn't go off and have a mental breakdown with a bombardment of angry, hurtful words. He would choose His words carefully--making sure that they were right-on, from His Heavenly Father, spoken in LOVE--but always to the point.

What a lovely, life living verse for all of us to memorize to heart and live in action.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Heaven's Soldier

"Timothy, my dear son, be strong through the grace that God gives you in Christ Jesus. You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed through reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others.

Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. Soldiers don't get tied up in the affairs of civilian life, for then they cannot please the officer who enlisted them. And athletes cannot win the prize unless they follow the rules. and hardworking farmers should be the first to enjoy the fruit of their labor. Think about what I am saying. The Lord will help you understand all these things." 2 Timothy 2:1-7 NLT

Our son Peter is the one that has brought these passages to my attention. He's 12 years old and comes from a long line of servicemen. Mostly Marines, but my dad, his grandpa, was in the Navy and his nephew, our grandson, is in the Army.

So, it goes without saying that Peter loves war games and war documentaries. What touched him was the verse, "Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus." What touched me--to be honest--was the gratitude of a mother that just had her almost teenage son come to her with a Bible verse that he had found on his own and he actually read it out loud to me and gave me his opinion on it. I praise God that He created verses that touches teenage boys' hearts.

What I also see here, is that God has commissioned us to not only to listen, hear and learn of His word--but also to share it with others. We are not to keep it to ourselves as if it was a treasure to hide in our deepest closets. We are to share it with the people He brings into our world.

Have you ever thought about the fact that if Jesus hoarded His Father's words where would we be now? If the apostles did not record in painstakingly detail, what Jesus shared with them and their life experiences with Him, how would we have known about everlasting life?

If you have been born again and experience the wonderful saving grace of your everlasting Heavenly Father and don't share it with the people that God has blessed your life with, how will you be judged? You would be like the parable of the person that was given one talent and what did he do with that talent? Did he invest it? Did he share it? No. He buried it and there it laid in the dark cold earth, doing nothing for the kingdom of God.

God has entrusted us to run the good race, to plant and to harvest, to share and not to be embarrassed or hesitate in imparting the wonderful saving grace of His everlasting love with everyone we meet.

Are you ready to be a soldier? Are you ready to win the world with Jesus? Grab your mess kit and let's go!