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  • August 2017
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We Just Need To Practice

Hey there everyone,

I hope that everyone had a safe and happy Christmas and New Year.  I most certainly did.  My oldest came home from college for Christmas, my daughter turned 17 (She is making me and the hubby old very fast.)  She also got a job right before her birthday (Which is one week before Christmas).  We all celebrated my three holidays together at home with no big hoop la.  Which was just fine with all of us.

At the beginning of each year you might be finding yourself looking back.  People like to see what if anything they got accomplished and what they didn’t.  They make new goals for the upcoming months.  They try to adopt new, better habits.  One thing I have found is that they don’t set these out on a day-to-day basis.  No they spread them out over an entire year.  Yes, I realize that there are some that may take that long.  But ask yourself when you wake up in the morning, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Is it the tasks that need to be done? Or perhaps a soreness/pain you may have for sleeping different then you needed.  I could list a whole number of things that ; not only have I said to myself, but have heard others as well.  We are to begin each day a new. With the joy of the Lord.   Not with bitterness or need.  In order to do this all it takes is …… practice.  Practice means that you are trying each and every day with all you mind, body, and soul.  Practice means you won’t get it perfected or even do it some days.  It means you are trying.  That you are actually doing it with a good heart.  Practice mean you have taken you out of it and are doing it for the Lord.

I don’t understand why people are putting so much disgust on themselves at the beginning of each year.  They haven’t lost enough weight, gotten any healthier, saved enough money, given enough money and so on. So what?!? Do the best you can with what you have daily and let God handle the rest.  Before you know it; it will be a new healthier, happier, habit and a wonderful start to your day.  Now for those who might be keeping score, I know that I didn’t write a whole lot last year, but within that time that I did these are the words I used most.

 

Angels, Bible, Child, Children, Christ, Christian, Church, Churches, Control, Faith, Family, Glory, God, Good, Gospel, Grace, Hear, Hearts, Jesus, Kids, Learn, Lessons, Life, Listen, Lord, Love, Luke, Man, Marriage, Matthew, Mercy, Mistakes, MS, Music, ORU, Parents, Pastor, People, Religion, Speak, Spirit, Trouble, Women, Word, Work.

 

I like to leave you with a song that I heard on a CD that my sister had a long time ago.  The song might be an old one but it still holds.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wslEJVlnjRI

Following Christ Comes At A Cost

I tell people all the time, if you don’t want to know my answer then don’t ask the question.  Well with all that has come to light with Phil Robertson, one should ask themselves what they are willing to say and or do for the name of Christ.  Every Christian knows (or should know) that following Christ comes at a cost.  Christ himself gave up his life for Gods glory.  People have been known to give up their friends and family after being saved.  Because the people that they have known for many years, the people that they have loved, supported, shared things with, and invested everything in are unwilling to tolerate their new life.  Why?  Because they are part of the world.  The world has no time or will for God.  The world doesn’t want any part of God in any way, shape or form.  They like staying blind.  They like living in sin.  They really like the false control of their lives they think they have.  The world tries desperately to get Christians to turn their faith against God.  Going through everyday life you have them attacking you from what you eat to what you wear.  From what you drive to what kind of job you have.  From the treatment of medicine you get to how you parent.  And if you stand up for your faith and go against what the world wants they call names and say that you’re the one at fault.  As if you’re the one being a bad person.  Because they have their own idea of what a Christian is and if you don’t fall into their check list of tolerance then they mock you.  Trying their best to ruin your reputation with the world itself.  They don’t understand that it is only the reputation you have with God that is important.  I was just in awe when I was on Twitter and Facebook with all the support that people were giving out to Phil.  The thing was though it wasn’t just Christians that were supporting Phil, there were also people outside of the church stating that he had the right to his opinion.  Which I don’t believe he was doing, I think he was stating his faith, what he believes in.  But I do appreciate what they were doing.   Phil quoted scripture and stated his faith.  Which in my opinion, is more than stating his opinion.  He is the true idea of a man.  Not childish groups of people who aren’t getting their way and decided to call names and throw a tantrum.  So if you haven’t yet, ask yourself what you’re willing to say to do in order to keep your faith with God.  Are you willing to give anything up?  The only thing God has ever asked for is your heart.  It is us that attach other things to our hearts.  Is your heart free for only Him?  Or are you squeezing Him out with the other things.

Are You One?

Discipleship:  1. One of the 12 personal followers of Christ.  2. One of the 70 followers sent forth by Christ.  3. Any other professed follower of Christ in His lifetime.  4. Any follower of Christ.

Are you missing things in your life that you wish (because that is the only thing you can think of doing) were there?  In order to get the missing things in your life is easy to answer.  Become a disciple.  Now the course of that discipleship might sound difficult.  But as you follow, you learn to take Jesus’s burden.  Which we all know is easy.  Matthew 11:28-30  Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.   When we use our will to follow Christ, that is when we make a conscious decision to follow Christ, we will see that we must be willing to give up everything that comes in between you and Christ.  So that your walk with him will be without the heaviness of life.  The heaviness might be worry, confusion, guilt, to name a few.  We will have to learn to live out of His strength through Jesus that we by ourselves can not accomplish.  At times it may seem like it takes until a person is going to the bottom of the barrel before they start to see the light.  Remember, that it is all done at His will and on His terms.  Not ours.  We can see this again in Luke 14:26-27   If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.  And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannnot be my disciple.  

Did you see that he said that you have to take your cross, not His? You must crucify everything that gets in the way of you becoming a disciple of Christ.   There is a huge difference between desire and love.  Love does good for others.  Where as desire is doing(what we think of as good, whether is actually is or not) for yourself.  Which way do you will your life?  Are you looking into the kind of person you are wanting to be when you are in His kingdom?  You can read more about that in one of the more famous Psalms, 23.  Who ever you want to be then, is who you should be working on now.  Matthew 6:19-21  Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:  But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:  For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.  So ask yourselves, are you a disciple of Christ?  Are you following Him?  Where is your heart laying?  Is it with desire or love? What are you willing to give up in order to follow Christ?

Treasure

Treasure: One person or thing considered especially precious or valuable.

Look around you.  Ask yourself, what do you consider to be a treasure to you.  There are those who will automatically say their children, their husband, their family.  Some might say their health.  Others will point out little nick knacks that they have collected over the years.

Luke 12:34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  So in whatever you hold dear, is a treasure.  We all have people or things that we nourish and take care of because they mean so much to us.

I know of some people that treasure photos of family and friends.  They place them in nicely decorated frames or albums.  Some even scrapbook them in order to allow more meaning or understanding to the picture.  They place them all around the house to show them off to others that visit.  If you were to take away those photos, some people might be devastated.  It is a tangible way to remember an event in their lives, that holds a special meaning for them.

Journaling is getting widely popular.  To be able to write down your daily activities and express in your own words how things affect you or those around you.  Some people keep their journals for their whole lifetime.  They go through the years past and read about experiences they have gone through.  Maybe seeing how they have changed over the years or how someone close to them has.  This is just another tangible way of remembering.  

Memories are a treasure for almost everyone.  The experiences that you have with your children, your spouse, your family, the collection of nick knacks, photos, journals…etc, is what makes them a treasure.  Matthew 6: 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth or rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.  Some might find this hard to understand, but when you put down the things you treasure here on earth, your focus gathers onto the treasures in heaven.  For your heart will be guided there with Him and by Him.  Deuteronomy 30:6 And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.

Now, I simply adore my husband. I do treasure the relationship that I have with him.  Because I know that he is a gift from God for me. I would lay down my life for him if need be.  But he does understand that I will not let my love for him stand in the way of my love for God.  My love for God is a greater treasure than I can express. And I am more than will to sacrifice anything to keep myself in that love. Because of my husband’s understanding of this, it makes me love him even more. Confused yet?  Not to those who experience it.  Proverbs 27:19 As in water face reflects face, So a man’s heart reveals the man.  I expect my husband to know that I understand the same for him.  

Idol: Something visible but without substance.  Once you find yourself (your heart) looking toward God and His glory the things of this earth take on different priorities and meanings for you. Watch that you don’t make idols of anything or any person.   Matthew 6:24 No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other You cannot serve God and mammon.  Mammon: Riches, avarice, and worldly gain personified as a false god.  If you find that you are making something or someone of higher importance, you are making it/them into an idol for you.  A false God.  The question remains…….What do you treasure?

Are You Really Listening?

Pastor and I were talking the other day, when the subject of phone apps. came up.  He had told me that he has an app. that can read out loud to him the Bible.  He was expressing his delight with it, and I agree it is a wonder.  Your spirit gets fed when it hears His word.  If you can just let go of thoughts in your mind and allow the word to enter into you, something wonderful happens.

It used to be that people could only hear the word when they attended church on Sunday mornings.  Now-a-days, we have t.v. channels full of preachers speaking the word everyday of the week, at any time of the day.  We also have great little gadgets where we can hear it.  Like our computers, Cd’s, I-pods, mp3 players, smart-phones. We can download the entire Bible, many sermons, and even conferences. Which gives us more accessibility to understanding His word. I have heard people saying that they don’t like the voice of the reader, or speaker, for whatever reason. Whether it’s a woman’s voice and not a man’s, his voice is too low, he talks too fast, he’s hard to understand.  Now, I do know that there is to be physical application to the word.  But unless it is put first into your spirit so that it can be transformed into physical application, you won’t really hear it. Just having it in your ear and head isn’t enough.  Ezekiel 3:10 Moreover He said to me: “Son of man, receive into your heart all My words that I speak to you, and hear with your ears. When you listen with your heart, it should be God’s voice you hear and not the person’s. 

As I was talking to Pastor, I had mentioned that I love it when one is able to speak the word, one really hears it, and they get to converse about it. And it doesn’t matter if it is one on one, or one to a group. For it is then that the Spirit has an opportunity to move. Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.The excitement of it all can be like a child watching fireworks go off. Or like the thrill one gets when riding a roller coaster. The more we spoke, the more my spirit was getting joyous.  I have a hard time containing myself when I get like that. I have to grab a hold of something, look away a few times, take in deep breaths. My spirit wants to go into worship mode immediately, and I get saturated with His love all over me. I can find myself lost in praise to Him.  It was then, when Pastor quoted to me, Romans 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. He was affirming and emphasizing the power of the word, and that it must be vocal to be heard. I know a lot of people(I happen to be one. Maybe you are too.), who read the Bible out loud. I do it because I want His word to be branded on my spirit.  When I speak it, rather than just reading, it gets in a little deeper.  Say something enough times, and it becomes a part of you……….your belief…..your faith.  It marks you with His wisdom.  You won’t be able to do anything without hearing Him.  So listen…..because the Lord is speaking.

Do you use any of the devices listed above?  If so, which one do you use most often?  What about it do you like the most? Where do you listen to them?

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