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Showing posts from January, 2016

The Sum Total is...

Romans 13:10  Don't run up debts, except for the huge debt of love you owe each other. When you love others, you complete what the law has been after all along. The law code—don't sleep with another person's spouse, don't take someone's life, don't take what isn't yours, don't always be wanting what you don't have, and any other "don't" you can think of—finally adds up to this: Love other people as well as you do yourself. You can't go wrong when you love others. When you add up everything in the law code, the  sum total is love . Never underestimate the power of love. You can't go wrong when you love others. The Bible is full of words that support the healing and saving power of love. Love covers sin. Perfect love gets rid of fear. Love never fails! You owe it to yourself to get this inside your heart! The church has always been filled with people that announce all of the DONT'S to the people. Don't steal, don&

All of Heaven Applauds!

Matthew 5:11 “ Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do!  And all heaven applauds . And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble . I am trying to visualize the image described in this verse. Heaven applauding for me? I can get the first part of the verse because life is filled with tormentors and people that don't say nice things. I am still a work in progress when it comes to "giving a cheer" when insults come. What I see is that how I respond to adversity matters.  As I read the earlier verses I can see that there are many reasons to consider my life blessed. I can tell that my actions can bring about some amazing things because I matter to God

Good Things Happen!

What happens now has happened in the past,and what will happen in the future has happened before.God makes the same things happen again and again. Eccles 3:15 Is there really such a thing as an original thought? After reading today's verse I would have to say that it seems the saying "what goes around comes around" rings true. History does indeed repeat itself and we all live through these cycles over and over. Recessions, depressions, wars and peace, love and hatred: it all floats around us, sometimes lands on us and eventually passes on. Seasons change.  The good news today is that even though you are going through a tough patch, you are not alone! And because God is faithful I can assure you today that you will endure this season and come out shining brightly on the other side. Don't lose heart and keep your faith strong. Think good thoughts, thoughts about how God is going to rescue you and throw you a party! God makes things happen again and again. Are you

His Strength is Perfect

In Matt 13 Jesus tells the story of a field where seed was planted. There were also weeds that were planted by an enemy. The story says that when the SEEDS began to grow, the WEEDS did too. There was no distinction in the two until there was growth. Oftentimes we do not recognize the evil that is present in us simply because we are no longer growing. As we grow in Christ, what does not belong in our lives becomes much more obvious. And the time will come when the Lord will be the strength that is necessary to separate the two and allow an amazing harvest of good to bountifully rise up in our lives. I think that too often we think we have the power necessary on our own to get rid of the weeds. I encourage you today to set aside your own agenda, submit the power you believe you have to God, and watch His supernatural power take over. His ways are better than ours. His strength is so much stronger than ours! Bad habits, poor choices and harmful relationships can all be extracted by the

Pack Lightly...

I was reading in Matthew 10 this morning about the calling of the first dozen guys that would be used to take the message of Christ to the world. Times seemed so much easier then. In fact Jesus told them to not worry about raising a missions budget or leasing the right equipment. He just said go, pack light and  live generously . Their lives, submitted to Him, was all that was necessary to start this movement. This story even made me a bit nostalgic. I thought back to when I started to do things that would point to the love that Christ and talk to others about Him. So many times I thought that I needed the right sound equipment, a polished powerpoint presentation and some cool clothes. And all Jesus wanted to do was use me. I've been involved in some pretty spectacular events that were fashioned by the very hand of God and I know that without grace and mercy, no good thing could have come from my life. The Lord has been so generous to me that it makes me want to try and live g

Waiting Patiently

" Then Abraham waited patiently, and he received what God had promised ". Heb 6:15 Abraham was blessed by God and was told that he would be the beginning of an amazing lineage…a father of many nations. God made a promise to him. But it did not happen overnight. Abraham had to wait.  I am sure we can all relate to that...waiting. Most of the things I find myself praying for seem to come after a period of waiting. Waiting is important but so is how we wait.  Abraham had tenacity when it came to waiting. He waited patiently and with unshakeable resolve. He held on to the promise and did not let go until it came. Most would have said that his window for starting a family was over…you must have missed God. To us he was too old and it was too late. But God felt different. God saw him as a father of many nations! And by learning the lessons in the waiting, Abraham received what God had promised.  Don't let "waiting" be "deflating". Use the time betw

When life drives you into a corner...

make sure it's the corner of live long and prosper:) Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her.   Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor .  Proverbs 3:13-16 In my life I feel like I've seen and experienced a thing or two and I can honestly say that my favorite places are those places that lift up my spirit and encourage my soul. There's no place quite like the corner of Live Long and Prosper . You can find it in the city of Wisdom located among many Proverbs that have become powerful landmarks. Too many people are searching for this corner by working more than they are home, traveling more than they rest and being consumed by a pursuit of things. It's always OK to have things just not to let the things have you! Today, ask God to show you how to get to

Form of Godliness

In 2 Timothy 3 it talks about how bad things will continue to get as we move towards the return of Christ. After a list of terrible characteristics it speaks of people who will have a "f orm of godliness but deny its power ." Godliness seems to be defined in many different ways today. People are saying and doing so many things in the name of religion. What separates the Christian from the non-Christian is the availability and use of the power. If we are doing the things that we were designed to do we would see mighty power, miracle working power manifesting itself in our lives when it is necessary. In other words we don't have a form of power, we are tied to the source of that power! We acknowledge it and it works. Submit yourselves therefore to God, resist the devil and he must flee! You can't deny this power when you experience it! You may need a miracle today. Your power may be gone and you feel like all hope is lost. Don't deny a change, embrace it. Acknow

Embrace Your Youth

1 Timothy 4:12  Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity . There have been many times in my life when I felt inferior and out of place because I saw myself as young and inexperienced. This scripture reminds us that age and wisdom do not necessarily go hand in hand. Often, our youth and innocence can be refreshing. Like a child that comes to God without reservation and all of the distractions that more years on earth can bring. Don't discount yourself. Set an example. In what you say and do. In how you share your affection and your faith. Be genuine, authentic and pure: undefiled. Sometimes the more miles you have on your life the more cynical you get. While you are young  embrace your youth . Stay close to the Lord and live right. Be a good example...better yet be a God example! And when you get older, you can remain wise!

Season of Prayer and Fasting

He dwells with you and will be in you . John  14:17 Today is the day I launch another season of prayer and fasting . I've been doing this in January for as long as I can remember. At first it was to lose all of the pounds packed on during Christmas. Fasting can do that for you. But any fast without prayer added to it is just a diet. As I matured I realized that not only was this a good season to detox physically, I needed some spiritual toxins removed as well. I am so grateful that even though the Lord has orchestrated my steps and moved me to a new city and allowed me to be part of a new church, they too understand the value and benefits of starting the year by giving yourself to God in every way. This scripture out of the Gospel of John is talking about the Holy Spirit. If I were honest I would tell you that most of my life I did not look at Him as God, the third person of the Trinity, but rather as some supernatural power that could be summoned to change circumstances and he

Just Hit Delete!

The Bible talks of casting down imaginations. It's what we are to do with any thoughts that rise up contrary to the Word of God. We are born with incredible minds that are full of imagination. When imagination is used creatively it can unleash beautiful things. However, when our imagination runs wild, watch out! Whenever images in your mind start showing up that don't fit in the context of a life lived for Christ, you and I cannot afford to let them develop. In our spiritual "dark room" as we see them beginning to develop we must cast them down and hurl them away from our lives. Take captive those thoughts...demolish them before they demolish you! I have an exercise that I do when an image is in my head that was not invited and does not belong shows up...I say out loud "delete". In my mind I am pressing a button like the delete button on my computer and erasing that image. Then I immediately place a positive image in its place. Is your imagination run

Why Should I Be Afraid?

Psalm 27:1 The Lord is my light and my salvation—so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?  It's difficult these days to not be afraid of something. Our country struggles, our companies face difficulties and our families are attacked every day. People are afraid to be alone, afraid to be in crowds, afraid to try something they've never done...the list goes on and on. God does not cause us to be afraid. He's not the instigator of fear. He is the author and finisher of our faith! Standing in faith can conquer fear. Perfect love can cast out fear. God gives power, love and a sound mind! Its time to face those fears. The Lord is your light and your Savior. He is your fortress and protector. So stand strong and keep fighting the good fight of faith. Whenever fear knocks at the door, introduce it to Jesus!

Check Your Heart

A  happy  heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit. The  discerning  heart seeks knowledge, but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly. All the days of the oppressed are wretched, but the  cheerful  heart has a continual feast .  Pro 15:13-15 What shape is YOUR heart in? In today’s scripture we find a happy, discerning and cheerful heart that actually changes the course and direction of our lives. A happy heart should brighten up your countenance.    The discerning heart pursues more godly wisdom and knowledge. And the cheerful heart always has what it needs to be satisfied. So if your ready for a continual feast, spiritually speaking, check your heart! Have a great week!

Made in 1959

On this day 57 years ago, the journey started. I remember very little of those first moments. I don't remember being flipped upside down and spanked, set under a warming light like a pack of fries or being carted around the hospital in Martins Ferry, Ohio. What I do remember are the two people that that were responsible and how much they loved me. You might wonder how much if you saw the pics of me in a dress and bonnet:) Mom and Dad you did such a great job and I am forever grateful for both of you and the things that you taught me. I am a much better person today because of you! I remember each of my three children being born and all of the joy they have brought into my life since they started arriving in 1989. I remember asking Jesus to take over control of my life in a dorm room at the University of Cincinnati. I have continued to cherish that relationship every day since then. And I remember all of the incredible friends that I have had the honor of getting to know in th

Happy New Year!

A fresh start to the best part! And one day before MY BIRTHDAY! That’s what new years day is to me! I've never been a fan of black-eyed peas(the food or the band) but there are some New Years traditions I believe I would enjoy. For instance, the Dutch eat a ring-shaped treat symbolizing “coming full circle” and good fortune. Sounds like its time for a donut!!! In Spain they eat 12 grapes at midnight. And those Swiss(thanks for the chocolate!), well they take dollops of whipped cream, symbolizing the richness of the year to come, and drop them on the floor…and leave it there!!  One of the things on my bucket list is to be in a hotel room on Time Square, high above all the festivities and people on New Years Eve, where I could stand on the balcony and feel the energy of all those people below and watch the ball drop. Doing that with a donut and a dollop of whipped cream on it would really be a party! The best part about today is that it’s the beginning a something new.