12.29.2009

The Gift


I read a really great book the past few days. Its called "The Gift" by Richard Paul Evans. Gosh, it was so amazing to read and reflect on. The book is about a man who has something horrific happen to him on Christmas day. 2 years in a row something bad happens to him. Then he meets a woman who has a boy who has the gift of healing. The boy's mother and sister kept it a secret until something happened and a person on the street saw him heal something. People came to see the boy so that he could heal them or one of their loved ones. The problem is every time the boy heals someone he gets sick... really sick. So you should read the book to find out what happens and how they deal with everything.
It's a really beautiful book and it includes a lot of questions that really made me think as well as some quotes from the mans journal. Something I read last night was really striking and this is taken directly from the book, "What good is a life prolonged if it only extends the season of cowardice and sin? What good is a new heart if it's only to be filled with hate or regret- or new eyes, if all they can see is criticism and intolerance? These are questions we must all ask ourselves." I love that because it is just so true. I am asking myself these questions and something that I was thinking about is that eternity is sure. It is something that we do have available to us but it is up to us whether we will accept the gift of salvation and go to Heaven. The problems we face right now are truly just temporary (though it may not seem that way) and it is up to us to keep in mind that our complete and total goal is Heaven with Jesus.
These were some thoughts I wanted to share. I highly encourage you to pick the book up and read it because it might change your thinking some and it might open your mind/eyes a little bit more. God bless you!!

12.22.2009

"If You Want It, You Gotta Work For It"

Nothing is really simple anymore. Everything gets complicated time after time. However I have learned that the one thing that is not complicated and truly is simple is God's love. Sometimes we want to know why God loves us and why He would send His Son to die for us. After all, that is why we celebrate Christmas, but I think the very simple answer to that question is He created us we are His children and He loves us. Regardless of what we do, He will always love us. If you have kids, don't you love them? And won't you always love them regardless of what they do? I think so. Sure, parents can disappointed in their kids, but they always love them nonetheless.

However simple God's love is, the world tells us something much different. The world tells us that if we want it we have to work for it. Which is true... partially. It depends on what you are speaking of. Let's say you want to lose weight. If you really want to lose weight, then you will have to work for it. You will have to eat better and work out. If you want a job (or to keep one) you will have to work for it. And while the Bible does tell us to serve and be the Church, the Bible never tells us that we can earn our way to Heaven - that we can work our way there. What we do for the least of these will count somehow, but it doesn't matter how many good things you do or how good you are. Eternity cannot be earned. Jesus died on the Cross as a gift. Jesus came to earth as a gift. God has given us the choice as to whether we will accept the gift and live for Him or if we will reject it and live for ourselves. The ball is in your court, you get to choose whether you will give it back to Him or keep it yourself.

I want you to know that while this week you give gifts and receive some God has given you many gifts. Some physical and some spiritual. I'm not sure what your physical gifts may be, but I do know some of the spiritual:
Jesus,
The Cross,
His Love,
Heaven,
Freedom.

If you will, please join me this week in thanking the Father for these wonderful gifts and blessings He has given us. Enjoy time with your family. Merry CHRISTmas!!!

12.20.2009

What Does Christmas Mean?

What does Christmas mean?

Christmas is so special. Its a time of giving and receiving. A time of celebrating. A time to spend with family. But sometimes the meaning of Christmas gets lost in all of that. What does Christmas mean? It means this:

"For God so loved the world (you and me) that He gave His one and only Son (Jesus), that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life." - John 3:16

That's it. It means God brought a Baby into the world for US so that we can live for HIM, to die on the Cross for US so that we don't have to spend eternity in Hell, but can live forever with Him in Heaven. That is the true meaning of CHRISTmas.

I was watching "The Grinch" with Jim Carrey (one of my favorite movies) a couple nights ago and in it the Grinch says, "Maybe Christmas doesn't come from a store, maybe.. just maybe it means just a little bit more." I really like that because it is true. It gives a bit more depth than just go out and buy presents and get presents. He is saying that Christmas isn't just about buying things or getting things, but celebrating something... Someone bigger than ourselves.

I can get so wrong this time of year thinking it is all about the presents. Nothing is wrong with giving or receiving, not at all. However losing sight of why we celebrate Christmas; that is something very wrong.

I want to remind you that the reason for the season is Jesus Christ and celebrating not only His birth, but also why He came to this earth and what He did for us. He loves you! Blessings to you and have a Merry Christmas!!

12.17.2009

Who You're Not Holds You Back

"It's not who you are that holds you back... it's who you think you're not." - Author Unknown

This is so true. Why is it that we let the things that we are not hold us back? It doesn't make sense to me. I let some of the dumbest things hold me back simply because I feel as though I can't do something or I don't have the ability when the Lord is telling me that HE can do ANYTHING; not just some things, but ALL THINGS!

The fear of the unknown is what holds us back. The fear that you may fail and people may see that holds us back. Maybe not for you, but for me I know it does. My heart has been shattered into a million different pieces before and the only One able to heal that is God. The fear that my heart may be shattered again has held me back to a certain extent.

But the truth is, God has given me LIFE and my life is meant to be lived in Him not in fear. So is yours. You don't need to fear what you're not because we are human beings who will fail and when we fail and fall flat on our faces God is there to pick us back up and forgive us. He is a GREAT God and knows all. He knows you. He knows me. That is so great to have a loving God who knows us and wants to know us and wants us to know Him. It truly is Awesome.

My challenge to myself and to you is to as though you can do anything through Christ because that is the cold hard truth. You CAN do anything through Christ and He gives you the strength to do so. Don't think that you can't do anything and don't ever let someone tell you that you can't do something. Let people see the BIG God we serve through our actions, living as we should, God can do anything. Jesus loves you so much! Merry CHRISTmas! Stay blessed!

12.13.2009

Peace

Something about the Christmas time fills me with peace. I was thinking about this last night as I was taking it in and then it was like a 'DUH' moment for me. The reason it is so peaceful is because this is the time Peace came into the world. Jesus came here to save us and peace is what He gave us.

I get it all wrong sometimes. Thinking Christmas is the time for gifts and wrapping paper and Christmas lights and there isn't wrong with any of those things, but sometimes it can cloudy the true reason for this season and that is to celebrate our Savior's birth. Christmas is a wonderful time to give and to receive, but it is especially important that none of us forget the very reason we celebrate. I'm sure you already know this, but I think all of us can use a reminder every once in a while. :)

This time of the year almost rejuvenates me and refreshes me in life - in my walk with the Lord, my physical strength, and my emotional strength. Its a time that gives me a new light and it is such an enjoyable time for me and my family. I love Christmas! Mainly because I love Jesus and love being able to celebrate the major Gift God gave me.

So I pray that you have a wonderful CHRISTmas time and that peace fills your heart as well as your families. Stay blessed! Have a wonderful week!

12.11.2009

I've Used Your Grace To Do What I Please

"Time after time, I've used Your grace as a way to do what I please." Never Give Up on Me by Josh Bates

This morning I was worshiping and this song came on. That lyric above really stood out to me. Why? Because it's true. I've been reading the Book of Revelation and it has been opening my eyes more and more. Sometimes I forget what I am working towards and what my goal is. God has been revealing to me that life is much more than what I have been thinking it is. Pretty tough lesson to be learning.

Anyway, so when I heard that part of the song this morning I realized that that is exactly what I have been doing. I have been doing what I want and then taking for granted God's grace and what He did so that we could have this open door with Him. I started to cry because I mean, that's not something I want to do. I feel like I have been using God so that I can do whatever I want and live as I please. The problem here is submission. When I don't submit to God (because I think I know better, or want to do what I want to do) then it really becomes nothing but using Him. I read this this morning:

"Submit to God and be at peace with Him; in this way prosperity will come to you." - Job 22:21

Submitting to God is the answer to the problem. The grace of God simply brings me to my knees and strikes me in awe of Him. We serve such an Awesome God that even when we mess up, He can and will forgive us as long as we come to Him with a repentant heart.

I sit here typing this as I have submitted myself back to God. I am ready to be serious about my goal in life and where He leads me. I am forgiven. I am redeemed. I am chosen. I am FREE!!! God has SET. ME. FREE. and I cannot thank Him enough. You can be set free too. Just ask Him. Ask and you shall receive. Jesus loves you!!! Stay blessed!

12.06.2009

Stop and Stare

I was reminded of this during yesterday (when it snowed which is quite rare here) and this morning when I was reading another blog.

When was the last time that you stood in awe of something the Lord did or made or whatever?

Sometimes it seems as though our culture has dumbed us down enough that if it doesn't come in a TV show or movie form, its not that great. Not saying that anything is wrong with TV shows or movies (I mean, come on, there are some wonderful movies out there! ;) but if all we do is live through a TV something is wrong. I am convicting myself of this. I watch way too much TV at times, nothing gets done when I just sit and watch someone else live their life. God has blessed you and me with a life. We are breathing, able to do what we want when we want and why waste our life away when we can be living it up for Jesus Christ and follow His will for each of our lives?

The sad thing about our culture is that some of the simple things, like snow falling or a rainbow in the sky, don't seem to phase us anymore and because our culture is so fast paced and 'do this now' mentality we don't stop for one minute to enjoy the incredible beauty of our Creator.

"Lord, I have heard of Your fame; I stand in awe of Your deeds, Lord." Habakkuk 3:2 So much is missed simply because no one wants to stop and be in awe of God's beautiful creations. We live as the generation who doesn't want to stop. As the generation who has cell phones and portable DVD players. All those things are fine, but there is a time to stop and stare at the things that are worthy of our attention.

Isn't your heart stirred when you see the beginning of spring or the first snow fall of the year? Or don't you feel something when there is a little baby in a stroller or a puppy playing around? We were built to feel and live as the small human beings we are. We can do anything through Christ and we should live as that, but there is no need to forget about the GREAT things our God has made.

Today is Sunday (duh!), the day of rest. Since this is the one day of the week you can actually relax and not do work, how about you find something... anything to truly take in the beauty of whatever it is and stand in awe of what He has made. Don't miss out just because you feel as though you "just can't stop" because that is one of satan's lies. You can stop and stare. Stay blessed and have a great Sunday!!!

12.02.2009

The Simple Way

This morning I was deleting junk email and I thought, gosh I wish it was so easy to just get the sin out of my life by clicking the trash button. Maybe it can be. Probably not quite as easy, because "nothing worth having comes easy." but maybe it can be just as simple.

Thinking about it, sometimes I can just put the sin I do in the trash, but I choose not to. I choose to hold on to it and toy around with it and then I end up getting in trouble. Then, I start asking God why I am having so much trouble and problems and when I start thinking back to where it all began I see that had I just listened to His still, small voice I wouldn't be where I am / where I was.

Its amazing what God can teach you when you are willing to listen. Think about it. But the question is, do you listen? I asked myself the same question. Do I listen to God and what He says? The answer: sometimes. That isn't good enough though. If I only listen to God sometimes, then I am missing out on so much. All that He has for me and all that He wants for me. Same for you. If you only listen to Him sometimes you are missing out. The most rewarding thing to do is to listen to Him and what He says and speaks to our hearts because when we do that we can finally see all that He wants us to see here on earth, and when we get to Heaven new doors will be opened up and then we can finally see everything.

The simple way sometimes is the best way. Loving God and loving others is simple. Hard to do, maybe, but simple nonetheless. I choose today, to put sin in the trash and simply love. I love you all!!!! Stay blessed!