Thursday, March 31, 2011

make the time to...

This morning, I was once again ashamed.  Ashamed of my lack of quiet time with my Savior.  I had/have many things to do today, and I rushed and hurried on my way.  Then I thought/think about the days I skip it all together and I’m very guilty.  Every day of my life, I can  make all the time needed to be still, to listen and know that God is God.  After all, I owe my life and everything to Him.    

It’s easy to pick up a devotional book or magazine and quickly read a couple of paragraphs and hastily read a few Bible verses and hurriedly say a prayer.  And, before I know it, I can’t remember what I read and I’ve fallen into a sinful routine.  I say this with embarrassment and shame – to whoever reads this, but most importantly to Jesus.  I ask for forgiveness and ask for direction and ask for wisdom.  I must sincerely pray to and listen to God and to Jesus and to the Holy Spirit. 

I talk aloud to God throughout the day, but I can’t hear Him unless I’m quiet and still and listen and focus.  Only then can I hear Him speak - the Creator and Deliverer and Lord and Savior and Almighty and Everlasting.  There is plenty of time in my day to meditate on God’s Word and allow Him to speak to my heart.  I love and trust and have faith and love Him.  It’s time to show I do.      

“Be still, and know that I am God.
Psalm 46:10 ESV

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

quick quotes

Andrew Murray (1828-1917)

A readiness to believe every promise implicitly, to obey every command unhesitatingly, to stand perfect and complete in all the will of God, is the only true spirit of Bible study.

The only humility that is really ours is not that which we try to show before God in prayer, but that which we carry with us in our daily conduct.

Never try to arouse faith from within. You cannot stir up faith from the depths of your heart. Leave your heart, and look into the face of Christ.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

give thanks, seek His will

pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 NAS

The truth is, when it comes to being thankful for everything in my life, I often completely fail.  I realize that everything happens because it’s the will of God.  I know His Word is true.  I know He is faithful.  I know He loves me.  I know He is in control.  He is in control of everything.  But there are those times I need reminding that He is in control of everything.

Sometimes I’m happy and sometimes I’m sad, sometimes I’m comforted and sometimes I’m hurting, sometimes I’m calm and sometimes I’m upset, sometimes I’m well and sometimes I’m sick, sometimes I’m encouraged and sometimes I’m frustrated,  sometimes I understand and sometimes I question.

My life would be better if I totally and completely obey and trust God. It would be better if ...
1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 was monogrammed on my heart.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Saturday, March 26, 2011

what can i do?

"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
Matthew 28:19-20 NAS

So I ask myself, "what can I do?" Certainly more than I do.  I obey God and give my tithes and offerings.  What else?  Support missions - both in America and foreign countries.  Attend church weekly.  Be faithful in studying His word.  Live so others can see Jesus in me.  Visiting some home bound church members.  Even though I have some physical limitations, there are simple and small things I can do.  Like, taking a couple of turns manning a tractor trailer to receive items for a church yard sale.  The proceeds will benefit causes supported by the Women on Missions (WOM) group.  As much as I'm able, be active with the WOM and helping with projects.  And, thinking about it, there’s many, many other ways I can serve.

(Excerpt from Lifeway ‘Explore the Bible Adult Learner Guide’, Spring 2011):
Some people mistakenly believe that missionary work can only be done by certain Christians who have received a special calling from God.  Yet Jesus’ mandate that we know as the Great Commission was intended to apply to all His followers, not just to a special group of people.  Certainly some are called to go as career missionaries.  However, God wants every follower making disciples.  You may already be involved in spreading the gospel and not realize it.  For example, a portion of tithes and offerings given to Southern Baptist churches goes to provide financial support, supplies, and equipment to missionaries all over the world.  There are many ways you can join others in spreading the gospel in your community as well as to the ends of the earth.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

quick quotes

The Bible is a treasure chest, but not many people dig down deep into it to get the real treasures.

If you are a Christian, you are not a citizen of this world trying to get to heaven; you are a citizen of heaven making your way through this world.
-Vance Havner

The only thing that the average Christian wants out of Christ is an escape ticket from Hell.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

There’s never a teardrop
that God doesn’t see.
He knows when a sparrow
falls from a tree.
There’s never a moment
when God doesn’t care.
Never a time when He
won’t hear our prayer.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

pause 'n ponder

Dear Lord, I do not pray to know
What lies ahead each day,
But for the faith to trust in You
And let You show the way.
I do not pray for strength
To conquer every task I face,
But for a humble spirit to rely
Upon Your grace.
I do not pray to understand
Why life can seem unfair,
But for a grateful heart
To always give and love and care.
I do not pray to take
the smoothest path in all I do,
But, Lord, I pray that always
I may walk and talk with You.
- Amanda Bradley

Saturday, March 19, 2011

what matters?

Someday, this earthly life will end.  It will end and I’ll be gone, gone for eternity.  My journey will be over, it will come to an end. 

I’ll leave family and friends who I treasure and love.  I’ll leave all hopes and dreams and precious memories.  All photos and cards and songs and books.  All grins and giggles and smiles and laughter.  All kisses and hugs and twinkling eyes.  These dear blessings I’ll hold close to my heart.

It won’t matter that our yard has weeds or our house is small or the floor needs vacuuming.  It won’t matter that bills need paying or our cat needs brushing or the towels need folding.  Does it matter?  None of these things matter.  Not a single one. 

I’ll leave things left undone, things I should have done, things I didn’t say, things I intended to do, things I put off for later, things I wanted to do, things I wished to do, places I didn’t go.  Did I make good decisions, Did I get it right?  Did I make a difference?  Any regrets?  There will be no more chances, nothing I can do.  Does it matter?

What matters?  Did I live a Godly life?  Did I obey God?  Did I completely live for Jesus?  Did I do the work of Jesus?  Did others see Jesus within me?  Did I walk with Him?  Did I appreciate His peace and joy and love and blessings?  These actions matter.  These actions have significance, they have meaning.  These actions are first and foremost and uppermost.

When my life's work is done, Jesus will take me home.  My home for eternity.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Sunday, March 13, 2011

by Allison Chambers Coxsey

If I should go before you,
If life on earth were through;
I'll stop just inside Heaven's door,
And there I'll wait for you.
You've but to look 'cross star filled skies,
Past the moon and then beyond;
To know my leaving could never break,
This heart's undying bond.
And if you should go before me,
If your journey on earth were through;
You know I will be close behind,
I'll never be far from you.
Across the span of time and space,
This love will reach this far;
For you'll always carry a bit of my heart,
No matter where you are.
We've no way of knowing who will remain,
Or who will go on before;
But if I should go first, you'll find love there,
I'll be waiting just inside Heaven's door.

Friday, March 11, 2011

grace, grace, God’s grace

Sometime ago I made a note that ‘Grace is God’s infinite generosity’.  That sums it up quite well.  To be honest here, there have been times in my life that I couldn’t ‘see’ God’s grace.  Times when I didn’t understand why I deserved grace.  I sing Amazing Grace, but do I realize what it is?  Ask me the definition of grace, and I probably can’t answer the question.  It’s a very complex subject (to me).

God gives of His grace freely.  It’s His gift to us.  When I accepted Jesus as my Savior, I accepted God’s grace.  His grace has no strings attached, no conditions, no limits, no taking back, no failure.  Even though I haven’t, don’t, nor won’t ever deserve grace, God gives it to me anyway.  Amazing.   

For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
Romans 6:14 NAS

but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
2 Peter 3:18 NAS

Thursday, March 10, 2011

who is God?

He is light, love, longevity, and Lord. He is goodness, kindness, gentleness, and God. He is Holy, Righteous, mighty, powerful, and pure. His ways are right, His word is eternal, His will is unchanging.

His is my redeemer, He is my Savior, He is my guide, He is my peace, He is my Joy, He is my comfort.  I serve Him because His bond is love, His burden is light, and His goal for me is abundant life. I follow Him because He is the sovereign Lord of all that was, is, and is to come. He will never leave me, forsake me, mislead me, forget me, nor overlook me.

He is everything for everybody, everywhere, every time, and in every way. He is God, He is faithful, I am His, and He is mine. God is in control, I am on His side, and that means all is well with my soul.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

riding along the way

I recently spent a couple of days visiting with my Mom and Sister.  Sis doesn’t work on Wednesday afternoons, so I thought of something different for us to do.  They only knew I wanted to visit the family cemetery plot behind the old Brown’s Baptist church.  There are headstones of my Papa and Nana, and Papa’s parents.  Papa, his father, and I share the same birthday.  Pretty neat.  Some very old headstones need cleaning to read them.  There’s one for a great aunt of mine.  She was a missionary in China and the Congo.  I have some of her keepsakes in my curio cabinet.  And then there’s my Dad’s.  He’s been in Heaven for almost eleven years, and I look forward to seeing him again.  I imagine he sings beautifully by now.  (Let’s just say he couldn’t carry a tune, and leave it at that.)  :)  Fond memories... 

After that, I drove all around the countryside enjoying old memories and the beauty around us.  I paused along the way to snap photos of old barns, old sheds, and country churches that held special meaning.  I played a song from a CD, and the three us sang along, at least three times.  The song was ‘He Touched Me’.  Actually, we sang very well together, our voices in harmony praising our Lord.  It was a wonderful day.  This is the song...

He Touched Me

Shackled by a heavy burden
Neath a load of guilt and shame
Then the hand of Jesus touched me
And now I am no longer the same

He touched me, oh He touched me

And oh the joy that floods my soul
Something happened and now I know
He touched me and made me whole

Since I met this blessed Savior

Since He cleansed and made me whole
I will never cease to praise Him
Ill shout it while eternity rolls

He touched me oh He touched me

And oh the joy that floods my soul
Something happened and now I know
He touched me and made me whole

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

to post or not to post

Before I begin a post, somewhere along the way my mind/heart seems to choose a subject or an idea.  It may be something that just pops into my head from nowhere.  It may be something I’ve heard or read.  It may be a memory or a sight or a smell or a feeling or a sound.  It may be something similar to an old post.  I may think of it while driving or in Walmart or out in the yard or sitting in traffic or in a waiting room or looking out a window or just watching people go by.  Sometimes there are many thoughts swirling around in my head and sometimes my mind is blank.

Today, my mind is blank...

Thursday, March 3, 2011

quick quotes

Lord, give me a humbling sense of my sins, give me a humbling sense of thy glory, give me a humbling view of thy love, for surely nothing humbles like these. All my pride springs from ignorance.... May I be nothing in my own eyes, may I be willing and desirous to be the servant of all.
John Newton

If anyone would tell you the shortest, surest way to all happiness they would tell you to make it a rule to thank and praise God for everything that happens to you. For it is certain that whatever seeming calamity befalls you, if you can thank and praise God for it you will turn it into a blessing.
John Newton

My memory is nearly gone, but I remember two things: That I am a great sinner and that Christ is a great Savior.
John Newton

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

lay it down

Have you ever had burdens in your life weigh you down?  Way down, like a backpack full of rocks?   It’s difficult and painful.  Sometimes, it takes me longer than it should, but I finally remember I don’t have to carry my burdens alone.  I don’t have to struggle alone.  I don’t have to hurt or grieve or suffer or cry alone.  I’m a child of God, and He will always carry me.  I don’t have to be alone.  I constantly need God in my life.

When I lay down my burdens at the feet of Jesus, I need to leave them there.  I don’t need to pick them up again.

I read this somewhere, and it struck home with me.  Thought I'd share:
We all have burdens. Some have physical burdens like chronic sickness or some disability that you cannot change. Some have spiritual burdens. Satan might have struck your life and bonded you spiritually. Some of you may be dealing with emotional burdens like depression, anxiety, loneliness, heartache of a loss, or financial struggles.  The fact is we all have burdens and cares and they weigh down upon us like a load on the back. 

Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.
Psalm 55:22 NAS