Thursday, August 27, 2009

bold in christ

this morning as i was reading God's Word, i read in one of the gospels where he called the pharisees' father, the devil.(pharisees: the highest esteemed religious men, leaders of the time) He stated that they lived and taught lies and since satan was the father of lies and they did not recognize Jesus as God's Son they must be children of the devil. he said all this within earshot of the jews and the jewish leaders. does this sound like a man who is "tolerant", not wanting to "upset the applecart", careful not to offend someone?? He is quite the opposite. My God is The Spirit of Truth, and His "yes" means "yes" and His "no" means "no", regardless of how much money, influence or fame one may possess. He is no respector of persons. He sees only the heart.

are you a jester for the people or a pleaser of God? i have always prided myself in my boldness and standing up for what was right even when it went against the popular thing to do. but as i've gotten older and less the rebel, i have found myself notably noncontroversial(which is the complete antithisis of Jesus). sadly, offending God rather than standing up for Truth. most of the time, the occassions to show my loyalty to Him would be in a bible study group, a group of believers, a christian environment, when either gossip was evident, an off color joke was presented, or even someone was off based Scripturally and in my pretense i stood silent. i rationalized my silence by reasoning, "it's none of my business" and went about my day. God has convicted me of my disloyalty to Him by showing me how much hurt occurs when others gossipped at my expense, especially when i knew i had close loved ones nearby who sat quietly allowing the slander. they behaved just like i did when my Lord and Savior was slandered(when we speak evil about any of his children we are cursing His kids). He wants us to stick up for what's right, not what' s popular.

ask yourself this: are you an extremist for God or an extremist for the world? if you are the latter, you are not pleasing God. now this is not to say you are to be a rebel and fight all the time, but have God's love always in your heart. whenever someone does or says something that Jesus would not approve of and you are privy to the conversation, i ask you to ask yourself, who are you more interested in pleasing...Him or them?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

He will rejoice over you

whew! just got back in town from a whirlwind trip to nashville, filled with laughter, tears,walks, heart to heart talks, a little business and friends and family! i enjoyed every single minute. it's late and i'm tired, still coughing from a lingering cold. 'bout to turn in and call it a night,but before i do, i'd like to share a sweet sweet moment my dear friend experienced the other day.

my friend is the same age as my mom and i've always thought of her as my big sister. she is a prayer warrior extraordinaire. i admire her faith, tenacity, trust and closeness she has with the Lord. she must depend on Him for everything for her husband has terminal cancer. diagnosed 20 months ago with cancer all over his body(bones, liver,chest colon,etc.), he was given 6 months to live. saundra, my friend who does not take no for an answer, went to the Lord and started praying on ken's behalf. not only did she pray but she asked everything that breathes to pray for ken, as well. she has people all over the world praying for "mr. ken". so many miracles have happened and he is still with us, although, now battling cancer in his brain. saundra and many of us believe God for mr. ken's healing as we've seen his cancer reduce and even go away in many areas.

what i'd like to share with you is what saundra shared with me. while showering the Lord urged saundra to write an email asking everyone in her church, bible studies and sunday school classes to pray for mr. ken and the recent discovery that the cancer had spread to the brain. saundra doesn't email because she has never learned. she went to her home office and attempted to write a long email to the "saints" asking them to pray. while clumsily writing this letter(prayer request) , she started feeling a real sense that the Holy Spirit was speaking every word to her. she couldn't write fast enough. she included this Scripture: The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty;He will save;He will rejoice over thee with joy;He will quiet you with His love;He will joy over thee with singing. Zephaniah 3:17

as she finished the letter, a supernatural joy came over saundra and she began praising the Lord and thanking Him for mr. ken's cancer! she couldn't imagine what had come over her. i reckon it was a good dose of the Holy Spirit! she said in all the time mr.ken has been sick she has had occassions when God has given her a peace about his illness, but a downright joy? no. she even questioned herself, sitting at the computer in the middle of the night, having never written an email, now singing boldly and laughing and just having a Holy Ghost "hoedown." doesn't this just make you smile?

please keep "mr. ken", as saundra has always referred to him, in your prayers, thanking God for his healing of every cancer cell in his body from the tip of his head down to his little pinky toe. thank you dear Lord for rejoicing over me. he sings with joy my dear over YOU!

Monday, August 24, 2009

content in my complacency

i'm up in nashville right now, enjoying the 70 degreeish weather and eating way too much! when we are out of town it seems as if we center all business meetings, dr. appointments, visiting friends, etc. all around Food! i'm thoroughly sick now from my latest over indulgence, banana's foster!

back to blogging, i wanted to finish up with the subject of "contentment". i'm going to do some dirty talking now so stay close. i was once so bogged down in sin(the yucky grimy miry stick -to - you type), the ones that church folk don't talk about and certainly don't know how to help(even if they weren't the judgemental type). yep, that WAS me! when i was bogged down in sin, i didn't know i was in it...really. i was raised in the church and i knew "right" from "wrong", but i had plenty of excuses of why i was sinning. so i continued in the same old yucky mucky sins until one day, i was completely CONTENT in my complacency. i was happy where i lived in my sin filled body. i was happy with my "sinny" friends and particularly happy with my "sinny" life. i was sinning and having fun 'cause you know in the short run, sinning is fun. what we don't realize is that when the sin takes us over, basically and becomes our life we are then on the road to death, both spiritually and eventually physically. i was moving into a level of spiritual death.

some of the symptoms of spiritual death are:1) you are no longer convicted of your sins. 2) you do not recognize your behavior as a sin because you have a legitimate excuse for your actions . 3) you will not give up the habits(sins) you have adopted because they actually have become like buddy's to you. 4) you have no desire to read His Word or even hang around with real Godly people. 5) and you certainly are not seeking God's help to get out of the sinful lifestyle you have fallen into.

now if you are reading this and you are thinking, this is me, or you're thinking this is a bunch of hogwash, then please keep on reading. i can only know these symptoms because i've experienced them myself. you can become so used to living an ungodly way that it almost becomes second nature to you. darling, i'm asking you to dig deep right now, if you are feeling the slightest twinge of conviction or just knowing you are not living "right" by Him, our Lord, then please get on your knees right now and confess to Him your sins. you are instantly forgiven.

Eph. 6:12 tell us that we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers ,against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

you have to confess your sin/sins to Him(God), ask for forgiveness(He automatically forgives), and you must renounce any spirit that has been ruling you. for example, if you are addicted to alcohol then you should say,"in the name of Jesus, I renounce the spirit of alcoholism. i reject alcoholism and it no longer has a claim on my life." then confess to the Lord that you are free. ask God to free you and to forgive you.

i recommend a great book, that will help you with this matter. it is Dr. Neil Anderson's, Victory over Darkness. i trained under dr. anderson and became a "discipleship counselor" who helps free people's minds from depression, and many other addictive behaviors.

don't give up and don't ever think you are a lost cause. look at me! i'm the proof in(Jesus Christ's) pudding!"

please forgive any weird things in this blog. i'm without a mouse and just about computer illiterate anyway so the least little thing throws me off. blessings to you my dear!!!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

unconfessed sin

it's late and i'm just getting to writing my thoughts that i hope are divinely inspired. all my intentions are for the HolySpirit to give me wisdom and i then pass on to you my dear, whatever He has given to me. i wrote a bible study this way and taught 25 wonderful women each week in my home in franklin tn. the scary thing for me was that since i was hearing from the Holy Spirit on each lesson, i'd want to know the lesson way ahead of time and He'd give it to me in His time. sometimes i wouldn't know until the night before the bible study, what i was to teach on. now if you know me well, you'd know that i'm terrified of speaking in front of others so i needed and desired to be prepared for the women who were, national speakers(michael w. smith's mom), bible study teachers themselves, sunday school teachers, preachers wives, etc. a very intimidating crowd for me, that is. hence, my writing is from the bottom of my spiritual heart, inspired by our awesome GOD!! the nagging thought that kept coming to my head and heart today was that i hadn't gotten into His Word, yet. as i played with the family on the beach and walked along the sandbars, i still thought, "i can't wait to get home snuggle up in something warm and read His Word". it's now 10:20pm and i STILL haven't had time with my dear Father in His Word. my point is this: as i was packing to leave town AGAIN, i was yearning to spend time with the Lord and thinking back to a time when it didn't matter to me if i read His Word or not. my agenda was all about me and my family. thankfully, it's more about Him now than myself(most of the time). i want to ask you if you are desiring to read His Word daily, talking to Him regularly and basically seeking to spend quality time with Him? If your answer is "no", then this might hurt but i must be honest and tell you that you may have unconfessed sin in your life. sin that still controls you, will put a wedge between you and the Lord causing you to be apathetic to Him. my advice to you if your answer to the above questions are, "no", then get in a quiet place before the Lord and ask Him if you are holding onto something you shouldn't ? Ask Him if you have a sin that is holding back your relationship from growing in Him. then, get out your Bible, dust it off(you may have to find it first), and begin reading even if you dont feel like it. i just bet, you'll be a different woman sooner, rather than later.

God bless you and keep you, sistas!!! i love you, i do, i do, i do! p.s. i AM going to finish part 2 of contentment, He just hasn't given it to me yet!! :)

Friday, August 21, 2009

content yet not complacent (part 1)

As a timid passenger, I sat while my 15 year old swerved and slammed us about the car today. She has now had her learner's permit for 4 days. I have 1 more gray hair, blood pressure up several points and now a nervous twitch; but still a determined mom, who must get her 4th and last child "driver friendly"!

As we drove we passed many places and ran over many things, one in which was a nursing home(we just passed it), thankfully all residents were inside eating and such. as we passed by, i thought back to when my mom and dad(precious ones) took care of my grandmother(who is 90) in their home in perry florida, where i am from. my mom cooked grandmother homemade meals, every meal, she took her to interesting places like the fabulous bakery in downtown perry, she had many, many visitors to see grandmother to help brighten her day and they watched movies together most regularly. mom also took care of grandmother like keeping her clean , her bedding clean and kept her taking her meds properly. mom prayed with her daily, read her the bible regularly and just loved her mama! dad also helped with all this too! they were literally reflections of Jesus to grandmother.

Now what has puzzled me so, and grabbed my thoughts just for a moment, while out reckless driving with my daughter , is this. The time(8plus months) that grandmother was with mom and dad, she constantly begged to go "home" to atlanta. dont get me wrong, i understand that a 90 year old who has lived her whole life in one place would want to go back there. she had nowhere to go back to though! we explained that to her countless times, we empathized with her daily, and continued to take care and love her. grandmother kept on begging to go back, calling family in atlanta, asking to go live with them( the family in that situation work full time), repeatedly, so, finally she got her wish. mom called her brother, explained that no matter what she did, grandmother wanted to move back to atlanta. Grandmother had never lived with her son before, but she just knew it would be home(i guess). she went back "home" this past april and immediately got sick, had to be hospitalized and then went straight to a nursing home. we all tried to tell grandmother that might happen because her son wasn't equipped to take care of her like my mom and dad. she has now been in the nursing home a few months. i have seen her and her sweet sweet smile since, but it's nothing like when she lived with her daughter, my mom.

i think God is like that with us too. He desperately tries to give the best for us, to us, He tries to mature and grow us,He tries to show us His unfailing love; yet, we always desire to go back to what's comfortable and even destructive,at times. what are you hanging onto? what is it that you won't let go of? do you REALLY want to go back? do you REALLY want to live in that nursing home when you can have shangri-la? my advice to me and maybe you too is; be content where you are. He might just be maturing you and getting you ready for something else. God bless you right where you BE today!!!! by the way, there's a part 2 to this. stay in touch tomorrow. it gets pretty muddy and miry....( phil.4:11-13) ...for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

"mercy june, mercy"

2nd blog. it seems that God is desiring for me to learn how to be more merciful. just yesterday, my hubby did something that he has done to hurt me many times before, and my loud response was, "no more mercy!" seriously, i think those were my exact thoughts, then words; because an immature Christian's tongue follows her every thought! i sulked for a few minutes, all the while hearing the Lord saying quietly ,"mercy june, mercy".

the story doesn't end here with an apology and an admittance to my showing him mercy. i indeed did both, apologize and told him i was sincerely sorry for not extending him the same mercy i give to everyone else, even the loved ones who have continued to hurt me so deeply.

the point my dear Father God was making to me and i hope this will speak to some of you is that we will be so quick to forgive our church friends, extended family and even immediate family, but are we offering that same mercy and forgiveness to our spouses???

the very ones we live with sometimes are the ones we take most for granted. we should not only offer them mercy and forgiveness freely, but how about even going a step further. offer to pay their debts like paul did for onesimus to philemon. (philemon 1:17-18) paul says to philemon, "if he(onesimus,phil's runaway slave)has wronged you or owes anything, put that on my account...i will repay. paul is willing to repay onesimus' debt like Jesus took on our offenses without deserving any of them.

take it home darling; remove you, remember Christ and receive His blessings for doing what is right(whether you feel like it or not). God bless you in your obedience.