Sunday, August 29, 2010

What Kind of Shepherd are You?

"What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost. Matthew 18:12- 14

This was the scripture that my pastor spoke on today.  It touched me in a very deep way. He pointed out that if we are to be caring, loving, Christ-like Christians, and know that one of our brothers or sister has gone astray, do we really CARE enough to go find them?


My prayer is that GOD speaks to the hearts of my church and opens the eyes of us sitting there Sunday after Sunday thinking about how great we are for "showing up" when we know there are empty seats where our fellow believers once sat.

What have I done to reach out? Do I really care enough about the life of another to "get involved" and love them back into our arms.  Christ would.  Yet, we do nothing. We are passive. We are satisfied with our own salvation. I wonder what God would say to us when we stand at the Pearly Gate. Will He say, "Well done, my good and faithful servant" or "Why did you leave your brother behind?

Is it just okay that you are saved? Is that what being a Christian is all about? Or is it about telling others of God's love!
Even in our failures. Even in our sorrow. Even in our sin.
God's love is every lasting.

Romans 8:38 (New International Version)



 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

What Kind of shepherd are you?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

In His Presence...

When was the last time you felt the presence of God?

God has spoken to my heart many times. I have been so blessed to have "heard" that still small (but powerful) voice. I know when HE speaks to me. But..... day to day, do I really feel God's presence? 

I began to really ponder this............. 
Is being a child of the Kingdom of God suppose to be an emotionally charged state? Or is it really an unexpected peace in the midst of the storm, a friend who calls at just the right time, a beautiful dawn that breaks over the horizon when you were feeling sad or lonely, a song that comes on the radio that speaks to your circumstance.....

Isn't God omnipresent? Isn't HE Always there....



Be strong, courageous, and firm; fear not nor be in terror before them, for it is the Lord your God Who goes with you;
He will not fail you or forsake you.
Deuteronomy 31:6 (Amplified Bible)




5Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you, nor give you up, nor leave you without support. [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless
nor forsake nor [let you] down (relax My hold on you)! Assuredly not!
Hebrews 13:5 (Amplified Bible)

Whether "we" feel God's presence is ultimately UP TO US.   He doesn't MOVE.... we do.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Eat, Pray, Love

I was thinking about the new Movie out, "Eat, Pray, Love" and this past Sunday a speaker spoke of these things, but with a twist...


Eat= eat the Bible.   Be "filled" with God's word. Be hungry for it. Be nourished by it's truths.

Pray= It is the only way to communicate with God. I heard it once stated this way:

Think of ACTS
     A= affirm God's power and presence.
     C= confess sins
     T= thanksgiving, and praise
     S= pray for others and Self

Seemed like a great way to pray to me! I have prayed "ACTS" everyday since learning about it. And not only am I more focused on my prayers, I have more time to pray....because it comes natural. I am not trying to "think about what or who or whatever I need to pray about/for.... I just follow the steps of ACTS and begin.

Love= God's love is perfect.  When we align ourselves with Christ, He gives us the power to love.

This speaker also included Fellowship with believers. If you don't spend time with God's people, you can not know the fullness of his love. We need each other to lift us up and to hold us accountable. It is a bond that Christ formed here on this very earth..... when he called his people, "the church."

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Real love.....endures!

"Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance."
1 Cornithians 13:7

Most people believe that if they are SAVED, then life will be a bowl full of cherries.....but
Christ's own life here on earth was not without heartache, trials, suffering.....

What stood out to me today in my devotional time was this.....

"ENDURE"

When I looked up the definition of ENDURE, here is what I found:
1. : to undergo (as a hardship) especially without giving in : suffer
2 : to remain firm under suffering or misfortune without yielding

You notice the same thing I did....................  suffering?

I can tell you from all my relationships, that LOVE is not without suffering. You can not love and not feel pain, hurt, loss, disappointment..... It just isn't possible.

When HALLMARK began writing LOVE cards.... I bet they never thought about the meaning behind the words written by the Apostle Paul... "endure".....

Love, we are told in the main stream media, is easy, fun, sexy, and enjoyable.  I don't remember LOVE being portrayed as suffering. Do you?

Not that LOVE is not without priceless times of pure JOY! But, real love, true love, can take hit after hit and always comes back "giving" more than taking.

REAL LOVE..... Love that flows through you only through a personal relationship with Christ our Saviour, is filled with the fullness of  love for our Heavenly Father....

 "When I have learnt to love God better than my earthly dearest, I shall love my earthly dearest better than I do now. In so far as I learn to love my earthly dearest at the expense of God and instead of God, I shall be moving towards the state in which I shall not love my earthly dearest at all. When first things are put first, second things are not suppressed but increased."   C. S. Lewis

Love is God. Love comes from God. Love is an action that put us in direct obedience to God.

"Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails...But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love."
1 Corinthians 13:4-7

WOW.... I have a long ways to go to be PERFECT in love, but oh how I am trying. I believe God sees our efforts to endure anything that comes our way. Think of the life Christ....

He died for us, while we were yet sinners............ now, that is LOVE.


Thursday, August 5, 2010

New Beginnings

I just love new beginnings! Each year when school starts to roll around again, I get so excited. I love seeing my colleagues/friends and students (past and present). It is rejuvenating to my very soul!

I am so blessed that I love my job. Because for me, it is not a job, but a calling. I recall the very moment I heard God's clear voice telling me to teach. The voice was perfectly clear. I knew it not only in my head that teaching was my "calling", but in the very pit of my being.
What is more amazing is that God answered my prayer in directing me to what my purpose was to be in service to him. I was miserable in the job I had before, and I longed to have peace. I took off a day to pray and meditate, just spending time with my heavenly Father. I prayed and prayed and prayed and finally, God spoke to me and said, "Be Quiet!"  okay.... I can take a hint.... I just listened.......anxiously........waiting.....

And it happened! God spoke...."I want you to teach!"

I knew immediately  that it was the Lord's guidance. So... I took a huge leap of faith. I quit my job, went back to school, and followed HIM throughout the journey.

The blessings throughout this journey have been phenomenal! Too many to even begin to name, but BLESSED to be sure!

There have been times I have longed to hear that voice SO CLEARLY again in my life, directing my path again..... because I know that when I follow my Saviour's plan for me....

BLESSINGS will ABOUND!

Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Maybe, I just need to "BE QUIET!" for a little while longer............

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Losing Myself....

There is a song that says, "Finding myself at a loss for words, and the funny thing is.... it's okay."

That song has always been one of my favorites, but lately I have ached for the "it's okay" part to be true within my heart...

Who am I? What are my desires? What are my strengths, gifts, talents? What are my interest? What are my dreams????

I forgot the sound of my own laughter.....
             I forgot what things I liked and disliked......
                         I forgot why I was even "here".........

LOST


DEFINED:
1. no longer possessed or retained.


2. no longer to be found.

3. having gone astray or missed the way; bewildered as to place, direction, etc.

4. not used to good purpose, as opportunities, time, or labor; wasted: a lost advantage.

5. being something that someone has failed to win.

6. ending in or attended with defeat.

7. destroyed or ruined.

8. preoccupied; rapt.

9. distracted; distraught; desperate; hopeless.

Not a very pretty place to be............. is it?

But, my VERSE... you know the verse that keeps me going .............kept pounding in my head ...........and in my heart.....

"For she is clothed with STRENGTH and DIGNITY, and LAUGHS with NO FEAR of the future." Proverbs 31:25

That verse........ Oh, the sweet WORDS from our Heavenly Father! That verse is precious, because when I lost myself, my Lord reminded me of WHO I AM IN HIM!!!

I am STRONG!  I have purpose! I have value!
"I am woman"....okay..... I couldn't resist that one!

But, only..........THROUGH CHRIST!  amen
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