Election Day Perspective…

Today is election day. I will vote for the candidate(s) who best lines up with God’s values and truths found in His word and sometimes it comes down to one issue. The important thing to remember is that our God is sovereign and allows or places into power those needing to be there for this moment in time in our world’s history. While that is comforting my responsibility remains the same.

Romans 13:1,2 “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.”

Perspective

I do not deny the importance of this election, but it seems to me that we need a dose of perspective. So here is a “True/False” test.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, Jesus will still be King!

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, our responsibilities as Christians will not have changed one iota.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, the greatest agent for social change in America will still be winning the hearts and minds of men and women through the gospel, not legislation.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, my primary citizenship will still be in this order – (1) the Kingdom of God , (2) my Family, (3) Jesus Church and everything else after that………

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, the tomb will still be empty.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, Jesus death on the cross and His resurrection, not the government, will still be our salvation.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, our families will still be more concerned with whether or not we spend time with them than with who is President.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, my neighbor will still be my neighbor, and loving him/her will still be the second greatest commandment. (Do you know the first?)

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, the only way to see abortion ultimately overturned will still be winning men and women to a high view of life through the gospel of Christ.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, the only way to see gay marriage ultimately defeated will still be sharing the biblical view of marriage through the gospel of Jesus Christ.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, my retirement will still not match my treasure in Heaven.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, “Jesus Is Lord” will still be the greatest truth in the Universe.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, we will still know that God is in control.

True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, I will pray for them.

And the directive for our CHRISTian lives remains the same….

Mat 28:19,20 “Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you, and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”

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Always say a Prayer…A.S.A.P.

I Thes 5:16-18 “Rejoice always, PRAY WITHOUT CEASING, in everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you”.

Always say a Prayer…A.S.A.P.

Ever wonder about the abbreviation A.S.A.P.? Generally we think of
it in terms of even more hurry and stress in our lives. Maybe if we
think of this abbreviation in a different manner, we will begin to find
a new way to deal with those rough days along the way.

There’s work to do, deadlines to meet;
You’ve got no time to spare,
But as you hurry and scurry-
ASAP – ALWAYS SAY A PRAYER

In the midst of family chaos,
“Quality time” is rare.
Do your best; let God do the rest-
ASAP – ALWAYS SAY A PRAYER.
It may seem like your worries
are more than you can bear.
Slow down and take a breather-
ASAP – ALWAYS SAY A PRAYER

God knows how stressful life is;
He wants to ease our cares,
And He’ll respond to all your needs
A.S.A.P. – ALWAYS SAY A PRAYER.

Today I’m saying a little prayer that
GOD will smile on you and send
you all the special blessings you
deserve. ASAP!

I Thes 5:17 “Rejoice always, PRAY WITHOUT CEASING”

‘Born Again’ Believers Faith Test…

Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

‘Born Again’ Believers Faith Test…

When trouble abounds in your life which question do you ask?

‘Why me? ‘or, ‘What is God trying to teach me? ‘

Think about the difference before you pass on from those two questions. The easiest to ask and our flesh begs us to do so is the first one. The second will require the faith that says God knows best for my life and His ways are better than mine. It may come down to whether we think our ways are better than God’s. Before you say that’s ridiculous think about all the reasons you apply to why trials come your way and what your thought process is when they do. And remember….

Isa 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.”

James 1:2-3 “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.”     As a ‘born again’ believer God has a purpose for trials and tribulations in our lives. When we fail to recognize that truth than we also fail to learn what our God is trying to teach us. And He loves us so much that He will probably bring that trial back our way, so we learn. Another reason for difficult moments coming into our lives is in the form of discipline. We truly do reap what we sew. That discipline also shows God’s love for us.

Gal 6:7 “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.”

Heb 12:6-8 “For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines and He scourges every son whom He receives. It is for discipline that you endure, God deals with you as with sons; for what sons is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.”

How do I react to the trials and discipline from God?

Proverbs 15:10, 11 “Harsh correction is for him who forsakes the way, and he who hates reproof will die. Hell, and destruction are before the Lord; So how much more the hearts of the sons of men.”

Have a great day seeking the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus!! And remember to accept trails and discipline sent from God and to learn the lesson the FIRST TIME! And even more importantly if this logic seems to not make sense to you then maybe you have not been ‘born again’. Listen to what God says about those outside of His family.

 John 3:3 “Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born [a]again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

 John 14:6 “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me”

If you are one of His children, the beauty is that He loves us enough to send trials to spiritually mature us and discipline to correct us.

If you are not one of His then He is offering you the free gift of salvation. But don’t wait. This could be the last moment or chance you have.

Real Angels…

I Cor 13:4-8a “Love suffers long, and is kind; love does not envy; Love does not parade itself, is not puffed up. Does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; Does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails…”

Real Angels

I walked into the grocery store not particularly interested in buying groceries. I wasn’t hungry. The pain of losing my husband of 37 years was still too raw. And this grocery store held so many sweet memories.

Rudy often came with me and almost every time he’d pretend to go off and look for something special. I knew what he was up to. I’d always spot him walking down the aisle with the three yellow roses in his hands. Rudy knew I loved yellow roses.

With a heart filled with grief, I only wanted to buy my few items and leave, but even grocery shopping was different since Rudy had passed on. Shopping for one took time, a little more thought than it had for two.

Standing by the meat, I searched for the perfect small steak and remembered how Rudy had loved his steak. Suddenly a woman came beside me. She was blond, slim and lovely in a soft green pantsuit. I watched as she picked up a large pack of T-bones, dropped them in her basket, hesitated, and then put them back. She turned to go and once again reached for the pack of steaks. She saw me watching her and she smiled. “My husband loves T-bones, but honestly, at these prices, I don’t know.”

I swallowed the emotion down my throat and met her pale blue eyes. “My husband passed away eight days ago,” I told her. Glancing at the package in her hands, I fought to control the tremble in my voice. “Buy him the steaks. And cherish every moment you have together.”

She shook her head and I saw the emotion in her eyes as she placed the package in her basket and wheeled away. I turned and pushed my cart across the length of the store to the dairy products. There I stood; trying to decide which size milk I should buy.

A quart, I finally decided and moved on to the ice cream section near the front of the store. If nothing else, I could always fix myself an ice cream cone. I placed the ice cream in my cart and looked down the aisle toward the front.

I saw first the green suit, and then recognized the pretty lady coming towards me. In her arms she carried a package. On her face was the brightest smile I had ever seen. I would swear a soft halo encircled her blond hair as she kept walking toward me, her eyes holding mine. As she came closer, I saw what she held, and tears began misting in my eyes.

“These are for you,” she said and placed three beautiful long stemmed yellow roses in my arms. “When you go through the line, they will know these are paid for.” She leaned over and placed a gentle kiss on my cheek, then smiled again.

I wanted to tell her what she’d done, what the roses meant, but still unable to speak, I watched as she walked away as tears clouded my vision. I looked down at the beautiful roses nestled in the green tissue wrapping and found it almost unreal. How did she know?

Suddenly the answer seemed so clear. I wasn’t alone. “Oh, my Lord, you have not forgotten me. He was still with me and more so in my time of grief.

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

Where your Treasure is…

Matthew 6:19a” Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth,
where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal…”

“Where your Treasure is….”

The cheerful girl with bouncy golden curls was almost five.
Waiting with her mother at the checkout stand, she saw them: a
circle of glistening white pearls in a pink foil box. “Oh please,
Mommy. Can I have them? Please, Mommy, please!”

Quickly the mother checked the back of the little foil box
and then looked back into the pleading blue eyes of her little
girl’s upturned face. “One dollar and ninety-five cents. That’s almost $2.00
if you really want them, I’ll think of some extra chores for you
and in no time you can save enough money to buy them for yourself.
Your birthday’s only a week away and you might get another crisp
dollar bill from Grandma.”

As soon as Jenny got home, she emptied her penny bank and
counted out 17 pennies. After dinner, she did more than her share
of chores and she went to the neighbor and asked Mrs. McJames if
she could pick dandelions for ten cents. On her birthday, Grandma
did give her another new dollar bill and at last she had enough
money to buy the necklace.

Jenny loved her pearls. They made her feel dressed up and
grown up. She wore them everywhere, Sunday school, kindergarten,
even to bed. The only time she took them off was when she went
swimming or had a bubble bath. Mother said if they got wet,
they might turn her neck green.

Jenny had a very loving daddy and every night when she
was ready for bed, he would stop whatever he was doing and
come upstairs to read her a story. One night when he finished
the story, he asked Jenny, “Do you love me?” “Oh yes, Daddy.
You know that I love you.” “Then give me your pearls.”  “Oh,
Daddy, not my pearls. But you can have Princess, the white
horse from my collection. The one with the pink tail.
Remember, Daddy? The one you gave me. She’s my favorite.”
“That’s okay, Honey. Daddy loves you. Good night.”  And
he brushed her cheek with a kiss.

About a week later, after the story time, Jenny’s
daddy asked again, “Do you love me?” “Daddy, you know I
love you.” “Then give me your pearls.”  “Oh Daddy, not my
pearls.  But you can have my baby doll. The brand new one
I got for my birthday. She is so beautiful and you can
have the yellow blanket that matches her sleeper.”
“That’s okay. Sleep well. God bless you, little one.
Daddy loves you.” And as always, he brushed her cheek
with a gentle kiss.

A few nights later when her daddy came in, Jenny
was sitting on her bed with her legs crossed Indian style.
As he came close, he noticed her chin was trembling and
one silent tear rolled down her cheek.  “What is it, Jenny?
What’s the matter?” Jenny didn’t say anything but lifted
her little hand up to her daddy. And when she opened it,
there was her little pearl necklace.  With a little quiver,
she finally said, “Here, Daddy.  It’s for you.”

With tears gathering in his own eyes, Jenny’s kind
daddy reached out with one hand to take the dime store
necklace, and with the other hand he reached into his
pocket and pulled out a blue velvet case with a strand
of genuine pearls and gave them to Jenny.  He had
them all the time.  He was just waiting for her to give
up the dime store stuff so he could give her genuine
treasure.

What are you hanging on to?

Matthew 6:19-21
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth,
where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break
in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures
in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where
thieves do not break in and steal. For where your
treasure is there your heart will be also.”

The Beauty of being Empty…

John 3:30 “He must increase, but I must  decrease.”

Matthew 5:6  “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.”

The Beauty of being Empty

We spend a lot of time trying to be full.  Full of happiness, full of love, full of a positive self-image, the list goes on and on.  We try to fill our wallets, our stomachs, our closets and our time.  I wonder though, instead of focusing on trying to be full, should we be working to empty ourselves?  How can we refill with what is good if we do not first empty out all that is wasting valuable space inside of us?  When I ask this question, I gain a better understanding of John 3:30, “He must become greater, I must become less.”  In order for me to be filled with God, I must step aside and make room for Him to fill me.  I must empty out all that is wasting space and make room for something so much bigger and better to change me from the inside out.

That sounds great….but what does it mean to be “filled with God?”  When I try to make myself happy through making money, shopping, eating, etc., I am focused on a temporary fill that provides a false sense of happiness that only leaves me feeling emptier in the end.  I find myself thinking thoughts like, “If I just had ______, I would be happy or if I only had ______, my life would be better.”  However, it is only a matter of time before I am finding myself thinking these same thoughts with different desires.  At times, we can be unaware of a void in our life. Poet, Antonia Porchia states, “we become aware of the void as we fill it.”  It’s good to take a life inventory every once in a while and ask ourselves, am I making conscience choices with the way I spend my time, money, etc. or am I trying to fill a void in my life that can only be filled by God?

In fact, when I stop to think about it, I realize that it is often having “things” that cause me to feel empty!  Just when we think we have the cutest shoes ever made, we see someone with cuter shoes.  After getting the latest smart phone, it seems like the next day a newer version hits the market.  Even our relationships can cause us to feel empty.  People will, not can, but will let us down.  As hard as we try, we cannot please everyone and we will let others down as well.  I think if we are being honest, we would all agree that there are times when we check Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter to catch up with friends and we find ourselves feeling jealous or “less than.”  When we are feeling like something is missing, it is a great time to challenge ourselves to fill that void we are experiencing with something positive, and there’s nothing more positive than God.

God doesn’t want us to feel empty, but He will allow this miserable feeling so we will be motivated to refill and find happiness that we never imagined we could experience. Sometimes things have to get worse before they get better or emptier before we fill up. Romans 15:13 says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”  True joy and true peace can only come from one place, and it is not the mall or a special person in our life. God can and often times does put people in our lives who we experience joy with and who help us through difficult times and that is awesome!!  But those blessings are extras in our life and not what we should attempt to fill our lives with.

Challenge:  Identify one thing that you try to fill your life with that isn’t God.  Then, to help fill your life the right way, make conscience choices regarding the everyday, small choices you make.  Examples would be the words you say, the music you listen to, the way you treat your family……and make sure to fit God in by talking to Him throughout the day and reading what He has to say to you in the Bible.

So, the next time you are thinking that being empty is so terrible, remember the empty tomb and what a wonderful blessing that is to us all.  Take some time today to empty out what’s wasting space in you and fill up with something worthwhile!

Mat 28:19, 20 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

 

Acts 4:31 “And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.”

Answers to Prayer…

I Cor 15:58 “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”

P.U.S.H!

When everything seems to go wrong,…just P.U.S.H.!
When the job gets you down,…just P.U.S.H.!
When people don’t react the way you think they should,
…just P.U.S.H.!
When your money looks funny and the bills are due,
…just P.U.S.H.!
When people just don’t understand you,
…just P.U.S.H.!
P.U.S.H. is an acronym for “Pray Until Something Happens”

And remember there are more answers to prayer than yes. No and wait are also answers! Why is that?  Well, it is because God will answer your request based on His will for your life and not your will for your life. Listen to the best example of praying in God’s will that we have. It is Jesus praying just before He went through the terrible pain of crucifixion for our sins…………

Luke 22:42 “saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”

1 Thes. 5:16-18 “Rejoice evermore.  Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

One big key to understanding God’s answer to your P.U.S.H. is to evaluate all of the options, even the one(s) you would not choose. They may be what God’s will is…..

Isaiah 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith Jehovah.”