Things you’ll need to Know after Birth…

Phil 4:8 “Finally brethren whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are noble, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue and if there be anything praiseworthy think on these things.”

Things you’ll need to Know after Birth!

  • Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your might.
  • Jesus must be number one in your life.
  • Character matters.
  • Family is vital.
  • Love your neighbor as yourself. Don’t sweat the small stuff, and remember, most stuff is small.
  • The most boring word in any language is “I”.
  • Nobody is indispensable, especially you.
  • Life is full of surprises. Just say “never” and you’ll see.
  • People are more important than things.
  • Listen 90% of the time & speak the other 10%. Be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to wrath.
  • Only Jesus can make you eternally happy. Make Him Lord of your life.
  • There’s so much bad in the best of us.
  • Gossip is sin.
  • Live by what you trust, not by what you fear. For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (If He is our Savior)
  • If you wait to have kids until you can afford them, you probably never will.
  • Baby kittens don’t begin to open their eyes for six weeks after birth. Men generally take about 26 years. Maybe longer for some of us. I was ‘born again’ at 28…..!
  • The world would run a lot smoother if more men knew how to dance. That one I have still not mastered!
  • Television ruins more minds than drugs. Do you suppose satan or many of his army reside in Hollywood?
  • Sometimes there is more to gain in being wrong than in being right. If you are willing to admit to it!
  • Life is so much simpler when you tell the truth. Even the little white lie is sin.
  • People who do the world’s real work don’t usually wear neckties.
  • A good joke beats a pill for a lot of ailments.
  • There are no substitutes for fresh air, sunshine and exercise both spiritually and physically.
  • A smile is the cheapest way to improve your looks, even if your teeth are crooked.
  • May you live life so there is standing room only at your funeral. And may those at your funeral be confident of your new home.
  • Mothers always know best, but sometimes fathers know, too.
  • Forgive yourself, your friends and your enemies.
  • If you don’t do anything else in life, love God first.

Deut. 6:5 “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.”

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Understanding God’d Will for your life…

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

Understanding God’s Will for your life

Do you know the difference between God’s perfect will and His permissive will. If you are like me the answer is, well kind of. The big question is, which one do you desire to have fulfilled in your life. Inside of us is that daily struggle between the flesh and the Spirit. The flesh thinks it knows what is best for my life and my emotions typically agree with my flesh. That is a huge caution to me when it comes to identifying just what is God’s will for my life. God reminds me that His ways and thoughts are much higher than mine are and can be very different. That tells me that my logic and feelings are very inadequate for making decisions.

What God knows is best and what He desires for each of His children lines up with His perfect will. When I ask for my will to be done based on how I feel or what I perceive is best for me that drives me to pray for that result and that result only. And to feel that God has not answered my prayer if the answer is not yes. God loves us so much He may allow an answer to prayer that is not in His perfect will. That is called God’s permissive will. The big problem is that when we are out of line with God’s will the end result is always without exception bad for us. Even if it lines up with my desires.

The story of Balaam and Balak is a great example. Balak the King had a problem. He saw how God was blessing His people that He had just taken out of Egypt. That meant doom for many groups of people who were populating the promised land. Balak was scared. He was the King of one of those groups. He heard that Balaam was a man of God and God answered his prayers. So he sent a group to Balaam the Prophet to ask him to come with them and to curse the nation of Israel. Balaam went to God and God told him to not go with them and to not curse Israel. Pretty straight forward. But like us Balaam allowed some things to blind him of God’s will.

When Balak heard the news he sent a 2nd group now including many persons of higher positions to influence Balaam. Balaam went back to God with the same request. In Chapter 22 and 23 of Numbers we read the account. Take special note that God told Balaam he could go along with them which reflects His permissive will. He gave Balaam what he desired but it did not line up with His perfect will which was to not go. That one shakes me because it challenges me on how many times I have multiple requests for the same prayer request. Am I also trying to change God’s will from His perfect will to His permissive will? Listen to the danger is doing so.

It notes in Numbers 22 that God was angry. And we have the same God today that answered Balaam. Balak offered Balaam a great sum of money to do so. That’s where the flesh took off running. Balaam saw a great material blessing at his waiting. The Spirit nudged Balaam with the realization that to do so was out of line with God’s will. And so the struggle was on. Just what would he pray for. God’s perfect will and loose the material rewards and maybe even his life or would he ask God for His will to be done? Balaam by not accepting God’s perfect will almost lost his life. If you read about the next events it was only by God’s grace that Balaam lived. That story of his life shakes me. How many times do I not listen to God and only want to accept what I feel is best for me. And those requests may be leading to disaster!

We do have the perfect example of this struggle given to us by Jesus. The human side of Jesus did not want to go through the torture of the cross. Jesus being the only person to ever walk the earth and never sin also was the only person to walk this earth who never requested anything other than…..

Mat 26:42 “Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.” ‘

Let’s run through the Rains of Life…

Ecc 3:1 “To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:”

Let’s run through the Rains of Life…

A little girl had been shopping with her Mom in Target. She must have been 6 years old, this beautiful red haired, freckle faced image of innocence… It was pouring outside. The kind of rain that gushes over the top of rain gutters, so much in a hurry to hit the earth it has no time to flow down the spout. We all stood there under the awning and just inside the door of the Target.

We waited, some patiently, others irritated because nature messed up their hurried day. I am always mesmerized by rainfall. I got lost in the sound and sight of the heavens washing away the dirt and dust of the world Memories of running, splashing so carefree as a child came pouring in as a welcome reprieve from the worries of my day.

The little voice was so sweet as it broke the hypnotic trance we were all caught in ‘Mom let’s run through the rain,’ she said.

‘What?’ Mom asked.

‘Let’s run through the rain!’ She repeated

‘No, honey. We’ll wait until it slows down a bit,’ Mom replied.

This young child waited about another minute and repeated: ‘Mom, let’s run through the rain,’

‘We’ll get soaked if we do,’ Mom said…

‘No, we won’t, Mom… That’s not what you said this morning,’ the young girl said as she tugged at her Mom’s arm.

This morning? When did I say we could run through the rain and not get wet?

‘Don’t you remember? When you were talking to Daddy about his cancer, you said, ‘If God can get us through this, he can get us through anything!’

The entire crowd stopped dead silent. I swear you couldn’t hear anything but the rain. We all stood silently. No one came or left in the next few minutes. Mom paused and thought for a moment about what she would say. Now some would laugh it off and scold her for being silly. Some might even ignore what was said. But this was a moment of affirmation in a young child’s life. A time when innocent trust can be nurtured so that it will bloom into faith.

‘Honey, you are absolutely right. Let’s run through the rain. If GOD lets us get wet, well maybe we just needed washing,’ Mom said.

Then off they ran. We all stood watching, smiling and laughing as they darted past the cars and yes, through the puddles. They held their shopping bags over their heads just in case. They got soaked. But they were followed by a few who screamed and laughed like children all the way to their cars.

And yes, I did. I ran. I got wet. I needed washing.

Circumstances or people can take away your material possessions, they can take away your money, and they can take away your health. But no one can ever take away your precious memories…So, don’t forget to make time and take the opportunities to make memories every day. To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven.

Most importantly remember the only reason we have heartache in our lives is because we choose to be sinners and reject God’s perfect design for our lives. That perfect design was first shown with Adam and Eve. In the garden there were no diseases, tornadoes, hurricanes, earth quakes, no death………………………..but we decided there was a better way. Fortunately, God still loves us…………….

God awaits our calling upon Him this morning to wash us…………………

John 3:15-17 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

Without Jesus you and I Fail…

Philip. 4:7 “And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Without Jesus you and I Fail:

Every once in a while, as you’re cruising down the highway, you’ll see a truckload of smashed cars. The steel pancake version. Sometimes you’ll drive by the scrap yard where these Junkers end up, and there you’ll see row after row with stacks of these flattened old vehicles. “Junk,” you say. Today it is, but there was a day when that hunk of steel was someone’s dream come true. It was the new wheels they’d hoped for and saved for, a prize they wouldn’t let anyone touch, now flattened. And oh, the tears when the first scratch or dent arrived.

In a way, a lot of our life’s dreams end up that way. At one time the dream was new and shiny, something we thought would make us happy for a long time. But so many dreams end up letting us down. When first realized we have a sense of there must be more or what comes next. The excitement is over. Having what I wanted turns to restlessness and dissatisfaction and what’s next. A great gain suddenly becomes a great loss. Yesterday’s discovery becomes today’s disappointment. There are at least three ways that yesterday’s dream turns into today’s disappointment. Your dream gets flattened because you never get it, or because you get it and you lose it, or because you get it and find out that it wasn’t the answer you thought it would be. The dreams that do not bring the fulfillment we are seeking are the fleshly ones. Or those that we make without including God.

This cycle of disappointments creates a sort of “un-peace” in our heart. There is a high level of contentment for us to be had but it is beyond the pleasures and desires of our flesh. It requires choices that are unnatural to our flesh and to the world we live in. It comes only after denial of self and places Jesus in the driver’s seat of our lives.

John 6:35: “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me will never go hungry, and he who believes in Me will never thirst”

 Jesus says He can finally satisfy your lifelong heart-hunger.

Without Jesus in our lives and in our decisions making we have a huge void in our lives. We’re missing Him because we run things our way, not His way. That puts an eternal wall between us and Him. Even if you have placed your faith in His sacrifice on Calvary and His resurrection from the dead for your eternal destiny you still can be controlled by the “me first” fleshly problem. Be honest with yourself and ask the question, what and Who is number One in my life.

The Holy Spirit is moving in your heart to move you to serve Jesus vs. self. Jesus desires to end the world of flattened hopes and dreams and give you new purpose for your life. But like salvation He never forces us to draw near to Him. He allows us to make that choice.

Romans 12:1, 2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be you transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

So, how is your presentation this morning………….is it striving to please self or serve Jesus!!!!!!?

Luke 9:23 “And he said to them all, if any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me!”

Isaiah 55:1. “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Why spend money (or your life for that matter) on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen to Me and eat what is good and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.”
So, are you at peace with God this morning?

Philip. 4:11 “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.”

Managing Excess Emotional Baggage…

Matthew 11:28. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

I Peter 5:7. “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.”

Managing Excess Emotional Baggage!

That is a wonderful invitation from the lips of God. We all have emotional baggage. It could be you are carrying a lot of pain right now. Maybe you’ve got some crippling issues from your past. Maybe some bad news you got recently or an overload of stress. It could be you carry baggage from a divorce – it could be your own or maybe your parents’ divorce, or from some form of abuse or a bad relationship. Some of us are trying to carry the weight of a serious medical condition, a financial crisis, maybe a family issue.

A friend of mine had some very heavy baggage. One day in a doctor’s office, he heard one of those words we dread – cancer. He has a deadly cancer. He is supposed to have been gone three or four times already. He had ten operations in eight years, but when you talk to him you just can’t believe what he’s gone through, or he is going through. He’s like joyful. He’s positive. He’s interested in how you’re doing. It’s just hard to believe he could be carrying such heavy weight, yet seem so light. He was an encouragement to other patients. That’s what they told him. So his doctor called him in one day and said, “Can you visit some of my other patients? They need what you have.” What does he have? He made that clear the other day. He told me about others that he knows who are falling under the weight of cancer.

Then he just made this simple observation. He said, “They’re trying to handle it without a Savior.” Well that’s the difference for him – the Savior difference – the Jesus difference. He could be the difference for you. Let’s look at the baggage you’re carrying. I wonder if his words describe you, trying to handle it without a Savior. See you were never meant to carry that pain or that burden alone. Jesus says, “Come to me. I want to carry it.” He’s a burden carrier. He knows your pain. He understands it because He’s been here. He’s experienced everything from loneliness, to betrayal, to torture, to dying; and Jesus has dealt with the deadliest baggage of all that we carry; the sin of our lives. Because that will one day keep us out of heaven.

But the Bible says, “He carried our sins in His own body on the tree.” And the day you tell Him that you are trusting in Him to be your own Savior from your own sin, that’s the last day you will ever carry your burden alone. The strong arms of Jesus are reaching out to you right now, and He says, “Let me help you with your baggage. I can handle it. I already bore all the weight of all your sins on my cross. The rest is easy.” The promise of Jesus: “I will give you rest.”

Mat 11:28, 29 “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

I Peter 3:15 “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give an answer to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;”

The 7 Ups…

The 7 Ups

  1. Wake Up!!

Decide to have a good day.

“Today is the day the Lord hath made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

Psalms 118:24

  1. Dress Up!!

The best way to dress up is to put on a smile.

A smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.

The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at outward appearance; but the Lord looks at the heart.”

I Samuel 16:7

  1. Shut Up!!

Say nice things and learn to listen.

God gave us two ears and one mouth, so He must have meant for us to do twice as much listening as talking.

“He who guards his lips guards his soul.”

Proverbs 13:3

  1. Stand Up!!…

For what you believe in.

Stand for something or you will fall for anything.

Let us not be weary in doing good; for at the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good…”

Galatians 6:9-10

  1. Look Up !!…

To the Lord.

“I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me”.

Philippians 4:13

  1. Reach Up !!…

For something higher.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path.”

Proverbs 3:5-6

  1. Lift Up !!…

Your Prayers.

“Do not worry about anything; instead PRAY ABOUT EVERYTHING.”

Philippians 4:6

A POSITIVE THOUGHT If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it.

If He had a wallet, your photo would be in it.

He sends you flowers every spring, and a sunrise every morning.

Whenever you want to talk, He’ll listen.

What about the Christmas gift He sent you in Bethlehem; not to mention that Friday at Calvary.

Face it, He really loves you a lot.

John 3:16-18 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

The Greatest Pain in Life…

John 14:1 “Let not your heart be troubled, you believe in God, believe also in Me…”

The Greatest Pain in Life

The greatest pain in life is not to die, but to be ignored.
To lose the person you love so much to another who doesn’t care at all.
To have someone you care about so much throw a party and not tell you about it.
When your favorite person on earth neglects to invite you to his graduation.

To have people think that you don’t care.
The greatest pain in life is not to die, but to be forgotten.
To be left in the dust after another’s great achievement.
To never get a call from a friend, just saying “hi”.

When you show someone your innermost thoughts and they laugh.
For friends to always be too busy to console you when you need someone to lift your spirits.

When it seems like the only person who cares about you, is you.
Life is full of pain, but does it ever get better?

Will people ever care about each other, and make time for those who are in need?

Each of us has a part to play in this great show we call life.

Each of us has a duty to mankind to tell our friends we love them.
You will simply be ignored…forgotten…as you have done to others.

*This poem was written by a young girl who committed suicide.
Perhaps if the people surrounding her had shown a little more love,
and had paid more attention to her, her death could have been prevented.

Remember that when going through life, you can’t judge a sad, lonely, or
suicidal person by their facial expression, what comes out of their mouths or even
their actions. You need to get to know each person you come in contact with, cherish
your friendship with them, and show them that you care.

To be a lasting friend you must first receive Jesus, Who is the source of
unconditional love. You then can share with those in need that there is a Friend
available to them that will never forsake or leave them. He was crucified, died and
was buried for their sins and never once turns His back on us. And He is coming again.

John 14:1-3 “Let not your heart be troubled, you believe in God, believe also in Me… In My Father’s house are many mansions, if it were not so, I would have told you, I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I WILL COME AGAIN and receive you to myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”

Have a great day with the Lord of Lords and King of Kings, Jesus