Monthly Archives: August 2011

MUD PIES

Mud Pie

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     When I was growing up one of my favorite things to do was to make mud pies! Mom would tell me to go outside and find something to do. Well, I did! The next thing I know I hear my mom yelling my name as the screen door slams behind her. She grabs me by the  hand and takes me to the water hose, and rinses me off. Then we went inside where I had to take a bath, with her scrubbing me with a little brown rubber scrubber! To moms defense, I had come inside for something, and brought the mud with me,  tracking it in the house. There also was mud on everything I touched!  The only way I could get clean without dirtying everything up was to have her do it for me. At the time I was to young to understand why she was so mad. After all, it was just dirt!

This Psalm reminds me of playing in the mud. Because we are born into sin we need someone to clean us up who does not have sin.

I WAITED patiently and expectantly for the Lord; and He inclined to me and heard my cry. 2 He drew me up out of a horrible pit [a pit of tumult and of destruction], out of the miry clay (froth and slime), and set my feet upon a rock, steadying my steps and establishing my goings. 3 And He has put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many shall see and fear (revere and worship) and put their trust and confident reliance in the Lord.

Psalms 40:1-3 (AMP)

We need Jesus to save us.

Let’s take a closer look:

“I WAITED patiently and expectantly for the Lord; and He inclined to me and heard my cry.”

In the first verse we see that the person is waiting  expectantly for a response from God about something they have prayed about. 

When a person asks Jesus into their life as their Lord, He saves them.

And it shall be that whoever shall call upon the name of the Lord [ invoking, adoring, and worshiping the Lord—Christ] shall be saved.

Acts 2:21 (AMP)

“He drew me up out of a horrible pit [a pit of tumult and of destruction], out of the miry clay (froth and slime),”

My life before excepting Jesus as my Lord was a real mess. Now, life still has its moments when it is the “pits” and has  “slippery” situations; it is a mess with hope!

We are separated from God because of the sin in our lives.

Since all have sinned and are falling short of the honor and glory which God bestows and receives.

Romans 3:23 (AMP)

Sin=Death

For the wages which sin pays is death, but the [bountiful] free gift of God is eternal life through (in union with) Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 6:23 (AMP)

Jesus=Life

But God shows and clearly proves His [own] love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) died for us.

Romans 5:8 (AMP)

Jesus never said that we would have it easy, He did say He would be our source of peace and deliverance when bad situations arise.

 I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]

John 16:33 (AMP)

“and set my feet upon a rock, steadying my steps and establishing my goings.”

 For everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord [invoking Him as Lord] will be saved.

Romans 10:13 (AMP)

“And He has put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God.”

Therefore if any person is [in grafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!

2 Cor 5:17 (AMP)

“Many shall see and fear (revere and worship) and put their trust and confident reliance in the Lord.”

So we are Christ’s ambassadors, God making His appeal as it were through us. We [as Christ’s personal representatives] beg you for His sake to lay hold of the divine favor [now offered you] and be reconciled to God.

2 Cor 5:19-20 (AMP)

It was God [personally present] in Christ, reconciling and restoring the world to favor with Himself, not counting up and holding against [men] their trespasses [but cancelling them], and committing to us the message of reconciliation (of the restoration to favor).

2 Cor 5:19

When we except Jesus (are born again), we can go and tell others about Him, and help them get out of the mud! ( Matthew 28: 19-20)

DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF!

The sky's zenith appears centered in this dayt...

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Therefore I tell you, stop being perpetually uneasy (anxious and worried) about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink; or about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life greater [in quality] than food, and the body [far above and more excellent] than clothing?

Matt 6:25 (AMP)

Have you ever wanted to just pick up a communication device  like captain Kirk and say, “Beam me up Scotty” or get an “Easy button” like those commercials have? Life would be a whole lot more interesting if we could!

One day I was sitting outside stewing over life in general. The day itself was beautiful, the sun was shining, birds where singing and there was not a cloud in the sky.  Its funny how things have an appearance of a sunny day when inside there is a war going on between your mind and your heart. Why where you stewing? you ask. Good question. The week prior to that day I had been put on disability at my job. I went from working two jobs at thirteen to fifteen hours a day,six days a week to zilch! I went from standing all day to not being able to stand five minutes without a great deal of pain. Thoughts of how I was going to live, and make ends meet, bombarded my head. The reason I was outside that morning was to get some quiet time in with God. As you can see it was anything but quiet time! As I stared into the sky I heard in my heart, “How big is the sky?”  It goes on forever, I responded. “What in this world is bigger than the sky?” Nothing, the sky covers the entire planet! ” Like the sky is to the world, I am bigger than your problems!” Whenever a bad situation arises and all I have is questions, I look up and know that God is bigger than that!

He gives power to the faint and weary, and to him who has no might He increases strength [causing it to multiply and making it to abound].

Isaiah 40:29 (AMP)

Whatever you are facing right now there is hope for you. Remember, there is no mountain bigger than, no valley darker than, no road longer than, the sky. God gives you power to overcome the mountains (the difficult situations) of life. He strengthens you to go through the valley of shadows (the things we don’t understand). He walks with you on that road that is long and narrow.

But seek ( aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness ( His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides. 34 So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble.

Matt 6:33-34 (AMP)

WHAT’S THAT SMELL?

Incense

WHAT’S THAT SMELL?

As the sun was setting on the city of Rome the sound of marching soldiers filled the once peaceful sky. The people lined the streets to see the procession as it came through the main gate of the city. With the general in the lead the priest swung the incense burners as they followed close behind, releasing a fragrant scent into the air around them. The officers quickly followed riding high on their horses as they rejoiced in their victory over their enemies to the south. The captives followed with there heads hanging low, being prodded like cattle by the soldiers that followed them. As the fragrance filled the air with smoke it released the aroma of victory, job well done for all the officers and the soldiers in the procession, but to the captives it was the stench of slavery or even death.

Notice that in this story the smoke from the incense burners the priest where carrying  went over everybody in the line. One smoke-two scents! As you live your life in Christ you will give of a fragrance. To those people who are being saved (those looking for salvation, and fellow believers) you are sweet smelling. But to those people who reject (they are not interested in) the plan of salvation you smell bad to  them. So in the world you are sweet smelling or you stink! To God however, you are the fragrance of Christ.

   Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. 15 For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life.

2 Cor 2:14-16 (NKJV)

Who always leads us in triumph in Christ?___________

What is diffused through us?_____________________

Where is it diffused?____________________________

Who’s fragrance are we to God?___________________

As you live your life in Christ you will give of a fragrance. To those people who are being saved (those looking for salvation, and fellow believers) you have a sweet fragrance. But to those people who reject (they are not interested in) the plan of salvation you smell bad to  them. So in the world you smell good or you stink! To God however, you are the fragrance of Christ.

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WHEN tribulation,trials,distress and frustration… STUFF HAPPENS

I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]

John 16:33 (AMP)

Tempesta

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 “When someone speaks the Word of God, they can talk their way out of anything!”   

                      -Pastor Tony Crawford Dayspring Church Acworth, Ga.

I remember the first night I was  alone in my  house, after my husband of nine years walked out on me,  a violent storm raged outside my window.  I could hear the hail pounding down on the roof, while lighting flashed around me and the thunder shook the entire house! Then, to make matters worse the alarm system went off. I was scared stiff! It was as if fear itself stood in my room pinning me down on my bed. At that moment I heard in my heart “Psalm 27.” I reached over to the drawer in my bedside table and pulled out a bible I kept in there. When I found the verse I started to read: ” The LORD is my Light and my Salvation—whom shall I fear or dread? The Lord is the Refuge and Stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?”… I read the entire chapter out loud. As I read this Psalm the fear that paralyzed me faded into the night.  Even though the storm outside continued,  He calmed the storm in me.

If something or someone has got you scared stiff today, just remember what God has promised you in His word. That no matter what happens today, He (God) will always be there with you.

Who shall ever separate us from Christ’s love? Shall suffering and affliction and tribulation? Or calamity and distress? Or persecution or hunger or destitution or peril or sword? Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through Him Who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded beyond doubt (am sure) that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things impending and threatening nor things to come, nor powers, 39 Nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:35,37-39 (AMP)

Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for andexpect the Lord.

Psalms 27:14 (AMP)

THINGS HOPED FOR

Sunrise through the clouds

Image by Betchaboy via Flickr

The day began as it always did, with sounds of the town’s merchants setting up shop while others headed to the water front, to see what the fishermen caught the night before. As they gathered on the shore someone shouted, “Jesus, the great teacher is coming!” The word of his arrival soon spread through the entire town, and people started crowding the beach to see him.

In a small house down on the waterfront, just outside of town, lived a woman who was very ill. She suffered with an incurable disease for the past twelve years. Each day she would come and sit at the door and watch the activities on the beach. She had long since abandoned any hope of getting well again; for the doctors, despite their best efforts, could not find a cure for her hemorrhaging. As she sat there she pondered, who this “great teacher” is everyone was flocking to the beach to see.

Her neighbor, seeing her sitting there questioned her, “Aren’t you going to go see the man who people say is sent from God?”

“Why do people believe in such a thing?” the woman responded.

“Well, I’ve heard demons come out of people when he shows up. My brother said when he went to the city last week, he saw Jesus heal a blind man who was sitting on the side of the road.”

“Is that right?” she inquired.

“I heard He even raised a widow’s son from the dead over in the town of Nain!” she added.  The woman listened as people continued to pass them. “I’ve heard some people claim this man to be the Messiah!” the neighbor said as she joined the crowd heading to the shore,  she too wanted to see the man everyone in town is talking about.

When Jesus stepped out of the boat, a ruler of the synagogue whose name was Jairus, came and fell at his feet. With words filled with tears and anguish, he pleaded, “Rabbi, please come to my house, my daughter lay dying, she is only twelve years old.  I know you have the power given to you from God to heal, please come!” Jesus reached down and helped the child’s father to his feet, “I will go with you” he answered.

The woman watched the people act like a crazed mob swarming around Jesus to touch him as they began walking toward Jairus’ house. She knew of the rabbi’s daughter being ill, and considered the weight of this man Jesus’ reputation with such a man as Jairus.  She also recalled what her neighbor said to her earlier.

“He healed the blind man” she thought to herself. Just then, a ray of hope sprang up in her heart. She slowly raised herself up from the place she was sitting and started pushing through the crowd with all her might. She kept her eyes on Jesus, because she saw him not as a prophet or a teacher, but as her healer.

“If I can touch him I know I will be healed,” she kept thinking over and over as she pressed through the wall of people. Coming up behind Jesus she reached out with trembling hands and touched the hem of his cloak. As quickly as lightning flashes across the sky, the power of God moved through the woman’s body, restoring her to perfect health.

“Who touched me?” Jesus said as he gazed into the crowd. The people grew quiet and where puzzled at the question he asked.

“Master,” Peter said, “The people are crowding and pressing against you.”  “I felt power flow out from me,” Jesus said as he looked at the people gathered around him.

Knowing she could not keep silent any longer, the woman came and fell trembling at the feet of Jesus. The people stood in silent amazement, for they recognized the woman as being the one who was sick for the past twelve years. In their presence she explained to Jesus why she touched him, and how she had been instantly healed. Jesus helped the woman to her feet, “Daughter, your faith has healed you, go in peace.”

Jairus was encouraged by what he just witnessed with the woman and her being healed, because he knew how long she had been sick. “My daughter is twelve years old. Surely Jesus will heal her too!” he thought to himself. While Jesus was still speaking to the woman, the crowd parted and two men approached Jairus with word of his daughter’s death. The message they brought tore into his heart, gouging out the hope that was in him.

When Jesus heard the news, he turned and fixed his gaze on Jairus to encourage him, “Don’t be afraid, just believe and she will be healed.”  Fighting back the tears, Jairus took Jesus to his house. When they arrived, the house was full of people wailing and mourning for the little girl. “Stop weeping! The child is just asleep!” Jesus commanded.  With that the mourners started to laugh at him, for they believed she was dead. “Leave this place now, you of little faith!” Jesus exclaimed. After they left, Jesus only allowed Peter, James, John and the child’s parents to come in with him, as they approached the place where the little girl’s body lay. Jairus took his wife’s hand as she cried silently. Jesus knelt down next to the body and gently took her hand and said, “Little girl, I say to you get up!” Immediately, her spirit returned to her body and she stood up as she looked into the eyes of her healer.

“My daughter lives!” exclaimed the child’s mother whose tears of sorrow turned into tears of joy. “Give her some food” Jesus said as the parents embraced their daughter. As Jesus turned to leave he cautioned them, “Do not tell anyone how her life was saved.”

For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation and adorn the wretched with victory.                                                                                                              Psalms 149:4 (AMP)

This a narrative of:  Mark 5:21-43 (Amp), Luke 8:40-56 (AMP)

HIDDEN TREASURE

A field of flowers in the West Coast National ...

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When I drove to work in the early morning hours, I used this time as my “quiet time”. One morning  I heard the Holy Spirit  say in my heart, “What is the treasure in the field? ” He then reminded me of the verse in Matthew 13:44:

 

44 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

Matt 13:44 (NKJV)

“Then He asked who is the man? What is the field?” I have heard it taught that this is an example of when someone finds Jesus as their Savior and Lord they give up their old life and receive/follow the new life in Him. That is not where He was going with this.  The following is the word I received from Him:

“The man in this story is God. The field he went into and later bought was the world. The treasure he found is you. When he  ‘sells all that he has and buys the field,’  is when He gave his Son Jesus for you”.

15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 16 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. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

John 3:15-17 (NKJV)

“Why did he “hide” the treasure that he found, I asked. “What do you think the owner of the field (the devil John 12:31,14:30) would have done had he knew about it?”  At that moment He reminded me of this verse:

 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

1 Cor 2:7-8 (NKJV)

It was on mornings like this one that the drive into work were not long enough! 🙂

 

 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Eph 2:1-10 (NKJV)

 

HOPE DELIVERS!

This story is taken from the Bible in John 11: 1-27.  

 IN HOPE

BELIEVES

As Martha looked into the crowded streets she thought, “It has been several days since I sent the message for Jesus to come to Bethany and I have yet to see him. Lazarus is very ill and I know Jesus can heal him. I hope he will come soon because I do not know if my brother can hold on much longer.

Jesus was teaching his disciples when the messenger Martha sent arrived with the news of Lazarus’ illness. The message read, “Lord the one you love is sick.” However, when Jesus heard about it he said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it”, so he went on teaching in that region.

As the sun hung low, the streets of Bethany became deserted as the merchants closed up for the evening. Mary and Martha stood at the foot of their brother’s bed trying to hold back the tears. Lazarus looked at them with loving eyes as he faded off into eternity. The night was filled with crying and the people came from all around to comfort them in their loss. “If only Jesus were here. I know Lazarus would be alive!” Martha said softly. “If only Jesus were here.”

Four days had past when Jesus turned to his disciples and said, “Let us go back to Judea.” In a puzzled stare they looked at him and said, “Those people tried to have you stoned and now you want to go back there?” Jesus looked back at them and said, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.” “Lord if he is sleeping he will get better,” one of them replied. Realizing the disciples had no clue to what he meant he replied, “Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there so that you may believe. Nevertheless, let us go to him.

Many of the Jews from the city came to comfort Mary and Martha in their loss. Their brother Lazarus was well known in the community. Looking through the sea of endless faces, Martha gazed to see if Jesus was among them. She and Mary as well as their brother believe that Jesus is the Son of God and they loved him very much. Just then a ways down the road, Jesus appeared with his followers. Pushing her way through the crowded streets, Martha ran out to meet him. “Lord, if you had been here my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask.” Jesus looked at Martha and said as he smiled at her, “Your brother will rise again.” “I know he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day,” she responded. “Martha, I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” Jesus questioned her. “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, Who is to come into the world.” she answered.

Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God ?   -JESUS  (John 11:10)

In this story we see Martha placing her hope in Jesus to help her brother who is sick. Notice she never gives up , stops believing or blames God, even when things don’t go as she thought they should. She believed in Gods ability to help her brother instead of  the situations ability to destroy . Because Jesus is our Hope we should never give up or give in when life throws us a curve ball.