“Merry Christmas Everyone!”

My Project 81-001

Just want to take some time to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!  God has used each one of you to bless me in one way or another this year.  You guys are awesome and I pray His very best for you now and into the next year. 

Also, unless I become deeply inspired 🙂 (we all know how that is), I will be taking the week off from writing.  There will be no new posts or Sunday School lessons until January. 

Be blessed.  Enjoy your Savior, your family, your friends, your holiday!

 

 

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Words To Live By – “New Day, New Mercies!”

My Project 77-001

“Your Faith Speaks more than Your Words!”

My Project 75-001

 

What people witness in your life resounds more than the words that are coming out of your mouth.  Evidence of belief; proof of faith is the visual representation that most want.  Many mistake others as not wanting what we have or not wanting the faith, yet they haven’t seen enough of it in action to provoke them to seek after what we say we have.

So, the old phrase still rings true today: “Seeing is believing.”  To a world lost, who have not hope, they look for a ring of hope they can grab onto to prevent them from drowning in the deep abyss of the darkness of this world.  They want a way out.  Many don’t want to sink deeper into despair, deeper into the unknown where there is no light to guide the way.  They want to see what you say you see.  They want to feel what you say you feel.  They want what you say you have but do they see it currently active in you to propel them from wanting it to seeking it?

Your faith speaks louder than your words.  Paul told the church at Thessalonica, “Your faith toward God has gone out, so that we do not need to say anything,” 1 Thessalonians 1:8b, NKJV.  If necessary I believe Paul would have testified on their behalf, he would have spoken up for them to assure others of their faith.  But, their faith was so active, their faith was so alive and in operation that he didn’t feel a need to speak at all.  Their faith did the talking for them.  Their faith is what people noticed, not the words they spoke from their mouth.

A lot of people do a lot of talking these days and sometimes it’s hard to decipher truth from fiction.  Jesus gave us a key that lines right up with what Paul wrote in his letter.  Jesus said, “Ye shall know them by their fruits,” Matthew 7:16.  If one comes upon a tree that has apples growing upon it then they are to assume it is an apple tree.  The same is true with a life of faith.  What they see coming out of you, or as Paul referred to as “gone out” is what matters the most.  You can say that you are an orange tree but if I see apples then I will classify you as an apple tree.  If you say that you have great faith but all I see is the opposite than I will not view you as having great faith.  I will mark you by what I see.

Your faith matters in this world.  More importantly, your faith on display matters to those around you so much that one should not have to speak up or testify for you, all they should be able to do is look at your faith in action and mark you as a person of faith.

Your faith speaks more than your words!  Be blessed.

“The Lord is on my Side!”

My Project 72-001

Oh, the grace of another day.  Yet, every day is not peachy, rather often with it comes turmoil, upset and unrest.  Sometimes battling the seen and the unseen.  Sometimes fighting to keep one’s spiritual head above the waters of this life that seek to take you under.  Oh, the peace to know that despite it all, the Lord is on my side.

One of the most impressive feats to view when attending the circus is the trapeze act.  It never seems to lose its awesomeness as we watch men and women fly through the air with what appears to be a complete disregard for life and limb.  Actually, it is quite the opposite.  They fly through the air with abandon because of the trust they exhibit in their partner to be by their side and to catch them at that pivotal moment; to catch them when it matters most.

In an article titled: “Training And Trust: Partners On The Flying Trapeze” written by Elizabeth Blair, January 5, 2011, Sergei Philippenko, one of the trapeze artist catchers says this,

                        “My job is to save him all the time.”

And Shapin, the one who flies to him says,

                        “I just know he will catch me. This is for sure,” (WBUR).

There is an awesome relationship of trust that goes on between the two.  One that neither can doubt in lest the outcome be less than desirable.

What about our relationship with God?  Do we exhibit the same trust in Almighty God that these seem to place in human confidence?  Do we sport the confidence that He is by our side to catch us when we need Him the most?

In the boxing ring alone – I think not!   Fighting the armies that encamp against me by myself – not today!  God is on my side and He promised to never leave me nor forsake me, Hebrews 13:5.

I am upheld by Him!  My life is not in my own hands rather in the hands of Him that never fails!  I may swing to and fro, sometimes feeling up and sometimes down, yet He is my ever present strength that keeps me flying high above all these adversities, above all these troubles, above all these trappings of this world.

Difficulties will arise.  Jesus said, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world,” John 16:33.  In other words, He is on our side.  He is our overcomer.  He is our victor.  He is our deliverer that will see us past all that is presently before us that we might experience the peace that He so offers.

“Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid,” John 14:27.  Some may say this is easier said than done when the upsets of life seem to be all around and the strength to carry on, well, it’s hard to find – you’re exhausted.  But, the Lord is on your side.  You are not in this alone.  This is the message of the whole Bible.  No matter how dim, gloomy and bleak it may seem, we are not in this alone.  We have a strength that is beyond our human capabilities.  We have a force fighting for us that cannot be reckoned with by human standards.  We have the one and only true God and He is on our side!

Who are you flying with today?  Secure your life in Him, let go and know that “The LORD is on my side,” Psalm 118:6.

Words To Live By – “It Ain’t Over Yet!”

My Project 71-001

Words To Live By – “It’s All About the Lord!”

My Project 70-001

Words To Live By – “My View, My Praise”

My Project 69-001

“Do It with Passion!”

My Project 67-001

 

There is one thing that really gets me going and that is seeing someone work their gift or talent with passion.  Oh, I have seen people operate in the blessings of the Lord with dryness and being very dispassionate about what they were doing, and can I tell you, there is no comparison.

Talent, skill and position can only carry you so far in life because if what you are working in is not a drawing force eventually people will stop paying attention to you; eventually people will become just as dispassionate about what you are trying to put forth.  John Maxwell said,

“A great leader’s courage to fulfill his vision comes from passion, not position,” (ThinkExist.com).

I agree wholeheartedly.  People want to follow one that gets their soul stirred up.  People want to walk the same course as one who is set ablaze for a cause; who is consumed with a yearning to get things done and to excel to be all that God has called them to be.

That word consumes gives the idea of allowing oneself to be spent for the cause.  John 2:17 spoke of Jesus in this sense when it says, “And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house has eaten me up.”  Other versions actually use the word “consume,” (see also Psalm 69:9).  This was said after He overthrew the tables in the temple.  His passion for God’s house stirred inside of Him and would not allow Him to pass by and watch what was going on without saying or doing something about it.  Jesus spent Himself for the cause of God.

In Psalm 119:139 also talks of being taken over with passion.  “My zeal hath consumed me, because mine enemies have forgotten thy words.”  The cause of God was so alive in him that the psalmist couldn’t help but to be cut to the heart when others would come against His word.

Where the Spirit of God operates there can be no dull or dry commitment.  It’s all the way or nothing at all.  There has to be fervency, (Rom. 12:11).  One has to be on fire with and for what God has placed on the inside of them.

“It is the Spirit who gives life,” (John 6:63, NASB).  There is no deadness when the Spirit of God is in full operation and if you are passionate about what God has given you, you should be Spirit-led, Spirit-full, and Spirit-alive!  You should be on fire with passion!

Ecclesiastes 9:10 says, “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.”  Put your all into it!  Let what God has placed on the inside of you bubble up and boil over to the outside that men “may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven,” (Mt. 5:16).  The things you do may or may not gain attention but the things you do with passion draws people closer to Him.  God gets the glory when people see what He is doing through you and they want to be a part of it.

Live life passionately.  Live life like the Spirit of God is alive in you; live life on fire for Him.  If you are going to sing, let your voice ring out with a burning love till it reaches the souls of others drawing them in.  If you play the drums then beat them like the heart of God beats in you.  If you are going to write, write that your words are felt more than they are read.  If you are going to preach, preach as if the cloud from the glory of the Lord has already filled the temple beckoning men to take notice of His presence.  The same is true for any gift or talent God has placed in you.  Whatever you do, whatever your gift, whatever your skill do it with passion!

I don’t know if God is calling you to overthrow some tables but I do know that He is calling you to operate like He’s alive in you.  He’s calling you to use your might and be passionate about what He has given you!

Be blessed.

“Don’t Blow Your Top!”

My Project 66-001

“Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil,” Ephesians 4:26, KJV

I had the weirdest thing happen to me the other night.  I was making what I call a “cheat dinner.”  Something that is incredibly easy and fast because my day was just that kind of day.  On this “cheat dinner” night I decided to make buffalo wings and fries (with no complaints from my family, obviously).  After cooking the little wing portions in the oven and heating the sauce, I combined them together in a bowl and mixed them with a spoon.

I left the wings to the side to cool off a bit while I got some other work done.  I came back a few minutes later, put the lid on the bowl to give them a good shake so that the sauce could coat them more evenly.  After putting the lid on, I flipped the bowl upside down to proceed with the shake when all of a sudden: POP! SPIT! SPATTER!  Apparently the wings had not cooled enough and the built up steam caused the sauce to blow up all over me.  It was so not funny, even though my kids got a good laugh from it.  My hair, my face and my floor showed the evidence of what can happen when there is too much pressure in the bowl.

With that being said I must ask, “How much pressure is in your bowl today?”  Are you dealing with a lot of pinned up steam?  Do you feel like you are ready to blow?

Well, DON’T!

Don’t blow your top!

Anger is one of those emotions that can really get the best of you if you let it.  It can seep into every area of your life making you and those around you miserable.  Anger also does another devastating thing.  It gives “place to the devil.”  Anger is an opened door that gives that old serpent an opportunity to manipulate you; pulling your strings as if you were some sort of marionette puppet.

That’s why the Bible encourages us to “let not the sun go down upon your wrath.”  Resolving issues and not letting them fester closes the door so that the enemy can’t sneak in.  Think about how much better we would feel to lie down in peace at night without those tumultuous thoughts running rampart in our heads.

Jesus admonished us to “First be reconciled to your brother . . .,” (Matthew 5:24, KJV).  Reconciliation brings healing and healing brings peace and peace slams the door on the devil’s face.  The best way to stop letting someone in is to shut the door they keep using.

Isaiah 32:17 tells us, “And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurances for ever,” (KJV).  If you are in Christ you are righteous, (2 Cor. 5:21).  Therefore, your works should be works of peace and to that end, bringing “quietness and assurances.”

Isaiah 32:18 goes on to say, “And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places,” (KJV).  Who doesn’t want their home and their life described like this?  There’s no magic method here.  Just seek reconciliation.  Don’t blow your top or you will end up with that hot sauce of life all over you.  Go after the work of righteousness and there “shall be peace.”

Follow Paul’s advice about not letting the sun go down on your anger so that you can wake up to a home and a life filled with peace.

“Happy Monday Everyone!!!!”

My Project 62-001