Releasing My Past, Pressing Toward the Goal

Since this year has started, incredible transformation has occurred in my life!

It was an inner transformation: from being intimidated of life to being confident and bold for Christ!

From being more soft-spoken and timid to speaking clearly in front of others with passion!

From being like a “floater,” that is, passively managing my time, to being purpose-driven and focused.

At the start of this year I was a stagnant pond, living and moving, but not reaching out to others. Others that could use encouragement and prayer.   I can say that today I am an ever-flowing stream.  Where the inspiration of Christ refills, refreshes and exudes from me again and again.  What an incredible and forgiving God we have –  To Him be all the glory!

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There’s still that nudge, that thug, that thought that wants to keep the PAST in the PRESENT and wants me to make a bed and rest comfortably in my FORMER ways.  Where sin and immaturity dominated.  Unforgiveness, envy and selfishness resided.

But I refuse!  And I choose to reach forward to what God has for me.

Philippians 3:13-14 says,

This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.

I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

I now RELEASE heartaches, regrets and all of the junk from my past.

And I PRESS TOWARD THE GOAL in Christ Jesus!!!

Anticipating a simply AMAZING, EXCITING AND FULFILLING 2014.

God Bless Us All!

The Christmas Tree

The Christmas tree means many things to many people.  But how wonderful this thing can be!  Christmas trees can often bring childhood memories to life, like when one sits in a dim room, Christmas music streaming through the air, as the flashings of the tree light glistens in your eyes.   What a beauty!

Several stories are credited for the start of the Christmas tree.  n the sixteenth century people made a pyramid of wood and added evergreen leaves and candles for decoration.  One in particular stands out: it widely believed that one winter evening while Martin Luther, the Protestant Reformer, was strolling in the forest that he was captured by the sparkle of the starlight among the evergreen forest trees.  He wanted to he bring this beauty in his home by constructing wired candles on an evergreen tree in his front room! And the practice has seemed to stick…

Then some people do not grasp the history of Christmas tree or even the truth that Christmas actually recognizes the birth of Christ.  Some just love the beauty and décor the Christmas tree gives. 

Candy canes, shiny red& green ornaments and silver bells all hang.   The extravagant ginger bread houses and pine scents all express the warmth and beauty of Christmas!

But there was another Christmas tree not always recognized. 

 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree.  Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.  – Acts 5:31-32

Another passage similarly says:

Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”) – Galations 3:13

Yet this Christmas, Jesus is standing at the door, and knocking on your heart.  Let Him in…

He takes the old and makes it New…

He takes sin and Cleanses it….

He takes burdens and Lightens them….

Jesus makes us brand new creatures! – 2 Corinthians 5:17

When Jesus was nailed to that tree and took on our shame- the work of salvation was complete! It was finished. 

Be Encouraged to remember that Jesus is the reason for the season and has made us a brand new creation!

 

http://www.history.com/topics/history-of-christmas-trees

Fulfilling God’s Divine Purpose

I am purposefully designed, masterfully made. –Ps139:14 Ain’t no mistake here!! 

God made me with a purpose in mind. His plans for me are great!  I am His masterpiece.

When we say things like this, we are repeating and meditating on what God says about us and our lives!  Go ahead and say it again….

Today when so many people live in despair and fret for their lives as to whether things will follow through. Will they loose a job, will their house foreclose, and so on.  So many people live without having the assurance that God will work everything out on their behalf.  This is God’s Word in Romans 8:28:

 And we know that ALL things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

Anyone that loves and honors God and seeks to live a life pleasing to Him; do not have to worry.  God will make everything work together for their good!

Not that we won’t have hardships and tribulations, just that He will bring us through even stronger than when we enter it!

Not that we won’t suffer pain sometimes, but that He (God) will not put on more than we can bear. -1 Corinthians 10:13

 

Also, God has a purpose for each and every one of our lives.  Knowing this divine purpose for our lives brings clarity and direction.  It helps us avoid life’s many distractions and focus on the specific tasks in line with our purpose.  We can develop and grow in that specific area. So that more people would be changed!!  We must not settle for less and forfeit our God-given assignments, but seize them in an attitude of expectation. 

Our enemy, Satan seeks to destroy our Divine purpose.  Jesus said,

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. – John 10:10.

If we can only grasp how much God wants to live in His purpose- to live an abundant, victorious and Spirit-led life.  But when hardships and tribulations come (which they will), we can lift up our heads and bold declare: “I AM AN OVERCOMER!”

Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;

-Philippians 1:6

Be Blessed!

 

 

Offering God Gifts At Christmas

Look around you!  Someone needs your care.

Look around you!  Someone needs your silent strength.

That comfort, support and prayer that you can give.

Then others actually need your helping hands and feet!

If you’ve looked around you lately you will see HELP! posted on so many faces.

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Joseph and Mary went to Bethlehem for a census.  Mary was carrying the Christ child and due to deliver!  They traveled around Bethlehem, knocking on doors, looking for shelter from inn to inn- found none. I could see an innkeeper now looking at Joseph who is shivering in the cold that night, and the very pregnant Mary, who though quietly waited, was exhausted from the long ride.  This inn keeper, seeing there state of discomfort, simply brushed them off, “there’s no place here for you!”

[Kinda like what some to Christ today whenever they reject him]

Knocking on doors, going from place to place, Joseph and Mary were turned away from getting help.  Yet though the Christ was born in a lowly stable of animals, it did not stop the angels from declaring in the heavens- “Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

While you remember Christmas, remember that God gave a gift of his son to us.  We too should give gift of ourselves to others!  The little time to help a sister, the little donation to give to a food pantry, taking out a minute of our time to pray for someone, all can go long way in giving God the Glory and making another smile.

There is just so much we can do!  In Matthew 25, Jesus says, On the day that I return again, I will say to my followers, “I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was naked and you gave me clothes.  Hungry and you fed me, in prison and you visited me.”

The disciples asked Jesus, Lord, when did we do these things?

Jesus replied, continues, I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters,you were doing it to me!’ – Matthew 25:40 [NLT]

Father,

Teach us to love and care for each other this Christmas season. 

We realize that when we care for our brothers and sisters, we are

in turn giving to you.  We acknowledge that you are the reason for

this season, so may our lives reflect your image and give you glory.

In Jesus’ Name.

 

 

God’s Amazing Plans for My Life

Twenty-nine years ago, the Lord saw me and formed me. I was not yet born.  But amazing enough,

he already knew everything about me! 

 

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;
Before you were born I sanctified you;
I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” -Jeremiah 1:5

God knew us long before we were ever born. And had great plans for our lives! Plans that are good. To give us a future (Jeremiah 11:29)!   His plan may not be to give us great wealth, fortune and fame so that WE can look good.  But the plans God has for us are perfect!

When I feel alone or abandoned, I can say: God is with me!

He will never leave me nor forsake me (Hebrews 31:5). I don’t have to fear!  I don’t have to fret what people think of me or will do to me (Psalms 37:1)!  His angels are covering and protecting me!

We don’t have to feel condemned about our Pasts. 

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.” -Romans 8:1a   When we abide in Jesus, the Vine, and seek to please Him through our lives, our past sins are gone!  History!  Nada! Throw in the sea of forgetfulness never to return!

We are brand new creations in Christ.  So we can lift our heads up, rejoice in his daily provisions and move forward on to what he has in store next!

IF YOU ONLY KNEW WHAT GOD HAS IN STORE FOR YOUR LIFE!   You would indeed rejoice!! 

But God’s will above all:  He is “not willing that any should perish (in their sins) but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9

 You must be born again, receive Jesus as Lord of your life, in order to inherit eternal life with Him

TODAY CHOOSE LIFE!

Say this prayer after me,

Father in Heaven,

I come to you now.  Thank you for sending your Son to die for the world. 

I receive Jesus as Lord of my life. I believe that He died for my sins,

and then rose from the dead, and that I too will live forever with him.

Remove all condemnation of the past.  Set me free from all bondages

I can not be free of myself.  Right now, I am new!  I am born again!

And I will spend eternity with you in heaven! 

In Jesus’ Name!

If you prayed that prayer: Angels right now are having a celebration in heaven.  Find a congregation to belong to, study the Bible- the Holy Word of God and live in the freedom Christ has made you FREE!!

 

Standing Up Means Standing Out

Esther, a young Hebrew woman whose parents had died when she was a child, raised by Mordecai, her father’s nephew.  Over the course of a relatively short time (a year of preparation), due to the dethroning of the former Queen of the Provinces, Esther, whose Jewish name was Hadassah, went from being that lowly Jewish girl , to Queen along side King Ahasuerus, who reigned over 127 provinces- from India to Ethiopia!

The King did not know this, because she didn’t tell, that she was a Jew, of the tribe of Benjamin.  And when the law that the King just signed, conspired by Haman, one of his captains,  included the killing of all of the Jew (and perhaps Esther herself).  Esther took on courage, when into to the inner courts of the King’s house and stood before him.  This act according to law is punishable by death!  Yet Esther did it anyway, she stood up by doing something many would not do.  Many people would be afraid to go before the King. They might even make excuses for not standing up for what they know is right!

But Esther stood before the King and the scripture says, “she found favor in his sight,” (5:2) he held out his golden scepter meaning he will grant her whatever she requests.

“Becoming a woman who unashamedly says yes to God is going to cause you to be different from many of your family members and friends.” -Lysa TerKeurst, President of Proverbs 31 Ministries.

Matthew 7:13-14, here Jesus says,

 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because[a] narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

Father,

Give us the courage to stand up for what is right and pleasing

in your sight even when we face oppositions. 

In Jesus’ Name

It takes courage.  Courage God has given to every believer

A Real Family At Christmas

There is a good story in God’s Word, where a certain lawyer, quite educated and knowledgeable, decided to ask a question to “test” Jesus and redeem his lead in the conversation.  The Lawyer asked Jesus,
Who is my neighbor?

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In other words, how should sisters treat each other?  How should I treat my fellow brother in God, and what about people I do not know- strangers?  So Jesus went ahead and described the type of people-treatment that pleases Him?

A Biblical neighbor certainly isn’t one when they see the family of seven across the street, with one bread-winner, running short on food and funds, unable to buy their kids presents; that we although the new Lexus GX sport pass these neighbors by, without even a wink while headed to our six bedroom [five of which are empty] deluxe luxury home.

To describe a real neighbor, Jesus shared: There was a man traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho; a short eighteen-mile journey that proved to be dangerous.  The man was beaten, money taken and stripped.

The brutally wounded man would be easily noticed by any other travelers on that road.  And there certainly were travelers.  So it was that a Priest, called a Pastor in most circles, was the first to see the wounded sojourner.  Instead of this Priest stopping to attend to a man who was clearly in need of help, **(He was probably hurrying to teach to his Popular Bible Study, where he “just couldn’t be late”)  scripture states, the Priest just kept on walking pass the man.

Interesting enough, the second person to come by was a Levite, who in Jewish circles was a Priest’s aide! Whose responsibilities was suppose to be basically the same.  The Levite “came and looked” at the man, and likewise passed the wounded by on the other side of the street! [Did he check the man’s pulse? temperature? anything?! N. O.]. But just like the Priest, He just kept going where He was going, something he just considered “more important” than attending to this family member, friend or neighbor that is hurting!

 

The irony of the story is that the person we least expect to care, does something that they all should have done.  It was a Samaritan.  When the Samaritan saw the wounded, bleeding man, he stopped off his horse, bandaged the man’s wounds, AND paid for his care as he healed! Keep in mind, Samaritans were hated cousins of the Jews, due to pagan worship and intermarriage with Gentiles.

But this story says that no matter who you are or where you’re from,  when you consider the needs of another- friend, or strangers; those who praise us and those who pull us; those who support us and those who despise us for whatever reason- WE OUGHT TO LOVE THEM ANYWAY.  TO TREAT THEM AS WE WANT TO BE TREATED.

That is a true neighbor and this gives Christ praise!

Father,

Teach us to love and support our fellow sisters in Christ! 

 For we don’t know whether we can win a sister over by our love

displayed towards them.  As we enter this Christmas season, Father

may our world truly display peace on earth and good will to men! -Luke 2:13-14

In Jesus’ Name.