Sunday, September 28, 2014

Why Are We Here?

"When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers … what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?" (Psalm 8:3-4).

Why did God make us? To answer that, we need to know three things:

First it wasn't because he needed us: "The God who made the world and everything in it … is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything" (Acts 17:24-25).

And he didn't make us because he was lonely. Long before we were here, God already had "company" with his Son and the Holy Spirit, referred to in Genesis 1:26, "Let us make man in our own image."
And he didn't make us because he needed his ego fed. It's not like God made us to satisfy some craving to be worshiped. God is totally secure in who he is—without us.

Second, despite not needing us, God chose to create us anyway, out of his great love: "I have loved you with an everlasting love" (Jeremiah 31:3). Yes, God loved us before he even created us. It's impossible to get our heads around that idea, but it's true; that's what "everlasting" love means.
God is love (1 John 4:8), and because of that love and his wonderful creativity, he made us so we can enjoy all that he is and all that he's done.

Third, God created us to fulfill his eternal plan. I could write pages and pages about this, but suffice it to say that God, in his infinite wisdom, chose to make us a part of his eternal plan.
What part do we play in this plan? Well, the Bible is full of instructions for how we should live our lives. But here are a few key verses to remember:

1. "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength" (Deuteronomy 6:5).
2. "Love your neighbor as yourself" (Matthew 22:39).
3. "We are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do" (Ephesians 2:10).

We're also part of the war between God and Satan, and God's ultimate plan to defeat Satan. By putting our faith in God, we can defeat Satan and his lies (see Ephesians 6:10-18).

Finally, perhaps the most important part we play in God's eternal plan is to point people to eternal life with God—through his Son Jesus Christ. The Bible calls this our "ministry of reconciliation" (2 Corinthians 5:18-19).

That's why we're here. But it's also important to note that we have a choice in all of this. When God created us, he didn't make us pawns in some cosmic chess game. We're not his toy soldiers. God gives us freedom of choice.

Bottom line: God may not need us, but we certainly need him. I hope you've made the choice to put your trust completely in him—and play an exciting part in his loving, eternal plan.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Press on Towards the Goad

Forget what lies behind...

Strain forward to what lies ahead...

Press on toward the goal...

For the prize... the upward call of God in Christ Jesus...

This scripture found in Philippians 3:13-14 tells us that we must STRAIN forward to obtain the prize.

It is not easy.  It is not pleasant.  It taking dying to self and it takes sacrifice.

Forgetting what lies behind is a choice.  A tough one.  To leave those things we must consciously move forward with purpose and intention.  It is only then, when we continue running, way after we are tired, after feeling that we must stop but don't,  that we gain strength and endurance to finish the race.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Turn the Other Cheek

 “But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also” Matthew 5:39

To turn the other cheek is neither humiliating nor retaliation. It is rather a response of strength that says, “I will not seek revenge because I am stronger than that”. It also says, I will not respond in shame because I have dignity in Christ. My dignity is not found in if I can hit you back and hurt you. My dignity is found in Christ and I will respond in just the way He would respond.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Born for this - Mandisa

Full-time Ministry

Full time ministry - a pastor's wife... I sit and stare at the words and my heart skips a beat.  So much to think about and to do.  Tie up loose ends and tighten others.  Breathe in... breathe out...  It is so amazing the places that God takes us in our lives.  It's amazing what he can do with a lump of clay that is so undeserving.  Yet and because of  the grace of God go I!

I want to share with you a prayer that I found online for pastor's Wives.

For the Pastor's Wife. . .
. . . I pray for authentic, loving, non-judgmental, supportive friendships
. . . I pray for grace beyond understanding when she must share her husband with those who are unkind to him
. . . I pray for freedom from guilt when she is unable to do ALL that is expected of her from dozens and dozens (or maybe even hundreds or thousands) of people
. . . I pray for happy surprises and unexpected blessings on a regular basis
. . . I pray for strength when her husband walks away again to care for someone other than her
. . . I pray for understanding when her husband speaks gently and patiently to those he counsels but becomes frustrated with her for needing similar counsel
. . . I pray for creativity and energy in loving her husband well in order to minimize his stress and make him happy
. . . I pray for tender moments with her Savior that remind her that her ministry is for His sake
. . . I pray that she will represent Christ well even when she just doesn't feel like doing so
. . . I pray against doubt when her ministry is difficult and Satan tries to convince her this means she is making a mistake (as though God never calls his people into difficult situations)
. . . I pray for supernatural amounts of energy at times when she needs it most but has nothing within her human strength to draw from
. . . I pray for a husband who understands that he shouldn't sacrifice his family on the altar of ministry
. . . I pray for Scripture to come alive inside her heart during moments of temptation
. . . I pray against bitterness and resentment
. . . I pray against laziness and selfishness
. . . I pray that the sanctification she recognizes in her own heart will bring incredible encouragement
. . . I pray for rest
. . . I pray for a faith that is far greater than her limited human imagination
. . . I pray for forgiveness--that she will ask for it willingly, give it freely, and receive it graciously
. . . I pray that she will get to witness miracles and recognize them as such
. . . I pray that she will always believe herself beautiful no matter what her physical condition because she is created in the image of God
. . . I pray for a common primary vision with her husband so that they are consistently working toward the same goal
. . . I pray against gossip, whether it be from her lips or against her or her husband
. . . I pray that her husband will treasure Christ and ONLY Christ more greatly than her so that he can treasure her well
. . . I pray for relationships that sharpen and support simultaneously
. . . I pray for fun
. . . I pray for biblically grounded mentors and Christ-centered, wise counsel
. . . I pray for quality time with her husband and children when quantity isn't possible
. . . I pray that every day will bring a deeper understanding of God's unfathomable, unconditional, unchanging love for her, and that she will not just *know* about it but truly *believe* it
. . . I pray that the approval she has in Christ will be ENOUGH when her work tends to go unnoticed or unappreciated by those around her
. . . I pray for abundant happy days, but I pray for all-surpassing joy even on the not so happy days
. . . I pray that she will be respected but not elevated
. . . I pray that she will be proud of her husband but not idolize him
. . . I pray that Hebrews 1:3-4 will overflow her heart with hope
. . . I pray for freedom in Christ
. . . I pray against guilty feelings when she does get to relax from time to time
. . . I pray that her memory will trap moments of love and laughter like a vice grip and release moments of worry and distress like water through a sieve
. . . I pray that the ultimate cry of her heart will always be to honor Christ and that she will remain on the path to a long obedience in that direction even though she will fail and take a few steps backward at times
. . . I pray for rich community and fellowship among solid believers firmly rooted in Christ
. . . I pray that the words Abba Father will mean more to her heart than to her head
. . . I pray that she will always know that Jesus Christ is under her as her foundation, in front of her as her shepherd, and within her as her righteousness
. . . I pray that she will be eternally fascinated and astonished by the Gospel and that it will transform EVERY aspect of her life
Amen~

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Outside my window.... The sky is gray and cloud covered.  It has been pretty gloomy since the tornadoes in Moore, Shawnee and Little Axe last week - with only the slightest hint of sunshine bursting through every now and then.

I am thinking... I'm tired.  I woke at about a quarter to four this morning and finally got up when I realized I wasn't going to be able to fall back asleep.

I am thankful for... So many things.  Today I am thankful for knowing that I am going to be getting off work just a bit early.  I am really in need of a vacation and just can't seem to get the "want to get away" feeling off of my chest.

From the kitchen...  Last night I made a wonderful rice stir-fry with snap peas, carrots, turnips and onions from the garden!  It was so tasty.. and so pretty!

I am wearing... Scrubs

I am creating... Hmm...

I am going... To start trying to draw our ladies group at church closer together.  We are doing Secret Pals.. and I think the next step may be the Beth Moore bracelets.

I am reading...   A Terry Blackstock book... can't remember the name right now!  I have read way to many of her books back to back to back! Ha!

I am hoping... That the sunshine comes out and stays out soon!

I am hearing...   I am listening to a Big & Rich CD.

Around the house... Things are clean and tidy. For the moment anyway~!

One of my favorite things... Working in the garden.  There's just something therupetic about getting your hands in the dirt.. pulling weeds, gleening and fussing. I love it!

A few plans for the rest of the week... Just a couple more days and then the weekend!  Off to a hog roast with some friends from a former Cowboy Church we used to go to.  I can't wait!

Is trying to remember... God's Word tells us that if we will acknowledge Him in all our ways He will direct our paths.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Gardening 2013

I believe that my garden for this year is complete!

Snow peas
Carrots
Radishes
Turnips
Valida Onions
Green onions
Potatoes
Brussell Sprouts
Leeks
Celery
Okra

Green beans
     Cherokee Yellow Wax Bush
     Contender Bush
     Kentucky Wonder Pole
Cucumbers
     Straight Eight
     Tasty Green
     Pickling
     Boston Pickling
Yellow Squash
Banana Peppers
     Sweet
     Hot
Jalepenos
     Fooled You (unhot)
     Hot
Bell Peppers
Black-Eyed Peas
Tomatoes
     Big Boy
     Early Girls
     Golden Globe
     Rainbow Heirloom
     Mortgage Lifter

I am ready to can, freeze, chop, eat and pick!  I can hardly wait!


Friday, March 29, 2013

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Forgive and Give

Luke 6:37-38  Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you.  Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap.  For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.


We often hear “Judge not” from people who feel condemned.  It’s one of the few quotes they have heard from the bible that they remember… but, most of the time it is taken out of context.  The main jest, is that the person quoting it is saying that we have no right to judge whatever it is they may be doing (that we consider wrong.)  God does tell us to judge people by their fruits, but that’s a subject for another time…. Notice though, the scripture does not end with “judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not and you will not be condemned”… it goes on to say “forgive, and you will be forgiven~ give, and it will be given to you!”  We should not take half of a scripture and use it to the advantage of what we want, and not apply the rest of it as well.  If you are feeling condemned about something and telling people they shouldn’t be judging you… choose to forgive them, and give to them, and work things out with them peaceably..and goodness will come back to you.
Judge not, condemn not, forgive and give….

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Gateway Worship - O The Blood


O the blood
Crimson love
Price of life's demand
Shameful sin
Placed on Him
The Hope of every man

O the blood of Jesus washes me
O the blood of Jesus shed for me
What a sacrifice that saved my life
Yes, the blood, it is my victory

Savior Son
Holy One
Slain so I can live
See the Lamb
The great I Am
Who takes away my sin

O the blood of the Lamb
O the blood of the Lamb
O the blood of the Lamb
The precious blood of the Lamb
What a sacrifice
That saved my life
Yes, the blood, it is my victory

O what love
No greater love
Grace, how can it be
That in my sin
Yes, even then
He shed His blood for me

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Passion

Christians need to be reminded and exhorted continually to keep their focus on Jesus.  It is very easy to become side-tracked into other things. We can get caught up in being passionate for a lot of good things in life, but the questions today are: “Are You Passionate for Jesus? Is Jesus holding the ‘center stage’ of your heart and life? Is He the One Who comes first? Is He a delight or a duty day by day?” It is important that we are challenged with such questions, so we can continually keep a check on our priorities. No one else can set our priorities for us. Our priorities will demonstrate where our passion is. It is quite amazing how we can usually find time for the things we want to do. For the Christian who is passionate for Jesus Christ he/she will always find the time to commit to that which He has asked of us.
 
In a day when many religions are being driven by a false passion, it is important that we  rise to higher heights in our representation of Jesus Christ in our communities. If we are unable to convey the passion, privilege and excitement of being in love with the risen Jesus, then who else can? If we are unable to let others see and know that He is the Answer to life’s problems, then who else is able to communicate that? People are seeking for answers today, but generally are seeking in the wrong places. All around the world people and cultures are degenerating back into lawlessness and wickedness ~ in spite of its religiosity, and in spite of governments making more rules and regulations to try and control people. Religion does not answer the cry, and governments cannot, because the answers needed are first and foremost spiritual. Even active involvement in Christian things does not necessarily answer that cry ~ unless Jesus is the focus, and His love and life are shining through those activities. Our hearts have to be motivated by a strong passion for Jesus. He is the Answer ~ not activities and things!

When we are passionate about someone, we want to be spending all the time we can with him/her. We just love to be in their presence. It is no different with Jesus. When we are in love with Him and are passionate for His presence and Word, we will find ways to get close enough to please Him. He is waiting for us to get close enough to Him so He can speak to us, and reveal more of His wonderful Word and will to us. We will never ever regret spending time with Jesus! When He speaks to us, it is always for our good! But if we are not passionate about our walk with Him, then we are going to struggle in hearing His voice and knowing His will for our lives.

Be encouraged to make those decisions that will draw you nearer to Jesus, with a passion that enables you to be a true witness of Him wherever you go. Remember, we are called to walk with Him more than the doing of those things that merely represent Him. Be passionate for JESUS CHRIST!

Dear Lord Jesus, I come to You right now, and I ask that You will put Your finger on anything and everything in my life that is robbing me of a real passion for You. Forgive me, Lord, for too often being far too passive and indifferent in my relationship and walk with You. I want to be a ‘fired-up,’ passionate follower of Jesus Christ, so the world will see and know that I belong to You, and that You are the Answer to every person’s need. Help me to be a greater witness of Your resurrection love and power. This I pray in Jesus name, Amen.


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Desires of the Heart!

Here's to friendship, love, laughter, fellowship, great food and good times!

 Psalm 37:4  Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Presidental Election - It's a Sad Day~

Mr. Obama is back in office for another 4 years.. and it's a sad day indeed.  One thing this election has brought forth is my devoted prayer that our president will become saved by the blood of Jesus Christ during this term and change his morals and his ways.

I believe that under Obama our world will change drasticly before our eyes - and not for the better.  Things will get worse.  This is what the World of God tells us.. during the last days things will slope down hill and roll faster and faster toward distruction.  Obama may just be the man to keep that ball rolling.

Nonetheless, I am praying that God, the maker of all there is and ever will be, will change his life... and then that the world will change.

Teach us to pray Lord.. teach us to pray earnestly!

Forgiveness and Gratitude

Luke 7:36-50  One of the Pharisees invited Jesus to eat with him. After he entered the Pharisee’s home, he took his place at the table. 37 Meanwhile, a woman from the city, a sinner, discovered that Jesus was dining in the Pharisee’s house. She brought perfumed oil in a vase made of alabaster. 38 Standing behind him at his feet and crying, she began to wet his feet with her tears. She wiped them with her hair, kissed them, and poured the oil on them. 39 When the Pharisee who had invited Jesus saw what was happening, he said to himself, If this man were a prophet, he would know what kind of woman is touching him. He would know that she is a sinner.
40 Jesus replied, “Simon, I have something to say to you.”
“Teacher, speak,” he said.
41 “A certain lender had two debtors. One owed enough money to pay five hundred people for a day’s work. The other owed enough money for fifty42  When they couldn’t pay, the lender forgave the debts of them both. Which of them will love him more?”
43 Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the largest debt canceled.”
Jesus said, “You have judged correctly.”
44 Jesus turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? When I entered your home, you didn’t give me water for my feet, but she wet my feet with tears and wiped them with her hair. 45  You didn’t greet me with a kiss, but she hasn’t stopped kissing my feet since I came in. 46  You didn’t anoint my head with oil, but she has poured perfumed oil on my feet. 47  This is why I tell you that her many sins have been forgiven; so she has shown great love. The one who is forgiven little loves little.”
48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
49 The other table guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this person that even forgives sins?”
50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”

Thank you Lord, that it just takes confession on our part... and mercy and love on yours.  Forgiveness with no strings attached.  Lord, you are so good.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Outside My Window


Outside my window.... It's starting to get dark and to cool down.  I love these cool fall nights when I can snuggle up with a book and blanket!

I am thinking... about how God works all things together for our good. It amazes me sometimes how He sees the big picture and orchestrates everything.

I am thankful for... For this time of year.  People's happy faces, holidays coming, baking, friendships and celebration!

From the kitchen... Today I made 11 jars of plumpkin jelly - A mixture of plum and pumpkin~ and it's sooo good!

I am wearing... An OU tee-shirt ( I can go OU or OSU!), jeans and socks.

I am creating... A handy dandy cleaning list to get the house ready for Thanksgiving guests!

I am going... to start my Christmas shopping tomorrow!

I am reading... While We Are Far Apart

I am hoping... that my oldest son is doing well helping to clean up after hurricane Sandy in New York City.

I am hearing... The TV playing a Hallmark Christmas movie.

Around the house... Things are clean and tidy. For the moment anyway~!

One of my favorite things... is to go out to eat breakfast. I just love a big breakfast bar full of scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, fruit, biscuits and gravy etc...

A few plans for the rest of the week... Church, Christmas shopping, work, ladies night out and ladies day out.

Is trying to remember... that God allows mountain tops and valley's.. and He also allows ski-lifts!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

We long for love and relationship and healing and hope. We long for holiness, for a closer walk with Jesus, for God’s truth to speak louder than the noise of the world. When we long for the right things, we find a different sort of love. The kind of love that will never let go of us, never let us down. Never walk away or disown us. A love that know us and our flaws, but stays anyways. For us to long for God is to long for a perfect love. God’s word promises if we start longing for that perfect love, everything…absolutely everything will follow that longing. God created our ability to long for love. But He wants us to long for His perfect love.

Beautiful People

I have seen beauty that makes your eyes blink and your heart stagger... yet beauty, true beauty comes from deep within the hearts and souls of who we are.  Most often true beauty is there inside of someone because of a struggle or a hardship that has been overcome.  Many of my most special friends are a beautiful mess.  Aren't we all?