Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Watch Those Choices!

Apply your heart unto instruction, and your ears to the words of knowledge. (Prov. 23:12) 

Living in truth is making the right choices. Here's what I mean. In the light of truth, you and I are able to see both truth and lie, both light and darkness---that which is simple, pure, and clear and that which is deceptive. . . . 

The secret of course, is making the right choices every day. So? Watch those choices! Watch your decisions! 

No married couple suddenly splits. Nobody becomes a cynic overnight. Nobody makes one leap from the pinnacle of praise to the swamp of carnality. Erosion is a slow and silent process based on secret choices. And isn't it remarkable? If you don't stop yourself in the downward process, last week's wrong choice doesn't seem quite so bad this week. In fact, in a month's time it seems like not that bad a choice at all! 

Simple Faith 

I must admit! Making choices can sometimes be very stressful. There is always a moment in our lives where a choice must be made. Choices are made from the moment we wake up to the moment we go back to sleep. The decisions we make during our waking day plays a pivotal role in how the rest of our lives will play out. 

With that said, what kind of choices do you make in your daily walk as a Christian? In most part, we are blessed to be able to live our lives much like the way non-believers do. We wake up, go to work, come back home, cook dinner, watch tv, maybe read a good book, then go to bed. 

The major difference between us as Christians and the non-believing folk are in the matters related to eternity. A non-believing person will rarely (if ever) make choices in light of their eternal destination. A Christian will. If we as Christians are to truly be the light of this world, we MUST watch our choices. 

Our choices will reveal to the rest of YOUR world what you give most priority to. Are the choices you making reflect who you are in Christ? Making godly decisions will require a great deal of discernment and discipline. The choices you make will reveal to everyone in YOUR world how mature you really are. 

Here's one choice we as Christians need to consider AT ALL TIMES:

Make the choice to win as many souls for Jesus in YOUR community as much as possible. Why? Because that choice will bring accountability into your life. How would you prefer to be held accountable? Would you prefer  to hear the words "Well done my good and faithful servant."? or would you prefer to hear "Depart from me, I do not know you."? The words you hear will be largely determined by the choices you make in the HERE AND NOW. 

WATCH THOSE CHOICES!!!! 

Thank you for reading this far my friends! May God continue to bless you and keep you in Jesus' mighty name! JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!!!. . . . :-).

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Divine Relief!

So then it is not of him that wills, nor of him that runs, but of God that shows mercy. (Rom. 9:16) 

Few feelings bring a greater sense of satisfaction than relief, which Webster defines as "the removal or lightening of something oppressive, painful, or distressing.". . . 

God calls this divine gift of relief mercy. That's right, mercy. It's a twin alongside grace. . . . 

The essential link between God's grace and our peace is His mercy . . . that is, God's infinite compassion actively demonstrated toward the miserable. Not just pity. Not simply sorrow or an understanding of our plight, but divine relief that results in peace deep within. 

The Finishing Touch 

Finding divine relief in God is as valuable (even moreso) than finding relief in the middle of the Sahara Desert in the form of water and/or shade. Funny thing is, we don't have to be in the desert to find relief. We can be caught up in a flurry of demanding activities where all you find are demanding voices vying for your attention. Before exploding in frustration, I strongly encourage you to stop whatever you are doing, get away from the crowd for a little bit and divine relief as you bask in the presence of God for a moment of meditation and to clear out any noise that is happening around you. 

My dear friends, seeking God for the kind of relief that only He can provide is the wisest thing to do. Seeking relief in Him allows us to let go of whatever or whoever is taking away our peace and simply trust God in His sovereign grace to to give us the strength deal with whatever or whoever we are confronted with. Finding divine relief can come to us from and through so many different avenues. Divine relief can be found when we hang out with our Christian friends and family. This is only one of so many different ways of finding divine relief. 

Divine relief can only be found in JESUS CHRIST! 

Got that? Good!.....:-).

Thank you so much for reading this far friends! May God continue to bless you and keep  in Jesus' mighty name! JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!!!. . . . :-).

Friday, September 26, 2014

An Attitude Of Humility!

Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honor is humility. (Prov. 18:12) 

Humility is not how you dress, it is not the money you make, it is not where you live, it's not what you drive, it is not even how you look. We're never once commanded by God to "look" humble. Humility is an attitude. It is an attitude of the heart. An attitude of the mind. It is knowing your proper place. Never talking down or looking down because someone may be of a financial level less than yours. It is knowing your role and fulfilling it for God's glory and praise. I repeat, it is an attitude. . . . 

The attitude Christ had, who emptied Himself of the voluntary and independent use of His divine attributes. There is no quality more god-like than humility. . . . 

The place of highest exaltation, as we see in the Lord Jesus Christ, is a place of self-emptying humility. It's not a phony-baloney style of fake piety. It's true humility of mind. It's putting the other person first. . . . It is being like Christ. 

Esther: A Woman of Strength and Dignity 

I have made numerous posts on this subject and have even made a series on humility as well. I will post the links to the series of humility at the end of this post. In the meantime, it's extremely important to recognize the importance of humility in living out our Christian lives. 

As Christians, humility must play the most prevalent role in our lives because it is out of the root of humility that all the fruits of the spirit come from. If you lack humility, ask God to instill that that virtue in you. I love the way the above devotional puts it. Humility is an ATTITUDE. Humility is very elusive, even among those who claim to be Christian. 

Want to be Christ-like? Then eat a piece of that pie called HUMILITY

Here's the links to the following posts that will further explain and help you understand the importance of having an attitude that is deeply rooted in humility. ENJOY!!!. . . . :-). 

  1. Humility! 
  2. Humility: The Glory of the Creature! 
  3. Humility: The Secret of Redemption! 
  4. Humility In The Life Of Jesus! 
  5. Humility In The Teaching Of Jesus! 
  6. Humility In The Disciples Of Jesus! 
  7. Humility In Daily Life!  
  8. Humility And Holiness! 
  9. Humility And Sin! 
  10. Humility And Faith! 
  11. Humility And Death To Self! 
  12. Humility And Happiness! 
  13. Humility And Exaltation! 
Thank you so much for reading this far friends! I definitely hope and pray that you will be ministered to through this post and all of the other posts provided to you to further strengthen our roots of humility. May God continue to bless you and keep you in Jesus' precious name! JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!!!. . . . :-).

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Worry Is Worthless!

For my soul trusts in you: yea, in the shadow of your wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities have passed. (Psalm 57:1) 

Worry is a complete waste of energy. It solves nothing. That's why Jesus said, "Which of you by being anxious can add a single cubit to his life's span?" (Matt. 6:27). In essence He was saying, "You go to bed tonight and fret and fuss because you're not five feet, eleven inches; you're only five feet, nine inches. But when you wake up in the morning, you're still going to be five feet, nine inches." Worry will not make you stretch! And it won't solve that anxiety on your mind either. 

Let me be completely candid here. Do you know why we worry? We have a quiet, hidden, love for worry. We enjoy it! When one worry is gone, we replace it with another. There's always a line of worries waiting to get in the door. So as one goes out the back door, we usher in the next one through the front door. We enjoy entertaining them. Worries are our mental and emotional companions. But Jesus says, in effect, that they're worthless! 

Perfect Trust 

I have written on the topic of worry a number of different times. Quite frankly, worry has the vast majority of us cast under a deep emotional and mental spell and can spell disaster for the people who are constantly consumed in it. Why are so many people preoccupied (worried) about the future, their present circumstances, and/or the negative patterns of past behavior haunting them right now? 

Let's be honest. There are no simple answers to that question. The spectrum of worry has cast a huge shadow over all of us in some way, shape, or form. Directly or indirectly. The prophetic warnings written in the Bible unfolding right before our eyes in various parts of the world, people have become more consumed in worry moreso now than ever before. Many people out there are worried about the salvation of their loved ones. Many people are left wondering if they will be the one that would be left behind in the Day of the Lord. I can go on and on and on about this and never come to a conclusion. 

For those of us who are in Christ, we have NOTHING to worry about. Am I understood? We have NOTHING to worry about! You're probably asking, "How can that be?!", "How is that possible?!" It can be and is possible because of what Jesus has already told us in Matt. 6:27. We can find comfort and assurance in His Word because His Word is final. God has given us numerous promises in the Bible for us to stand on during times of uncertainty. We are living in those times of uncertainty! If you're still not sure or are in doubt, then you must ask yourself the following question: What part of NOTHING don't I understand? My dear friends, repeat after me. . . . 

Worry is worthless and it's a perfect waste of my time and energy! 

Got that? 

GOOD!. . . . :-) 

Thank you so much for reading this far my friends! May God continue to bless you and keep you all in Jesus' precious name! JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!!!. . . . :-).

Monday, September 22, 2014

Still, Small Nudges!

For whom the LORD loves he corrects; even as a father the son in whom he delights. (Prov. 3:12) 

What brings wisdom into our lives? Accepting God's reproofs. . . . 

Reproof is from a Hebrew term that means "to correct . . . to convince." I often think of reproofs as God's proddings, those unmistakable nudges, His "still small voice." They are inner promptings designed to correct our ways. They alert us to the fact that we are off course. They communicate, in effect, "My child, that's wrong; change direction!" 

These God-given reproofs sometimes appear in Scripture. . . . On other occasions the reproofs come verbally from those who love us. . . . 

All of us have sagging character qualities that need attention. To ignore them is to open the gate that leads to disobedience. 

Living Beyond the Daily Grind 

WordNet Dictionary says that reproof is one person's ability to be able to "take the rebuke with a smile on his face." 

I cannot help but think of the many times during the beginning stages of my Christian walk in which I would be rebuked for doing something wrong and walk away from the correction WITHOUT a smile on my face. Yes, I was the very stubborn and immature type during those days. I would often react in a childish (not childlike) manner. I'm confident in the Lord that many of you can probably relate to going through this phase of your life. 

Our ability to be able to "take the rebuke with a smile on his face" requires large amounts of self-discipline. It requires humility. It requires having a submissive spirit. It requires obedience. It requires breaking every ounce of pride that is capable of bringing division into the lives of the people around you. It "simply" requires that you become childlike (not childish) in your response to the rebuke. What it boils down to is that we become Christlike in every sense of that word. 

My dear friends, let us not get too wrapped up in the cares of this world that we are no longer able to feel the still, small nudge of our Heavenly Father when it happens. Yes, that still, small nudge can act as a rebuke to not only correct us, but keep us on the right path. Whenever confronted with a rebuke, always remember the above image. Just like the adult elephant gently nudges its young one, God will gently nudge you to keep you in line with His Word and the plan and purpose He has for your life.

Thank you so much for reading this far my friends! May God continue to bless you and keep you in Jesus' mighty name! JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!!!. . . . :-).

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Painted By God's Fingers!

You visit the earth, and water it; You crown the year with your goodness. (Psalm 65:9,11) 

Somewhere, miles away, crops push their way toward harvest and waves roar and tumble onto shore. Windswept forests sing their timeless songs, and desert animals scurry in the shadows of cactus and rock. 

Within a matter of hours night will fall, the dark sky will glitter with moon and stars, and sleep will force itself upon us. Life will continue on uninterrupted. Appreciated or not, the canvas of nature will go on being painted by the fingers of God. . . . 

In the midst of the offensive noise of our modern world---the people, the cars, the sounds, the smog, the heat, the pressures---there stand those reminders of His deep peace. 

The Finishing Touch 

When God created the universe and the intricacies of human life, he made them with our enjoyment and awe in mind. He approached each one His "projects"  with a masterpiece mindset. God has "painted" us into His image. He "painted" us so that we can exercise our freewill in serving Him, loving Him, and in return serve and love others. 

All of us at one time or another were a blank canvass waiting to be picked up and painted on with different life experiences full of different colors, patterns, and personalities. I love visiting art museums. Every time when I visit one, I cannot help but be in awe of how much life and personality can be revealed in those portraits. All of us and our lives are like those masterpieces that hang on the walls of the museum. 

Every single one of us are on display for the world to see. For those of us who are in active servant leadership positions, we are under the biggest microscope of our lives, Go Himself. In the same way that art is observed through the lens of a microscope to prove if it's genuine or not, my dear friends, we are under the same scrutiny. Our service to God and anyone around places us in direct observation to verify if we are genuine or not. 

If you have been painted by God's fingers, then you are genuine and the real deal. If you're not, then you must be a fake and a fraud. My dear friend, ask God to help "paint" you into becoming the real deal. A masterpiece that has far more worth than even the original Mona Lisa or any of Vincent Van Goh's famous paintings. Are you getting the picture? :-)

Thank you so much for reading this far my friends! May God continue to bless you and keep you in Jesus' precious name! JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!!!. . . . :-).

Thursday, September 18, 2014

True Excellence!

No man can serve two masters. (Matt. 6:24) 

If we hope to demonstrate the level of excellence modeled by Jesus Christ, then we'll have to come to terms with the kingdom we are going to serve: the eternal kingdom our Lord told us to seek (Matt. 6:33) or the temporal kingdom of today. . . . 

Generally speaking, God's kingdom is a synonym for God's rule. Those who choose to live in His kingdom (though still very much alive on Planet Earth) choose to live under His authority. 

For centuries God has been at work reestablishing His rulership. Jesus' words describe the problem: "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to the one and despise the other" (Matt. 6:24). 

The kingdom is the invisible realm where God rules as supreme authority. . . . Only by letting Him reign in your life can you experience true excellence. 

Living Above the Level of Mediocrity 

This is absolutely true! 

True excellence can only be fulfilled when we have surrendered our lives over to Him. We can't just simply give God a part of ourselves. No. We must give Him ALL of ourselves. Sacrifice, mistakes, and enormous amounts of effort do play a role in our Christian walk, but those things in and of themselves won't make it. When it's all said and done, God will demand and is entitled to our obedience. OBEDIENCE IS GREATER THAN SACRIFICE

True excellence in our Christian walk may indeed reflect some of the virtues of true excellence from a humanistic standpoint, but also goes against the grain of our human nature. Jesus personified true excellence because He was rooted in humility and has always placed His Father's will above His own. My dear friends, as Christians (representatives of Christ), we must also do the same. 

True excellence in Christ will be difficult. Your training ground in achieving this form of excellence is all around you. It is at home. At work. At school. At church. Even in the streets. We are at war with the enemy, the world, and even with ourselves. Ask God to help you in not acquiring the gifts of the Spirit, but to exercise them in such a way that you will become a specialized soldier of God. 

Are you ready to join the "special forces" of God's army? Are you ready to be obedient to the point of death to achieve true excellence in Christ? Our REAL Commander-in-Chief, Jesus Christ has already set the standard for us and has given us His written instructions in the B.I.B.L.E.

Remember friends. . . . B.I.B.L.E. is an acronym for Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. 

Thank God for the Bible and Jesus' soon return! We will be leaving this planet one day. Will you be excellent unto our Lord, Savior, and Redeemer? Hallelujah and praise God!!!!! 

Thank you so much for reading this far my friends! May God continue to bless you and keep you in Jesus' mighty name! JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!!!. . . . :-).

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Let God Handle It!

Be still, and know that I am God. (Psalm 46:10) 

Sit down. That's right, my friend, sit down

You have run far enough. You have stood long enough. You have fought, pushed, and manipulated your way for too many years. God has finally grabbed your attention. He is saying, "Quit! Stop! Let Me handle it! Sit there on the hot sands of the desert where you have brought yourself. Look at what lies next to you. It is a well, full of fresh water." Soon it will be God's delight to bring that bucket up and refresh your soul. Sit still. Stay there. Be quiet. . . . 

Cease all the striving. Relax. Be contented by that well, and drink deeply. You are thirstier than you realize. 

Moses: A Man of Selfless Dedication 

The above devotional cannot be any more straight and to the point! Granted, it can be outright hard to overcome our tendencies to be stubborn, to be impatient, to be manipulative, etc...etc...

God has been around forever. He created everything from the seen to the unseen. He created you and me. He is the all-powerful...all-knowing...ever-present God. With the exception of the millions of people that have accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior, there are many, many more people who live in this fallen world that are not able to see and experience the hand of God move on their behalf. 

In this fallen world, we must shed the light of Jesus Christ on those people out there that are in desperate need to know and experience God's grace, mercy, compassion, and love. Then and only then will those who need Jesus in their lives be able to come to the conclusion that God will be able to handle all of their concerns and needs. I often say that God is Faithful and True. Why? Because God has handled many of concerns and needs up to this point and even those future concerns and needs that will eventually surface. 

God is sovereign friends. For all my Christian friends who read and follow this blog, always remind yourself that God will handle all my needs in His time and pleasure. I also encourage all of you to introduce all your friends, family, and loved ones that have yet to accept Jesus into their lives to do so so they can be reminded often that God will handle all of their affairs. Am I going to sit here and imply that this will be easy? No, not at all. But with God (and no one else), ALL THINGS become possible. My dear friends, God will NEVER sit on His hands and just let this world burn. He is constantly at work in the lives of His children. Isn't that encouraging? Most definitely! 

Always remember. . . . God is the Alpha and Omega. The Beginning and the End.---Let. God. Handle. It.

Thank you so much for reading this far friends! May God continue to bless you and keep you in Jesus' precious name! JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!!!. . . . :-).

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Discover The Depths Of God!

Can you find out the limits of the Almighty? It is as high as heaven; what can you do? (Job 11:7-8) 

God's ways are not discovered through the normal, humanistic methods of research. 

As important and intriguing as divine depths might be, they defy discovery by the natural means of our minds. God reserves these things for those whose hearts are completely His. . . for those who take the time to wait before Him. Only in that way can there be intimacy with the Almighty. 

Tragically, precious little in this hurried and hassled age promotes such intimacy. We have become a body of people who look more like a herd of cattle in a stampede than a flock of God beside green pastures and still waters. Our forefathers knew, it seems, how to commune with the Almighty . . . but do we? We must learn anew to think deeply, to worship meaningfully, to meditate unhurriedly. 

Intimacy with the Almighty 

Attempting to discover how deep God is even more difficult (and trivial) than attempting to climb Mount Everest (or K2) or dive into the depths of the Mariana Trench. Just imagine the difficulty of accomplishing those feats. In spite of the inherent dangers and difficulties of those feats, man has eventually been able to conquer them. In accomplishing those feats, many men (and women) have died in attempting to achieve those feats. Sacrifices have been made in the name of human triumph. 

All of us in some way, shape, or form have attempted to achieve some type of conquest. In my personal experience, the feat I have just recently explored and am attempting to "conquer" is to become a skilled blogger whos writing will captivate the worldwide audience with my passion for Christian living and living life to the fullest with faith, hope, and love. The funniest part about this "conquest" is that there are so many others out there that have gone before me and have conquered this "mountain". 

It is only when we attempt to climb higher and higher in our sphere of influence that we will be able to discover the depths of God's love, character, and compassion among other attributes. The depths of God is gradually revealed to us as we grow and mature in life through the trials and challenges we face in life. Just like those mountain climbers, it is only in the struggle and the preparation of those struggles that we begin to have a different outlook on life. Upon reaching the summit of the mountain we call "life", we can experience the depth of God's creation and be in awe of how meticulous He is with every single one of us. 

My dear friends, let us continue to reach high in our worship and adoration of our Heavenly Father to further discover the depths of His love, His grace, His mercy, His longsuffering, and the list goes on and on. . . . :-). Get ready, it's time for us to discover the mysterious and the miraculous of God's heart for ALL of His children and all of humanity! 

Thank you so much for reading this far friends! May God continue to bless you and keep you in Jesus' mighty name! JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!!!. . . :-).


Friday, September 12, 2014

The Power Of Reconciliation!

For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. (Matt. 6:14) 

We cannot be right with God until we are right with one another. 

The power of reconciliation  is stronger than revenge. It is amazing how forgiveness unloads the weapon in the other person's hand. When you reconcile with your brother or sister, it is amazing what it does in both hearts. It is like having your nervous system flushed out. It is like getting over a longstanding fever and cleansing the corruption that has been diseasing your mind. You don't need an attorney for that. You probably don't need a minister or counselor, either. You just need humility. To put it straight, in the final analysis you need guts. Don't wait any longer. 

Keep it simple---go and make it right. 

Simple Faith 

Forgiveness can often be the most difficult thing to do. But let's be honest, it's a must if we want to experience healing on every level. I used to be the type of person that whenever someone has done me wrong, I would usually end up holding a grudge with that person. Back then, I was totally ignorant about the reality of what holding grudges do to people long-term. I have learned the hard way that being vengeful has resulted in me experiencing even more pain spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and even physically. 

As a result, other areas of my life have been negatively impacted due to unresolved resentment and walking around with a vengeful spirit. After many, many years of being counseled by godly men my perspective on forgiveness has slowly, but surely changed. For starters, I had to ask God to forgive me of being a pretentious christian while harboring non-christian values. Secondly, I also had to learn to forgive myself. I will admit that this was even more challenging than anything else I had to do in the process of reconciliation. Last, but not least, I had to go to the person (or people) that committed the offense and forgive them privately or even publicly. 

Regardless of the manner that you proceed in the process of reconciliation, always remember that the process will humble you, but more importantly, heal you. Not only will you be healed, but everyone else that is caught up in the process of forgiveness will also be healed. God has already forgiven us. We owe it to Him as well as everyone we come into contact with. God is indeed Faithful and True friends! 

Thank you so much for reading this far my friends! May God continue to bless you and keep you in Jesus' mighty name! JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!!!. . . . :-).

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Our Guide For Life!

I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you shall go: I will guide you with my eye. (Psalm 32:8) 

When we arrive at dilemmas in life and are unable to decipher the right direction to go, if we hope to maintain our joy in the process, we must allow the Lord to be our Guide, our Strength, our Wisdom---our all! It's easy to read those words, but so tough to carry through on them. When we do, however, it's nothing short of remarkable how peaceful and happy we can remain. The pressure is on His shoulders, the responsibility is on Him, the ball is in His court, and an unexplainable joy envelops us. . . . 

To be sure, such an unusual method of dealing with dilemmas is rare---there aren't many folks willing to turn the reins over to God---and calls for humility, another rare trait among capable people. But it works! The Lord is a Master at taking our turmoil and revealing the best possible solution to us. 

Laugh Again 

The Bible tells me that a wise man surrounds himself with a multitude of counselors. But. . . . 

There MUST be a catch. . . .right? 

Do we just surround ourselves with just any kind of counselor? Even at church, do we just run to the first person we see and ask for godly counsel seeking guidance and direction? I don't exactly think so. Supernaturally speaking, yes, the Holy Spirit can always direct us to the first person we come into contact with for guidance and direction. Those situations are indeed very far and in-between, but they happen. In all likelihood, we would need to settle into our churches after having visited for awhile before our discerning "antennae" gets turned on before knowing who will serve as our guide. 

When seeking a guide for our lives, discernment is definitely the name of the game. I could not even begin to count how many times God has delivered me from harmful counsel. There have also been moments in which God would literally uproot me from that fellowship only to find out years later the "why" I left that relationship and church. With me, discernment always led me to seek the ultimate Guide, God Himself. As a result of continuously seeking God's face, I have seen His hand move on my behalf in a number of different scenarios ranging from the kind of relationships I have to the calling He has upon my life. So friends, the moral of this short story is that God is very picky about the kind of counsel He knows you will need for your life. He doesn't want us to be surrounded by the kind of counsel Job had when he was faced with his trial and decision-making process, but He wants to surround us with the kind of godly counsel that will not only hold us accountable, but will help elevate us to greater levels in our relationship with God and our fellow man. 

God is our Ultimate Guide for all things in our lives! 

Thank you so much for reading this far friends! May God continue to bless us and keep us in Jesus' mighty name! JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!!!. . . . :-).  

Monday, September 8, 2014

Count Your Blessings!

Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. (Psalms 95:2) 

Sometimes when you don't feel like praying, or you're consumed with needing to speak to the Lord but can't gather the words, try that old standby---count your many blessings, count them one by one. 

It's amazing how you can get carried away from worries and woes and self-concern when you start naming out loud what you're thankful for. Right away your focus shifts from your needs to the Father's graciousness and love. 

Try it! 

Day by Day with Charles Swindoll 

This is not only one of the shortest posts I have read, but definitely one of the most encouraging, if not the most encouraging devotional to date. This devotional drives home the idea that we are to count our blessings no matter what it looks like in our lives. Whether we are living truly blessed lives or the complete opposite that is full of opposition on all fronts, we are to count our blessings. 

Counting our blessings we already have helps us to place everything into proper perspective. The proper perspective that I want to briefly emphasize on is that everything and everyone that God has blessed us with will ALWAYS be on loan from Him. We live in a period in time where we have become accustomed to being entitled to certain kind of things and/or people. That sense of entitlement can easily create a rift in all of our relationships and easily take everything and/or everyone for granted. 

I have read of numerous stories in the Bible in where God has allowed some of our heroes to go through really difficult circumstances in an effort to get them to learn valuable lessons in those circumstances. In the vast majority of those instances, our heroes have come out of those really difficult circumstances as broken and contrite (humbled) men and women of God. Those lessons we have grown up learning and hearing about can also be applied to our day and age. God will allow the most difficult circumstances to surface in our lives because God wants us to come out of those difficult situations better men and women spiritually , emotionally, mentally, physically, and even financially. Are there assurances that all of those areas will be fulfilled in our present life? No. Can they be fulfilled in the next? That all depends on where you spend eternity, but we'll save that subject for another post...:-). 

My dear friends. . . .count YOUR blessings! 

Thank you so much for reading this far friends! May God continue to bless you and keep you all in Jesus' mighty name! JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!!!. . . . :-).

Saturday, September 6, 2014

The Central Piece Of Life's Puzzle!

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for you: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. (2 Cor. 12:9). 

Suffering comes in many forms and degrees, but God's grace is always there to carry us beyond it. I've lived long enough and endured a sufficient number of trials to say without hesitation that only Christ's perspective can replace our resentment with rejoicing. Jesus is the central piece of suffering's puzzle. If we fit Him into place, the rest of the puzzle---no matter how complex and enigmatic---begins to make sense.

Only Christ's salvation can change us from spectators to participants in the unfolding drama of redemption. The scenes will be demanding. Some may be tragic. But only then will we understand the role that suffering plays in our lives. Only then will we be able to tap into hope beyond our suffering. 

Hope Again 

Jesus is at the extreme center of my life. Is He at the extreme center of your life? If so, then congratulations. If not, I strongly suggest that you do place Him at the extreme center of your life and place all of your priorities and concerns around Him. Only Jesus' salvation can justify everything in our lives. 

Jesus plays a pivotal role in our lives as Christians and our lives must reflect that in the lives of those around us, online and offline. Our lives must be held accountable in the highest possible way. Holding our lives accountable to Christ will assure us entry into heaven. Otherwise, we will send ourselves in a totally different direction. Do I really need to tell you where you will wind up if we fail to hold ourselves accountable to Christ? 

With all the suffering that is happening around us, there is no better way or opportunity than to share the love of Jesus Christ with anyone that is seeking and has the desire to make Jesus the central piece of their lives. Jesus is the only Person in our lives that has the ability to put all the pieces of our lives together. Not having Jesus as the central piece of our lives will be like not having the center piece of an actual puzzle. . . incomplete! The picture of our lives will simply not be complete without Jesus as the Central Figure and Authority of our lives. Without Jesus, we would be hopelessly lost and confused and void of any any true and eternal fulfillment in our lives. 

Are you ready to make Jesus the central piece of YOUR life's puzzle? 

Thank you so much for reading this far my friends! May God continue to bless you and keep you in Jesus' mighty name! JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!!!. . . . :-).

Thursday, September 4, 2014

When God Says It Will Be, It Will Be!

I know that you can do everything, and that no thought can be withheld from you. (Job 42:2) 

"No purpose of Yours can be thwarted." Remember that conclusion. . . . When God says it will be done, it will be done. If it makes me unhappy? It makes me unhappy. If it hurts? It hurts. If it ruins my reputation? It ruins my reputation. . . . 

You want to know who's in charge around here? The One who called the spaces into being, the One who put the clouds in place, the One who established the atmosphere in which we're able to live, the One who separated the seas and the dry land, who gave you breath for your lungs and the ability to think. The One who placed you here, now in time, for His purpose, and the One who with the snap of His divine finger will pull you from life into eternity. Mysterious though our lives may seem, God, and God alone, is in charge. 

The Mystery of God's Will 

I'll admit. We do live in uncertain times. And as time continues to fly by, our minds have the tendency to want to make things happen in a "microwave second". That microwave mentality compels us to want to take matters into our own hands and not wait on God and trust Him to allow it to happen. 

I get it. It's a whole lot easier said than done when it comes to trusting God with the details of our lives. At the "tender" age of forty, one can only imagine what runs through my mind when someone asks me when I'm going to get married. In the process of being asked that question then the comment is made that I have about "five more years" left before any chance of getting married can happen. 

Every time I'm told anything like that, I often take it into prayerful consideration and continue to seek God's mind in this matter. So what do I do in the meantime? I simply focus on seeking God's face (not just His hand) as I faithfully serve Him and anyone He places in my life along the way. I have been blessed with knowing confidently that God is sovereign and will always be in charge (and in control) of my life. 

My dear friends, I strongly encourage all of you (and me) to continuously recognize God's presence in our lives and will for our lives. If there is a particular area of your life that is currently unfulfilled, always remind yourself that "when God says it will be, it will be." His Word and will for our lives will always supersede our own. I will be joining all of you in asking God to help deliver us from any pride and independence and break any yoke of sin over our lives so we can shine in His righteousness and be grounded in humility. God is indeed Faithful and True! 

Thank you so much for reading this far friends! May God continue to bless you and keep you in Jesus' mighty name! JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!!. . . . :-).

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Benefits Of Solitude!

Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. (Prov. 30:5) 

The Scriptures are replete with references to the value of waiting before the Lord and spending time with Him. When we do, the debris we have gathered during the hurried, busy hours of our day gets filtered out, not unlike the silt that settles where a river widens. With the debris out of the way, we are able to see things more clearly and feel God's nudgings more sensitively. 

David frequently underscored the benefits of solitude. I am certain he first became acquainted with this discipline as he kept his father's sheep. Later, during those tumultuous years when King Saul was borderline insane and pursuing him out of jealousy, David found his time with God not only a needed refuse but his means of survival. . . . 

God still longs to speak to waiting hearts, . . . hearts that are quiet before Him. 

The Finishing Touch 

I am well on my way to two years of blogging for Christian Living. During those two years, solitude has played an immense role in my work as a blogger. Solitude has always allowed me to be able to think clearly and creatively to be able to carry out all these posts with lots of inspiration and full of faith, hope, and love. 

It is during those moments of solitude when I am able to present myself best before God and then anyone that I come into contact with after the brief period of solitude. Solitude has numerous benefits too many to mention here, but I consider the following to benefit most from a brief period of solitude: Spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and even physically. Even Jesus understood the importance of solitude when He spent time apart from His disciples to have an intimate moment with His Father in prayer. 

My dear friends, let us be very careful not to get too caught up in our daily activities that we forget to overlook the importance of spending a solid time of solitude to refresh your spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical batteries. Failure to do so may subject you to unwelcoming consequences. Does burn out sound familiar? It will if you don't stop for a time of solitude. Solitude is loaded with benefits when you take full advantage of the opportunity when it comes. 

Thank you so much for reading this far friends! May God continue to bless you and keep you in Jesus mighty name! JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!!!. . . . :-).