Psalm 146:2 "I will praise the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live."

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Last Post for July 2010

Hi Everyone,

I am realizing that this post will be the last one for July 2010 that there will ever be! And JULY 2010 has been a wonderful month of healing,exponential spiritual growth, joy, peace, and eager anticipation as I wait to see what God has in store in the next month. In spite of some personal challenges, it has been an awesome month where I have enjoyed every day in it, because of God's great love for me and the joy of walking with Him, and seeing Him use me in various individual's lives. It is a privilege to live this life and to learn and grow...and be merely His channel and vessel to be used as I fade into the background--and HIS GLORY INCREASES!!!! Thank you for joining me on the journey and walking this road with me!! Blessings to you all--and I am so wholeheartedly looking forward to August 2010 with all of you!

To God be the glory.........for what is yet to come!!!

His Love Quiets Me!

Hi Everyone,

Zephaniah 3:14-17 "Sing, O Daughter of Zion; shout aloud, O Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O Daughter of Jerusalem! The LORD has taken away your punishment, he has turned back your enemy. The LORD, the King of Israel, is with you; never again will you fear any harm. On that day they will say to Jerusalem, "Do not fear, O Zion; do not let your hands hang limp. The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing."

It is so wonderful that God's amazing love--the same love that calmed the hearts of His people Israel, in the Old Testament also calms mine and all of those of us who have given Him our trust. He is with us--indwelling us through the person of the Holy Spirit--and He is mighty to save and work His perfect plan in us, no matter how that looks. He delights in us and QUIETS OUR HEARTS with the depths of His immeasurable and inexhaustible love...and He rejoices that we are His...and is yet calling many more so that they too may be brought to this same understanding...and a personal relationship with Him.


Just a little side note: I had ANOTHER opportunity to get a little bit of Spanish practice this afternoon..overhearing it, honestly, on first :) I am so excited to go to conference and be with my team....and hear all that God is doing in their lives and ministries down there....12 days to go!!!! Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (I feel like a kid in a candy store at the thought of going!)

"Go, And Sin No More!"

HI Everyone,

Last night I clicked on my first World News Headline in about a month. And it was one about a woman either in Iraq or Iran that had been caught in adultery and therefore the sentence was that she should be stoned to death. Meanwhile this hd been delayed for a couple of years for some reason, and people in England had found out about it and were upset that this still happens today and were signing a petition against her (or anyone else today) being stoned to death.

You know what? I don't know much about Arab culture, but the little bit that I do know, it amazes me how in several ways, from what I have heard, their punishment system still lines up with what God had set forth for the Israelites in the Old Testament.

God took and still takes sin VERY seriously. God commanded Israel to stone people to death for many different things. Sin was not some simple laugh-it off matter--and to God, even though we who believe have grace through our Lord Jesus Christ who died for us, it still is not something to "play around with" so to speak.

It is also interesting that stones were used for many things in the Old Testament--they could either be used to build an altar where an animal was sacrificed, where an animal died in the place of an individual because they sinned, stones could also be "markers of remembrance" to remind the Israelites what miraculous things God had done on their behalf so they would not forget, or stones could symbolize the very death of an individual for their sin. Interesting, huh?

In the New Testament, Jesus refers to Himself as the "Capstone" or the "Cornerstone"--the very Stone that holds the foundation of the Church of Believers together----think of the significance of that in light of what I just previously wrote----fascinating! ( Capstone: Psalm 118:22, Zechariah 4:7, Matthew 21:42, Mark 12:10, Luke 20:17, Acts 4:11, 1 Peter 2:7) (Cornerstone: Job 38:6, Isaiah 19:13, Isaiah 28:16, Jeremiah 51:26, Zechariah 10:4, Ephesians 2:20, 1 Peter 2:6)

So when Jesus said what He did to the adulterous woman in John 8:1-12 think about the significance of what that would have been like in that day. The passage follows: "But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?" They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?" "No one, sir," she said. "Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin." When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

Jesus did not condemn her---He was the ultimate fulfillment of the law and of grace.

So I guess it just makes me wonder, in reality, what this story would mean to that woman right now in Iraq or Iran who is facing this sentence of stoning? What would it mean to Muslim culture if we shared the gospel with them talking of the Old Testament Punishment for sin? Would they see that some of their laws in their culture were the same and finally understand in a TRUE WAY the living God and Savior Jesus Christ? (as the Gospel was adequately explained?) What would it feel like to her to know that there was another woman in her close predicament that Jesus did nor condemn? Would she want that too--forgiveness? A relationship with the One and Only living God? I guess I am just thinking..........

God is doing an amazing work in the Arab world to draw men and women and children to Himself-and many are paying the price by giving up their very lives on the basis of their profession of trust in Jesus Christ alone----they are disowned by their culture and families as a result as well. Today lets pray both for those in Arab culture and lifestyle that are both blinded to the truth of Jesus--that God would open their eyes and bring many more to Himself---and for those that know Jesus and are facing REAL LIFE persecution, unlike you and I will probably ever experience--that they would keep looking to Jesus and not deny Him no matter what it costs them---even to their very lives.

Have a blessed day in the Lord-I may write more tonight as God leads---we will see!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Assurance of God's Absolute Intricate Perfect Control

Hi Everyone,

I don't have much to say tonight than I have already said. I guess I would start off by saying that in spite of some challenges today, now at the end of the day, and all throughout the day, I am still left at that same amazing peace that passes all understanding, which is a gift from God. And I still have that same precious confidence from the Lord, that no matter what, HE IS IN ABSOLUTE, INTRICATE, PERFECT CONTROL--EVERYTHING is in His Hands-----Everything!!

When we KNOW that He is in absolute, intricate, perfect control of our lives, we can go THROUGH ANYTHING WITH HIM WITH CONFIDENCE!!!! Because WE KNOW WHO HE IS!!!!

Blessings to you all, and have a wonderful evening in the Lord! I will write more tomorrow, Lord willing!

Thursday, July 29, 2010


Hi Everyone,

A friend and I were talking tonight about the Book of Job. Part of this post is something that she was talking about because of a sermon from her Pastor that she heard on Sunday, and most of it is my own thoughts, stimulated by our conversation and where God has me right now in life.

Sometimes when we face hard things and situations we don't understand, it is often that we want to ask God "Why?" it is happening. It may not be wrong to ask "why," we just may not get the exact specific answer that we hope to get.

What WE DO KNOW IS THAT TRIALS OF VARIOUS KINDS are used to shape and transform us in various ways regarding our perseverance, character, and faith (TRUST) in God and who He is. We learn valuable lessons in the hard places----if we allow God to do so. Gold is refined by going through the fire.

So in the Book of Job, we see Job's situation ---that he loses everything, his wife telling him to curse God and die (bad idea), and his friends that also come along with lots of words and poor advice----which we can learn from that the best thing to do many times when people are hurting or suffering is to be quiet and just be there.

Anyways, it is interesting because at the end of the book, God talks to Job and asks Job a whole bunch of questions---questions that for nearly four chapters POINT JOB BACK TO WHO GOD IS RATHER THAN ANSWERING WHY EVERYTHING HAPPENED!! God never told Job about his conversations with Satan---that is background knowledge that we are told whereas Job is not told of that to our knowledge.

You see that is what God wants to truly do with us in the midst of our various trials, struggles, and tribulations---THEY ARE AN OPPORTUNITY TO BE POINTED BACK TO HIM---BACK TO WHO HE IS AND TO KNOW HIM DEEPER AS A RESULT!!! I am facing some things right now---and God is using my situation in my life to DO EXACTLY THAT---Because I am willing. ANYTHING IS WORTH IT IF IT DRAWS US CLOSER TO HIM!!!

We see Job's response to all of God's questions when he says, Job 42:1- "Then Job replied to the LORD : "I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted. You asked, 'Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?' Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. "You said, 'Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me.' My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes."

You see, JOB KNEW GOD DIFFERENTLY AND MORE INTIMATELY AS A RESULT OF GOING THROUGH HIS SUFFERING.....and yet he still didn't and never would have all of the answers!

May we respond the same--recognizing and intimately knowing that GOD IS GOD and He has the absolute control and right to do whatever HE WANTS in our lives----and yet to know we can trust Him that HE WILL NOT ALLOW ANYTHING INTO OUR LIVES BUT WHAT IS THE ABSOLUTE BEST FOR US SO THAT WE MAY BECOME LIKE HIM. And at the same time, whatever He allows into our lives is so that HE might get the complete and ultimate glory through it all.

Can we TRUST Him to do that? Today, I can....and tomorrow may He give me the grace sufficient to the moment thereof to be able to do so!!!!

And just a side note that it is interesting that God shows His displeasure of how Job's three friends responded because in Job 42:7 they had not "spoken of Me (God) what was right." Wow!!!

Another good question for us:

Whether we are going through trials or comforting someone else in the midst of them are we thinking of God and "speaking of GOD what is right?" a manner that is appropriate and reflects the truth of who He is?? Something for each one of us to think about..myself included.

So THE ANSWER TO OUR QUESTION OF "Why?" is not really what matters, although we may ask it and not always or we may never actually get the answer---THE QUESTIONS ARE:

1) Will we allow our trials of various kinds to bring us closer to God and into a deeper and intimate relationship with Him regardless of the outcome of the current struggles or situations in our lives?

2) Will we choose to speak what is right of God in the midst of our situation because He IS unchanging regardless of what happens to us? As I write this I am realizing for myself that "not speaking what is right of God" is sin.

3) Will we realize that it is all about HIS GLORY AND WHAT HE SEES AS BEST--and truly surrender recognizing it isn't about US at all?

4) Will we recognize that our unique set of trials and life experiences are there to help someone else along life's pathway that will face either the same or a similar situation in the future----and the variety of unique things we have faced give us unique opportunities we may have to help someone else? (Thank You Melanie R.!)

When we recognize that God is sovereign and in ABSOLUTE CONTROL and truly believe that, we can say no matter what "The Lord gives and the Lord takes away--blessed be the NAME OF THE LORD!!!" Job 1:20-21 says, "At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised." In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.

Wow--I was convinced of the truth of that "not charging God with wrongdoing" before I actually read this--neat huh!!!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Caring For Ourselves To Serve God At Our Best

Hi Everyone,

I have been thinking about something. i think I may have eluded to this a little in the past, but I guess today was one of those days where God lovingly challenged me through a few others, and in my own personal life about caring more for myself in the sense of care because I am His temple and therefore, I am worth being properly taken care of.

I've mentioned the verse below in other posts before:

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body."

This whole "caring for myself" thing is really a new concept for me. So many things are changing since I got saved---things like diet, living a life of more order, and my general lifestyle. Now everything is not necessarily changing at once, but it is actually kind of fascinating to see. And it isn't because someone is telling me to do it. There are a few challenges and factors in the mix, especially regarding a few health things right now, which are leading to definite changes, but in general, it is just God and I walking in life together in a personal relationship, and things changing day by day.

And it is a very different thing to TRULY "care for myself" because I finally truly believe that I AM VALUABLE AND THAT I HAVE WORTH----as do all of us. but it is something new to me--to deep down in my core really actually believe that! I like it! Your life changes and you live accordingly to that.

So why do we take care of ourselves, because we are His, instead of giving in to self-harm or addictions as the world does?

Well, honestly, when you have peace with God and peace with yourself, you no longer need destructive or addictive behaviors as a part of your life because YOU TRULY HAVE WHAT YOU NEED IN GOD AND DON'T NEED ANYTHING ELSE. Now I don't mean that Believers never struggle in these areas-I believe they can struggle if they get their eyes off Jesus or get lured by the world, flesh, and sometimes Satan himself in the world system. But walking with God day by day and looking to Him makes a big difference. AS WE WALK WITH GOD, AND PERSONALLY KNOW HIM, HOPEFULLY, WE LOSE OUR NEED TO FILL OUR LIVES WITH "OTHER THINGS" BECAUSE THE VOID OF EMPTINESS THAT WE TRIED TO FILL BEFORE KNOWING CHRIST IS NOW FILLED WITH CHRIST HIMSELF!!(More on this topic at a later date.)

We take care of ourselves because we are His temple--the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit----and what place is more precious or valuable than that? Nothing---He DWELLS AND LIVES IN US---HIS VERY PRESENCE. Isn't that awesome? It is definitely a reason to care for ourselves in healthy and proper ways!

We take care of ourselves to honor God---it REALLY ALL COMES BACK TO BRINGING HIM THE WORSHIP AND THE GLORY THAT HE ALONE IS WORTHY OF. Everything we do is an offering of worship to God--no exceptions. Our lives are not in little compartments where God only affects certain areas of our lives. He affects it all if we allow Him to do so. There isn't anything in our lives that isn't about God's honor and glory.

We take care of ourselves because we want to serve GOD at our very best----not that He needs us to serve Him, but, the truth is that He chooses to use us. And the fact that He chooses to use us is a privilege! Ephesians 2:9 says that he has prepared works for us to do--and we want to be able to do those things at our very best for His glory and honor--because again--it's all about Him! We want to finish well and live our lives doing EVERYTHING at our best and for His glory, as I said above.

We take care of ourselves because, as I said at the beginning, we as believers, have value and worth--as do all human beings. But there is a difference with us as believers, because WE KNOW the reason why we have value and worth in God's sight--that the lost world around us does not yet understand. WE KNOW AND TRUST THAT JESUS CHRIST DIED AND ROSE FROM THE GRAVE--THAT HE DIED ON THE CROSS IN OUR PLACE FOR OUR SINS TAKING THE PUNISHMENT THAT WE DESERVED----and THAT makes ALL the difference!!!

We take care of ourselves also for one more reason--to be as Matthew 5 says His salt and light to a hurting and lost world that is yet held captive. We are an example to them--a light of hope to those that are yet perishing----and in this darkening world --may our lights truly shine all the brighter so the wold may see--------Not Us for the sake of "simply seeing us"---- BUT RATHER MIGHT THEY SEE HIM-JESUS CHRIST LIVING AND SHINNING THROUGH US!!!

Do we see the precious people around us who are lost as, "prisoners, held captive?," beloved brothers and sisters in Christ? I hope we honestly do see them that way, because they are!!1 We must ask God how he wants to use us in being a light so they are set free from the sin and death that entangles them--and make sure that we are not giving in to the world's system and sin at the same time. Yes, we live here on earth at the moment, but this world is NOT our home--our Home is in Heaven.

So as you care for yourself today, maybe in the most mundane and necessary ways, remember, it is all an act of worship to God---and a testimony of Him to the world----and it is all for HIS GLORY!!!!!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Challenged to Continue Being Transformed With God!

Hi Everyone,

Through a variety of personal circumstances that happened in my life today, I truly sense that God is gently and lovingly awakening me to the fact that I must NOT become content or comfortable with where I am right now in my relationship with Him---as wonderful as that NOW is! He is challenging me to further growth in Him--to allow that to come through some very practical and personal ways regarding my lifestyle. It is amazing because since I have been saved these past two months, it has not simply been changes spiritually (in having a relationship with God) that I have noticed, but God is also changing my lifestyle as well--down to the practical things----things are slowly changing--like how I eat, etc. It is really neat process to be living----so even though some things that happened today were literally a slightly uncomfortable way to lovingly "jolt me to reality" I am thrilled----thrilled to be going through the process so that in all areas of life I hopefully will be transformed in my inner-most being to be more like Jesus Christ, My Savior and Lord!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Our Solid Rock and Refuge

HI Everyone,

Here are some verses I would like to share that have really encouraged me today.

Psalm 18:1-2 "I love you, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn [a] of my salvation, my stronghold."

Psalm 31:1-3 "In you, O LORD, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness. Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me. Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me."

Psalm 62:1-2 "My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken."

Psalm 62:5-8 "Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. Selah"

Psalm 71:3 "Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress."

Psalm 94:22 "But the LORD has become my fortress, and my God the rock in whom I take refuge."

Father in Heaven, Thank you for the fact that in the midst of a world where everything shifts and changes around us, You stay the same. You are our Rock and refuge that we can hide in without fail--the ROCK OF REFUGE TO WHICH WE CAN ALWAYS GO!! In you we are safe and held forever.....You are our shield and protector....there is NO OTHER! Thank you that You have become my fortress--the ROCK ABOVE EVERYTHING ELSE in whom I take refuge and I can trust in YOU at all times and pour out my heart to you in complete confidence--knowing you hear and completely understand me. And it isn't only about me but it is also about those that I love--that also love and KNOW you--you are that same refuge and unchanging ROCK tO them. THANK YOU for being that to them. But it isn't about me or those that I know and love but also to the WHOLE BODY OF CHRIST OF BELIEVERS WHO KNOW AND HAVE A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH YOU--You also are that refuge and Rock to each one all across the planet without fail--whether they face death and persecution for your Name, or anything else--and again I praise and thank you for being that solid Rock of Refuge to each and every one of them---and I know that YOU will continue to be that to ALL OF US--for YOU WILL NEVER CHANGE!! What precious comfort is found here even in the midst of grief and separation......peace that passes all knowledge, understanding, and human comprehension, BECAUSE OF ALL THAT OUR LORD AND SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST IS TO US---our SOLID UNCHANGING ROCK AND REFUGE---WE CLIMB INTO HIS ARMS AND HIDE IN HIM-----in sweet PEACE and REST!!!!!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Stating a Fact Versus Complaining

HI Everyone,

I've been thinking about something lately. I've been thinking about the difference between stating a fact versus complaining about something. God has been lovingly showing me that sometimes when I say something even as "stating a fact," there can be moments where I inwardly might be complaining in my heart about the situation, and I don't want to be doing that. So I guess that there can be a fine line regarding the MOTIVE of why I am saying something. So I start asking myself some questions like these:

Why did I really just say what I just said?

Am I saying it to get attention?

Am I saying it out of an attitude of complaining in my heart of hearts, even if no one else sees it? (BECAUSE THE TRUTH IS THAT GOD DOES SEE IT--and YES, HE KNOWS!)

Or am I simply saying something out of stating a pure fact to someone else as the truth?

Does God care about our motives and "the why" of why we do things? ABSOLUTELY!

Here are some verses that seem to mention that

1 Corinthians 4:4-5 "My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God."

Hebrews 4:12-13 "For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

I guess getting into the "nitty gritty," the "fine things and the particulars of our motives of our hearts before God" is really a very personal thing between each person before God. And if we ask Him, little bit by little bit, He will show us the truth as we are willing to see things as He sees them--and allowing the Word of God to expose the truth to us--seeing God as He truly UNCHANGINGLY IS AND OURSELVES AS WE TRULY ARE.

It is possible to do the "right things" but do them for the wrong reason, according to the holiness of who God IS and we all fall short! Myself included-I have not yet arrived! When I say all of these things I am reminded myself as well as you. May The Spirit of the ONE AND ONLY LIVING GOD continue to transform and mold each one of us to be more like Him!

HE IS GOOD AND HE WILL complete the work that HE has started in each of us! To Him be ALL of the glory!!!!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

We ARE Intelligent Life

Hi Everyone,

Last night, we wen to the observatory. It was part of an appreciation dinner for the House of Hope Volunteers. It was way too rainy to see anything in the sky, but it was kind of neat to again be with people who have volunteered in many ways caring for the women of our community.

Part of the evening was a delicious meal that was provided by L. and C. (two individuals' first name initials that oversee things and work here.) There was was teacher and speaker who talked about things that the television, "Star Trek" got right and wrong based on what they have discovered throughout the years. It was very interesting. Some of the truths of things being "How God created them to be" (although He did not say that) were fascinating regarding light years, physics and stuff. Lots of it was way above my head but the little but that my mind could grasp was interesting.

There were some things that I had to really throw into the " mind garbage bin" as to discernment from the Holy Spirit, that I felt did not totally line up with what God says. It was interesting to be able to sit in a presentation and be able to do that. The Holy Spirit gives us a great grid of truth vrs error to work from.

Overall I enjoyed the presentation--He did not mention God at all, but I was just thinking about the awesomeness of everything they are discovering, that yes, God CREATED. And how it all points to it all really being created by God and the Bible being the Absolute truth and authority for every human life--no man-made religions. As the Romans 1:18-23 passage as follows "The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles."

And at some point this teacher from an area community college, just mentioned that there is the search for "intelligent life" going on in other universes. And I am not responsible for how the governments spend their money. But, In many ways, I think that the space exploration stuff has been good, the greatest reason for that being because some people have been brought to a saving faith and trust in Jesus Christ as a result of the awesomeness of the discoveries--they realize there is a God that created everything and eventually they admit they are accountable before Him, and that they offended Him by their sin, but that He (the One and Only True God) sent Jesus Christ His Son to die for them taking the punishment of their sin upon Himself that they deserved to pay. (Obviously they realized this by either reading or being shared the truths of God's Word-the Bible-thru others.

So is there "other Intelligent life" out there? I personally don't believe so---I think that God, in the Bible, would have told us that if there was....He is so honest with us! Genesis 1 tells us that God created the world, the heavens (skies, planets etc) and everything else in it and placed man on the earth--not some distant planet " somewhere....out there." Scripture tells us that man-human beings-are the greatest and highest of God's creation. Genesis 1:26-28 says, "Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."

We, as Human beings, are so valuable to God-that is why He sent Jesus Christ to die for us and rise from the grave three days later. We ARE INTELLIGENT LIFE!!! I don't think there needs to be searching for "intelligent life" per-say--because we aren't going to find any other civilization "like us" somewhere else on another planet. God also wants us to be concerned about obeying Him in His Word and obeying what we KNOW to be as HIS TRUTH FROM THE BIBLE, rather than focusing on what we don't know to gain "more knowledge." We have enough of a challenge to obey, because we love Him, what we do know!!!


God IS With Us!!!

HI Everyone,

I am listening to this song. I am going to post it on line. It is by MercyMe. I can't like stop crying and being joyful about it this morning! However, Since I don't actually have the CD (I downloaded the song legally off the internet) I don't actually have the specific name of the individual who wrote it-the lyrics on line just say "MercyMe" without more specification at this point!00so if you own the CD would you please give me the lyricist's name(s) so I can doccument it a little more proper;y? Thanks! All emphasis in bold or italics is strictly mine!

Who are we--- that You would be mindful of us?
What do You see--- that's worth looking our way?
We are free--- in ways that we never should be.
Sweet release--- from the grip of these chains.

Like hinges straining from the weight,
My heart no longer can keep from singing.

All that is within me cries
For You alone be glorified:
Emmanuel, God with us.

My heart sings a brand new song.

The debt is paid, these chains are gone.
Emmanuel, God with us.

Lord, You know--- our hearts don't deserve Your glory;
Still You show--- a love we cannot afford.

Like hinges straining from the weight,
My heart no longer can keep from singing.

All that is within me cries
For You alone be glorified:

Emmanuel, God with us.

My heart sings a brand new song.
The debt is paid, these chains are gone.
Emmanuel, God with us.

Such a tiny offering
Compared to Calvary;
We lay it at Your feet

All that is within me cries
For You alone be glorified:

Emmanuel, God with us.

My heart sings a brand new song.
My debt is paid, these chains are gone.
Emmanuel, God with us.

I hope by emphasizing things I have communicated the sheer joy that my heart feels in response to hearing it and echoing it back in agreement! May you all do the same, saying, "All that is within me cries For You alone be glorified: Emmanuel, God with us. My heart sings a brand new song. The debt is paid, these chains are gone. Emmanuel, God with us."

More later today, Lord willing! (if I have time!) :)

Absolutely Unstoppable---For God's Glory!

Hi Everyone,

I have come to realize that I am absolutely unstoppable--to God's glory--to be used as a vessel to have a vital and small part in the furthering of the Gospel being spread near and far, however He chooses to do that. NOTHING WILL STOP ME! I can't wait to give and give and give out proclaiming HIS PRECIOUS LOVE---until the day He returns or calls me Home. It isn't about me-it is all about His glory! It is so humbling to realize that He wants to use me in some unique way for His glory and God doesn't even have to or need to use me, but He wants to! I am available!

The gratitude for all He has done for me overflows unceasingly. I believe I have to be one of the most joyful people on the planet for no other reason but that HE SAVED ME!!!! That is enough of a reason to rejoice, no matter what comes, for the rest of my life. HE HIMSELF HAS BECOME MY SOUL'S DELIGHT!!! It is awesome to be growing spiritually exponentially-all of those years of instruction and "discipleship", even before being saved-- it is truly that the knowledge filtered down and became instantly usable! I LOVE IT!!!!

THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING--the beginning of a glorious life and adventure with HIM!!! I can't wait to walk this road in joy one step at a time and see all that He has in store---we can't imagine what He has in store for those who love Him--and that includes me---IT IS SO BEAUTIFULLY OVERWHELMING TO THINK OF!!! And serving Him in this life is not the end--it is only the beginning of what will one day be reality, after I am with Him forever, a joyous service to Him out of gratitude and a fully restored relationship with Him where no sin will ever be in the way again---EVERYTHING COMPLETE--AS HE MEANT IT TO BE BEFORE SIN ENTERED THE PICTURE IN EDEN!!!


I can't wait to get back to Mexico in HIS PERFECT TIME!! (I know serving God isn't about a location--but my heart is so there!-I know I will be there again!) How do I ever begin to explain that I am saying the same thing that I said being unsaved "that I wanted to go to serve as a missionary in Mexico" but NOW MOTIVES AND EVERYTHING ELSE HAVE CHANGED-----it is not about serving me anymore!!! It is about serving Him----totally and completely and taking His love to those who are without Him there just as I am NOW doing here!!

And Lord, if there is even a speck of pride in my heart as I say any of this, I ask you to take it and rip it away.


It sure is a trick of our sin nature, our flesh, and the devil and this world's system to make us but think for a moment that it is "all about us" isn't it? IT ISN'T ABOUT US AT ALL!!!

Father, You have my heart forever....and YOU KNOW YOU HAVE IT ALL!!!!

It makes sense why Enoch walked with God all those years and loved it!!

Friday, July 23, 2010

More Spanish Practice Today!

Hi Everyone,

Just a brief post to say that I am so excited! Not only to be going to Mexico for mini conference in August, but excited because I KNOW that my LOVING FATHER is preparing me to return! I just don't quite know when yet. I have been amazed at the different opportunities He is giving me lately to "get back into practice!" Today, for example, I went to lunch at Subway (yeah I've ate there a few times lately) and there were three men talking in Spanish--completely. I wasn't trying to listen, but I did overhear because I was right across from them, so I guess I got some "on my part accidental and yet, God-planned practice!!"


God is going to finish the work that He started with me---not only in making me more like Jesus in my relationship with Him, but also in all of the things that he has planned in advance for me to do!! I AM CONFIDENT OF THIS!!!

Yes, God I Still Trust You..............

Yes God,

You are good, you are faithful, and even when my heart breaks or I know that I may never see the answer to a prayer for someone that I love, at least not on this side of things. But even in the grief, I remember that YOU have NOT CHANGED and that you are the same God in control if their life and situation, just as you have been with me. Yes! Even in pain and tears, and things I don't understand, U can totally trust you because YOU ARE FOREVER still trustworthy....and I trust you with them-----Your precious loving hands are BIG enough! And because you are the same God in their situation, I can leave this dear one there where she belongs. And I can wait for the answer in eternity if need be.

You never change and remain constant, faithful, and true!


And I lift up the situation and the individual and family that I ma thinking of right now----You know it all. Comfort them, I pray.


I TRUST YOU TO DO YOUR PERFECT WILL.....May this very thing deepen my trust in you.

Interesting Interactions That God Gives

Hi Everyone,

It is very interesting the people that God brings across your path. I would like to share another story, avoiding any names, for the individual's privacy. But this is again all said for God's glory and honor, and as another part of my testimony.

God keeps bringing the same woman across my path---she is without permanent housing at the moment, but is not sleeping on the street. She floats from house to house of friends and family for the night. But let me tell you the story of how God brought her into my life.

Before I got saved (this was in the end of April or very early May) we started talking in a restaurant one day. I was not doing well in any sense and she wasn't doing well either, but she really encouraged me to keep going and to hang in there. Actually in a wierd way we both did that for each other. I made sure she had a place to go for that night and she shared some of her story with me--She is not addicted to drugs or alcohol or anything like that--and I could really sense that she "wasn't making up a story." She was telling me the truth. But is without housing at the moment due to other valid reasons.

Well, after that day, I just figured it was a one time experience and that we would not see each other again. But I did see her again, within the first two or three weeks of when I got saved towards the beginning of June. It was an incredible meeting near a public place. She was probably about the third person that I told my testimony to. And it was there that I discovered that she too is a believer and she was so thrilled that Jesus had made the truth of His love become real to me, and that I had finally been brought to the place of trusting Him. The meeting was so special that we had that day. She said that she would pray for me-and was so excited over the exceeding joy and peace that she now saw radiating from my face. I again asked if she had any needs or if there was anything I could do for her. She said so far God was providing her needs, mainly through a relative.

Well the other day, I went to volunteer and went for a lunch break--and I ran into her again close to where I volunteer. She said that she had just prayed for me that morning. I asked if she had eaten and if she needed anything for lunch. (My thought was to split something with her or something since I was going out myself.) But she assured me that she had just ate and that she was again trusting the Lord to provide for her needs. She said she believes her approval for housing is about to go through, so that she will no longer be finding places to stay for the night with friends and relatives. Her story has been so truthfully consistent each time. She is just someone the Lord lined up to bring across my path for this season of my life--and our last two conversations have been so truly joyful!!!

Please pray for this dear lady--that she would find housing soon, and for God's will concerning if we are to have anymore interactions with one another. Pray that God would give me His wisdom as I interact with her in those times! Praise the Lord that she knows Him as her Savior and has trusted Jesus Christ's payment for her sin on the cross! We are sisters in Christ!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Taste of Mexico--Pray For My Mexican friends!

HI Everyone,

I hope you are all rejoicing in the Lord today, even if there are hard things in your life right now. Remember that God is in control and that NOTHING escapes His notice!

So I got a taste of MEXICO on Wednesday night! There is one Mexican couple that I am friends with in my hometown. For privacy purposes I will NOT out their names here, but I will just say that they invited me over to their house for a meal. It was the typical Mexican "all the family that was possible to be together was there" scenario.

It was so cool because before I we got to their house, after they came to pick me up, we went to a little Mexican grocery store. It was so great! I GOT SO EXCITED!!!! It was like I actually missed seeing some of the products that were on the shelves. It felt like "home"-the other part of my life that I am longing to get back to soon, but in God's timing.

My friend (the wife) bought me a bottle of the Jarrito's Pineapple soda--yum! It was such a treat. I didn't even realize that I had been craving just a little taste of it.(I had completely forgotten about the apple soda flavor-guess I will have to drink just a little at conference in August.) Anyways, it was a very kind and thoughtful gesture on her part to buy that for me. She had gone to buy some remaining ingredients she needed for our cena. (supper)

So I came to her house and the meal got finished being be prepared tacos with authentic Mexican style tortillas with carne deshebradam and even a mexican cheese to top on it if you wanted! It was DELICIOUS!!!! It felt god to eat something authentically Mexican (hot salsa included!) and remember.....

And after we all ate, she went to fold her laundry and I went with her to chat. (The awesome part was that we talked in Spanish literally from the moment that I got in their car to the moment that I left their car to return to the House of Hope whe. re I stay.)

So while she was folding her laundry she made some comment along the lines of how the work never ends til you die, and it was the perfect opportunity to share the gospel with her. It was just like God gave me the words. e finished the laundry and went outside to water her flowers and I kept sharing with her. I would truly like to memorize a few more Scripture in Spanish so that I can share more of what God says and not just my words to explain. She didn't say much, but didn't stop me either. I was encouraged by the natural opportunity that God gave me to share!! :)

As I observed some different situations that occurred with her husband and some things that he said, I was very aware of his overall sense of trying to be constantly in control of everything, but the reality that everything is really spinning out of control in his life. Part of me just wanted to say, "Give up the control0and give it all to Jesus. (actually he is not of Mexican descent) Bu I kept quiet-it wasn't the time or place to say something.

All in all, it was a wonderful evening though! I loved being with her!

So my prayer request is that before I return to Mexico on a more long-term basis, that I would have an opportunity to share the gospel with her a little more clearly in Spanish.....and that eventually she and her husband and their adult children would come to the place of giving JESUS their trust. Thank you for praying for them. I will keep you posted.


May God give us all the courage to share boldly the hope that is within us (myself included)---in HIS LOVE AND TRUTH!!

May He bless you abundantly with HIS PEACE that passes all understanding today!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Part Two of "I AM Still On "Plan A."

Hi Everyone,

It is so interesting the timing of my post last night-God is so in control of this. Last night I blogged about how we are still on "Plan A" when we sin and blow it. You know, I really needed that! I read it again, and it was a reminder to me of that truth, that I am still on "Plan A" myself.

You see today a dear friend of mine, in the midst of some really crazy and wild circumstances in my life that happened today, mentioned very kindly and confronted in love that about two weeks ago, I said something that really made someone else question my testimony that I had become a Believer.

And when I heard that, and also because I know the person that questioned my testimony, it instantly broke my heart, and it broke my heart that I honestly unknowingly sinned before God and before her--at that moment with my lips and that I said something that she heard and it could have easily caused this little one to stumble.

IT IS SO EASY TO FALL INTO THE TRAP OF CONDEMNATION IN THOSE MOMENTS. Satan just wants to dig his heels in and have a hay-day with us!

But it was like at the same time that I was sorry and mad at myself that I had done that, it was like the Spirit of God along with my mentor were able to remind me that as Romans 8:1 says, there really IS NO CONDEMNATION for those that are in Christ--that GOD gives us grace when we sin--that it is already covered and paid for through Jesus Christ's death and payment for our sin on our behalf.

I don't have to beat myself up with guilt and shame about it! There is a glorious and true freedom for the children of God! I plan on talking to her (the young girl that heard the thing that made her doubt my testimony) because I believe that it is necessary to sincerely apologize, explain a little bit, and hopefully be able to build into her precious young life that even as Christians, we DEFINITELY SIN AND BLOW IT, BUT THAT'S WHY NO MATTER HOE CLOSE SOMEONE WALKS WITH GOD, ONE TIME OR ANOTHER (or several times), THEY WILL DISAPPOINT US---INCLUDING ME WITH YOU ALL.


And my heart still rejoices! I am still on Plan A and KNOW that I am forgiven completely, without reservation, forever!

Psalm 19:14 "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer."

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Nothing But A "Plan A"

Hi Everyone,

Before I was saved, I not only hated the concept of God's sovereignty, but I also hated the concept of us having "free-will." I didn't like the fact of God's sovereignty because that meant God was in control. I thought that I wanted to be in control (and then you find out what a disaster that really is.) And I didn't like the thought of free will either because that meant we as human beings were obviously going to mess up one way or another.

If you are confused because it sounds like I totally contradicted myself, by saying I didn't want God to be in control, but wanted my own choices, but yet really didn't want my own choices because I knew I'd "blow it," I am sorry. It really was both things at the same time, possibly because the closer I got to being saved, I realized that I was just mad that we were given the choice to go ahead and sin, and that through Adam, every one of us had done so......and it wasn't suppose to be that way. i remember thinking, "well, why couldn't God "just make us all love Him?" Then surely everything would be better!! But the answer to that question is that if He forced us to love Him, it would not be love at all.

So, thinking about the fact that God is sovereign and that we all make our choices, got me thinking about something. I started thinking about how so often in life people get scared that when they sin, that they've "missed God's plan for their lives"---and, therefore, are on plan "B" or "C" or "P", or even "z." I used to think that way, but I don't anymore because of something that I have come to realize.

I don't quite know how I can back this up with Scripture yet, so just take it with a grain of salt. But here is my thought. When God created each one of us, He was and still IS sovereign over our lives---whether we like it or not, He IS in control. And yet, he gives us free will to9 make our own choices. But yet, because God is all-knowing (omniscient), He already knows the end from the beginning and always has, and therefore GOD KNOWS EVERY DECISION WE WILL MAKE BEFORE WE MAKE IT, EVEN THOUGH IT IS FULLY OUR free will and CHOICE TO MAKE THE CHOICE!!

So because God knows and intricately has our lives in His hands, knowing our choices that we will make in our free will before we freely make them, even in our sin, our rebellion etc, he already knows the plan from the beginning to the end---and therefore there are no plan "b's," "C's," "P's," or "z's"---MY THOUGHT IS THAT IT ALL TO9GETHER REALLY IS HIS PLAN "A" FOR US THAT LOVE HIM.....THERE ARE NO MISTAKES OR "WHOOPS" WITH GOD!! ....His plan, far above our own, is to work it ALL (and by "all" " I mean everything out for out good and His glory!!

Do you see the freedom in that when we see that? Yes----GOD IS TRULY THAT in control, and THAT INTRICATELY AND PERSONALLY involved in our lives----individually!!

Does that mean we keep sinning? As I have said in so many other blog posts, absolutely NOT!!!!!!!!!!!

What IS His plan "A?" first and foremost that we would come to personally come to9 the place where we would allow him to change our hearts--to trust him as our Savior and what Jesus did for us on the cross--being brought not just to the facts of it all, but to a personal relationship with
himself---we were created for that and will NOT be satisfied until we are brought to9 that point in life.
And after that, His plan is for us to grow in Him and serve Him with every ounce of our strength and every breath as HE leads us--and directs each of us!! That will be different for each person as to how he uses us, BUT THE END RESULT IS FOR HIS GLORY NOT OURS!!!

But we don't need to get all bent out of shape when we fall---GOD WILL WORK IT OUT FOR HIS GOOD AND GLORY----IF WE ALLOW HIM AND TRUST HIM. He really IS BIG ENOUGH!!!!


"Captive" and "Captivate"

HI Everyone,

I've been thinking about two words that could either have positive or negative connotations depending on how they are used, but am going to try to portray them by how they would commonly be thought of.

The first word is "captive"--a word that we generally do not think highly of in normal context, but could also be used positively. A few places where it is used in the New testament are: Colossians 2:8 "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ."

2 Timothy 2:24-26 also says, "And the Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will."

I looked up the definition of "captive" according to, "the free dictionary according to farlex," because it was one of the first definitions that came up on line (No idea what "farlex" is--hope it's safe) but the definition was pretty good, I thought. So here it is "(1))(noun) One, such as a prisoner of war, who is forcibly confined, subjugated, or enslaved. (2) One held in the grip of a strong emotion or passion. (3) (used as adjective) Taken and held prisoner, as in war. (4)} Held in bondage; enslaved. (5)Kept under restraint or control; confined: captive birds. (6)Restrained by circumstances that prevent free choice: a captive audience; a captive market. (7) Enraptured, as by beauty; captivated."

It is often a word we don't like thinking about! Yet without Christ, we are all held captive by Satan to do His will! We are captive to sin---the "Old man." ---our sin nature and flesh--- with no power in and of ourselves to be any other way-----NO MATTER HOW "GOOD" WE LOOK ON THE OUTSIDE." Everything we do is like filthy rags in comparison to God's perfect holiness!

Now, let's look at the word, "Captivate." it is a word that many times has positive associations with it. Again, it can be just as deadly and awful if the wrong things have captivated you!!!!!

There are a few verses in the Bible that use the word---you can look them up yourself if you really want to.

The "Free dictionary by Farlex" was again among the first internet options. Here are the definitions given, "(verb-transitive) (1) To attract and hold by charm, beauty, or excellence. See Synonyms at charm. (2) Archaic To capture. (1) to hold the attention of by fascinating; enchant (2) an obsolete word for capture."

Ok so you are probably guessing the part that I liked the best which was: TO ATTRACT AND HOLD BY....EXCELLENCE I love that!! Like I said, people can be captivated by bad and sinful things and practices--depends what has captivated you.

What or who is the "Object of your captivation" TODAY??

But I was thinking about being captivated by the Ultimate gift of EXCELLENCE which IS none other than GOD'S LOVE demonstrated through the person of Jesus Christ----the PERFECT EXAMPLE OF LOVE---selfless and pure in every way!!

And there is no other thing that will ever captivate us more than that once we are His for all of eternity!!!

So are you in "captive to sin" or "captivated by Jesus Christ and His love for you today?"

Monday, July 19, 2010

May The Mind Of Christ.....

Hi Everyone,

We sang a song in church on Sunday to close the service. (To my dear friend Jill C. I am NOT trying to copy your blog post---I left church thinking I HAVE TO put that on my blog!! I am just now getting around to it!)

1 Corinthians 2:14-16 "The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man's judgment: "For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ."

Philippians 2:5 "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus" Some versions do say "mind" Both words seen to carry the same idea.

Mark 12:29-30 "The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.'"

As you read this or sing it if you know the tune, sing or read it as a prayer to God from your heart. The lyrics are so rich in depth and doctrine! Unfortunately I don't have the time tonight to comment as I would love to! Just THINK of the truth of these words!!! This was a woman who loved God!!

May the mind of Christ, my Savior

Words by Kate B Wilkinson the lyrics date back to 1925

May the mind of Christ, my Savior,
Live in me from day to day,
By His love and power controlling
All I do and say.

May the Word of God dwell richly
In my heart from hour to hour,
So that all may see I triumph
Only through His power.

May the peace of God my Father
Rule my life in everything,
That I may be calm to comfort
Sick and sorrowing.

May the love of Jesus fill me
As the waters fill the sea;
Him exalting, self abasing,
This is victory.

May I run the race before me,
Strong and brave to face the foe,
Looking only unto Jesus
As I onward go.

May His beauty rest upon me,
As I seek the lost to win,
And may they forget the channel,
Seeing only Him.


If i can but barrow this precious child of God's words may I say to you, blessing you, "May the WORD of GOD DWELL RICHLY in YOUR HEARTS FROM HOUR TO HOUR SO ALL MAY SEE THAT YOU TRIUMPH ....ONLY THROUGH HIS POWER!!!!"

Rejoicing in the Lord Through Various Trials

Hi Everyone,

Spelling question: Is the word "through" technically spelled "through" like I learned it growing up, "Thru" like drive-thru, (has a red line under it in my blogger spell check), or both? Just wondering if some of you spelling-bee lovers or scrabble people could help me out? thank you! (Hope you know I am having fun with this but serious too!) Life with a relationship with God is awesome-I m loving it! OK, On with the blog post.

The top thing that popped into my head last night as I was writing about rejoicing was about rejoicing in our trials. I've already discussed this before in some senses, but thought I would probe a little deeper, even though I may be saying things similar as to what I said in the past, but with some different Scripture verses that popped into my head.

One of the verses that I mentioned last night was Philippians 4:4 "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!" Let me just add one of my honest side comments that before I got saved I totally "didn't like" and "didn't get" this verse. I was seriously like, "Why? Rejoice all the time? That's impossible! About WHAT?" Well, now I KNOW WHAT ABOUT!! And it is NOT IMPOSSIBLE EITHER!!!

So why and how can we rejoice in our trials and hard times?

James 1:2- says, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

See what it says here? These verses say a lot! "Consider it pure joy" "Pure joy" is joy untainted by complaining--joy complete and whole lacking nothing in itself--the trials themselves are considered privileges and an honor to pass through and face as if we wouldn't desire anything else.

The verses continue, "My brothers." Now who are the "brothers?" None other than those of the family of God who are His children because they have placed their trust in Christ alone to save them and are depending on no other thing to save them.

The verse continues "whenever" no "if's," "and's," or "but's" about it. What I mean is that there are no exceptions mentioned--no thoughts of, I'll consider it joy if I feel like it" or "I'll consider it pure joy of the trial isn't too painful or doesn't affect 'my life' too much." THERE ISN'T ANY OF THAT IN THERE!!!

The verse continues Whenever you face trials of various kinds. Please DO NOTICE that there is no specification of specific trials---it just says various trials--and what may be a trial to one person may not be to another in some cases.

Why?? Why can we do this? How can we respond this way every time we face a trial?

The verse continues and tells us, "Because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance." First of all the word KNOW was bolded in my personal emphasis of it.-- knowing not just as a fact but as an experience, in a right sense, as it has been tested out as you have walked in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Know what? We know, "the testing of your faith develops perseverance." Trials of various types test our faith and challenge it to grow--sort of like doing physical strengthening exercises of some sort-they build up your strength---faith being tested brings the same thing but in a sense of spiritual-relationship to God growth. (I am trying to be very careful how the word "spiritual" is used--it is one of those words in our culture that has truly come to mean whatever people want it to mean----uggg! scary!!) And the testing of our faith develops perseverance. Notice that the "Developing" of the perseverance does not happen immediately--something that is developed happens over a process of time! What is perseverance? It is the ability to keep going forward and pressing on by God's strength no matter how hard things get. WE ALL NEED THAT-NO MATTER HOW LONG YOU HAVE BEEN IN A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH CHRIST!!

The verse continues, "Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." When perseverance is developed and finishes its process in us (most likely this is totally complete in us when we see Christ face to face, but that doesn't mean that a lot of it doesn't happen here as we allow and make our hearts and lives available to the Spirit of God working in us---so no excuses!!!) So when perseverance is developed in us, we find that the end result is that we are "mature and complete, not lacking in anything." Doesn't that sound great!!!! I get excited about being one day mature an complete evden if it takes a hard process to get there. We won't lack in anything either! AWESOME!!!

Can't you just see the first century Christians getting thrown to the lions thinking, "I don't enjoy the process, but it is a PURE JOY to be considered worthy of dying for Jesus Christ who died for me? I can!! And the response of one kld to the courage and response of another to stand for Christ at the cost of the8ir very life......because of Jesus and what He had done for them?

What will we do? He may not call us to be martyred for Him---and we shouldn't go seek it unnecessarily, but how will we respond in the light of our trials in life?

Here is another verse 1 Peter 5:8-11 "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen." This verse carries with it the same concept of standing firm in the faith and remembering that we re not alone in out sufferings because others around the world are enduring the same things. After we have suffered for awhile, Christ himself will restore us, making us strong and steadfast (the idea of perseverance.)

Romans 5:1-5 tell us, "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us." These verses says that perseverance in our sufferings produces character and that character produces hope--and that hope DOES NOT DISAPPOINT US!!!

2 Corinthians 4:7-12 "But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you." Jars of clay are fragile--they remind us that it is God's power that is at work in us as we go through the trials and the path that He has planned for our very best and very good. Trials personally and trials together as the body of Christ---His followers!!!

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 "Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. See how Paul looks at his trials, and he was literally beaten and all liker three times near to death? He doesn't even refer to them as trials He says they are LIGHT AND MOMENTARY TROUBLES!!!! His eyes are on the eternal glory that awaits as a result! AND HE FIXES HIS EYES ON JESUS CHRIST THROUGH IT ALL---NEVER TAKING HIS EYES AWAY!!

Father, help me!!! I WANT TO BE THAT WAY!!!!!!

James 1:12 "Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him."

Sorry, American culture! You are (in a general sense) wrong! Christianity is NOT ABOUT having "an easy life once you trust Christ." Many times life actually gets harder afterwards--hate to burst the bubble!! I've had more things happen in the last two months since I have been saved than I have seen for quite awhile than when I was not a Christian and follower of Christ. But there is an "easiness" if you want to call it that because God gives you the strength to go through things as you depend on Him and you no longer go through things alone on your own---which IS A VERY BIG DIFFERENCE!!!!


The Oil Spill--Creation Groans for the Lost World We Live In

Hi Everyone,

This blog is Not going to become a "current environmental and social issues blog" by any means, but I just have to say something.

I went to the gas station briefly today, and got in a conversation with one of the employee's. I mentioned the big oil spill that, I guess, is being discussed up here. I saw a headline and asked the lady what she knew, partly because all I literally know is that that there was a big oil spill and nothing else.

And she proceeds to tell me about an AM radio talk show where two "psychics" where saying something about some huge hurricane coming and pushing the oil on land or whatever"----And I am thinking as she talks, "Wow! It is so sad how those who have not yet trusted Christ will sometimes believe anything except what the Word of God says.." My second thought was "Be careful where you get your information from and be careful what you accept to be true." Her response was NOT exactly the information I was expecting to get, and yet it was a real reflection of the lost hurting people around us----an eye-opener to that daily reality wherever we are in the world.

So a prayer request is that I am actually really burdened for the 4 ladies that work at the gas station. I got to share the gospel with one of them a few weeks ago. Please pray that in the remainder of my time living here, however long that ends up being, that the Lord would use my interactions with them, from time to time, to reflect HIS LIGHT, LOVE, AND TRUTH---THE TRUTH OF JESUS CHRIST AS STATED INERRANTLY IN THE BIBLE--THE GOSPEL OF SALVATION.

So even though I have no clue what is really going on with the oil spill, I know three things.

1) God is TOTALLY IN ABSOLUTE CONTROL, even of these "environmental calamities and issues"-shall I say for lack of better words.

2) Things like the "big oil spill" remind us that all of creation is yet groaning and waiting. I can picture in my mind those fish and whatever else dying in the oil and groaning, "Come back, Jesus!" (Let me say they aren't as valuable as we are and they don't "get saved" or anything, but they and all of creation groans as Romans 8:19-25 says, "The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently." The creation waits for it's freedom from bondage and to be brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. And as We, who know Christ, have hope lets share it with others.

3) Which I already basically said, is that let's each be praying and asking God how to have our every day conversation and the events that are happening, which is what much of the world without Christ may be thinking about, be opportunities to share about His truth--THE TRUTH ABOUT JESUS THAT WILL LAST FOREVER WHEN EVERYTHING ELSE ON THIS EARTH IS DONE AND OVER WITH!!!!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Rejoice in the Lord and Enjoy The Moments Given To Us!

Hi Everyone,

I am thinking about something today, as a major part of my personal life has been in a huge adjustment and transition. I have been thinking about the fact that God has given us life in part to truly enjoy first and foremost God himself and our relationship with Him--above everything else. Psalm 64:9-10 tells us, "All mankind will fear; they will proclaim the works of God and ponder what he has done. Let the righteous rejoice in the LORD and take refuge in him; let all the upright in heart praise him!" Psalm 68:3-4 tell us, "But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful. Sing to God, sing praise to his name, extol him who rides on the clouds—his name is the LORD—and rejoice before him." Philippians 3:1 says, "Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you." and Philippians 4:4 says, "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!" There isn't really any other option that is better than living a life of rejoicing and thanksgiving before God when we have a personal relationship with Him.

There isn't too much more that I think about except the awe of God and a relationship with Him, and the unquenchable longing to serve again one day with the Mexico team in His time for the right reasons, and for His glory--I can't imagine doing anything else at the moment, but if He wanted something else, even if it broke my heart, I would do it for Him out of surrender and obedience. It isn't about me anymore!

There are a few other things I could add to this post, as "things to rejoice in Because if Christ," but I may do a part two on "rejoicing" another day.

The other things that God wants us to enjoy in life are His provision--food, objects used as tools to work and serve Him, people--the moments shared together....not thinking ahead to tomorrow in dread and worry, but enjoying today and His many blessings to us!

We see that He considers Israel when they went off to battle in Deuteronomy-this may have been to possibly downsize the army--I am not sure, but notice what God said. He considered where they were at. Deuteronomy 20:5-8 says, "The officers shall say to the army: "Has anyone built a new house and not dedicated it? Let him go home, or he may die in battle and someone else may dedicate it. Has anyone planted a vineyard and not begun to enjoy it? Let him go home, or he may die in battle and someone else enjoy it. Has anyone become pledged to a woman and not married her? Let him go home, or he may die in battle and someone else marry her." Then the officers shall add, "Is any man afraid or fainthearted? Let him go home so that his brothers will not become disheartened too."

God considered where each one was at and told those that had built new houses, planted vineyards, or a man pledged to a woman but not yet married, or anyone who was afraid or fainthearted that they were not to fight at this time.

God wants us to enjoy life, all according to His Perspective, obviously, above all, enjoying and rejoicing in Him first. We should not exalt in our possessions or any other thing, or finding our security in any other thing but the Person of Jesus Christ. But God wants us to enjoy today, according to His truth and right ways that bring honor to Him, leaving tomorrow in His hands--He will take care of it. He is already with tomorrow!

So I had an opportunity to enjoy time with my family today--it was precious. Words could not describe it! I know that very soon those moments of us being together will be few and far in between. However, I tried not to think about that as much, and just enjoy today. At the same time, I very clearly understand that the separation is only temporary, even though it may be for awhile. And so, I was and am able to truly praise God, that TODAY I was able to enjoy Him first and foremost, and the joy of being with some of those that I dearly love---and KNOW that He holds, takes care of, and loves them too!! And He will be faithful to do the same for me!!


Delighted to Fade Into The Background!

Hi Everyone,

I've been thinking about what it means to be a bond-servant of the Lord--the thrill and the joy that it is to serve Him--even if it is in the smallest and unnoticeable ways.

John 3:22-33 "After this, Jesus and his disciples went out into the Judean countryside, where he spent some time with them, and baptized. Now John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because there was plenty of water, and people were constantly coming to be baptized.(This was before John was put in prison.) An argument developed between some of John's disciples and a certain Jew over the matter of ceremonial washing. They came to John and said to him, "Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan—the one you testified about—well, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him." To this John replied, "A man can receive only what is given him from heaven. You yourselves can testify that I said, 'I am not the Christ but am sent ahead of him.' The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom's voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. He must become greater; I must become less. "The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all. He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony. The man who has accepted it has certified that God is truthful."

It is interesting that the disciples were interested that another man was baptizing others and that "everyone" was going to him. But it is interesting that John was not concerned about the fact that maybe he himself was not baptizing as many other people as the other man---John seemed unconcerned saying that, "a man can only receive what is given him from Heaven." John then restates the purpose for which he is there-that he 'IS NOT the Christ, but was sent ahead of Him." He is concerned about doing what God has called Him to do and fulfilling His purposes. His joy is in waiting upon the Lord and listening to His voice.--essentially obeying.

John continues by saying that Christ must become greater, and he (John) must become less. As I read that, it made me think. How often do we get involved in ministry to look good or to try to become great? I HOPE NEVER, but if we are honest with God and ourselves we might discover a different answer than the "never." I know this is becoming a life and ministry principle for me in the future as well as today, so I am totally talking to myself as well as you dear reader.

Our goal as we serve Christ as He asks us to, should not be to "become great in ourselves." Rather our desire should be to "become less." Because He is the One that is great--not us. Jesus Christ is the ONE WHO IS ABOVE ALL--we don't compare to that at all.

So we can serve humbly and delighted, not in a derogatory self-pity poor me sense, but rather out of joy--Because JESUS CHRIST IS INDEED GREATER---no servant is greater than their master.



Saturday, July 17, 2010

In Him All Things Hold Together--Death Swallowed Up In Victory!!

HI Everyone,

I have been thinking a lot lately about two more concepts. I have thought about this post for several days, praying about how to communicate it, and asking God to piece it together.

So I feel led to start with Colossians 1:15-23 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant."

I give the quotes of Scripture because I am trying to give more of the context of things somewhat and not simply the verses that I want. So the bolded part above is what I would like to focus on today. I've been thinking about the truth as the Bible says that, "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy." Think about the awesomeness and the security that is established because Jesus Christ is in total control of everything. IT ALL MEANS SO MUCH!!! Think about the fact that Christ was and IS the firstborn before all creation-that HE created ALL THINGS-that all things were created by Him and for Him (An awesome statement of truth with incredible implications!) and THAT IN HIM ALL THINGS HOLD TOGETHER! He is so totally in control that the smallest invisible atom is literally held together by Him and would not exist, if it were not for Him! (Wow--and they say it was evolution---what a total insult to Jesus Christ right there!) Everything is held together by Him--no exceptions-He is so in control of every particle of matter on the planet, whether we see it or not!

So let's take that thought of Jesus Christ being in control of all things and Him holding all things together and think about this in the context and mindset of when He returns......His return showing us again that as He said, death is indeed swallowed up in victory!

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 "Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first."

Think of the comfort of these words that we have been given! The verses mention first those that have fallen asleep (died) in Christ Jesus! Every one of us have our stories of those that we have loved that have died in Christ and gone before us. God has not forgotten them.

Before I continue with the 1 Thessalonians passage let me go to another passage first.

2 Corinthians 5:1-9 "Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. We live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it."

Think about the fact that we who have trusted Christ alone long to be with Him---God made it clear in the previous verses that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord, I believe in Spirit. The body stays in the ground at the time of death , but the spirit of each human being goes on to it's eternal destiny (heaven for believers--hell for unbelievers-at the second and exact moment of death)

Here on earth we are away from Christ-we long to be with Him as stated in the prior previous verses above because our citizenship is in Heaven. Philippians 3:20-21 tells us exactly that "But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body."

But going back to our Colossians passage that we first looked at for a moment-thinking of those who have died and gone to be with the Lord before us. Their deaths have happened in so many ways (just like the deaths of the unsaved.) fires, drownings, etc. But think about the fact that JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF HAS CONTROL OVER EVERY SPECK OF MATTER IN THE UNIVERSE. We are told in the 1 Thessalonians passage that those who died in Christ will rise first, Their spirits are already WITH HIM in His therefore from the passage their new glorified bodies will come up from the grave---THINK ABOUT HOW COOL THIS IS GOING TO BE!! He is in control of all matter-all the dust particles and knows exactly which particles belonged to whom! IT WILL BE AMAZING F9OR THOSE OF US THAT ARE STILL ALIVE AT HIS COMING TO BEHOLD!!! WHAT A TESTIMONY OF GOD'S ULTIMATE POWER AND CONTROL TO THE REST OF THE WORLD!!!

And back to the 1st Thessalonians passage, it is after the dead in Christ have risen first in their glorified bodies that, "After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words."

The consolation and awe of all of it will be incredible.

Are you grieving? Don't forget that in Christ, WE HAVE HOPE!! 1 Corinthians 15:50-57 tells us "I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory." "Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?" The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ IS IN CONTROL of ALL, dear friend! Death has no victory or sting for those that have trusted in Him---He has already won the victory when He died willingly in our place on the cross and arose from the grave. So I will close this post with the final verse from 1 Corinthians 15:58 which says,

"Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain."


Friday, July 16, 2010

Life Within

HI Everyone,

The peace that passes understanding, which God gives to us through His Spirit, is ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!! There is nothing that compares to it--nothing better in the world! NOTHING MORE SATISFYING-It allows us to rest in Him securely. It gives us life-because God himself is the source of the new life within. His very presence indwells us----and there is NOTHING to fear. Next to being with Him in Heaven, I don't believe it can get any better than this--He is there---truly there never to leave or forsake me. My HOPE, my LIFE, MY EVERYTHING comes from Him. And I rejoice over and over and over again.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Story Written to His Glory!

HI Everyone,

It has not ceased to amaze me yet---what it feels like to get up and realize that I AM ACTUALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO THE DAY and all that it will contain, whatever comes (Another new one for me!) Life wasn't like this before!

It is interesting to think about the fact that I always wanted to be an author when I grew up. But I never thought that it would be done like this! And it is strange (in a good sense of the word strange) that I am realizing that this blog is like my "book" in a sense. And the interesting thing is that it is "my story" only in the sense that it is my life, but really in reality it is God's story--His doing it through me and He is writing it-but yet at the same time the two of us, God and I, are writing it together!

And eve as I look forward to THIS DAY, I also look forward to the days, months, and years (Lord Willing truly in all of those) that I will yet write and proclaim all He is doing and what He teaches me.

Sometimes to be honest, I will post a blog and then stare at it a few seconds and think, "WOW! Has God so touched my heart and life that this all really happening to me? " And then I have you step back, take a breath, rejoice, and say, "Yes!" Thank you LORD!


No Regrets

Hi Everyone

I would just like to post a ministry (Mexico) update. My Team is having a mini conference in August and I bought tickets less than 24 hours ago for a little more than $700 bucks round trip. (I was praying it would not be over $1000 dollars.) God is GOOD! Praise Him for the opportunity that I will have to be with my team. The actual conference is the 15th thru the 19th, I will be flying down to Mexico on Thursday the 12th of August and returning on Monday the 23rd of August! I am stil not ready to set a long-term departure date to the field, as I sense this is a continued time for healing as I am working through things yet and growing spiritually in my relationship with God. But that date will be set at the right time. Please pray for my time at the mini-conference and for the Lord's timing for my return I am NOT WORRIED about it at all. Thank you for everything!

So for my first post of July 15th, I just wanted to say that as I look at my life, I really have no regrets now. I used to literally regret constantly, but when the Holy Spirit comes into your life the moment you trust Christ, something happens----the shame, the guilt, and the other junk--it just doesn't matter like it did before. When I shared my testimony at the mentor facilitator appreciation dinner, there was something that I said-a quote from it that I wanted to share.

Excerpt from "My Testimony House of Hope Mentor/Facilitator Appreciation Dinner July 8th 2010"

"About seven weeks ago, He (God) brought me to the place of repentance and trust in Him. The spiritual turmoil that I had experienced for years has been replaced with a sweet assurance that I am truly His that nothing else will ever take away.
The last seven weeks of my life alone have already made up for the nearly 32 years of life that I hated. Life isn’t perfect there are challenges. But it is different now-Jesus Christ is WITH me. NOTHING will ever change that-NOTHING!!....The life that I once hated so much I now see as an intricately designed life by God-the good with the hard things together are woven into a wonderful tapestry of His choosing, even before I truly knew Him. God knew what it would take to bring me to Himself—and it is incredible after all of these years to have finally known that God had not only made me ready to receive the right kind of help that I needed, but to also realize He led me to the right place to receive it—and Ultimately, and most importantly receive Him. All the glory is His-it is all His doing!"

It is so strange because we tend to think that living for ourselves is going to satisfy, but it many times leads to a life of sin and regret. It is only when we live for Christ that we find we will never regret doing so!

I will just echo by saying this


Our sin hurts Him, yet He died for us, and He takes EVERYTHING all of it and works it to His glory and our good and growth. Does that mean we keep living a lifestyle of sin? NOPE. But Wow! HOW AWESOME IS OUR GOD!!!!

1 Corinthians 2:8-10 "None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. However, as it is written: "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him"—but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God."