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

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Find The Words His Love Proclaim

Hi Everyone,

One of the songs that we are singing for the Christmas cantata for our small choir at church has these words in it that I love, "Find the words His love proclaim." I love those words.

John 1:1-18 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
(John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, “This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’”) Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known."

THE WORD (JESUS) became flesh and dwelt among us! This passage is absolutely incredible--wow almost leaves me speechless in gratitude!

Jesus Christ--The Perfect Mediator

HI Everyone,

1 Timothy 2:2-6 "I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time."

How amazing it is that JESUS is our perfect mediator. How wonderful it is that We who have trusted Him, have HIM and need no other to go before God on our behalf. Jesus' sacrifice on our behalf was complete, finished, and perfect. How wonderful it is that there is no name in Heaven or on earth greater than the Name of Jesus Christ---that we can truly rest---and that He goes before the Father when we sin as Believers and in a sense says, "Yes, I died for that--my blood has covered it----and this is my child."

Saturday, October 30, 2010

God In A Box?

Hi Everyone,

Sometimes it is so easy to put God in a box that is limited and to think that God only does things according to our own rules or parameters. It sort of looks like this:

But really the truth is that God is not "limited" to our box that we put Him in. The human perceptions of God do not define Him. Obviously God is NOT going to do anything contrary to what He has said in Scripture because HE HIMSELF IS TRUTH. But who are we to say that God only does 'This or that" and not "the other?" If we have false perceptions of Him, those perceptions DO NOT CHANGE who He is!

Maybe in reality it is a little more like this:

Quotes from Pastor Steve "God is NOT limited by people's perceptions of what He can or cannot do."

"God is greater than any human framework makes Him out to be."

Isaiah 55:8-9 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."

Praise God that HE iS in control and is BIGGER than us!

Matthew 18

Hi Everyone,

Matthew 18:15-17

"If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.' If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector."

I was just thinking about why it is so hard for so many of us (myself included at times) to do this. Why is it easier to talk ABOUT someone rather than to talk TO them?

Lord, help us to handle offenses in the body of Christ as you would have us to, so that er are a greater testimony of YOUR LOVE to the world around us--that sees all that we do--and so that we truly HONOR YOU AND ONE ANOTHER by how we handle each and every situation that comes up.

Friday, October 29, 2010

God's "Love Language" Is Obedience

Hi Everyone,

A few years ago there were these books circulating in the States that were quite popular about "Love languages."--the way people interpret love.

This was actually something that was mentioned at the discipleship training that I went to about two weeks ago..

They mentioned that if God has a love language it is obedience--that is how we express our love to Him--by obeying because He first loved us. There is a really cool video they played too, which unfortunately, due to copyright laws I cannot post anyplace, but it really drove the point home. It is of a lady who started out with a puppy that eventually after hours together began to obey and follow her every move--and soon he woulds follow her every move in step. That is what obedience to God looks like-we move following after Him one step of obedience at a time-until He becomes our sole concern and as we obey Him we are doing what He is doing. We aren't concerned with what others think about us and there is no question as to the fact that God is in charge of our lives. Our sole desire and concern is to SIMPLY OBEY HIM and in our obedience to HIM, we are filled with inexpressible joy.

I want to be that way with Jesus!--I have a long ways to go, but the desire is there!
Obedience one moment at a time!

John 14:23-24 "Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me."

1 John 2:4-6 "The man who says, "I know him," but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did."

Are we more concerned about what everyone else thinks than we are about obeying Jesus?

Are we truly obeying Him?

Life Changing Encounter With Jesus

Hi Everyone,

A life-changing encounter with Jesus changes everything---you simply cannot live the same. Salvation is an encounter with Jesus Christ---who IS Savior because He IS Lord over absolutely everything. And for that He is worthy of our total TRUST!

I will write more later today--blessings to all of you! Walk closely with Jesus allowing HIM to work In and through You!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Don't "Shoot" The Sheep....Feed The Sheep And Point Out The Wolves.

(Image provided free with permission from

Hi Everyone,

Sometimes even as believers we can really pick other true believers apart...pointing out their every little issue that we disagree with. We need to be careful that we aren't "shooting" those that are sheep----we need to feed them instead. We must not treat true sheep as though they were wolves.

John 17:20-26 "My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. "Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. "Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them."

We should point out the wolves---to protect the sheep--but be careful even in how we do that----because maybe they eventually will be brought to a knowledge of the truth..... We must remember they are still prisoners held captive.

Acts 20:28-30 "Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them."

Awesome Lyrics!

Hi Everyone

Last night at the concert, Jason Gray was at the concert as the opening artist! He only sang two or three songs up there with his guitar with the Lord and Himself--but what good stuff! I love it when you find an artist that is so obviously the "real deal" ---and doing it all for Jesus alone!

You probably have not heard this song before---I encourage you to read the words!

Holding The Key
By: Jason Gray and Andy Gullahorn

I came here tonight with a mission
To confess what I'm trying to hide
But here in the hour of decision
I want to give you the company line

There are secrets I don't want to tell you
And wounds you might not want to see
But they keep me bound to my sorrow
And I really want to be free
And you're the one holding the key

You don't have to give me an answer
An answer is the last thing I need
There's no magical cure for this cancer
I just need you to listen to me
'Cause You're the one holding the key

We were made with these hearts
Meant to be open
Then we locked them away
Afraid of being broken
But we're given each other to set it free
And you're the one holding the key

This dark room is perfect for hiding
But I don't want to hide anymore
You can't force the light here inside it
But you can help me open the door
You're the one holding the key

We were made with these hearts
Meant to be open
Then we locked them away
Afraid of being broken
But we're given each other to set it free
And you're the one holding
The key to the truth
Of what's really going on
Your listening ear
Is the grace of God
Love will take the shackles off
But you're the one holding the key

We all need it sooner or later
A safe place for telling the truth
I'm happy returning the favor
'Cause I'm holding the key for you

There really IS something that God does when we are honest and stop hiding---and work through what we need to, abandoning our self-deception of lies and come to the TRUTH---Jesus.

God does different things in each person's life----and knows exactly what each person needs.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Praise the Lord!

Hi Everyone,

Tonight there was a Christian concert here in town. I didn't even know there was one, but when a friend that lives here mentioned that Lenchen had someone call and give two %25 dollar tickets for free so that we could go, we went! I would have never paid that kind of money for something like that.

It was a wonderful time of worship to the Lord----something very different---because I remember in the past how when I was younger concerts were all about the artist that I wanted to see----and sadly and wrongly almost "glorifying them" uggg!!!! YUCK!!!

The majority of it was a blessing! So although whoever gave those tickets, even though they probably don't read my blog----thank you!

Praise the Lord for His good gifts!

Without A Residence...Ministry Continued

Hi Everyone,

So this morning, I went for a walk and ahead of me there was a dear lady agead of me starting to dig through the trashcans.

I felt really bad for one anywhere should have to do that.

"Do you need something? Can I help you get anything?" I gently asked her. I really would have bought a meal for her or whatever.

She had this shocked look on her face that I would have asked, and hurriedly created distance between us.

Do we take time every day for the hurting people all around us? They are all over--people that so desperately need Him!

As we Worship Jesus our worship needs to have hands and feet as we demonstrate His love to others in practical ways----we can talk about Jesus' love, but until we demonstrate it, people may never understand it.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Delights In Ministry

Hi Everyone,

This Summer I've had some incredible privileges. The top of my list in delights with ministry have been two women at two different times that were without a permanent place of residence. One of them I had interacted with before the Lord changed my life and brought me to Himself--so she got to see the changes in my life---infact she was near close to one of the first people that I gave mt testimony to. We "ran into each other" another four or five times after that...and she blessed me so much....but I haven't seen her since I came back from the mini conference with my team in Mexico in August.

The second lady came into my life shortly after that. And now she is gone least from the place she had dared to try to call home for about four months. I am REALLY going to miss talking to her and buying little practical things like a bottle of water for her. The heart-shaped pillow above is something that she made and gave to me, and I told her that every time that I see that, I would be reminded to pray for her. I hope she is in a safe place or maybe has found a place of residence.

I have something to say about people "without a residence." I know there are lots of stereotypes out there about them all being addicted to alcohol or drugs, but I just want to say that this is NOT necessarily the truth---and they are just dying for someone to treat them like a person----not everyone has chosen to be without a residence because they "are lazy" or whatever. Just saying Hi and talking for awhile might really make their day and they will wonder what makes you so different and why you don't ignore them like anyone else.

Being without a residence is extremely difficult...I went through something that taught me how to relate to people in that kind of a situation.

What a delight it is to minister to others with HIS love!


Hi Everyone,

Tonight I was receptionist at the medical clinic. I enjoy it, but tonight got a little interesting. One of the stresses was just the fact that there were about three patient's files that I could not find to give to the doctors.

But it was so cool because before the clinic started, we all prayed together and one person prayed specifically for me. So as the night went on, things got interesting as there were all kinds of things to keep straight, phone calls etc.

But God reminded me of things that I didn't want to forget----thankfully. There wasn't really time to make a list.

And it was cool because a volunteer, at another point, reminded me of the fact that it is CHRIST IN ME doing things, and that I am NOT doing it in and of my own strength---the good stuff from the discipleship training this past week! I was so grateful for the reminder!

Dependence upon Jesus--it NEVER ENDS!!! And I was glad for tonight--because everything that transpired was just a reminder to me of how much I need HIM and I don't ever want to forget that.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Don't Listen To Yourself

Hi Everyone,

Do you ever notice how many negative thoughts cross your mind every day?

Lots of days I don't really notice that much----when my focus is on Christ it isn't such an issue.

But over the past day I fought a little with all of that. Thankfully I am doing just fine at the moment!

But when that "stinking thinking" comes, it is just best not to listen to your brain. The best option is to remind yourself of God's truth---and tell His truth to yourself or read the Word, listen worship music with God at the center, or if you need to,Ultimately With God, or occasionally with another person, "hack through" and process what is really all going on, if there is a situation behind it all.

Don't listen to yourself if its "Stinking thinking"----it just isn't worth listening to!

Take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ!

Experience MUST Be Rooted In God's Truth!

Hi Everyone,

I've mentioned this before in another blog post or two in concept, but never dedicated a full post to the topic.

Without saying this to "pick on anyone", I am just going to say a few quick things.

Honestly, for those that come from backgrounds of Evangelical teaching that are conservative, something which needs to to be realized that there is a real expeiiencial element to your relationships with God---and there is a need to NOT be so afraid of that.

And if you are of a more "experience related" tradition, you need to be sure that things are lining up with the Word of God, doing the best you can to discern and rightly divide the Word of Truth. Is what you are being taught matching up with the Word of God?

So without saying anything against anyone, I just want to say that Experience MUST be rooted in God's truth----and if your experience is TRULY rooted in God's truth and Word, and you are sticking to that, things should not be steered wrong. God does not lead us to do things that are contrary to His Word.

God's truth needs to be the focus without emotion totally "carrying us away." But at the same time, there is valid emotion in the experience of walking daily with HIM. It's how we were created and we shouldn't just try to "shut it all off" either.

So there are some thoughts......Blessings to you all!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Steadfast Heart TRUSTING

Hi Everyone,

Psalm 112:1-8

"Praise the LORD.
Blessed is the man who fears the LORD,
who finds great delight in his commands.

His children will be mighty in the land;
the generation of the upright will be blessed.

Wealth and riches are in his house,
and his righteousness endures forever.

Even in darkness light dawns for the upright,
for the gracious and compassionate and righteous man.

Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely,
who conducts his affairs with justice.

Surely he will never be shaken;
a righteous man will be remembered forever.

He will have no fear of bad news;
his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD.

His heart is secure, he will have no fear;

in the end he will look in triumph on his foes."

Lord, in all situations and in one particular one, may my heart be steadfast, not wavering in any way, but TRUSTING in You. Your plans, purposes, and will WILL be fulfilled.

I love this Psalm----it is so neat!---It is filled with promise for those that TRUST in the Lord!

Guard Your Heart

Hi Everyone,

Proverbs 4:23 "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life."

Our attitudes, motives, thoughts, actions, reactions, and everything else come from our hearts.

We MUST guard our hearts which means in part we watch carefully. We watch carefully and take note of what proceeds from them----because what proceeds from them can truly give indications as to where we are sinning or not submitted in obedience to the Lord. But we not only place careful watch over what proceeds from them. We are also careful about what we allow to "take root" in them---we are discerning of truth versus error. We consider our heart valuable and protect it by not choosing to believe lies or falsehood.

Our hearts are the wellspring of life within and everything flows from them.

Lord, help me to continually, intentionally, and actively guard my heart.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Reflecting On A Closing Chapter

Hi Everyone,

My Heart is excited like a child on Christmas morning for the adventure IN Christ that lies ahead....and yet I strongly sense that this chapter at the House of Hope is beginning to close---give or take three months.

There is some grief involved at the thought of this chapter starting to close--I can't deny that--For God has worked so wonderfully in my life here---and honestly, I look eagerly forward with joyful expectation for the days of this chapter that yet remain!

And yet, I am so excited for the chapter that is ahead of me as God and I are going forward as One together, to continue doing the things, with Him working through me, to accomplish what he has predestined ahead of time.

I am so grateful....grateful for the closing chapter that I will deeply miss.....and looking forward as well! Praise the Lord!


Hi Everyone,

I have a lot of other subsequent posts reflecting the Ultimate Journey Discipleship training that I was at this week. I hope to gradually post these throughout the week or two ahead. Here is one more video for all of you---from the Christ-Life Ministries offices. What a blessing it has been to be able to attend this and be strengthened and grow even closer to the Lord through it all.

Thanks to those of you that were praying for me during my time here.

Friday, October 22, 2010

My "Christ In Me." Identity Statement

Hi Everyone,

This is my "Christ-In-Me" Identity Statement

Introduction Statement

"Jesus, You, who loves me, passionately and intimately, are my very sustenance and life. We abide perfectly enmeshed in one another, and are inseparable. I want, need, and have no other life but You alone. You work absolutely everything in and through me, and not one thing I do is done without Your guidance and instruction."

Body to the "Christ-In-Me" Identity Statement

"You are ALWAYS with and for me. You are my faithful, ever-abiding, constant friend and companion. You will never leave nor forsake me. You have fashioned and formed me, knitting me together perfectly, according to your plans and purposes for me. With You and in You, I am designed to accomplish and fulfill all that You have planned in advance for me, as You do the work in and through me. You have already provided solutions for my every need, and every need that I have allows me to joyfully express my complete dependence upon You. Others in the Body of Christ are able to do what You have pre-ordained for them as You, through them, allow them to at times come alongside to help me. Together we are victorious in every situation. We are always a winning team. Every plan You have ordained for the sake of Your Kingdom will succeed. You love me perfectly and have already promised that you will always provide and care for me today, tomorrow, and throughout eternity, and I am at rest and trust in you 110%. You have everything it takes for every situation since we face everything together. We lack nothing. You, Yourself, are more than enough for every situation. In You I am fully equipped for all you intended and together We are MORE than overcomers. You accept me at all times. There is nothing I could ever do that would change that. Your acceptance of me, expressed through Jesus' love, has greater value than anything else. You laid down Your very life for me, and because if this, I am of infinite value and importance to You. You have healed and restored me.....and it is all to the praise and splendor of Your glory! Let's GO and SHINE YOUR LIGHT TOGETHER!"

Who Needs To Change?

Hi Everyone,

So often we are tempted to think that we need to change another person. But the truth is that WE CAN'T CHANGE OR FIX THEM!! In reality only God can do that!


Your brain only listens to you!

And by YOU YOURSELF changing, everyone else will be required to change as they interact with us--and discover that for example "they can't push our buttons anymore because we have no buttons to push."

You can't "push someones buttons" if they don't have any!

But the only person you can really change IS YOU!!!!!!

Sanctification-- Christ Enables Us

HI Everyone,

There is something we don't grasp about sanctification. There is a tendency in the church for us to think that after we get saved by trusting Christ, our process of sanctification and becoming more like Him is something we have to "work, work, work at--in our own strength>"

But we've got it all wrong if we are viewing it that way. There is a sense of co-operating with Him, but He is the One that does the work in and through us.

Philippians 2:12-13 "Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose."

Colossians 2:6-7 "So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness."

Apart from HIM, We will accomplish nothing in and of our own flesh and strength.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Christ IN Us!

Hi Everyone,

This week of training has been one of the bet ones I have ever had. I've been trying to explain some concepts and am not sure if I have come across clear about them....concepts that many can so easily miss.....maybe because we sometimes aren't taught them in part.

When we trust Christ, we die---we die to that flesh and self-life

Romans 6:3-4 "Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life."

Galatians 2:20 "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."

2 Corinthians 5:14-17 "For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf. Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

There is an exchange from our flesh and self-life to Christ's Life being OURS and being lived through us!! THIS IS REALLY NEAT--AND THIS IS OUR REALITY AS BELIEVERS!!!!

Ephesians 4:2o-24 "But you did not learn Christ in this way, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth."

Colossians 1:27 "to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory."

Colossians 3:2-4 "Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory."

It's thew vine and the branches in John 15:4-5 "Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."

We can DO ABSOLUTELY NOTHING APART FROM CHRIST!!!!! The vine and the branches are inseparable from one another----especially if any fruit of value is to be produced--to speak.

Christ's LIFE is IN US and lived through us!! LOOK at the results of THIS TRUTH

John 6:35, 7:38 "Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.....Whoever believes in me,as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him."

THIS IS OUR REALITY!!!! And I have MUCH MORE to say about it!

Are we living it out?????

Salvation Is NOT "Fire Insurance"

Hi Everyone,

Salvation is not fire insurance! So many people look at it that way.

They either look at it like, "I trusted Jesus and can live how I want"

or they say, "hey, at the end of my life, I can always repent at the last minute of my life."


Yes, if someone genuinely trusts Christ alone at the last minute of their life, they will go to be with Jesus."

And, "Yes, my guess is that there are true believers out there in the wold living ho they want...but they actually might be quite miserable doing it."

But imagine that the gift of salvation and all of God's blessings besides, is like this huge huge mansion----filled with joy---joy of having Jesus work through is and be IN us and the joy of obeying and doing HIS WILL.

Well when someone trusts Christ, in a sense they enter the door of that great mansion filled with over-exceeding abundant riches (Spiritually speaking) greater than they can imagine--they are IN CHRIST and IN HIM THEY LACK ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!!

And The Lord REJOICES that people enter the door and are "in the house."

But God does not want us to simply "enter the door." He has so much more for us!

So when the person that used salvation as "fire insurance" dies and lived their whole life as they wanted to, because they thought they knew what would satisfy them and NEVER trusted God for His best IN AND THROUGH THEM, what does God think?

"Well, I am glad you are my child, but it was never about you, I had so much I longed to do through you."

And to the person that KNOWS what the truth is and yet refuses to turn and trust Christ until the last moments of their life (assuming they know when that moment is, and are able to trust Him,---many do not at that point), would God not say, "You are in Heaven, but wow--there was so much more than that to it all---"

Let's NOT take salvation as "fire insurance"...we have one life here on earth----let's not waste it with the things of this world that are passing away and don't EVEN MATTER!!

Jesus Christ didn't just die to "save us from hell." He died to save us from ourselves--that is our fleshly sinful self-life, which is EVERYTHING CONTRARY to what HE DESIRES!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Life Is NOT About Us!

Hi Everyone,

I have a feeling I am going to have to divide this post into two. So I will try to post the second half tomorrow. There are so many things going through my head to blog about.

The first thing is that LIFE IS NOT ABOUT US!!!

That might come as a surprise to those of us in American culture that are taught (in general terms) from day one that life is all about me, myself, and I getting what I want when I want it, or life going how I want it to, or else."

I am not sure if other cultures among my international readers are the same in this regard.

But when life is "all about us" it creates SERIOUS problems! when life is "about me" it is the ULTIMATE SOURCE OF STRESS, for one thing, because then it is up to us to "pull it off," "perform perfectly," "make it happen," etc.

And THAT is impossible for us to "really do."

Even the terms we use to present the gospel in the West (I might get some flack for this) can have that sense of "it's about 'my life' in it."

Statements that are often used like these:

"I found God"

I made a decision to ask Christ into "MY life."

"God has a wonderful plan for 'YOUR LIFE.'"

Now honestly, possibly, sometimes we just don't quite know how to say what happened.

But Jesus didn't come to "make MY LIFE better."

The Christian life IS NOT about "US being in the center", with Jesus Christ somehow lingering in the background so we can pull Him out when we need Him....and ignore Him the rest of the time....maybe that is why we have so many issues in our culture in Christianity???

We are told in Scripture SOMETHING QUITE CONTRARY-----to "lose our lives" and "DIE to ourselves."

Matthew 10:37-39 "He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. "And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. "He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it."

The "ME" is Christ, not us, and no we aren't suppose to hate our parents or children, it's just that we shouldn't have ANYTHING IN OUR LIVES THAT WE LOVE MORE THAN CHRIST-----and WHENEVER WE LOVE ANYTHING IN LIFE---MORE THAN HIM---NO MATTER WHAT that is, things GET OUT OF ORDER.

Romans 6:4-7 "Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin."

It kind of goes with what I was sharing the other day. The Christian life and walk is ALL ABOUT HIM!!! (JESUS---IN US!) More tomorrow.

God's Very Presence Indwells Us!

Hi Everyone!

Everything that I am learning about and already thinking about has totally coincided with what I've been taught during the week of discipleship and training. I think that is pretty exciting! It is just truly neat how God does that!

A day or two ago, I wrote a post about the privilege is is that we have access to God--that the curtain was torn at the temple from top to bottom the moment Jesus died, giving all people access to God through His One and Only Son, Jesus Christ!

And as awesome as that is, there is something else to it!

Not only are we given access to God, but HIS VERY PRESENCE INDWELLS US, by the Holy Spirit, when we place our trust in Him.

In the Old Testament the tabernacle (which mean something along the lines of "a dwelling place" was God's desire to dwell among His people and be present with them. However, his people were sinners and God could not forget about their sin. The sacrifices they made with animals did not take away their sin. Another perfect sacrifice was needed, and this sacrifice was Jesus Himself.

Jesus took our sin upon himself so that we could have a restored relationship with God, and at the point that anyone personally trusts Christ for salvation, the Holy Spirit indwells them.

John 14:14-17 "If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you."

John 14;25-27 "All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

John 16:12-14 "I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you.

Acts 5:12 "We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him."

Romans 8:9 "You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ."

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."

Galatians 4:6-7 "Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, "Abba, Father." So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir." (OK so this goes with the Romans 8 verses below)

Romans 8:12-17 "Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory."

Ephesians 1:13-14 "And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession—to the praise of his glory."

THINK ABOUT THAT!! GOD INDWELLING US!!!! Isn't that just awesome!!!! I don't know about you, but I haven't gotten over the wonder of it yet! (I hope I never will)


1 Corinthians 6:9-12 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. "Everything is permissible for me"—but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible for me"—but I will not be mastered by anything.

Galatians 5:16-17 "So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want."

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Video Update

Hi Everyone!

Here is a quick video update! What a wonderful day I have had sharing with others, learning and growing together....and best of all hopefully becoming more like JESUS in the process! There are a few posts below for the day!

The Truth Sets You Free---A Story

Hi Everyone,

Learning the TRUTH really changes our perspective! Here is a story, that I asked Jim Hobson of Christ Life Solutions if I could share today, that he shared in class. He said yes. Now the story is a hypothetical situation.

Try to picture yourself in the situation:


Imagine you are coming home on a train after a long day of work. Usually you use this time on the train to relax, rad, or complete some unfinished paperwork business from the office. Now, the proper behavior and standard on the trains is that everyone minds their own business and no one talks to one another. You settle down and begin to read a book when all of the sudden something strange happens. A father with three young children get on the train...and they succeed to sit in the seats across from you.

Now, children being on the train is permitted, but extremely rare due to the cost of the tickets and your travel time for the commute home is close to an hour.

The father is looking out the window, lost in his own world of thoughts when all of the sudden one of the kids decides to sneak out of the seat. The father does not stop them so then soon all three kids follow by getting out of the seat. Now, remember, the proper acceptable behavior on the train is silence.

The father does not seem to notice that the kids are out of the seats....He says nothing to them.

The three children get noisier and noisier. You try to glance at the father to get his attention. You are starting to get frustrated and maybe even a little bit upset and are thinking "Doesn't that father know how to take care of his kids??? He should be taking some responsibility to keep them behaved. Doesn't he know no one talks on the train?"

Fifteen minutes pass with the kids talking loud and causing distraction. In an effort to create a barrier to the noise in your frustration, you get your newspaper out to create "your space" and a barrier from everything that is going on around you.

The kids are now running back and forth in the aisle.....and all of the sudden one of them runs past you and almost knocks the newspaper out of your hands. You become frustrated and blurt out to the father seated across from you, "I am sorry, Sir, but your kids......."

The father looks up and says, "I am sorry...I just don't know what to do."

By this time you are thinking you could give some practical parenting advice, but then the father says in a whisper

"I just don't know what to do. We spent all day at the hospital....and their mother, my wife, just died......I haven't told them yet....I don't know how.....and I don't want to raise them without her......."

All of the sudden you aren't frustrated anymore at the kids running up and down the aisles when they have spent all day in a hospital waiting room, cooped up and unable to run, the hospital toys didn't quite suffice, and they have seen their dad cry as he comes in from talking to a doctor, and the kids don't know why he was crying yet. All of the sudden you know the TRUTH of the situation and your perspective has changed. You hope the kids enjoy just a little bit longer their laughter and fun before their hearts get broken with the news before their hearts break by the news. And you wish the father wasn't raising his kids alone.


You see, understanding the TRUTH about a situation, and what is really going on, frees us and changes our perspective.

How much EVEN MORE SO---WITH GOD'S TRUTH---The TRUTH that sets us free.

John 8:31-32 and 36 "To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.....So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed."


Renewing Our Minds---Transformation

Hi Everyone,

I am learning so much being here! I have more about six or seven posts "in the wings" waiting to be typed about all that I am learning and all that God id teaching me. However, I probably won't have the chance to type it all tonight.

Tonight, one of the things that I wanted to share is the importance of renewing our minds, as Christ would have us to.

Romans 12:2 "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."

2 Corinthians 10:5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."

Philippians 4:8 "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."

What we think about is so important! Where our thoughts are focused is so critical! Are seeking to be transformed by the renewing of our minds through the Word washing them, or are we still letting our thoughts "run in the garbage dump" to speak? As we allow our minds to be renewed--we are transformed-transformed more and more into the image of Jesus Christ, our Beloved Savior!

How are we seeking to renew our minds from a PRACTICAL STANDPOINT?

Are we allowing God to do His work in and through us to transform us?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Identity In Christ---Part 2

Hi Everyone,

There is a video about four posts below for today as well of you are interested. I promise I will be in class tomorrow--so I won't be blogging like this.......maybe some of you can get a little more caught up.

But I was thinking about the things that I said this morning about our identity in Christ, and it isn't just that it's God's love for us that impacts our identity in Christ, but it is also the fact that when we TRUST Christ for salvation, we really do have a NEW identity.

Prior to conversion we were enslaved to sin, but now sin is no longer our master. We still sin, but now we can choose to obey God.

And rather than being identified with sin, we are identified with Christ--we are HIS followers, disciples, children. Christ is our reward.

1 Peter 2:4-10 'As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For in Scripture it says:
"See, I lay a stone in Zion,
a chosen and precious cornerstone,
and the one who trusts in him
will never be put to shame." Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe,
"The stone the builders rejected
has become the capstone," and,
"A stone that causes men to stumble
and a rock that makes them fall." They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy."

Colossians 3:1-4 "Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory."

I have a feeling that we will be talking about some of these topics during the training this week......and maybe I am partly writing so much because God is preparing my heart for that! But this is the last blog post for today so enjoy the others below......and Lord Willing I will see you all tomorrow!

Access To Enter In!

Hi Everyone,

How beautiful it is that we have access to God--that we can go directly to Him, and not be under the law of the Old Testament, where the Jewish people had to have a human priest to intercede on their behalf. The priest could only go in once a year on the Day of Atonement into the Holy of Holies--the innermost part of the temple where God's presence dwelt. But when Jesus died, the curtain that separated the Holy of Holies from the rest of the inner court was torn from top to bottom, (demonstrating that God Himself tore the curtain, because a human would have tore it from bottom to top.) The tearing of the curtain signifies that there is now direct access to God

Matthew 27:50-51 "And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split."


Hebrews 4:14-16 "Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.


The Promises of God

Hi Everyone,

I've been reflecting some on the promises of God.

2 Peter 1:4
"Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires."

2 Corinthians 1:20 "For no matter how many promises God has made, they are "Yes" in Christ. And so through him the "Amen" is spoken by us to the glory of God."

I am not mentioning specific promises in this post, but rather am just reflecting on the awesomeness and wonderful God that we have.

Think about it!

We have a God that never lies and always tells the truth.

And everything He says is sure and can have our complete TRUST.

And He will always do what He has said.

And KNOWING that helps us understand even more greatly the love that He has for us----and when we can trust Him we find there is no reason to be worried or afraid!


The answer to EVERY PROMISE He has ever made is always YES--otherwise He wouldn't be keeping the promise.

Arrived For Week Of Discipleship

Hi Everyone!

Here is a video! I am so totally looking forward to this week! I praise the Lord for the opportunity to be here! What a privilege!

Identity In Christ

Hi Everyone,

The other day a lady asked me what I do when other people put me down.

I thought about her question a second and then responded by saying that, "Honestly, when other people put me down or if they are saying something that truthfully isn't true, it really doesn't bother me, because I am secure in Christ, and I KNOW that what He thinks of me as His daughter is what REALLY matters."

And then I just thought, "Wow God!" " You HAVE worked in my life in an amazing way."

You see, it used to be that whenever anyone said anything that was unpleasant (even if it was true) I would get really upset inside---and often show that on the outside.

It is a wonderful thing to be SECURE IN CHRIST. I know that I have great value and worth, because the redemption of my life from sin, hell and the eternal punishment that I deserved, cost JESUS His Son EVERYTHING when He died in my place and rose from the grave three days later.

And it is the same for you.

I don't have to be afraid of man saying things about me or putting me down. Compared to Christ's love for me----it just all becomes irrelevant. God will take care of it. And I need to be careful that I don't do anything like that to others at any time.

Now, if someone says something confronting me and it is TRUE---that is a DIFFERENT MATTER---and I hopefully will be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and to the correction that I will receive that and deal with the issue.

I never got all of this "identity in Christ" stuff. Infact, it drove me crazy! I couldn't figure out why Christians made such a big deal out of it.

But what a blessing it TRULY is to be at peace with God...and SECURE in Him.

Ephesians 1:3-10 "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace 8that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ."

Every Time I Travel......SOMETHING Happens!

Hi Everyone,

Every time I travel, something happens.

This morning was no exception!

Today I am going to the Christ-Life Solutions phase two and three turbo training. I am excited.

As is customary for me before any travel, I was up really late last night packing, doing laundry, and other odds and ends.

I didn't set an alarm--Thankfully God was my alarm clock!

I woke up at 7:05 with less than 20 minutes to get out the door and on the city bus so I could get to the airport on time to take the bus to my destination.

And of course I still had things to throw in the suitcase.

I made it to the initial city bus stop just barely, changed buses and then the bus driver, I think honestly debated if he would let me off, because I rang the bell after the one and only stop at the airport.

Thankfully He was nice and said he would let me off this time......

It was an accident....I don't take the bus very often to the airport so I am not sure where to exactly ring the bell to get off.....

So I know for next time.

And now I am here at the airport (WITH TIME TO SPARE)......What an adventure......

I am really looking forward to the Christ-Life training! (something I wanted to do personally because the Phase 1 was what God used to draw me to a personal relationship with Himself.)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Many Will See It

Hi Everyone,

I love this Psalm! I am sure I have quoted it before. But it is such a picture of what the Lord has done in my life---and the praise is all His!

Psalm 40:1-5

"I waited patiently for the LORD;
he turned to me and heard my cry.

He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.

He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear
and put their trust in the LORD.

Blessed is the man
who makes the LORD his trust,
who does not look to the proud,
to those who turn aside to false gods.

Many, O LORD my God,
are the wonders you have done.
The things you planned for us
no one can recount to you;
were I to speak and tell of them,
they would be too many to declare.

It is also interesting that verses 6 and 7, which follow, but that I did not quote here, are where the "sacrifice and burnt offering you did not desire" are cross referenced back to and I just used that in my previous post in the Hebrews 10 passage. (And no, I didn't look at a commentary to figure this out, it was just the timing of the two blog posts for today.) It is pretty cool when God does things like that!

Lord, may many see and trust the Lord because of what You have done in my life and the lives of Believers all over the world.


Precious Blood

Hi Everyone,

From the beginning of the Old Testament, we see that God considered blood precious. In Old testament law, animals were sacrificed to cover the sins of the people. The Israelites were not to eat of an animals blood. They were set apart in God's eyes and not to behave as the nations with pagan practices without God around them.

Leviticus 17:10-14 "'Any Israelite or any alien living among them who eats any blood—I will set my face against that person who eats blood and will cut him off from his people. For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one's life. Therefore I say to the Israelites, "None of you may eat blood, nor may an alien living among you eat blood." "'Any Israelite or any alien living among you who hunts any animal or bird that may be eaten must drain out the blood and cover it with earth, because the life of every creature is its blood. That is why I have said to the Israelites, "You must not eat the blood of any creature, because the life of every creature is its blood; anyone who eats it must be cut off."

When the Israelites ate the passover, on the night that the firstborn male cattle and firstborn males were to be killed because of Pharaoh's hardened heart and refusal to let the Israelites go as the Lord commanded, they were to put blood on the posts of their doors among many other things, and the angel of death would pass by them, sparing those in the household from destruction.

Exodus 12 gives the account of all of this. Because of the length of the passage, I am just going to quote some of the verses.

Exodus 12:3-7 and 12:12-13 "Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household. If any household is too small for a whole lamb, they must share one with their nearest neighbor, having taken into account the number of people there are. You are to determine the amount of lamb needed in accordance with what each person will eat. The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect, and you may take them from the sheep or the goats. Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the people of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight. Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the door frames of the houses where they eat the lambs." "On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn—both men and animals—and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD. The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt."

There are a lot of examples that happened that I could give, but when we get to the New Testament and the New Covenant, we see that a sacrifice for sin was still required---precious blood was to be shed, but it wasn't that of goats and lambs, because the blood of animals could not tale away sin.

Hebrews 10:1-10 "The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. If it could, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins, because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: "Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased. Then I said, 'Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll— I have come to do your will, O God.' " First he said, "Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them" (although the law required them to be made). Then he said, "Here I am, I have come to do your will." He sets aside the first to establish the second. And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all."

But as the passage that you just read above explains, Jesus Christ was the one and only perfect sacrifice for our sins----and His precious blood was shed in our place.

He was the only one that could have fulfilled the requirement of being the perfect sinless sacrifice to make us right before God.

So when people say that there is "more than one way to God" (WHICH ISN'T TRUE), not only are they refusing to TRULY appreciate the sacrifice that Christ made for sins once and for all, but they are also saying that Christ;s blood shed basically meant nothing to them because His death and resurrection would be null and void if there were "many ways to God."

I Peter 1:17-21 "Since you call on a Father who judges each man's work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear. For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God."

The blod of Christ is precious---He IS the spotless Lamb of God! And again, those of us who have TRUSTED Christ should live accordingly and out of gratitude to Him.

Is the blood of Jesus Christ precious to you?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A Powerful Verse

Hi Everyone,

Here is another powerful verse that was shared during our retreat. Wow!

Definitely points again to the exclusivity of salvation--so contrary to how so many "believe" things are in the world today.

John 8:23-24 " But He continued, "You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins."

Major emphasis!!!!!! Jesus says they will die in their sins TWICE in these verses and one more time in the verses prior to these.

Jesus was talking to the pharisees in the passage, and they TOTALLY APPLY today.

How much more clearer does Jesus have to say it?

Salvation is all about TRUSTING IN JESUS' sacrifice for us and his payment being sufficient and Him conquering death through rising from the grave.

IF WE (each one of us individually) DO NOT TRUST IN WHAT HE HAS SAID ACCORDING TO WHAT HE HAS SAID IN HIS WORD--the punishment is certain--we will die in our sin--separated from Him forever.

It isn't something one person can do or decide for another.

Seeking Him Daily

Hi Everyone,

I am back from the women's Retreat. It was a wonderful time! Our theme was "Seeking The Son." A fellow friend of many from out church who attended there for many years was the speaker and it was a blessing to be in the Word together!

Our theme verse was Hebrews 12:2-3 It is truly so rich in content! "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."

I've quoted the above verses so many times, but they are so key.

We are to stay focused on Christ---seeking Him----and we should do this daily and moment by moment----not out of " legalistic duty," but out of a desire to be more like Him and to have our eyes, hearts, and minds continually remembering what really matters!

And how beautiful it is that HE is both the author and the perfecter of our faith....that He is enabling us and working in us from beginning to end to accomplish His purposes, and we have the joy, both in our individual personal relationships with Jesus and as the body of Christ together to grow and co-operate with the Holy Spirit in that process.

And how beautiful it is that HE NEVER LOST SIGHT OF THE JOY SET BEFORE HIM and endured the cross and all of its shame--having the victory as He died in our place--taking our sin upon Himself.

And again how beautiful it is that HE SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD---indicating once and for all perfect completion of His work! There was no need for Him to die or suffer again for our sins---and there was nothing more needed to make atonement for us. Similarly, there was NOTHING WE COULD DO to pay for our sins either, except TRUST in what He already did for us on the cross as finished, full, perfectly and excellently more than satisfactory, and complete.

This we are to consider so that we do not lose heart and grow weary. May we EVER BE REMINDED of these things as we SEEK DAILY AFTER HIM!

It isn't the first time I've said this, but the retreat was encouraging in a very deep and real way!

Friday, October 15, 2010

A Good Person??

Hi Everyone,

Sometimes it is interesting how people talk about each other.

"He or she is a good person," they will say.

Mark 10:17-18 "As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. "Good teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?" "Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good—except God alone."

I know people sometimes mean well, or don't know what to say, but really, there is no good apart from Jesus Christ.

So I hope some day, or even now, if people happen to say something of me they do not refer to me as a "good person." Jesus Christ is every ounce of any true good in me!

Because of Jesus and ONLY because of Jesus, I pray that my life lived before Him would be one where I love Him in return for all He has done for me by dying in my place, that my life and everything I do would be an offering of praise because of who HE is.....that I would live in obedience to Him worthy of the calling I have received to be HIS child. That the focus of my life would TRULY be upon HIM and NOT myself. I want to leave a LEGACY of pointing others to Jesus, but in and of myself, I can do NOTHING, and it is only by HIS GRACE and HIS WORK in me that this is possible.

Life isn't about being a "good person." However, it is all about what JESUS did for us, our trust in Him alone for salvation, and HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS--the fact that when He looks at us who have trusted Christ, HE SEES CHRIST'S SACRIFICE ON OUR BEHALF CREDITED TO OUR ACCOUNT---and hopefully we live according to this truth in all of the aspects of our lives. Obviously we are co-operating with the Spirit of God as He enable us--to become more like JESUS-but The Spirit is working in our lives. (More on this when I get back from the retreat----as long as I don't feel burdened to write about something else first!)

Women's Retreat Today!

Hi Everyone,

This afternoon I go to an evening of our Women's Fall Retreat with the ladies at my church. There are several people coming that I don't know that well, so it will be fun to get to know them. And there are a few good long-time friends coming as well. I'll be back tomorrow afternoon. (And I still plan on posting another blog post before I leave at 3:30.)

The instructions were to bring ice cream toppings and our favorite beverage to drink.

I decided (for the beverage) to bring my favorite all time here and Mexico connection--which means I can purchase it in both countries

Arizona Mucho Mango Natural Flavored Drink--(I don't consider it a "tea-like" beverage)

Granted, it is really high in fructose corn syrup which means I shouldn't have it too often, but it IS the ladies I think splurging is okay.

So for the 99.9% of my readers that find no interest in my liking for Arizona Mucho Mango drink--I will have a more devotional type post later. (Which I REALLY enjoy doing the devotionals--and it's funny, because before I got saved, the last thing I ever wanted to do was write devotionals.)

Have a WONDERFUL morning!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

How HE Loves Us!!!!

Hi Everyone,

Are you rejoicing in the depths of God's amazing love for you today? I am-it is amazing!

It's amazing that God hates our sin, and deeply loves us beyond expression--the expression that was shown to us through the death of His beloved Son on our behalf on the cross when He took our punishment upon Himself.

When I showed my cardboard testimony at the banquet on Tuesday night, there was a song playing....and I realized that it was the same song that was a song we sang during worship at the "God IS" House of Hope conference on June 8, 2010---so early on the journey of all of this when it all began. I guess giving my cardboard testimony during the song made me almost want to cry tears of joy--in awe of what the LORD has done!

So here are the words to the first song

How He Loves Us

Artist: David Crowder Band
Song: How He Loves

He is jealous for me,
Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
Bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden,
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I realize just how beautiful You are,
And how great Your affections are for me.

And oh, how He loves us so,
Oh how He loves us,
How He loves us all

He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves.
Yeah, He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves.

We are His portion and He is our prize,
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes,
If grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking.
So Heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss,
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest,
I don’t have time to maintain these regrets,
When I think about, the way…

He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves.
Yeah, He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves.

Here is another song written about God's love-I guess it just came to my mind--we used to sing it at Moody during chapel---would be a neat one to sing at my home church....or in Mexico (Melanie R. Do you know this one? :) I believe it was sung during the Welsch revival.

"Here IS Love'
Words: William Rees (1802-1883), vers­es 1-2, Will­iam Will­iams pos­sib­ly wrote vers­es 3-4; trans­lat­ed from Welsh to Eng­lish by Wil­liam Ed­wards in The Bap­tist Book of Praise, 1900.

Music: Ro­bert Low­ry, 1876

Here is love, vast as the ocean,
Loving-kindness as the flood,
When the Prince of Life, our Ransom,
Shed for us His precious blood.
Who His love will not remember?
Who can cease to sing His praise?
He can never be forgotten,
Throughout Heav’n’s eternal days.

On the mount of crucifixion,
Fountains opened deep and wide;
Through the floodgates of God’s mercy
Flowed a vast and gracious tide.
Grace and love, like mighty rivers,
Poured incessant from above,
And Heav’n’s peace and perfect justice
Kissed a guilty world in love.

Let me all Thy love accepting,
Love Thee, ever all my days;
Let me seek Thy kingdom only
And my life be to Thy praise;
Thou alone shalt be my glory,
Nothing in the world I see.
Thou hast cleansed and sanctified me,
Thou Thyself hast set me free.

In Thy truth Thou dost direct me
By Thy Spirit through Thy Word;
And Thy grace my need is meeting,
As I trust in Thee, my Lord.
Of Thy fullness Thou art pouring
Thy great love and power on me,
Without measure, full and boundless,
Drawing out my heart to Thee.

Awesome content to the "Here is Love" song especially! Remember, and never forget his great love demonstrated through the gift of JESUS CHRIST for YOU today!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

How We Do Buisiness

Hi Everyone,

The other day, a fellow believer and I were discussing "How business is done in the work world from a worldly standpoint."

Many times, there is so much SELFISH AMBITION IN IT.

Here is a scenario " A company fulfills contracts for a certain service, making a part, etc for other companies. So someone comes and wants a project done at such and such a date. Now the company that makes the part or provides the service obviously wanta the "busuness--and to do whatever the project is because they want the profit from it. They know that the time-frame that those wanting the project done in is realy steep, but for the sake of not losing the contract, do not tell the "someone who wants the service" that it realy may be "Un-doable" due to their employees or other situations.

Now it's such a "I want it NOW!" world out there that they know that if the company were to come and say to their people wanting the service that they may not be able to quite have it at the desired date, the person wanting the service would just go somewhere else to someone that could fulfill it, and the company would lose business.

So the company contracts with them that they will have it done by the desired date and at the end major problems result in the company's employees maybe not being respected because the project "has to be done NOW!" and to the world where "YOU ARE your job and work and money is your "god," they may have a hard time understanding why some employees while they work hard, have many other priorities in life and are not "married to their job."

But tension develops when either the company wanting the service isn't honest about how much money it is going to take to begin with or how much they have to begin with, or also when the company providing the service isn't honest to begin with about how long it is really going to take realistically, so then their employees can be disregarded."

Sometimes it's like a bunch of preschoolers running around going "Me, myself and I---I am the center of the world!"


But is the way business is done in the world (IN GENERAL) how it should be done?

I don't think so!!!

I mean there shouldn't be this things of such a selfish, "I want what I want when I want it NOW----and I don't care who suffers," attitude among receiving products and services.

Is the world really going to hurt a week or two if we don't have it, "by tomorrow?"

And for those providing "whatever is needed" it would be NICE to be able to have that integrity to be able to say "This is what I, in integrity, could honestly give you based on the time-frame we have and the money you have."

And I realize there ARE people that really try to do that, so I am NOT picking on anyone. It is just a general thought that there can tend to be a lot of selfish ambition and dishonesty in how things are done in business---in the overall world system---and it is too bad that it is sad that it is that way.

So what's the ideal way to "do business?"

With up-front honesty, integrity, and consideration of all people involved.

It was just a discussion the fellow believer and I were having----so I thought I;d blog for some thought-----and if i just lost you, I apologize. Come back and read another post. (sometimes it's hard to make general scenarios clear......because it isn't aimed at anyone in particular)

As Close As You Want To Be

Hi Everyone,

Hebrews 10:19-23 "Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful."

James 4:8 "Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

So the whole Hebrews passage is going to demand much more explanation later in my Hebrews discussion--and I plan to give it that.

But I was thinking about my relationship with God and these past nearly five months--and the endless JOY and HOPE that it has brought to me. I am not in any way saying that I am "the example"--far cry from it.

However, I just wanted to say that as you draw near to God and walk with Him, your relationship with Him can be as close and vital and fulfilling as you want it to be.

Now, granted, we all still sin down here (Unfortunately) so that hasn't been fully and completely eradicated from our lives yet------but in Heaven it will be.

And it isn't so much about what we do, it's about Him enabling us (more on that later) and working through accomplish HIS will and purposes. However, There is a real sense that we can either chose to walk according to the Spirit and what is obedience to him, or walking in sin and in the flesh. And in a huge sense there is the truth that we can either co-operate with the Spirit of God's working in each of our lives, or not.

So how close do you or I want to be with JESUS today???

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Cardboard Testimony

Hi Everyone,

Tonight was the night of the House of Hope banquet. It was really cool to be a part of it and hear the testimonies of what God has done in so many others' lives through this ministry. One of the ways we shared was through cardboard testimonies--the before and now after type deal. Here was mine.

Here is the NOW that I am rejoicing in!

So multiply mine by about 20 with different stories and then it is just even better!

It was a blessing tonight to be at my mentor's table and to also be able to sit with a former teacher that I had when I was younger! I also had the opportunity to tell someone that I truly forgave them about a past situation that really hurt me. It was nat to say it and KNOW I meant it!

God is so good! Life is all about Him.

Your PRIDE is NOT Worth An Eternity Without Him!

Hi Everyone,

If you know you aren't a Christian and you are scared about what everyone would think if they knew that, I just want to encourage you by saying staying if your pride is not worth an eternity without Jesus.

In the end it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. when you stand before the Lord and give an account of your life, it will JUST BE YOU AND GOD---and in that moment WHAT GOD THINKS WILL BE ALL THAT MATTERS!!!

So don't let your pride and fear keep you from KNOWING CHRIST and a personal relationship with Him.

The TRUST Factor!

Hi Everyone,

I'd just like to as for prayer about a personal issue that I am dealing with right now. It's kind of like one of those that sort of can break your heart and yet, I don't know what the future is or what God has in store. So just pray that I would really truly be able to trust Him about it and not do any of that nasty "what if?" speculation.

Just that I'd simply be able to trust God.....and be forever overflowing in gratitude.....NO MATTER WHAT!!! But definitely for His comfort too.

Thanks so very much.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Unscriptural Baptism??

Hi Everyone,

I never know what I am going to end up blogging about until the day happens.

I would like to preface this blog by saying that I am NOT trying to "pick on anyone" But I have a few thoughts about something that happened today.

Today I had to go to wal-mart to pick up a few desperately needed items. As I was waiting for the bus, a lady said something, and I felt prompted to just share my personal testimony with her and about salvation through Jesus Christ alone. Well, she basically brought it up that she was of a particular denomination, and she brought up the subject of baptism.

Now I found this interesting considering that I had just been baptized yesterday, but I had never said a word about that to her.

She said, "well, those people that baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are just wrong! We believe in baptism according to Acts 2:38 and it's suppose to be done only in the name of Jesus. The people that baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are making it up."

I was just like "wow!" and I prayed about how to respond to her.

One thing I feel like I need to say is that if we base our theology on certain portions of the Bible without looking at it not only from it's context according to that passage but also looking at that passage in line and in light of what the rest of scripture clearly teachers, we have the possibility of coming up with some really incorrect ideas."

I did not believe that this lady was saying that baptism was a requirement for salvation, but rather that she was concerned about the "correct way of doing it."

Obviously, Salvation is NOT achieved by baptism. The ABSOLUTE ONLY WAY that anyone receives salvation is by trusting in Jesus Christ alone, and trusting that his payment for their sin personally, was a sufficient payment and that there is nothing that we can do to earn favor or make our sin "right" before God. We must individually trust that Jesus Christ died on the cross on our behalf and that He rose from the dead proving that He is God.

Now, to be honest, I've spent awhile studying this afternoon but do not know all of the different mechanics of Acts 2:38.

But are we "making it up" when we baptize in the Name of the Father and the Son, and the Holy Spirit?

Of course we are not! This dear lady needs more discipleship and accurate teaching as to the whole counsel of Scripture.

Matthew 28:18-20 says, "Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

Jesus very clearly gave a command to the disciples to baptize in the name of all three--the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Secondly, another thought that came to my mind was that when Jesus Himself was baptized (NOT that any of us even compare to Him) He Himself was obviously present at his baptism as well as the Father and the Holy Spirit, who made their presence known to those that were there directly after he was baptized.

Take a look.

Matthew 3:13-17 "Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?" Jesus replied, "Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness." Then John consented. As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased."

Mark 1:9-11 "At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased."

So what is Acts 2:38 really saying? I want to study that some more and not just give some quick answer. I want to rightly divide the word of truth. And this post is getting long, so I'll save it for another day.

Joyful, JOYFUL! We Adore Thee!

Hi Everyone,

We sang this at church a few weeks ago. The words are quite amazing to think about!

Text: Henry Van Dyke
Music: Ludwig van Beethoven; Arr. by Edward Hodges

1. Joyful, joyful, we adore thee,
God of glory, Lord of love;
hearts unfold like flowers before thee,
opening to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness;
drive the dark of doubt away.
Giver of immortal gladness,
fill us with the light of day!

2. All thy works with joy surround thee,
earth and heaven reflect thy rays,
stars and angels sing around thee,
center of unbroken praise.
Field and forest, vale and mountain,
flowery meadow, flashing sea,
chanting bird and flowing fountain,
call us to rejoice in thee.

3. Thou art giving and forgiving,
ever blessing, ever blest,
well-spring of the joy of living,
ocean depth of happy rest!
Thou our Father, Christ our brother,
all who live in love are thine;
teach us how to love each other,
lift us to the joy divine.

4. Mortals, join the mighty chorus
which the morning stars began;
love divine is reigning o'er us,
binding all within its span.
Ever singing, march we onward,
victors in the midst of strife;
joyful music leads us sunward,
in the triumph song of life.

Psalm 33:1 "Sing joyfully to the LORD, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise Him."

Psalm 68:3 "But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful."

Can These Dry Bones Live?

Hi Everyone,

During one of my first times devouring the Word when I became a believer, the Lord led me to this passage. My guess is that it probably isn't among the first passages that a new believer normally gets directed to...I am not sure.

Ezekiel 37:1-14 "The hand of the LORD was upon me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. He asked me, "Son of man, can these bones live?"
I said, "O Sovereign LORD, you alone know." Then he said to me, "Prophesy to these bones and say to them, 'Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD.' "

So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.

Then he said to me, "Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe into these slain, that they may live.' " So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army.

Then he said to me: "Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, 'Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.' Therefore prophesy and say to them: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: O my people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. Then you, my people, will know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I have done it, declares the LORD.'"

I know this passage is specifically about Israel, but oh! What a picture it is of what God does with that which is spiritually dead and then brought to LIFE----TRUE LIFE----Life in Jesus---a child of God----a NEW CREATION. That is what came to my mind when I read it the first time---I remember thinking, "Wow! God, in a sense THAT is exactly what YOU did for me!"

Yes, God is a God of what seems impossible to us-----and that which is spiritually dry and dead can be brought to life---vibrant life and rest in HIM!!!! A cease from ALL striving as we TRUST in Christ.

It's pretty awesome that TRUSTING CHRIST changes a life so much! IT SHOULD!!! HE IS EVERYTHING!!!!

I say it all the time---but I totally mean it EVERY TIME!!! To GOD be the GLORY!!!!