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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

GRUDGES

We all get tired of carrying heavy purses, shopping bags or luggage. Even the smallest bag becomes cumbersome after a while. For a moment, think about the unseen bag you might happen to carry around ALL THE TIME....everywhere you go! I am talking about the emotional baggage that we carry around each day, specifically, that sack of GRUDGES, that some of us might happen to possess. We have all been hurt by others. If we aren't careful, those hurts build up into resentments and those resemtments develop into a grudge.

Once a grudge enters our mind, it happens to grow and grow and grow. What started out as a small wrong, either real or imagined, quickly can develop into a massive ball of envy, malice, jealousy, bitterness, gossip, slander, hatred, cruelty and self-pity. (Even those words sound heavy) All of these words of ugliness build up and turn us into a vindictive, cold and vengeful person. When this happens, we become our own worst enemy.

I was my own worst enemy for a very long time. I looked for reasons to dislike certain people. I took offense at the smallest slight. I remember telling people that I would 'go to my grave remembering what so-and-so did to me.' I convinced myself to dislike others. I was actually proud of the way I simply dismissed people without a second thought. Looking back, I am so ashamed of my actions. I see where I was so very wrong. I blocked my chances of fellowship with God. I hindered my relationship with Jesus Christ. I lost out on so many blessings, such as peace, joy and love......I was horrible!

It wasn't until I finally released my resentments that I realized how much I had been hurting myself. I learned to free my grudges by turning them over to the Lord. His forgiveness, His grace, His mercy and His love allowed me to let go of both real and imagined hurts, wrongs and grudges. By letting go and giving these things to God, I allowed myself to grow and to experience the joy of walking in the will of God. I no longer carry around that enormous sack of resentments and grudges....and for that, I am thankful on this day.

Leviticus 19:18 You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

BE CAREFUL

We have all said things that we truly mean at the moment, but somehow end up not keeping our word. Throughout the years, I have done this time and time again, especially when times got tough. I feel sure that I am not the only one. Most of us have made this mistake. However, we need to be careful. We need to keep the following in mind.....


"God, if you will just _________________, then I promise I will ________________." When we do this, we are delivering ourselves into a very dangerous situation....unless we have every intention of keeping our word. In Judges 11:30-31, 34-35, Jephthah did the same exact thing and ended up losing his one child, his daughter, due to a vow he made unto the Lord. This tells me that we need to be extremely careful when making such promises. We must be careful and reverant at any and all times that we bring ourselves into His presence. We must remember WHO GOD IS at all times!


God is the utmost authority of ALL that is morally right. He existed before ALL THINGS IN TIME. He is the commander in chief of all the armies of heaven. He rules over the entire universe. God expects our faithfullness of heart and action! He wants and expects our love and obedience. We must fully respect God to the best of our abilities. We are much like a grain of sand when compared unto His awesomeness and capabilities. We must never demand a single thing from God, nor attempt to play games and make bargains. Don't say it if you don't mean it. Give Him the respect He deserves. In Deuteronomy 10:17, we are told, "For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe."

Monday, November 7, 2011

YOU NEVER KNOW

It is so easy for us to say one thing and yet DO another. No matter who we are or how we live, the fact remains that not one of us is perfect and nor will we EVER be. We have all made mistakes in the past and we will make plenty more in the future. Quite often, we tend to look down upon others who experience failure, even though we KNOW it is not very Christian-like to do so. This brings me to me point today........


This morning, while doing a search on Google, I came across a German word, 'schadenfreude', which means receiving pleasure from the misfortune of others. I, of course, had never even heard of that word, but I definitely know another statement which closely describes the same concept..."Don't spit in the wind." I feel sure most people reading this have heard these words too. You don't spit in the wind... you mustn't triumph over the tragedies of others...don't celebrate their failures...never relish someones defeat...do not 'rub it in.' All of the previous statements lead up to something I read on Facebook today....MOCK NOT THE FALLEN, FOR SLIPPERY IS THE ROAD AHEAD OF YOU...How true this is!


If you think back for a moment, I feel sure you can remember either saying or hearing someone say....That will never happen to me....my kids would never do that...she knows better...he deserves it...


The bible teaches us to commiserate or to sympathize with others who are having a hard time. We are taught to encourage others, to be there for them and to harden not our hearts. We must love our fellow brother or sister in a Christlike way. You never know when your faith, belief or Christian character might be tested by an angel unaware. It all boils down to DO UNTO OTHERS AS YOU WOULD HAVE THEM DO UNTO YOU. I feel that someone might have needed to hear these words this morning....just a little food for thought.....God Bless!


Proverbs 24:17-18 Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles; lest the Lord see it, and it displease Him, and He turn away His wrath from him

Friday, November 4, 2011

SCARS

Regardless of who you are, I feel quite sure that you might have one or two visible scars on your body due to some sort of mishap. We all usually remember exactly where, when and how each scar came into existance, no matter how long ago it happened. We are stuck with these scars and we learn to deal with their presence. We really have no choice but to do so. Through automobile accidents and other careless activities, I have quite a few of these visible reminders. I once hated my scars, but today, I see them as the fingerprints of God. This might sound ridiculous, but I am going to tell you why I feel this way.

I have several small scars on my face from more than one car accident. In each accident, I was injured, but not like I could have been. Even when I didn't realize it, the Lord was right there by my side. He was there when I crawled out of the window of an overturned van. He was there when I was ejected from a truck and ended up in a rainsoaked field out in the middle of nowhere. In each instance, I received only minor bodily injury. I received small scars when, by all rights, I should have been dead. That's why I bear the fingerprints of God. That's why I love my scars.

If you have not been physically scarred, I know with certainty that you carry other scars instead. I am speaking of emotional scars. No matter who you are, I knw that you, like me, have received more than one of these. Careless words, actions and hurtful intentions of others leave us with deep emotional scars. Our own selfish actions create gashes. Physical abuse, drug abuse and life in general can leave us looking like Freddie Kruger on the inside. These scars take the longest time to heal. These scars require more than Neosporin and stitches. These scars can only be healed by the love of God.

The love of God...that's right! We must be touched by the hand of the Master before emotional scars can fully heal. When He provides the healing, hate, envy, jealousy, sadness, confusion, lonliness, chaos and despair will surely disappear. He alone is the healer. God is the ultimate physician. He is the Specialist, the Master, the Ultimate Authority over ALL areas of our lives. When we allow Him into our lives, God heals our wounds.

Psalm 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds their wounds

Thursday, November 3, 2011

PIECES

 What comes to mind when you hear the word 'pieces'? When I hear this word, I think of something broken into bits, something fragmented or something splintered. A vision of shattered glass pops into my mind. The word 'pieces' is mentioned 293 times in the Bible. I researched various scriptures which made reference to this word and practically all of them referred to something broken, shattered or in bits.

I was talking to a friend the other day and we compared our lives without the Lord to a 'broken flower pot.' We were both able to compare our lives to a vase-like object which had become cracked over time. Our conversation got a little more detailed and we both described broken vessels which were ugly and weathered, cracked and splintered...broken into pieces.

We also compared life without the Lord to a massive, complex jigsaw puzzle which lay in pieces. We have all seen this sort of jigsaw puzzle, which is sold primarily in craft stores and practically requires a degree in engineering in order to even attempt assembly. My life resembled one of these puzzles for many years. Bits and pieces of it were scattered in every direction. No two pieces of my puzzle would ever seem to match up. Even the straight pieces of the puzzle which made up my life would not fit together. No matter how hard I tried to piece together this puzzle, I only met frustration, disappointment and failure. No matter how long I tried, I would never have been able to complete this task. I would have forever been stuck, just looking at the pieces.

We have all heard the phrase, "The Touch of the Master's Hand." It was only through this touch that the pieces of my life were ever put back together. The Lord sat back and watched me struggle in order that I realize and appreciate his ultimate authority over my life. He mended all the broken pieces which I had so carelessly damaged. He fit pieces back together which would have never been replaced. He did this with ease. He did this iwth power. He did this with love. The Lord showed me the need for His touch in my life, the necessity of His guidance and the healing power of His hand. He did this through His forgiveness, His grace, His mercy and His love. He fixed what was broken in my life. He made my pieces whole. He did it for me...He can and He will surely do it for you as well!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

USELESS

We all know people who have been called.....USELESS. Throughout the years, I have heard people say, "He is about as useless as they come", "She is as useless as the day is long", "They will never amount to anything" and "Why do you want to hang around with such useless people?" I will never forget hearing someone say, "He is just sucking up air that another good and decent human being should be breathing."

I feel quite sure that anyone reading these words can relate to what I just said ,in one way or another. Some of you might have said those same words. Some of you might have "been" the useless person being discussed. I am guilty of both. Who was I to pass judgement upon anyone? What gave me the right to ever call anyone 'useless' when I was perhaps the most useless one of all?

My life started out great. I was on the right track. After graduating from high school, I went on to college, got married, had two children and could have even had an excellent career. But.....I chose to lose my focus. I chose to become useless. I threw away my dreams and ambitions, going nowhere and doing nothing seemed more exciting. I would even proudly tell people that I had become a professional bum. My life became an endless party. If something wasn't 'fun', I didn't want any part of it. I perfected the art of being useless and didn't care who liked it or not. Details are not important, but I gave people plenty of reasons to call me useless. I left myself open for gossip. The bigger the sin, the better I liked it. If it was ugly, it was mine. I deserved every bit of criticism that was ever directed my way.

It wasn't until I became completely useless and realized that I was no good for myself or anyone else that I was shown my true value. The Lord heard my cries and revealed so much to me. I have learned that He loves the useless. God bathed me in His marvelous light and showed me the error of my ways. He covered me in His blood and my sins were forgiven. He has given me an understanding of His word and has found much use for me. Multitudes of angels watch over me today. The Lord allowed me to become 'useless' in order to reveal His purpose! His forgiveness, His grace, His mercy and His love have transformed me in every way. I feel compelled to tell everyone EXACTLY how much He has done for me. He wants to do it for us all! He did it for me.....He can and He WILL surely do it for you as well!

Luke 15:10 There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

WITH ME THROUGH IT ALL

If you are anything like me, you have a very colorful histroy and more than a few skeletons in your closet. As I have said before, I was once very ashamed of my past, but today, I embrace it and am thankful for EVERY single thing that has ever happened. Today, I remember a time when my life was in complete turmoil. Details are not important, but on this particular day, I was crossing the Mexican border. Lets just say that it was complete and utter chaos. You might not have memories of crossing the Mexican border, but I am sure you can recall a moment in time in which chaos and confusion took center stage.

I remember how I felt that day. I felt lost, in every meaning of the word. I felt alone. I felt disconnected from everything I had ever known and loved. I felt hopeless, scared, confused and useless. I was so far gone at the time. I had no one to turn to and was too ashamed to reach out to anyone. Talk about a miserable day....no, a miserable existance. I didnt know it at the time, but God was with me through it all. It was all a part of His magnificant plan. It was a testimony in the making!

Throughout the Bible, God used ordinary people in order to reveal His majesty. I cannot, nor will I ever compare myself to any of them, but three particular people of the Bible have come to my mind today. In Mark 16, Mary Magdalene went from being possessed by seven demons to being one of Jesus' most devoted followers, who was present at the crucifixion, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ! . In Acts 9, Saul was struck down on the road to Damascus while on a mission to torture the Christians, whom he hated. Saul experienced immediate conversion, so complete that even his name was changed to Paul, who went on to write most of the New Testament. The woman at the well is my absolute favorite person from the Bible, not counting God and Jesus, of course. In John 4, this unnamed woman met up with Jesus at Jacob's Well in the heat of the day at a time in her life when she was caught up in her sin. Jesus touched her life that day and completely turned her life around.

We can all draw encouragement from these very important people of the Bible. God loves even the sinner, He just hates the sin. Jesus was sent to save that which was lost...and I am so thankful. Take a moment to think about this. We are all so very special, even when we are at our worst. We serve an awesome God...one who showers us with continuous forgiveness, grace, mercy and love.........if only we let Him!

Romans 8:6 To be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace