Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Robbed From the Joy of Giving

This past weekend, as we drove home from Missouri, I started thinking about my brief experience at Best Buy as I ventured out on Black Friday.  All I wanted was a new flash drive to back up some important business files.  There were crowds of people in the store, but I didn’t notice any long checkout lines.  However, much to my surprise, the lines were formed against the side wall all the way across the store and wrapped all the way down & around as far as my eyes could see.  I was stunned as I looked at the people willing to stand and wait for that great deal they clutched tightly in their hands.  I looked at my flash drive, handed it to one of the workers and said, "I'm not standing in that line for this." And I walked out. 

Now let me clarify that I’m not a scrooge and I ABSOLUTELY LOVE giving gifts to other people; especially my family.    Money or credit cards aren’t the issue.  I can choose any time to go and spend money however & whenever I decide and I can also choose to rack up debt that will take me forever to pay off.  The thing that breaks my heart is what Christmas has come to represent; nothing but materialism.   And let’s not forget how outrageous people become over an item they want; even to the point of physically hurting others.  Seriously folks; is this what Christmas is all about?  When I look around and see so many hurting people; humbled by the life they live, while others with plenty continue to want more than what they can imagine, it robs my heart from the  joy of giving. 

We are reminded in Matthew 6:19-21 NLT “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal.  Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.”

And so I ask –

Where are You, God, in all our plans?  Where is Your Son in this joyous celebration?  Have we really strayed that far away from You that we've forgotten the true reason we celebrate Christmas?  Oh, God, how You must feel robbed; robbed from the joy of giving us Your One and Only Son.  You sacrificed Your Son in order that we would be forgiven of our sins and live in eternity with You one day. 

Where are You, Jesus, in all our plans? Wasn’t it You that was born in a humble manager; You who walked the earth forgiving & healing others; You who were beaten & whipped beyond human recognition; You who were crucified on a cross and bore the sins of this world? Oh, Jesus, how You must feel robbed; robbed from the joy of giving us Your all so that we could be joint heirs with You.  Isn’t it Your birthday we are celebrating? 

Where are You, Holy Spirit, in all our plans? Are You just as grieved by what you see; grieved that we ignore Your direction; grieved that we turn a deaf ear to Your voice?  Oh, Holy Spirit, how You must feel robbed; robbed from the joy of giving us Your comfort; helping us thru situations we got ourselves into simply because we did not heed to Your voice. 

Heavenly Father….Thank You for all You’ve given me; Your Son, Jesus!!!!!  He is the best gift I’ve ever received!!!!!

Jesus….”Happy Birthday!”  You are My everything and I celebrate YOU!!!!!

Holy Spirit……You are and will always be….my Comforter!  I wouldn’t want to live my life without You!!!!

I am truly blessed and have all I need because I have my Father, His Son, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  What more could I ask for?

Don't be robbed from the joy of giving this year! 

Take time and celebrate Jesus and be sure to share Him with those around you!

Be blessed my family & friends.  Praying you walk in the Lord’s total favor!

Love you all!


Saturday, November 17, 2012

From Rags to Riches

Moses was an awesome example of someone with strong faith. Remember the story?

Pharaoh was fearful because the Israelites were starting to outnumber the Egyptians. And so he sent out an order to kill all Israelite babies. In an attempt to protect her son, Moses’ mother placed him in a basket and sent him down the Nile River. She watched closely as Pharaoh’s daughter pulled him from the waters and claimed him as her own. But when Moses got older and realized he was really an Israelite, he made a decision that would change his life forever.

He chose to follow The Lord instead of enjoying the worldly riches he had grown accustom too. Let’s face it folks, he could of had it all since he was raised the son of Pharaoh's daughter. And yes, it appears that Moses literally went from rags to riches from a simple little boat ride down the river. But we are told in Hebrews 11:24-26 NLT, "It was by faith that Moses, when he grew up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to share the oppression of God’s people instead of enjoying the fleeting pleasures of sin. He thought it was better to suffer for the sake of Christ than to own the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking ahead to his great reward.”

You might think, really? That’s faith that he went from rags to riches and then back to rags again?

Oh contraire, my friends. The Holy Spirit revealed to me that the true rags were the riches of this world Pharaoh& his daughter had to offer Moses. Only when Moses chose to acknowledge his true identity in the Lord did he become rich.

God’s word reminds us in Matthew 6:19-21 NKJV,“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

And so I ask you my friends, what great reward are you looking for? Trusting in what the world has to offer you here on earth? What treasures are you clinging too? "He who trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like foliage." Proverbs 11:28 NKJV

Looking to everything & everyone other than God to meet your needs? Matthew 6:8 NKJV tells us, “Your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.”

Are you lacking the faith to trust God and believe what His word tells you? Maybe you’ve faced hard times lately and your faith has been shaken. Let me encourage you to take time right now and ask the Lord to renew your faith in Him. Remember Hebrews 11:6 NKJV says, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”

Look ahead just like Moses did and see your great reward. Then watch how God blesses you as you diligently seek Him.

Be blessed my family & friends and walk in the Lord’s total favor!

Love you all,



Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Firm Foundation

Ever wonder what makes a house stable; able to withstand storm after storm?  Recently I was looking at a video about adding on an addition. The builders started by pouring a good foundation; about 42” deep.  However, if it were my home, I would be tempted to go even deeper into the ground.  Although many things need to be considered; one big concern would be how much of a load the foundation can bear at its roughest time, while also considering how the ground shifts in various locations during different seasons. Skyscrapers need a deeper foundation in comparison to a house, so clearly the deeper the foundation, there would be a better chance the building will be able to withstand a devastating and unexpected storm. If the foundation is deep & solid, the building will most likely remain standing even if the outside of the building takes a beating and looks a bit scarred.

And so goes our relationship with the Lord. 

Throughout the years of walking with the Lord, it’s been a learning experience.  However, as I continued to draw closer to Him, the foundation His Word poured into my life would soon take the challenge of standing during the most crucial trials I was forced to experience.  When I look back at the many times our family faced devastating situations, it is so clear to me that I was able to weather the storm only because of the foundation I have in knowing the faithfulness of our Lord & Savior, Jesus Christ.  Trust me when I say that my foundation got shaky more times than I can recount.  But by His grace, He gave me the ability to withstand the horrendous storms I’ve faced.  And yes; the outside of my building is a bit battered, bruised and beaten down.  But rest assured, because of His mercy, I’m still standing! 

Jesus reminds us in Matthew 7:24-27 NIV, "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash."

And so I ask you, “How Stable Is Your Foundation?” Maybe you think it’s too late.  But let me encourage you that it’s never too late to make a fresh start with the Lord.  Don’t wait until you come crashing down.  Take time right now to renew your relationship with the Lord.  It’s as simple as asking the Lord to forgive you of all your sins. Then get back into His Word and allow the Holy Spirit to dig your foundation deeper. 

Or maybe you’ve never accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior.  Well it’s not too late for you either.  You’ll need to repent of your sins too and then ask the Lord to be your personal Savior.  With the Lord, there is forgiveness for your sins.  In 1 John 1:9 NLT we are told, “But if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.”

What are you waiting for?  Get into God’s Word, even if it’s just a few minutes a day.  Starting a small foundation is better than none at all.  But as you grow in the things of God, allow yourself to build even a deeper foundation with Him.  Don’t place limits on the depth He desires you to be in your relationship with Him.   Remember, the deeper your foundation in Christ, the better you will be able to withstand the storms life brings your way.  And storms will come; it’s inevitable.  And I promise……It won’t always be an easy journey, but you will never regret the decision to serve Him!  And if you ever do think you’d be better off without Him; ask yourself one simple question. How much more difficult would your journey be without Him?

“So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family.  Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself.  We are carefully joined together in him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord. Through him you Gentiles are also being made part of this dwelling where God lives by his Spirit. Ephesians 2:19-22 NLT
Don’t waste another minute; start building your foundation; brink by brink.  And remember to make Jesus the “Corner Stone” in your life and allow Him to direct your steps! 

Be blessed my family & friends!  Praying God’s continued favor to shine over you with true hope, grace & mercy that only comes from Him.
Love you all!


Thursday, November 1, 2012

If My People

Although I don't know the original writer to the following little scenario, I felt it was definitely worth sharing it with all of you.
While walking down the street one day a Corrupt Senator (that may be redundant) was tragically hit by a car and died. His soul arrives in heaven and is met by St. Peter at the entrance.

"Welcome to heaven," says St.. Peter. "Before you settle in, it seems there is a problem. We seldom see high official around these parts, you see, so we're not sure what to do with you."

"No problem, just let me in," says the Senator. "Well, I'd like to, but I have orders from the higher ups. What we'll do is have you spend one day in hell and one in heaven. Then you can choose where to spend eternity."

"Really?, I've made up my mind. I want to be in heaven," says the Senator.

"I'm sorry, but we have our rules."  And with that, St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell. The doors open and he finds himself in the middle of a green golf course.

In the distance is a clubhouse and standing in front of it are all his friends and other politicians who had worked with him.  Everyone is very happy and in evening dress. They run to greet him, shake his hand, and reminisce about the good times they had while getting rich at the expense of the people. They played a friendly game of golf and then dine on lobster, caviar and the finest champagne.

Also present is the devil, who really is a very friendly guy who is having a good time dancing
and telling jokes.

They are all having such a good time that before the Senator realizes it, it is time to go.

Everyone gives him a hearty farewell and waves while the elevator rises.The elevator goes up, up,
and the door reopens in heaven where St. Peter is waiting for him, "Now it's time to visit heaven.

So, 24 hours passed with the Senator joining a group of contented souls moving from cloud to cloud, playing the harp and singing. They have a good time and, before he realizes it, the 24 hours have gone by and St. Peter returns. "Well, then, you've spent a day in hell and another in heaven. Now choose your eternity."

The Senator reflects for a minute, then he answers: "Well, I would never have said it before, I mean
heaven has been delightful, but I think I would be better off in hell."

So St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell...

Now the doors of the elevator open and he's in the middle of a barren land covered with waste
and garbage. He sees all his friends, dressed in rags, picking up the trash and putting it in black bags as more trash falls to the ground.

The devil comes over to him and puts his arm around his shoulders.

"I don't understand," stammers the Senator. "Yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and clubhouse, and we ate lobster and caviar, drank champagne, and danced and had a great time. Now there's just a wasteland full of garbage and my friends look miserable. What happened?"

The devil smiles at him and says, "Yesterday we were campaigning, Today, you voted.."

Vote wisely on November 6, 2012
"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV
Be blessed my family & friends.  Praying you walk in the Lord's total favor!
Love you all!