Wednesday, June 20, 2018

"Therefore He says: 'Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light." Ephesians 5:14 NKJV

The Apostle Paul is speaking to unbelievers in this verse.  He explains in the verses before this to"have no fellowship with unfruitful works of darkness."  We can apply this to christians as well. In our culture it's easy to see how the lines can become blended.

I don't know how many times I have said to myself, "I can watch this show; It's not that bad." I become blinded to the horrific contents within. It doesn't seem to make any difference but this kind of thinking can explode. It can explode into loosing our discernment.

I am especially sensitive to violence because of my background. My father wasn't violent on a regular basis but when he lost his temper it was bad! This is not spiritual discernment but self preservation. What I am talking about today is not listening to God and falling asleep to His leading.

I know how easy this kind of thing can happen. Are you moved emotionally by a couple who is divorced in a TV program? Maybe I am overly sensitive but this bothers me. Am I sensitive to this because my parents were divorced?

This could be the root of it but I don't think so. Broken relationships are nothing  to happy about. There are couples on HGTV who I love, but I feel badly because divorce took place between them. Does this make sense to you? Please let me know if you think I am being overly sensitive.

Anything in our lives can pull us away from God if we have the wrong attitude. Don't be asleep at the switch! We have the power of God in us if we only ask Him for it! I am guilty as anybody of not utilizing the gifts He has given.

I need more prayer in my life. I need to look to Him more often. I need to ask for His strength instead of settling for weakness. Don't be asleep! I speak this to you so it can bounce back to me. Our country needs for a move of God to sweep across the land. Be a part of what is on God's heart today and pray for revival. He wants YOU to draw close to Him! Thank Him for this.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

"For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret."  Ephesians 5:12 NKJV

It is time to lounge! I can go for this at any time.  No, this is not true because when it's time to walk I don't want to lounge. When I am in walking mode I can't stop until I really need to. If I don't push myself a little farther than I think I can go, I won't gain new  ground.

It can be true of most things. If we want to learn a new sport or language, we have to put in the time and effort to make it happen. Growing in our relationship with the Lord requires effort.  Everything in our natural woman would rather do something other than pray and read His Word.

We strengthen our muscle of prayer by doing it and thereby our relationship with the Almighty is closer and better. The more time in His presence the less time we want to spend doing things that are counterproductive. Does television call you to sit for longer than you like?

The reason I ask this is because it happens to me. I am a HGTV only person when it comes to TV.  Even too much of an ok thing can be wrong if it takes you away from something better. Of course a balance is in order here.

My point is the worst things imaginable can be seen on TV or in the movies today. The standards of the past have been eliminated for the most part. Thank God we have seen some incredibly good movies come out in the past few years.

Even when I watch HGTV it bothers me if the couple looking for a house are not married. I don't know them, but I wish for them to have Godly morals and respect His order of things. Prayer while watching is a valid way of doing things, as long as it's not your only time of prayer for the day.

Prayer during the news is especially important. In our world today prayer for everything is valid and needful. Prayer for President Trump as he does the things considered impossible by other administrations. Watch the local news and pray for people in your community. Change comes only through prayer.

If you would like some encouragement to pray, google: Curse Breaker Prayer by Jekalyn Carr

You can find on twitter, Pinterest or Instagram now!  Tell your friends and church buddies.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

"And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them."  Ephesians 5:11 NKJV

Seriously, whose in charge around here? Did the adult who bought this cone for the little boy really think he could eat all of the ice cream? My husband told me his grandmother used to say in broken english, "Your eyes are bigger than your stomach!" 

We can all be like this. We think we can do something when in reality we can't. It looks so easy when the pros throw a baseball, or swim across the lake. I know I can think something is true but is it really? The church in our neighborhood had a sign outside and it said this:"Don't believe everything you think." Good point.

We need to determine the source before we believe something to be fact. In these internet days we should be more careful because so many sources say different things. Can we be sure of the truth? Yes, we can. God has given us His very own words for us to know truth.

How do we determine truth when something isn't so clear cut? "We can do what we know to do, and then we will know what to do." This is a saying of my Pastor, Gary Zarlengo. Praying for wisdom and clarity is always in style. Asking those we trust for guidance is usually a winner, even if we don't take their advise.

God knows we need His guidance and He will give us what we need. We can miss this if we aren't careful. " Without counsel, plans go awry, But in the multitude of counselors they are established." Proverbs 15:22 The people of God are to give each other direction according to what God says.

Some other person we trust may look at our circumstance and see an entirely different way of dealing with it.We are all unique, genuinely made by God, but not the same. His vast array of personalities He has presented in the people of this earth is amazing!    Would someone please give this boy a napkin!

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

"Figure out what will please Christ, and then do it."
Ephesians 5:10 The Message

It is as simple as this. We make following Jesus so complicated, or at least I do. He doesn't want us to make it complicated. I can get stuck in myself at times. Have you been there?

I fuss and complain about the simplest things. It is a battle with my flesh and will. No one can say it doesn't exist for them. It can be easier as we learn to obey. We can subdue our natural man and we should. When I obey I realize it wasn't a big deal. Why did I fuss at all?

I'm not talking about big issues but the little ones. The Song of Solomon calls these, "the little foxes that spoil the vine." Just when the grapes are ripe and ready for harvest the little pesky fox grabs them. 

I don't want to forget to mention these cute little girls twirling and enjoying themselves. Do they worry or fear? Maybe but not right now. They are lost in the fun and dance of being a child. Is this why Jesus said to come to him as little children? I believe it is!

Can you find joy in dance, or worship? I can. Are these things pleasing to the Lord of All things? They certainly are. Look at the Psalms; they are full of  references to these gloriously fun things.

Maybe you can't imagine jumping for joy today, in your circumstance. I understand. I don't feel to do these things either sometimes but we don't have to feel them. If you will walk in obedience and do them anyway, the joy will come.

Maybe not today or the next but it will come. Worship, whether it be in dance, song or how we live our lives brings delight to God's heart. Connect in the doing of worship. Lift your voice in thanks.

Monday, June 11, 2018

{For the fruit of the light consists in all  goodness, righteousness and truth.} Ephesians 5:9 NIV

Have you ever in your life felt like a wallflower? Have you wondered what it is exactly? This picture describes it pretty well. I have felt like this most of my life. Sometimes I wanted to feel this way. Other times I was thinking I was treated like this.

Fading into the shadows isn't something I want anymore. We could call it maturity but mature people can still feel invisible. I like to call it God's amazing grace. Grace is similar to imagining your greatest dreams have come true.

Grace is feeling free and alive like you never experienced before. I am in Michigan today visiting my brother and sister-in- law after the wedding of their daughter, Karrah. I went outside a little while ago and it was one of those best days of the year in my opinion.

The wind was lightly blowing, and the neighbor's laundry was swaying in the breeze.

 It was about 75 degrees and there wasn't a cloud to be seen. I could stand in the sunshine and not sweat or retreat to the shade because of the heat. Most of the time Michigan will have our weather a day in advance.  Tomorrow I will get to have this day all over again, or the weather at least.

I don't want to live the same day over. I want to have new days and new experiences and adventures each day. I want to live for God to the best of my ability and beyond, today and tomorrow.

I want to shine the light of the Lord over all those who need it, and boy, do they need it! Goodness, righteousness and truth can be buried if we don't allow it to shine. Definitions of such things can be twisted to mean things God never intended.

As I have been sharing about God's goodness, I hope you have realized good, in its truest sense is who God is. It's not a mediocre term but the best of the best. It is the highest sense of the word. 
If God's goodness were a balloon, it would sail on forever. It would have no end, just like His Kingdom! 

Thursday, June 7, 2018

"For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light." Ephesians 5:8 NKJV

Today is a good day for a good day, as Joanna Gaines would say. I know I said I wouldn't talk about the weather often, but I have to say this: Today is June 7, and it is cloudy and 67 degrees. Not too bad, but not too good either. 

I will choose joy today. It's easy today because in a few hours I will be in Michigan visiting my brother Park and his wife Renee.  Saturday Renee's daughter Karrah will be married. The perfect event for June.

As Children of Light, we see differently. There are no grey areas for the Children of Light. The Spirit of God will lead us into Light, and we are to resist the darkness. This is where our enemy tries to mix the lines.

When we hear a little voice inside say,"Well, it isn't too bad.  Just a little bit won't matter." The voice of compromise is trying to sway you. It isn't worth the battle to give in to a little of this or that.

Have you ever heard the story of a little bit doesn't matter? The presenter will offer a glass of clear, fresh water to someone. Just before it is given to the person, the presenter drops a tablespoon of black, putrid dirt into the water. Of course the person is repulsed by it!

Our God doesn't deserve for us to drop a tablespoon of dirt into our hearts! Think of all the pain and turmoil you have been through to gain a clean heart. Why would we turn around the pollute it with something questionable?

These things happen because we are caught off guard. Our enemy doesn't play by any rules. He is forced to when God shows up. God's grace is always available to restore us but damage can still stay.

 God overpowers the enemy every time. If we have compromised in any area our ability to demonstrate the Light within us can be compromised too. "Walk as children of Light." Blessings

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

"Therefore do not be partakers with them." Ephesians 5:7 NKJV

As I was weeding out e-mails a minute ago I noticed the latest marketing tools. You need this! Your life will be extremely better with our product. Your life will be transformed and you will never be sick again. Why don't I believe them?

I've been down the road a piece and I know better. Maybe your thing will help me. I don't know. In order to get my attention though the hype has to be there. There is much hype these days.

Social media is hyped to the point of causing teens to hurt themselves as others make fun of them. You don't have to say your hurtful comments any more, just type them.  It has created a false sense of safety and many bruised hearts.

We need to teach our young people to have nothing to do with those who seem to be nice in person but slaughter them on instagram. Paul writes to  the church at Ephesus to have nothing to do with those who sin and have no regard for God and His ways.

When we say we belong to Jesus, we are declaring His love for others. "This is my command: love one another." John 15:17 NIV
This cannot be done the way Jesus wants it to be done in our own strength. God never says to allow others to walk all over you. If those around you don't want Jesus and they don't respect you cut them off.

We are never to be a door mat to the lost or to anyone else.

Loving like this can hurt. It hurts our flesh. Let it hurt because we need to die to our ways. God can't shine through our flesh so it needs to move out of the way! Less of me and more of Him is what this world needs. Let Jesus shine and melt hardened hearts. Amen.