Blue Christmas

Romans 15.pngTragedies unfold each year pausing for nothing. Heartless shootings that result in lives lost with no cause. The Las Vegas Massacre. The Texas Church shooting. Those left behind consumed with grief which feels as if their hearts are being ripped out, no words can describe its depth.
Natural disasters destroying countless people. Leaving communities once thriving fighting to stay alive. Desperately trying to rebuild. Each natural disaster claiming lives. Hurricane Harvey. Hurricane Irma. Wildfires in California.
Then the issue of human sin within the truth of Hashtag Me Too. Ugly, heartless sin which begs to be hidden. Revealing the horror humans are capable of. Of course, these few things are only the surface of the devastation surrounding us. Financial difficulties, abuse, and relationship issues add to the impact. Additionally, much devastation consumes us. Heartbreak, depression, anxiety, panic attack, grief, and personality disorders.   The hardships are unending. The news reminds us of this often. Is there meaning in life? Any purpose in all the pain? One can even question if there is anywhere safe anymore. It is draining; sucking the joy from us. At times, we feel dead inside, nearly falling apart as the world caves in burying us.                                                                                 As we all think of these things within our own lives it does not mean that there is no hope for any of us. As I read these words today in the book of Romans 15:13 written by the Apostle Paul “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” We humans try day in and day out to find things that can fill the void we are feeling and have been feeling for a long time. Through difficulties around in this world. Rejoice that Jesus is always present with us. Knowing Jesus can enable us to cope with any and all circumstances, strengthening us as we all look to trust the baby in the manger. No matter how hopeless your situation may seen, Jesus assure you that all things are possible with God. Jesus is the Truth and therefore he is true to all of his promises. They provide a rock-solid foundation on which you can live and move and have your being. Since he is the living word, affirming your trust in his promises is an excellent way to draw near him. As any or all of us bask in the beauty of His Presence, you may find yourself wanting to praise Jesus, the Christ, The “Great I Am” Do not restrain that holy impulse, instead, give it a voice. While you are worshipping Jesus, new hope will grow within you. Hope is in Jesus this Christ Season may the Christ Child give you the joy, love and peace that you long to have.

Merry Christmas

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

 

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Let Everything That Breathes Praise the Lord!

Psalm 150.pngPraise the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. Praise him for his acts of power, praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, praise his with timbrel and dancing, praise him with the strings and pipe, praise him with resounding cymbals. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.                                         Psalm 150

Sacrifice thank offering to God. Tell of his works with songs of joy!  Bearing your circumstances bravely even thanking God for them, which is the highest form or praise. God has been training you and I in the discipline of thankfulness for a long time. Yet we at times still find it hard to thank him for our own suffering or for others we know who are suffering. Sometimes we are able to do this, and when we do, we find that we become closer to God our Father. Thanking God for adversity requires a deep level of trust in his goodness, his mercy, and his love. People who are leaning on their own understanding cannot achieve this depth of trust. As you look to the scriptures to Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. We are learning to endure our circumstances bravely with thankfulness and we have experienced personal benefits from this. But there is more–much more! Your grateful acceptance of adversity has major repercussions far beyond ourselves :in heaven as well as on earth. Besides having Power to weaken spiritual stronghold of evil, your sacrifice of thanksgiving rings bells of joy throughout heavenly realms. On earth, our patient endure of suffering seeds out ripples of good tidings in every-widening circles to strengthen and encourage God’s people. So in every and all circumstances in your life or in mine we should always Praise the Lord!

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Having A Grateful Heart Everyday

HebrewsTherefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful and to worship God acceptable with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.”                                                       Hebrews 12-28:29

We spend most of our days running around and trying to accomplish everything on our to do list. But, the one important thing on our to do list is having a grateful to God for all of his blessings he has bestow on us.

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A thankful attitude open windows of heaven through which spiritual blessings fall freely. All that God requires to be able to rain those blessings down upon us is our gratitude! It seems such a simple choice, yet we stumble over it almost everyday of our lives. Let God help you become more grateful as you can received bountiful blessings through those openings into eternity. As you go about your day, keep these things in mind. Throughout the Bible, God repeatedly command thankfulness because it is vital to our well-being, since God is our Creator, Savior and King. When you thank God we acknowledge how much he has done for you. This attitude brings joy both to us and God. Giving thanks is similar to priming a pump with water so that it will produce more water. Since thankfulness is one of the spiritual blessings that he has bestow on us, it will increase along with others when we prime God with thanksgiving. Remember that God is a God of all grace. When we fail in our endeavor to be thankful, simple ask him for forgiveness. As we freely receive this priceless gift-thinking about what it cost God, his only son on a cross for you and me. Look up to God and see spiritual blessings cascading down upon us through heave’s wide-open windows.
Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Living with Purpose

Proverbs 19.pngListen to advice and accept discipline and at the end you will be counted among the wise. Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. What a person desires is unfailing love better to be poor than a liar. The fear of the Lord leads to life, that one rests content, untouched by trouble.             Proverbs 19:20-23

Living on purpose is the only way to really live, everything else is just existing. Most people struggle with different issues one is who am I, do I truly matter, and why was I born for and what is my purpose is. One way to find the answer of your question is to seek God out, spend time with him through his words and in prayer and believe when he is ready he will tell you what your purpose is here on earth. Once you know what God wants you to do, the blessings comes in actually doing it. Our life purpose is to worship Christ with our whole heart, serve him with our shape, fellowship with his family, grow like him in character, and fulfill his mission in the world so he receives glory. My life purpose is to be a member of Christ’s family, a model of his character, a minister of his grace, a messenger of his word, and a magnifier of his glory. My life purpose is to love Christ, grow in Christ, share Christ, and serve Christ through his church. and to lead my family and others to do the same. In other words Jesus tells us in the book of Matthew 28:19-20 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 has commission all of his disciples including you and me, to share his love with others, to walk humbly with our God. To make disciples for his kingdom, my friend we as Christians are all expected to do this how you may ask, by sharing your faith with someone today it is that simply.  We all need to continue to become the hands and feet of Christ while we still live here on earth, when others sees us they truly see the “Great I Am” through all of us and in this way they’ll know we are Christians by our love.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

You Belong to God

Ephesians 2b.pngConsequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

Ephesians 2:19-22

You are called to belong, not just believe. When we read in the book of Genesis it is not good for man to be alone. We are created for community, fashioned for fellowship, and formed for a family, and none of us can fulfill God’s purpose by ourselves. The Bible knows nothing of solitary saints or spiritual hermits isolated from other believers and deprived of fellowship. The Bible says we are put together, joined together, and held together, members together, heirs together, fitted together, and held together and will be caught up  together. You are not on your own anymore. While your relationship to Christ is personal, God never intends it to be private. In God’s family you are connected to every other believer, and we will belong to each other for eternity. I am sure there are many of you out there longing to be a part of a family, having your own family, and without you even knowing that once you accept Christ into your heart you have been connected to the rest of his family. Following Christ includes belonging, not just believing. We are members of his Body–the church. C.S. Lewis noted that the word membership is of Christian origin, but the world has emptied it of its original meaning. Stores offer discounts to “members” and advertisers use member names to create mailing list. In churches, membership is often reduced to simply adding your name to a roll, with no requirements or expectations. To Paul, being a “member” of the church meant being a vital organ of a living body, an indispensable, interconnected part of the Body of Christ. We need to recover and practice the biblical meaning of membership. The church is a body, not a building, an organization. Whenever a child is born, he or she automatically becomes a part of the universal family of human beings. But that child also needs to become a member of a specific family to receive nurture and care and grow up healthy and strong. The same is true spiritually. When you become born again, which means flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. (John3:5) you need to become a member of a local expression of God’s family the church, his church. The Christian life is more than just commitment to Christ, it includes a commitment to other Christians. The Christians in Macedonia understood this, Paul tells us, “First they gave themselves to the Lord, and then, by God’s will they gave themselves to us as well. Joining the membership of a local church is the natural next step once you’ve become a child of God. You become a Christian by committing yourselves to Christ, but you become a church member by committing yourselves to a specific group of believers. And believe me being a part of a church, the family of true believers makes our journey in life a little easier to bear with that family and with God.

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends.

The Heart of Worship

 

Romans 6.pngIn the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourselves to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and offer every part of yourselves to him as an instrument of righteousness. For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.      Romans 6:11-14

The heart of worship is surrender. Surrender is an unpopular word, disliked almost as much as the word submission. It implies losing, and no one wants to be a loser. Surrender evokes the unpleasant imagines of admitting defeat in battle, forfeiting a game, or yielding to a stronger opponent. The word is almost always used in a negative context. In today’s world we are taught early in our lives to never give up, or never give in. so we don’t hear much about surrendering. If winning is every thing (like in sports), surrendering is just unthinkable. We would rather talk about winning, succeeding, overcoming, and conquering than yielding, submitting, obeying and surrendering. But to surrendering to God is the heart of worship. It is the natural response to God’s amazing love and mercy. WE give ourselves to him, not out of fear or duty, but in love, “because he first loved us”. True worship bringing God pleasure–happens when you give yourselves completely to God.  Offering yourselves to God is what worship is all about. This act of personal surrender is called many things, consecration, making Jesus your Lord, taking up your cross, dying to self, God wants all of you, not just part of you, he wants all of you. Everybody eventually surrenders to something or someone. If not to God, you will surrender to the opinions or expectations of others, to money, to resentment, to dear, or to your own pride, lusts or ego. You were designed to worship God, and if you fail to worship him, you will create other things (idols) to give your life to. You are free to choose what you surrender to, but you are not free from the consequences of that choice. If God is going to do his deepest work in you, it will begin with this. So give it all to God, your past regrets, your present problems, your future ambitions, your fears, dreams, weaknesses, habits, hurts, and hang-ups. Put Jesus Christ in the driver’s seat of your life and take your hands off the steering wheel. Don’t be afraid, nothing under his control can ever be out of control. Mastered by Christ, you can handle anything. I can do all things thru Christ who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

 

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

 

Does God Heal Everyone?

Luke 17.pngNow on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us! When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed. One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him-and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner? Then he said to him, “Rise and go, your faith has made you well.”                                                                         Luke 17:11-19

Anyone who knows me and my family personally knows that I have a daughter who is chronically ill with more than one autoimmune disease. It amazes me every time that someone tells her the reason that she is not heal it is because she doesn’t have enough faith or doesn’t have any. When you come to know her you realize that she is a Christian woman who’s faith is very strong and loves the Lord with all of her heart, and she loves serving God anyway possible. Even as a young child Victoria’s faith was amazingly strong that some thought that I made her read scriptures and made her memorize them each and everyday. That is far from the truth of it all, as her mom I raised her in a Christian home and shared with her daily how much God loves her simply because she is his child. She always loved going to church and being involved and it never surprise me to this day that before she begins her day or even ends her day she spends her time alone with God. Having a strong faith base being chronically ill allows anyone to deal with all the trial and tribulations going thru so much pain. Yes she does go thru times of being angry for always being sick and having to go to doctors, test, being admitted into a hospital and being on chemo and when she goes thru those times I simply tell her, Victoria God didn’t give you “For God didn’t give us a power of fear (2 Timothy 1:7) But I can do all things thru Christ who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13) She is a child of God who walks humbly with her God, and she also runs two Bible study for woman who are chronically ill like herself, this is how God uses her. Someone once told me as long as you have the willing heart God can and will use you for his Glory. The human body is something for the here and now, we all need to fix our hearts on heavenly things. Jesus tells us in the Gospel of Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you. A song that she and many learn in Sunday School of Vacation Bible School. It truly doesn’t matter if to the rest of the world she is different because of being sick what truly matters to God is your heart. It is a shame when someone looks different that the rest of the world makes fun of someone who is handicap in someway because to God it truly doesn’t matter at all, and believe me you don’t need to see a shrink. We as Christians do not have all the answers in this world, what matters if for us to Trust God and draw close to him for when you do and have that close walk it will not matter what others may think of you. If others judge Jesus when he walk the earth so long ago we too will be judge just as he was.

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.                                          Hebrews 12:2

My daughter has written and published three books so far another in the works a devotion and prayer journal. She will graduate next May with a BA degree in Christian counseling with a 3.8 GPA from Liberty University then onto her masters, she is also currently working with her service dog name Abby, so you see for anyone who is chronically ill or handicap God has a purpose for your life you were created by God for a reason.

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