KILL THE PRIDE

prideGod has really been speaking to me lately about pride; this huge barrier that can keep us from serving God unselfishly.  To serve God is to love people…all people.  How can we really do this if we are putting ourselves above others?

When we help someone out and don’t receive so much as a thank you…is it really a big deal?  It is if that’s why you did it. How about if you do a huge favor for someone but don’t get a favor back? Will it change your attitude towards that person?  It will if you were expecting something in return.  Let’s say you invite someone to your birthday party and they don’t bring a present.  Will you invite them again next year?  Probably not if your motive in inviting them was so they would bring you a gift.

Now imagine this: That person you helped out or did a favor for, or invited to the party…they went home, dropped to their knees and thanked God for answering their prayers!  Prayers for help, for someone to show them kindness, to just be included.

This is one of those deceptions of the enemy, to make us believe we deserve recognition, applause, or gratitude.  The enemy wants to steal the gratitude that only God deserves and he’s using our pride to do it.

Jesus demonstrated the greatest example of living a humble life.  He was here to serve, never putting His desires above His love for us.  We have that same ability in  us and yet it’s so hard sometimes to walk it out.  If we would just remember that it’s not US who deserves the glory, but God alone, we can totally kill pride.

Holy Spirit, help me to recognize pride when it tries to creep into my life.  I want to be Your humble servant, loving others with the same compassion that You have.  I pray that I would never demand or even desire the glory that only you deserve. In Jesus’ name….AMEN!

Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. – Philippians 2:3

But He gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”James 4:6

MY WORST FEAR

prov910I was listening to an interview with a couple who had received a call that their son was in a bad car accident.  The interviewer said, “So your worst fear came true?”  And I thought, how many times have I heard that or said it!?  Even Job made this statement in the Bible. What I always feared has happened to me. What I dreaded has come true. – Job 3:25

When I heard it this time, revelation hit and I thought….when are we going to learn to stop thinking or speaking a worst fear?  We’re just opening up a window for the enemy to jump in!

Serve only the Lord your God and fear Him alone. Obey his commands, listen to His voice, and cling to Him. – Deuteronomy 13:4

BRING THEM BACK HOME

shameAll of our sins were paid for over 2,000 years ago.  We have ALL been forgiven of them; past, present, and future.  We just have to believe that Jesus did that for us.  Most of us know this, right?  Well today I was reading in James chapter 5. Verse 20 says, “you can be sure that whoever brings the sinner back will save that person from death and bring about the forgiveness of many sins.”

My first thought was that something is wrong here, because WE can’t bring forgiveness to anyone.  Jesus already did that.  However, I know that the Bible is never wrong so I knew I just had to ask God what I wasn’t understanding.  I looked up other versions and several of them said, “save their soul from death.” (which is their mind, will, emotion, and conscience).  So what I believe God was saying was that when someone returns to a sinful lifestyle, we are to remind them of who they are in Christ.  Let them know they have been forgiven, helping them to restore their mind.

We have a really hard time forgiving ourselves when we mess up and the enemy likes to take that and run with it.  Once someone returns to a sinful lifestyle, we believers should help guide them back and help them realize who they are.  We should be reminding them that ALL their sins have been forgiven; past, present, and future.  If not, they may feel like they’ve already failed God and that there’s no way they could ever get back to the path laid out for them.

Maybe YOU are the one who has strayed off this path and feel like you’ll never find your way back or that God is so disappointed with you, you just can’t face Him again.  Stop letting the devil lie to you.  You are LOVED, you are FORGIVEN, and though you may feel like you ran away from God, He has never left YOU!

31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”Luke 15:31-32

 

YOU ARE LOVED!

20140702_075213I woke up this morning, poured my coffee and sat down to read my Bible.  Just as I began reading, I started sneezing, my nose started running, and then my eyes started watering.  I was having a difficult time focusing on reading with blurry watery eyes, having to stop every few seconds to blow my nose, and of course sneezing is just annoying!

I kept going though and opened up this book I’m reading about understanding what it really means to have the spirit of God living inside of you and how it is the same spirit that raised Christ from the dead.  The author was speaking about the healings he had personally been a part of since he began understanding this as well.

As I was reading this and sneezing and wiping my nose and eyes, I thought “Okay I HAVE to go get a benedryl!”  Then I felt like God said, “Really???  Are you not paying attention to what you’re reading?”  Whoops!  So I declared right then and there, “I am healed, that same spirit that raised Jesus from the dead is inside me.  Spirit of distraction leave now in Jesus’ name!” Almost instantly my eyes dried up, the itchy feeling in my nose went away and I haven’t sneezed one time since!

God has given us EVERYTHING we need – Jesus.  If you believe He died for you, then believe the rest.  He came so that we could have life and have it abundantly.   If you don’t believe Jesus died for you, He did.

22 “I (Jesus) have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. 23 I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me. John 17:22-23

IS YOUR SOUL SAVED?

spirit soul bodyIf you’ve asked the Lord into your life, you might be thinking, well of course my soul is saved! But actually it was your spirit that was saved.  When you accepted Christ as your Savior, you became a new creation, and your spirit will leave this earth and go to be with Jesus when you die or when we are raptured. (So don’t go getting worried about whether you’re going to Heaven or not.)

Your body and soul, however, still need work. They need to come into agreement with your new spirit.  For example:  Ladies, read this verse: “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but YOU surpass them all!”Proverbs 31:29.

Men, read this verse:  “A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach and be patient with difficult people.”–  2 Timothy 2:24

Ladies, did you read that and think, “Ha, that’s so not me, I don’t surpass anyone!”  Or men, did you think, “well then I guess I’m not a servant of the Lord because I argue and am so not patient with difficult people!”

We think this way because our soul (our mind, will emotions and conscience) has not come in agreement with our perfect spirit (the word of God that is alive in us).  Our soul is still filled with all the corruption we allowed into it. The lies,the insults, and the ridicule from others or ourselves.

That’s why James 1:21 says, ”So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.” James isn’t talking to the unbeliever here. He’s talking to the Christians. He’s telling us that the Word of God has the power to save our souls.

As we spend time in the Bible and we begin to realize that the words on those pages are a reflection of the spirit that is within us, we will begin to see ourselves that way (the way God sees us). That’s renewing our mind and as our souls are changed, our body begins to follow.

He doesn’t love us any less or take away our salvation if our mind isn’t renewed but we are missing out on an amazing life here on earth, if it’s not.

Once you grasp this concept, ladies, I believe you will be saying and believing, “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but I surpass them all and that’s the way my Father sees me!”

And men, you will say, “I am a servant of the Lord, I will not quarrel but be kind to everyone, I will be able to teach and be patient with difficult people because that’s who God says I am!”

For a more in depth study on this, I highly recommend this book.  Spirit, Soul, and Body by Andrew Wommack

YOU HAVE THE AUTHORITY!

keep-calm-and-love-your-childrenTake authority over your children or someone else will.  That’s what I kept hearing today.  If I don’t teach my children how important they are to Christ, how sought after and loved they are, then someone else is going to come along and tell them what the world thinks about them.  You HAVE to take the authority God has given you in your children’s lives and speak blessings into them.  They need to know how loved they are no matter what; that nothing they will ever do can change your love for them or God’s love for them; that God has created them with a beautiful soul to pour out this love to others.

The world is going to fill their heads with who it thinks they should be or need to be or how it thinks they need to act or dress or talk. The world is setting the standards for this generation and it is not at all the way God intended it to be, which is to love God and love one another.  The world’s standards seem to be: change yourself and do whatever it takes to make the world love YOU.  NO!

If people would see the value that God has placed in them, they wouldn’t desire what the world has to offer.  Instill this in your children at an early age and if they’re older, it’s not too late to speak this into their lives.  I am learning this on both levels.  My children are 20, 7, and 4.  My 20  year old was a learning experience for me. We’ve been going through this together but I’m not giving up my authority just because she’s an adult.  God still gave her to me.  He has shown me her value and her worth, and constantly confirming how He is protecting her for the amazing things He has planned for her.  I will not allow the enemy any authority over my children, young or old.

I pray that every parent out there would read their Bible and speak His life giving words over your children.

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. – Romans 12:2

Tell your children about it in the years to come, and let your children tell their children. Pass the story down from generation to generation. – Joel 1:3

For the believing wife brings holiness to her marriage, and the believing husband brings holiness to his marriage. Otherwise, your children would not be holy, but now they are holy. – 1 Corinthians 7:14

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord. – Ephesians 6:4

Fathers, do not aggravate your children, or they will become discouraged. – Colossians 3:21

EVERYTHING….REALLY?

change-your-priorities-and-you-change-your-life-zero-deanOur family was watching a movie last night called “Mercy Rule” and there was a part that really stuck out to me. The husband makes a huge mistake and he goes to his wife and says, “I ruined everything”.  She responds with, “Who is she?”. “What?” he says,  and she repeats “Who is she?” He finally understands what she’s thinking and says, “No! What? Stop it! No!”.  She replies, “So not ‘everything’.

His idea of everything was his business, his wealth, his livelihood. Her idea of everything was their marriage, their family, their health.

Ever felt like you have ruined everything?  That you have just messed up so bad that your life is over?  That no one could ever love you, think about you, or even look at you?  Just to realize the next day that you were wrong?  But then you mess up a week later and you have that same feeling all over again.

It’s all about perspective and priorities (Your point of view on what’s important).

If the most important thing to you is pleasing people.  Then yes, you will ruin YOUR everything.  You can’t please everyone (and keep your dignity) it’s just not possible.

If the most important thing to you is your boyfriend/girlfriend or even your husband/wife and they leave you, then yes YOUR everything will be ruined.

If the most important thing to you is your looks and something happens that changes that, then yes YOUR everything will be ruined.

If the most important thing to you is a sport and you’re seriously injured, then yes YOUR everything will be ruined.

If the most important thing to you is having money and you lose the career you thought you’d always have, then yes YOUR everything will be ruined.

When we put things in perspective it can completely change the way we look at life all together.  What is the big picture?  What is our purpose of being here on this earth?  You have no idea?  Let me share it with you.  To spread the good news of Jesus Christ.

So think about it.  If the most important thing to you is your relationship with Jesus and telling others about Him, when you disappoint someone, you’ve ruined nothing.  When you go through a break up with someone, you’ve ruined nothing.  If you get dog ugly (at least you think you are) you’ve ruined nothing.  If you’re no longer the world’s greatest athlete, you’ve ruined nothing.  If you’re broke, penniless, out on the STREET, you’ve STILL ruined nothing.

So seriously, what could you do that could possibly ruin EVERYTHING?  Two definitions of everything are, “All things” and “Life in general”.  Can you really ruin all things or life in general?

Even in the case of the husband and wife in the movie.  The wife definitely had a better outlook on “everything”.  Her husband cheating on her would have affected a lot of things, but even THAT could have been fixed by the grace of God.

So next time you feel like you’ve ruined everything.  Step back from the situation, take a deep breath, feel your heart beat and ask yourself if you have a relationship with Jesus.  If you do, you have been completely forgiven of EVERYTHING and He has awesome plans for you!  Go out and spread the good news!

Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise His holy name. Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things He does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s! – Psalm 103:1-5

THE MAZE

mazePicture this, you’re traveling to your home and the only way to get there is through this huge maze.  There are warning signs all over the outside walls about how dangerous it can be.  There are trap doors, shaky bridges, total darkness, even people staged to pull you the wrong direction, and you have to find your way through it.  You start walking through the maze and someone stops you and says “Wait!  I’m going to give you a choice.  You can take this device with you and it will guide you safely through the maze OR you can try to get through it yourself and have the satisfaction of knowing you did it all on your own.”

Some of you thought the first choice was obvious until you read the second one, right?  You probably thought…”Yeah, I’d like to know that I accomplished something that difficult on my own”.

Well, I hate to burst your bubble, but that’s PRIDE and it’s what keeps so many people lost, hurt, and living in darkness.  We want to think we can handle this world ourselves but we can’t.  We weren’t meant to.  We were made to walk in fellowship with God.

The world is one crazy maze and it’s different for everyone.  So no human being can tell you with certainty “go this way” or “go that way”. There is a different path laid out for each of us.  However, IF we choose, we can all have the same guide to get us through it.  It’s YOUR choice and it’s the most important choice you’ll ever have to make.  Once you choose to accept Jesus as your personal Savior, He fills you with this guide who knows every single step you need to take.  His name is the Holy Spirit.   Sometimes He’s loud, sometimes He’s quiet but He’s always there and He’s always guiding you.  You just have to pay attention.

But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—He will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you. – John 14:26

So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. Galatians 5:16

Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall. Those who listen to instruction will prosper; those who trust the LORD will be happy. – Proverbs 16:18,20

PURSUING PASSIONS

proverbs 22 6I just watched Mom’s Night Out for the third time and I just absolutely love everything about that movie!  I think I laughed even harder the last time, even through all the bonus features!

Of course, as a homeschool mom, I loved the fact that the directors of this film are homeschoolers and that they give credit to their mom and their homeschooling for their becoming filmmakers.  Because of their homeschooling, they had more flexibility in their schedules and were able to pursue a passion they had, at an early age.  You can watch their short story here along with a trailer to the movie.

There are a lot of reasons people give in favor of homeschooling but I’d have to say that one of my favorites is being able to focus on my kids’ main interests; it makes school exciting for them and in turn, easier for me!  Of course, I teach them the basics: math, reading, writing, science, social studies, etc., but at home I can spend most of the time on things that are more interesting to them, and it has changed through the years.  My son wanted to read, so that’s the first thing we did and he was reading at a 2nd grade level at age 5. Then he wanted to type, so we worked on that and he’s pretty good at it already.  He’s 7 now and he is really interested in science. He wants to invent things so we’re doing experiments and will be working with electronics.  He’s learning how to build circuit boards! He also wants to learn the drums and is very talented already (so daddy, the drummer, gets to be his music teacher).

I don’t know exactly what God has planned for my children, but I do know that God has put desires in their hearts.  And just as the Mom’s Night Out brothers had a love for film-making, my children are going to have a love for something in particular.  And with them at home, I can recognize it and teach them according to those desires and see them prosper in those areas of their life.

Now, I’m not at all saying that if you don’t homeschool you can’t help your child pursue his dreams.  This isn’t about whether you should or shouldn’t homeschool.  Matter of fact, three out of the 5 of us in our family graduated from public schools and we turned out pretty great. This is just MY main reason for homeschooling now and I’d love to hear from other parents on why you homeschool (as long as it’s not just because you hate public schools). 😉

Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.

There are a lot of reasons people give in favor of homeschooling but I’d have to say that one of my favorites is being able to focus on my kids’ main interests; it makes school exciting for them and in turn, easier for me!

WHO IS THERE TO HELP YOU?

boy-and-girl-on-toilet-clip-artDo you ever have those tiny little moments where life just seems perfect?  It might be while looking at a picture of your family or spending time with a loved one.  You know what I’m talking about.

Well I recently had one of those feelings but at a very strange time.  I have a 4 year old and once in a while she still has to call on me from the potty for help.  I won’t go into detail but let’s just say I’m able to wipe away the problem for her.  

Anyway, not once, not twice, but at least three times lately while I was doing this, I had that “life is perfect” feeling.  I thought to myself each time…”where did THAT come from?  How did I get THAT from doing THIS??”

So today I was pondering on it and I realized what it was.  It’s not the “dirty duty” that’s bringing me such joy, but the fact that my 4 year old still depends on me.  She’s growing up, becoming more independent and needing my help less and less.  Soon, she’s going to think she really doesn’t need me at all (oh the teenage years).  I have a 20 year old daughter too, so I’ve been down this road; good thing is, SHE is old enough now that she realizes she DOES still need me. 🙂

As a matter of fact…she actually JUST called me (AS I was typing this) to ask for my help on a project for her job!  See, I am needed!   Anyway, what’s my point? 

As much as I want my children to depend on me and I take pleasure in being able to help them, I want them to depend on Jesus so much more! And imagine how much more Jesus wants that?  We NEED Jesus.  When we are baby Christians, we seem to rely on God so much to get us from point A to point B and I just know He delights in this.  We are completely dependent on Him.  But then as time goes by, we start to figure things out on our own. It’s great, because we are learning and growing, but we still need Jesus and He still wants us to depend on Him.  Sometimes we get to a point in our Christian walk where we think we have it all figured out and we begin to call on God less and less.  “I got this!” we say, “l can handle this!” we assume.  “I don’t NEED to rely on God anymore.” But God, just like our parents, is saying, “I’m still here for You, I can help, just ask.”  PLUS, He is so overjoyed to help us!  THAT’S the feeling I get when my daughter is calling for me from the potty.  THAT’S the feeling I got when my older daughter called me just now and said, “Mom, I need your help, your advice, your ideas”.

And don’t you think my daughters were happy that I was there to help them? That they knew they could depend on me?  Humble yourself, ask God for help, He’s waiting to hear from you.

For I hold you by your right hand— I, the Lord your God. And I say to you, ‘Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you. –Isaiah 41:13 NLT

IF ONLY I WOULDN’T HAVE…

k0982255My friend sent me a text today and asked for prayer for protection over her husband.  About an hour later I opened my Bible to some highlighted verses in Psalms.  The words, “I will rescue those who love me and I will protect those who trust in my name” shouted at me from the page.  I knew this was a good chapter for my friend to read just as a reminder to her that her prayer was already answered because she was coming in agreement with God’s word.

If you have asked Jesus into your life, the Holy Spirit is living inside of you, guiding you’re every step.  He can even keep you from “hurting your foot on a stone”.  Some may say, “well that’s just because they weren’t looking where they were going” or “they’re just clumsy”.

Well I believe it’s because they didn’t listen to that still, small voice that said, “move to the right (or left)” or “don’t go that way”.  Think about it…how many times has something happened and you said, “Duh!  I KNEW I shouldn’t have…” Or “I KNEW I should have…” You KNEW it because you heard the Holy Spirit warn you, you just didn’t pay attention to it.

Please don’t get me wrong. Don’t read this as a slap in the face reminder of when you didn’t pay attention.  We are not supposed to look back at each others failures reminding them of their wrongs.  Instead we are to encourage each other in the Word, so that we may look forward to walking the path God has laid out for us.

This isn’t a “Look at what you DID!” lesson, but rather a “Look at what you HAVE!” reminder.  “His faithful promises are your armor and protection.”

Psalms 91
1 Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 This I declare of the LORD: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; He is my God, and I am trusting Him. 3 For He will rescue you from every trap and protect you from the fatal plague. 4 He will shield you with his wings. He will shelter you with his feathers. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. 5 Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor fear the dangers of the day, 6 nor dread the plague that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. 7 Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you. 8 But you will see it with your eyes; you will see how the wicked are punished. 9 If you make the LORD your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter, 10 no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your dwelling. 11 For He orders his angels to protect you wherever you go. 12 They will hold you with their hands to keep you from striking your foot on a stone. 13 You will trample down lions and poisonous snakes; you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet! 14 The LORD says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. 15 When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue them and honor them. 16 I will satisfy them with a long life and give them my salvation.”

A PRAYER FOR OUR CHILDREN

My prayer is that our children know the love You have for them
That they will let their lives be guided, by the Holy Spirit within
I pray that they will know You Lord and all that You have done
From Creation to the amazing sacrifice of Your only Son

I pray that they will realize Jesus had THEM on His heart
When He said “It is finished!” with his body shred apart
I know they’ll never comprehend that scandalous show of grace
But I pray that they believe it washes shame right off their face

I pray they never feel condemned for wrong that they may do
But instead will feel conviction from the love they have for You
Holy Spirit guide them in every choice they’ll have to make
Don’t let the world around them turn them into something fake

Show them who they are, who YOU’VE called them to be
Make Your plans known to them.  Lord, make them known to me
Show us how to raise them to be servants of Your Son
You’ve placed them in our care Lord and I ask Your will be done

It’s in Jesus’ mighty name I pray, He’s my Savior, my Lord, my Friend
I believe it, I receive it, SO BE IT and AMEN!

Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older,
they will not leave it. – Proverbs 22:6
20140301_200009

FATHER KNOWS BEST

bird letting goHe just does!  Our Heavenly Father knows all.  He knows our past, present, and future. How can we even begin to think He doesn’t know what’s best for us?

Picture this, you and your dad are hiking in the mountains.  It’s just the two of you walking along a straight path, enjoying this time together with no worries in the world. Then out of the blue, you come across this injured bird that can’t fly. You’re attention is now completely on this flightless creature.  You spend several days taking care of it, nurturing it back to health.  You’ve become really attached to this bird now and it’s going with you everywhere you hike.

One day, all of a sudden it flies out of your hands.  But instead of letting it go, you begin chasing it.  It steers you off the path you were on and you’re running as fast as you can.  You’re so focused on the bird that you don’t realize you’re running straight off a cliff!  As you’re falling, you’re able to catch the bird with one hand and a branch with the other. Your father comes running and is yelling, “let the bird go, he’s ready to fly”.   And you’re yelling back, “But Dad, I’m not ready, what if it doesn’t come back?” You know your father knows best, you know he just wants you out of danger.  Question is, are you willing to trust him?

There are things in our lives that can get us off course.  Things which lead us off the path God has set for us to walk on.  It could be our hobbies, our job, our talents, our dreams, could even be friends or family.  We need guidance, we need direction and we need our Father to be the one to give it to us.

Holy Spirit, what am I holding on to that I need to let go of in my life?  What is steering me off the path You have chosen for me?  Holy Spirit reveal to me anything that is keeping me from pursuing a relationship with Jesus.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.  Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take. – Proverbs 3:5-6