Archive | May 2009

Week 4: A Scripture A Day — 1 Thess 2:4

“But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.”
Bible with Coffee
As you share what the Scripture speaks to you and it’s application to our lives today, also consider:
– What does it mean that we were “allowed” of God…?
– In light of this word “allowed” consider Acts 9:20-25 which speaks of Paul’s actions when he first became a Christian.
-Has there been a time in your life when you were in a hurry to get that promotion or receive that promise but you had to wait?

Week 3: A Scripture A Day — 2 Cor 3:18

 Bible with Coffee

“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2 Cor 3:18

When do you find yourself quoting this verse? When in a difficult situation? What does it mean “from glory to glory”? Share with us what this Scripture speaks to you. I look forward to reading your response.

An enjoyable week

This has been a wonderful week. I had the opportunity to go to Norfolk, VA and spend a day and night with my daughter and son while they were there for a work related conference. Then my son returned home with me and will be here until Monday. What a blessing! It had been a year since I had seen the two of them as they both live in CA now. When we got home, Jason assessed our needs and immediately jumped in to help us catch things up around the house. He cleaned the leaves and twigs off the roof, trimmed the bushes and mowed the lawn. Now he is helping Jon to place some stepping stones in the back yard. What a blessing to have a son who is willing to come home on vacation and help his parents. The Scripture tells us to train up a child in the way he should go and when he grows older he will not depart from it.  I am in that season of life where I am enjoying the fruit of my labor and perseverance with my children and I am praising God for His faithfulness!

I am slowing down on outside activities for the next couple of months. My daughter, son-in-law and grandson will be spending two months in Maryland and I want to spend as much time with them while they are on the east coast as I possibly can. Our families are such a blessing to our lives and we should be careful not to neglect them.

I hope all of you who read my blog are enjoying your summer and families too. May God bless you and yours!

My Mother’s Day Experience

I have had the most wonderful weekend and I feel so blessed to live for the Lord! The Lord has indeed shed His love and faithfulness towards me, especially through my husband and children.   My husband, as always,  shared his love so tenderly with me throughout the weekend.  You know, the journey of marriage is indeed priceless as a man and woman learn to care for one another. Jon’s patience and understanding towards me and his insight into my heart never ceases to amaze me. I do pray that he feels the same way about my care towards him.

Then there is the honor, privilege and awesome responsibility of being a mom. I love being a mom even now in my 50’s. And being a grandmother is a joy too! With Mother’s Day being today,  I received a card yesterday from my son created in his own words through the Hallmark online system. As I read the words that flowed from his heart onto that paper card, my heart swelled with joy and tears flowed down my face. Then there was the knock at the door. FLOWERS!  My daughter and son had both sent me the most beautiful bouquet! Oh and how sweet the aroma! I found myself thinking about the strong character possessed by both my children — Characters of integrity, honesty, loyalty, faithfulness. These are traits that, unfortunately, are sometimes so rare in the world today. I was overwhelmed by the faithfulness of God as I contemplated on the few difficult years we had during the teen years and how God has brought them — brought us — through. The Bible says we are to train our children in the way they should go and when they grow old, they will not depart from it (Prov 22:6). Oh, they may go astray for a time, but they will return. God promises it. I have witnessed it!

Pour your love, attention and the principles of  God’s Word into your young children’s minds. If you do, should life throw them a curve ball or should you see them take a detour,  those princples and the Spirit of God will lead them back to the right path. You can pray while resting  in the character of God…His integrity, honesty, loyalty and faithfulness!  This “rest” is your reward when you have been faithful to this command to “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he grows old, he will not depart from it.”

1 Cor 1:27-29

I have to say that when God called me to relationship with Himself, He really reached into a foolish and weak heart. I would not have chosen Him had He not first chosen me.  To God be all the glory!

We sometimes look at someone’s life and we think they must be the “apple of God’s eye” while we judge another saying they could not possibly have as close a relationship.  Aren’t we basing our conclusions on appearance of some sort, i.e. position, influence, charisma, money, personality, friends? 

God sent Samuel to anoint the next King of Israel. Samuel saw Jesse’s son, Eliab, and judging from his appearance thought he must be the one God had chosen. But God tells Samuel in 1 Samuel 16:7 that He sees a man’s life differently than what we do.  We are told that God looks on the heart. God had chosen the one who was out in the field – the “stinky” shepherd boy to be Israel’s next King. He chose David.

I remind myself to treat all men and women alike no matter what I may be tempted to think due to where they are (their position), how much money they have, who they run around with, what I have heard about them or what their physical appearance may be.  If we judge by appearances, like Samuel , we are sure to get it wrong.  Only God is wise! Only God can truly judge.

Intimate Moments with Father

“For Thou dost not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it; Thou art not pleased with burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise.” -Psalm 51:16-17
 

 
 This afternoon as I watched the birds fly in and out of the magnolia bush in our front yard, I was reminded of the spring of 2003 when a bird built it’s nest in a hanging plant that hung against our living room window. It was quite enjoyable to watch the birds’ activities. It wasn’t long that eggs, sheltering a new life within, appeared in the nest. I began to think about our lives and how many times we attempt to protect our hearts with a hard outer shell. We have all experienced the consequence of Adam’s original sin at various levels and degrees of offenses and sufferings. Life can be difficult. To survive life’s harshness before Christ entered our lives, it was necessary for us to have this protective covering. Some have needed harder shells than others. However, those who are a new creation in Christ, no longer need that hard outer shell. In fact, it can be to our detriment. Our protection is now found in the shelter of the nature of Christ that dwells within us. But, just as that bird’s egg had to break before the new life could come forth, so it is with us. The “shell” of our outer nature -must be broken in order to release the “Spirit of Christ” to arise in our hearts and reveal the new life of Christ within. How is this done?  In Luke 20, Jesus describes himself as the cornerstone and source of life. He says in Luke 20:18, “Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will scatter him like dust”. To fall on Jesus is a picture of humility. It is to surrender the Lordship of our lives to Him.  Humility requires us to admit our need to change in whatever area the Holy Spirit is putting His finger and asking for His help to do so. It is laying down our self righteous judgmental attitudes, our self-centeredness, self-indulgence, self promotion, self defense and instead, trusting in the Lord. This is true humility. Humility breaks that hard outer life into pieces. And just as I witnessed the new life within those bird eggs as they broke outside my window, others begin to see the life of Christ – the new creation within us as our shells are broken. We do not need to be afraid? Afterall, “God resists the proud but draws near to the humble” (James 4:6). It’s in brokenness that we discover God’s shelter. It’s in brokenness we discover His presence, are genuinely changed and fulfill His purpose.
 
 
Let’s Pray: Lord Jesus, You are so wonderful and patient with me and I need you in my life. I lay down my self righteousness and I accept yours. I lay down my judgment against others as I recognize I myself am lacking in your holiness and need changed. Although you never condemn me, you are continually showing me areas of my life that need to change and other areas that need surrendered to you. I choose to humble myself before you and surrender these things to you now. Change me from the inside out into your image. Thank you Lord for your love and grace and help me to extend it to others. May you, Lord Jesus, be glorified through my life.
 
With Love & Devotion,
Sarah