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The sky is always blue beyond the clouds. There is always hope and encouragement here.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Epaphras



The apostle Paul speaks very highly of Epahras.
A. He says that Epaphras is a SERVANT of Christ.
B. Epaphras struggles in his prayers while praying for the Colossians Christians.
C. Epaphras prays for them to be mature Christians.
D. He prays that the Colossians Christians will have assurance in the will of God.

That is a good prayer. 
When is the last time you actually struggled while praying for someone else?
We do need to pray for others to become mature in Christ. We need to be always growing as well.
Do you feel assured that you are living out your purpose of God? Do you pray for others to live out God's will for their lives?

Let's pray on behalf of others.

DIVORCE



After you hear the word, once you've come to believe the truth of God, when you are not ashamed to proclaim that Jesus is the son of God, and have had all your sin washed away and have risen from your dead self into a new life by re-enacting the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ through the act of baptism, then comes the hard part. It is the part with which we all need encouraged: Living a life of faithfulness to God and His work.
How would you define faithfulness?

In your marriage if you spoke to your spouse for a minute each day, is that faithfulness.
If you only brought yourself to the presence of your spouse for 1 hour a week, would that be faithfulness?
If you spoke great praise of your spouse in his presence, but lived like a single person the rest of the time, is that faithfulness?
If you dislike being near other people that your spouse dearly loves, how can you say you love him?
Do you feel obligated to take care of your husbands house, his belongings and hate doing the things necessary for upkeep of his household?

Ladies, if we had marriages like that we would not call that faithfulness, we would want out and fast.
Yet that is how so many treat their relationship with God and his family.

I encourage you today to step it up and be faithful if you truly love Him before he gives you an eternal divorce.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Army


Have you ever noticed how contagious a bad mood can be?
Someone in the house is grumpy and then it begins to spread. And if Mom catches it, look out, because she can outdo anyone else. 😬
Really any kind of negativity can bring down those around you. 
Ever hear of a "wet blanket" or a "stick in the mud?" 
A wet blanket refers to putting a wet blanket on a fire to smolder it. It acts as a damper to the flame. 
A stick in the mud originated from animals and wagons getting bogged down or mired in clay. 
Can you see why these phrases might be used to describe a discouraging person?
People don't want to be around that in the same way we don't want to be too near a contagiously ill person. We might catch it. 
God even gave laws considering a discouraged soldier. 

The officials will continue to address the troops, stating: "Is there anyone here who is afraid and discouraged? He can leave and go back to his house; otherwise, his comrades might lose courage just as he has."
Deuteronomy 20:8 CEB

Can you imagine if discouragement spreads throughout the army?
As a child we sang, I'm in the Lord's Army. 
As adults we sing, Onward Christian Soldiers. 

Dear Lord, help us to not be afraid. Help us to be bold and courageous. Keep our faith strong in you. We don't want to be put out of Your Army, Lord.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Tied Together

This morning at church we sang the song, Bind us together. And my imagination wheels started turning.
I wondered how the young ones I had just finished teaching would act if I tied them altogether and left them that way throughout the lesson time. I believe it wouldn't be a good idea.
What if we, the adults would literally be bound together? 
I wonder.
Do we really want to be bound together with anyone?
Married couples don't even stay bound together for very long.
Church members aren't much better either. Very often we forsake unity. We forget to daily deny ourselves. We don't look a whole different than the world. In fact, all too often we look just like the world.
Don't believe me? Put your imagination hats on. Can you imagine being united, bound, tied up with, the members of your congregation? For how long? A few minutes maybe. It might even be funny. But within an hour some would want loose. Some would begin to lose their sense of humor. After a few hours we would be squirming our way away from each other. After a whole day, I don't think we would want anything to do with each other.
But the song, Bind us Together, is not talking literally being tied together. It is a unity of our hearts, beliefs, goals, and spirits. We are to be one. We are all to seek God's purpose and direction.  We are to bear one another's burdens. We are all part of one body. Our arm would not drop off because it didn't feel good. Our nose would pop off because it was mad at the big toe. We are one body.
What are you willing to do to keep unity in the church body? 

“Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone? And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.”
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 NASB

BIND US TOGETHER, Lord, Bind us together
With cords that cannot be broken.
Bind us together, Lord,
Bind us together,
Bind us together with love.

There is only one God,
There is only one King;
There is only one Body,
That is why we sing

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Prayer request

This morning early, I received a nice message telling me that a friend was wondering how I was feeling. She knew I had been under the weather. 😷
She added, "I have been praying for you." 
And that touched me. 
How nice that someone thinks of you when they talk to God. It's like they are in their own personal converter station with the greatest Listener of All and they stop and say, "Oh yeah, and I have this friend that means a lot to me, let me tell you about them."
Isn't that great?
How nice it is to be thought of my someone. It's better yet when they check on you and better still when they talk to God about you. 
Lord, help me to be better in this area of lifting people up to you. What a blessing it is for them and for me. 

PS: thank you, Dear Friend

“I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers,”
Ephesians 1:16 ESV

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Giraffe Gazing


Everyone seems to be obsessed with giraffe watching. They are tuning their phones, computers, IPads, etc into baby surveillance as that wait for labor to begin. 
It's crazy the stuff we entangle ourselves with. 
Are we so bored that this is what we do? And we watch eagerly in anticipation. 
We did the same things with the eagle eggs awhile back. 
I wonder, do we watch for Jesus to return as eagerly? Do you have anticipation while you wait and watch? 
My hope is that the Lord finds us alert and ready. 

“"Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a cry, 'Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.' Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.' But the wise answered, saying, 'Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.' And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, 'Lord, lord, open to us.' But he answered, 'Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.' Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”
Matthew 25:1-13 ESV
“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”
Psalms 27:14 ESV